Today was my day to help clean the church. I showed up at 10am to an empty building, and it turned out my cleaning partners had done their part the day before, so I was able to vacuum and dump the trash all by myself. What a trip…my worship music blaring in my headphones, I sang along knowing all the while that the noise of the vacuum cleaner was drowning out my singing so it didn’t matter how I sounded. What freedom!

It was almost surreal the way it reminded me of my last 6 months at WinePress. After the “sale” was completed on April Fools’ Day 2010, it wasn’t long before I was busted down to minimum wage, where I ended up being given the job of cleaning the WinePress offices.

Every morning I would drag around a 30 gallon trash bag and dump everyone’s trash. Really, I tried to have a good attitude while I trudged around the whole building, upstairs and down, but never once did I have the freedom to listen to worship music and praise God while I worked.

But now that I look back, by that point, even if I’d had the opportunity to do so, I’m not sure that I would have. It was an incredibly oppressive environment where walking on eggshells was the order of the day. I remember secretly being thankful someone else was in trouble, as that meant that Tim and Malcolm were too busy dealing with someone else to bother with me.

But today was a new day…a day of freedom in Christ and a celebration of almost 7 months of deliverance from my 12 long years of bondage. It was a joy to push that vacuum around and dump the trash…the Lord’s love overwhelmed me more than once as I thanked Him for all that He has done for me, and I marveled at how He’s placed me in such a good church where grace and mercy abounds.

It was a good time…surreal, but good.

One thought on “Surreal

  1. Oh you, how did you endure that? I’d rather be cut open, given days to live, have my tooth pulled, my nose cut on, my heart replaced, IV’s in my arms, central lines delivering chemo, have a breathing tube down my throat, be facing broken bones, painful surgeries, and ultimately death be fore I would ever agree to such a thing.

    When I hear of this type of treatment from you and other people who are now free from the SD cult and the people who run WP, I cringe and squirm with frustration at a group of people who actually claim they are true believers.

    What would Jesus do? That’s my cry to them. They have no love. I saw the determination in Malcolm Fraser’s face when he planned on convincing me of their righteousness and my sin. I watched the cool stature of Mike Owen’s face as he led a supposed Bible study on the love of money only to distort the verse beyond all distortions I had ever heard. He wrote me that sick reply recently when I corrected him for being sarcastic about me sending them a certified letter. Me? After they sent me PHONY lawsuit papers and when your lawyer in California put a stop to it–still claim they are right and perfect?

    Mike Owens told me I deserve to be sued by them and the law has words for sick people like me.

    Have they ever ONCE admitted they are wrong in anything? They claim they alone know the Word of God and understand it. They claim I am twisted and don’t read my Bible. They ATTACK everyone who says the smallest thing about them in a negative way. They can do this to you and believe they’re justified? My son met you and assumed you had always been the “trash lady.” He saw you as a cleaning service. An innocent, caring college kid who they also sent threatening messages too.

    But anything you or I write here will be twisted like they accuse us as being. Our words will be craftily abased as if we are so black and evil. I hate to hear the things you report–God forgive me; it’s getting really difficult to pray for them. I lived among them for times and they accuse me of not appreciating what they did for me. Them? Praise God they picked on me–a lone New York Italian who unlike Larry, was not so easy to catch. They lured me further than any misaligned group I’ve been in contact with, but GOD saw fit to answer my prayer and stop me from further abuse.

    They caused me MUCH physical illness after I bucked their attempts to convert me. Illness that could lead to cancers coming out of dormancy or my body rejecting my transplanted heart or pancreas and killing me.

    Yet they continue to this day to harass me and many other innocent people.

    I always say I haven’t lost as much as others, but I pray:

    Lord, bring this high tower of deceit and evil tumbling down. Spare the people and open their blind eyes. Reign in your majesty as no one else can. Restore all that people have lost. Allow the TRUTH to be seen by the entire earth and all people. God, I love you with all my heart and soul, and I love your people. I hate to see all those who are broken and trapped by the SD cult. Free your people. Lord, I pray.

    Supply all that Athena needs emotionally, spiritually, in relationships, and finances she needs to live and to fight this injustice. Prompt those who have the finances to speak out and fight for the truth. And send me help as I speak out like Athena. You know Lord, finances are sparse and these people, these supposed people of God who say they love, are quick to file lawsuits and claims and cause as much destruction as they can.



    Psalm 137

    1 By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept
    when we remembered Zion.
    2 There on the poplars
    we hung our harps,
    3 for there our captors asked us for songs,
    our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
    they said, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”
    4 How can we sing the songs of the Lord
    while in a foreign land?
    5 If I forget you, Jerusalem,
    may my right hand forget its skill.
    6 May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth
    if I do not remember you…

    Athena, you keep singing now. You are no longer in a foreign land.

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