Rosei Quartz: Pastor's Kid turned Content Creator - Pt. 2

Bonus Episode
June 15, 2024
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Episode Notes

Support the Show • Part 2 of Santiago's interview with Rosei Quartz, a former Seventh-day Adventist pastor's kid, content creator, and Twitch streamer. In this episode, we cover more of Rosei's deconstruction, finding contentment and a new outlook on life, complementarianism, consent, mental health, becoming a content creator, and more.

Resources / Topics Mentioned:
Links - Rosei Quartz's Links
Podcast - Rosei Quartz's Podcast
Topic - Complementarianism
Topic - Attachment Styles
Topic - Bill Gothard's "Umbrella of Protection"
Reddit - ex-SDA comments on Gothard's Umbrella
Topic - The FRIES Model of Consent
Book - #ChurchToo: How Purity Culture Upholds Abuse and How to Find Healing
Topic - Youth Wilderness / Troubled Teen Industry
Topic - SWERF Definition
Topic - BITE Model of Authoritarian Control
Topic - Adventist GC "Human Sexuality Task Force"
Podcast - S1B2 - Human Sexuality Task Force
Topic - Weaponized Incompetence
Podcast - The Dream (Examining MLMs)

Full Transcripts, resources and more:

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Credits: Music: Hall of the Mountain King Kevin MacLeod ( • Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Episode Transcript


[00:00:00] Santiago: Welcome to Haystacks and Hell, an ex-Adventist podcast where we tell stories about growing up Seventh-day Adventist, leaving faith behind, and building new, fulfilling lives.

Rosei's Deconstruction

[00:00:17] Hey everyone, I'm your host Santiago, and welcome back to Haystacks and Hell. Just a quick reminder that this show is self-funded and made possible by listeners like you. You can support the show by going to or the first links in the show notes where you can give a one-time or monthly donation.

[00:00:36] Santiago: For anyone listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, please rate and review the show as this helps more people find it. And if you're on YouTube, make sure to like, subscribe, and hit the bell to get notified when there's new content.

[00:00:51] Today, we're playing part two of my conversation with Rosei Quartz. If you haven't already heard part one, go back to Season 2 Episode 12. Thanks for listening and enjoy the show.

[00:01:04] Rosei: For many people, deconstruction was the process of the brain recognizing that something didn't equal wellness for the body that you're in. And for myself, it was depression. I struggled with my mental health for a long time. And the new information that was being brought into me, was that I didn't need to struggle with depression as much as I was.

[00:01:25] The new information I had to confront for, for myself is that, like, it's not normal to have nightmares about the end of the world every night. That's not actually normal. It's not normal to exist in a state of hypervigilance. And so I took in that information and recognized Adventism was holding me in a state of hypervigilance that was driving my brain into the ground. And you take in that information and you adjust accordingly to bring — it's a natural process your brain is doing to bring you to a state of equilibrium.

[00:02:01] Santiago: You talked about how you've realized you couldn't be a psychologist, or, in your opinion, a good psychologist, and still remain Adventist. So I'm curious, did you specifically doubt Adventism, or were you doubting Christianity in general when you came to that realization?

[00:02:18] Rosei: Well, at that time, around when all of this happened, so a big part of my stepping away from this all had to do with my mom, the pastor's wife, in Adventism. And when I speak about things going very wrong in Adventism and behavior modification, my mom is the example that comes to my mind. And I started walking away from all of this stuff and started questioning those ethics about a year before she passed away.

[00:02:47] And so, I was in my second year of university, she passed away in my third year of university. And her passing away was kind of like the nail in the coffin for a lot of things in general. But at the time, over the next few years, I, I still was like, "Maybe spirituality is a thing." Like, as the deconstruction process happened, I started letting go of the strict definition and letting it become what, whatever it might be in a wide open universe, to try to connect to a variety of different things.

[00:03:22] So, when it came to experiences of faith, I started working senior care and I would work with people who, um, for as much as Adventists hated Catholics, the funny thing to me was is that the closest thing I ever really saw to faith being demonstrated was, I would work with these older women who had a quiet, grounded sense of relationship with God that was just innate to them. They weren't projecting it on anyone. It was just this, this very quiet, beautiful part of themselves.

[00:03:58] And I recognized that this thing that I, I, I was recognizing as faith, was not being demonstrated by my family. What I saw from my family, from my church community, was aggressive. It was intense. Unnecessarily intense. And a big part of my deconstruction came down for a desire for rest, just to be quiet. And I did not see a sense of quiet faith in Adventism, because it's so heavy. It's so much. And, and you're performing and you're constantly watching what's put in your mouth, what you wear, what you think, what you watch, what you listen to.

[00:04:40] Like, it's always that. Whereas these women that I would talk to, and also Muslim women, the older Muslim women that I worked with had just like this sense of groundedness in it. They didn't need to project it, it was just what was there. And I was like, "You know what, I like that, I like that for you." And it sort of became this acceptance of there can be a deep spiritual meaning for people that does not, it does not need to be so much. It was something that was adding to them. It wasn't something that they were killing themselves to attain.

Contentment and New Worldview

[00:05:16] Santiago: Having gone through all these experiences, having worked with people in the last stages of their lives in some cases, who had faith, how would you describe your worldview post-Adventism?

[00:05:30] Rosei: I would say my worldview now is content. And working with people at the end of their lives, I got to see how it ended for my mom within Adventism, and also my grandmother, versus how I would see it happen for people of other faiths and other religions at the end of their lives.

[00:05:55] And growing up Adventist, of course, I was told "Stay away from yoga, stay away from Eastern religions" and "It's all about emptying your mind." And as I started actually studying other religions, I found that there was, like, a sociological trend of the whole "emptying your mind" was actually something called being aware of being aware.

[00:06:14] It was meant throughout time in different parts of the world, to prepare the elderly for death. It's supposed to help you process your life and let go, so that at the end of your life, you have a sense of contentment and peace. And it's basically a technique to help you regulate the fear of dying. And I realized that the whole Adventist perspective on it was a little bit racist, and also just not that. And it comes down to the thought control, right? Like, "Don't empty your brain, or Satan will enter your brain." And you're like, that is so disrespectful to like these people, groups, and cultures who developed their own psychological tools for processing death anxiety.

[00:07:01] And so, I was watching people employ different tactics for processing their fear of death. And I would see people reach the end of their lives in varying states, some in a state of fear, especially if there's dementia or Alzheimer's and stuff. But you would see people living wellness outside of Adventism, essentially. You would see people embodying what Adventism had promised, but outside of Adventism.

[00:07:30] And that for me has kind of led to a sense of, like I said, contentment. The fear and the anxiety that things are going to go wrong, so, so very wrong if you walk away from the church... "You're going to be empty." Like, the Prodigal Son story. Like, the whole, like, the Prodigal Son left and his life went to hell and then he came back and the father welcomes him with open arms. A lot of us who leave, we're not out here doing anything other than building up our lives in ways that make sense to us. We're not with the pigs, being like, "Oh, I gotta go back."

[00:08:06] We are in our own homes, learning, building skill sets, going to therapy. And you essentially, at least for myself, there is that sense of just being okay. I've come to a place of being okay and allowing for, if spiritual essence is out there, I'm allowing it to happen on its own terms. I don't need, I don't need to be "good enough" for it anymore. Which is such a relief, because for Jesus, it was all about death to self, and dying to self is so hard.

[00:08:44] Like, that is an exhausting, constant process that, from what I learned in my psychology classes, isn't good for you. You're supposed to have a sense of self and a sense of identity. And I guess for myself, it was pulling back from pushing myself too hard for that theology and just being like, you know what, we, we don't actually have to boomerang back and forth between these two extremes. We're okay. We can take a deep breath, baseline. We're actually good.

[00:09:17] Santiago: Yeah, absolutely. Speaking of the story of the Prodigal Son, I'm curious, have any of your loved ones tried convincing you to come back to Adventism?

[00:09:27] Rosei: So, and initially, like between myself and my ex husband, we actually had like seven or eight pastors in our family. And initially of course, at first. However, I, I went no contact very early on when I decided to make a clean split. I knew, I knew what would happen, and there are some darker sides to Adventism that don't always come up to light. It's usually kept very quiet within the family. But whenever I had seen the response to my mom being in pain or anything like that, the response I saw was to shut it down, tell her she was wrong, and all of that stuff.

[00:10:07] So, the very last communication I received from my father was a two page letter. In which he told me that I didn't understand the religion, I was misunderstanding Adventism and the theology, and that I was making up narratives to suit me. So it was something I never responded to, because, number one, I expected it, but number two, it's... They are so committed to it, and I, I already watched someone pass away without adequate support. I, I basically, I watched them fumble the ball with somebody already. And I was like, I, I come to value myself to the point where I would not trust myself to Adventist to men, if that makes sense.

[00:10:51] Like I, I grew up under the model of "Men in Adventism know best." "They know wellness more than you do." And I was like, if that's the case, then like, why did you fumble it with my mom so hard? And why, I watched so many abused women in Adventism get dropped by Adventist pastors. Like they miss the mark so often. And I was like, you know what, you're, you're going to fumble me. And I was like, I did not pick up contact again. I have not left the door open for that because I was like, I was at risk.

[00:11:27] I was in a situation, a domestically unsafe situation. I was leaving Adventism and I was, I recognized in that moment, "I am vulnerable and you will fumble me." "You're going to drop me." "I've watched you do it over and over again and you're, you're, you're going to do it with me and I'm not going to give you the opportunity to drop me the way that you have with all these other women believing you knew what was best for them."

[00:11:51] Santiago: Wow, that is, I can only try to imagine some of the things that you saw with your mom and these other Adventist women that you described. Somebody shared a story on the Haystacks and Hell website talking about how she was in an abusive marriage with an Adventist man. And without much thought, it sounds like, the pastor and the pastor's wife told her that she was in the wrong and that she needed to come back to him.

[00:12:26] And we see this over and over and over again within Evangelical Christianity and also within Adventism, that the marriage needs to be protected at all costs. And that is the most important thing. The individuals inside of it, especially the ones who are being hurt, do not matter as much. I remember at one Adventist event, one retreat, hearing this illustration being shared. It was an Adventist couple, and they were giving a talk about how when you get married and when you have a family, there are so many interconnected webs and ties.

[00:13:09] And they had this ball of yarn, this big ball of yarn. And they described how when you get divorced, you are basically shattering this ball of yarn and all of these connections are being destroyed. And so that's why you've got to do everything you can to preserve it. And I was a young adult then, I think, or at least in my late teens. And I remember seeing that analogy and, and I bought, I bought into it. I was like, "Oh yeah, I never thought about it that way." "It's so important." "We got to preserve it at all costs." But that is so unhealthy in so many instances.

Complementarianism Hurts Everyone

[00:13:47] Rosei: Yeah. Where my thought process has been very recently, actually, is in a component of men's mental health for those who are in fundamental evangelicalism. Because if you are a man, you are supposed to be in connection to God. And like I talked earlier about having an empty toolbox, right, where you're being told that if you engage in these behaviors it equals health. But when it comes right down to it, like let's say your wife comes to you in pain about something, you are supposed to inherently know how to prevent that.

[00:14:24] You are supposed to keep the family in a state of equilibrium, so if she's in pain, you have failed. And I have watched so many, so many Adventist men fumble these situations. And men in positions of leadership get it so wrong and cause so much harm, is that they often deflect it. They, they don't have a toolbox of communication skills. So when someone comes to them in pain, they have to shut it down, because that means they failed.

[00:14:55] And they don't know how, they, they do not have the internal skills to handle that sense of failure, so they cannot hear it in good faith, because it means if someone in the family is in pain, he failed. And so many men in Adventism do not know how to handle that, so they can't hear it. They cannot receive their wives and kids being in pain or confused because they were supposed to prevent that state of being, and they didn't.

[00:15:22] So, what often happens is the wife or kids will be told in some capacity it's their fault, in some way, they're just — clearly, he's not the problem. He's in connection with God. So it's you. "Satan's led you astray." "You're not trying hard enough." And so many families end up pulling apart. They, they end up with insecure, anxious, or avoidant attachments, and they end up not being able to listen to each other in good faith. Because if you acknowledge the pain in the Adventist family, someone in Christ's headship of the home has failed. And we don't know how to handle that, because the toolbox was empty.

[00:16:01] Santiago: Wow, that is such an important insight, and that is absolutely a product of complementarian theology. And I haven't used that term a ton on the podcast, I'll find some resources to link to in the show notes. I've seen so many times this graphic, you've maybe seen it too, of the umbrella, where Christ is the umbrella protecting you from Satan and whatnot, and underneath the umbrella of Christ is the umbrella of the husband, who then is above the umbrella of the wife, and then the wife is above the children. And, and you're right, there is, it is, even if you haven't seen that graphic before, it is a representation of what many of us were taught growing up Adventist, growing up Christian. This complementarian theology, in some cases, it places unfair expectations on Adventist men, on Christian men.

[00:16:56] Rosei: Yes.

[00:16:56] Santiago: Where it makes them responsible for things that they had no, potentially no involvement in. And so it gives them this sense of failure, and then, like you said, as a result makes them think that they need to hide or shut down whatever emotions or whatever reaction is going on to whatever underlying problem that there is.

[00:17:15] Rosei: Yes, from, from what I remember seeing, because I, I, I used to watch the men in my life, and kind of watch them operate in Adventism in general. And I started noticing that a lot of Adventist men were isolated and hurting and grieving and did not know what to do. Because they kept being told to try harder in Christ, but they were going farther and farther apart from their kids and from their wives, and not understanding why.

[00:17:45] And so, so many Adventist families, there is a sense of isolation between each member that they don't know how to close those rifts with, because all they're being told is "You try harder in Christ." But what does that really mean? And they're just being told to pray more about it. So you pray more, but praying does not actually equal concrete relationship skills. It doesn't equal interpersonal skills. So you pray for a better relationship, only to watch the divide grow and grow and grow. And I, I do not think it's realistic.

[00:18:18] This whole expectation of men in these marriages to just know? Just know through Christ's wisdom how to keep your family happy? Like, that is so heavy. That is just not even remotely realistic, and it puts, it puts your partner in this place where you're supposed to carry your partner. Their wellness is in your hands, and if you get it wrong, then you're a failure in Christ.

[00:18:46] So not only that, it means your salvation's at stake, and you're not a pillar in your community, and you're not a good provider. Like, this is so hard on men's sense of self esteem. So you have all these, like, abused women who get handed back to their abusers, and then you have all these men who want to feel good about themselves. They want to have a strong sense of identity. They want to feel competent, only to have their sense of self esteem walloped by a lack of real interpersonal skills, and communication, and unrealistic expectation.

[00:19:19] And there is a real mental health crisis in fundamentalist Christianity, not just Adventism. Like, this is something that family units are experiencing across the board. And so many of us exvangelical kids are out here on the other side, watching our own parents struggle. Because they're not going to therapy. Like, they're not studying the research. They keep going back. They're still responding to their own distress with more theology, more prayer, and it's got them stuck in it.

[00:19:54] Santiago: I'm so glad you touched on that because I've often spoken about how purity culture and theology around that is so damaging to women, but I've also touched on how it's damaging to men, right? Everybody loses in this scenario. Christianity and the Abrahamic religions are very patriarchal religions, and so there's this perception that, you know, men get something out of it, and they absolutely do.

[00:20:23] Rosei: Yes, that's still a component, yeah.

[00:20:26] Santiago: Yeah, that's absolutely still a part of it, but it is also so damaging to men, and just everybody loses in this scenario.

Purity Culture & Consent

[00:20:36] Santiago: So, speaking of complementarianism, speaking of purity culture, I'm wondering what did it look like for you, and how do you think it affected you and your peers?

[00:20:47] Rosei: Well, for myself in particular, I had no idea what consent meant. It was actually TikTok that I learned about the FRIES model of consent. Which is essentially consent needs to be freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, and specific. This is not something that is encouraged within the Christian model of marriage. You are supposed to submit your body to your husband for him to take pleasure in at his leisure, at his discretion.

[00:21:18] If you are uncomfortable, there are so many books that encourage women to have intercourse when they are in pain. If they're, and we're talking, not just like you don't mentally feel like you're there. If you are physically hurting, because there are actually times where the cervix for a woman, it raises and lowers throughout the month, depending on her cycle.

[00:21:39] So there could be times when intercourse will be very painful because, like, it's pounding up into your cervix and stuff, and they're like, "Nope, take it." "Doesn't matter, take that." "Just, it doesn't matter if he bruises your cervix." "Like, you, you need to take it." And that also means like, if there was tearing, bruising, and he wants it even while you're still healing, you do it. And, and you, there are women who lived in a state of physical discomfort, their body not healing, because they had to keep giving their body over.

Journey into Online SW

[00:22:10] Rosei: So purity culture played a huge part in my own self perception and my sense of self worth. And part of how I ended up surviving, I became a survival online sex worker in 2021. That started through OnlyFans, and I started incorporating what I had learned into my OnlyFans account. And the first thing that you'll actually get from me when you land on my page, is a welcome message that addresses it right off the bat.

[00:22:41] Because I do not want people to experience a sense of guilt or a drop, an emotional drop, when they consume my content. Because as soon as people land there, I set up my boundaries, how people can address me, and I say, "This is content I'm enthusiastically making, specifically for sex, for sex pleasure." And it's not just that there, I do a lot of content that is just my, my creative processes and makeup and things like that.

[00:23:08] But I jumped into it, not just to survive, but also because I'd always been told so much about "fallen women" and how they're empty inside and they're broken and daddy issues and blah, blah, blah. But my experience with it was actually, no. Like, you're basically told over time, "You fall apart." Nah, like, once again, baseline, I'm just here eating cheese, playing video games, and living with my guinea pigs. Like, there, there, my self esteem didn't plummet, my sense of self didn't crumble and crack. There's, there was no sense of loss of self. Instead, it was more.

[00:23:51] And I started making content that was queer. I started making content that was open to those who are nonbinary and trans, and allowing people a place to safely explore what they might be interested, what their kinks might be, in a safe place, stuff like that. Where, when people actually are engaging in that part of my content, that it is in a specific place with, with, with boundaries, where I'm enjoying it.

[00:24:20] I enjoy that type of content that I make because I actually started with domme, professional domme content, but my niche was caregiver domme. So instead of being that, that crack the whip stereotype people usually have, I was using power exchange to essentially create safe space. So I will use my content with a domme persona, uplift, give positive affirmation, and people could use my content to just explore pleasure. And I would say, like, listen, if you are using my content to pleasure yourself, I am, I am basically, uh, Kellogg's Worst Nightmare.

[00:25:03] Both: [Laughing]

[00:25:04] Santiago: I love that.

[00:25:05] Rosei: I'm the antithesis to that. I'm out there like, no, put your hands under the blanket. Like, like, just the complete opposite to that. Because what I discovered is that I started engaging in sex work, and the pyramids didn't fall. God didn't smite me. My sense of self worth didn't decrease. It was, sex work actually allowed me to push against everything I had been told what health meant. And then I started connecting with people who are in polyamorous relationships. I started connecting with people who are in for a variety of kinky dynamics, based on what wellness equals for them.

[00:25:43] And I started realizing that what wellness looks like for an Adventist is not going to work for so many other people. And there's so many people who believe in Adventist wellness because that happened to equal wellness for them. The lifestyle, the way they dress, the food, that equaled wellness for them. But they don't understand that their version of wellness will tank somebody else.

[00:26:08] And there is a whole world of people who are, who have a variety of sex lives that equal wellness for them, that are healthy for them. But Adventism will tell you, "Oh, if you go that route, your life will deteriorate." And that right there is the problem, is that bias that you will deteriorate if you walk away. And the answer is no, actually.

[00:26:30] There's, we're, we're, a lot of us are just at a baseline of just living our life as best we can with the tools and resources that we have. And I would honestly say if somebody is feeling that deep sense of emptiness, please talk to a licensed professional. Please, please talk to a registered therapist. Those are, those are symptoms of things like depression and suicidal ideation, self harm, stuff like that. Please, please also consult. Like, if you want to dive into Adventism, if you want to explore whether Adventism would be best for you, please also talk to licensed professionals as well. Give yourself a chance outside of Adventism as well, with professionals.

[00:27:15] Santiago: Absolutely. It's so funny to me that you mentioned being John Harvey Kellogg's worst nightmare. I think you're also the new Human Sexuality Task Force's worst nightmare. Because you are an example of somebody who is thriving and yet, doing the exact opposite of what people like that would recommend and believe is the right way for everybody.

[00:27:40] I listened to a couple of your podcast episodes, and on one of them, you talked about how getting started with OnlyFans felt liberating, felt exciting. You even mentioned that it provided a boost to your spiritual well being, which I want to ask you about in a second. And also that it enabled you to finally make a living wage and pay your bills. I'm wondering if you can share with us what it felt like at that moment when you created your account and when you got your first payout.

Work is Work

[00:28:10] Rosei: When it comes to sex work, I will disclaimer right off the bat that sex work is work, and work is not inherently empowering. So, like, when I talk about my personal experiences of being empowering, that's because, like, it is also, I am my own individual, and like, it's all influenced by where I came from.

[00:28:31] But, when I started my OnlyFans, I, well, pardon my French, but I went in pussy first. Like, this was, uh, I, I wanted to do it quite badly. And I actually had been fascinated from my time in Adventism, it was the "whores" in the scripture, the, the fallen women that fascinated me the most.

[00:28:54] And those were the, the archetypes that I'd always been drawn to. There was something that felt like I was doing what felt innately natural to me. Like, I, I went into it with a sense of comfort and at peace about it. Where I was showing parts of myself that are considered, well, "dishonorable," "fatherless behavior," etc, etc. Like, evidence of me being "unstable."

[00:29:30] But I was feeling more stable than I had for so long when, like, Adventism promises you this sense of stability in Christ, this sense of wellness. But I had spent my whole childhood, my teen years, my young adult years, my marriage, trying so hard for the sense of inner peace that I was experiencing outside of Adventism, jumping into sex work. I was like, "Is this what it's supposed to feel like?" "Because I feel good." Like, that was, like, I felt okay.

[00:30:01] And, of course, still processing, uh, my own trauma, like I have PTSD and all that. But it was starting to feel like a sense of normal was happening for me. And my first payout felt so good. It felt amazing. I actually struggled a lot in terms of career, in terms of making money, and in supporting myself, because Adventism does not adequately prepare you to exist outside the church. The degree that I had from the Adventist university was useless. It was really only good for doing youth wilderness stuff, which we're learning is a pretty unethical, exploitative field of young people with trauma. I was, I was being taught to traumatize kids, not, not to help them. And I didn't want to use that degree.

[00:30:54] The only thing I was really qualified for was disability and senior care, and that's what I was doing right up until COVID. But I kind of burnt out on it because you're not paid very well in that career. You're at the bottom and there's, there, you can't build up from there because that's the only education you've got. And Adventism is making you pay so much, so, so, so much for an education that does not translate outside of Adventism. The credits don't transfer. So you've paid three to four times as much for a useless degree.

[00:31:31] And, so when I jumped into online content creation, when I started OnlyFans, I started making an income that was more than the "real job." And suddenly, I was able to buy food. I was able to pay my bills, pay rent. I was, I, I had spent so long under this Adventist model struggling, paying tithe. Like, that 10 percent hurts. It really, really hurts when you're a millennial. Oh my gosh, that is, that, that whole, that whole tithe thing is another rant for me. But there, there was a sense of competency of, of being able to take care of myself, that I did not have before then. So, content creation is anxiety inducing. There's not a lot of stability in it, but I found myself succeeding where I had been told success was not to be had.

Online SW vs. Traditional Work

[00:32:27] Santiago: That's incredible. And one of the things that you've mentioned on your podcast was that working in senior care, and also in retail, was actually more degrading than the online sex work that you're doing today. That you were at a greater risk for physical abuse and actually experienced the most verbal abuse when you were working with seniors. So I'm wondering if you can talk a little bit about that and, like you said, the quote unquote real job compared to what you're doing today. Like, what's that contrast been like?

[00:33:00] Rosei: Doing what I do now as an online sex worker, of course I do still get spoken to occasionally, like you get the trolls and stuff like that. But it is all very much within my own control. If somebody speaks badly to me, block. Bye! You don't need to be here, and I don't need to take it into myself.

[00:33:21] As a content creator, you, you learn what to engage with and what to not engage with. And you also come to a sense of groundedness in that there are some things that are, that's a you pro — that sounds like a you problem, right? But working senior care, and even retail, people, anybody who works in the medical field, is at far more risk of being physically assaulted than I'll ever be as a content creator. I'm at home.

[00:33:47] Of course, somebody out there could decide to be like, "You know what, I'm going to harm you." But, I was const — I was in a state of always being at watch because the people I worked with could at any moment rip my scalp out and I could have permanent nerve damage in, in my scalp.

[00:34:06] I had coworkers who had their bones broken by somebody who in a, in a dementia moment, just didn't know where they were and punched them. Like, so many people like to portray sex work as this very at risk field and I'm like, you could get punched working at McDonald's. And, and they'll talk about how, like, you get so degraded.

[00:34:29] But my experience with OnlyFans is that it is my page. If somebody speaks disrespectfully to me, I can remove them at my own discretion. And it doesn't happen very often. And most of the people who find my content, who subscribe to my content, who are on Patreon or wherever else, they speak to me so respectfully. My Twitch chat goes out of their way to make me cry with positive affirmation.

[00:34:54] Like, the people who I surround myself with now uplift me, they support me, they watch out for me. And that was something else that was very soul healing for me, is that I was told that to leave Adventism, I would leave the community. I would leave the people who really cared about me. And instead, I found that I am now surrounded by people who really actually do care. And they go out of their way to demonstrate that care to me on a daily basis.

[00:35:24] So what I've discovered stepping out from Adventism is I stepped into a world of, yes, some terrible people, but also, oh my gosh, I continue to be amazed by people. And by just how much warmth and genuine love, care, and concern that we all give to each other just as a species. So, the way that I am spoken to by the people who support me, is uplifting. And once again, with this Human Sexuality Task Force, they're going to talk about people like me, like I'm so "at risk." And I, I'm being "degraded" and I, I'm just humiliating myself and blah, blah, blah.

[00:36:03] I'm like, no, I'm actually being uplifted on a daily basis by people who do, they don't just say that they care, they demonstrate that they care. And I, I am surrounded by something that is very uplifting. And Adventism was not that experience. It was a, from what I experienced with my prior communities, I could not speak if I was harmed. I could not speak as a woman. They did not value what I had to say. And, and so it's, it's just such a different experience.

SWERFs vs. Autonomy

[00:36:33] Santiago: Yeah, when we hear about this argument of, "Oh, it's degrading," you know, typically when we hear this type of opposition, we think of pastors, we think of very religious people. But some people, including some feminists, are very outspoken against any type of sex work, claiming that it is inherently degrading. So to anyone listening who may have that opinion, not necessarily from an Adventist or moral perspective, but just saying, "Hey, I think it's inherently degrading." What would you say to somebody like that?

[00:37:07] Rosei: People like that, they fall under the category of radical feminist. And my critique of radical feminism is similar to that of Adventism. What I note in radical feminist circles are, are similar red flags to what is pointed out in the BITE Model. And what I often see is that the critique from radical feminists does not, it hits on emotional responses, but not necessarily things that are grounded in peer-reviewed scientific research.

[00:37:42] And as a sex worker, when I'm on the receiving end of that critique from radical feminism, what I have to say to that is, once again, you are not the expert in my experience. You are coming at me from an arrogant stance where you are deciding my wellness for me, and here's the boundary: that's not okay. You are not the expert in my wellness, so to decide that you know better and I just don't understand, is arrogant.

[00:38:13] I am a grown adult with a brain, a human brain that is making decisions based on the information that I have, for my own wellness. That is my autonomy at work, that is my decision making process at work. And sex workers do not appreciate radical feminists undercutting our autonomy and our own decision making process because it is inherently arrogant.

[00:38:37] Santiago: That's an interesting contrast or comparison to make. Adventism and the radical feminist position that would assume that they know what's good for you better than you do yourself. Yeah, I'd never thought of it that way before, but that, yeah, wow.

[00:38:55] Rosei: Yeah, it's, oftentimes, like, where I come from now is a baseline of consent, right? Once again, down to freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic, specific. And how I interact with people today, the care that I try to demonstrate with my content, is that I'm not the expert in your life. I cannot guarantee you wellness. And it is the, it is the promise of guarantee, right?

[00:39:24] With radical feminism, they are trying to push for, they have their own terror management strategy. They have their own idea of what the perfect world is going to look like. And if we can just get everyone on the same page, we'll be okay. And so many of these groups, Adventism, radical feminism, they have an idea of getting everyone on the same page, and it's once we're all on the same page, everything that's wrong will be right.

[00:39:50] And they become very committed to pulling everyone to the same page, but they don't realize that their toolbox for addressing interpersonal distress is empty. They, they're running without adequate tools quite often, and you can recognize it by their critique of other groups, in that they are insisting that they know wellness better than you do.

[00:40:14] Santiago: Yeah, wow. Definitely hope that with time, and with this destigmatization of mental health issues, that we will all be able to have toolboxes that are full. Because I think absolutely, that is going to be key for a lot of the issues that we face within our society.

[00:40:37] Rosei: I very much hope so, because the more that I have invested in real, concrete skills, the more I experience the wellness I was promised. And I am experiencing an increase in mental health, joy, overall quality of life. Versus being stuck in that cycle of just "Try harder, try harder, and Jesus will bless you." And it never happened. That was like over two decades of like me going so hard and being like, "Where is it?!" And then I'd end up in the therapist's office like, "Oh...!"

[00:41:13] My hope is that over time, peer-reviewed scientific research and respect for consent and autonomy is going to elevate us to that place of mutual respect for each other, quality of life in general, where we get that sense of inner peace. We get that sense of wellness based on respect, based on ethical consideration.

[00:41:39] And as hard and as tough as the world is right now, I think we're seeing a temper tantrum. I think we are seeing a very aggressive, angry shutdown response. So many of us in Adventism already know this. Like we're watching something our families already did to us. We saw them shut us down. We saw them try to force it. We saw them try to tell us we were wrong when we said we were in pain.

[00:42:06] And now we're seeing groups like the transgender community say "We're in pain." And instead of being able to recognize it and hold it in good faith and talk about it, we are seeing the same response our families did to us on a smaller level, on a massive scale, happen where they can't handle it. They can't have the conversation of people saying, "I'm hurting," because their toolbox is empty and they have to bring it back. They have to shut it down.

[00:42:32] And they're watching, they're watching the rest of us from the outside grow, and I think it's triggering grief. I think it's triggering anger, and I think it's triggering fear. Where we're all, we're stepping off the page, and they're like, "No, you can't do that!" "It's all gonna go wrong!" "We're all gonna go to hell!" "Society's, society's crumbling!" And we're all actually fine. Like, the society's looking back at them like, "No, we're good, like, are you okay?" But they're not.

[00:43:00] I think a lot of these people, this, this bigotry, intensity, the Human Sexuality Task Force, it's coming from people who have a lot to work through. They, they need, they need to fill up their toolbox, and we can't do it for them, I think is the thing. We're coming to our own baseline of being okay, and we're watching people, like, be very intense because they're not okay.

[00:43:26] And we're, we're like, you know what, we don't know what wellness will look like for you, we don't know what healing, grief processing is gonna look like for you, so, we're gonna set boundaries, we're going to ask that ethics be considered, we're going to tell you that our autonomy matters. But we're also gonna let you process as you need to, because we can't, we can't determine wellness for the people we left behind, either.

[00:43:49] Santiago: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I have to continuously remind myself to have empathy for people who are still in it. Because the reality is we are, as we're recording this, it's 2023, we are undergoing massive social and technological changes. And somebody like Ted Wilson, somebody from his generation, they grew up with a very specific worldview. And like you said, even within Adventist education, in some cases, when it comes to psychology and other things, they're still stuck on specific teachings that we now realize are outdated and that have been surpassed by scientific research.

[00:44:37] And I have to remind myself to have empathy, but also, for people in positions of power, with money, with education, they have the resources to educate themselves. So it's not... There's a balance to be had between having empathy for somebody, but also holding them accountable and expecting them to learn and grow alongside everybody else who is learning and growing.

[00:45:02] Rosei: Yes.

Adventist Leadership

[00:45:04] Rosei: So, my thought process on that is, people do make decisions based on the information they have available to them and the tools they have available to them. But Adventism is similar, there's a component that's similar to MLMs, right, where an MLM promises a lifestyle. They're not just promising like you, you sell, you're a rep who sells products. They're selling you the dream.

[00:45:30] "You work from home." "You have time for your family." "You are making money." "You're the boss babe," right? They sell you that. However, what actually happens is you've run yourself into a ground. You have to keep buying more and more products that it turns out no one wants. And you end up going hard and trying harder while being told "It's a you problem." "You're not succeeding because you're not trying hard enough."

[00:45:52] And I view a lot of people in Adventism similar to like, the leadership of an MLM knows. They, a lot of them, are making the conscious decision to succeed at the expense of those in their downline. They're aware. They're smart enough to know that they make money by someone else failing. And in Adventism, a lot of the people in the pews, they were sold something.

[00:46:19] They were sold on a promise and a guarantee of wellness in Christ. Whereas the leadership in Adventism, they know. They're smart enough to know that someone who was hit in the head with a rock probably isn't a prophetess. They like the money. They know that selling health with Ellen White's visions makes them money.

[00:46:42] There are a lot of people in, and I'll say this as a pastor's kid, because when, when your family works in leadership, you get to know some things. A lot of the leadership in Adventism, they know better. They know. They know what they're doing. They know what they're exploiting. They know what fear and stress that they are targeting in people. They know. They're aware. And you can't make that much money ethically. So, for myself, I am very, very aware of who is in the top head of Adventism. And my personal perspective on them is that I don't feel safe around some of those people.

[00:47:22] Because something we've noticed is intentional incompetence, where you pretend not to know what you're doing, so someone else will do it for you. And we're starting to learn, men aren't dumb. There's so many men who do this intentional incompetence. They're not stupid, they know. And they will tell other family members, "Yeah, I could do it, but I just, it's easier if, it's easier if I just pretend I don't, so they do it, and I don't have to spend the energy."

[00:47:51] I think it is very important to take note that people who pull in a lot of money at the heads of these organizations know what they're doing. They're aware, and the lifestyle they live in private is not, it is not what is portrayed from behind the pulpits. And so it pays to be critical. When people sell you something that targets your stress points, if you are stressed about something, or if you have prior trauma, those are your vulnerability points. And it pays to know where you're vulnerable, so when someone sells you on it, you don't necessarily get enticed as easily.

[00:48:29] Santiago: Yeah, you just touched on so many different topics, and we've been going for a while. So, I appreciate you sticking with me this long. Each one of those could probably be their own episode, but I wanted to pull out something you said about MLMs. My mom was in multiple multi-level marketing companies, and I'm sure there's some people listening right now who have personally been in them or who know family members who have been.

[00:48:57] There's a great podcast — you used the term "The Dream," they sell you on The Dream. There's actually a podcast by that name that covered MLMs, and they also covered like the quote unquote health and wellness industry. I'm going to link that podcast in the show because it is excellent. If you personally still identify with MLMs, be forewarned, they do not paint a pretty picture and they don't hold it, they don't hold back. And I would say do some more research that is not completely doing apologetics for MLM. If you still find yourself sympathetic to that, I'll just say that.

[00:49:32] Rosei: Yeah, a little, little disclaimer there. Like, it might make you feel uncomfortable.

[00:49:36] Santiago: Yeah, exactly. But, but for good reason. But I was going to say, yeah, I think this whole idea that the people at the top know what's going on and in some cases aren't actually practicing what they preach, I think we're starting to see more and more of that with megachurches. And maybe within Adventism, because we don't really have megachurches like Hillsong, or the whole thing with Jerry Falwell. I'm not sure if you heard about what happened with him and that kind of whole debacle. But we are starting to see cracks appearing in some of the foundations of some of these really large, once respected institutions.

[00:50:18] Rosei: Yes and with Adventism... Adventism didn't invest in the mega stuff. They didn't invest in entertainment. They invested in the health message. And you are now, like, all of the stuff we're seeing about them losing retention, the cracks are in the health message. Because now we're all going, "Wait, that's not right." "Being gay is not a behavioral disorder, huh?" "Wait, masturbation doesn't harm you, and there's actually health benefits to masturbation?" "Oh wait, actually, you can't sell a dietary plan to everybody and expect some people not to end up in the hospital, 'cause everybody has different dietary needs."

[00:51:04] So like Adventism, especially in the 90s and early 2000s, they had what was called like the CHIP program. They were selling dietary plans. And now when you look at that critically, it's not ethical. Like, they should not actually be doing that, but that was what pulled in money. And the marriage counseling, right? When people stop attending these marriage seminars and they go to a therapist, they might come to a different conclusion about what's healthy in the marriage.

[00:51:32] But these marriage seminars, when I was married, the first couple months, I was pulled into an Adventist marriage seminar that cost a couple hundred dollars to attend. You can't sell a product that no one's buying into anymore. And so for Adventism, the cracks are not these big things that show up in the news. Like we all heard about Hillsong. We all heard about like the Duggars and the Quiverfull thing and, and all that. No, Adventism, it's happening under the radar and it's happening quietly.

[00:52:02] Like Adventism saw itself as the forefront of health, when right now in 2023, Adventism's at the bottom. We're starting to realize maybe you shouldn't share your personal information with a pastor, who has no obligation to keep your personal information safe. No, you go to a therapist who is licensed and registered. So if the therapist does something wrong or harms you, you can report them. If you report your pastor, they'll shuffle him, right? Or they'll gaslight you. So there's a lot of people who are learning that health, all of these ethical standards are coming into play and the Adventist church is going, "We're persecuted!" And it's like, no, you're actually crossing a lot of ethical boundaries with the product you're trying to sell people.

[00:52:49] Santiago: Yeah, yeah, definitely.

Advice for Leaving the Church

[00:52:52] Santiago: What would you tell someone who is leaving or recently left the church? Maybe somebody who is a pastor's kid or somebody who grew up with their parents being very involved in church leadership. What would you tell somebody like that who's wondering what to do next?

[00:53:10] Rosei: What I would say is, first of all, confront what you think you know about health. 'Cause like I said, there's that whole fear of losing control and jumping off the deep end. And what I would say is, invest in real health. Talk to therapists, talk to counselors, talk to doctors. And I'll say what I would say is actually, double check with family doctors. Talk about what foods you were being given, because there can be long term consequences from the highly processed soy and tofu.

[00:53:44] So I would say first and foremost, please build a support system with licensed and registered professionals. And number two, I would say if as part of your process, you were feeling like you thought something might be wrong, if you saw things that felt wrong, if you were hurt, if boundaries were crossed, trust yourself on that. You were right. Your brain is picking up on that stuff to keep you safe. Trust the things your brain tells you to keep you safe. Follow up on it, examine.

[00:54:19] Organizations like Adventism benefit from you doubting your own brain. And so, if you are picking up on stuff that felt wrong, that felt off, if you've got a gut instinct, follow up on it. You have those natural processes to take care of yourself. They're there to take care of you, so it is worth listening. At the very least, listen to it and give it space, because it is there to take care of you.

[00:54:48] And the last thing I would tell someone on the way out is, we're waiting for you. We're here. Like, you're not alone. You're not stepping into an empty secular world that doesn't care about you. There is genuine love and care and concern for you outside of Adventism. It's not the only community out there. There is a whole world of people who are excited to see you and hear you, and your voice will matter to them.

[00:55:15] Santiago: Absolutely, I couldn't agree more. Thank you so much for sharing that.

Where to Find Rosei

[00:55:20] Santiago: Last thing I want to ask you is where can people find you?

[00:55:23] Rosei: Uh, I am a variety of different places. I started building on YouTube recently, so you can find me there under RoseiQuartzOfficial. I'm on TikTok under RoseiQuartz and like, that includes Twitter and all these places. One of the best places, though, community-wise, if you are coming out of something like Adventism or a high demand religion, I've built an online community that is LGBTQ+ affirming through Discord.

[00:55:51] So if you follow my links, you can be part of my Discord community where there is a whole bunch of people with similar experiences, who are uplifting and affirming each other. And, also for Twitch streaming. If I'm doing live streaming, including on Instagram or TikTok when I go live there, the best place literally just to talk back and forth to me is when I'm live streaming. So you can find me streaming on Twitch several times a week. And yeah, I would love to hear from you.

[00:56:16] Santiago: Awesome, I'll make sure to include links to all of those in the show notes, so definitely if you're interested in checking out any of the live streams, and I think you also live stream video games on Twitch, right?

[00:56:28] Rosei: Yes, that I do.

[00:56:29] Santiago: So yeah, if you have any interest in any of those things, the links will be in the show notes. Rosei, thank you so much for sharing all of your insights, your story, your experiences. It's been awesome, and I really appreciate you and the work you're doing.

[00:56:46] Rosei: Well, like I said, thank you for giving, giving me a space for my info dumps about Adventism.

[00:56:51] Both: [Laughing]

[00:56:53] Santiago: Yeah, I feel like there's just so many other tangents we could have gone on. So if at some point, I know you're incredibly busy with your schedule, but if at some point there's something you want to do a deep dive on, a different topic, would love to have you back on.

[00:57:08] Rosei: For sure, and, and vice versa, as I, I start building up mine as well. 'Cause I, I'm sure that there is a lot you could share from your perspective as well, and your experience within it. So, once again, thank you very much. I appreciate it.


[00:57:22] Santiago: Thanks for listening. If you have a story to share about your Adventist or fundamentalist experience, we'd love to hear it. You can submit stories on our website at — that's H E L L . B I O or leave us a voicemail at 301-750-8648 and we might feature it in a future episode. Thanks again for listening. We'll see you on the next one!

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