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Mandatory Work Meeting, Held In Religious Retreat House Littered With Hate Brochures

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posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:13 AM
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Here is a Social Issues for everyone, please givew your feedback.

I am very upset, and I have a dilemma. I have not been employed past a probabtioary period, of which I have sixty more days. I love my new job, and am grateful to have found one after being unemployed for over six months. However, I feel violated, and am consulting local attorneys as of this writing, to assess if it is indeed legal, what transpired. Please note I am not religious at all now and quite anti organized religion. I am also a lover of my rights as an American. Now that this has been said, on to the nightmare.

My place of work has all the staff attend a mandatory teamwork meeting. I ask around about this meeting, and am told it is a Secret, even the location, as it is being held off worksite. I am pretty upset already, as I am unfamiliar with many parts of this city, and I feel I am emploiyed to work not keep or work with secrets.

So I arrive to attend the mandatory meeting, and discover it is being held at a prayer retreat, which is run exclusively to foster mission work, of church planting around the globe to convert the unwashed into Christians.

The first thing the retreat staff has me do is sign two waivers, an injury waiver and a photo release waiver. I feel very aprehensive and horrified now, what is this place expecting us to do? And what if i did not sign, as a probationary employee on a mandatory meeting with all of the bigwig bosses of my new job, am I really going to just refuse, and then get fired? I was near tears from this point on, it was a huge struggle to remain strong this whole four hours. But I did!!

We do a few exercises, run by the employees of the religious retreat center. Then it is break time.

I sit at one of the tables, to rest and have a snack and water. I notice on my table a pamphlet, and on all of the other tables, one or two of these pamphlets rests. I am an avid reader, the cover had a Chinese house on it, and it said Pray For ___________(city name in China).

The first page begins with a Bible quote, and a call of thirty days of Prayer for this city, so god can work his miracles for them.

Some of the Prayer points in this book include:

praising god of china for bringing Kindom influence to China

asking God to release the people of the city from their own rich cultural past, which they refer to as demonic

ask that the city accept Jesus as savior

King Jesus, take your place as the rightful ruler of this city

asks the Lord to abolish atheism

tells buddhists and daoists they NEED a savior




The book makes fun of China's ancient rich history, by demonizing a character in the mythology of the people, and using it to refer to the people as deceitful, and they should believe in God instead.

I was sp appalled by this, that I could not wait to leave. I felt trapped in a cult house. The dilemma is, I need my job but I feel this may have been wrong or illegal of my employer, and I now feel creeped out and violated to even be working somewhere they feel the right to religiously assault me on the clock! this place could have taken two seconds to remove the offensive hate materials from the tables, but I feel this was strategically on purpose.

I go to the potty and lo and behold the walls are full of religious pictures. So we cannot even perform a body function without being religiously assaulted.

I finish the day and leave, and tell my sister about it. So she is horrified too, and we go back, and get the pamphlets and take some pictures in case I need prooof for a lawsuit. I am still upset today, thank goodness I am off today. I have contacted legal advice, and now would like your opinions. I feel like I have the legal right to be on the clock and free of religious persecution, or solicitation. I would have NEVER went had I known it was being held at a religious house, that offends me to be forced into mandatory time on religious grounds for stipulation of employment. And being exposed to what I consider a hate brochure against the poor citizens of this Chinese city! Horrible.

I will appreciate any thoughts.
edit on Wed, 10 Aug 2011 10:14:35 -0500 by hotbakedtater because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:26 AM
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What is your job? What type of company is it that you work for?

Was religion discussed at this "Secret" meeting or was it just blatantly plastered all over this place?

If religion wasn't discussed at the meeting, was the meeting location rented out for the meeting or is it owned by the company you work for?



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:26 AM
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I think your assessment is dead-on. Without letting the cat out of the proverbial bag, what kind of company is it? How large? Were senior management attending? Is this a regular meeting and is it always held at this location?



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:33 AM
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I would wait until you are past you probationary period before doing anything. That way it can be said that you are a good employee and there was no reason for your firing. If you do it before then they will find a reason to fire you and any lawsuit will look like retaliation for this.

I live in the south, and this type of behavior is common. Many businesses are religiously focused and they essentially harass employees with such religious propaganda. If they make any complaints they are immediately fired for some other unrelated reason and with many states being an "At Will" state, they can literally eliminate you without good/just cause.

If you want the money, and love the job, then just deal with it and ignore it. I would suggest you keep documenting these violations and build up a case, as the longer you stay there, and the more evidence you gather, the stronger your case will be.

You can not reason with individuals such as this, as they feel it is their duty to forcefully expose you to such materials in hopes of saving your eternal soul and creating a new convert for the army of God. If you refuse after all their efforts then you are written off as a demonically influenced nonbeliever, the enemy, and will be shown no mercy as they torment you.

I just wonder if the exercises and other items covered in this workshop were religious in nature? Or was it a secular workshop held in a religious setting? If it is just the surroundings then I am unsure if you have a case, even though that may just be evidence of the insensitivity of your employer to those of other spiritual backgrounds.

I remember being required to go a motivational seminar once, a "GET MOTIVATED" seminar, with all these supposed business leaders. The entire thing was inspirational stories and them attempting to sell highly overpriced products with promises of riches. All while integrating it with scripture and extreme patriotism. I remember sitting there, with coworkers who were Jewish, Hindu, and Buddhist and seeing the looks on their faces as the speakers would scream bible versus and how Jesus was the only way and how the US was falling into turmoil due to tolerance of other lifestyles and spiritual beliefs. Needless to say our employer apologized, as the event was deceptively not marketed as a religious event, and the items covered were incredibly offensive to people of other faiths or lifestyles. It had no place in a professional business environment.

In all, you honestly just have to be smart about this and see if it really is worth you pursuing the matter in a way that may negatively affect your employment.
edit on 10-8-2011 by DJM8507 because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:33 AM
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I can answer a few questions. Several senior managers, some very. As far as I could gather this was newly implemented. The leaders of the teamwork seminar are employees of the religious center, but never mentioned religion or God during the training. However we are mentioned in their materials they use for religious based work. This is how secret it was, I was not even told to wear old clothing, my shirt ended up being ruined. It is not a religious company it is a secular company.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:40 AM
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So we now must have religious Pee tests? Everyone swallowed that bit easily enough for a paycheck that is worth less now than when I graduated high school almost 40 yrs ago. While the wealthy, I mean ¨Job creators¨ incomes soared. So now what is the next boundary they will cross? I mean they already have folks happy to give up THE most intimate details of their very body, so why not your soul now too? You face the choice everyone must face ,only you are realizing the nature of the choice. What of myself will I give for this job? When do they ask too much and compensate too little? Am I willing to suffer hardship for my principles, or will I acquiesce and obey for the paycheck?.
It is all going to hell on the fast train right now and NO job is secure or can be really relied upon to be stable. Weigh these facts and decide if a legal fight is going to do you any good or change the company. Or if looking for another job, even a lesser job would suit you personally better. Hint: suing now days is a crap shoot in favor of the company NOT you. Survive, Find something new and learn from this that it is time to be ready to enter a depression unlike the first and much more intense.
seed



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:46 AM
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Come on. REALLY. This world is filled with issues that are offensive. Words of advice, DEAL WITH IT like an adult please.

I have 12 employees and I am always concerned, I will hire one like you.

I have so many points to make on this post but will refrain because it will sound like a personal attack. Since I do not know you I do not want to jump to conclusions on just one of your communiqués



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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You won't hurt my feelings, I would like to hear what you have to say. What your thoughts are on the topic, from an employer pov. Butr maybe you could answer a question. Do you feel as an employer you have the right to religiously assault your employees on the clock, with no warning and no opt out or alternative?

I am an adult, I have four decades on earth. I will deal with this, on my own terms, that is what adults do.

Originally posted by BioSafe
Come on. REALLY. This world is filled with issues that are offensive. Words of advice, DEAL WITH IT like an adult please.

I have 12 employees and I am always concerned, I will hire one like you.

I have so many points to make on this post but will refrain because it will sound like a personal attack. Since I do not know you I do not want to jump to conclusions on just one of your communiqués



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:52 AM
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Hi hotbakedtater, "probationary period" is bogus, unless you signed some type of contract with your company...they can fire you anytime they want, and you can quit anytime you want.

Sounds like your problem is with the facility they chose for the meeting...not the actual content of the meeting.

I'm no lawyer but sounds like you don't have any type of case. I think you should start looking for another job if you are uncomfortable.

On a side note, do you consider yourself a Christian?



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:53 AM
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Seriously? Only in america can someone complain about actually having a job, and that job doing something actually beneficial for the employees and company. And you want to bring legal action into it simply because it was a religious based location. It must be hard being an atheist. And donthink i'm just being snide at you cause you are an atheist. Most atheist are just as indoctrinated as religious folk. Prime example, my Ex turn down a job because of her religious beliefs, great paying, but apparently Jehovas witness dont do that sorta thing. I say you should quit and attempt to sue the company, that would open the door for someone else to have this great job opportunity.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:57 AM
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No I am not Christian, I am very anti organized religion. I am spiritual, and meditate. I did not think an employer had the right to force you on the clock into a religious place. I may be wrong though! The disturbing part is the photo waiver, our pictures and images will be used to promote church things, like being used in church periodicals etc. globally. This was a mandatory meeting I did not feel I had the option to not sign anything, and the idea of my image being used in their cult materials is violating feeling, and creepy, and I am pissed about it. I turned my back every time I noticed the photographer, but I am sure I missed some. The photographer is associated with the retreat, why would my employers do this to us? How offensive, and really ironic considering I am a member of the Team.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 10:59 AM
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I am not an atheist, I do not define my spirituality.

Onl;y in America do we have these wonderful things called rights and freedoms, and some of us appreciate them and expect them to be upheld.

Originally posted by AdamAnt
Seriously? Only in america can someone complain about actually having a job, and that job doing something actually beneficial for the employees and company. And you want to bring legal action into it simply because it was a religious based location. It must be hard being an atheist. And donthink i'm just being snide at you cause you are an atheist. Most atheist are just as indoctrinated as religious folk. Prime example, my Ex turn down a job because of her religious beliefs, great paying, but apparently Jehovas witness dont do that sorta thing. I say you should quit and attempt to sue the company, that would open the door for someone else to have this great job opportunity.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:06 AM
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I think it sounds out of line for any company to hold a secret meeting at a secret place and make people sign waivers. If it is a private company they have the right to do this I suppose, but was it right?

You can stick it out or leave is the bottom line. I'd stay a little longer, see what it's all about. Sometimes its good to see what others think and do. You don't have to become a cult member, and you won't since you are very aware.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:07 AM
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reply to post by hotbakedtater
 


I understand how you feel but I don't understand your problem with the pictures. I like your posts & threads, and have noticed your picture is usually your avatar (see your profile comments lol), so it's okay for your pic to be on ATS..for thousands of nutty ATS members to see it, but not a Christian brochure?

Just find a new job, you'll be happier
forget the lawsuit stuff, it's a waste of time.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:16 AM
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Originally posted by hotbakedtater
You won't hurt my feelings, I would like to hear what you have to say. What your thoughts are on the topic, from an employer pov. Butr maybe you could answer a question. Do you feel as an employer you have the right to religiously assault your employees on the clock, with no warning and no opt out or alternative?

I am an adult, I have four decades on earth. I will deal with this, on my own terms, that is what adults do.

Originally posted by BioSafe
Come on. REALLY. This world is filled with issues that are offensive. Words of advice, DEAL WITH IT like an adult please.

I have 12 employees and I am always concerned, I will hire one like you.

I have so many points to make on this post but will refrain because it will sound like a personal attack. Since I do not know you I do not want to jump to conclusions on just one of your communiqués


Great. My intentions are not to belittle you or anyone else in anyway.

To answer you’re most pressing question. Absolutely NOT... Employers or your immediate supervisor do not have the right to physically, religiously or mentally assault you.

I respect every one of my employees as if they are family. Without them my company would not exist. I am a product of those that I hire.

If your employer was attempting to do good and it back fired on them, then let this issue go. However If you know for a fact that the employers intent was to cause harm and indoctrinate you as well as others into a religious cult then
#1 Get your facts together.
#2 Talk to your boss about your problem.
#3 Document your conversation
and
#4 If any negative repercussions arise over your conversation THEN speak with an attorney.

It sounds like your employer made a few errors but it does not appear there was any harm intended.

As an employer I worry constantly about my employee’s welfare as well as what can happen to me and the company if someone misinterprets what I say or do.

Before contacting an attorney try good old fashioned communication. Your employer may respect you for being assertive and that conversation my assist you in your future employment

I wish you the best of luck



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:26 AM
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1. I am a Christian

2. I personally think this is completely illegal and borders on religious discrimination.

3. They should probably read up on Buddhism as it is not really a religion and more of just a way of life..



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:38 AM
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reply to post by hotbakedtater
 


I think DJM8507 and Mustard seed both make really good points. One thing to consider is that the best way to combat intolerance, the type you mention about the Chinese, is by showing tolerance to those with intolerant beliefs. It may not make a lick of difference but you cannot change the world, the only thing you are responsible for is yourself. If your employers become prejudicial because of your views or are acting inappropriately, for example they try to coerce you into the fold in an aggressive manner, then I would reassess and consider legal action. Another option is to look for another job you will like just as much while retaining your current job. It very well may not happen but you never know and if it you find that job, you will not have to be apprehensive about what might happen down the road.

As far as the pictures for the brochure go I agree that sounds manipulative. A company that respected their employees would not send them to a "secret location" where they would obviously feel pressured to sign a waiver without some sort of heads up. This would raise red flags with me and I would do my best to get out of there. Since you signed the waver though, you may have to take it as a lesson learned.in case a similar situation, unlikely I know, comes up again.
edit on 10-8-2011 by MackSPower because: Read more of the thread

edit on 10-8-2011 by MackSPower because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 11:45 AM
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reply to post by hotbakedtater
 


If you work for a government entity like I do, you might have a "weak" case. You were not required to participate in any religious exercises, and your employer is not responsible for the decorations at the location. It is perfectly acceptable to have off-site meetings and team-builders.

Now, the waivers you signed are worthless. Those are just deterrents. If you were on work time, then you are 100% covered by Worker's Comp insurance and your employer's liability insurance.

If you don't work for the government, and it is a private employer, then you don't even have a weak case. Sorry.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *
I am a Mason, and I donate my Masonic Lodge for work meetings, and I rent it out to other entities to use. Some people are uncomfortable with it, but the HR lawyers have repeatedly found no fault. It is just a venue like any other, and the fact that I get it free, or extremely discounted outweighs any sensitivity issues.



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 12:05 PM
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reply to post by hotbakedtater
 


I understand your dilemna as far as wanting to keep your job. times are tough. on the other hand I think what your employer is doing is illegal. I'd go as far as to say, they could very well be using the economy as a buffer to employ their twisted tactics. if I were you I'd call the ACLU, pronto. they will listen with an open mind and guide you without prejudice. they are in existence to protect people from employers such as yours. ......... & finally, I'm straying a bit off topic but ........ I'll bet you lunch that you live & work in one of our beloved "red states" where the evangelicals reign supreme and hypocrisy is a way of life. do I smell Texas?



posted on Aug, 10 2011 @ 12:09 PM
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You should take a hidden camera and film their next cult meeting, and then send it to the ACLU.
I hear you have a fantastic organization like that in the US, and they should tell you whether you have a case.
They'll probably pursue it for you as well, if they decide there is some civil violation against your freedoms.
Unless it's a clearly advertised religious organization, they have no business shoving religion down their employees' throats.

Otherwise, in the meantime you could get your own back with little acts of resistance that have always left workers psychologically vindicated.
When you use the loo you could splash a bit on the religious decor, although that's easier for a man.
There's all kinds of culture jamming possibilities with pamphlets. Be creative and feign innocence.
Send some to the Chinese embassy with your company's details.

This implied missionizing is very offensive and intimidating, and it forces religion into the civic sphere.
You should at least be allowed to excuse yourself from that environment, when they do their rituals or assault the senses with their racist cultural propaganda.
It is an unacceptably widespread form of mental harrasment, and the fact that most Christians on ATS would agree with this nonsense shows that somebody should make a stand.
They will call you childish, but now make one of them go for a mandatory team-building at the local Church of Satan, or even worse, the local mosque.
Then you will see the Bible-bashers throw their toys out the cot and shriek discrimination!



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