Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
...and for once, justice is done (even among the horrid news out of the UK)

Buried in the headlines (for obvious reasons, and my deepest sympathies and well wishes go out to those in the UK)...


Three people who are apparently part of a dominionist church (targeting African-British nationals) have been convicted of child abuse for the torture of an eight year old child in attempted exorcisms. (Among other things, they claimed she was a witch.)

Info on the specific background (which IS dominionist, in fact can be tied to dominionist churches in the US who have targeted Africa to "claim dominion over the demons in darkest Africa") is at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4596127.stm

The UK is looking into a specific taskforce in regards to religiously-motivated child abuse, including "death by exorcism", due to the increasing number of complaints of child abuse involving dominionist churches in the UK practicing "deliverance ministry" (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4607773.stm)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4602543.stm also has more info on the kid's ordeal.

(As some backgrounder/aside:

I have posted this in part to show that dominionism/"deliverance ministry" is *not* a problem that is restricted to the US alone, but to many countries worldwide. Among other things, Australia has a specific dominionist political party that is, for all intents and purposes, a political wing of the AoG ("Family First", http://www.familyfirst.org.au/) which is increasingly the subject of controversy in Oz.

Much of the blame for the rise in African-British abuse cases is *directly* attributable to dominionist groups here in the US--the AoG, and other pentecostal denominations that support dominionism, have been targeting countries outside the US heavily, and have had the most success in Africa, South Korea and Australia (which have the least regulations, incidentially, on monitoring of churches for abuse; often in African cases, they also claim to build schools and whatnot, but teach an explicitly dominionist platform).

"Deliverance ministry" (as practiced in the US) *already* has a belief that everything outside of the church is demonic and that everything outside the church has active possession by devils; in the case of Korea and Africa, this has sort of meshed with preexisting belief in witchcraft (or, more properly, is compatible enough with existing beliefs in witchcraft).

I will note that, again in the specific case of African and Korean dominionists, they are cross-pollinating with the US "deliverance ministry" folks (cref Paul Cho, who may have been the ultimate source of the whole "Toronto"/"Brownsville"/"Third Wave" madness--and who started it in an AoG church in the fifties in Seoul, South Korea). Not that the preexisting "deliverance ministry" stuff isn't scary enough, mind...

Anyways, now dominionist thought (in regards to "deliverance ministry"--trust me, the two are related; "deliverance ministry" *is by definition* dominionism, as part of the basic theology of "deliverance ministry" claims one must "take dominion of things away from Satan") is being imported to the UK, and the UK is starting to see the same problems as the US, Canada and Oz have seen for a while regarding child abuse and dominionism.

In other words--EVEN IF YOU DO NOT LIVE IN THE US, DO NOT THINK DOMINIONISM IS NOT YOUR PROBLEM. More than likely, it *is*, but it's not as developed in the US. (Oz and several countries in Africa are probably closest to having a US-scale dominionist problem, by the way. In fact, in the case of at least one African country (Uganda)...they have a homegrown dominionist group called the Army of the Lord that steals kids to use them as child soldiers. :()

As another direct aside, relating to the problem of dominionism and "deliverance ministry" in the US--much of the reason that the Convention on the Rights of the Child has never been ratified by the US is *because* of pressure by dominionist parents who wish to use "all methods biblically mandated" to "discipline" their child or otherwise raise claims of "being able to raise my child as I see fit according to my own religion". This doesn't just include legally being able to beat the kid with the "chastising rods" sold in dominionist parenting mags...but also sending kids to places like Love In Action, and being legally allowed to perform involuntary exorcisms on kids.

This is something that hits personally at home to me--I was unable to escape my situation as a kid because legal authorities in the US, by and large, do not yet recognise religiously-motivated abuse or religious abuse as a form of child abuse (partly from pressure by dominionist groups). I lived in fear for most of my life as a walkaway (and in fact still do to an extent, which is why my folks generally do NOT know I am a walkaway or transsexual, nor of my own religious beliefs) of involuntary exorcisms of this sort. I'm glad to see the British are being more sensible.)

I will post a separate post on the Australian dominionist party "Family First" (really, it behooves us all to know this is NOT a US-only problem).

dogemperor [userpic]
Another potential ally in the fight against religious abuse targeted at kids


Coalition Against Institutionalised Child Abuse is a watchdog group, much like ISAC (http://www.isaccorp.org) and Emancipation Project (http://www.emancipationproject.org) that focuses on awareness of and fighting against coercive "behaviour modification" facilities.

(Again, this is of note because many if not the vast majority of "behaviour mod" facilities of this type are in fact operated by dominionist groups; Love In Action is promoted in literature from Focus on the Family and the American Family Association, for example. Some groups such as WWASP have also been known to promote causes in the dominionist community (such as "de-gaying therapy"); many dominionist-run schools are also promoting themselves as "tough love" schools. A number of former WWASP schools, too, are now owned and operated as blatantly dominionist "correction schools".)

dogemperor [userpic]
New Zach update, some good news...

...seeing as I think we all can use it with the whole Supreme Court justice retirement thing :P


Apparently the state of Tennessee is investigating whether Love In Action/Refuge can be shut down as an unlicensed healthcare facility.

The one possible bit of bad news is if they can successfully claim they're "faith based" they may be exempt; however, as they've claimed they have licensed counselors (admittedly licensed by having degrees from dominionist groups that in part act as certification mills as well as indoctrination centers, such as Liberty University) they fall under purview of a new Tennessee law.

According to the article, there is also apparently legal precedent in Tennessee for emancipation of teens who are at threat of being sent to dominionist-run clinics like Love In Action/Refuge. Also, the state of Tennessee has permanently revoked the license of at least one Memphis-area counselor who was practicing as an "ex-gay therapist" and promoting the commitment of kids to Love In Action et al.

(Forwarded to ISAC, Southern Poverty Law Center, Emancipation Project, nospank.net)

dogemperor [userpic]
Another Cultural Warfare Update

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]britzkrieg)

Here's today's cultural warfare update from [info]solarbird. Topics include:

* Decision against divorced Wiccan couple upheld by higher court. Both want to raise their son in their faith, but a lower court ordered in the divorce decree not to "expose" their child to their religious beliefs because that might "confuse" him since he goes to a Catholic school. An appeal is in process to the Indiana Court of Appeals.

* Focus on the Family calls the end-of-term Ten Commandments decisions "dangerous."

* Focus on the Family complains about CDC school survey about sexual activity.

* Focus on the Family report on "threats to religious liberty" -- including marriage rights, abortion rights, and "secularism in culture."

* "Christian" groups plan to install 100 Texas-like Ten Commandments displays in cities across the country, in reaction to the recent Supreme Court rulings.

* Concerned Women for America blacks the new GBLT-themed television cable channel LOGO as an "assault on children."

* The Traditional Values Coalition attacks the latest Supreme Court decisions as "attack[s] on religious freedom."

She also includes the following update on Love in Action from Focus on the Family's webfeed:

Frightening Love in Action Update )

I hope you all find this informative.

dogemperor [userpic]
"Love In Action: Update: State investigates'ex-gay' facility


From Southern Voice online:

Tennessee officials investigating ‘ex-gay’ facility
Teen’s blog leads to outcry, charges of child abuse

Jun. 24, 2005

Tennessee officials are investigating allegations of child abuse at Love in Action, a Memphis facility that advertises homosexual conversion therapy for adolescents, according to the state Department of Health.

K. Daniele Edwards, a spokesperson for Child Services at the Tennessee Department of Health, confirmed an investigation is underway but declined to comment on the details. She noted that she presumes the Love in Action program would require licensing by the state.

Love in Action is not licensed by the Tennessee Departments of Health, Mental Health, Human Services, Child Services or Education, according to Rachel Lassiter of Gov. Phil Bredesen’s communications office.

Refuge, Love in Action’s program for adolescents, became the focus of public concern earlier this month after a Bartlett, Tenn., teen, Zach, blogged that his parents responded to his coming out as gay by sending him to a religious institution to be converted to straight.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Some links I've found of interest this week (re dominionism/child abuse)


This is a site that actually gives info on the issue of "behaviour modification" facilities in general, many of which are run by dominionist groups. (Several dominionist groups I've not seen mentioned previously, including "Victory Christian Academy" and "New Horizons Children's Ministries" are specifically mentioned by the group.)

http://www.emancipationproject.org/ (More info on similar groups.)

(Somewhat surprisingly, the Love In Action "Zach story" has not yet hit either of these sites even though ISAC is listing Refuge/Love In Action as a coercive facility.)

http://www.nospank.net/floggers.htm (Specifically dealing with child abuse in the framework of dominionist groups advocating not only mere spanking but causing of physical harm and committment in "de-gaying centers". Contains specific sections on Dobson (Focus on the Family) including an incident involving animal abuse (the beating of his pet Dachshund) and sections on Ezzo/Babywise (more below on this) as well as other dominionist groups (including several facilities associated with WWASP). Also specifically covers the use of "disciplining rods" by dominionist groups)

http://www.nospank.net/rod.htm (an actual advertisement, as copied by nospank.net, for "chastening rods" sold to the dominionist community--occasionally these are advertised by Focus on the Family and Babywise and/or dominionist "Christian Childrearing" groups in dominionist-run churches; a specific note on promotion by the latter is at http://www.nospank.net/pantley.htm)

http://www.nospank.net/beware.htm (Another watchlist for when a "behaviour modification" facility may be coercive)

http://www.ezzo.info/ (A site in regards to Ezzo/Babywise. Babywise is a program often promoted in the dominionist community that from *birth* submits children to strict scheduling, spanking, and physical/mental/emotional abuse to "break their wills". The program is promoted as "Christ-centered childrearing" but is so radical and damaging that even some conservative Christians have expressed concern about it.)

dogemperor [userpic]
Spare the rod, spoil the child, eh?

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]allisburning)


Waah! Scary stuff!
You really should read this carefully and now.


"... 250 foreign children are locked up. Almost all are American, but though kept prisoner, they were not sent here by a court of law. Their parents paid to have them kidnapped and flown here against their will, to be incarcerated for up to three years, sometimes even longer. They will not be released until they are judged to be respectful, polite and obedient enough to rejoin their families. ...

The cost of sending a child here ranges from $25,000 to $40,000 a year. ...

Along with multiple guards known as 'chaperones', the "family mothers" and "-fathers" (note: these are job titles) control and scrutinise their children 24 hours a day. The only moment a student is alone is in a toilet cubicle; but a chaperone is standing right outside the door, and knows what he or she went in to do, because when students raise their hand for permission to go, they must hold up one finger for 'a number one', and two for 'a number two'.

Corporal punishment is not practised, but staff administer 'restraint'. Officially it is deployed as the name suggests, to subdue a student who is out of control. However, former students say it is issued more often as a punishment. One explains: 'It's a completely degrading, painful experience. You could get it for raising your voice or pointing your finger. ... They pin you down in a five-point formation and that's when they start twisting and pulling your limbs, grinding your ankles.' ...

The first most teenagers hear of Tranquility is therefore when they are woken from their beds at home at 4am by guards, who place them in a van, handcuffed if necessary, drive them to an airport and fly them to Jamaica. The child will not be allowed to speak to his or her parents for up to six months, or see them for up to a year. ...

Students are judged ready to leave only when they have demonstrated a sincere belief that they deserved to be sent here, and that the programme has, in fact, saved their life. They must renounce their old self, espouse the programme's belief system, display gratitude for their salvation, and police fellow students who resist."

(Part 2)

"... his father feels only awestruck gratitude for the treatment his son has received.

'Every time I come here I'm just so struck by the love of these people. You can't fake this kind of love'."


These are IMHO very standard brainwashing techniques.


The last resort (part one)
The Observer - Sunday June 29, 2003


(Part 2)



[info]laraken posted this


-- says it was mentioned on [info]antitheism but I don't know when/where


Xposted -- sorry if you've seen this before


dogemperor [userpic]
If this isn't spiritual abuse- and child abuse, I don't know what is...


I've been reading about an organization called Love In Action, which is a Christian brain-washing 'camp' devoted to making gay Christian kids straight. Parents send their kids to this place, hoping to straighten out their gay children. Instead, it radically scars them.

One young man, Zach, made the potentially fatal error of coming out as gay to his Christian parents. Their solution- putting him into this program. His blog documents the horrors of what is happening to him. He is not allowed to blog- he somehow has managed to get these messages to friends of his, who do it for him.

Daily Kos, Ex-gay watch, Janus Online and many other places in the blogosphere are paying attention and shining light on this very nasty practice of the Christocrats.

Another site, "Anything But Straight documents the continual failure of "Love In Action" and other Christian-run 'ex-gay' ministries to change gay people into 'straight' people. They refuse to believe or acknowledge that homosexuality is something one is born with, and people cannot 'convert' to gay- or convert from gay to straight. All they see is what the bible has said about it, which gives them carte blanche to essentially- especially in the case of "Love In Action" (ironic name...)- destroy their own youngsters. If this isn't child abuse, I don't know what is.

I really feel for young Zach. He bemoans his inability to wait two years- which is practically forever for a sixteen year old- to tell his parents about his homosexuality, and he is paying the price for it. If you are a praying person, I believe that Zach, and people like him- young people who have been literally thrown away by their hateful 'god loving' parents- need all the prayers, energy, and if possible, real help you can give them.

They're doing this to their own children folks. Consider what would happen if these people actually gained real power- and had the ability to do that to you and your own children.

Here's a particularly chilling passage from "Love In Action":

"I would rather you commit suicide than have you leave Love In Action wanting to return to the gay lifestyle. In a physical death you could still have a spiritual resurrection; whereas, returning to homosexuality you are yielding yourself to a spiritual death from which there is no recovery." --The Final Indoctrination from John Smid, Director, Love In Action (LIA), San Rafael's "ex-gay" clan.

In other words, they would rather see gay people dead. Think about that.

dogemperor [userpic]
"Pushing A Deadly Addiction"


Here's another article that compares the Religious Right to addiction.

An excerpt:

For my purposes, the distinction between fundamentalist Christianity and Dominionism is incidental because what is most important to understand is that any religion, philosophy, or belief system can be addictive, fear-based, and terrorizing, and if it is used to justify changing the Constitution of the United States and creating a society in which the laws of that system are also fear-based and terrorizing, then regardless of the label, fundamentalist or Dominionist, that system is both terrorist and tyrannical. Whether one wishes to debate the differences between fundamentalist Christianity and Dominionism or not, both systems are about domination, power, control, right/wrong; win/lose. Moreover, as in my last article, I am reiterating that terrorism and tyranny, like the word addiction, have much broader definitions than crashing planes into buildings, establishing a superior race, or forcing women to cover their faces.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
spare the rod....


Child suspended from Christian school because mother refused to spank him

She refused to administer corporal punishment when ORDERED to do so, so a 6-yr-old is now removed from the school.

Current Mood: indescribable
dogemperor [userpic]
"I'm Ready To Die"


This essay from Rense talks about the mindset inculcated in Dominionist churches.

'I'm Ready To Die'

By Dr. Teresa Whitehurst

Six weeks ago, a young man sat down next to an older woman waiting for him and stated grimly, "I don't care. That's it. He can say what he wants. As for me, I'm ready to die".

Referring several times to nearby CBN (Christian Broadcasting Network), he laid a Bible on the table at the Norfolk coffee shop where I was writing a book proposal. I felt badly for him; he seemed to have an incurable disease. The woman mumbled something.

He quickly retorted, "I don't care what he said. I won't work with him." His voice was clipped as he emphasized his refusal to negotiate with a particular coworker.

The older woman sat holding her coffee, rarely even sipping it, with a hopeless-looking expression on her face. She showed no sympathy, looking at him as if she knew what he was about to say. Now I doubted that he was dying of a terminal illness.

The slender dark-haired 20-something, looked straight ahead without touching his coffee. The older lady asked quietly, "Don't you think that maybe-"

He cut her off: "Look, the end is coming. I know that and you know that. You've seen the signs. I just don't care about this guy, I don't care what he says. The end is coming very soon. None of this is going to matter." For the first time showing emotion, he added angrily, "I'm ready to die-I'm ready to go today, right now!"

I immediately recognized this as rapture talk. This young man does have an incurable disease, but it's spiritual, not physical: It's called fundamentalism (aka "millennialism"), the kind of Christianity to which Bush and his "conservative" advisers ascribe. Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Can fundamentalism be the deciding factor?



Women who kill their children commonly cite God, the devil and other religious influences for their actions. Although the mothers are also often found to be severely mentally ill or psychotic, the recurring theme of religiosity begs the question: Is religion to blame?

Olson said that while religion doesn't cause mental illness, he believes existing conditions can be inflamed by religious environments where leaders demand absolute obedience and claim to speak for God.

"This kind of culture, religious atmosphere, group dynamic can set up a situation where that person is more likely to act out in aggressive ways under tremendous pressure," Olson said.

dogemperor [userpic]
if they had been pagan....


There would have been a national uproar over the "evil witches" and another example made of "this is what they are, look at the enemy."

But, of course, since she was planning it in the name of Jesus, she's simply considered "irrational."

Police: Couple planned to 'sacrifice' children

Current Mood: enraged
dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]gothic_oreo)

Apparently, it is okay by God to make a living off of the story of the death of your entire family, especially when you may have been complicit in their deaths and the death of another.

dogemperor [userpic]
Update on Exorcism Death


It seems the preacher who killed Terrence Cottrell Jr. during an exorcism months back that we discussed was sentenced today.

-$1,224.75 restitution
-30 Months in jail
-7.5 years state supervision
-No more Exorcisms


dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]ornerybitch)

Someone posted this link in another community and it seems like something that'd be of interest here.

Toddlers taught to evangelise.

I think the part that got me the most was this:

The program uses military imagery to encourage children to remember biblical passages, and has prompted one troubled Christian parent to say "the course puts pressure on kids to evangelise their friends and at 3 years old this is perhaps somewhat inappropriate".

That parent was concerned about one activity in particular, involving learning army parade-style chants.
(Itallics mine)

Maybe it's just me, but I find that scary. Even if it is in Australia, the fact someone's doing that to kids disturbs me.

Current Mood: Disturbed
dogemperor [userpic]
Passion of the Bunny.....


Easter Bunny Whipped by Pa. Church Group

GLASSPORT, Pa. — A church trying to teach about the crucifixion of Jesus performed an Easter show with actors whipping the Easter bunny and breaking eggs, upsetting several parents and young children.

dogemperor [userpic]
Children and "Passion"


crossposted from my personal LJ.

My thoughts on "TPotC" -- Kids are being taken to this film for reasons of "religious education." Many are too young to read the subtitles. So, the primary impact will be intense, graphic violence. But that's OK; it's Biblically-based. This provides them with automatic psychological shields that will spare them having any traumatic effects. A quote from [info]amara_m's LJ, about her movie experience: "Before the cross was even vertical, the 8 year old in front of me was sobbing so hysterically he was heaving, like he was going to throw up."

Apparently these same protections aren't afforded them when they read something truly graphic like "Harry Potter" and get drawn into the dark side.

I'm sorry, is my sarcasm showing?

dogemperor [userpic]
Bad exorcism?



To sumrise the story...they believe these people were trying to exorcise demons from the child. The late child had, among other injuries, a broken back. I realize they don't mention if it was a Christian exorcism or not, but it still allows for the topic of exorcisms to at least be discussed in light of this tragedy.

Current Mood: cold
dogemperor [userpic]
Idol worship, idle clergy


A man claiming he was God and said he was "going to save everyone from idol worship" went on a rampage that destroyed a number of old statues in San Antonio's San Fernando Cathedral. Archbishop Patrick Flores said he was "depressed" and "I couldn't help but cry" over the destruction. This is the same man who brushed off the child-molestation scandal plaguing the church, actually getting angry in a videotape deposition .

Someone here is not living in reality, and someone is connected to God's message. Guess which one is which, IMHO?

Full story of the statue destruction here .

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