Frequently Asked Questions
What’s next for you?
Stuff with cats. Definitely. Also, a memoir. I’ve been working on it for a very long time, but as Terry Tempest Williams said: “There’s such a pressure to write fast, to get it done, but one of the most important things in writing nonfiction is to have patience.” Memoir is a difficult genre to write well, so I’ve been learning to be patient with myself and to trust myself.
I’ll be publishing more in the future. You can always find an up-to-date bio with my publications on my official website.
Why haven’t you answered my email or accepted my friend request or Tweeted me back?
My blog began with a few hundred readers who were all friends, making it easy to email everyone back. In an unexpected turn of events, people started reading this blog and the amount of requests have been overwhelming.
As I recently posted on Facebook,
I’m sifting through my inbox at the moment, working on my book proposal and I’m seeing so many kind, thoughtful emails. I think during my moments of deep insecurity and anxiety over the past few years, I’ve failed to see just how MANY KIND PEOPLE have reached out to me.
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for each email, personal story, comments, kind words, tears and painful memories over the years. I’ve read each one and when I re-read them, many make me cry because our lives took such similar paths and like me, many of you are on your road to recovery. It’s actually very beautiful.
I’ve tried to make it a point to respond to emails as they come in but as I’m going through my inbox now I’m realizing how many emails I have not been able to answer and some of those emails are very personal stories that deserve a response.
I wish I could write each one of you your own novel-length letter (something I was once famous for doing to friends) but I can’t promise that I will. I do cherish them all and read every one, so thank you!
I am on Facebook and on Twitter. You can also subscribe to my public updates here. You can contact me via email. I read all your correspondence but may not be able to respond. My email address is info @ mycultlife . com. I love reading your stories, so bring them on!
If you are looking for an immediate answer, social media is probably the best place to find me, BUT please take the time to search my website first. I began blogging in June, 2010. As you can imagine, I have covered a lot of ground. The best way to find answers to your questions about me, Master’s Commission, Mercy Ministries, Our Savior’s Church, etc. is to use the search bar at the right, or read the blog from the very last page forward. Another resource is the Sitemap which lists every single page and post and organizes them by category. If you cannot find something, please email me.
Why don’t you feed the trolls anymore?
Making things online brings the trolls out to play. The Oatmeal talks about it extensively at the bottom of this comic: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/making_things
For those of you who haven’t experienced trolls, online haters, etc., it’s actually momentarily debilitating, especially when you are new to it. After this long, I’m less interested in reading hateful comments and emails and I do ignore them. So, if you see me ignoring someone’s hateful comment, that’s because I’m silently judging them. I decided about a year ago that I cannot and will not change everyone’s mind. People will disagree with me and that’s okay. I welcome that, but be respectful. My motto is: life and let live. If someone wants to stay in the dark, brainwashed, extremist, etc., then nothing I can say will change that. My argument will not either.
But you HAVE to hear my story about attending Master’s Commission (or Mercy Ministries, etc.). My group was different! They’re not all like that. I swear.
I get this email often.
Regarding Master’s Commission: I spent several years in Master’s Commission and worked for the Master’s Commission International Network (MCIN). If you’re not familiar with the MCIN, please look it up before you email me so you understand this program is structured. I planned conferences with Lloyd Zeigler’s teams and know the ins and outs of many of the groups that existed during 1998-2005 because of my position within the MCIN. Because of that, I feel qualified to speak about Master’s Commission with more authority than most.
When I left in 2008, I sent eight pages of formal complaints and suggestions to the MCIN board of directors and Lloyd Zeigler. Between 2008-2010, I had several extended phone conversations with Lloyd about my complaints and about my blog. Judging from those conversations, and primarily that Lloyd supported unpaid extended internships (1 year +), I cut off all contact with him and continued to blog. My research is ongoing, and I consider my writing almost a responsibility to prevent future cases of abuse, misrepresentation and exploitation. I also consider Master’s Commission to be a physically and mentally harmful environment.
I do not endorse any Master’s Commission program. If a student/staff member devoted 7 years of her life to an organization and says that, perhaps it’s something worth looking into.
But I want to go into Youth Ministry. Isn’t Master’s Commission the best option for me?
No. Despite Master’s Commission claims, many of my peers had a difficult time getting placement in a youth ministry position. Often, they would end up taking a job any position they could in a church, or attempted to start their own Master’s Commission. Many of them took those routes and continue to struggle spiritually and financially.
I want a gap year before entering college. I plan on becoming a professional and I feel like Master’s Commission will make me a better person.
I usually stay away from statements like this, but if you plan on becoming a professional, you are ABSOLUTELY making the wrong decision to enter Master’s Commission.
But Master’s claims they use an accredited college, so I can start college in MC and continue when I leave.
As of the publication of this page, Master’s Commission is not using an accredited college despite what they say on their website. Look into it further for yourself. Your coursework will not be transferable to any accredited academic institution.
But my experiences in Master’s Commission are invaluable and have been life changing.
If you say so. I think you’re dumb. No, really.
What about Mercy Ministries?
Unfortunately, vehement supporters of Mercy Ministries seem to be blinded by what the leadership says. Since my writing about Mercy Ministries in January 2012, they have changed their website content and official statements multiple times. Their statements remain inconsistent to multiple reports that have been done by government agencies, journalists and interviews I’ve done with former residents.
Would you investigate my group or story? I see you’ve helped others.
I do take on work by a case-by-case basis. However, I’m currently not taking on any new groups. I have good news for you, though. The best research tool you have is before you and you’re on it. The computer and the internet have nearly all the answers you’re seeking. Journey into the deep, young Frodo. “Concealed within his fortress, the lord of Mordor internet sees all…You know of what I speak, Gandalf: a great Eye, lidless, wreathed in flame Webbiness.”
Seriously, though, I’ve written a lot on this site and in my eBook. I have tips for parents and students, a guide on how to find a therapist and a lot of other things. If you can’t afford it, email me, and I’ll see what I can do.
I’m a writer. Will you help me get published?
No. The secrets are ALL mine! (Kidding, but still…no.) Here’s how you can find out more info on getting published.
Okay, seriously, I do not mean to be condescending at all. Forgive my humor. I actually cannot help anyone at the moment because of my current schedule.
I want to help young writers find their way very badly, and one day I will have time to do so. Writing, and the “calling” to be a writer is exhilarating and fulfilling. I am not (yet) giving any workshops or classes and I haven’t written any books on writing. I’m still in the learning process myself (and I hope I always will be). Besides, few people want to learn to write well, they seek me out to ask how to be published. I’ll be honest, I will make you work for those answers because if you aren’t ready to commit yourself to being a great writer, I’m not sure we are the best fit for each other. I firmly believe that you must be focused on writing well before you should chase after getting published. Take difficult literature classes, or workshops where your devotion to the craft is tested. Then, let’s talk. That is not to say you need to be perfect or know it all. On the contrary, I simply mean you must be devoted to your work and a professional standard and eager to learn.
If you really want to be published, you will find a way. You will work regularly writing, editing, reading, and sending out work. At some point, I will offer myself more deeply to this and maybe even teach regularly, but I have to devote time to my own writing first.
I am actually asked this question very often. For now, the best answers I can provide are on my website. I have writing lessons and links to online writing groups I’ve started. I will update you when I’ve decided what workshops I will offer and where.
Will you read my work?
No, I can’t right now. You can and should join a writer’s group or a writing class where you will find lots of people who will read your work and where you will improve your editing techniques.
Can I send you an idea for a great novel?
No. Please do not send me your ideas. I will not read ideas for any novels, memoirs, etc. Please submit those to a literary agent. You can find an agent at Agent Query online.
Can I take you to coffee so we can discuss blogging/writing/sleeping together?
If you don’t read my work, I will stalk you and leave you hateful comments everywhere you go for the rest of your life.
Your mom will leave hateful comments.
Dear Lisa, I hate you.
Here are some kittens.
And some dogs.
I just need some advice from you.
I’m not qualified to counsel people. I’m a writer. I like to make jokes or paint images with words, but I definitely don’t take the “leader” or “guru” role in anyone’s life and don’t want to. In fact, I refuse to tell people what to do because I believe that you are strong enough to find your own path. You don’t need me.
You may want to consider seeking out a therapist. It helped me a great deal. There are low-cost therapists all over the country. Please check their credentials and licensing before committing to one, and interview them prior to making an appointment.
Dude, why are you so bitter?
I think I’m pretty funny but for some reason I attract a lot of weirdos here who think I’m Satanic/bitchy/bitter. If you are here reading, you need to have a sense of humor. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Don’t take me too seriously. Sure, it’s a fucking serious subject, but (damn, Gina!) lightenthefuckup.jpg.
I think you’re really hot. Can we start talking/dating/sending nude photos to each other?
Absolutely not. However, if you want to send nudes, I’ll gladly broadcast them all over the internet. Consider yourself warned.
Can I send you a dick picture? I’m good in bed.
Save us all some time and just post it to Reddit for us.
Can I have your number?
Wtf is up with people asking for my phone number? I don’t know you. Stop asking for my phone number, dude. It’s weird.
If you’re super hot, you CAN get a hold of me here: 704-255-1887
What are your religious views?
For more information, visit http://www.itsnoneofyourbusiness.com.
I’m not a believer. I’m also not a Belieber. I don’t care if you are, but I do care if you tell me I should be one. If you want to tell me I should get saved, first visit this site: http://www.shutyourpiehole.com for directions on how to get a hold of me with your opinions.
Do you hate all religions?
No. Religion is a cultural norm. People grow up conditioned to believe very strongly in religion because it’s important to their family/culture. That is normal but forcing it onto other people is not. I don’t want to join your religion.
My hope is that we can get along peacefully without pushing our religious beliefs on others, and that starts with you. If you do this, stop.
I don’t like that answer. Can I email you about you should believe in Jesus?
Sure. Send it here: email@example.com