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I am a tar-baby.


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I hesitate to post this because I feel that it might hurt someone; I will state that this does not refer to that person if they happen to read it. You know who you are.


There is a fairly well known series of stories involving a briar rabbit. In one of them he runs across a tar-baby (which is sticky tar shaped like a person). When the tar-baby upsets the rabbit he strikes it and this paw gets stuck in the tar. When he can't get his paw out, the rabbit punches with the other paw... and so on... until he is completely glued to this tar. That's the basic story for those who don't have the background to know what a tar-baby is.


Most people know I have a strange attraction for all things Christian. I find the wacky churches and attend, I talk to the street preachers, I accept their bibles and tracts, and so on. It's an odd thing for me because I feel no real attraction to their message. In many cases I just enjoy the psychology behind what I observe. But sometimes I get an amusement out of it that I don't know if I fully understand. I think I got a better understanding this morning.


I was hanging out in the IRC room when a Christian wandered in wondering how we could be ex-christians. I started talking about it in the method I use to attract Christians... it is what some who have seen it call my "honey" mode... because it draws the flies. Basically, I tailor the conversation in a manner so that the Christian is almost visually "lusting" after my soul. I feed enough of whatever "food" (like curiosity, loneliness, pain, seeking, etc) it takes to keep them on me but also keep enough distance from the subject that they are obligated to "strive" to get to me. It's a delicate balance... enough that they see potential convert but not enough that they believe it will happen without their help.


The wonderful thing about this is that eventually it requires little or no work at all from me to maintain continuous effort on their part. With this guy in IRC, at one point I had not responded "to him" for almost 40 minutes but he still kept talking because he knew I was there reading what he was saying. I was posting some minor conversation with others in the room... and he PM'd me several times (which got small snippets for response to lead him on). But I was providing very little for him because he smelled the blood and was in a frenzy.


The people in the room can vouch for the fact that he thought I was on the verge of salvation and it was only their "cynical" comments and "distrupting" presence which prevented me from doing what my heart wanted. :HaHa: He tried, subtley at first but overtly toward the end, to engage me alone in conversation (and if LD and SS weren't having so much fun with him in the public area I would have obliged in PM as it was no more work either way).


I am a tar-baby... once they have enagaged me, most Christians find it very hard to let me go. They become stuck and each effort only gets them further trapped. But why do I bother to be the tar-baby? Is there something beyond my own amusement?


Yes, I think there is some reason why doing this (and I have been doing it consciously and unconsciously for years) appealed to me. I think that it is something I do to protect others from the Christians I meet. For every hour they spend working me over (which is amusing to me and hopeless for them) they are not working another person over who may not be able to withstand their pitch. For every bible and tract I accept (and later trash or add to my collection) that is one less bible or tract in the hands of a person it can harm. Every street preacher I engage is not bothering those who might actually convert. I am a blackhole for their efforts... I just suck it all up, leaving them exhausted and empty... with nothing gained.


I think there are many things which make me well suited for this, mainly that I am not opposing them. Fighting against them is only going to erode the person fighting. I remember reading a book on cults and people who go out to oppose them are frequent converts... because they have an emotional investment in the beliefs already. We all know the "stories" about a person trying to prove the bible wrong and coming to believe in Christianity -- it is based on that psychological property. I'm like a tall blade of grass, I bend and move in their message but when I walk away it is over. The roots were never touched and the grass springs back up. This disassociation, core belief neutral, ability is something I learned when I had to hide my non-belief. It is a way to allow my "present" mind to involve the situation but not accept it as true. Sounds complicated? Nah... it's what you do when you watch a good scary movie. You allow yourself to suspend disbelief but know, deep down, that you're not going to be unable to stop and think that Jason is out to get you for the rest of your life. A lot of people have trouble doing this with religion... but it seems natural to me. Also, I know their position... I've been there. I don't need to imagine what bait works... I know because I was the person I am baiting. I know what to say that makes me irresistible to some of them (it's different depending on the witnessing person and their aproach)... yet out of reach but not so far out that they think they can't do it. Like that reflected puddle illusion on the highway on a bright day... perpetually out of reach but RIGHT THERE.


And I benefit from it in amusement. If I have nothing better to do, then sucking the life out of fundies is a way I would choose to spend my time. I feel like I was going to say more or elaborate on this but I am tired... so I will nap for a while. When I get back on I might post a follow-up or something. Maybe I'll get a copy of the log and post some samples. :grin:

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In all seriousness, ericf, I consider this a humanitarian undertaking. If unbelievers had an equivalent for sainthood, I'd nominate you.

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All knowlege and experiences shared is beneficial. We definatley need to help eachother through the psychological damages that Christianity has done; by sharing what works for us. Please post more. Excellent thread!


I do not see anything wrong with giving a Christian our reasons for not being believers anymore, but to make it an Angry mission in life can eat us up inside and make us feel very lonely.


I know someone who may benefit from this thread. Thank you!

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Ah, Eric,


You sneaky you!


That's very cool.


I can't hold my face doing that, I get myself into arguments instead.

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lol, Pitchu... who needs to be a saint? I'm glad to just be me. :grin:


Of course, I am already a Pope and could name myself or anyone else a saint if I really wished.


Continuing a little from the original post:

A member posted the following link somewhere on the boards: http://www.ctyme.com/bwash/bwash.htm . This link has been posted here before and there is nothing really special about it. I do recommend it because it deals with some of the tactics the "Big boys" play with to convert you. Most of you know I have seen some of the more serious stuff in that report (up to and including complete isolation, sleep deprivation, constant stress, etc). So some of it does happen -- for those who doubt -- and not all of that was outside mainstream churches either. But what I found interesting, in relation to my previous post, was this:

The Only Hope of Immunity


The only hope of attending such gatherings without being affected is to be a Buddha and allow no positive or negative emotions to surface. Few people are capable of such detachment.


Which is a much simpler way to say everything I was trying to explain with the "core belief neutral" and bending grass stuff. I find it interesting to wonder which arose first, my ability to do this or my affinity towards Buddhism. :scratch: I suppose it really doesn't matter but I have a hard time recalling when I first started doing this -- as I would do it without any purpose and for amusement long before I realized I was toying with the people I was doing it to.


The thing about that description is that it also describes the tar-baby. The tar-baby does not provoke the rabbit, it does not get angry when punched, it remains "unmoved" by what is going on... and that is what gives it its real power and makes dealing with one such a futile affair. It's like trying to box the wind... you just end up exhausted and the wind never even realized anything was out of the ordinary.


Anyway, enough of this... let's look at some random IRC comments. These will be edited for clarity and to remove some of the comments which may not directly apply -- mainly for space but with an effort to not change the intended meaning of anything.


[03:18:45] <ericf> cruel_summer, you are all alone.

[03:19:02] <ericf> That's the sick joke... it's just you screaming into the wind.

[03:19:14] <LloydDobler> it infuriates you when you realize it

[03:19:22] <cruel_summer> if you believe that Eric than were is the hope

[03:19:26] <cruel_summer> why live at all?

[03:19:49] <ericf> Life... for the sense of art and humor.

[03:20:09] <ericf> Life itself is fascinating... and I exist to dance with it until it kills me.


Here we are still early... but he's already hooked. He is already focused on me and steers most inquires toward me. The dance with life comment is an odd one -- actually it's a ploy to see how much he knows of world religions as well as strangly attractive bait. I stole the idea from Hinduism with Nataraj (Shiva dancing creation) as it appealed to my world view in an odd way. I have found it is double edged in these situations. For those people with a sufficient "cult" background to pick up on the eastern implications, it provides an interesting diversion as they work to disprove Hinduism to a person who isn't Hindu. :lmao: It's rare that the person is quick enough to pick up on this but when it happens... *zow* it can be fun. When the person does not pick up on it, the image is strangly unsettling to most Christians and that causes them to interpret it as a sign that I am seeking something. Note: our guy here completely missed the Nataraj implications.


[04:02:24] <cruel_summer> I do believe that one of you is certainly more cynical than the other

[04:02:30] <cruel_summer> which is not to point fingers

[04:02:36] <ericf> And LloydDobler wasn't mocking you with the snake thing either... one church-type I am trying to find and get invited to is the ones where people dance with rattlesnakes.

[04:02:41] <LloydDobler> nah eric's just got better manners.

[04:02:47] <LloydDobler> he's just as cynical.


It's just me and LD at this time. You'll note that he is already hooked on me... pretty deeply too. LD points out that I am just as cynical as he is (maybe moreso in reality) but this guy can't believe that. It's the curse of the tar-baby, once you are hooked you ignore your own foolishness and continue to make a worse mess of yourself. At this point, LD is doing the nicest thing anyone will do for him the entire night... he is giving him a hint of the danger of the trap he is in. It's too bad that the warning itself often causes the person to get even more stuck.


[04:11:56] <cruel_summer> I am sure your are well versed on all facets of the various religions that you speak of

[04:12:07] <cruel_summer> but truth is simple

[04:12:13] <LloydDobler> indeed it is

[04:12:13] <cruel_summer> it always has been

[04:12:17] <LloydDobler> yep

[04:12:21] <cruel_summer> and that is the complexity of it

[04:12:28] <cruel_summer> and why it is missed by so many

[04:12:33] <cruel_summer> wide is the road

[04:13:08] <LloydDobler> simplicity makes it complex?

[04:13:22] <cruel_summer> I'll get back to that


This is classic Christian double-think. He never does get back to it... Okay, this has nothing to do with baiting him and leading him on... but it is hilarious anyway.


[05:02:18] <cruel_summer> but when you start throwing out barbs left and right for no reason

[05:02:26] <cruel_summer> it justt takes it right down to the gutter

[05:03:04] <ericf> The problem with reaching people in the gutter, like us, is that often you need to get down there to stick your hand out.

[05:03:27] <cruel_summer> I appreciate the metaphor

[05:03:39] <SmallStone> yep. to reach eric, you have to wade through the unfortunate trash like lloyd and myself.

[05:04:21] <ericf> You can't take to the fallen and demand they respect what you want to bring them to respect...

[05:04:37] <cruel_summer> But so often the problem is a hard heart, an unwillingness to listen, and a flat out obstinite, combative person refuses to listen to anyone else's point

[05:04:43] <ericf> can't talk*

[05:05:47] <ericf> My hard, by my own admission and the startled admissions of many Christians, is as hard as they come.  But I always listen... why do you think I still go to church?  Why do you think I offered my email address?  I always listen.

[05:06:05] <ericf> My heart*

[05:06:28] <cruel_summer> I believe that you are an active listener eric

[05:07:05] <ericf> But you don't yet truly believe my heart is as hard as I think it is?


Here is another leading bit of the conversation. He is approaching the limits of his tolerance because LD and SS keep jumping in and taunting him or using logic (God forbid) against his arguments. The metaphor of the gutter (as he calls it) is important here... it encourages him without requiring that I change my stance at all. And almost right away, I repeat again how impossible his task is... but (and this is something you also see when you witness) the profession of that is itself bait... because to the Christian it sounds like vain posturing which is only said as a weak shield to protect the non-believer from imminent salvation. Even the weakest street evangelist sees right through that statement to a weak and easy kill. In this case, the truth is better than any lie because they take it as a lie and "comprehend" that lie to be a sign of weakness.


A lot of side comments were cut from this... but that's the meat of what he was really paying attention to.


[06:37:56] <cruel_summer> you need no more intellectual proof

[06:38:02] <cruel_summer> this is a heart issue

[06:38:14] <ericf> Can you teach my heart to hear again?

[06:38:21] <cruel_summer> I have no ability to penetrate to your heart

[06:38:29] <ericf> Could God do it?

[06:38:46] <cruel_summer> Yes

[06:39:16] <cruel_summer> you can miss heaven by 12 inches

[06:39:18] <ericf> Well, you have his ear... why doesn't he?

[06:40:11] <cruel_summer> the distance from your head to your heart

[06:40:29] <ericf> Do you think if I cut my head off it could help?

[06:40:50] <ericf> I have a pair of scissors and I'm willing to give it a shot.

[06:41:30] <cruel_summer> I mean no offense

[06:42:04] <ericf> I am not offended but confused.

[06:42:22] <ericf> How can I turn off the mind God has given me so that it doesn't stop me from knowing God?


This is classic bait technique right here. If you look at my first comment here, you see the sweet intoxication of this bait. Any person who has witnessed seriously would almost cream their pants to hear a person so close to the edge... so wanting. The cut off the head thing is a little farther than I usually go that quickly but with the "influence" of LD and SS it was something I could get away with because it looks like I am acting "light" for them. The wonderful thing about these conversations is that the "victim" is much more likely to give weight to comments I say supporting my desire to convert and dismiss those which mock him.


[06:52:40] <cruel_summer> anyhow, I do believe that one of you had an experience with God

[06:52:52] <SmallStone> let's stay focused.

[06:52:58] <cruel_summer> and it is that person that I was trying to communicate with

[06:54:20] <cruel_summer> not you smallstone

[06:54:54] <cruel_summer> But I don't believe you have any idea what I am talking about

[06:55:20] <cruel_summer> Hell iis a joke to you


You'll note that I am not even involved here... but it is clear from the first comment that he is trying to reach me. He believes the doctrine of hell still affects me and sees SS as trying to protect me from hearing what he really has to say. I usually work this stuff alone but the good cop/bad cop thing works very well too... as long as the bad cop doesn't make the futility too obvious.


Okay, enough of those... I realize most of you are bored to tears. Who really wants to read these conversations? But I found them amusing. :HaHa:

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You have immense patience Ericf. Truly... I could never stomach something like that.


I salute you. You live your beliefs. I'm in awe.



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Okay, enough of those... I realize most of you are bored to tears.  Who really wants to read these conversations?  But I found them amusing. :HaHa:


What? are you kidding? More, more, please!

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can I steal this (it's not an exact quote of you but almost)

"I exist to dance with life, until it kills me"


That was cool!

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You're awesome, Eric. It's a fantastic ploy against people "witnessing" to oneself. It is something I shall take to heart and do more often, as I have done such myself once or twice.

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lol, go ahead... I stole it from the Hindus. Take and use whatever you find interesting... as long as it makes sense for you.

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Also, for people interested in doing this... read the article in my second post and pay attention to the comments on hypnotic states (alpha states). Although I am not a huge believer in hypnosis, I am a firm believer in altered states of consciousness and recognize the danger in entering one unexpectedly. It is essential (at the very least) that you recognize that it is likely you will fall into one during certain conversion attempts. Understand that it is likely to happen from the very start and prepare yourself with the understanding that it is a period of suspended disbelief and not real. And always allow yourself time to recover -- especially if you can't pick up on when you slip in and out.


I've always been fascinated by ASCs (Altered State of Consciousness) and have gone a long way toward experimenting with most -- especially self-induced. I have some ability in recognizing when I slip in and out of one (although I am not perfect about it... and sometimes realize it happened only after) and being able to see when it happens provides a defense against it. I can almost set a mental trigger which goes off when I enter and acts as a warning. Which makes me no fun for hypnotists.


I'm just saying this because these people are dangerous if you don't know what they are doing. You will feel good, and what they say will make sense... it is easy to slide into agreement with them even when you understand they are wrong. Of course, you'll always wake up again... if you want to but the problem may be wanting to.


Now, I've sat through people who could raise coma victims enough to get a conversion... they are scary if you've never dealt with them before and haven't built an immunity to their ploy. Just a warning to the newer ex-christians... these people are probably stronger than you are and if you want to believe they will do all they can to give you excuses to do it again.

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Yeah, I've been in different levels of ASC.


The most interesting one was when I was taking advanced math, a looooong time ago.


I was traveling back and forth to here (US) and there (Sweden), and took this intensive course, (and beside the point, because I like to talk about myself, I scored 125 of 120) anyhow, every time I landed same day I went to class.


The jetlag makes you very, very, sleepy.


I fell into a deep sleep, sitting in my chair, and still writing down what the teachers said. Probably for 1-2 minutes, before I woke up (power nap), and I looked at the paper and thought "WTF, I was still listening and writing while I slept" – so I was sleep listening/writing. That was cool.


I think that was pretty funny ... but I'm not sure I'm awake yet, for real... … no… for real…


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Although I am not a huge believer in hypnosis, I am a firm believer in altered states of consciousness and recognize the danger in entering one unexpectedly.


True. I think this is another reason (besides the fear factor) that religions have such a hold over people. I meditate once in a while, so I know an altered state when I'm in one. Maybe if more people meditated, they'd be able to recognize it too and not fall for the brainwashing? Just a thought.

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Being familiar with meditation is definitely what clued me in to this affect at first. Standing in worship, singing songs I didn't believe, and suddenly realizing that I was familiar with that soft release of endorphins which just happened. I was meditating long before I was into Buddhism -- I actually had a martial arts class which always started with a good 20-30 minutes of meditation and got me in the habit -- and kept at it even after giving up martial arts. So... I'm actually shocked at how long it originally took me to realize what was happening. I mean, this wasn't my first goat-fuck with ASCs and it was still at least three years into this before I realized it. Which was about a year before my deconversion (go figure).


At the time it was fairly confusing for me. I was taught that meditation was evil and of the devil (didn't stop me from doing it... as I recognized that it made little sense) and yet they were entering a similar state during the service. In one of my favorite books (Zen Without Zen Masters) there is a comment about religions which states "Any practice which is forbidden offers something that the system cannot successfully replace with an alternative."


I think the quote applies because it was clear that meditation was forbidden because it brought to light the alternative they were trying to use covertly. Bah, I'm rambling... but you get the point.

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Thanks for spreading that link around further, Eric. (do it some more! :woohoo: )


I never knew that someone else had posted that before I did in that other thread. :shrug:


I think it might be a good idea to create an ExChristian Mandatory Reading List that includes that link, and Carl Sagan's Demon Haunted World. :HaHa:

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I hesitate to post this because I feel that it might hurt someone; I will state that this does not refer to that person if they happen to read it.  You know who you are.


I do believe I've had this tar baby stuck on me for a year and a half. :grin:

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Standing in worship, singing songs I didn't believe, and suddenly realizing that I was familiar with that soft release of endorphins which just happened. 


Would you find it strange to find out that sound waves affect brain waves causing these things to occur?


Then again, you probably already know this, don't you?

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I do believe I've had this tar baby stuck on me for a year and a half.  :grin:

*hands TAP a tissue*

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Check out this site ---> HERE.


I read that entire site a few times and since it appealed to my curiosity, I actually sent away for the free tape and literature. The nice thing about that was, they didn't bombard me with a bunch of junk mail afterwards. It was the only time that I ever heard from them.


Bottom line -- This stuff works. :shrug:


I never knew what meditation was until I tried it. I always thought that meditation was just sitting there, relaxing, and breathing. This sound technology does induce a very pleasant altered state of consciousness. :shrug: And you're completely aware of what is going on the whole time.




For any of you who find it interesting, please read everything before you are tempted to try it. Especially the warnings.

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*hands TAP a tissue*


Tissues and tar? :twitch:


What a mess! :Doh:



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If I ever see a tar baby, I'd run the other direction.... :eek:

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"Any practice which is forbidden offers something that the system cannot successfully replace with an alternative."


Either that, or it may cause people to actually think for themselves.

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I do believe I've had this tar baby stuck on me for a year and a half.  :grin:


lol, you're so trapped! :lmao:


Actually, to be honest, at first this is what I started doing when I was talking to you. But you (quickly actually) convinced me to take you seriously. You're one of the few Christians I have been unable to continue doing this too because you weren't out to convert me. Actually, our friendship has been a boon to me because it has reminded me that not all Christians represent what bothers me. In a way, you helped me humanize fundamentalist Christians again... to see that down below the beliefs there is something which can appeal to me.


Of course, you are not the first or only Christian friend I have had... but most of the others I had as friends before I realized the depth of their belief. They were allowed to connect with me because they didn't talk about their religion until long after we were friends (or I formed friendships with them, while pretending to be a believer, which were deeper than just our "shared" belief). They remained my friends despite our differences. You managed to present the belief and convince me to look beyond it to see what I hadn't yet seen. You managed to become my friend despite the differences.



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You managed to present the belief and convince me to look beyond it to see what I hadn't yet seen.


Oh, so she's one of those, huh? :Hmm:




















































I know what you mean Eric, I'm just pokin' Tap.


That's all. :HaHa:




Fwee---> :poke:<---TAP

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