Indoctrinated From Birth into IN Faith Healing Cult; Now Skeptic & Rationalist

I have been a CFI Friend Of The Center in Indianapolis for about a year.
I was born into an Indiana faith healing cult called Faith Assembly led by Hobart Freeman. We were taught that we could not go to doctors or take medicine or we would get possessed by demons. I had painful untreated ear infections in both ears from birth until age 15, when my parents left the cult. An estimated 100 medically preventable deaths occurred at Faith Assembly due to medical neglect.
I believed all of the indoctrination that I received until about age 7 when I received a laying on of hands faith healing attempt on my ears by Hobart Freeman himself. I fully expected to feel a hot lightning-like anointing to flow from Hobart’s hands, into my ears and to be healed instantaneously. Instead, I felt nothing, just that his hands were big, warm, and maybe a little sweaty. That mustard seed of doubt has grown, and today I am a skeptic and rationalist. Although it did take until I was in my 30’s to completely eradicate the ingrained fear of Hell.
When I read about the faith healing churches in Idaho that has had 12 child faith healing deaths since 2011, it breaks my heart. I hope to raise awareness about Faith Assembly and faith healing churches by producing a documentary on the Children of Faith Assembly, and what it was like to be raised in such a restrictive cult. Here is a link to our movie page. http://www.childrenoffaithassembly.com/
I am doing a talk in April at CFI Indianapolis on the subject, in conjunction with our Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the movie. The Kickstarter campaign ends April 21. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jackpennington/children-of-faith-assembly

Welcome to the CFI forums, Joshua. Sounds like you have an important story to tell.

Thanks Darron!

I have been a CFI Friend Of The Center in Indianapolis for about a year. I was born into an Indiana faith healing cult called Faith Assembly led by Hobart Freeman. We were taught that we could not go to doctors or take medicine or we would get possessed by demons. I had painful untreated ear infections in both ears from birth until age 15, when my parents left the cult. An estimated 100 medically preventable deaths occurred at Faith Assembly due to medical neglect. I believed all of the indoctrination that I received until about age 7 when I received a laying on of hands faith healing attempt on my ears by Hobart Freeman himself. I fully expected to feel a hot lightning-like anointing to flow from Hobart's hands, into my ears and to be healed instantaneously. Instead, I felt nothing, just that his hands were big, warm, and maybe a little sweaty. That mustard seed of doubt has grown, and today I am a skeptic and rationalist. Although it did take until I was in my 30's to completely eradicate the ingrained fear of Hell. When I read about the faith healing churches in Idaho that has had 12 child faith healing deaths since 2011, it breaks my heart. I hope to raise awareness about Faith Assembly and faith healing churches by producing a documentary on the Children of Faith Assembly, and what it was like to be raised in such a restrictive cult. Here is a link to our movie page. http://www.childrenoffaithassembly.com/ I am doing a talk in April at CFI Indianapolis on the subject, in conjunction with our Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the movie. The Kickstarter campaign ends April 21. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jackpennington/children-of-faith-assembly
Welcome Joshua. Your experience in breaking away from a cult has parallels to many of us who had to break away from our indoctrination, though yours seems to be more extreme than most. The faith healing aspect must have been horrific and is somrthing most of us have not had to deal with, though I have found that most people still have a hard time gettng over their religious indoctrination, even the more benign types. I am curious about one thing: what led your parents to leave and did they immediately give up on faith healing and did they start consulting medically trained doctors right away? Lois

So my dad was the #2 in the Indy satellite church and got in a doctrinal dispute with the #1 guy over whether not a fellow was a prophet or not. Our family ended up excommunicated from the church. My theory is that without the constant reinforcement from the church teachings, my parents slowly began to relent on things. They didn’t relent on faith healing right away.
TV’s and movies were very much frowned upon in the church. If a movie was shown in the public school classes that I attended, I had to wait out in the hallway. So one of the first things I remember changing was that a VCR appeared and we hooked it up to the monitor and occasionally watched extremely family friendly shows (think Don Knott’s Shakiest Gun In The West). Then the basketball playoffs came around, and nex thing you know there is an antennae attached to the VCR and we are watching actual TV–but only the Bulls playoff games in which Michael Jordan excelled.
I think it may have taken a few years before they actually decided that doctors weren’t evil anymore. But as soon as that happened, things happened very quickly. All 6 of us were going to the doctors for checkups for the first time, going to the dentist, etc. The floodgates just opened by then.
The weird thing is even when we finally got cable TV, my dad still always blocked MTV because of its worldly influence.

I blocked MTV for the crap pop music they played.