Thanks for the thoughts and kind words everyone. It is tough to share some things, esp. as I'm a rather private person naturally, but in some ways it's easier to do it online and a little cathartic.
I think it's important to do though so that people can see what the religion is really like and we can point to these personal experiences to show that no, it is not any kind of "loving" organization and it does break families apart and cause unnecessary hurt.
The way people behave to those of us who simply leave are based on direct instruction from the leadership who couldn't give a shit about the people they are supposed to care about, they just want to protect their own bottom line and their own position and people who question that are the biggest threat to them.
Sadly, people like my mother would rather blindly follow some old farts that she doesn't know and that she'll never meet instead of simply saying hello to her own son.
The irony is that people who do actually do things wrong are still welcomed and even protected by them and their grubby groupies. I guess as long as you tip your cap to their authority, they don't care if you molest children, commit crimes or any number of things that they claim to abhor. But OMG if you should decide that they don't speak for god, then they think you have done something wrong!
Time has gone fast and we've been in Canada now for well over a decade. In many ways it makes it easier to just forget about them and they become a distant memory. Being over there and seeing them brings it back in the short term but I can go back to living my life and forgetting they exist.
I wonder if they genuinely believe they are living in a spiritual paradise right now or are they like some fool that's been conned out of their life savings and doesn't want to admit they were taken in?