1993, 03/27. Of Writing Many Books, There Is No End.

I was out handing out flyers for the church’s carpet cleaning business with a new disciple brother this day.

Saturday, March 27

I came to sit in the park (with Robert). I feel wiped out today, tired. Even though I’m sitting in the park, there is a way in which I feel I’m being monitored. The idea is that somehow, somewhere, somebody will find out that I took ”time off” and was indulging in taking it easy. And the fact is, I was into flyering Park Slope. The fact also is that my heart was not into it and I dropped out somewhere along the way back there and now I have coasted to a halt. I can only keep up the “into it” front for so long anyway. My mind is like a vacuum and it is all dried up. I need something for my mind, person and spirit. I remember how I used to be able to come to the park on a Saturday and not feel as if I was in a hurry, or that I was taking advantage, being lazy or goofing off. I’m sitting here, but I feel like I have to get up and get moving real soon. What if I sat in here for two hours?

I need the restoring effects of unstructured time. (Sure, I want to flyer and to build up the church business.) I really do feel whacked out. Whatever happened to spending a Saturday in the park? I feel so roped and chained up now. Maybe because everybody else is busting themselves today because it’s Saturday, which is one of our busiest work days, so I feel as if I’m freeloading or taking advantage. I live a treadmill life and this feeling affects not only my body, but my mind and thought processes also. I fear divine retribution, because God sees that I’m taking this time, so maybe there will be a little “compensation” for it later. But I think it is a false idea (that is, the idea of “taking” this time or “taking this time off”), as if it were something I was taking because the time belongs to the church and to the business. I spend an inordinate amount of time working for the church or caught up in its wasteful time cycles. Really, I just need to get out and do something like this once in a while (or more often) as a way air out. I would prefer to be alone right now. But then again, when I’m with somebody, I can sit on a bench without having to look over my shoulder. I can sit and enjoy the ambiance, the air and the activity going on around me.

I have the feeling that I have to put in a certain number of hours, or else I’m cheating. (I remember being very concerned that I would get in trouble because I could only say I put in three hours of work last Saturday. I’m always imagining these imaginary inquisitions, but what happened is that I put in over 24 hours of work the next days, on Sunday and Monday, so I was “covered.” But, the worry comes back. I’ll have to give my hours for today. I don’t want to, or won’t, lie – so somebody is going to find out that I only put in four hours (so far today).

Robert was telling me some things, one of which was that there is a consensus among the new brothers that they like to work with me. He also told me there is a sister who “used to be in this fellowship” who is writing a book about church abuse, and that she meets new brothers and talks to them sometimes. She is going to ”expose” this church. This sounds like Beth, and is probably the woman mentioned in that book.

Robert was also asking me things like, what happens when Stewart dies? I thought though, since Beth has produced this book, or part of it, what would be the use of me doing the same thing? I consider the price of doing that, I would have to move out in order to be able to write the book, and for what result? What is becoming of this book now? What is it doing? (This is probably the book she gave Arthur.) Okay, she is a crusader, but who is she going to talk to? The homeless people we talk to don’t read books, so a book is not going to warn them about us. The ex-members of the church who live out don’t need any further information about us. The ones who live in our church probably won’t read it or they will dismiss what anyone writes about us as lies, if they did read it.

Would this book be what turns the tide for anybody here? Then, there are outside people, authorities maybe, who might read it – who knows? Maybe it will increase surveillance of our church, but what really will it do? Do I hope, maybe, that it will cause somebody to come in and bust the church up? I’ll probably never get out of here on my own. Somebody will have to get me out, or I’ll get thrown out, or some state agency will have to come in here and blow the place up.

As far as other churches, or pastors, what can they do if Stewart doesn’t respond to their inquiries or they get a wall of silence from us? The idea is presented that, if we answer any of their questions, we would have to leave here and join their camp. In which case, I probably wouldn’t need help from outsiders for any of the problems I have here, because I wouldn’t be here anymore. It is probably a false hope to be waiting for and expecting some savior to come in and save me from my bondage to Stewart and the church. (Like those in the prison camps in Russia and Romania hoped that the Americans would come and liberate them, as if the Americans were concerned about them.) I guess if I am here, it’s my business and if I want to leave, I can. I do have this fear though of standing trial in some court room for the abuses that take place here, for things which I don’t think are right either. Being divided inwardly between wanting to stay here and wanting to leave here, I wouldn’t do too well in a trial.

[I feared that if the government or police came and broke up the church, that I could end up in court, having to testify about taking part in the abuses here. In that case I would not be able to say I had doubts about being there, or that I was a victim. I would be tried as one who was a part of things and doing the things that the church did to other people, such as exploiting homeless people for labor.]

You can read the next section of this journal here: The Mind Of Jim LaRue.

These journal pages are part of the source material for my book, Captive Congregation: My Fourteen Years in the Church of Bible Understanding, which is available as a Kindle book or in paperback

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