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Remnant Fellowship 22: The Great & Powerful Oz-Lizabeth


nelliebelle1197

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There are so many elements of 1950's ads in the Remnant mindset which is especially ironic given Gwen's absolute power stance as a woman. "Wives, you can look thin and put together even taking a roast out of the oven. " "Remant women you can look thin, godly, and put together at all times." 

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2 hours ago, Pecansforeveryone said:

There are so many elements of 1950's ads in the Remnant mindset which is especially ironic given Gwen's absolute power stance as a woman. "Wives, you can look thin and put together even taking a roast out of the oven. " "Remant women you can look thin, godly, and put together at all times." 

They have this concept of "making God look good." (Not just physical appearance but doing good deeds.) 

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3 hours ago, Pecansforeveryone said:

There are so many elements of 1950's ads in the Remnant mindset which is especially ironic given Gwen's absolute power stance as a woman. "Wives, you can look thin and put together even taking a roast out of the oven. " "Remant women you can look thin, godly, and put together at all times." 

RF idolized the 1950s as a time before America turned bad due to liberalism, feminism, and the removal of God from public institutions.

To put on my psychology hat, I think Gwen was very keen on recapturing her childhood view of the world growing up during that time. In her mind, that was when kids were behaved, wives were submissive and did not rock the boat, and man were "real, manly men." I think it is a common attitude among conservatives (after all, what is conservatism/reactionary worldview but a desire to return to an idealized past). She painted the past in this rosy light and loved the aesthetics of it without thinking at all about the darker underbelly.

Of course, this was all about image. I remember being really frustrated as a teen when Gwen would paint whole time periods as "the time when people were righteous" and completely ignore everything going on. Like, how can you say the 50's were this blessed time for good Christian believers when Civil Rights activists were being lynched and the world was hovering on the brink of nuclear annihilation? But you could never argue against what Gwen said or even note glaring discrepancies. There was no debate. No argument. No questioning. No nuance. I remember leadership would get up after Gwen rattled off a rambling screed that was just barely googled nonsense and say, "Don't we live in an incredible place! Gwen is a genius who has been given divine insight into history and theology!"

It was a really awful place to grow up in for many reasons, but it was especially awful for an inquisitive mind. 

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7 hours ago, Sasha_The_Producer said:

We're you allowed to be fat while pregnant and if so, how long did you have to loose the baby weight? I would assume mommy makeovers were a huge deal. However that brings up the topic of plastic surgery what was the church stance on that as well?

The expectation was by the time you went to the Dr for the 6 weeks after the baby was born appointment if you had a single birth.  Twins you got more time and there were some triplets and those Mothers got more time too.

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5 hours ago, DietCherryCoke76 said:

Twins you got more time and there were some triplets and those Mothers got more time too.

Sounds like fertility treatments were a bit popular.

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10 hours ago, Roscoe said:

It was a really awful place to grow up in for many reasons, but it was especially awful for an inquisitive mind. 

I totally agree with you. Atleast for me, my inquisitive mind did help me leave so I am grateful that Remnant did not destroy my curiosity and desire to understand things. 

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17 hours ago, Roscoe said:

But you could never argue against what Gwen said or even note glaring discrepancies. There was no debate. No argument. No questioning. No nuance. I remember leadership would get up after Gwen rattled off a rambling screed that was just barely googled nonsense and say, "Don't we live in an incredible place! Gwen is a genius who has been given divine insight into history and theology!"

I'm not trying to introduce politics into this thread, more psychology.  This parallels Trump in many ways.  He goes to rallies or makes statements, endless rambling word salads of total incoherence, and his followers think it's great...because he makes them feel...something. 

Did you have a sense that the people who kept Gwen on a pedestal were otherwise intelligent people?  What was the payoff for worshiping Gwen as an oracle? 

How did you perceive your parent's relationship to Gwen/RF? Was there friction with them as your  frustration with Gwen grew as an older teen (if I'm phrasing that correctly)?

Edited by Howl
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4 hours ago, Howl said:

I'm not trying to introduce politics into this thread, more psychology.  This parallels Trump in many ways.  He goes to rallies or makes statements, endless rambling word salads of total incoherence, and his followers think it's great...because he makes them feel...something. 

Did you have a sense that the people who kept Gwen on a pedestal were otherwise intelligent people?  What was the payoff for worshiping Gwen as an oracle? 

How did you perceive your parent's relationship to Gwen/RF? Was there friction with them as your  frustration with Gwen grew as an older teen (if I'm phrasing that correctly)?

I do think most RF members were intelligent, kind, and well-meaning people. But as I've said before in other points, part of the subtle horror of Remnant was that it would slowly take away your autonomy as an individual to think for yourself and make your own decisions.

I think the weight loss focus was especially seductive to many people. Not to get all Joker-ish in here, but we live in a society that is profoundly fatphobic. Many of my peers didn't just have moms with eating disorders, they had grandmas and great-grandmas with eating disorders. I think the world at large shares a lot more of Gwen's visceral disgust with larger bodies (especially with fat women) than we'd like to admit (especially in older generation). But there's also the fact that losing weight is really hard for most people. 

So in comes Gwen with this miracle cure for being overweight, a condition that effects, like 60% of Americans in a culture that still finds them to be fundamentally disgusting. Shame is such a powerful emotion and I think a lot of people are deeply ashamed of how much they weigh and how much they eat. It is a profoundly intimate problem, something you can't really escape. So maybe at first they aren't totally on board with all of Gwen's theology and had questions and doubts, but then they lose the first 5-10 pounds and this is the first time they might have gotten their weight to budge in years. Suddenly they are able to tackle this intimate problem that causes them this bone-deep shame and anguish, that effects how others view them, that determines their desirability and worth in our culture. And all they have to do is follow what this woman is saying and they will continue to lose weight. For many, this is the first time they've ever been able to do it because they're filling an old addiction with a new one.

I don't think it can be overstated how integral the weight loss aspect is to people's deep (and often irrational) loyalty to Gwen. We believed, quite literally, that she gave us a new lease on life, that she freed us from the prison of our own bodies. That is a profound shift in someone's psyche. Not only that, but you suddenly have all these like-minded people around you who will give you the shirt of their backs and welcome you into this community with open arms. I'm sorry, but for a lot of people (even atheists), this overrides everything. This speaks to the deep animal nature that wants to belong and be part of something larger.

 

But once you give your autonomy over to Gwen, once you believe she is the reason you are beautiful/healthy/desirable/worthy, you give her an immense power. You don't question the person who you believed saved your life or healed your marriage or gave you your body back. The longer you're in, the more steeped you become in that culture, the more you suffocate the doubts inside your head. And when things don't make sense, when you see things that are objectively wrong, when you hear something terrible, you gaslight yourself. You convince yourself that you were mistaken about the abuse, that you didn't see what you saw or heard what you heard. And everyone else around you confirms that it's you. You are the crazy one. You are the evil one. You are being deceived by the devil to believe your lying eyes.

In my youth, I was so convinced that I must be wrong, that I was evil for seeing the discrepancies. My family had that bone deep loyalty and I wanted so badly to be a good kid, to be worthy of the love of God and of my community. I believed I was crazy for a long time. My frustration was diverted more into an extreme sense of cognitive dissonance. I struggled against two competing realities, one that wanted desperately to believe and the other that was watching my universe contract all around me.

I don't know if that answered your question. I was definitely a kid who tried hard to believe.

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On 12/10/2021 at 9:34 AM, Sasha_The_Producer said:

We're you allowed to be fat while pregnant and if so, how long did you have to loose the baby weight? I would assume mommy makeovers were a huge deal. However that brings up the topic of plastic surgery what was the church stance on that as well?

You were praised by Gwen the less gained when expecting.  Gwen wanted weight gain to be all baby.

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4 hours ago, Roscoe said:

I don't know if that answered your question. I was definitely a kid who tried hard to believe.

Your response was heartfelt and you did an amazing job explaining how RF "works" and your experience within it. 

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There was a replay tonight (I think there was a wedding)?  This replay was from the beginning of 2018.  Now, I am not very religious but I have been to church and listened to sermons.  They always lost me because I was not familiar with the bible.  So here is what I got from Gwen's breathy speech:  God's truth. The fruit is real. Thousands (from Remnant) have been revived.  People on their death bed have gotten up and started dancing.  People healed and looking younger everyday (is this from weight loss?).  Remnant's revival is not fear based.  It is based on LOVE.  Gwen said she is more in LOVE with God today than yesterday.  She has more empathy for people. 

OK, I have to stop here.  So in 2018, she was nicer, more empathic and loving?  Anyone?

Then she continues speaking about God is fun!  She describes it as liquid joy.  If you fill up on God's love, you are less likely to have misconduct. Chocolate cake doesn't fill up the emptyness.  It makes you feel sick and gives you pain.  This is where I stopped listening. Cake as sin? Really? But she did get a standing O.

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Today's sermon was one from January 2018. I do wonder if Elizabeth is physically unable to lead the church. She looked frail and emaciated before the loss of her mother and husband,  I can't imagine what she looks like now. Frightful!!! 

 

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1 hour ago, Jb003 said:

I do wonder if Elizabeth is physically unable to lead the church.

That's what I'm thinking.  The loss of her mother and husband, plus multiple other people who were (presumably) very important to her must be debilitating.  

I truly hope her father is able to be there for her in a significant way,  giving her support and helping her children come to terms with the loss of their father and grandmother. 

Edited by Howl
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Despite knowing better thanks to my experiences with Remnant, I always have a slight yearning to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir around this time every year due to my love of choral music and christmas carols. Something about the human instinct to leave one abusive relationship and jump straight into another one…

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15 hours ago, Baxsmom said:

There was a replay tonight (I think there was a wedding)?  This replay was from the beginning of 2018.  Now, I am not very religious but I have been to church and listened to sermons.  They always lost me because I was not familiar with the bible.  So here is what I got from Gwen's breathy speech:  God's truth. The fruit is real. Thousands (from Remnant) have been revived.  People on their death bed have gotten up and started dancing.  People healed and looking younger everyday (is this from weight loss?).  Remnant's revival is not fear based.  It is based on LOVE.  Gwen said she is more in LOVE with God today than yesterday.  She has more empathy for people. 

OK, I have to stop here.  So in 2018, she was nicer, more empathic and loving?  Anyone?

Then she continues speaking about God is fun!  She describes it as liquid joy.  If you fill up on God's love, you are less likely to have misconduct. Chocolate cake doesn't fill up the emptyness.  It makes you feel sick and gives you pain.  This is where I stopped listening. Cake as sin? Really? But she did get a standing O.

The years I lived & attended the church weddings were either webcasted as the service or at a home on a different day.  Replays were not used for weddings.

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15 hours ago, Baxsmom said:

But she did get a standing O.

All you have to do to get a standing ovation at Remnant is walk on stage. Seriously.

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8 hours ago, throwaway9988 said:

Despite knowing better thanks to my experiences with Remnant, I always have a slight yearning to join the Mormon Tabernacle Choir around this time every year due to my love of choral music and christmas carols. Something about the human instinct to leave one abusive relationship and jump straight into another one…

Oh I totally understand this! Choral music and performing music has been tainted by my time in Remnant

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On 12/9/2021 at 12:26 AM, Roscoe said:

The "modesty" rules were mostly only enforced on girls who did not meet the thinness standard. If a girl had any curves she would get cracked down on way more. A lot of these rules (like shorts length) were enforced during day camp where we'd have endless talks about modesty. As with all things RF, rules constantly changed and the standards waxed and waned with trends that the inner circle found acceptable. Real "on Wednesday we wear pink" energy.

Being photogenic and attractive was always the top priority of course. Also, in many circles I ran in, girls and women were expected to wear makeup and look put together whenever you were in public as a way to "glorify God." I was told by a leader's wife that I needed to start wearing makeup when I was in middle school because my bare face looked sloppy. RF encouraged beauty above all.

So basically that was just Gwen combining the realities of old southern culture and twisting it into some weird RF expectation. Women in the south have historically prided themselves on being put together and having their “faces on”. My mom never leaves home without her lipstick on and earrings. Beauty is of the utmost importance in old southern culture so a woman is expected to do that to the best of her ability. Also old COC rules prohibited boys and girls from “mixed bathing”. Another rule not original to “Gwen’s message”. 

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On 12/8/2021 at 11:20 PM, ManyGoats said:

That's so strange. Because I've never seen them as being particularly modest dressers. For example, I've always been surprised at the wedding dresses worn by RF brides. Backless, strapless, it seems like anything goes. 

Compare that to other groups who emphasize modesty -- the first pic is the skimpiest Mormon wedding dress I could find, compared to a couple of pretty typical RF gowns. These two do pass the skinny test.

image.png.b429a4375c21d067d60718c0cd658b5d.png    image.png.7ee1ae51450459d8fb46de8e7fcebd0c.png  image.png.a9f572eb8f67cbd6887ca3039f2a430e.png

 

 

The morman wedding dress is pretty. I don't care for the fit on the bride with the strapless gown or maybe it is because she is moving so it looks like it is coming off her chest. 

On 12/10/2021 at 1:35 PM, Roscoe said:

RF idolized the 1950s as a time before America turned bad due to liberalism, feminism, and the removal of God from public institutions.

To put on my psychology hat, I think Gwen was very keen on recapturing her childhood view of the world growing up during that time. In her mind, that was when kids were behaved, wives were submissive and did not rock the boat, and man were "real, manly men." I think it is a common attitude among conservatives (after all, what is conservatism/reactionary worldview but a desire to return to an idealized past). She painted the past in this rosy light and loved the aesthetics of it without thinking at all about the darker underbelly.

Of course, this was all about image. I remember being really frustrated as a teen when Gwen would paint whole time periods as "the time when people were righteous" and completely ignore everything going on. Like, how can you say the 50's were this blessed time for good Christian believers when Civil Rights activists were being lynched and the world was hovering on the brink of nuclear annihilation? But you could never argue against what Gwen said or even note glaring discrepancies. There was no debate. No argument. No questioning. No nuance. I remember leadership would get up after Gwen rattled off a rambling screed that was just barely googled nonsense and say, "Don't we live in an incredible place! Gwen is a genius who has been given divine insight into history and theology!"

It was a really awful place to grow up in for many reasons, but it was especially awful for an inquisitive mind. 

This reminds me, I need to read "The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap" the hyper link is an article by the author about marriage and glossing over the reason people got married. The book is over 500 pages and from what I have read about it is more than just marriage but all things that were romanticized of the past. 

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6 hours ago, quiversR4hunting said:

This reminds me, I need to read "The Way We Never Were: American Families and the Nostalgia Trap" the hyper link is an article by the author about marriage and glossing over the reason people got married. The book is over 500 pages and from what I have read about it is more than just marriage but all things that were romanticized of the past. 

That is an outstanding book that busts all kinds of nostalgic myths about American families. Stephanie Coontz is the author. I read it in graduate school back in the mid 1990s. Highly recommend.

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Late to the party having just watched the HBO episodes. Honestly my biggest take away was how strong all the former members are. Their courage is palpable through the screen. My heart breaks for them. 

I know this goes without saying, especially here of all places, but I insist on saying the obvious anyways. Anyone under the right circumstances can find themselves in a cult. Very intelligent people, independent people, fun and outgoing people, people of all kinds can wind up in a cult. That is part of what makes them so scary. Literally anyone can be susceptible with the right conditions. Remnant in particular seems terrifying, especially when they brought up their business enterprise aspect - so that you can have doctors, lawyers, daycare providers, all within the church - which what that really means is you always have eyes on you and people monitoring you; literally no way out, you can't even get your damn A/C fixed without the repair man being all up in your business and serving the cult! Scary!

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:45 AM, meep said:

I know this goes without saying, especially here of all places, but I insist on saying the obvious anyways. Anyone under the right circumstances can find themselves in a cult. Very intelligent people, independent people, fun and outgoing people, people of all kinds can wind up in a cult. That is part of what makes them so scary. Literally anyone can be susceptible with the right conditions

Abusive relationships in general… same rule applies.  I learned in counseling that some people MAY be more susceptible to being abused than others, but we can all become victims of abuse if all the circumstances line up. 

 

Edited by CRAnn
Sensitive topic… so not black and white.
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Hey everyone. I finally got a a job after 1 year and 4 months of covid unemployment and I will not have much free time anymore. This forum has kept me informed and entertained.  Thank you so much.  I hope you all keep posting the truth about Remnant. ❤️

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23 hours ago, Blue said:

Any new updates on Michael and him leaving and getting divorced?

I did see his daughters on the webcast tonight and maybe his wife in the choir.  Do you think they will marry Erin/Elle off to another church member?

And Elizabeth called in.  She talked about the enemies spreading rumours about her and her family, she was just with Michael, Elle and her dad, yesterday, celebrating Christmas.  She mentioned that Joe (a great father figure) would call or text her saying she was to carry her mom's torch after her mom was gone. 

And then of course she mentioned weight. 🙄

She also just started a new project called The Give Love Project. Last week the youth group give out crumbled(?) cookies to neighborhood churches, police and firefighters.  I think that is lovely but she still can't show up at the church she is leading and at least see her children perform.  And why would a weight loss centered church give out COOKIES!!!????

At the end she wished everyone a a good holiday and that she would see them in February.  I guess this will be her BIG debut as the "new" Gwen.  

 

IMG_6633.jpg

Edited by Baxsmom
Had another thought to add...
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