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Rocky

If (since) you think TWI was bad, try Tara Westover's memoir of growing up fundamentalist Mormon in Idaho, "Educated"

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Apologies to those who grew up in TWI (i.e. Bolshevik and others) who endured noxious fundamentalism and survived.

In the spirit of putting perspective to our dysfunctional cult background, I present to you, Educated by Tara Westover.

It may be important for me to reiterate that I'm not excusing the oppressiveness and abuse inherent in the social structure of twi, nor am I suggesting it wasn't so bad.

I do suggest that there's always worse. More importantly, Ms. Westover shows remarkable determination to overcome her upbringing in an isolated family in Idaho.

Most importantly, Tara's story is a memoir of hope.

 

Amazon.com Review

Edited by Rocky
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Well, In December I finally bought the book (Kindle version). Last night I finished reading it.

Here's the review I posted on Amazon and on Goodreads.
 

I love it. But that doesn't say enough. I love the historian that Tara Westover has become.

I love her insights on the religious and emotional dysfunction in which she grew up.

I love the way she portrayed the spark that drove her to crave education. Because THAT is what humans do and have done for thousands of years.

I love the frankness and humility with which she told her story. I only wish I had that humility and curiosity when I was younger.

How many of us grow up in dysfunctional families? IDK. Mine had its share. I'm confident my daughter would say so too.

How many of us have experienced religious fundamentalism? Of course, Westover disclaims her memoir as having anything against Mormonism. It's clear in her story that her family's take on religion was different than many even in their own church.

I've experienced religious fundamentalism too. But not as a child. In my case, it was after I left home, while I was a young adult searching for meaning. It was a different flavor of Christian fundamentalism. I'm thankful that I outgrew it too. I've been on a quest to learn many things about life since.

Because of my experience with a fundamentalist sect and when I and many of my friends left it, I relate and empathize with Westover's narrative on belonging and family and the emotional tension she had to cope with in deciding what to do about those issues herself.

I enthusiastically recommend Educated to anyone interested in learning, in belonging, or in stories of emotional growth.

---------


One point I didn't make in the review but will try to do so here is that many Greasespotters may have a sense of having wasted years of their lives in TWI. I get that. I used to believe that too.

But your experience in TWI, good/bad/indifferent, is part of what makes you you. If you spent a big chunk of you life in TWI, it's a big part of what you have to give for the rest of your life to those you encounter. You will likely want to restructure what you think that experience meant/means now, but it can be valuable insight for ministering to others.

Peace. :wave:

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I think my time with TWI has enabled me to reach depths of empathy, understanding and compassion that are far more than I had before.  I don't think that this means of learning that is what God would have had in mind, but He's enabled me to make some lemonade from the lemons.  My time with TWI and the years afterwards wasted my professional qualifications, but even so, I've managed to turn those into things for good to help others.  The time that was wasted was in the prison of years of self-condemnation after TWI had M&A'd me: my fault, through absorbing poor teaching.

A waste?  Only if you don't use your experience to grow and to help others.

 

I'm sure this author is a tremendous example to others of succeeding against the odds, and of refusal to compromise on what she needed, on her pursuit of her reasonable ambitions.

And I'm sure that many with a non-cultic background will shake their heads and not understand.

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10 hours ago, Twinky said:

I think my time with TWI has enabled me to reach depths of empathy, understanding and compassion that are far more than I had before.  I don't think that this means of learning that is what God would have had in mind, but He's enabled me to make some lemonade from the lemons.  My time with TWI and the years afterwards wasted my professional qualifications, but even so, I've managed to turn those into things for good to help others.  The time that was wasted was in the prison of years of self-condemnation after TWI had M&A'd me: my fault, through absorbing poor teaching.

A waste?  Only if you don't use your experience to grow and to help others.

 

I'm sure this author is a tremendous example to others of succeeding against the odds, and of refusal to compromise on what she needed, on her pursuit of her reasonable ambitions.

And I'm sure that many with a non-cultic background will shake their heads and not understand.

Correct on all points. Scanning through the reader reviews on Amazon reveals exactly that.

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