Author's note: The following post is part of a series dealing with my experiences in the Jeffrey Lundgren cult and what I learned from those experiences. My hope is that my story will teach others the importance of listening to the voice of God within for their answers. Peace. cse
No Longer Brainwashed
Once my husband, Brian, and I left Jeff Lundgren's group, we did not have much contact with them. I know now Jeff would have seen my continuing contact as a potential problem as I could have convinced someone else to leave the group. On the few occasions I called to see how things were going, it was either Jeff or Alice that answered the phone. Talks were brief and I didn't hear much more than everyone was doing well and several new people had moved to the area to join the group. I wrote a few letters to different friends still in Kirtland, but I never got any response from those.
I found a job shortly after my return to Iowa as a residential counselor at a group home for emotionally disturbed children. I was able to put both my college degree and some previous volunteer experience I had working with abused children to good use in this role. It was a very intense job--basically involved working with five very troubled, very hyperactive children at once. I was responsible for making sure their day to day needs were met, while at the same time providing feedback to the children about appropriate behavior and to my colleagues about issues that could relate to the kids' problems, which might assist in their treatment.
In many ways, this job was my saving grace. I made some really good friends in my coworkers, who also had the same standards and integrity I held myself to. As for the job itself, it was so mentally, emotionally and physically draining, I didn't have much time left over to think about the life I had left behind in Kirtland.
In the back of my mind, I planned for a long time to make the trek back to Kirtland once the worldwide earthquake hit. At that point, Jeff's teachings would have been proven valid and I could go help the cause. After a year had passed, I didn't think about it happening anymore. My life had gone on, and I was once again absorbed in a much more normal life.
I remember a day--probably about a year-and-a-half after I moved away from Jeff--when I realized I didn't care to go back to Kirtland. I had been away long enough with no contact from the group that common sense had returned. Jeff's teachings about Zion, God's kingdom on earth, were a pipe dream. I could see that now.
It would be a much longer time before I would actively seek relationship with God once again.
The story continues: http://cocoontobutterfly.blogspot.com/2011/03/to-trust-in-man-part-17.html
*(For more information on this incident, one of the best books written is Prophet of Death. the Mormon Blood-Atonement Killings by Pete Earley. It's very detailed and uncomfortably graphic, but he did his research well. Earley gets to the heart of why Jeff and his followers acted as they did, without bias. Also, A&E did a segment of their show American Justice on this topic: American Justice: The Cult Murders.)