I was a student at the academy and when at the end of my 10th grade year, my parents were going to leave the church after I graduated.
They didn’t want me to be treated differently by my friends, and going to public school at that point wasn’t a real option (partly because I didn’t have a 10th-grade-level education by the time I finished 10th grade, but that’s another story).
I could tell that even though my parents were still present physically, they weren’t “at the church” for the last couple years of their attendance. I finished school, went to service Sunday morning, went to my graduation ceremony that evening, and my parents never went back.
I had some things tying me down there and stayed another few months. During that time, the people I thought were friends showed their true colors.
The words people said to me about my family were insanely over the line and they spoke to me like I was meant to abandon my family.
My girlfriend at the time straight up told me my sister was going to hell because she left the church.
I can’t imagine the treatment I would have suffered if my parents left while I was in school still, but at the same time, they were treated horribly in their last 2 years at the cult. T
he mob mentality in that place is cancerous. It doesn’t matter how loyal you are to them, the second you try to find god somewhere else, it’s nothing but knives in your back.
If they left while I was in school, friends would certainly have turned on me, the staff would have treated me differently, I almost certainly would have had meetings with Bobbie where she would have tried to separate me from my own family, or get me to turn on them. All those things happened happened to me when they finally left, but at least I was out of the academy.