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Remnant Fellowship 22: The Great & Powerful Oz-Lizabeth


nelliebelle1197

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1 hour ago, RFFriend said:

So, just thinking about what Dan did say in his video.... do you think Michael would decide to sell the church property to get the money or maybe he would even want to destroy the church?  Would Elizabeth allow him to do that?  I assume they both have equal shares in her estate.  Seems like Gwen underestimated Michael when she did her will not realizing that he might not care to keep the church going and that she might have needed to leave the church property to the church to keep it going.

Do we know that the actual church land and building were in Gwen’s name when she died?  I guess it has always been my understanding that she donated both to the RF church.  If this is true neither of her children would be able to touch it, right?  It would be a 501c3 nonprofit organization paying no taxes and governed by its official board members.  

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1 hour ago, CRAnn said:

Do we know that the actual church land and building were in Gwen’s name when she died?  I guess it has always been my understanding that she donated both to the RF church.  If this is true neither of her children would be able to touch it, right?  It would be a 501c3 nonprofit organization paying no taxes and governed by its official board members.  

I looked up the property and it looks like this is it.  Says that Remnant Fellowship is the owner, but what does that mean legally?

 

image.thumb.png.84fbd76244524a83295f0e77dc415e9c.png
 

 

 

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Nnnot quite sure where this came from (too much leftover pumpkin pie?), but last night I was thinking about Amy Winehouse’s music and sad life and immense legacy … and I thought about her hair beehive and Gwen’s bumpit pouf. 
 

Nothing past that, except … what might they have had in common to choose to style themselves in those similar ways?  Huh. The things that cross my mind. 

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20 hours ago, Blue said:

At the time she basically tied religion to intuitive eating

When we first started discussing Gwen I looked at my library and they had an old 90s edition copy of her book that I flipped through. If I remember correctly even pre-RF it was about waiting for the growl and tying eating before the stomach growled as sinful. That alone is dangerous and abusive teachings that church leaders should have had the wisdom to pick up on. Tying eating before your stomach growls to sin is just setting the groundwork for eating disorders. 
 

I would not say she was ever into true initiative eating because that mindset is acknowledging that we don’t need to always give into junk food cravings and there is a focus on eating healthy foods. Gwen was more into disordered eating which is you can eat all junk food but only small amounts while waiting until you really hungry. Intuitive eating can be realizing that if a person waits until their stomach is growling they tend to over eat, so they instead eat at set times. It is about knowing your body and realizing there is no one plan that works for everyone. Gwen liked to claim she was teaching intuitive eating but it was really her way or you are sinning and making God unhappy. 
 

59 minutes ago, RFFriend said:

So, just thinking about what Dan did say in his video...

I think he makes stuff up and should be ignored. Not that long ago he was claiming Michael was going to kill himself in a matter of weeks. 

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5 minutes ago, RFFriend said:

I looked up the property and it looks like this is it.  Says that Remnant Fellowship is the owner, but what does that mean legally?

 

image.thumb.png.84fbd76244524a83295f0e77dc415e9c.png
 

 

 

It means it’s like any other church and does not belong to any one individual or family.  It can only be sold if the governing board chooses to dissolve the church.  Even then, the proceeds of such a sell would not go to those board members or the other church members.  Nonprofits are kind of community or societal property and when one dissolves it donates it’s proceeds to another nonprofit or trust, usually where the mission is similar, or will at least benefit the community or all of society  in a similar way.  

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1 minute ago, formergothardite said:

If I remember correctly even pre-RF it was about waiting for the growl and tying eating before the stomach growled as sinful. That alone is dangerous and abusive teachings that church leaders should have had the wisdom to pick up on.

Disclaimer: i don’t get out a lot. Never have. My life is a network of rabbit trails that I’m content with.
That’s to excuse my provincialism in only having seen  one church sponsoring Weigh Down, back in the day. 
It was my former parish snd in an upper-middle-class town that was being suburbanized. 
When I was there, ladies wore fur stoles and little mink skins with a spring in the poor critter’s mouth biting into a hind leg. 
Big on image snd status, is what I’m trying to say. 
My guess is that church leaders (men only) figured that whatever the ladies wanted that kept ‘em thin and attractive and happy was okay-fine. After all, the ladies aren’t in leadership positions. 
I’m sure the congregation dropped the program when Gwen denied the Trinity. 
Anyway. Church leaders, yeah, the truth of early WD probably wasn’t anywhere near their radar range. 

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16 hours ago, MamaJunebug said:

Disclaimer: i don’t get out a lot. Never have. My life is a network of rabbit trails that I’m content with.
That’s to excuse my provincialism in only having seen  one church sponsoring Weigh Down, back in the day. 
It was my former parish snd in an upper-middle-class town that was being suburbanized. 
When I was there, ladies wore fur stoles and little mink skins with a spring in the poor critter’s mouth biting into a hind leg. 
Big on image snd status, is what I’m trying to say. 
My guess is that church leaders (men only) figured that whatever the ladies wanted that kept ‘em thin and attractive and happy was okay-fine. After all, the ladies aren’t in leadership positions. 
I’m sure the congregation dropped the program when Gwen denied the Trinity. 
Anyway. Church leaders, yeah, the truth of early WD probably wasn’t anywhere near their radar range. 

The pastor of the church where I first did WD Workshop in ‘99 was enrolled in the class himself.  However, it took place on a Wednesday evening when the church had a whole series of other meetings happening and he was constantly being called out of our class to the point that he finally gave up on being a participant.  I didn’t know him at all but recall pondering if he was really that distracted or if he just didn’t want to follow WD. That was actually hypocritical of me as I never, ever followed it to the T myself (something I now see as a very good thing.) And speaking of “judgementalness” it seems to me involvement in WD/RF just plain leads to it. 
 

I agree that the whole “greed for food is sin” thing was there from the start of her WDW classes… it was just mixed in with hunger/fullness/satisfaction in a more insidious way than later.  It was the crux of the judgementness thing, it was the one thing that distinguished her from other hunger/fullness programs, and is today what makes RF members think they can be “perfect”and have found the one and only church.  

 

I also understand that biblical scholars explain that “perfect” as noted throughout some Bible translations, including the NIV that was Gwen’s chosen one actually meant to the writers, “complete” … as in having all the requisite parts.  It did not meant never stumbling.

 

Never mind that this also begs the question of what does “sin” actually mean and are there “variants.” If I overeat it cannot be as big a deal as if I kill my neighbor!  

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On 11/27/2021 at 11:07 AM, CRAnn said:

I wasn’t the best adherent to Gwen’s then hunger/fullness advice.  I recall my first official day on the program… I decided I’d wait for a growl and hope it would come, but regardless I’d treat myself at a good Italian restaurant for an 8 pm dinner for being so good!   And I did… even though a growl was probably and hour or so away!  And the food tasted better than usual cause I was hungry and I struggled with how much to eat, but ate less than I might have otherwise done.  And I was off!  I lost 30 more lbs trying to wait for a first growl of the day but eating lunch noonish regardless and a smaller dinner….  without a growl. Tons of Diet Coke all day long.  It also served as my breakfast.  I’ve now quit it entirely but that’s another story.  During that “Exodus out of Egypt” class, I read the Bible and faithfully wrote about my sins in the workbook.  I thought I had found a spiritual  leader at last, with a few hard to swallow things like wives submitting to husbands.

On 11/27/2021 at 11:07 AM, CRAnn said:

 

CRAnn, reading your story is a lot like mine!  Thank you for sharing, I have such a hard time putting my feelings and experiences to words.  I was pretty much an atheist when I joined.  I saw so many people losing weight, my curiosity overwhelmed me.  Those first few years of WD were magical - I loved the people in it, I loved Gwen, and I am still grateful to her for helping me find the closest thing to a higher power that I could grasp.  I wasn't a big fan of the submissive wife thing nor the homophobia, but somehow I shoved that down. Something changed - I don't know what - when Weigh Down Advanced came out. I think that was even before the trinity scandal.  Many people left, but I hung in there.  There really was a lot of good in the original stuff. 

All these years later I still think about WD.  I'd check in occasionally and watch a video or get out my old tapes.  As far as I can tell, the message was pretty much intuitive eating, but other intuitive eating classes I've taken just haven't been the same.  I'm still trying to figure that out. 

 

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15 minutes ago, JuneJuly said:

CRAnn, reading your story is a lot like mine!  Thank you for sharing, I have such a hard time putting my feelings and experiences to words.  I was pretty much an atheist when I joined.  I saw so many people losing weight, my curiosity overwhelmed me.  Those first few years of WD were magical - I loved the people in it, I loved Gwen, and I am still grateful to her for helping me find the closest thing to a higher power that I could grasp.  I wasn't a big fan of the submissive wife thing nor the homophobia, but somehow I shoved that down. Something changed - I don't know what - when Weigh Down Advanced came out. I think that was even before the trinity scandal.  Many people left, but I hung in there.  There really was a lot of good in the original stuff. 

All these years later I still think about WD.  I'd check in occasionally and watch a video or get out my old tapes.  As far as I can tell, the message was pretty much intuitive eating, but other intuitive eating classes I've taken just haven't been the same.  I'm still trying to figure that out. 

 

Thank you, too, JuneJuly for sharing your experience.  Maybe we all have some amount of “dyed in the wool” instinctual spirituality in us.  If so, I was born a liberal Christian because as a young teen I recall mortifying family with my comments on what all I did and did not believe about their fundamentalist doctrine.  They would shush me, preferring that I keep my thoughts to myself as if not speaking them would make them go away.  (Probably thought I had a demon or two.)

Clearly Gwen was very charismatic.  We wouldn’t all be on here writing about her and her aftermath otherwise.  But as much as I feel I learned some select lessons from her that have served me well, when I look back on them I realize I could have learned them from far greater minds than hers…  for example, I think she must have read a lot of C.S. Lewis not just because she went around claiming she was speaking “Mere Christianity” but because she actually managed to incorporate the messages of his writings into her sermons.  There is a Bible called The C.S. Lewis Bible that she could well have used to make that an easy thing to do.  
 

I have often thought that Gwen could have helped sooo many more people with many addictions IF ONLY she had had the humility to accept her own limitations instead of coming up with the “you gotta be all in THIS MESSAGE” and “we are forming this perfect RF and it’s the plumb line” stuff.  Regardless of what she thought about the trinity, if she could have kept her opinion on that to herself and carried on with WDW without the hubris of started yet ANOTHER church… it’s hard telling how successful she would have become over time, or how many people could have been helped.  
 

But she was so judgemental… judging the people in her own CoC church for being overweight and deciding that any church where anybody was overweight was a problem church.  How horrifying that she suggested RF members should “step back” or whatever term it was when they gained weight!  They should stay at home!  😳 Wasn’t she with Joe when she admitted in one of their videos to drinking more than she should?  Yes!   So very late in her life.  What is the difference between too much food and too much alcohol?  The whole judgementalness thing is just crazy wrong.

I know this for sure…. I am grateful for people like Pathological Antagonist (sorry I called him Psychological Antagonist in an earlier post — that moniker should go to Gwen) because his was an early voice on the web about the dangers of RF, and he never has let up over the years.  I probably don’t agree with him about everything, but I do believe Gwen formed a cult by anything close to the definition.

In my first post on FJ, I expressed gratitude for this place because it kept me teetering when I was dangerously close to RF this last time.  When I decided to create an account here and post something I knew I had “crossed over” and it is a very good thing.  

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1 hour ago, Baxsmom said:

This popped up on my instagram feed today.  It scared me.  I forgot I had followed them.  eeeeek

IMG_6229 (1).PNG

It just feels weird how their views are constantly changing. Don't get me wrong - I think we should be willing to change when presented with new information, but it just feels like they change on major things...

.... I remember family telling us that they would do gifts for our girls because they were too young to understand, but that they weren't celebrating Christmas anymore because it was too pagan... Now they have a Christmas bazaar...

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1 hour ago, formergothardite said:

Didn't Gwen have a bunch of giant Christmas trees in her house?

She had what basically amounted to a Narnia scene in her living room for Christmas. She seemed very into it.

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2 hours ago, formergothardite said:

Didn't Gwen have a bunch of giant Christmas trees in her house?

She did a video about Christmas at Ashlawn with her grandkids.  Lots of Christmas decorations.  

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On 11/26/2021 at 6:42 PM, treemom said:

@Pathologic Antagonist<< You can be a victim and an abuser at the exact same time.

Were they cult leaders though? Or were they part of a system that would be difficult for any child of Gwen to escape?  Do you really actually think they had choices?  Did you actually watch the documentary you were a part of?<<

Where did I assert that abusive leaders aren't victims of their own madness? Where?

I've watched the real thing, mom. I've been to the scenes of the crimes. I saw the pictures Mr. Schweitzer had of the beaten body of Josef Smith.  I don't live within the compressive world of a scripted documentary. There are realities, nuances and overtones media will never catch. You seem to be missing them too.  

This young man and woman were part of an abusive system that blinded anyone to keep them from escaping. But the fact that people did leave shows it wasn't omnipotent. The fact that I was able to help some leave proves this as well. Leaving a cult involves at some level a point at which a crisis of conscience compels a person under its control to finally realize the system they serve is evil. You share the perspective and pray they see it. You leave it up to them to decide.

Apparently, you are of the persuasion that they just had no way to turn from being bullied by their mother into being what they were - cult leaders. But yes, they really did have choices. Maybe that's hard for you to accept but after 20 years of having watched what they did, heard their own dictates, and have a free hand to perpetuate what horrors they did, there's been more than enough opportunities to break free. But they didn't. They stayed. Voluntarily.

Ask the members of Remnant for whom their tender mercies resulted in their spiritual abuse.  I could sit here for the next hour typing some of these out after having tried to help the victims who sat under their "ministry,"  years before I ever even heard of this website or this forum. I think you've sat and felt the explicit horror of two young people nurtured into being monstrous oppressors of people who trusted them. It's terrible, yes. But don't kid yourself into thinking Elizabeth and Michael had no choices in this and couldn't have held up a hand to recognize that what they cooperated in empowering was wrong. 

One of her early emails to RF years ago was prefaced with the encouraging remark that "the Remnant Nation is out of control!"   Sister, was she right. And she loved it. 

<<You can be justifiable in your anger and have compassion too.  It’s ok.  It won’t hurt you or your cause.>>

Sorry you read me as an angry cultbuster. But I'm not losing sleep over your perception.

If I had no compassion, I'd have dove out from this hellish business years ago helping broken people. I've stuck around to help though out of my desire to help despite the nightmares I get now and then and the terrible feeling that I can't do enough to help encourage people on to wholeness because there hasn't been anyone else out there doing it.  Daily since 2003 I have prayed for the deliverance of Remnant from itself.  I don't expect your understanding of where I've been with this to match with mine. It's a free country. 

<<And I’m not sure being expected to starve yourself and pretend like your son never died is being pampered. >>

So when the shining eyed mom and daughter who were late to care for that same child brought the newborn a gift that Elizabeth dashed into a wall and snarled at them that they had never be late again so she could get to her meeting, that's just something to wink at?

Not this Mexican.  I call it like it is because that's what it is.  


 

 

 

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Thank you for the wall of text telling me I am wrong.  I spent 40 years of my life trying to get away from the control of my parents.  Who were poor, unliked, and had no power and yet I “allowed” them an insane amount of control over my life for years even though honestly I think I always had the power.  That’s is the thing about cages.  So yes, I am saying as a child of a cult leader it may seem insurmountable.  You are the ones who called them kids raiding the candy ship, a candy ship being powered by slaves.  I didn’t introduce inappropriate imagery, you did.  You think it’s appropriate because you seem unwilling to consider other’s view points. This is a discussion board, the way you frame things here is going to get pushed back on.  

 

Quote

So when the shining eyed mom and daughter who were late to care for that same child brought the newborn a gift that Elizabeth dashed into a wall and snarled at them that they had never be late again so she could get to her meeting, that's just something to wink at?

Yes, yes, it is something to wink at relative to what I described.  Obviously that is terrible.  One shouldn’t do that.  But you probably shouldn’t compare the two.  Elizabeth being a bitch is not the same trauma as a child dying and certainly isn’t the same trauma as HAVING TO PRETEND THEIR IS NO TRAUMA AT ALL.  
 

I find it hard to believe that only Elizabeth had such an experience, so since you are such a bad ass who is just so bad and fighting the good fight so much better than all us losers, quite possibly you could have found a more appropriate comparison?  

 

but regardless, it’s not pampering.  I am in the same side as you, the cult is terrible.  It has destroyed people and lives.  A child is dead from being beat to death and so many people in power converted it up.  But some of those lives it destroyed includes those living in mansions.  Money is nice, and it does a lot of things, but unless it is used in therapeutic ways it does not make you less of a victim nor does it mean PRETENDING YOUR BABY DID NOT DIE AND DID NOT EXIST isn’t a terrible trauma.

@Pathologic Antagonist 

Edited by treemom
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Also when you say they stayed voluntarily it makes me doubt you actually understand cults at all. And referring repeatedly as Mom is misogynistic and condescending.  I understand you may be cutting my username short, but that’s a good example of how you might wants to consider who is the audience for your message and how your words might warp your message. @Pathologic Antagonist

 

One more edit, you say you don’t expect my understanding to match yours (after an ego stroking paragraph about how hard you have worked and how great you are) and when I am saying the words and imagery you are choosing makes it HARDER to understand your perspective you double down. Plus I don’t think you have tried very hard to understand mine,  you made a metric shit tom of assumptions about me, who I am, and what I have done in the past and what my experience is. Could it be I also have unique life experiences that gives me a different perspective.

 

I actually participate here.  Maybe not a ton, but I do.  I understand you come here to do a data dump update on what’s happening and therefore you miss quite a lot that would give you perspective on my and other’s feelings.  I’m clearly not alone in disliking your framing I was mostly upvoted.

Edited by treemom
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@Pathologic Antagonist, did you think while giving your condescending lecture that many of us not only grew up in horrifically abusive cults but we have found our way out? We don't need you to tell us what it is like.  We aren't just saying things based on a documentary, many of us have lived the horror of a cult childhood. We understand the complexities of what a childhood in a cult does to people, apparently more than you appear to. 

Just like with Anna Duggar, we can accept that these people were victims of a cult but also became participants in abusing others. If Anna took a bunch of the money and left, we would cheer. Same with these two. If they take this money and bolt leaving the cult high and dry, good for them. They can get therapy and do nothing for the rest of their lives and I think thar is fine. 

Elizabeth had a child die and wasn't allowed to grieve or acknowledge it. I think, unless you have experienced growing up in a cult that tells you you can't have negative emotions and you must pretend everything is fine, it is hard to grasp what that does to a person

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I probably shouldn’t respond at 4 am, because it was long and clearly defensive. But now that I’m not insomnia cranky I guess I can boil it down to say this:

 

If Michael or Elizabeth or their children one day reached out to you to help escape the cult @Pathologic Antagonist it seems very much like you would tell them

1. Fuck off, they are rich and can figure it out themselves

2. It is their fault for being born to Gwen or Gwen’s children and therefore it has been a voluntary choice all along

3. They deserve the pain and psychological and emotional trauma their mother gave them

4. If they have confusion or struggle with their parents divorce or the amount of control Gwen had over their lives see number 1.

 

Edited by treemom
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14 hours ago, Blue said:

Now they have a Christmas bazaar...

This isn’t the first time they have done this. In fact, as I recall, “Zion Market” usually takes place during the holidays and winter months. It’s been around for 10+ years. Hell I recall the first “Zion Market” taking place at the “Old” Exodus Building / WD storage building (which is now the primary location of the WD offices since Gwen lost the seaboard lane location in the divorce). 

Funny; I wonder what Jesus would think about Zion Market taking place in the church building considering, Jesus had quite the conniption about his fathers temple becoming a market place…

Just a heathen thinking out loud here, heh.

Edited by RFSurvivor_2
I often wonder how I scored a 35 in both Reading and English via the ACT.
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I think it’s also important to note, that the Spirit Watch ministry that Pathologic Antagonist is a part of is an evangelical ministry itself, one that I suspect most of us probably wouldn’t call a cult but would side eye ourselves.

 

And this organization considers the New Age occultism and dangerous.  Which lets eye roll about that.  I absolutely think he is doing good work and should continue, but I also have concerns about those in his pastoral care after leaving a cult.  Do I believe that he would support a path that involves non belief?  No I do not.  Which might not make him as bad as Gwen, but certainly would indicate his pastoral care is troubling and could harm people.

I certainly hope that is not the case and I misread their own website and zeal for Jesus.  But they seem pretty firm in Jesus and God are the ONLY answers.

 

Here is the link the the ministry that Spirit Watch is a member of.  http://emnr.org/about/
 

note the concern about Enneagrams!  Oh noes!  Not the non scientific personality tests!  

Edited by treemom
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5 minutes ago, treemom said:

I probably shouldn’t respond at 4 am, because it was long and clearly defensive. But now that I’m not insomnia cranky I guess I can boil it down to say this:

 

If Michael or Elizabeth or their children one day reached out to you to help escape the cult @Pathologic Antagonist it seems very much like you would tell them

1. Fuck off, they are rich and can figure it out themselves

2. It is their fault for being born to Gwen or Gwen’s children and therefore it has been a voluntary choice all along

3. They deserve the pain and psychological and emotional trauma their mother gave them

4. If they have confusion or struggle with their parents divorce or the amount of control Gwen had over their lives see number 1.

One would there would be as much compassion for the people who had never known anything  but controlling cult brainwashing as there is for the people who joined a cult as adults. But I guess @Pathologic Antagonistdoesn't have compassion for those raised by cult leaders. 

One thing learned over the years at FJ is that is that people can be victims and abusers. Terri Maxwell was clearly a seriously depressed woman with an emotionally abusive husband, but she also joined her husband in being a terrible parent. Anna Duggar was raised brainwashed with a husband who is a monster, but she is now standing by a child predator. Debbie Pearl's wedding night was a traumatic horror story at the hands of a cruel man, yet she joined him in pushing abuse that killed children. Gwen's children were abused and controlled by her since they were young, yes they joined in the abuse, but we should acknowledge that they too are long time victims of RF. And if they are letting the cult implode, why criticize them for that?

6 minutes ago, treemom said:

is a part of is an evangelical ministry itself, 

Which explains why he doesn't want to be critical of the evangelical church leaders that helped Gwen get her start. 

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Hahaha.  They link to RZIM as a resource directly under Spirit Watch.

 http://emnr.org/resources/

 

I would be throwing a shit fit if my name was linked to RZIM, even if it was only to indicate we are both valid resources for understanding cults.

Also, back to my point about ego stroking, the only member on this page that has a quote like it’s a high school senior picture is Pathalogic Antagonist http://emnr.org/members/

 

Edited by treemom
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The whole spirit watch/emnr rabbit hole seems to be a hot mess of "everyone but us is wrong" philosophy. There is just so much offensive stuff insulting everyone who isn't an evangelical Christian. There is also a lot of word salad. 

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      Well, I survived the ultrasound. It was incredibly uncomfortable and invasive, but I lived. Thank you so much once again to everyone who responded to my initial post. You guys helped me so much so that I even had a normal bp when the nurse checked it!
      · 0 replies
    • feministxtian

      feministxtian

      Guess I forgot to tell y'all I fell and dislocated my ankle last week. Had the ankle put back into place but also have something called a tri-mallealar (sp) fracture. 3 places! Surgery next Thursday for the lovely hardware needed to put it all back together. Did I mention that Oxy is like shooting a bb at a hurricane for pain? 
      · 6 replies
    • Bluebirdbluebell

      Bluebirdbluebell

      F**k Alzheimer's.
      · 1 reply
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