The Senior Apostolic Leader of the Cult

You can read more of my story in:

Save the planet, bump off a billionaire. I'm with the Joker.

I'm a cult survivor. I joined the Jesus Army in 1996 when homeless. I lived in the "all things in common" communes until 2006. There are more stories and information on the Jesus Army Survivors blog.
I remember what in retrospect is an even odder occasion than what already seemed like an odd thing at the time.

I no longer lived with the cult but had retained my association with them, and some sincerely held faith, whilst being a programmer on the side.

Whilst living with them, seven years single and three years as a married man, I had reached the lowest echelons of male leadership as a Leading Serving Brother. An LSB. Mr Stanton was fond of acronyms. And he was in charge of everything.

This story is from some time after Mr Stanton was dead. Someone else was in charge. We had, what later turned out to be the very last of the "leaders meetings", an all male affair and a tradition of the cult stretching back beyond my two decades of association with them.

I had my leadership officially stripped away when we moved out of communal living with the cult. I was allowed in to this meeting as a kind of honorary leader. A gesture towards my more honourable past, perhaps. There were murmurings amongst the progressives of which I was one and possibly not even the most disreputable.

I think it was in this meeting we finally cracked and agreed that women should be permitted to drive minibuses. I left the communal part of the cult in 2006. So this was well past then.

After much discussion and explication of both sides and their scriptural arguments we had a question and answer time with the leader of the cult. The most senior of the apostolic five. The senior apostolic leader of the cult.

I asked him if, given the talk of permitting women a role in leadership which had actually started to happen, we would drop the testicle requirement for attending this meeting.

The senior apostolic leader of the cult replied, without hesitation, that we were feeling our way forward.

The place was uproar for some short while. Lads and aspiring lads to a man.

They did not have a leader's meeting of that kind ever again, and I was not invited to any of the meetings of the new power structures that emerged.

"If you dance with the demons they're angels.
If you flee they're demons.
That's how they tell your nature:
resist the devil and he will flee from you.
And flee we do, devils that we are.

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