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It made me believe that by myself I was immoral. 

 

It made me believe that no one could be good to me. 

 

It made believe that I couldn't do anything without a supreme being. 

 

It made me believe that I couldn't help myself. 

 

It made me believe that little children were going to go to hell. 

 

It made me believe that all human effort was useless. 

 

It made me believe that I all I needed to do was rely on the promises and blessings of God. 

 

It made me believe that all my actions were only rags of dirt. 

 

It made me believe that I knew something I could never prove. 

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Everything in your post applies to me as well,  but I'd like to add one thing, if you don't mind...

Religion stole my childhood.

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25 minutes ago, Derek said:

Everything in your post applies to me as well,  but I'd like to add one thing, if you don't mind...

Religion stole my childhood.

And alot more I tell you that. 

 

We should add more to the list.

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It made me believe the promises of Jesus

It made me believe that God promised to answer my prayers because he loved me

It made me believe that when those prayers weren't answered, that God was answering with "a better plan"

It made me believe that God's better plan included suffering and death instead of what I "thought I needed"

It made me believe that a constant shell-game of beautiful -sounding promises, "better plans", and God's utter failure was really God's faithful and powerful response of love

 

It made me believe that God was my father who was watching over me and would protect and provide

It made me believe that his threats of harm were because he was holy

It made me believe that my own sexual desires were really the devil, and that I was now holy but compromising with the devil

It made me believe that satisfying my sexual desires made me unclean and made God want to hurt me

It made me believe that God was justified in hating me, and that only another tortured person's blood could save me from being burned alive by the God who loved me

It made me believe that groveling in tears of shame before this being was the right response to having been a mere human

It made me believe that a cruel, abusive, spiteful, harmful, irritable, capricious, blood-loving, tantrum-throwing man was in charge of the universe, and that his actions and threats were really good instead of evil because he's "holy"

It made me believe that "men of God" who behaved this way were good because they were chosen as leaders of the house, leaders of the church, and my role was to submit to their whims which weren't really whims because they were led by God

 

 

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It made me fly an airplane into the World Trade Center.

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Religion stole my loving wife and turned my step son into an abusive prick!

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Then again...does religion simply act as a feeble excuse for abusive pricks to be abusive pricks?

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1 hour ago, MOHO said:

Then again...does religion simply act as a feeble excuse for abusive pricks to be abusive pricks?

The short answer is yes, in particular when the abuses can be "forgiven and forgotten" and the abuser is free to continue. 

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Religion made me believe that living in constant, overwhelming fear was a natural and good way to be.

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Religion stole my ability to learn how to think for myself or even know how to have an opinion.

Religion gave me an overactive propensity for guilt about normal things I shouldn't feel guilty for.

Religion screwed up any chance of having unconditional acceptance, love, and relationships with my parents.

Religion made me think I was "less than" for the majority of my life.

 

Free at last!  Free at last!  Thank my own brain that was hidden, I'm free at last!

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I did not realize when I got involved in fundamentalist religion, that is was a cult and a drug to me. I was extremely dependent on it for many years and it almost destroyed my life completely in many, many ways.

 

I am so glad you are free mrspearl. (hug)

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Brainwashing is effective precisely because the victims don’t believe they’re brainwashed. Cults are effective for the same reason. Those that are members of a cult don’t believe they are in a cult. :(

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3 hours ago, Geezer said:

Brainwashing is effective precisely because the victims don’t believe they’re brainwashed. Cults are effective for the same reason. Those that are members of a cult don’t believe they are in a cult. :(

 And the only difference between a religion and a cult are the number of people that follow the belief. Otherwise they are the exact same thing.

 

DB

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It made me believe that the music I love was the”Devils” music.

 

it made me believe God would show me his will and when I thought I was following it, I made some of the worst decisions I’ve ever made. Causing an abundance of heart ache. 

 

It it made me believe I had a brother “Jesus” and a father “god” that would never leave me or forsake me, who in the end seemed like they didn’t even like me or want me in their church. 

 

It turned my life upside down when I realized it was all a lie. 

 

However, falling from religion led me to this fine group of people here in ExC.

 

DB

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Religion made me believe that everyone outside my group would go to hell. 

 

Religion made me belive that being human was sinful. 

 

Religion made me believe that I knew better than everyone else. 

 

Religion made me believe that I had to judge everything by a book written by sheep herders. 

 

Religion made me believe that a invisible evil force was responsible for our condition. 

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Religion convinced me that my precious daughters were sinners, deserving eternal hellfire and that, unless I hated them, I would spank them hard and often to get them to stop "sinning".

 

 

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Religion made me believe that my only worth was what I could offer to my parents' god.

 

Religion taught me to follow blindly, without question, and without any explanation.

 

Religion made me doubt my own sense of right and wrong and especially logic.

 

Religion taught me that I couldn't say 'no' to a man in a position of authority over me, because he'd been given the right to tell me what to do.

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On ‎2‎/‎10‎/‎2019 at 12:42 PM, DarkBishop said:

 And the only difference between a religion and a cult are the number of people that follow the belief. Otherwise they are the exact same thing.

 

DB

 

Not quite. Anyone who has been in a real cult will tell you there is a huge difference between mainstream religion and a cult.

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It drained me intellectually.

It made me poor.

It provided false love and hope.

It broke my heart.

 

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41 minutes ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Not quite. Anyone who has been in a real cult will tell you there is a huge difference between mainstream religion and a cult.

 

Yes. I suppose some of us, perhaps due to our negative experiences with xianity, use the cult label a bit liberally. There are sufficient definitions on the Interwebs so I won't go there but I think most of us won't mind using the label for any religious group that is harmful and seeks to be exclusive rather than inclusive. What I mean is that when the leader demands unbelievers be discluded from all participation and takes steps to separate members from non-believing family  - I think we have cult on our hands. 

 

Mrs. MOHO's church suggests very strongly that non-believers (even family) stay away.  The official reasoning is that non-believers become more and more cynical when they actually attend warship with friends and fams.  The real reason , as you all know, is that they don't want any outside influence. 

 

Personally I will add obsessing over a common enemy as maybe another cult property. For example (here it comes again) Mrs. MOHO's church suggest very strongly that members obtain, read, study these "Satan is our enemy" booklets. I read two of them last Sunday whilst the Mrs was at church and they pull no punches. "Satan is everywhere", "You must repeat these phrases out loud", "You must learn to identify Satan".

Essentially Satan, or someone "acting on his behalf" is anyone who...

    1. Disagrees with anything in the booklets

    2. Knows sciency things and attempts to introduce you to scientific "book learn'n"

    3. Is "of this world" (to include watching the news on T.V., going to college or sending children to (GASP!) public school)

    4. Plays an electric guitar (OK  - I'm just being funny here)

    5. Plays said guitar while watching NASCAR on Sundays instead of going to church with his wife. (Where did THAT one come from)  :rolleyes:

 

So, yes, perhaps many of the churches we've been to were not cults by the classic definition but GODDAMIT they were/are harmful just the same. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Not quite. Anyone who has been in a real cult will tell you there is a huge difference between mainstream religion and a cult.

 

I see it as the same thing just a different doctrine. I’m sure SDA and LDS were considered cults at first. Now they are just religions. I found out after I deconverted that my old church was very cultish in the 50s there is a book that is about to be published about it. I’ll post a link. They are all doing the same thing, using the “word of God” and “the Holy Spirit to control the congregation. 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Religion-Fear-Story-Church-Assembly/dp/162190508X/ref=mp_s_a_1_fkmrnull_1?crid=NZKASAS034VZ&keywords=religion+of+fear+by+david+cady&qid=1550546810&s=gateway&sprefix=reigikn+of+fea&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

 

I recommend this book. I haven’t read it yet but I have read some of the interviews and I was astonished. The union assembly is just another religion today tho. As well as the gospel assembly that broke off from it. They have a completely different interpretation of creation than any other Christian church I’ve been in. 

 

DB

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