Hannah Watkins was born into ‘the Move’ of God and spent her first 18 years in the organization. Led by Sam Fife, the group separated itself as a branch of the Baptist Church in the late 60’s.
Luckily, Hannah’s experience was not physically invasive, but all the same, damaging to her emotionally with extreme doses of spiritual guilt. Most members were drawn in by the group’s return to a simple homesteading lifestyle where they could focus on reaching ‘holiness’. All members, male and female, were encouraged to speak freely about their sins and how they feel. However, when the women in her commune came together to preserve a tradition they valued they were rebuked for having a voice.
In the time since Hannah has left, she has learned to value the sense of family and community she was raised in while also seeing how dangerous extreme adherence can be. She has moved away from these restrictive religious beliefs and advocates awareness of their effects, especially for young girls.
Stay tuned, Before You Go: Rachel talks about how misogyny and victim-blaming contribute to one another-- and solutions for creating an environment where abuse can be addressed productively.
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