Three essential ingredients to create your own cult
- clearly provide an identity
- create a safe shelter
- unleash a cause
I escaped the following three cults, they all had these three above essential ingredients
FAMILY, FELLOWSHIP, FIRM
The Family – As a migrant child we spoke three languages at the family table and we were only a family of five, mum, dad, brother and sister. The three language’s were Greek, Macedonian and English. My mum and dad spoke Macedonian to each other and they spoke Greek to the children. The siblings spoke Greek back to the parents and English to each other. In this one table there was the struggle for identity. Are we Greek, Macedonian or Australian?
Pic taken two years before I left the family cult, I was fifteen and was selling pastries at a Greek festival for the family business. I had the honour of meeting Sir Charles Court at this festival, a respected politician of the migrants in Perth. Nearly forty years later and the Sir Charles Court name still resonates great memories in the city of Perth. (Politicians that made a difference.)
Even at fifteen my ability to make friends with total strangers like the security guard next to me was the norm.
When visiting the relatives, this idea of identity was even more divisive. My family stems back from the mountains of North Greece or Macedonia depending on which relative we visited. The arguments, politics and fervour for a sense of identity was heightened as dad would mock those that were one-eyed about their identity. Dad survived concentration camps and having fought in the Greek army against his own countrymen in a civil war was already disillusioned by the concept of nationalism. Back in the mother country you spoke Greek on the streets and Macedonian in the privacy of your home as an act of preserving your identity and to rebel against the government of the day.
At seventeen years of age I was enjoying the multiculturalism of Australia. I decided to respectfully rebel against my family and ancestral heritage, at least for a season and journeyed on a spiritual path. I was invited to a rock concert that was held at a dark hall in the back of a church building in the inner suburbs of Perth, Australia.
At this point my open-minded father yanked the family emotional strings and tried to hold me back. It was too late, I had already made up my mind and respectfully and painfully kept on my spiritual quest. This act of rebellion severed something between my dad and me for a number of years. Dad tried to provide me with an identity, a shelter and a cause in this new country, unfortunately for me they weren’t enough. I wanted more than being an extension of a migrant family, build a house and have a secure career. It just wasn’t for me. The extended family looked down on my father and mother for their inability to keep me in their tribe (Cult). I knew that I was now an outsider to those who shared my DNA. I no longer subscribed to the teachings of my upbringing even though I was so proud of who I was to that point. I knew that the world was bigger than my tribe. I needed to discover my own identity, create my own safe haven and dig out my own passion for life. Dad didn’t realise it at the time, but he taught me well. He taught me to be curious and challenge the status quo that builds invisible walls around our mind.
Out of one tribe into another called the Fellowship. (Having a sense of humour is a must if you’re to appreciate my stories)
Stay tuned for part 2 – The Fellowship