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if you speak it, it happens - the dark side


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Did anyone else grow up with or encounter the following particular belief:

 

If you speak negatively about your life, those words coming from your lips will then allow satan or his spirits to make those negative things happen in your life--sort of like letting a vampire cross your threshold.

 

Examples: I told someone I was feeling really sick that day and they said, "well don't speak that over your life or you'll get worse!"

 

When I had my second car accident I noted to my dad that "these things always seem to happen in January" and he immediately got really upset and said something like, "You can't say that, you need to take that back and rebuke it, because it'll come true."

 

The importance of not speaking negative things,  to the point that you were actually hampered in communicating basic facts about your life, seemed to have this massive power over the people of my church, and seemed to border on incredibly superstitious.

 

Funnily enough, it didn't really work in reverse--the most you would get is a nice day if you spoke blessings over your life, while apparently spirits could get pretry specific about things.

 

Although i know there were prosperity gospel believers in my church, the vast majority including my family didn't believe in the prosperity drivel.

 

It also never used to be there, I think the idea started taking hold of everyone around 2009ish?

 

Side note, my family also believe in curses on people's lives, and believe in cursed objects (even an object just being in a bad environment could be a bad influence on your life if you bring it into your home, even if you pray over it first.  you might need to pray over it several times before it truly becomes safe and 'clean').

 

Discussions welcome, I just want to compare notes. Does anyone have experience with this or know where these ideas might have originated?

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Yes, the refrain to speak positive things into one's life, and avoiding speaking negative things was prevalent in my household when I was growing up. Always seemed like BS to me. Our family and a handful of others that we knew were into this, but most people weren't. Then, in 2006, The Secret was published...

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12 hours ago, austere said:

Side note, my family also believe in curses on people's lives, and believe in cursed objects (even an object just being in a bad environment could be a bad influence on your life if you bring it into your home, even if you pray over it first.  you might need to pray over it several times before it truly becomes safe and 'clean').

 

 

Some magic book I read once said the fear of being cursed is more powerful than any supernatural agent cursing them. :)

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I wasted my 20s on positive speech and thoughts.  According to the narrative I was deluded in, it would have been enough to guarantee success.  Funny how the most positive of believers were afflicted with the worse of circumstances.  Words don't mean a damn thing in this world, only your actions count.

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3 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Yes, the refrain to speak positive things into one's life, and avoiding speaking negative things was prevalent in my household when I was growing up. Always seemed like BS to me. Our family and a handful of others that we knew were into this, but most people weren't. Then, in 2006, The Secret was published...

May I ask roughly what time period you had your childhood in? For me it was the 90s-00s.

 

2 hours ago, midniterider said:

 

Some magic book I read once said the fear of being cursed is more powerful than any supernatural agent cursing them. :)

 

That's exactly the impression I came away with! Everyone was so medieval-times-level superstitious and it just felt wrong! And these were the same people who would quote 2 Timothy 1:7 constantly.

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My mother has always been sold on this one.  Now days I try to explain to her that words are not magic but she doesn't listen to me.  Often bad things happen in her life out of the blue with no warning (due to her age) but somehow that doesn't count and doesn't prove her wrong.  Nope, talking about stuff makes bad things happen.

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I was told to never talk about a bad dream, because it would come true. I don't know how many bad dreams I kept to myself, which was torturous. I'm glad I don't remember them.

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I wonder what the correlation is between religion in general and the percentage of active members who are superstitious in to this extent.

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The irony, to me, is that if you take them at face value the people espousing these beliefs are contributing to the negativity by magically reinforcing a reality where negative speech adversely affects the reality. I think there's real value to encouraging positive attitudes and behavior (within reason) but they sure took it to a weird place.

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I didn't grow up in that, but started going to 2 churches in my late teens that taught this thinking. 

And then I got into teachings of Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Terri Savelle Foy who teaches right believing and speaking the right words. I tried all their teachings- did not work.

Christianity literally ruins your soul.

 

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What's worse is when they teach that you can use words to command money to land in your lap... after sowing your financial seed into their ministry.

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1 minute ago, Bookworm said:

What's worse is when they teach that you can use words to command money to land in your lap... after sowing your financial seed into their ministry.

They prey on people's fear of responsibility by encouraging it in acts of disingenuous charity, I think. Using your own critical thinking in your on financial decision making is a scary and difficult responsibility, but throwing that power away to a preacher and patting yourself on the back for how charitable you are is easy.

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Superstitions can grow from some real roots. Speaking certain words is not magic, but what you believe (words you speak to yourself) is possible, what's not possible, what will happen, actually does affect outcomes, though in a non-magical way. There is no question we have a mind-body connection, and our thoughts create physical changes and perceptual experiences. Placebos and nocebos are obvious examples. Rarely do doctors treating infectious disease outbreaks ever contract the disease; they just don't have time to be sick. "Right" thinking causes one to behave in ways beneficial to positive outcomes. Often, expectations, good or bad, are met. I see this all the time. Back when I was shooting film professionally, we had a very convenient lab but everybody hated their quality and service. Rather than inconvenience myself finding a distant lab I would go into that lousy lab and tell everybody there how wonderful they were. How their quality was the best I'd seen. Magically (!) they became my ideal lab, trying to live up to my expectations. Just today I had another example at my dentist's office. Four months ago he said I needed a "procedure" but I said I'd pass and he could check again at my next cleaning, which was today. He said everything was perfect and asked what I had been doing to reverse the damage. All I could say was I just didn't have the time or money for that problem so it went away. Actually, my resolve to avoid this caused me to take extra care over the past few months and my extra attention to the problem paid off, though I can't discount the fact that belief impacts the physical body as well. Words matter, though some think it's a magic spell, maybe an effective prayer, applied psychology or perhaps self hypnosis. 

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19 hours ago, austere said:

May I ask roughly what time period you had your childhood in?

 

Same as you, 90s-00s.

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I agree with what florduh said. What austere has described here is an example of taking Norman Vincent Peale way too seriously. :P I will certainly concede that taking a positive attitude towards many a thing will affect the way you act and your decision making, but to think or worse yet, believe there are demonic hosts waiting to batten onto every negative thought takes us back to the Dark Ages. Positive thoughts can affect the way you act, but they can have no effect on outside events. Suppose you shoot Craps and you bet Right (meaning that the dice will Pass) and you end up on a Point number (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10.) No amount of positive thinking on your part is going to keep the dice from rolling Seven if gravity so makes them roll, however, using such things as  Loads, or Tops and Bottoms will surely keep the Sevens away, but you had better not get caught lest your luck turn really bad!

Yet if you were to walk up to a Craps table where the shooter is on a hot streak, making Pass after Pass, in some places you had better not bet Wrong (that the dice will lose) or even mention the word "Seven." We wouldn't want to jinx the shooter's luck, would we now? Not to mention the luck of all the other Right bettors looking to cash in on their winning streak!

It's funny how many Christians would regard gambling as a terrible sin, but at the same time indulge exactly the same superstitions and superstitious behaviour as many gamblers do, and not even realize how hypocritical they are being!

Casey

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The "Cursed Object," business derives from "Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing." (Deuteronomy 7:26, KJV) Then there is the following verse in the New Testament concerning what allegedly happened to St Paul and his merry men at Ephesus in the then Asia Minor:

 "Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver." (Acts 19:19, KJV)

 

Among the books so burned was a  small treatise on the Black Art of building stockyards correctly, but that's never mentioned! (Just kidding!)

 

Seriously though, this verse is often quoted to justify the destruction of what some Christers would consider as "Idols." Over the centuries some priceless works of art have been destroyed or vandalized under this verse. 

Preachers take these two verses in conjunction with this one which also mentions the so-called "Generational Curses" BS:

 

 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me." (Exodus 20: 3-5 KJV)
 

The idea would seem to be that if you keep other than Christian objects of worship in your house you bring God's curse upon yourself, although sometimes Christers will extend that one to include Catholic devotional artifacts, such as statues of the Virgin Mary and the Saints.

Casey



 

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I'm feeling oddly validated right now. I didn't realise it was something so many people had experience with.

 

And @Casey thank you so much for all the information! I am definitely going to check out Norman Vincent Peale as I'm very curious as to how this was spread in modern times.

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Ok so I did some reading up on Norman Vincent Peale... thank goodness for Wikipedia!

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Vincent_Peale

 

Sections of interest include the basic intro section and also part of the section on the criticism he received.

 

Norman Vincent Peale (May 31, 1898 – December 24, 1993) was an American minister and author known for his work in popularizing the concept of positive thinking, especially through his best-selling book The Power of Positive Thinking. He served as the pastor of Marble Collegiate Church, New York, from 1932 until his death, leading a Reformed Church in America congregation. Peale was a personal friend of President Richard Nixon. Future President Donald Trump attended Peale's church while growing up, as well as marrying his first wife Ivana there. Peale's ideas and techniques were controversial, and he received frequent criticism both from church figures and from the psychiatric profession.[1]

 

***

 

A third major criticism is that Peale's philosophy is based on exaggerating the fears of his readers and followers, and that this exaggerated fear inevitably leads to aggression and the destruction of those considered "negative." Peale's views are critically reviewed in a 1955 article by psychiatrist R. C. Murphy, published in The Nation, titled "Think Right: Reverend Peale's Panacea."

 

"    With saccharine terrorism, Mr. Peale refuses to allow his followers to hear, speak or see any evil.

 

For him real human suffering does not exist; there is no such thing as murderous rage, suicidal despair, cruelty, lust, greed, mass poverty, or illiteracy.

 

All these things he would dismiss as trivial mental processes which will evaporate if thoughts are simply turned into more cheerful channels.

 

This attitude is so unpleasant it bears some search for its real meaning.

 

It is clearly not a genuine denial of evil but rather a horror of it.

 

A person turns his eyes away from human bestiality and the suffering it evokes only if he cannot stand to look at it. By doing so he affirms the evil to be absolute, he looks away only when he feels that nothing can be done about it

 

... The belief in pure evil, an area of experience beyond the possibility of help or redemption, is automatically a summons to action: 'evil' means 'that which must be attacked ... '

 

Between races for instance, this belief leads to prejudice. In child-rearing it drives parents into trying to obliterate rather than trying to nurture one or another area of the child's emerging personality ... In international relationships it leads to war.

 

As soon as a religious authority endorses our capacity for hatred, either by refusing to recognize unpleasantness in the style of Mr Peale or in the more classical style of setting up a nice comfortable Satan to hate, it lulls our struggles for growth to a standstill ...

 

Thus Mr Peale's book is not only inadequate for our needs but even undertakes to drown out the fragile inner voice which is the spur to inner growth."

    [16]

 

Harvard scholar Donald Meyer would seem to agree with this assessment, presenting similar warnings of a religious nature. In his article "Confidence Man", Meyer writes, "In more classic literature, this sort of pretension to mastery has often been thought to indicate an alliance with a Lower rather than a Higher power."[21]

 

The mastery Peale speaks of is not the mastery of skills or tasks, but the mastery of fleeing and avoiding one's own "negative thoughts." 

 

Meyer writes this exaggerated fear inevitably leads to aggression: "Battle it is; Peale, in sublime betrayal of the aggression within his philosophy of peace, talks of 'shooting' prayers at people."[14]

 

 

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At the height of Peale's popularity there used to be a burlesque stripper who called herself Norma Vincent Peel. Good name, though I never saw her in person.

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 Oh my god, that's amazing! Google is giving me nothing unfortunately, just misspellings of Norman's name.

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On 3/4/2018 at 6:32 AM, austere said:

If you speak negatively about your life, those words coming from your lips will then allow satan or his spirits to make those negative things happen in your life--sort of like letting a vampire cross your threshold.

 

Examples: I told someone I was feeling really sick that day and they said, "well don't speak that over your life or you'll get worse!"

 

I never heard anything like that until Oprah's "The Secret." It didn't occur to me that Christians taught stuff like that. But, then, my church didn't believe in demon possession and such, either.

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1 hour ago, Lerk said:

 

I never heard anything like that until Oprah's "The Secret."

 

Sorry, can't let this pass.

 

I was working at a bookstore when The Secret was published in 2006. Almost nothing pisses me off more than Oprah recieving credit for books that she happens to like.

 

The Secret is a book by Rhonda Byrne. It is based on a prior film, which was also produced by Byrne. Oprah liked it. That's all she had to do with it.

 

Apologies. Rant over. Carry on.

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2 hours ago, disillusioned said:

 

Sorry, can't let this pass.

 

I was working at a bookstore when The Secret was published in 2006. Almost nothing pisses me off more than Oprah recieving credit for books that she happens to like.

 

The Secret is a book by Rhonda Byrne. It is based on a prior film, which was also produced by Byrne. Oprah liked it. That's all she had to do with it.

 

Apologies. Rant over. Carry on.

People connecting Oprah with the book is what made it a best seller. Otherwise, the book was little more than a rehash of previous such works written over the past few decades. Oprah made this one special! I'm pretty sure the author and publisher don't mind the reason people buy it as long as they buy it.

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Hmm, that's interesting. The Secret came out around the time this mentality seemed to take off in my church. I wonder if there were any christian responses to this book that were published a year or so later.

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I'm a bit late to the topic, but wanted to mention how interesting  this is. My husband believes this idea which is utterly absurd to me. Anytime he is sick, he claims he is only "dehydrated" and if I mention that someone might be getting sick he scorns and replies "don't say that" and I swear he is praying away the "evil" words under his breath. He was dehydrated for 3 weeks recently!😃

The information on Norman Peale is interesting! I may have to print that and leave it out somewhere for him to find!

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