Dark Christianity
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May 2008
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dogemperor [userpic]
Another sad case of religiously motivated child abuse

(This will be posted to DailyKos and Talk2Action later this weekend, but getting this out now)

A trial is presently underway in a case of a Tennessee 8-year-old who appears to be the latest sad case of what I have referred to as "death by chastening rod"--cases where kids are literally beaten to death by dominionist groups which have a strong belief in "deliverance ministry". Sites like Stop The Rod have been bringing a lot of awareness to this, but sadly these cases continue and--all too often--the abuse is not discovered until the kid ends up dead or maimed.

Details behind the cut. Warning to walkaways, victims of child abuse, and especially victims of "deliverance ministry" linked abuse--the below is likely to be triggering.

Articles follow )

Doing a bit of backgrounder research, I found that Remnant Fellowship is apparently a neopentecostal dominionist group founded by Gwen Shamblin--who is most (in)famous for promoting fad "Bible-based" diet programs (specifically the "deliverance ministry"-based "Weigh Down Workshop"). Not only is the group one of the most blatantly dominionist and overtly "Joel's Army" groups I have ever seen, but explicitly states that no other Christian denominations are actually Christian; "Weigh Down Workshop" is essentially a fad diet combined with a heavy emphasis on "name it and claim it" and "deliverance ministry".

In fact, the church has an entire webpage dedicated to damage control and spin. The reason for *this* is because damned near every single group that does any sort of research at all on coercive religious groups has noted the org is in essence a Bible-based cult, among them: Rick Ross Institute, Religion News Blog (which notes specifically the spiritually abusive components as well as its criticism of its apologetics; reportedly walkaways from Remnant Fellowship are deemed the "demon seed" (showing it practices "serpent seed" theology) and ex-members are shunned, reportedly the church has attempted SLAPP-style lawsuits against critics (in *exactly* the same fashion as Scientology and Amway have tried to shut down vocal critics by suing them into the poorhouse) and may have engaged in frank vote fraud in local elections), SpiritWatch (the target of the SLAPP by Remnant Fellowship), FACTnet (of note, a person reporting on a Remnant/Weigh Down seminar notes one of the specific seminars is called "Strongholds"--this is a dominion theology term (specifically in claiming that pretty much doing ANYTHING not vetted by the name-it-and-claim-it leader "opens doorways and strongholds for Satan in your life")), and others. In fact, even sites for people wishing to investigate weightloss programs warn that Weigh Down is operated as a recruitmnt front for Remnant Fellowship.

There is also an active walkaway community for Weigh Down/Remnant Fellowship walkaways and survivors, and there is a real risk that this could be one of the few churches actually taken down due to religiously motivated child abuse--court evidence to be presented includes an interview between cult founder Gwen Shamblin and the mother of the murdered child on the effectiveness of "chastening techniques" and which indicates Shamblin herself specifically told the parents of the poor child how to literally beat the hell out of him.

Current Mood: sick
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