Dark Christianity
.::: .::..:.::.:.
Back Viewing 0 - 20  
dogemperor [userpic]
This is interesting

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

I found this over on quixoticals.

I knew most of this stuff about cults, before, but what occurred to me while watching this was how much Dominionist groups follow this credo...

And they worry about US? LOL!

location: High Desert
Current Mood: curious
dogemperor [userpic]
Surviving and Moving On After a High Demand Group Experience

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

This might be of interest to some of you:

Surviving and Moving On After a High Demand Group Experience:
A Workshop for Second-Generation Former Members

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has run workshops for former members of high-demand, “cultic” groups for many years.

In recent years increasing numbers of people born or raised in such groups (i.e., “second generation adults” - SGAs) have attended these workshops. These ex-members have special needs, which can be most effectively addressed through a workshop that focuses on them. SGAs do not have a “pre-cult identity” to which they can return. SGAs raised in fringe subcultures have to learn the implicit rules and expectations of mainstream culture.

SGAs frequently have educational and other skill deficits that interfere with adjustment to mainstream culture. Having grown up in high-control groups that are often based on irrational belief systems, SGAs tend to struggle with issues of dependency, self-esteem, and social conflict. Because many SGAs were physically or sexually abused, they often have to deal with anger, resentment, and other emotions related to trauma. SGAs have difficulty getting help because they tend to lack finances and be wary of other people, including helpers.

More info about the workshop, location, and fees at the link above. (Via [info]religionnewsblo.)

dogemperor [userpic]
Branch Davidians in the news again

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

I bet you thought this bunch were all gone. I did. Apparently they are still around.

Branch Davidians caught in yet another power struggle

dogemperor [userpic]
Another case of dominionist "baby-beating"?

From the following article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
A new case of religiously motivated child abuse--warning, potentially triggering to walkaways )

dogemperor [userpic]
Is your faith toxic?


Is your faith toxic? Or are you sliding down a slippery slope that leads to such a belief set? I found a Self Test from a book entitled "Toxic Faith" that might be of use in determining if this is indeed true.

Take the test )

dogemperor [userpic]
The definition of a Cult - by Billy Graham

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

This made me chuckle... found by Religion News Blog

" In general, cults differ from Christian churches, first of all, in what they believe.

Cults always deny some part of what the Bible teaches (which is why some add other so-called "sacred" books to the Bible).

Many deny the deity of Jesus, or believe his work on the cross wasn't sufficient to save us from our sins.

Cults also differ from Christian churches by the way they act. Cults often stress absolute and total obedience to their leader (instead of to Jesus), and threaten anyone who wants to leave the group by claiming they will be lost if they do.

So (ignoring of course all those xtian groups who demand total obedience to a figurehead - let's start with Catholicism and go on...) a cult is basically any religion other than Billys' version of xtianity.
Plus that whole problem of dominoinists being very picky about which bits of the bible they use - persecuting gays because of a line in Leviticus, but not going after eaters of shellfish who are condemned with equal wrath a few verses on.

Not exactly a shock, but notable.

Current Mood: amused
Current Music: Drone Zone: [SomaFM]
dogemperor [userpic]
In memoriam of a Dominionist-style Christian sect


This day in history:

MASS SUICIDE IN JONESTOWN: November 18, 1978 )

dogemperor [userpic]
War on Drugs?

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

Ambassador de Sade

By John Gorenfeld, AlterNet. Posted November 8, 2005.

Bush rewarded one of his loyalists with the ambassadorship to Italy -- despite his past as the founder of an cult-like teen rehab clinic.

This is a long article, but well worth the read - because the clinics this man set up are still running under different names...

...and he is one of Bush's "darlings".

Current Mood: angry
dogemperor [userpic]
Dominionism as cult/coercive religious group; an analysis (part 1 of 2)

I had originally intended this as a reply to this post but due to the length of the post I am actually going to set up a dedicated post for this (also so, hopefully, it doesn't get lost in the clutter).

Dominionism, both in and of itself and in the religious and other groups associated with dominionism, share enough characteristics with groups traditionally considered coercive groups (or "cults", in the case of coercive religious groups) that the groups associated with dominionism, and likely the entire dominionist movement itself, are better seen as a coercive religious group *in and of itself* rather than as a strictly political movement. It is my belief (as a walkaway and as an informal researcher) that it is likely impossible to fully understand dominionism (as a political movement) unless one sees the political aspects of dominionism in a larger context of a general coercive mindset existing in the "parent" groups of the dominionist movement.

In this post, I will directly compare lists of coercive tactics used by four groups active in research of coercive groups (FACTnet's summary of research by Dr Margaret Thaler Singer, info from Rick Ross Institute, info from Steven Hassan's "Freedom of Mind", and lists from the International Cultic Studies Association (a group, ironically, that had to change its original name, the American Family Foundation, due to confusion with the dominionist group American Family Association)) in comparison with coercive tactics used in the dominionist community at large and with specific aspects of the dominionist community in particular.

Comparison 1: Coercive tactics of dominionist groups as evaluated per Dr Margaret Thaler Singer's checklists )

Comparison 2: Coerciveness of dominionist groups per Robert Lifton's models of thought reform )

Comparison 3: Rick Ross's list of coerciveness as compared to dominionist groups )

Well, as the next two lists are fairly long, there'll be a part 2 to this. Part 2 will actually focus entirely on the BITE model (due to the fact the BITE model is a *very* extensive checklist).

(EDIT: Cleaned up the formatting. And hoooo boy, did the formatting need a cleaning!)

dogemperor [userpic]
Robert Winston: Why do we believe in God?

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

Intresting article from The Guardian:

Robert Winston: Why do we believe in God?

Many years ago, a team of researchers at the department of anthropology at the University of Minnesota decided to put this association to the test. They studied certain fringe religious groups, such as fundamentalist Baptists, Pentecostalists and the snake-handlers of West Virginia, to see if they showed the particular type of psychopathology associated with mental illness. Members of mainstream Protestant churches from a similar social and financial background provided a good control group for comparison. Some of the wilder fundamentalists prayed with what can only be described as great and transcendental ecstasy, but there was no obvious sign of any particular psychopathology among most of the people studied. After further analysis, however, there appeared a tendency to what can only be described as mental instability in one particular group. The study was blinded, so that most of the research team involved with questionnaires did not have access to the final data. When they were asked which group they thought would show the most disturbed psychopathology, the whole team identified the snake-handlers. But when the data were revealed, the reverse was true: there was more mental illness among the conventional Protestant churchgoers - the "extrinsically" religious - than among the fervently committed.

dogemperor [userpic]
An *EXCELLENT* resource for walkaways from dominionist groups

Ex-Pentecostals is a specific group catering to walkaways from the "Avengelical"/"deliverance ministry"/"spiritual warfare" flavour of dominionist group:


They do have an EZBoard web-board and one of the sub-boards, "Azusa Street Survivors", is particularly relevant as the people there post info on dominionist groups that are often inaccessible save *from* walkaways from those groups (and is a good spot for even non-walkaways to get intel on those groups).

For those of us who are walkaways from dominionist groups, there are five private forums (that one must write a moderator for access to) for general recovery, ex-dominionist Christians, family members and friends of walkaways, "freethought" walkaways (pagan/Buddhist/atheist/eclectic/etc.) and kids who are walkaways.

dogemperor [userpic]
Polygamy's "Lost Boys"


This article talks about the fate of the 'excess' boys in the polygamous Mormon cult that is under investigation:

Polygamy's 'Lost Boys' expelled from only life they knew
Sect's outcasts are casualties of marriage practice

By David Kelly, Los Angeles Times | June 19, 2005

ST. GEORGE, Utah -- Abandoned by his family, faith, and community, Gideon Barlow arrived here an orphan from another world.

The freckle-faced 17-year-old said he was left to fend for himself last year after being forced out of Colorado City, Ariz., just over the state line.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
A Safe Place

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

A Safe Place

I would guide you through the, uh, beauty, of this site, but it's horrorsloveliness is something that you should examine for yourself.

A Safe Place is a Christian refuge for people suffering from 'addictions'.

Included in it's list of addictions is homosexuality and pornography. That's right, you can go there to learn to not be gay!

Included in it's program rules -

LIA wants to encourage each client, male and female, by affirming his/her gender identity. LIA also wants each client to pursue integrity in all of his/her actions and appearances. Therefore, any belongings, appearances, clothing, actions, or humor that might connect a client to an inappropriate past are excluded from the program. These hindrances are called False Images (FI¹s). FI behavior may include hyper-masculinity, seductive clothing, mannish/boyish attire (on women), excessive jewelry (on men), mascoting, and "campy" or gay/lesbian behavior and talk.

No discussing therapeutic issues at home. Keep conversations positive.

Clients must gain permission through C.O.C. to make or receive phone calls from friends and family members outside the program.

No cell phones, beepers, computers, or e-mail/internet access at. Exceptions by C.O.C. approval only.

No visitors from out of town without permission via C.O.C.

No television viewing, going to movies, or reading/watching/listening to secular media of any kind, anywhere within the client¹s and the parent¹s/guardian¹s control. This includes listening to classical or instrumental music that is not expressly Christian (Beethoven, Bach, etc. are not considered Christian).

Heh. There are no words to describe how awful this is.

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]
Some info for our Walkaways


I found a bunch of interesting websites when I googled "Religious Walkaways", but was unable for some reason to post links to them. One in particular was worth a second try, since it concentrated on Dominionist oriented cults.

Blessed Quietness has a lot of interesting links to articles about cults. And ReGain has a great article about post-cult recovery. [EDIT: Yes, the Blessed Quietness site is run a couple of looney tunes, but they do have some interesting links.]

Here's a quote from ReGain, which is very true: "...the most helpful tool for recovering ex-cult members is learning what mind control is and how it was used by their specific cult. Understanding that there are residual effects from a mind control environment and that these effects are often transitory in nature helps diffuse the anxiety."

David Sutphen's classic The Battle For Your Mind is a very interesting dissection of techniques used in certain churches and cults to 'entrain' people into pretty much doing what the leaders want them to do. These techniques are very powerful, and in the wrong hands, quite devastating. It's worth a read. The 'voice roll', for instance is a tool that many preachers use, to get people into a particlarly receptive state of mind.

And this article entitled "How To Detect Mind Control" is also interesting and useful.

Pursuasive techniques are used on people all the time- from churches to ads to the way things are arranged on your grocery store shelves. The key is to recognize these things, and to conquer them through knowledge and self-understanding. That is the path to genuine healing.

dogemperor [userpic]
The Demon-haunted World


Astronomer and well-known atheist Carl Sagan once wrote a book called The Demon-Haunted World about science being a light in the midst of darkness. In it, he challenges people to look at the pseudoscience that is part and parcel of our world, and use the ultimate weapon to conquer it: learning to think for yourself. Knowledge- real knowldege- is power, and that power can conquer all sorts of 'demons'.

In many Dominionist churches, the opposite is taught- that knowledge and common sense are actually evil, and one must entirely trust God, Scripture, and the preacher to tell you the difference between fact and fallacy. To think for oneself is considered 'demonic' in itself, because it permits 'worldly' thoughts to interfere with the crust of scriptural pseudoscience that keeps the fear and hate and spiritual helplessness constantly churning.

[info]dogemperor wrote:

"One of the biggies with dominionists is "deliverance ministry" in which *everything not associated with the church* is literally infested with demons and even one's own mind is an enemy (because if you have doubts about the church this is a sign, in their theology, of "demonic oppression" aka a prelude to possession--and furthermore if these thoughts, or in fact *anything* outside the church, are entertained these lead to "doorways for demons to enter your life"). If you are diabetic, etc. it is literally seen *not* as an unfortunate disease but as a "demonic generational curse"; if you are poor you're letting yourself be oppressed by demons and need to give more "Faith seed offerings" and get closer to the church/further isolate yourself, etc.

Interestingly, it seems the whole "body thetan" stuff is seen as one of the single most damaging bits (psychologically) regarding Scientology--as in documented cases of people literally going insane or worse. I can't see how the dominionist version (which has been around even *longer* than the Scientologist version and is actually believed in by more people) is any less damaging. (One doesn't hear that much press about the dominionist versions, though.)

The active breeding of fear/anxiety/hate is specifically designed to keep you uncomfortable outside the church, to see the coercive group as the one *solitary* source of comfort. Again, it's not so far removed from traditional brainwashing."

That is pretty scary- the constant threat of demonic or 'thetan' possession to keep someone from straying. It keeps the individual believer in a constant state of 'fight or flight' and worry, fear, and spiritual uncertainty that often flames into panic. Dogstar continues:

"The scary thing is I also have known dominionists *specifically* to attempt to essentially hex people in the name of Christ to be miserable to the point of suicidality to "drive them to God". (Yes, this includes hauling out Wesson oil as "annointing oil", ranting in tongues, and literally *cursing* them in the name of Jesus to be miserable unless one was spending nearly all one's time in the particular dominionist group they were in. Yes, I was actually a target of this by my own mother.)"

I had that 'hexing' happen to me. It nearly worked- I was pounded with horrible panic attacks. But I survived it- with that weapon of being able to think for myself, reason it through, and find help to vanquish it. I directly faced what I feared, and did the unthinkable: walked straight into it,looked it in the eye, and used my own inner light of understanding upon it. That act destroyed it, and it can no longer harm me. Understanding the mechanics of cursing holds within it the ability to neutralize them.

The Dune "Litany Against Fear" is a great tool which uses the art of thinking for oneself as a means to conquer fear:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.

Could this be used to help heal 'walk-aways' from demon-ridden faiths? Possibly. It couldn't hurt to try it.

dogemperor [userpic]
Dark Christianity- from two Christians points of view


Sometimes, the best and most compelling testemony about the excesses of Dominionist Christianity comes from those who have been on the 'inside.

[info]blueboy2000 had an interesting experience with one of the major players in the Dominionist Christian movement. His story is a harrowing one.

And [info]bradhicks 5-part "Christians in the Hand of An Angry God" essay should not be missed, either. (thanks to [info]jmthane for the pointer.)

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Knowledge and understanding are the keys here. Not all Christian sects are as horrible as Blueboy's experience, but the ones who are use every underhanded technique to recruit, and especially retain, their members.


dogemperor [userpic]
Long, but worth your time


In this Daily Kos article, a fellow infiltrates some of the more radical Christian sects, and gets a close-up look at how they operate.

It's long, but worth your time. Here's a bit to whet your appetite:

Quietly choosing to study my cousin`s church... and its neighbors... and its national machinations, although there is a lot to worry about, I believe the keys to turning back the tide are there to take. My cousin was a real ultra-serious wingnut the first time I came out to visit the family in Nevada. The first time he got into financial trouble and couldn't just dole out time and money to his evangelical church, they turned on him. They shunned his kids and humiliated his wife (about her being overweight when they had 'no' money for their obligations) in front of all of their friends. Just to be clear, they didn't talk to me knowing that I was going to do this. They are taking their social beating and going back for more. But the pain has loosened their tongues. A lot.

Infiltrating the TNPG (Tuesday Night Prayer Group):

Prayer groups and bible study groups are important all across the evangelical spectrum, the flock will tell you, because prayer and knowing your bible is the most important thing in a believer`s life. If you are in an evangelical institution you are going to get asked why weren't you in church, why you didn't come to last Tuesday's prayer group, why weren't you in bible study this week by the people that you come to know. But here is the thing: as you get closely involved in the prayer meetings... you soon discover that actual prayer and bible study is less than a quarter of what is actually going on week to week. The rest is politics, planning for political action, and pushing/selling products that have to be purchased to `understand` Christ's will.

This was how Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ was 'cocoanut telegraphed' into its success. Preachers didn't call from the pulpit to see the Passion nearly as much as we thought they did, that is a misunderstanding of how the evangelicals operate based on remembering TV evangelists ranting on a screen. Its much more sophisticated and tailored than that, but rather they showed videotaped movie previews of the film in the more intimate setting of their prayer groups. It's a spiritual Tupperware party. Even in these churches have grown so large, and unwieldy in some cases, that standing up in front of two thousand people and saying `go see this' is the show, but the scale of these crowds can lessen its punch. They do use the pulpit, sure. But by having cells of believers subdivided into manageable groups for individual selling sessions, you get the control of a salesman making a presentation to a small group of consumers to really drive it home. Like a Tupperware lady gathering up 12 of her friends to push Tupperware sets as opposed one man or woman alone on a stage. It works in large and small churches. It is done in large and small churches. And almost all of the "stuff "at their disposal is carefully prepared by conservative Republican groups, think tanks, and evangelical `franchise' organizations that are run like McDonalds. (You pay a fee, or pay as you go, and your particular church is folded into the network as a 'partner' church or an affiliated church and you are now an outlet -part of that nationwide 'fast religion' information franchise- for their materials and you get packages of carefully consumer tested materials to aid you in your goals. )

The whole article, although a bit unpolished, is worth the look and very insightful.


dogemperor [userpic]
Good resource for fringe groups


The Ross Institute for the Study of Destructive Cults, Controversial Groups and Movements

A database of information about cults, destructive cults, controversial groups and movements.

The Ross Institute (RI) is a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization devoted to public education and research. RI's mission is to study destructive cults, controversial groups and movements and to provide a broad range of information and services easily accessible to the public for assistance and educational purposes.

Tags: ,
dogemperor [userpic]
Is Your Church Free from Cultic Tendancies?


While the source site of this checklist is quite broad as to what it considers 'cultic', this checklist does bring to light certain signs and symptoms that your church is headed for trouble, or could be turning from an open to a closed community, with all of its inherent problems.

text )

Back Viewing 0 - 20