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Do We Plan Our Lives Before We Are Born?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many people believe that through the cycle of reincarnation, we plan our lives before we come to earth. We select various key experiences and details to set a path for growth in a given lifetime.

  • Reflect On:

    Have you ever looked at what you experience in your life as having happened for you to learn and grow? Perhaps this is a subject to meditate on and explore sometime soon!

The theory that we plan our lives was something I had never heard of before 2011. Up until that point, I could not have even imagined such a thing. Even after hearing about it 3 years ago, it took me quite a long time to let this concept into my paradigm.

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How I stumbled upon it wasn’t even through my avid research of the afterlife and reincarnation. It came to me through a vision I had. Before the vision, I believed in reincarnation. The idea of it had always fascinated me and I felt strongly that I did have past lives; I just didn’t know what those lives entailed. After three years of intense research and listening to many people from all different backgrounds and beliefs speak about it from all around the world, I knew it was something that needed to be shared and discussed.

The Cycle Of Reincarnation & The Pre-Birth Plan

“Many people feel that reincarnation can’t exist because they don’t remember their past and my answer to the world is we do remember. We don’t have the details but we have certain key hints as to who we are. The type of music we like, the people we are most attracted to, the types of food we like, the clothing we wear, certain periods of history that we identify with. These are indications this is where we have been before and so our present incarnation or our present lifetime is a composite of all the fruits of what we were before.” Carey Williams – Co-Author: Reincarnation: A New Horizon (Ancient Mysteries – Reincarnation Documentary Hosted by Leonard Nimoy)

Through my research, the cycle of life to death to re-birth has been pretty much the same from all the sources I studied and let me tell you, there were many. It all starts with the Pre-Birth Plan. You establish this plan with a council. Some people call this council the elders or the wise ones. Pretty much, they are very old beings who know their stuff so to speak.

You meet with them along with your spirit guides. You discuss the life ahead of you and are given the choice of a few different lives to pick from in the current time period you are incarnating into. To give you an example: I was given the choice of being an artist or a Samurai in Japan. You choose everything, including your parents. Once your choices have been given to you and you pick one, the tedious task starts of planning all the things you wish to experience in the upcoming life.

Experience isn’t the only thing we seek; we have goals to meet and challenges to overcome. Some wish to learn patience or overcome jealousy. Many people have debated this theory but you also choose to clear up karmas. To me, clearing up karmas simply means creating a balance. There are a few other things like healing, contrast and healing false beliefs. When the life plan is being created, our guides are there with us creating what Robert Schwartz describes through his work as a flow chart. A flow chart is the plan but with free will incorporated into it.

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He goes into great detail about the flow chart in an interview he did with Afterlife TV which you can view here. Our guides also create synchronicities in our lives to trigger certain things in us and guide us on the best path to help us master our goals. After the plan is in place, we are born and forget the plan and who we truly are.

Why Do We Forget?

“You close your eyes to the past in order to reopen them to a new existence. You can get more expansion by forgetting” – Teal Swan, Spiritual Catalyst

“It wouldn’t be a test if you knew the answers” – Dolores Cannon

Forgetting is an integral part of the cycle. It’s how we truly get to know ourselves and fully live the current life we are living. Dolores and Teal give really great, simple explanations of it. We’re living in the time of remembering and many of us are remembering who we are and why we came to Earth at this time. Those who haven’t fully awakened to their abilities but wish to have more insight on who they are and why they are here seek out mediums or people who are in tune with higher frequencies and can connect to help them access that kind of information.

How Does The Pre-Birth Plan Affect The Laws Of Attraction & Manifestation?

The Pre-Birth Plan is set in place but free will gives us the ability to create any reality we choose to live in. With that being said, there are certain things we are meant to experience and because of that, I believe some things are out of our control.

For example: if you are meant to experience a certain illness or disease, you will manifest that illness. If you are meant to experience a negative relationship, you will attract that negative person into your life. I guess you could consider that to be the Law of Attraction or Manifestation but because it’s not something you are fully conscious of because you planned it before you were born, it’s hard to call it that. Lately, I’ve seen some people get confused because they know about the Laws of Attraction, how to manifest positive things and are on a high vibration but something negative comes into their life and they’re suddenly thrown off balance because they felt they were doing everything right so they couldn’t understand how they could attract something negative.

When that happens, I’m led to believe that that is the Pre-Birth Plan kicking in. There’s a lesson to be learned, an experience to be had for growth, healing or balance or in some cases you have strayed pretty far away from your Pre-Birth Plan and things in your life begin to fall apart.

Are Past Lives Relevant To This Life?

On occasion, healing needs to take place from things that occurred in past lives. Other than that, wanting to know about past lives just from sheer curiosity might not be a good idea for many reasons.

“Meher Baba is fairly, fairly clear and I’m afraid maybe for many people’s taste, a bit frighteningly clear on this. There is a wall between the consciousness of the present life and previous lifetime stored records. And he said actually it’s for a pretty good reason because the variety and also the strength of those previous lifetime recordings is so varied, so complex and in many cases oppositional. This lifetime is way over here and that lifetime is way over there and if all of a sudden we break through the protective wall and these things come out you know, he said this can be or would be-if the individual has not done it-one of the most upsetting things that could possibly occur to him and in the usual human state of emotional being the individual is just not strong enough to encompass and to be able to handle and digest and go beyond this tremendously varied functions. So Baba simply says don’t tamper too much with the protective wall. He was talking primarily with people who were just for their own curiosity trying to recall previous lifetimes.”

– Don E. Stevens – Disciple of Meher Baba (In Another Life: Reincarnation in America Documentary)

Knowing about past lives can seriously mess with you mentally and emotionally. I know this because I have remembered many of my previous incarnations and asked about them in readings I’ve had with a medium I know and love. Although I personally find them fascinating and look upon them with no judgments; not everyone may be able to handle knowing about all the roles we play here on Earth.

Playing Roles

We come into each incarnation playing a role. The role is chosen with the help of our guides and council before we are born. We take turns playing different roles. In one life you will choose to be murdered and in another you will volunteer to be the murderer. The list of switching roles is vast and complex. This information is really hard for some people to take in.

It took me awhile to really process it all but in the end, it all made sense. There’s a part in Kung Fu Panda that I always think of when I think about good versus bad. Master Shifu runs up to Master Oogway and says to him that it’s very bad news. Master Oogway smiles and says, “There is just news. No good or bad.” From what I’ve found through my research and what I truly believe in my heart is that negative is an illusion. Negative and positive are both construction material. Negative is an evolutionary catalyst. We come to Earth for many reasons but a big one is soul growth.

Soul growth on the other side is very slow because it is paradise. Also, because we are able to forget who we are, we can learn things on a deeper level and expand even more from it. Let’s say you want to know love. What better way to know love than to lose it or become separated from it, not even knowing that all of our very existence is love. After I heard the theory that we play roles was presented to me, I no longer hated a single person on this planet nor did I fear anything. Because we live in a world of duality, we must have “negative.” The negative is what makes this world. If we didn’t have the villains, none of this would be possible. In every single one of those villains (oppressors, abusers, etc.) is a beautiful soul living a human experience that was all planned with soul growth in mind.

Why Is The Theory Of Planning Our Lives Important?

We are living in a very interesting time where many truths that were once hidden are now coming to light. I’m not saying that the theory of planning our lives is true but rather a new perspective on an old story. There are many stories of the human species origins and why we are here but after extensive research and hearing all the stories, this is the one that truly resonates with me. That, and I’ve remembered who I am with the help of my spirit guides. I wrote an article about how to connect with your own spirit guides which you can view here.

At this time, I feel it is very important to find out what is truly going on in our world and why we are here. All perspectives should be taken into consideration and anyone is free to believe what they feel resonates with them. I’m not here to change beliefs. I’m sharing this theory because this theory helped me. I forgave the negative of this world and felt gratitude for it because it all helped me to grow. Whether or not this theory is true, that is still a positive thing and perhaps others could take something positive from it like I did.

Where To Learn More About This Theory

I love learning and finding as many sources as I can on subjects that interest me. Below are a few examples of some of the work I’ve studied. Some people prefer books while others prefer videos so I’ve listed both. Like with my articles before, if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to email me. (incitefulhealer@outlook.com) 🙂

Does our Soul Plan Life’s Challenges before birth? Robert Schwartz interview

http://youtu.be/WEOugRfLVus

Michael Newton – Souls and the Spirit World FULL INTERVIEW

http://youtu.be/NnCr4etOZLw

In Another Life: Reincarnation in America Documentary

http://youtu.be/7mKGdK_JCcU

Stephen Sakellarios, Producer, Director – “In Another Life: Reincarnation in America”

http://www.ial.goldthread.com/

Reincarnation: A New Horizon (Ancient Mysteries – Reincarnation Documentary Hosted by Leonard Nimoy)

http://youtu.be/M_OTSYRHdDQ

The Collective Evolution II: The Human Experience

Temples on the Other side – Sylvia Browne (Book)

Life Between Lives – Michael Newton (Book) – http://newtoninstitute.org/shop/

Your Soul’s Plan – Robert Schwartz

http://yoursoulsplan.wordpress.com/2012/05/29/do-we-plan-our-life-challenges-before-were-born/S

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Marianne Williamson Admits “The System Is More Corrupt Than I Knew”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marianne Williamson stated in an interview on Fox and Friends that she did not realize the political system was as corrupt as it is.

  • Reflect On:

    This is an important revelation of how leaders often don't quite see the full truth of our system at hand. Through them and their experience, we can learn a lot about what is truly going on. Is it time to let go of the systems we have?

About a week ago Marianne Williamson told the New Yorker, I know this sounds naïve, but I didn’t think the left was so mean. I didn’t think the left lied like this.” In a segment I did on CETV, I discussed the fact that Williamson is doing a great job of bringing a bit more of a conscious conversation into the mix here, which is very important, but seems to not quite understand what politics is really about and how things function in our world.

In my article about this statement I stated:

Some have suggested that Marianne already knows these truths, and she may, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she is only uncovering these things now. I say this as I belong to a group that communicates regularly that contains many high profile conscious industry leaders like Williamson and other big authors, speakers etc. Many of them are great with spirituality but seem to struggle to see how politics truly functions. I have witnessed this first hand and this is why I’m so passionate about what I do as I feel bringing together both personal transformation and hard truth is imperative.

Some felt that my analysis was off and that Williamson is just ‘playing naive,’ but to me, this did not feel true nor did it seem to be the case. While some might view this as an unimportant detail, it’s very important as for society to truly begin to shift we must not only personally transform but also realize the true nature of the world we live in.

As outlined in the CE Protocol, the formula I built to help awaken and shift the masses, the very first step is Breaking The Illusion about our programmed reality and understand what’s truly going on. From there, personal transformation becomes key.

Williamson Admits She Was Unaware

Here we are a week later and Williamson has stated what I observed in my previous segment, she did not quite realize how corrupt our political system truly is. In an interview on Fox and Friends Williamson stated:

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“I would say that I feel that I’ve learned that the system is even more corrupt than I knew and people are even more wonderful than I hoped,

I want to state this isn’t about picking on anyone as much as it is about understanding the importance behind seeing the full picture of the change that needs to take place here. For 10 years now I have built CE to include both personal transformation and truth seeking for the reason that either one of those topics on their own doesn’t create the change we all know is possible in our hearts.

I’ve seen many ‘spiritual leaders’ still deeply support the dysfunctional nature of our systems because they believe there is truth to them when in reality they belong to a consciousness we are shifting away from.

Our political system is built and exists within a system designed for a very limited state of consciousness, some call this 3D consciousness. The goal isn’t to shift our political system, it’s to let it go. Collectively we are shifting and the new state of consciousness emerging doesn’t support the political system at hand. Hence why the chaos around it is increasing, because it’s acting as a mirror for us to see how it doesn’t resonate with our emerging consciousness.

It’s like trying to install Windows on a Mac or vice versa, the systems aren’t designed for the operating system. Humanity is faced with a challenge of ‘letting go of the old,’ not trying to fix the old.

In a brand new segment of The CE Show I did on YouTube and CETV, I discuss Marianne’s latest comments and what I feel we all must realize as we move forward in this journey of shifting ourselves and our world.

The CE Show airs multiple times per week on CETV. Membership proceeds from CETV go towards supporting our journalism and future broadcasts. You can start a free 7 day trial here.

The Takeaway

I feel that we have become addicted to the systems of a state of consciousness that we are moving away from. The choice is up to us, we stop resisting and holding onto things of the old, move through the process of watching these old systems fall away, or we continue to fight tooth and nail under the belief that we must hold up the old systems, and suffer along the way.

Ask yourself within, do you truly feel that this is about changing our current political system to be more open and evolved? Or is it about letting go of the rigidity of our current systems and creating new ones that are birthed from a  new state of consciousness, not one that is centuries old…

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Pisces: Navigating Ideals

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We are having a Full Moon in Pisces which will be exact at 4:33am Universal Time on September 14th 2019. It will appear the fullest on the night of the 13th for most of the world and on the night of the 14th for the Far East, Australia, and New Zealand.

This is the peak of the Lunar cycle which began two weeks prior with a New Moon in Virgo. The energies of it build up as the Moon increases its light and are strongest in the days before and after. However, it will still be a part of the backdrop over the following two weeks.

Full Moon’s are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Pisces and Sun in Virgo. It can reflect either a conflict or integration of both signs. We can feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Virgo side and others expressing the Pisces side.

Pisces is associated with sensitivity, compassion, creativity, and oneness. It is spiritually conductive, mystical, energy oriented, dreamy, flowy, imaginative, idealistic, and empathic. Negatively, it can be delusional, lazy, intoxicated, deceptive, confused/confusing, elusive, flaky, and lack critical thinking. Pisces energy is the least compatible with the mundane world and is associated with escapism in its many forms.

Virgo is about productivity, duties, service, physical health, cleanliness, and purity. It is organized, conscientious, skillful, diligent, efficient, analytical, detailed, and practical. Negatively, Virgo energy can also be overly critical, too cautious, fault-finding, irritable, discriminating, and overly perfectionist.

Full Moon Aligned with Neptune in T-Square with Jupiter and Mars

This Full Moon is close to Neptune which has many of the same qualities of Pisces that were mentioned above. It is viewed as a modern ruler of that sign and it amplifies its energies even more so during this period. Neptune is also associated with glamour, romance, and addiction. It has a dissolving, flooding, and watery energy that doesn’t comprehend boundaries.

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Neptune is completing its last of three squares with Jupiter in Sagittarius which will be exact on September 21st and will be strong into the following week. It began last January and peaked again this past June. At best, this can be an expansive period in a spiritual, creative, or compassionate way.

However, it can also be a time of confusion or lack of discernment around beliefs, ideologies, education, and teachers. It can also be a time in which we become aware of us being like that previously. We can be more excessive when it comes to how we express Piscean/Neptunian energies mentioned above.

At the time of the Full Moon, Mars in Virgo is also involved in this configuration along with the opposition of the Sun and Moon, forming a T-square aspect. This can be good for asserting ourselves towards our ideals or with a different Jupiter-Neptune approach (mentioned above). However this can also make our actions scattered, less assertive/direct, and make it harder to apply ourselves with practicality.

Full Moon Sextile Pluto Near Saturn and South Node, Saturn Going Direct

This Full Moon is in a tight sextile with Pluto which is near Saturn and the South Node. This could trigger some of the themes of the previous Lunar Eclipse (that is still reflecting this period) in a more harmonious way. Purging aspects of our past that are getting in the way of us moving forward. This can help to facilitate empowerment through some sort of release or transformation.

Saturn will be finishing its retrograde on September 18th and will move towards its final conjunction with the South Node which will peak at the end of the month and early October. This energy was also strong in mid Spring and part of it in early Summer.

Saturnian themes get amplified and we can be dealing with limitations, obstacles, restrictions, or perhaps issues around boundaries. We may feel a need to make changes around responsibilities, commitments, career, and structures in our lives. Similarly to the last Lunar Eclipse, there can be a sort of ending playing out around how an area of our lives is being expressed.

Full Moon Opposing Mercury and Venus Conjunction As They Change Signs

At the time of this Full Moon, Mercury and Venus are in a conjunction at the very end of Virgo, (Mercury’s sign). They will then be moving into Libra (Venus’ sign) in the hours following with the Full Moon triggering after it begins to wane.

This can be a time of heightened interactions, catching up with friends and other relationships. While it is in Virgo it could lean more towards its themes connected to work, service, fault finding, etc. For some people there can be a feeling of some sort of urgency.

After this conjunction moves into Libra, especially a day after the Full Moon,  it becomes more pleasant, social, and creative. Our interactions can be more harmonious, diplomatic, and less critical. We can more easily see both sides to something, find balance, and a great time to discuss relationship matters.

As a result of both of these planets transitioning near the same time, some people may experience some sort of significant shift in other areas of their lives within a few days following the Full Moon.

Things To Consider During This Period

How can you better balance the mundane aspects of life with your ideals, creativity, or spirituality? How have your beliefs been impacted this year and what is the conclusion to your experiences? Is it possible that you may have been confused about some aspects of newly or previously acquired perspectives?

What themes are coming up for you now that have been playing out since last April? What do you need to release? What changes do you need to make when it comes to your work, responsibilities, commitments, structures, or boundaries?
These are just some examples of what could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out. If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime after the peak of the Full Moon when it begins to wane until the next New Moon in two weeks. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on September 14th at 4:33am Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE for more astrology related content.

astrology, astrology readings, carmen di luccio

Looking for astrological insight into what is going on in your life? Or perhaps looking to better understand your life and its potentials? Get a personalized astrology reading with Carmen (author of this article) specific to you based on your exact birth date, time, and location. Click here for more information or to order. 

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Consciousness

Marie Palmer Recounts Her Escape From The ‘Children Of God’ Sex Cult In New Book

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Marie Palmer recounts her escape from the 'Children of God' cult and the long journey of healing she went through afterwards in her book 'The Gift of Will.'

  • Reflect On:

    Can we see that one of the keys to our own liberation from the past is forgiveness?

Marie Palmer did not choose to be part of the ‘Children of God’ cult that was founded in California in 1968 by a former Christian pastor named David Brant Berg. She was born into it. And as such, her entire worldview was founded on the inexorable indoctrination and brainwashing that was used. In itself this is even more tragic than the plight of those hippies like her father that had joined the movement as adults, and who believed, ironically, that they had found a path of greater liberation and truth.

Marie was brought up as a child in an environment that on the one hand promoted an unhealthy lack of boundaries, but in other ways was dangerously restrictive. The toxic and twisted principles that emerged from the mind of founder David Berg were laced with enough pseudo-validation from Christian scripture to convince many lost and downtrodden souls that they were actually on the right path to God and salvation–in fact the ONLY true path, for many of its devotees.

What has emerged over time, marked by the testimony of ex-members like actress Rose McGowan and the tragic murder-suicide of Ricky Rodriguez, whom Berg dubbed ‘Davidito’ and was grooming as the heir-apparent to his throne, is that the psychological and emotional disorientation and trauma brought upon children born into this cult was so extreme that it was difficult or impossible for many of them to survive in the world, let alone establish a normal life.

Marie Palmer has written a book entitled ‘The Gift of Will,’ which explores the impact of the brainwashing of the ‘Children of God’ cult on her personally, her escape from the cult, and the long and difficult journey she has been on to overcome the trauma and confusion she had been beset with. It was after reading this book that I felt it would be worthwhile for CE to go down to Oregon to talk to Marie in person so that we could provide a full 4-part interview of her story for our members on CETV. You can watch it when you sign up for a free 7-day trial HERE.

The ‘Children Of God’ Cult

Marie was able to escape from the cult as a teen, out of an intense and very real fear of getting pregnant, and an inner rebelliousness that she didn’t really understand or get a handle on until much later. Having now been out of the cult for decades, Marie has been able to see in retrospect how the emergence and rapid popularity of the cult was likely a product of the times founded on some positive intentions, at least initially:

“Maybe it started as a sincere desire to help the lost hippie generation. Maybe it was his obsession with the Bible and his evangelical background that gave him a platform from which to easily build upon. Maybe it was timing. He believed he could create a new type of hippie culture that still held itself true to the ideals of freedom and free love but in the context of following the representation of Jesus in the Bible. He wanted the security of knowing his ideas were based on something real and true. Free love for the sake of free love was fun but flighty. Free love in the name of Jesus Christ–there was everlasting power in that.”

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“I can see how that era created opportunity for its youth to find peace and solace in the form of spirituality. I can see how being considered an outcast could be enticing, especially one that had purpose, was following the creator. They could be dropouts and still feel a sense of comradery, family, have a place to call home. Mo provided a way for these lonely youth to be crazy, wild and revolutionary, to burn their old ideas along with their bras, to be free from drugs and street life but hold true to their inner rebel against what they called “the system” and he created this utopia in the name of Jesus.”–The Gift of Will, pp 56–57

However, it seems clear that the basic principles that the ‘Children of God’ cult was founded on morphed over time to accommodate greater control and the sexual predispositions of founder David Berg and his inner circle. One particularly effective vehicle for indoctrination was the famed ‘Mo letters,’ (‘Mo’ being short for Berg’s moniker ‘Moses David’) which often used vivid cartoon graphics portraying sexuality to draw one’s attention and drive the message home.

The way in which sexuality was portrayed certainly had a lot of appeal to adult members of the hippie movement who were convinced that their freedom in relation to sexuality was bringing them closer to God and to their community. In the early years, the technique of ‘Flirty Fishing,’ where women would go out and recruit men into the organization through openly inviting them to have sex, was highly successful, bringing hundreds of thousands of men into them movement. The justification for this, as seen in the Mo Letter illustration below, was that the ends justified the means, and the end was supposedly to bring more people in to experience the ‘Love of God.’

Fear And Wrath

Ultimately, though, power is the name of the game, and David Berg’s personal motivations were far from ‘unselfish, pure sacrificial love.’ As the cult grew, more and more emphasis was put on the need for people to stay in the cult, and that meant using fear and the wrath of God to dissuade people from considering leaving the organization, with quotations cherry-picked from the Bible to garner legitimacy.

One method of control was the systematic suppression of worldly knowledge. In fact, a general tenet of the cult was that anything ‘worldly’ was evil. In this clip from our interview, Marie Palmer explains how as a child she really got no formal education, and had no idea about how the outer world worked. She was only ‘schooled’ in the cult’s indoctrination, which preached that children should trust and obey their elders and not ask questions:

Watch the full 4-part interview of Marie’s story on CETV by starting a free 7 day trial HERE.

As she mentions, young girls in the cult were expected to share themselves with older men who pursued them, as well as providing for those ‘in need’ of intimacy and comfort, under the guise that the whole community was ‘in this together’ and sex should have no boundaries. It wasn’t as though they were violently forced to have sex within the cult, but the psychological pressures, amid efforts to normalize sex between children and adults, led to countless sexual encounters that were undoubtedly traumatic and a source of complete disorientation for the young members:

I know that kids experiment with their sexuality when they are young, usually it’s with kids their own age. There are no words to explain how confusing it is when you are a child that’s expected to experiment sexually with adults. They are your role models. They have all the power. The power to shame you. To discipline you. To give you grace. To provide for you. To give you direction. Every child has the innate desire to please those who rule over them. Disappointing our parents and guardians is a hard thing to face. This makes children ideal victims for abusers.” —The Gift of Will, (p. 65)

Perhaps David Berg did not initially set out to create an organization that actively and openly practiced pedophilia. But the reactions of young members such as Davidito stand as a sobering testament to the volatile and damaging impact of such practices. Davidito had a burning rage against the nannies who were both his guardians and his sexual partners, a rage that was immortalized in this confessional video he made just before his murder/suicide that lays bare his deep resentment and hopelessness.

If there is any debate remaining as to whether it is healthy for children to have any kind of sexual relationships with adults, which some powerful forces have slowly tried to normalize in society, it is laid to rest with the testimony of brave survivors who were brought up in the ‘Children of God’ cult like Marie Palmer.

Healing

What is remarkable and also most important about Marie Palmer’s story is that she has found a way to heal herself from her past. Going through a long stretch after escaping from the cult in which she had absolutely no sense of self or understanding about how to deal with the rage, confusion, depression or sorrow that followed her around constantly, she eventually developed a great hunger for knowledge and for learning. What was especially exciting for her was to learn about spirituality and the Divine in ways that were liberating rather than restrictive. In this way, she could come to grips with the flaws in the Berg philosophy and let go of its influence. Further, she learned forgiveness as the only true way to reconcile the past:

Many religions, especially patriarchal ones, teach that we are either good or evil. And, they teach us further that if we aren’t submissive to this strand of teaching – the cross, the blood, and outside source bringing redemption – we are fatally flawed, crippled from the cradle to the grave.

By understanding and practicing Buddhism, I’ve been able to detach myself from the concept of good versus evil. I’ve been able to study the mechanisms that make my soul tick. I’ve been able to accept that as a human being, I experience light and shadow and it’s all OK.

Sometimes the light may blind me. Sometimes the shadow may darken my horizon. Regardless I am comprised of both; we all are. So, for me, there is no redemption by blood. There is no sense of retaliation or shame projected onto us by any God. Just as there is no need for retaliation for my experiences as a child. I was a victim of the shadows. But, I was graced with the ability to find and choose the light. —The Gift of Will, (p. 142)

The Takeaway

Marie’s journey reminds all of us that only through forgiveness is there liberation from the past. What she has accomplished is inspiring, because she has so much more to forgive than most of us. And she sees that once we are willing to forgive those who had the most power over us, those who caused us the most suffering, something opens up that can change our overall perception forever.

Once I decided to forgive my parents, I could see clearly to forgive just about everyone in the world. I began to see the world through the eyes of compassion, mercy, and Grace. I was also able to forgive myself for not being a better sister to my brother, and all the other naïve and ignorant things I have done to others and myself. I was able to begin the journey of loving myself. To have the upmost compassion for myself and respect for my own identity.” —The Gift of Will, (pp. 155-156)

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