The first time Immaculada’s parents went on a pilgrimage to El Palmar de Troya she was 12 years old. Her parents started to build up a friendship with the other pilgrims and decided to become part of the Palmarian Church.
Immaculada spotted some contradictions between what she had been taught by the nuns in the catholic school and the Palmarian faith. However, she went along: the people she looked up to told her that the truth could only be found in the Palmarian Church.
Immaculada got married in El Palmar and had three sons and two daughters. The girls were raised following a few of the palmarian catechism rules and were taught charity as a fundamental value.
Because of this, Immaculada let her children keep friendly relationships with ttheir non-palmarian classmates. They had to be very careful to not be seen in the company of non-palmarians, since the children would be excomunicated by the palmarian community if they were to find out.
“First of all I’m a mother and my children are my responability”
One day, Immaculada found out that Sister Lucía of Fátima had been condemned to hell by Pope Clemente. “Oh my God, what is this man thinking?”, Immaculada thought. Pope Clemente’s proclamations where increasingly contradictory, and none of the profecies he announced were being fullfilled. However, she stayed faithful to the Palmarian Church because her family was part of it and she didn’t want to leave them.
In December 2004, Immaculada’s parents left the Church and were excommunicated by the community because of it. In spite of this, Immaculada decided to stay inside the community for her husband and daughters.
During the two years that she stayed inside, she was banned from communicating with her parents, as they were apostates. However, she secretly kept in touch with her mother, although they could only do so through phone calls. This situation created a moral debate for Immaculada, since hers and the church’s wishes were opposite. Eventually, she gave in to her conscience.
“My conscience told me that it was a lack of charity, that I was offending God by not talking to my mother”
In 2007, some of Immaculada’s daughter’s friends were excommunicated, which meant that all palmarians had to break any relationship with them. Immaculada’s daughters were against that decision, and although Immaculada understood it perfectly, someone gave the daughters away. Father Ginés excommunicated the girls, but said he’d let their mother communicate with them under some conditions. She refused and left the Palmarian Church for ever with her husband ans sons beside her.
When Immaculada and her family abandoned the Palmarian Church, they continued living in El Palmar de Troya. Changing her life wasn’t hard for her, and neither was her relationships with the neighbours, since she had always talked to them in secret. Now she could talk to everybody fearlessly. The palmarians however, didn’t say a word to her, not even her sister-in-law.
Since she left the sect, Immaculada confesses she “cannot understand how people who have already left the order would want to ever join again”. Her opinion about the Church has changed a lot since she left the the order.
“ To me, it is a sect […] it destroys your personality and brainwashes it’s followers”.