By Willow (willowashmaple.xyz)
March 22, 2023
This is a brief statement from me regarding my past involvement in a dubious religious sect, and to clarify the present status.
Some readers may recognize me as a de facto "leader"-like figure in a quasi-religious movement, so-called "Filianism."
I was indeed involved in its modern-day revival, since around 2005 and until around 2017. In this capacity, I was viewed as one of the de facto leaders of a loosely organized sect. I compiled and re-published its scriptures in 2009, which was previously out of print and was only available online in a fragmented and disorganized manner (now this book was exposed as a fabrication).
Throughout these years, I felt conflicted. Part of me really believed in certain aspects of this false faith. Yet, I could not overcome the feeling that I was making it all up as I went, and I felt terrible that I had a few serious followers, who in return went on to build their own communities. For the most part, this so-called religion remained a niche online subculture, however, and some of this still appears to survive primarily on Tumblr.
In truth, I was mainly interested in political and cultural activism rather than seeing this as a serious spiritual endeavor. Combined with my disillusionment with patriarchy and Christian faith at the time, I found this pseudo-religious feminist ideology quite appealing. It was also in this context that I enrolled in an M.Div. program at Ocean Seminary College, with a major in feminist theology.
Since then, however, I was burned out by what passes for feminism and the "women's spirituality movement" in general. Around the spring of 2019, I began making peace with my Christian faith, although, at the time, I was still treating faith and spirituality as tools for accomplishing my own worldly ambitions and political agenda.
In early 2021, I enrolled in Christian Leaders Institute, initially not quite knowing what I wanted to get out of it, but now working toward a 64-credit diploma in ministry as well as certification in chaplaincy. This is a non-denominational institution but is rooted mostly in a historically Reformed tradition (I am not a Calvinist, however) and is tangentially related to Christian Reformed Church. Since then, the Holy Spirit has been reshaping my heart and mind, albeit in a subtle and gradual way.
To reiterate, I am no longer affiliated with any sect collectively and variously known as "Filianism", "Madrianism", "Deanism", or the "Oxford Goddess Revival Movement," nor do I promote its beliefs.
Four years ago, I also rejected feminism, having discovered that it has become yet another form of white identitarian movement no longer interested in equality, liberty, or justice for all. Seeing how they have paved the road for the hateful far-right extremist and neo-Nazi movements to become mainstream in recent years, I was quite prescient.
Origin of the "Filianic Scriptures" (also known as the "Clear Recital")
"Count me out of your sisterhood" (Feb. 15, 2019)
"Final words on anti-trans rhetoric by so-called feminists" (March 19, 2019) -- very prescient
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