We as kids had to hide under tables when guys – a variety of homeless addicts, had violent episodes, fighting, throwing, smashing stuff, having fits or ‘manifesting’ demons. At least once our mother ran with us out of the House and into town to escape. We had to come back because we had no money even for a phone call.
We were also around so many damaged people daily, in various emotional states, discussing their issues, past lives, relationships, drug use, even disclosing criminal or sexual matters, all inappropriate for young ears.
As kids we were often left alone with a now convicted paedophile. One of my friends started smoking weed aged 9 or 10 because of being left to hang out with ‘contacts.’ Another got ambushed, propositioned and stalked by more than one paedophile.
The Jesus Army believed they were on the side of righteousness and radicality, following the ‘highest path’, and would be blessed / bear good fruit by following their vision of saving souls at any cost. Children came second to this belief, and as a result our wellbeing and mental health were sacrificed for the cause.