Category Archives: Navigators

Cru – “a semester’s worth of spiritual abuse and cultlike experiences”

Excerpt from: https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2010/11/21/did-you-ever-belong-to-an-evangelical-campus-ministry/

“two cents in case anyone still reads this: my freshman year in college I joined Campus Crusade. I met some overeager sophomores at an ice cream social who seemed like the squeaky clean good Christian influence types, and being lonely away from home, I joined. I met several girls from my dorm and we all went together to the weekly meetings/bible studies.

Early in the semester, one of the leaders’ moms joined us and started gradually taking over. She overstepped many leadership boundaries and our weekly bible studies started becoming very weird. She did a series on “maleness and femaleness” (still don’t know what the hell she was talking about), and when the girls met separately, the leaders would push and push people to share until someone cried. Major boundary violation.

Quite a few people started leaving, and soon our meetings were down to less than half what they were in the beginning. Our leaders were quick to boldly proclaim that “they just don’t know the truth.” I admit I ignored several of the defectors for a while, thinking they were backsliding. The messages were becoming weirder and weirder, and during one bible study the message was over the top weird, it made no sense. Afterward, the same night, I approached a girl I trusted with some questions and doubts about the night’s message. She looked at me like I had four heads and proceeded to ignore me. On the way back to the dorm, my friends and I almost in unison said, “that was SO weird! right? let’s never ever go back! K!” and that was that. From that point on, the members of “the cult” would not speak to us or acknowledge us AT ALL. (Later they all went on to marry – each other. Creepy? Also, it turned out that the leader’s mother caused a scandal in a local church and was asked to leave. Crusade got better in later years after she left.) I knew I had made the right decision. I went through a major grief & separation period after that, questioning my faith completely, and what I’d now consider a period of depression.

Luckily my friends and I stuck together. We started partying for a while, and then we checked out other groups. We visited Baptist Student Union which I found revoltingly conservative and vowed to never go back after a skit in which several boys made degrading comments about gay people.

I ended up in IVCF, “the liberal hippy group” and made several new friends there. After spending my whole life in church, I couldn’t just give up, despite a semester’s worth of spiritual abuse and cultlike experiences. I also went to a local church’s young adult service, which grew extremely popular, where I met several men involved in the Navigators at the local military base that ended up being kind of controlling toward us girls. I was involved in many more bible studies, went on missions trips, was an intern for the church’s youth group, and just threw myself in completely, despite nagging feelings that I didn’t quite agree or belong. I continually subjected myself to my own spiritual abuse, befriending people that were terrible friends for the sake of “accountability” and guilting myself when the friendships failed, believing I wasn’t good enough.

Long story short, yes I did participate, and overall, I believe I got burned pretty badly. IVCF is the only group I don’t have terrible memories of, but if I could do it over again, I’m not sure I would join that group either.”

Navigators (Navs) – “a bit culty”, “thought it was a cult back then”

Excerpt from: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/freejinger/are-the-navigators-a-cult-t2153.html

“Perhaps the Navs are a bit culty, but perhaps not as dangerous as some cults. This is my only experience of them.

A very good high school friend of mine joined the Navigators in college years ago. She and her boyfriend, also a Nav, did the no-touch dating thing but eventually split up when he left the group. She was a highly intelligent (much brighter and more successful academically than me, and I’m no fool), very neurotic young woman, desperately searching for something to make meaning of her life. She went through a very prosyletyzing phase, I went to a couple of meetings, but we drifted apart because I was not responsive. I found it hard to believe she got sucked in because the Bible study seemed so simplistic, and I thought she would be more cynical and need something more intellectually challenging. She seemed to find something in the Bible Study that calmed her and helped her focus. I thought it was a cult back then. Lots of love-bombing, and groups baptising the latest convert in the closest available muddy stream. LOL.

After 30 odd years we are back in contact and no prosyletizing, although she is still in the Navigators and still mentions activities. I think she is fairly high up in the hierarchy. Interestingly, her husband and 3 adult children are not religious and never wanted to join the Navs. She seems happy in her faith and it seems to bring her satisfaction, so who am I to criticize?”

Navigators (Navs) – “deliberately spreading falsehoods about the other Christian group on campus, Campus Crusade for Christ”

Excerpt from: https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/freejinger/are-the-navigators-a-cult-t2153.html

“There was a Navigators group at my school. The people in it seemed nice, but the group itself was rather secretive. I would walk by a Bible Study in my residence hall and they would give me looks like “GTFO!” The members of it tended to be very far to the right politically, and there was also this sense that if you didn’t join in your freshman year, you wouldn’t be accepted.

Also, they may have been deliberately spreading falsehoods about the other Christian group on campus, Campus Crusade for Christ. My now former crazy roommate was in Navigators for a time and told me that Campus Crusade was a “Catholic group” (ours wasn’t) and other random things. However, as gullible as she was/probably still is, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just another fellow crazy who said that, not the group.”

Navigators (Navs) – “look down on anyone in Campus Crusade “, “mostly petty gossips”

Excerpt from:
https://friendlyatheist.patheos.com/2010/11/21/did-you-ever-belong-to-an-evangelical-campus-ministry/

“I was a member of The Navigators in college. We used to look down on anyone in Campus Crusade because they were, as we thought, just having fun, whereas we were serious about our faith.

Their biggest thing was the Topical Memory System (TMS) where you memorize a bunch of verses that you’d use when you go out and evangelize. I was always uncomfortable with that as it always seemed strange to just walk up to people and ask them if they know Jesus.

I actually became a Christian in college as a member of The Navigators converted me. Before that, I didn’t really think much about god. I bought in to all their stuff. I went to their headquarters in Colorado Springs several times. I’ve hiked on their property.

We had bible study once a week, a mass group meeting once a week, and you’d meet with another member once a week to talk about more private things and get guidance in your life.

I quit going to bible studies after two years because everyone just wanted to give the standard answer and just get a pat on the head. I wanted to know more. That’s what eventually led me to becoming an atheist. I asked too many questions about stuff that didn’t make sense to me. No one ever had a satisfactory answer.

When I read The Family this past year, it was amazing and scary the number of things that The Family does that reminded me of so many things, many word for word, that I did and said in college with The Navigators.

At the time, I thought The Navigators were really doing good work, but when I look back on it, the members at my college were mostly petty gossips who always made you feel like you were never good enough and you always had to do more to feel accepted.

Although we did some great volunteer projects, I always got the feeling that the people who did it, did so because we were supposed to, not because we wanted to.

Today, I’m only in contact with one person from college who is a member of staff with The Navs in Colorado Springs. The rest pretty much dropped me as a friend once I graduated college.

I could probably write a book about all my experiences, both good and bad with them.”