What made you feel rejected by Sri?
When I was in Morningland before, there was a lot of activity. I tried to be at the temple every day. I attended classes, events and did service. Upon my return, I was encouraged to attend healing sessions (at $37 each for me and my daughter). When I indicated that I couldn’t pay that kind of money as often as they wanted me to go, I was offered a package deal. For a $150 per month for myself and my daughter, I was invited to attend classes and events 5 times a week. Soon I was making the same monthly “love gift” and allowed to attend only Friday night Oneness Service. I rarely saw the older disciples, but was isolated with aspirants and new folks and a few returning people like myself. I was not given back my medallion, nor my mantra. I was called Jane (by most people) or Benson (by Sri on the extremely rare occasion that I saw her). I began to feel that I was only allowed to attend Friday services so that I would continue to make my donation (which was now $100 per month because Melissa was making her own money and I asked to make her donation her responsibility. Soon she quit attending).
When I was in classes, Sri would occasionally attend for a few minutes. When she spoke to or about me, her remarks were often insulting. (I am tired of repeating them… time to move on.)
…and what did you see, to cause you to lose faith?
Scam after scam. In their boutique, they sell rejected food that has been donated by retail stores, meant to be charity, at full retail price. Candy that is melted and stuck together. Potato chips that are out dated and sometimes crushed. These things are all sold as special deals, blessed food with magical powers. “Manifestation” of candy and cookies, “growing” cake. Miracles I was supposed to see and verify. Yadda, yadda, yadda.
When you were there, did the current “disciples” treat you like a second-class citizen?
Of course. There was no way I could ever equal their 20-year discipleship. No way my experience and growth would count for anything. My vision was belittled. I have a degree in English and pride myself on proper use of the English language. My diction was corrected by people who routinely misuse the language. Not a big deal to most people, but it drove me crazy.
The last straw came when my granddaughter was born under difficult circumstances. She wasn’t due for another 6 weeks. Ethan called me and asked me to come to the hospital. She was to be delivered by Cesarian section within half an hour. They weren’t sure what was wrong, but the baby was in distress and they could care for her better on the outside.
My first instinct was to call the temple and ask for the prayers of the disciples and the healing powers of Sri Donato to save my baby… but I didn’t have Ethan’s permission. I didn’t have a picture of the baby. I didn’t have a $37 donation. All were prerequisites of a Morningland intervention. So I called in Donato and left for the hospital. When I got there I was informed that my sister had placed the names of my son’s family on the prayer rolls of the Mormon temple. No permission required. Jewish friends of my kids were praying for Tricia and the baby. They didn’t need to ask for permission to ask God to help their friends. Later I learned that my best friend had arranged for a Catholic novena to be said for them. Nobody had to tell Mary it was okay to pray for Maddy. There must have been hundreds of people praying for my granddaughter.
Additionally, there was a first-class team of doctors and nurses working continuously to save her life. Most importantly, though, Tricia listened to her body and her intuition and got herself to the doctor in time to allow the doctors to do their work in time to save the baby. It turned out that the placenta had begun to rip and the baby was bleeding into her mother’s bloodstream, but the return mechanism had failed. Blood should flow out of the baby into the mother to be nourished and then returned to the baby. It was flowing out but not returning. By the time she was born, she had lost 70-80% of her blood.
Six hours after her birth she received a complete transfusion and began to heal. The nurses in the NICU kept her alive during those six hours by an act of will. They were continuously massaging her to keep what blood she had flowing through her body and to keep her conscious.
Madison is nine months old now and the picture of health.
I haven’t been back to the temple since Madison was born. I’m sorry, I was angry. I received no support from anyone at the temple during the time Maddy was ill. I didn’t even have anyone I could call and talk with about my fears and joys. That is not my idea of community. I did, however, run into a couple of disciples one morning when Maddy was maybe two months old. I was having breakfast at the restaurant where my daughter works (The Porch Cafe, just a couple of blocks south of Morningland). These two disciples came in while I was eating and decided to join me. I told them about Maddy, about the ordeal she had been through. They asked if I had placed her name in a ring of fire prayer circle. I told them I hadn’t since Ethan and Tricia had not given permission. So they asked if I had called in Sri. Of course, I had. Well, then, they said, Sri healed her! I said maybe, but I could not testify to that since we had not spoken.
All those other people praying actively and professionals working hard to save our baby, and I was supposed to give credit to Sri because I thought of her… hogwash!
I am really over Morningland!