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Belittling, Brainwashing, Fear and Christianity


DarkBishop
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Greetings and salutations,

 

I've been giving this some thought lately. It has come up several times in discussions how a lot of people hold on to their faith because of the emotional attachment that Christianity invokes. But I don't think we have had a subject on it. And you with more psychological training and experience will probably be able to add greatly to this subject. 

 

First a little anecdotal story like I always like to put out there. When I first started working in the industry I worked from the ground up basically. But there was a woman there that was beautiful. She was married. And there was this supervisor that just dogged her. He belittled her, made her feel ugly, and like she could do nothing right. Well the next thing I know she is having an affair on her husband with this supervisor. And for the life of me, I couldn't understand why. This guy was horrible to her. But that was the hook. He made her feel lower than dirt. At some point expressed interest in her sexually, and apparently she wanted to finally please this man and made the decision to have an affair with him. This eventually led to a divorce and all the joys that come with it. But the supervisor got what he wanted. 

 

I see this exact type of thing in Christianity. I'm pretty sure there is a psychiatric terminology for that specific type of manipulation, but I don't know what it is. Maybe someone can help me with that. 

 

I want to cover some parallels with Christianity and that specific situation I witnessed. I posted it here for Christians to chime in if they want. Because I really think this is key to indoctrination. 

 

For most avid church goers the process starts as a child. They never really talked about hell and the devil in Sunday school. Mostly they talked about the love Jesus has for us. They talk about heaven. They talk about obeying your parents. And teach you the basics of the ten commandments in child terms. Not stealing or killing. And being good to each other. 

 

But at some point as time progresses they begin to talk about sin. And you start catching onto things that are preached on in the sermon. Then you learn about the punishment for sin. Hell. 

 

So let's just slow down a bit. 

When this woman got hired on. They go through orientation. Your introduced to your supervisor. Your trained how to do your job. And up to this point everything is hunky dory. 

 

In Christianity as a child your told all the good things. How we will all be in heaven one day if we are good. And Jesus loves you, especially the little children. There are streets of gold. Etc. Everything is great. 

 

But then maybe this woman screwed something up. And this opened the door for the supervisor to give her negativity. So she tried harder. But could never seem to satisfy him. Then he threw out a few personal insults. Insulted her intelligence or her looks. But for whatever reason she just wasn't good enough. Maybe he mentioned her losing her job. This would have been the opportune time to make a suggestive comment.

 

In Christianity we eventually get to the point that we realized that we aren't going to go to heaven because we aren't good enough. We apparently have this inherited sin that is placed on our shoulders that only Jesus can take away. But there are certain things that have to be done before he takes those away. (And this varies by denomination) But either way, you go from feeling good about yourself and eternity to feeling guilty. Even if you have done nothing to really feel guilty for. Also to put the icing on the cake. If you don't make God happy. Your going to be tortured for eternity in unending fire that will never be quench. And you will suffer for forever, and ever. 

 

So now your brought down to this lowest of low points. You feel guilty, you feel horrible, your in fear of such a horrible punishment that awaits. But you also feel worthless. If I deserve that, I'm nothing. 

 

This woman felt worthless, she felt like a failure, and that she may be close to losing her source of income to help provide for her family. 

 

But wait. There is an out. If she pleased this man...... another way. He will keep her around. And maybe give her a second chance. Which did happen. After the affair started he was as nice as he could be to her. She couldn't do any wrong. 

 

And with Christianity there is an out. Jesus. He loves us right. What about him? And yes that's the answer. And here I will quote a scripture.

 

Revelations 5

5 And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.

2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

4 And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.

5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

 

John 3

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

 

This is probably the most quoted verse in all of christendom.

 

Jesus paid the price. I can still go to heaven. I have to believe in him, confess my sins, and be baptized and I'm good to go again. 

 

Now I made that sound somewhat nonchalant and maybe a little sarcastic. But the internal turmoil that someone goes through is very real. 

 

The feelings in both situations are real. I've been deconverted 5 years now and I would still confess that in the moment of what I call my "salvation experience" I was in a state of panic, fear, and guilt. This experience is very very very real. But it is only in our heads because of what we were taught. Just like the experience of the poor woman I mentioned. She was probably also in a state of panic at one point and felt she only had one way out. And I'm sure the relief that she felt when he started giving her praise was liberating. She probably felt then,  that everything was going to be alright. But it didn't stop with just one time. Just as in Christianity. At first I thought, that was it, I'm good. 

 

Let's go back to the salvation experience. We are done with the situation at my work now. But I hope you see the parallels. That specific instance was a man horribly manipulating a woman into sleeping with him, and it ended up destroying her home life. Sometimes Christianity does the same thing to people. I've seen some people that have been deeply traumatized by religion. 

 

So now we are sitting back in church. We are feeling that all is lost. The weight of the world is on our shoulders. My specific experience actually wasn't in church but it works the same. Either way. One of my thoughts I had was what if I have a wreck and die today or tomorrow. I'm going to end up in hell. The very fear was tangible. I was crying. I was in a state of panic. I knew that I had to confess and ask Jesus into my life. For me, I felt I had to go to my relatives house that witnessed to me. He was a preacher. For most, they only have to walk down the aisle to the altar. But then another fear kicks in. If I go....... they'll know. So you fight it. But the fear and guilt win out. You stand up. You take those few steps it takes to get to the altar. You pour your heart out confessing your sins and asking Jesus in your heart to save you. It literally feels like the single most horrible moment in your life. But then when it is done the feeling of all that guilt. (That in actuality you never should have had) and all that fear just leaves you. You've done what was needed. And the feeling of utter relief that you feel makes you believe that, yes. Jesus just literally paid you a personal visit and took away your sins. Casting them as far as from the east is to the west. Never to be mentioned again. 

 

The emotions are real. The feelings are real. The experience is real. I will never deny what I felt that day. I feel that this emotional experience is key to indoctrination. 

 

But wait there's more!!!!!

 

Unfortunately it doesn't stop there. That is the initial hook that almost every Christian church has in common. After that there are rules and regulations to abide by. This will differ between denominations. But it is all heralded as living the "godly" life. Setting yourself apart. Being a new person. 

 

You see they didn't want people to receive salvation and just be good model citizens, obeying the law and doing good to others. No they wanted control. And once you have had this salvation experience it opens the door for the church to make you a different person. And this is heralded as a good thing.  Being like what they define as "Christ like".

 

My church was one of the more oppressive churches toward women. They were to be in subjection. They weren't supposed to cut their hair, they were supposed to wear dresses. They were to live a holy life according to whatever the church defined that that should be. The same went for the men as well. But we were the leaders. All of this supported by biblical scripture. We also believed we could lose salvation if we didn't perform the works a Christian was supposed to do (also defined by the church). So the fear of hell was constantly hung over our heads. 

 

Remember. The rules and regulations after the "salvation experience" are fluid. Every denomination has their "Interpretation" of what that is. And it sets one up to be manipulated in some of the most horrible ways. Think of any cult that has committed horrible crimes against children, women, or just everyone in general. They all used the Bible to justify their actions. Once that hook has hold of you. And you have had that extremely emotional experience. You want to do anything to keep your spot in heaven and please God. 

 

The most natural human experiences are deemed a sin. 

 

This is the emotional hook of Christianity and one of the things we are fighting against on this site. People are so grateful to this imaginary figure, that they give up their lives. They give up the things they like or even love. I know people that don't talk to their parents because the church says that God doesn't want them associating with unbelievers. Look at resent history. We've seen people kill themselves because some charismatic preacher convinced them to. So once this emotional hook is set, your dependant on your church to be a church that doesn't take advantage of that. 

 

If your Christian. Just analyze what your church is doing. If your happy and are able to live your life like you want. Cool. But if you feel like you are walking on egg shells on your path to heaven. Please consider this. There is a wealth of information here proving that the Bible is not true. And if the Bible isn't true. You should live your life the way you see fit. Not what your church says it should be. Be yourself no matter what. I think that is my biggest regret. For over a decade I wasn't myself. I was someone else. 

 

Best regards,

Dark Bishop

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Went straight from reading this to seeing this on my fb feed:

 

image.png

 

There is no love like Christian love.

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21 minutes ago, Krowb said:

Went straight from reading this to seeing this on my fb feed:

 

image.png

 

There is no love like Christian love.

Lol yeah the gift of salvation is there. The decision is up to you. But your going to burn in hell if you don't accept Jesus. True love right there. Now..... what were the choices. Do what I say or suffer right? Lol. 

 

Not much of a choice there. Sounds more like an ultimatum. 

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Turn or Burn, Bitches!!!

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41 minutes ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

Turn or Burn, Bitches!!!

Worked for the catholic church for a millenia. Wonder how many "witches" they burned at the stake. 

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It's basic salesmanship. Convince people that they need something and then provide the item that fills that need. And first on the list is the old "What will happen to you after you die?"

 

For me, the answer to that question is the quote from Mark Twain, "I do not fear death. I was dead for billions and billions of years before I was born and it hadn't caused me the slightest inconvenience."

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10 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

 

I see this exact type of thing in Christianity. I'm pretty sure there is a psychiatric terminology for that specific type of manipulation, but I don't know what it is. Maybe someone can help me with that. 

I think that falls under the term "gaslighting".

 

https://www.newportinstitute.com/resources/mental-health/what_is_gaslighting_abuse/#:~:text=Gaslighting is a form of,their own judgment and intuition.

 

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13 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

But the internal turmoil that someone goes through is very real. 

I have often drawn the parallel between religion and addiction.  The emotional cycles are strikingly similar: emotional triggers lead to craving (obsessive need for more--whether it be more heroin, more alcohol, or in this case, more god/grace/spirit/holiness/etc.), which leads to the rituals (trips to liquor store, dealer's house, or church/altar/prayer fellowship etc.), followed by using which affords an incredible release, feelings of euphoria, peace and serenity.  But it always comes back to guilt: the feelings of worthlessness, the promises to do better, the vows to never do it again and the need to feel clean and forgiven.  These emotions eventually start the cycle all over again.

 

I was constantly on this emotional roller-coaster as a christian, even when, as you mentioned, I hadn't done anything I should feel guilty about.  Just the inborn guilt that was normalized through childhood indoctrination was enough.  I constantly felt I wasn't good enough, didn't pray hard enough, didn't read the Bible, didn't believe as firmly as I should.  And the biggest guilt of all was that I didn't "witness" enough, didn't lead enough people to the lord and his message of salvation.

 

Psychologists have recently begun exploring childhood indoctrination as a possible form of child abuse.  I think it is; and I would firmly state that what happened to me as a child would constitute mental and emotional abuse, at times punctuated with physical abuse.  The thing that strikes me the most about what they're finding out is that adults who suffered childhood indoctrination often present the same symptoms as adults who survived physical and sexual abuse during childhood: depression, anxiety, addiction, codependency, difficulty in relationships, etc.  We often share a lot of the same defects of character as well.

 

I have seen both sides of religion, and both sides of addiction; and, for me, the biggest nightmare of both is that constant and never-ending emotional cycle.  

 

Stay sane, friends...

 

 

Screenshot_20221021-061959_Chrome.jpg

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16 hours ago, DarkBishop said:

So now your brought down to this lowest of low points. You feel guilty, you feel horrible, your in fear of such a horrible punishment that awaits. But you also feel worthless. If I deserve that, I'm nothing. 

 

These are all good points.  I have an old friend from college who is an Anglican licensed lay minister and he's all about some "depravity of man" and "total depravity".  

 

Seems the normal course should be when a manufacturer produces a flawed product the manufacturer should be held account, not the product.

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2 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

  I constantly felt I wasn't good enough, didn't pray hard enough, didn't read the Bible, didn't believe as firmly as I should.  And the biggest guilt of all was that I didn't "witness" enough, didn't lead enough people to the lord and his message of salvation.

 

Most churches preach that you will never be good enough. I've heard it in sermons. Hell I preached it when I was Baptist. There was only one perfect person and that was Jesus. We are nothing but sinners, saved by grace. Like you said. It was a normal accepted message. But what is that telling everyone? "You will never be good enough for your God." It doesn't matter if you get saved, If you get baptized 10 times, or live a completely sin free life according to the Bible. You will still not be good enough and the only reason your going to heaven is because of Jesus. 

 

Thats not a good message to embed in someone's mind. 

 

When I converted to the Gospel assembly,  they believed you could be perfect just like Jesus. We believed that was the whole reason the Holy Ghost was sent. So that we could truly live a Godly life because we couldn't do it on our own. We needed Jesus and the Holy ghost to do it for us. We were taught to let God live through us. I don't know which was worse really. Because when you believe you can be like Jesus and you can live without sin. When you do slip up the same cycle starts over. And let's be honest. In a holiness church. There is no way your going to be able to go your whole life without doing something that is considered sin. 

 

So now your beating yourself up. Going to the altar. Repenting again. And if it was bad enough you needed to be baptized again. I think I got baptized 4 times when I was in the assembly. Once when I converted. Twice when I felt I needed to because of something I did. And once just because I wanted to. 

 

Then the cycle starts over. 

 

3 hours ago, TheRedneckProfessor said:

depression, anxiety, addiction, codependency, difficulty in relationships, etc.  We often share a lot of the same defects of character as well.

 

Well......... that explains a lot of issues that I have in my life. 

 

So basically a relationship with God is the same as being in a toxic relationship with someone that gaslights you, makes you feel worthless. Does the same to your children while periodically beating everyone in the family, and hangs the threat of death over your head if you don't conform your life to that of his perfect son, Jesus who can never do any wrong. But he loves you. And he is going to reward you after you spend your whole life suffering for him. 

 

Hmmm..... I think we are getting somewhere. 

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1 hour ago, Krowb said:

Seems the normal course should be when a manufacturer produces a flawed product the manufacturer should be held account, not the product.

In the bibles case. It blames the flawed product on the product itself. Not the manufacturer. "Well its not our fault they like to talk to snakes" lol. 

 

Talk about a shitty warranty. 

 

I had a warranty on a bridal set with one of my ex wives. She put it in the console of the car but messed up and put it where the hinge was. It crushed the ring. It was supposed to be covered for everything. But when I tried to use it they said it didn't cover abuse. So maybe after Christians have been abused for years like we've been talking about. The warranty is void. Even if it is the manufacturer doing the abuse. 

 

DB

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52 minutes ago, DarkBishop said:

that explains a lot of issues that I have in my life.

I will say that a lot of my behavioral patterns, idiosyncracies, and thought processes finally made sense once I realized that abuse had occurred during my childhood.  It became easier to change those patterns once I was able to make sense of why and how they had come to happen in the first place.  I'm all about cutting toxicity out of my life now; because it's too easy to fall back into my old ruts when I'm in a toxic situation, and I've worked too hard to climb out of those ditches.

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I made an oops when I first posted this topic the other day. I was looking at the "suffering the sins of the world" post and backed out to start this thread not realizing I was in the pinned lions den section. 

 

I contacted RNP last night and asked him to put it in the appropriate section. Thank you RNP 😊 

 

 DB

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Hey, always happy to help out a fellow Georgia good ol' boy.

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