Story One: "my home church made me suicidal"
i just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for doing this. my home church made me suicidal and so many others have had similar experiences and they deserve to be exposed
Story Two: "They basically killed her and I didn't get a goodbye or closure or reason."
I joined Xenos my Sophomore year in high school. I actually got invited to a "super bowl party" but it was actually a bible study in some dudes basement. My best friend ( CeCe) begged me and so I went. It was all fine until halftime started and they pulled out bibles and started praying and I was so uncomfortable because I did not grow up going to church. My best friend begged me to go to more bible studies because she thought that I would benefit from their "love" and "support". I was already dealing with years of bullying and self harm and on medication, so you can say I was pretty vulnerable at the time. I was sucked in by their love and how much they really liked me and that I could really really benefit from having a life with Christ. They make you feel welcomed and loved for like a few weeks (They literally fucking love bomb you and then you get sucked in and the lies and abuse start.) So I kept going and was put into Moonbase homechurch. I kept going and going and loved it for awhile until they made me feel bad for not going to things when I couldn't go. They want to keep you out all night and we're kids and I was under 18 and had to follow my mom and dad's rules but they did not care. I was kept for my family and my other friends. I wasn't allowed to have friends outside of their group unless I invited them and of course I did because I wanted to hang out with those friends. I was taught to groom them just like they did me. If they left we couldn't be friends anymore because they couldn't be saved now. I could see myself changing but I didn't know that it was wrong because I thought I was doing what God was wanting me to do.
I started getting depression really bad again after the love bomb died and it just got to the point where I was constantly wanting to kill myself and I was still battling with my sexuality and they did not accept that whatsoever. I was told when I first entered the church that they did not care if you were gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, because they weren't conservative and wanted to be a "laid back" and "accepting" church and I believed them. One of my leaders that came up to me who I told everything to, who I trusted told me that I could not achieve the same love that God has for everyone else in the group because I like girls and the only way that God could love me all of me was if I prayed away my sexuality. This came out of no where considering i was open about being into girls from jump. That hurt me beyond belief. I felt like I was getting slapped in the face because my best friend lied to me and then all my new friends and leaders had lied to me. I didn't know what to do after that until they showed to my fucking school to "apologize" and of course I went back because they said sorry and then proceeded to make me feel bad for making them feel bad about me wanting to kill myself. Shortly after that I was baptized by them and made me write a testimony and they revised it and basically wanted me to hurt my mom for saying all these things about them being a cult IN FRONT OF EVERYONE in my testimony.
The next incident was when my depression got even worse and I opened up about it and they had found out I was cutting and the one of the leaders wrote a handwritten letter to my mom about my issues. They told my mom that I needed psychiatric help and should see the Xenos therapist. I vented to one of the leaders and she told me that I had depression because I was sinful and God wanted to punish me to make me learn. That push me to the edge after that because they tell you that God loves you, that God wants to help you and that God can heal you and it doesn't matter who you are or what you're going through and after she said that it kind of just like unvalidated everything that they told me. So once again they fucking lied.
There was a concert the night before apple picking/bible study (I was already thinking about leaving a week before this) they wanted us to go to with them and I was too tired to go the next day, I just wanted to rest. They got upset and I eventually got fed up and just told him that I wasn't coming back. They kept messaging me and blowing up my phone and they all cussed me out in a group chat and it just wouldn't stop. My best friend who invited me to go eventually stopped talking to me when she realized that I stopped going and that is what really set me off.
I told people my experience about what happened to me and I told them not to go and I told them that they're not friendly and that they are a cult. It took a year-and-a- half of lies and grooming to realize that. They got mad at me AGAIN and my friend hated me for not going anymore and I was mad at her because she shunned me and we were fighting until they showed up to my school AGAIN looking for me because I was "harassing" her and I was "harassing" the other members. They were harassing me in reality. They just made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe.
My senior year I finally made up with my friend and we kind of just let everything go even though she was still going to Xenos and I was still upset about all the things that they had done to me. That September she had told me that one of our old leaders that we had in the group committed suicide and they didn't know why. Two months later after us getting to know each other again and being close she committed suicide. I 100% believe that Xenos is the reason that she committed suicide. I really did not believe the rumors and I didn't want to believe them because she acted like she was fine and she acted like she was happy and I know what it's like to act happy and normal and still want to kill yourself because they did that to me. I later found out that there was a suicide between my old group leader and my best Friend within Xenos. Months later after my best friend committed suicide another child committed suicide in Xenos. I talk to my friends mom on occasion and she told me a lot of info regarding the things that go on in that "church" including sexual abuse and evil things. She told me that they took her away from her family all the time.
I did not attend her funeral or memorial because I knew it was being done by Xenos. I never got a goodbye or a reason of why she killed herself. I have had dreams of her telling me things but I can't always believe them or understand them. The memorial was held at Xenos's main church. I heard a lot of things like they hung her clothes including her bra and panties that she killed herself in from multiple people.
They fucking took my fucking best friend from me. They basically killed her and I didn't get a goodbye or closure or reason. It's been a year and half since she passed and I still cannot believe or accept until something is done for her and all the others that took their life while at Xenos. They destroy lives and if I never left I'd probably be gone too.
- Faith Furrow
Story Three: "they created emotional, mental trauma in my life."
Hi! If you can make this anonymous, I left Xenos a few years ago they created emotional, mental trauma in my life. They left me in pieces after I left, left me depressed. Lonely with out friends, calling me “crazy” they throw at that word as soon as they don’t like what you are saying!
Story Four: "I was shunned out of xenos because I was hospitalized for being suicidal"
I was shunned out of xenos because I was hospitalized for being suicidal, & I asked for help about my sexual assault and they called me an attention whore and they said that I was psycho so they all pushed me out and they were terrible to me & made up lies about me lol
They made me feel brainwashed and I wasn’t allowed to hangout with anyone except if they are in xenos
[ . . . . . .] is a leader to watch out for. She is a hypocrite & she lies to make girls in homechurches hate each other. She is very manipulative & she talks shit about everyone.
Plus they’re Christians & they smoke in a holy building but smoking weed is bad? Oh, ok!
I was deep in xenos, at a homechurch called [ . . . .] . When you go, they will bomb you with love and they will make you accept Christ your first time out. They forced me to accept Christ my first time out and the next thing I knew I was studying with a leader. They had this secret group me for “Christ followers” and the leaders, then one group chat for everyone. The one for Christ followers they would talk shit about the non believers for their past or what they talk about. If you’re not committed to Christ the way they want you to be then you’re shunned. It’s insane.
Story Five: "I was sad, but unsurprised, as my own exit left me suicidal."
I apologize if this is all over the place. I was in Xenos from my sophomore year of high school until my freshman year of college. I was desperate for friends, and one of the members reached out to me at school. She invited me to come to a dinner, a “light” teaching and then we would have fun after that. They latched on to me like glue, and I loved the attention. I felt love like I had never felt before, and they seemed genuinely interested in getting to know me and my story. I then started switching between the church that I grew up in and Xenos, until shit hit the fan at my other church. I was distraught, and I texted the person who brought me out in the first place, and by the end of the night, I was convinced that it was “the will of god” to go to Xenos, and sever all ties with my previous church. I then was all in. I went to every event I could for the high school group, and brought friends out. I eventually got someone to convert to Xenos (under the careful guidance of the leaders and the others in the group, who essentially harassed me into harassing her to come out). Once she had been converted, I got loads of praise. Me and the other girl were full into Xenos, and i continued to invite people out. I (naively) wanted to invite everyone out so they could feel as loved and accepted as I felt.
However, the more I began opening up, the more that I saw their bad side. I opened up about mental health issues that I have had, and they essentially told me that god is putting me through these “trials” to bring me closer to him. When I reported a lack of progress in feeling better, they accused me of not trying hard enough, or that I had committed some grave sin, and this is God’s punishment. I eventually went and saw a Xenos counselor (without my parents knowledge), and she said the same thing. I discussed the possibility of going on meds with one of the members, and she accused me of not allowing god to work, and trying to know more than him. So I persisted in hoping that I would get closer to god, and he would make me feel better.
I am also overweight, and they berated me for not progressing more into weight loss. They tried everything they could think of, from “loving” me to shunning me, and it didn’t work. It just left me feeling worse about myself.
They also wanted me to move into one of their houses, however, my parents said no (Which I am eternally grateful for). I told them that, and basically told me to keep fighting it. They eventually got tired of trying to convince me, and confronted me, saying that I have to move in with them. That if i don’t, god will punish me. I went back to my dorm, devastated. I cried myself to sleep, not knowing what to do. I didn’t feel comfortable going back after that, so they excommunicated me. I never saw any of them again. I sometimes wonder if they think about me, and if, what they think about.
About a year after I left, i heard that one of my former leaders committed suicide. I was sad, but unsurprised, as my own exit left me suicidal. A couple months later, I see a post saying the girl I brought out killed her self. I was at work at the time, and once I got home, I sobbed for hours. I know it was because of Xenos, and so it’s my fault. It’s something that haunts me today.
Thus, I completely support this movement. No one else should lose their loved ones from this. If anyone who loved her (initials C.W.) is reading this, I deeply apologize. Feel free to reach out to me (@noxenosjmt)
Story Six: "they told me to see a xenos therapist instead of listening to me and actually helping me address this problem."
When I was in Xenos, I was struggling really hard with anxiety and depression, and similar to these stories they told me to see a xenos therapist instead of listening to me and actually helping me address this problem. I was suicidal and actually attempted suicide, and I had been with them that night and told them I was gonna do it, but all they did was drop me off at my moms house (?!?) and say we aren’t equipped enough to handle this. We will pray for you. Fuck your prayers, I needed HELP and when I was in a state that I couldn’t see that, y’all just turned me away. That incident made me begin to withdraw from groups, as they just kept blowing me off basically and telling me to keep praying, it’s all satanic attack... like clinical depression doesn’t exist apparently?! until I was finally just done. As everyone else has said, they shun the hell out of you when you leave. I lost my BEST FRIEND of 10+ years from this cult group. I have so much hatred for this group, but forums like this that spread awareness of the horrendous things they do to people, help. Enough people have DIED from this “religious” organization. This has to stop.
Story Seven: "The worst part about this tragic situation though was her funeral. I couldn’t bring myself to come, I didn’t want to have to see her in the viewing, it was just too real. But friends who did attend basically told me it was a huge plug for the church."
my senior year, a girl in our class who was pretty heavily involved in Xenos for a long time ended her life. the day the school learned about this, they were instructed not to tell the kids until they could make an announcement to everyone. A friend of mine had a teacher confine in her despite this after first period, and my friend with a look on her face i’ll never forget told me on our way to second period. i remember being completely in shock (...)
(...) because the girl who had done it was one of the sweetest and most well liked people in our senior class. she was involved in school activities outside of Xenos and was friends with pretty much anyone and everyone. Though we didn’t stay close throughout high school, she would still smile at me in the hall. it was pretty well known that she had been struggling with her sexuality and i think it may have played a part in what happened to her, as xenos has a reputation of being very homophobic
long story short, the whole school was incredibly broken up over what happened, and as i talked to some ex members to xenos i was surprised to find out that as tragic as the situation was, they weren’t really shocked
one friend of mine who was even in a ministry house for years made the choice to leave and was told that if that was his decision to turn from God, he might as well kill himself.
it isn’t something unheard of. even a leader in Xenos has recently committed suicide around the time she did. The worst part about this tragic situation though was her funeral. I couldn’t bring myself to come, I didn’t want to have to see her in the viewing, it was just too real. But friends who did attend basically told me it was a huge plug for the church. They, verbatim, said that “Her life stared four years ago when she joined the church”. All they talked about was the church (...)
and how positive it was in life. This obviously was not the case. I don’t want to assume that it was the main cause, but from what I know about the church and how it totally consumed your life, it’s hard for me to not point to it. People hung out with her at youth group the night that she died, and they all said she was just as happy and smiley as ever. this makes me think it must have been something she was planning for a long time, and that the church has just been wearing her down so bad
she had not choice. It still angers me to this day, even though it was almost two years ago. I cannot believe a church who cares so much about “deep connections and friendships” with people would EVER not see this coming or see her depression though well masked. It is a crime and I hate that they have gotten away with disrespecting the beautiful and kind person she was.