Author and Educator Maria Peregolise grew up as the daughter of a “spiritual prophet”. A follower of The Urantia Book, her father used the theology of that religious text to justify his narcissistic abuse. Maria’s father claimed to have channeled the voice of Jesus and acted as God’s Prophet in order to exercise control over her.
Rachel and Maria discuss the signs and symptoms of being raised in a cult or narcissistic environment, as well as the fantastical and outlandish content of the controversial book and the effects it has on its followers. You can find more information about Maria’s upcoming book “Culted Child” at her website https://cultedchild.com which archives the resources used in her book.
Before You Go: Rachel discusses the sensationalistic terms and damaging language used in The Urantria Book and what’s left when the smoke and mirrors of these manipulative teachings clear.
Thank you for the tremendous honour of awarding my work GOLD WRITER and for publishing it in ArtAscent. I am truly privileged for this opportunity.
I think the scariest thing I’ve ever done is to see my name, at the top of an article that tells my true story, on your pages. ArtAscent has helped me to charge through a terrifying hurdle. Publishing my thoughts has greatly impacted my perspective and my writing journey, by breaking down a barrier of silence.
I am especially grateful for the generous introduction written by Alexis Culotta, Ph D. I truly appreciate her understanding of how difficult it is to share such a personal experience. I am grateful for her ability to read between the lines and translate the weight and extent of the immense situation I attempt to convey.
I feel guilty, terrified, ashamed and relieved, to see it published. I couldn’t have raised the courage to push myself past the invisible limits established for me, without the validating and healing insights of those who have come before, such as Nori Muster, Carol Giambalvo, Ron Burks, and the researchers, Michael D. Langone, Ph D, Janja Lalich, Ph D, Lois Kendall, Ph D, and many others. I appreciate their generous work with those of us attempting to navigate our lives within this difficult framework.
There is an invisible yet growing faction of the population who struggle alone in these uncanny circumstances. It’s crucial we let them know, they are not alone in their aloneness.
The Arts are an imperative medium, in that sometimes only a poem or a sketch or a painting will convey the confusion and grief with which others can make self-affirming connections.
Thank you, ArtAscent, for the encouragement you’ve afforded me by recognizing my work. Together we will get our messages out there.
Very well said. There is no shame in opening up and telling the truth about events that impacted your life. I pray this process will lead to healing for you while you educate others in the lifestyle of a cult. When one is involved, they do not recognize the signs; especially children. It is cruel to draw a child into such teachings. You are a smart lady, and were an intelligent young girl. You probably didn’t know it was a “cult,” but were wise enough to be uncomfortable. You were so young, and this has been going on over 50 years! Thankful for your supportive husband and family!
My love to you! Reply February 27, 2020 9:21 am
It takes a lot of courage to tell your truth. As Anne Lamott wrote: “You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Reply February 25, 2020 9:46 am
MP says:February 11, 2020 at 12:28 am Maria’s writing is a guiding light in the dark for people who are struggling with or who have struggled and suffered the abuse doled out by a narcissistic parent or cult leader. Maria illustrates how growing up in such an environment molded her to mute herself, doubt herself and caused her perpetual inner turmoil. And though victims of narcists may have been caged in the convoluted realities of their abusers for years or in her case, a lifetime, Maria writes empowering words of hope, in which one can recognize the actual reality of their situation, come to terms with it and decide to define reality for themselves; “Deciding what reality you are willing to live within is vital. Just as crucial, is the turmoil you give yourself permission to live without.”Reply
SDT says:February 5, 2020 at 1:56 pm Very excited to receive my February edition specifically for Mrs. Peregolise’s piece. Her website and the upcoming book explores a childhood of narcissism and neglect. Maria has the emotional intelligence to help others realize their own trauma and discover that the “sky is not green and the grass is not blue”.Reply
LR says:February 2, 2020 at 11:12 am I’m so proud of Maria and her willingness to share about her childhood. Much of who we are and who we become is shaped during our childhood. We can all learn from each other’s experiences. Thank you, Maria, for sharing your story.Reply
DP says:February 1, 2020 at 7:17 pm Can’t wait! If there’s anything I have learned from Maria’s writing, it’s that the concepts of faith and family can be just as damaging and terrifying as they can be uplifting and inspiring- and furthermore, that the amount of trust you put into someone is directly proportionate to the amount of control they have over you. Maria’s writing is emotional and informative, and demonstrates that the damage done to a child in a cult setting can go unnoticed and almost inconsequential until years later, when the threads of faith begin to unravel- and the former culted child’s self-image and worldview along with it.Reply