The Royal Blue Satin Dress. Part Five.

Part 5. Conclusion.

As to Ambassador College, whose motto was… recapturing true values. What? I could get this kind of sorry treatment slogging along the streets of downtown Cincinnati as a young working woman. Any businessman could make an offer, some did. I walked on. I surely would have been much better off to have kept my job in Cincinnati and lived downtown also dated the handsome, courteous businessmen who offered me their seats on buses and their umbrellas at bus stops.

During those torrid three wasted years of my youth during my incarceration at the Ambassador College Campus, I surely wished I could have conjured up a coach going anywhere away from there. The cult taught that there is NO Hell, I beg to differ, for me AC in an isolated part of Texas was hell and it was real. I longed for a pumpkin coach, a wild ride out of Dodge with me on board the “pumpkin coach” I would have relished that. The constant and daily abuse caused my human nature “self” to develop a lot of rage. I did not know I was capable of that kind of hatred.

In the long run I found out God really does love me and my life took a U turn to happiness. I apologize, that this is not a funny story on the face of it, but in my shoes. looking back, I shake my head and I do laugh at times and say out loud ….what in the world was that AC experience all about “for me?” It is what it is, we don’t always get what we want when we want it. We are fortunate to find security and happiness in this life, which I did.

In my fanciful way, I still believe in happy endings and I am grateful every day for my loving husband and for devoted friends and family. My husband was the only man who treated me like a lady (especially not an invisible one.) He was NOT an Ambassador College student, however, he was a member of the local congregation of the World Wide Church of God gathered at a Vet’s Hall on Winton Road in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is five years older than me, he “grew up” on his Navy stint, prior to my meeting him, service can turn a young man into a REAL man. I do not approve of war. Not that I disapprove of self-defense, I don’t like political wars. I love those so willing to serve and sacrifice. I see soldiers as trapped and their lives being wasted.

My husband had also been hurt in his past, desperately so. While he was unselfishly serving his country, his young bride wanted a divorce, she wrote to him and told him she never loved him, not ever. She wanted to be free to do whatever pleased her lusts and trust me those lusts became lurid. Her lifestyle took her to her grave.

He became engaged to a pretty young lady from Florida. Both he and his new found love were members of this cult. Well, along came Jones, or I mean a minister of the cult, who ended this little “to be” HAPPY STORY. Oh yes, he knew suffering, up close and personal. He was and is kind and considerate of me, approving of my tastes and who I am and yes my looks too. He lets me be myself, always giving me room to do that. He says to me daily, “let me look at that beautiful face.” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, he knows my inner beauty. I am amazed by his talents and his unselfish kindness. He truly knows how to make a woman feel beautiful, feminine and not invisible, like a real flesh and blood desirable female. No one ever treated me like that in my whole life. I was a fanciful and feisty young woman.

My husband provided me with dinners, soft lighting, along with sweet roses, good conversation, a sparkling notion began in grow in me. I began to entertain a fantasy that perhaps this was true romance, the way I dreamed of, only when I ALLOWED myself to think about that… in my romantic imaginings. I felt that (Cinderella) best not go there, too far from the reality of WHAT my life was, after all there was that LIST and the list said otherwise, I was not entitled to happiness, I was a reject. The list was penned by people who ought to know, special chosen SERVANTS of God!! What if HE found out that I had a criminal record, condemned by God’s only Real College where the elect were chosen. I was on a list of the condemned souls, those girls determined by the Holy Men to be unworthy. Ghastly creatures, not worthy to reproduce little mindless robots with heads full of mush. If HE found out, would he see me in the same way if he knew the truth about me? Would I still appear pretty to him and intelligent enough?

I felt utter shame. How could I confess this to my admirer? In a beautiful restaurant with plush velvet chairs and tapestry drapes, we were sitting near a fountain, and I told him about my past and that he should consider doing better. I confessed that I had been determined to be unfit by this church we both attended and worse than that, that final decision had been made where THE CULT WAS CREATING MINISTERS AND THEIR WIVES, sending their smiling sincere faces out to spread the Unholy word. To my relief and pleasure, HE told me I was lovely and honest and should I have the desire to wear lace gloves and chiffon, he would approve of me in any and all ways.

My husband adores me. I can look as different and be as different as I want to be, sporty, modern, old fashioned, dreaming dreams, it would be alright with him to just be ME! I have had his adoration and I have been blessed with it for 46 years. I dare not speak out loud about everything I want, my husband will get it for me.

I have learned to be more appreciative of the little things in life, the bigger things too, like a loving home and a white picket fence. I am more courteous in a sincere way and more helpful to those in need. I learned I had to be socially bankrupt and feel the sting of rejection to better serve others. That lesson could be well taught, depending upon your status at Ambassador College. One thing is for sure, one will learn these lessons early in life or later. Success, failure, happiness… depends mostly on the individual and his or her commitment to a spiritual purpose and out right honesty with fellow human beings. For me, it really was as simple as that.

I truly hope those I met are well and happy.

As an aside to this true account of a portion of my life, when I returned to Ohio, I applied to GE for work. I was put to work that same day, after the testing and an interview. I was Secretary to the head of GE’s finance group.

Along came The Holy Fall Feast. That is another chapter. I became interested in a Woman’s Center dedicated to body sculpting. I went seven days a week. I might have been a good applicant for “the pretzel lady” in a circus. Body weight 99 pounds. I had money and shopped at high end department stores. One of those stores originated out of Paris. I was a regular there, as in.. I bought nearly all of my clothing, shoes, jewelry and so forth there. To my astonishment I was approached by the Paris staff, asking me to model their clothing. In all I was approached three times to model clothing and or/ be a Cover Girl model for make-up lines. Does one really want to rely on what gravity does to flesh and blood humans for a job opportunity? Something to think about indeed.

While I am NOT a fan of organized religion, I serve and help others. NO one can condemn me. Dear reader, it is so over used, but the phrase “the truth shall set you free” proved to be true for me.

The girl in the Royal Blue Satin Dress.
-Brenda Deaton

brenda

The Royal Blue Satin Dress. Part Four.

Part 4

Takes a lot of time too to cover up and brown nose the high on the hog boys. Besides they were going to be USED in the work, it was all about them and their success. Who has time to do a Christian service? The way that AC was set up, it really did not impart True Values, it promoted selfish arrogance. The fake doctor came to my room, he laughed and said you broke all the stuff in there, basically he said, that is too bad, it will be a long time in healing. That was it. No help, so on top of it now I am lame, I can’t hitch a ride out of my prison.

One young man was killed on campus, his decapitated body was sent home. When the accident this young man had was announced, I clinched by damp hands in grief, uncontrollable sobbing came of depths deep inside me. His broken body, not mended was shipped off, no more was spoken of him. I think of him always. I did not personally know him, but he asked to walk me to Bible Study before he was killed. I was looking forward to that and so amazed that a young man would walk me anywhere.

The women all had to wear skirts below their knees and zero makeup. I obeyed all of those rules. The men were critical, several told me I would not make a minister’s wife, no reason given, just that I would not. (LOL now) Some of the young men also mocked the obvious: hair, dress, shoes, whatever, sure I felt degraded, so I walked bent, not lifting my head, hoping to be invisible, dare not to look at the sun or feel the wind on my face. When no one was looking though, I would follow the smoke stream in the sky left by jets crossing the country, wondering where they were going and wishing I could go.

This process of gutting you is called creating character, especially in the lesser ones (the females.) The female ones who dished it out, I have known for years NOW were jealous. Their restrictions led them to simple old fashioned envy, they were lashing out. Why, I don’t know for absolute certain, I had zero to envy, no life to speak of that is for certain. Many of the females were very aggressive with the young men, looked to me they were having quite a lot of fun in my eyes. They called their boyfriends after lights out, the men called them. Secret trysts, sometimes they were caught, often times not. Had I even so much as entertained the thought to behave like that, I would have had my name announced to the entire campus and to all the local churches and thrown out of this holy place and marked as a _____. I might have been marked that way just for ____s and giggles by the lofty ones probably mocked around cocktail hour for faculty only.

One young man I know was branded as demon possessed and never allowed to return to the campus. In reality he was physically sick with low blood sugar. You never knew what you might get branded with if you were not found favored by “the in crowd” students and their sponsors, the faculty. None of my abuse there compares to what this young man suffered when he was pronounced to be demon possessed. It was the WORST thing and the worst label that you could possibly be slapped with. Not only were you thrown out, but you were cut off from everybody. You would possibly never find a mate, no way were you going to produce little demons. I am amazed this young man did not suck on a bullet or jump off a bridge like others did before him. Some days all I can say is “Oh My Dear God.”

I do solve most mysteries I am proud to say, not the one of envy however. If envy was what motivated the females .. I don’t know. I have never felt the ENVY emotion. Even in my lowest, most humble days, I was never envious of anyone. I am happy for others, only under the condition that they do not lie, cheat or steal from their fellow humans. I have many faults, that emotion of envy is not one of them.

I was so innocent, I trusted my peers. I am way too smart for that that sort of thing now. Those who flatter are mostly looking for something for themselves. Those who criticize have other intentions, not good ones either.

Unholy motivations, I am aware of them. Humanity is an interesting study. God never lacks for theatre. Like the line in that old song from the sixties called Honey: She was kind of dumb and kind of smart. I am a whole lot smarter than I look, thanks in part to the school of hard knocks. I am just dumb enough to be silly and have fun, even in old age. I don’t really care what anyone thinks, not any more.

In reality, and much later, I surely was relieved to be found NOT worthy at the cult campus, once I was armed with real truth. The old saying that goes: the truth shall set you free, contains all I need to know. I wanted to remain invisible at Ambassador College, my being recognized even a little bit, got me punished, humiliated and worked to death. I was put on the dateless list, a list of the condemned losers, the unworthy ones. No male would ask one of these pitiful creatures to a dance or any other social event. A male who had NOT asked anyone to an upcoming event for one reason or another which only he would know” the why not.” These young men went to the reject list posted in The Red Wood Building where the library was, pick a name on the list, he would then trod reluctantly to the female dorms, knock at a dorm door to escort a discarded female to the event. The loser walked the loosee, the humiliated young woman to a dance where the accepted ones were dancing and smiling, socializing, the tinkle of laughter echoed throughout the setting.

The MEN were instructed to do this, the ones who refused to be actual dates or escorts for an event could pick from the DISCARD LIST, ME AND MY ROYAL BLUE SATIN DRESS had to accept this vile policy. The young men too became part of the discards, by their own oddities. Me, I hid in the bathroom vomiting.

One time I arrived at the good time event, escorted along the gauntlet of shame by a male I normally would be afraid of, passing the smiling faces of the others who had REAL dates. I was escorted in my royal blue satin dress to such an event and quickly went to the ladies room to be sick. I was found! A girl opened the door, bellowing “your date is looking for you,” I spat back, he is NOT my date. More time for me in the block house. (I just got sad news my long time friend from my high school class of l962, the beautiful woman who gave me the royal blue satin dress is now bed ridden at her home in NC, due to stage four cancer.) (I love you dear.) My heart is broken. This woman is perfect, she was more than a sister to me for sixty years. We have stayed in contact always. Until my dying day I will think of you dear one and our friendship and the (ROYAL BLUE SATIN DRESS.)

She recently returned my stacks of mail that I had written her from l965 to the present. She told me to please re-read them, they contained the story of my life as I had written it. Within those hand written lines was the grief and sadness, the love of the Royal Blue Satin Dress, the hurt, that eventually turned into happiness.

I cried for hours as I read those letters back to myself. The hardships, the loneliness, the humiliation, I suffered in the name of God. Wasted youth for a young and sincere woman, guilty of being a follower.

I reach out now, encouraging young minds to think, read, search and find yourself. Beware of those who claim to own the truth. Find what is true for yourself young ones. If ever your stalked in any way or put upon by a family member, holy man, teacher or anyone else, seek help, shout it to the world. Fight back like I did, don’t allow these evil people to prey upon you. Don’t allow any human being to put the blame on YOU. They will try it. They will try to say it is something about you, your looks, your shape, your smile, they will excuse themselves. That way the guilt is your shame to carry, not theirs.

 

The Royal Blue Satin Dress. Part Three.

Part 3

We were married in my husband’s third tithe year. Oh yes, ten percent is not near enough. The third tithe was squandered on minks for ministers wives, fine wine, chefs from France, anything that could be conjured up to satisfy their raging lusts. Yes, we read about their deeds in ministerial letters smuggled out of their headquarters by an unknown person. For my husband and I starting out a life together, a new marriage, finding housing, job, car, giving 30 percent of one’s meager income to the pyramid scheme LEAVES NOTHING. We didn’t even get spiritual encouragement for our monetary sacrifice.

A young lady I knew told me that as 1972 approached, she actually accosted a stranger and asked the male to engage in (well you know) due to wanting the experience prior to the end of the world, he quickly complied. Too late, the girl was not happy with her quickly lost virginity excursion. From what I could tell from their embarrassing sex classes they were essentially clueless about the subject anyway. They read from an antiquated manual written by the Apostle. The Apostle was NO authority on anything actually, much less sex. No wonder so many marriages broke up with people trying to follow his ridiculous manual.

The selection of human beings in the marriage pool at Ambassador College or local churches for that matter, was small with no outside connections allowed. Selective reproduction, for what? I gazed into the “marriage valley” “the valley of dry bones” on the campus at Big Sandy. Texas. I stood on a hill and looked down into that valley, that sight filled me with grief, like a nervous dread you have when a loved one is ill. I saw a parade of young males and females strolling through an ill constructed arbor taking vows. I decided I would not be one of them, not that I would have a choice, AFTER ALL I WAS ON THE REJECT LIST. If love came to me it would have to be real love, not a circumstantial faked fraud.

After returning to my home area I had a reoccurring nightmare about individuals finding me and forcing me back to Ambassador College. The details of that nightmare are distressing. At long last and a long time in coming, after about three years, I recycled the nightmare for the last time. To those who might remember me, I did smile a lot (to keep from crying.) Real or imagined, I thought I was being punished. I did not like everyone at AC and everyone did not like me, ministers included. For the most part I was the invisible girl for all my life, home, school, now college. Those who abuse their fellow human beings should not go unpunished. Humans have the privilege to bind on earth what will be bound in heaven. If you are unable to determine right from wrong and enforce stiff penalties for crime here on earth, I have to wonder why are you here.

My real guardian, has been a spiritual one a Guardian Angel, who has been with me all along. My Angel kept me SAFE through an unholy walk amongst some of the most vile humans on the planet earth. Don’t bother to tell a family member or who you think might be your friends about your plight young ones, they will turn their backs on you, in my case they did. A stranger is probably of more help. At Ambassador College I was told I was different by those in charge, I did not dress like or look like other girls. This has a familiar ring to it. I could scarcely believe it, wow, what great luck for me to be on God’s special chosen campus, where the motto was: Recapturing True Values.

Amidst, all the criticism, what was I to do, splash my face with a shot of acid, burn the two pathetic outfits I owned, what about the royal blue satin dress, I treasured? What is to become of it? I gave all of my worldly treasures to other students. I mean, honestly what need did I have of them. The pipe dream was ending. Someone said “the world’s a stage and each must play a part.” I just did not know my lines. I simply did not know what was expected of me. What is this play about, what is my role, I have misplaced my lines, please someone help me.

Lost, frustrated, growing angry, yet at the same time, there was something in wind or in my DNA that was telling me to get out while I still could. Something wicked this way comes. If I decided to go that direction, hitch a ride from a stranger away from this confinement, my father would totally reject me, along with everyone I was even remotely acquainted with. Not all a bad thing. Oh yes, all connections to other humanity was limited to the World Wide Church of God. I figured I could manage somewhere, maybe Fort Worth. I knew how to work, I had already worked three years in a very responsible position. I would take a chance, hitch a ride with a stranger to Fort Worth, Texas. The pressure was on, what to do? There was no home where I had come from, not now.

My mother walked out thanks to this church, my father sold out, quit his management job at Ford Motor Company and went to work at the mother campus of this cult in Pasadena, CA. If I hitch out of here, he is not going to let me stay at his apartment that is for sure. My mother ended up being murdered at age 52, her life after the divorce from my father was even more of a living hell than the one created as my father entered into this cult of darkness, imitating religion. Disruption and grief was all that followed in the wake of the howling, roaring aftermath of this church.

Several women from the classes ahead of me insulted me. I mean honestly, you have to remember the motto of “the chosen Ambassadors” was… Recapture True Values. Insults included, my hair,(God help us, no beauticians around) my one skirt, my shoes, or several just made up stuff, take it to the limit, go for it, run and tell the dean something that would get me called in, even it was a lie, do it and they did. It could be something as small minded as … you sat your books down in the wrong place, you must be guilty of the “bad attitude” syndrome. That could land you in a concrete room, 115 degrees in the hot Texas sun sorting rotten potatoes for hours. GET IT? SORT THE GOOD POTATOES FROM THE BAD POTATOES? One potato, two potato, three potato, four. How would I know that? Experience, been there, done that. I bet I was THE ONLY ONE TO GO THERE.

In l965 or 1966 I was in the bath house in booth city, the row of finely constructed tin huts. Two of God’s special women entered, they did not know I was in there. These young girls who were so much favored by faculty began to beret me. It was shocking to hear. I tried to move my lips to say to them, please stop, I am here, I can hear you, I trusted you, why are you doing this to me. The conversation became so hurtful and hate filled , that I croaked out those words… please stop, I am in here. Silence from the two. No more voices. They left, they ran. With my head bowed I exited from the building hurt yes, but very angry and now so distrustful I looked around me to see from whence the next attack would come.

Attacks kept coming alright, just not on that day. I began to wonder if the place was wired for sound. One girl was reported to the faculty for praying too loud in a prayer booth. What self-righteous young woman would turn her in for that? Cults breed tattle tales and gossipers. I would have to protect myself, I had always had to protect myself, that was the only resolution to it, was to get out of here before I ended up being shipped off in a box. No home to ship my body to though, no family would claim my corpse. Bad, bad, girl, she’s getting what she deserves.

The block house, ah yes. So much for the ROYAL BLUE SATIN DRESS that I packed so lovingly for my delayed prom event. I should have found army fatigues for my rendezvous with fate. The block house was maggot and spider infested, also rife with scorpions that crawled in there out of the sun. I killed one scorpion with my shoe. Hey it was him or me. Survival of the fittest. I was more fit for that battle. I guess I was supposed to screech in terror and repent of my tempting (who or what.) A convenient scorpion sting would have finally put an end to me. They would have found my poisoned body slumped over the pile of rotten potatoes. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

The only help you would get would be a prayer cloth, that’s it. Well, they did have a non-practicing doctor of sorts on the campus. A senior man blind-sided me one day in a volley ball game, he hit me so hard, I fell on the concrete with one foot under me as all my weight came down on my twisted foot, the foot instantly turned solid black, it was now sideways and I could not turn it. The foot swelled twice its size. This senior walked off, he would not even help me struggle to my feet. Two other upper classmen stood right there and none of them would help me up and back to my room. They all simply walked off without a word. It took over an hour to hobble, crawl, pull myself to my room. No one helped me, no not one. Plenty saw my plight as I struggled in pain along the sidewalks my blackened foot twisted sideways, but no one offered to help me. Zip, zilch, zero. They were too busy putting in their time with fleshly matters.

The Royal Blue Satin Dress. Part Two.

Part 2

Upon my arrival in my soon to be cell, located in Big Sandy, Texas, I was pointed the way to what they called “booth city” rows of tin huts, un-air conditioned with four bunk beds and two small portable closets. The huts were used for the flocks of worshippers from area churches who came to hear four hours or more of sermons per day during what this cult referred to has the Holy Days. This church kept the Jewish Holy Days. Go figure. I was called in fairly soon, before the big desk, ensconced on the other side was God’s right hand man. I received my orders, “do not talk to the men here, don’t cause trouble.” What does that directive mean? I sincerely was afraid to ask. Someone from on high knows something I don’t, so I will do as I am told.

Suddenly, I was asked a question, listen, I heard it right. It was not another directive, no it was a question coming at me from over top of the big desk. I paid close attention now, these are words coming from somewhere in the heavens and being passed through the vocal cords of God’s right hand man. I considered myself a humble and willing servant so I listened closely. The question was “how did you get in here?” Is this a trick question? I know he is not talking about the plane I flew in on, I didn’t arrive on a broom (better not make that wise crack) but I just might have had the appearance of having had to walk to Texas from Ohio.

It was hot and humid there, every breath sucked in mosquitoes. I smoothed my skirt with my damp hands. Get hold of yourself young woman!!! I swallowed hard and then said I was sent here, the local minister told me to apply. He picked up my file, opened it and remarked that I had written in my application letter that I had come from a farm, I moved to the farm when I was seven years old. I nodded yes and then affirmed with my dry sticky tongue that was correct. Telling something other than the truth never occurred to me, like when you meet people and they say they have been to Harvard, later you find out they flunked out of high school. The authority voice in the room told me I did not look like a farm girl or act like a farm girl. Too late for lessons. Hey, I could do an awesome pig call, should I prove my farm roots to him? I killed a cottonmouth snake, that tried to bite me, I could demonstrate that. It would be a hoot. Anyone got a rubber snake for my demo? Oh hell, give a real one. I was becoming hysterical. Nervousness does that to me.

This man in front of me was cold and serious and apparently could not read my file or see that I was older and had been in a responsible working position. normally held by much older women. I think he had an agenda already in mind. Read the blasted file I kept saying to myself!!! Please, give me some credit dude, I have learned something. I mean REALLY, did they have to pick the hay out of my hair when I went forty miles to the big city? NO!!!! I appeared normal when I worked in the city, naive thanks to help from this isolationist church.

I became acquainted with powerful union bosses, and high powered lawyers . Can’t he read that I worked three years as an office manager. My union boss was on the road, or simply there only long enough to dictate reams of letters, I was an A student in shorthand and office practice. I typed the letters and signed his named, mailed them out. Sometimes, thirty at a time. I did payroll, deposited taxes, I did all the banking. I was an honor roll student my senior year. Yes, they used shorthand in Neanderthal days where I came from. In fact it was necessary and you’d better be good at it. I had my other work set out for me at my job, collecting union dues, compiling reports, balance sheets, phone calls, lots of mistake free contracts to type using carbon paper for the copies. No corrections were allowed on contracts. These were the days when carbons were used, there had to be six originally typed and error free contracts, no Xerox copies.

When my work was done I was instructed that I could to do anything I wanted to downtown and I did. I had the keys to the office to open up and lock up. I had the combination to the huge safe as well. I spent whole afternoons exploring the city and shopping. I had a position, not just a job.

Secretaries in the building where I worked, took me under their wings because I was youngest in the building. They worked for the AFL-CIO, Tax Department for Cincinnati, and Administrative assistants for high powered lawyers in the building. These people liked me, why does no one in this church like me? I did not exactly crawl straight from under a hay stack to Podunk nowhere in Big Sandy, Texas, where many strutted around like peacocks. In those years I was responsible and respected as well. I ate with the fine ladies in nice downtown restaurants, like the Cricket, Maisonette and The Colony. We also stayed late and went to movies. One time I was just a foot away from President Kennedy. He paid special attention to my friend and I, he smiled broadly and spoke to us. Now, as a senior citizen I do have a curiosity about the sneaky ways of God’s Holy men.

I had an experience at age twenty in the local branch of the Radio Church of fraud in Cincinnati. A gentleman was visiting from Pasadena, I was fairly new to this cult, I believe I heard he was an assistant of some sort. After church my father walked up to me and told me I would be accompanying this stranger to a party at a deacon’s house. Inside me there started an immediate fire, hot flames, it roared and burned. I protested to my father to no avail. I had not even met this stranger. He had asked my father’s permission to abduct me, he had not the decency to let me refuse him. I stood outside under a tree after church, arms crossed filled with dread. I knew that not one person would rescue me. The church building itself was a dirty rented Vet’s hall, oh but not so this church’s headquarters, the czar of Russia had nothing on Herbert W. Armstrong.

Soon I was told to get into the car with a man I did not know. I had a brother one year younger than me, I would have given my life for him, he on the other hand could have cared less about me. This stranger tried to pour alcohol down my throat when out of sight of the curious eyes. I had never had a drink before and I spewed it out. At the party he was drinking heavily, I stayed as far away as I could while the deacons and others drank and partied on. Drank heavily and partied on ..oh I guess I said that. After the mini orgy was over, it was time to make the long trek to my isolated farm. My home was a mile into the backwoods. We owned 42 acres. I was dead silent on the way home.

As I feared the stranger tried to force himself on me, I fought back. I stopped the assault, my neck hurt from being grabbed by him. I wanted the worst to happen to this man. If I had it do over he would be walking with a permanent limp and producing zero children. I was safe, finally home, well as safe as home was for me. I hid myself out of sight. The stranger spent the night. I stayed awake all night long, burning tears of rage and humiliation flowing down my face. The next morning I was instructed to get two of our horses and escort the pervert on a horseback ride. I did not say a word, what could I say? No one would listen. I saddled up, when I had the stranger out of sight of the farm house, I dismounted, left my horse run loose and left him to figure out what to do next. I simply vanished. He left finally.

I received a card from him once he arrived back in Pasadena. His card said “I hope you enjoyed our date as much as I did.” I torched that note, watching it burn his words made me feel a little in control but not enough. Back to the day he left. I called the local minister and told him what had happened to me. He said since he had probably already touched down in Pasadena it was then God’s will that he not be punished for what he did. I now wonder if, indeed he was called by this minister and told my story, I would say he did call the pervert and I would also say that the pervert made up a lie to protect himself ..no doubt along these lines “she came on to me.” The reason I say that is because he told a story during my silence in the car of how a 14 year old girl whom he was practicing leading songs with, while she played piano; how she had come on to him and how it was difficult to control himself.

He was a child molester, a young girl molester, a pervert. In later years I heard that he was involved in sexual orgies. No doubt he did a fake repentance and was right back to continue with his molestations and blame his lust on the women. My guess is that I was condemned upon my arrival at Ambassador College in Texas, as some sort of lascivious young woman, just looking to seduce an unwilling young man.

It has taken all these years to see this ordeal for what it really was in hind sight. I was isolated nearly from the get go at Ambassador College and at the time, I could not understand.

Okay, the wheel of fortune is turning now, so I made two good female friends, oops wrong move toots, back inside dear, before God’s right hand man, more orders from God. I was told I was becoming a member of the three musketeers, therefore, I would not be walking to and from class with the other two girls. Alrighty then. It is getting really ugly now, something is just slightly out of kilter. What is it? It can’t be the religion, it has, after all, that Self Ordained Apostle right there on his throne. A senior class student and my roomy took pity on me and invited me to breakfast with her and to meet up with her each day for lunch. Oh it didn’t take long, she came to me and apologized that she would no longer be allowed the privilege of my friendship. She was told her relationship with me was OUT of line. Well, of course it was out of line. I had a friend, I might not be as miserable as they would like for me to be. I digress here. Back to my story. Exit to stage Hell, Act one, Take one.

Away from the peering eyes of my parents, (I had two for a while) could I find the young woman I had become? I tried not to cry (I am fairly tough) (I am now, that is for sure) and to look at the bright side of this whole situation, I could socialize, be normal, make friends, OMG maybe a real date? Okay, I tried to smile through my watery eyes at my prospects. It is going to be alright. I packed a royal blue satin dress given to me, it was used. It had been used in a wedding. A bridesmaid’s dress. Let’s see here, something old (the royal blue satin dress.) A friend of mine had worn it, so that made it very special to me. It was to be for the formal events. Now for something new, I bought a pair of long white gloves and a dyed pair of royal blue shoes to match my dress. I am ready now. (I am so silly, something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue, dear me, that saying is for a wedding!) At the time though fanciful me just sucked up my circumstances and laughed at my own self.

Thank you God for my sense of humor, it has helped me over lots of rough spots. That rhyme was in my head as I sang an Elvis song, packing for my journey. In my local area I was heard humming an Elvis song while in the ladies room and a whole sermon was directed at me, it was about the evils of such vile behavior. I looked like a whipped dog as I sat on that front row in the local congregation of the Cincinnati Church of Snobs …branch of the World Wide Church of Snobs. Cult incorporated.

Now, surely it would be a different venue at their college, wouldn’t it? Little did I know, this would be a trip nightmares are made of. Decent into the maelstrom. Okay, anyway, I am now prepared for my first dance at age 21, God’s college with, hopefully, a handsome escort to walk me to a dance. I would twirl and sway in my Royal Blue Satin Dress as the music played on. Stuff most girls look forward to by the age of 16. A freight train I had not yet seen coming, was on the way, it was still not in sight yet, but it would be, oh yes, it would be and it would be loaded with deceit aplenty, disappointment enough to make a young woman’s eyes bleed. MacArthur’s Park is melting in dark, all the sweet green icing flowing down…words I relate to my former life, along with the song At Seventeen.

I quickly recognized after my arrival in Texas with my royal blue satin dress, that many if not all of the young females at AC wanted husbands quickly and the males wanted wives also quickly. The clamoring for attention in the race to snag a mate at an unprecedented rate was not in my best interest, it would not have mattered if it was, I was quickly rejected as unusable. What about dating, courting, dances, dinner? This was not what I expected. What about engagements? Formalities? NEVER MIND, there would be NONE of that idealistic adventure for me. No, not the farm girl, not the dreamer, not the girl who prayed for everyone on my knees an hour a day. Not for the girl who read her Bible an hour a day. Not for the girl who was an innocent victim. I was put on a LIST, this list consisted of misfits, rejects, those considered too homely or different (by whose standards) to mix with the chosen ones, those of us not fit for mating.

Cults operate that way, divide and conquer. The “misfit” list hung in the library or as it was called, then The ” Red Wood Building” for all to see, prior to the formal events. So the college tactics of human manipulation essentially went according to some sort of “class” system, their version of it. There was a category you were put into, not long after arrival there. Potentials and non-potentials. This college vowed that all things worldly were useless, yet I noted that students who had spent any time in a so called worldly college shot straight to the top, immediately given positions over the lowly ones. The ones who had ministers or deacons for fathers, yep, same thing, straight to the top of the heap.

I was too naive to break out of the cast I was put into. The aggressive ones just moved on. Although, some were sent home right off the bat, others were allowed to hang around and waste their time and youth. They were unaware that they were wasting anything though. They figured if they devoted themselves totally, they would be given a nod and used in the wicked work at some point.

I saw unions blessed between males and females that I honestly felt in my heart, that through the folly of youth, raging restricted hormones, pressures from the hierarchy to unite and reproduce little robots (if found worthy) would surely doom those unions of the hastily concocted marriages . This college was about hooking up young people, brain washing them and sending them out as couples to spread the “so called” Gospel, unholy doctrines of complete deceit. I was right, these unions failed by the dozens. I saw others who were sincere, honest, not phony at all, who were genuinely in love broken up by the hierarchy.

Local churches of this cult were busy as bees carrying out these same putrid human violations. Marriage is the biggest test of developing character you will be faced with, it is an honor to find a proper mate. Marriage is a work in progress. This cult mocked that privilege of marriage, dominating young people’s emotions. Ministers in the local churches broke up long time marriages, some people who were married for nearly all their lives would be separated, generally for having had a previous marriage. They even imagined they were SEX experts and violated the sanctity of the bedroom. The cult leaders had their noses in every inch of the followers lives.

The members lives were put under a microscope, once they fell victim to the cult. Young people were simply “hooking up” “no physical contact mind you” (well some had special dispensations) afraid of being left out, then quickly married. The END OF DAYS WAS AT HAND, THE APOSTLE SAID SO. End date 1972 and it was roaring down on us and then, BAM, it will all be over kiddies! Not really (this is a get rich quick scheme) you give them all your STUFF, you will have no use for it anyway. Fires belching out of the bowels of the earth, the ministry needs that loot to spread that unholy word to one and all. The Plain Truth About The World Tomorrow!! That is the lie the sheep accepted that was taught by this cult. This group was shaped like a pyramid, the fatted Apostle at the top, with jets, limos, gold, finery enough to make a Pharaoh drool. Then it goes down the line, down to the BOTTOM, to the dumb sheep who pay for it all and sacrificed to the bone like we did to pay 30 percent of my husband’s gross salary.

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To be continued…

 

The Royal Blue Satin Dress. Part One.

My voyage into a religious cult three years after graduating from high school  in 1962.     Note: Beware of those who claim to be owners of “the truth.”   I call my story The Royal Blue Satin Dress….a dress given to me by my friend and high school classmate. 

-Brenda Deaton

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The truth is I was an unwilling participant at Ambassador College. I had a very good job before coming to AC. I was an office manager for a Union Office in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio for three years. I worked alone and had many, as well as varied responsibilities. At eighteen I had my own bank account and loved my challenging job. Alas, under pressure from the local minister in my area and pressure from my father, an obedient me ended up where I did not belong, back in school in 1965-1968.

My education, motivation, personality and good fortune had already provided me with what I wanted, a sound, secure working position. I found out I could depend on a job and upon myself early on. Prior to coming to Ambassador College, I was not looking for a husband. I did not want to be a minister’s wife. Silly me, that was exactly what their three college campus locations were about. I did not yet get the picture. Orders were to go, control was final and I was under their manipulation. I was older when I came to AC and had zero romantic interests. That would not have been allowed anyway until it was approved by someone in authority. I saw others with boyfriends though.

One girl in my local church dated every young man that walked through the door and hung out with them as well. As far as I could go with romance was a crush on a singer. I was twenty 21 when I came to AC and 24 when I left. I came into the cult group at age nineteen. I had no prior training in Biblical studies. I did not date in high school, a restricted home life taught me not to question that policy. No proms or ball games for me, no after school events, no parties. No, there would be none of that, instead it would be school, home, clean, do dishes, feed the farm animals, bring in hay, weed the garden and then repeat that. Thank you very much. I was already well on the road to becoming the invisible girl.

One year after graduation and while I was working, my father found “The Truth.” He praised the Lord and handed this new found church his wallet. This cult needed a Skull and Cross Bones Warning pasted on it. The magazine this “Truth Cult” published was The Plain Truth Magazine. Their radio broadcast was called The World Tomorrow Broadcast, the deceptive ones at the microphone were Herbert W. Armstrong and his son Garner Ted Armstrong. I blindly entered the cult alongside my father. Smack down time, life was going to get really ugly, more restrictive and difficult than it had been already. Immediately the brain washing is done, now with no brain, you do as you are TOLD. I was told I would give up my three year (great) job and I would be sent to Ambassador College in Big Sandy, Texas. There is where they produce the young minds filled with mush who spread THE UNHOLY WORD. I was unaware of that fact and truth at that time.

I was scared and sickened to go, but just to imagine God saw me, I thought maybe I was special, perhaps an honor? Maybe? It never worked like that before, but this is supposed to be the ONLY true church (according to my father) and it comes already equipped with an Apostle whose lineage is undeniable, he is the ONE…passed down and ordained by God from Biblical days, oh my, from the beginning; through fragmented churches, scattered remnants of God’s truly CALLED ones. Besides, these holy men were in charge of my life, guiding me, they were doing that for my benefit with all sincerity and on top of that they had direct orders and truth from God. I was going to be special, all the dull days of my previous life would be worth it, right? All is well, surely it will end well and the experience will have some sort of terrific blessing.

There was another even grander opportunity for me, the challenge to dig my own cave with a spoon in Petra. Yep, I heard that “truth” in a sermon one Holy Sabbath Day in Cincinnati, right here in River City, the year was 1963. The cult members would somehow be transported to Petra “the rock” the Apostle would stay in a hotel, the rest of us common folks would dig ourselves a cave with a spoon. I was thinking to myself, please don’t forget to take your spoon! The portly Apostle (who was a degenerate predator, always protected and surrounded by YES men.) He would be transported to Petra on one of his private jets, with his private pilot at the controls.

The flock of dumb sheep paid 30% of our gross salary for the Apostle’s grandiose lifestyle. His closest partners in crime did just fine too, lavish homes on faculty row. These homes existed for the elite on the three campus locations. The richest and finest appeared to be in Pasadena, CA. I never saw the ones in England. The Apostle owned lots of homes, that sat empty, filled with fine art and furnishings like unto an oil tycoon. Upon reflection, I honestly do not know how we escaped becoming Kool-Aid drinkers. We must have been worth more to them alive. Death would cut off the money flow, otherwise I could picture some us receiving a good old Biblical stoning or poison laced Kool-Aid, drink up flock!

I do think that act of insanity (a poison drink) was on the menu, we just somehow escaped that little ditty. The self-appointed Apostle did not have a death wish, that was the saving grace more than likely. He wanted to live forever, he said in a bulletin he was getting younger. That was to prepare the sheep for his marrying a much younger woman. He let his wife die, when simple surgery would have saved her. He blamed her death on our sins. After the Apostle and his yes men would make good their escape from the coming holocaust and I listened closely, I did not hear that the Apostle would be coming back to get us when the HOLOCAUST began.

Once ensconced safely in his fine hotel, I am thinking that the jets would be grounded somewhere, maybe Israel and the dumb sheep would have to wait for a miracle, such as the parting of the red sea to get ourselves out of harm’s way. I did hear one bright minister mention eagles. As long as that eagle has a hidden pocket under one of those feathers for my spoon to dig my cave with and a seat belt, I guess I would be good to go. Yikes, what a site. I bet the environmentalists would find a way to protect the eagles who were flying the wacky cultists out of the USA. I can see it now, thousands of humans tumbling from the sky, shot right off the eagle’s backs. Fly away birds! Go fly free! This is not credible at all, but relieved of your brain, fairy tales seem to have a message. This craziness was preached in sermons on Saturdays. The world would be ending in terror, flames, plagues horrors too awful to contemplate.

The sermons worked the sheep in the audience into a dry mouthed, bunch of bug eyed, terrified, mind numbed robots. Petra was to be “the rock, the place of safety for the chosen ones. The END of days would be 1972. We would remain in Petra for three years while the rest of the world screamed in agony tortured by flames, rodents, boils, hot hail raining down on earth. If I get that cave dug out, will I get manna to go with that or are hot lunches being served ONLY at the Philadelphia Hotel housing The Apostle and gang.

These gentlemen, the Apostle and his son have long since expired, no trip to Petra for them. Their ill-gotten gains were unable to pass through to portal with them. Although the fine art and gold doubloons could not go with them to their final resting place, these guys had one fine time while exploiting and plundering their flock of sheep. They were womanizers along with many of those they ordained into the ministry.

Those stories have probably already been written. They read like a cheap pornographic novel. I was a willing sacrifice and just too brain washed to know it. The perfect empty vessel. Wow! Silly me, I actually thought AC just might provide me with a social life involving (perhaps) communication with a decent young gentleman, surely I was old enough to engage in talk, legal age of 21. God had better hurry up with this plan for my life, it is now 1965, if I am going to complete boot camp, learn more unholy doctrine, plus kick up my heels a time or two, we must hurry. We need to get this show on the road, the end of days is just seven years away. Hurry!

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To be continued…