Dark Christianity
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dogemperor [userpic]
First post to this community

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]transmission31g)

As I'm sure you've all observed, the sort of people drawn to Fundamentalist and Dominionist circles are not exactly the wholesome, morally upright types that they like to present themselves as. In fact, it often seems to be the case, to paraphrase the great comedian Bill Hicks, that the farther you are to the right, the deeper and darker the secrets you're hiding. Anyhow, I came across the following passage in a book about clinical psychopathy called The Emptied Soul: On the Nature of the Psychopath, by Adolf Guggenbuhl-Craig, which I think can be neatly applied to the Fundamentalist mindset:

“Individuals approaching the psychopathic extreme are not totally wanting in morality, but they do sense a weakness, an awareness that something is missing, which frightens them. They also suspect that their love is not all that it could or should be. In order to adopt they begin to compensate for these deficiencies [by] becoming morally rigid. Rather than, or perhaps in order to prevent falling into a state of total moral and ethical apathy, they turn compulsively moralistic, championing moral causes for themselves and for others more fanatically than anyone else. These are the people who are always talking about principles, always concerned about “the principle of the master.” They get so lost in principles that they never notice the need for a little milk of human kindness by way of balance. Compensated psychopaths tend to seek out occupations where those with whom they work will help to maintain a moral rigidity, occupations where a strict morality is the order of the day. Therefore we would not be surprised to find large numbers of compensated psychopaths in the so-called helping professions: teaching, psychiatry, the ministry, social work, and the like. It is, for example, difficult for a clergyman to lead a completely immoral life. His profession makes him the moral authority, a representative of Eros in the highest sense of the word, whose task it is to convince others that these values are the ultimate ones. His professional role enables him to shore up his own weak morality and his almost absent sense of eros.
Since compensated psychopaths cannot depend upon eros, their egos work out a moral system which is foolproof in any and every situation. The result, as paradoxical as it may seem, is usually a well-developed morality with an emphasis on the ego’s role but woefully lacking in love. Compensated psychopaths continually and at all costs uphold moral conventions, fanatically defending their moral systems. Were they to relax the hold on their moral code, the entire structure might well collapse like a house of cards, revealing their psychopathic nature. It is rather like cooking, a poor cook sticks assiduously to the recipe, while a gifted one can change this and that according to a momentary whim.”

dogemperor [userpic]

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

A new documentary claims that Catholic images have subliminal messages that have led to the abuse of children by priests. More here.

Berlin parishioners are trying to save Nazi church as a reminder of how the Christian establishment was so closely linked with the Nazi Party. I think it would serve as a great reminder to not only future generations, but the present ones of the dangers of mixing nationalism with religion, and how it is hurtful to religion.

Finally, Scientology is using it's starpower to convince the Arizona legislature to restrict psychiatric meds.
Which begs the question... Scientology is not a Christian group by any stretch of the imagination, but they are well-known to have a history of coercion and tactics similar to Dominionism. I wonder if we should not also cover the CoS's activities as well. Thoughts?

dogemperor [userpic]
request for info...


Should the moderators feel this is an inappropriate question to ask in this forum please delete it and accept my apologies...

Hello... I'm looking for a little advice or guidance. My little sister has "gone over" if you know what I mean. It's what started me looking into all this stuff in the first place. I need to know how to reach her. She had a rather troubled couple of years and I think some "good Christians" took advantage of that and have pulled her in. The details are not really important (and they would not be very interesting to anyone else I am sure), but the signs are all there: She has tried to convince me that what I do is "evil" (I am a research scientist that often interacts with evolutionary biologists and astro physicists, plus I am rather apathetic about the whole God question), she has left religious tracts at my house, sent me articles from such wonderful websites as Concerned Woman for American, and Familylife etc, and has tried to convince me to read the LeHay series. She just got married to someone she has recently met who insisted she recite a personalized version of Ephesians 5:22-24 as her vows. Anyway... too much information right? Sorry. My main question is, and maybe this has already been posted before in which case I ask for forgiveness for being a new-be, what is the best way to approach this? I have looked around for info on this but nothing I have found so far addresses how you get the process started. I can't just write her off. How do you reach someone who has bought into this garbage? Or maybe this is a lost cause?

Any help, no matter how trivial, would be appreciated.

Thank you.

dogemperor [userpic]

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

Andrea Yates moved to mental hospital

How is this relevant? If you don't know about "quiver-full", you should.

Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Interview with Mark Crispin Miller


I found this very insightful Buzzflash interview with Mark Crispin Miller.

He has some very interesting insights:

This is a faith-based movement, which means that we cannot just write off everything they do as mere manipulation by cynics who secretly know better. That some of them are Machiavellian there is no doubt, but there's a pathological component, an apocalyptic drive, that we ignore at our own peril.

What often seems to be mere breath-taking cynicism is, as well, a sort of self-delusion, or self-hypnosis, common to fanatical movements of all kinds, religious and otherwise. These are people who themselves are in the very audience they're always working to arouse. On some level they believe that, if they say something repeatedly and loud enough, it will not just make everybody else believe it, but it will actually make it true. It is that faith-based self-deception that makes the movement deeply frightening - and incomprehensible - to rational observers. There is no arguing with that mentality, which poses a far greater worldly threat than all the humanistic interests on Earth combined.

They respect no worldly powers other than themselves, and so they've set about the reconstruction of our government, to operate it wholly by themselves in their own interests. If it were up to them, there would be no special prosecutors. There would be no independent authorities capable of passing any judgment on them or of enforcing any rules that they would rather not follow. If it were up to them, there would be no parties but their own. It's staggering, but surely less astonishing than the refusal of "the liberal media" to give it the attention it deserves.

Go read the whole interview.

dogemperor [userpic]
Lost to the ether

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

Sorry, I made a post earlier. Who knows where it ended up! It was in response to dogemperors question about the types of psych/behavioral problems my husband (Dev. Ped) is seeing in kids from dominionist families. I'll try to recreate it here.

First: He, suspects but does not know for sure, they are DF (dominion families)His suspicions are related to extreme resistance on the part of the parent or care giver to accept any treatment plan that may involve an alteration of the families behavior towards the child. (types of things like "you may consider not making your teenager go to this event..." advice.

He feels this has something to do with the family outlook. The children are frequently objects, their identities are related only to the problem that needs "fixing", and this lends itself to naming the child the problem. For instance Johnny isn't experiencing a sexual identity problem, he is a "homo who could change if he wanted."

He would like to ask advice, if anyone has specific questions he could ask in a subtle way that could help him determine if this is a DF without his scaring away the families.

Second: (This surprised me) Drug addition, particularly meth. (Self-medicating for severe problems is suspected here) Nearly every type of depression. But I caution here - he only suspects at this point and needs KEY questions to ask that would help him gain an understanding of the family dynamic.

Nearly to a letter the families he suspects are entirely resistant to treating depression as anything other than the child/teens choice. (pretty scientology-like)

The DF are not a particularily large component of his practice, but they are striking in that they are characterized by a complete abdication of parental or family life responsibility for the behavioral or psychological damage their children suffer from. They are almost entirely resistant to any solution other than the child changing to fit their needs. (which are probably the needs of the church? that is my suspicion after reading you folks)

I got interested in this (dominionist) subject about six months ago after a year or so looking at the religious right in America. It just seemed to me the term RR really doesn't describe what I was seeing. It makes a group sound like it is a religious movement. Then when I stumbled into dominionism...it made what I was seeing make sense: we are looking at a political movement. Of course with my big mouth, my husband got interested ...light bulb...

Funny thing about this (dominionist)political movement, it explains what you are seeing in your community, in your examining room, in the grocery store, in the SUV that blows by you at 10x lightspeed over the posted limit with the 1man+1woman=marriage bumpersticker and a "quiverfull" of kids.

dogemperor [userpic]
Deliverance ministry, "Christian Counseling", and parallels with Scientology (!)

Recently (in reference to this recent post on Dark Christianity) I stumbled upon the following series of articles on "Christian Counseling" aka "Theophostic Counseling", which is promoted heavily in the dominionist community as an alternative to "secular" psychiatry:


In these articles I found characteristics in addition to those aspects of "deliverance ministry/spiritual warfare" in dominionist churches that I am personally familiar with (being a walkaway from a coercive AoG church into "Third Wave" theology, which incorporates "deliverance ministry/spiritual warfare" as part of its integral theology, and having also done some research on churches in the dominionist movement with similar theology such as Ted Haggard's New Life Church in Colorado Springs) that are especially troubling, as they show that the basic coercive tactics used in these churches are substantially identical to those used in a group much better known for being coercive--specifically, Scientology.

For comparisons between the practices of "Christian Counseling" targeted towards dominionists and Scientology, I will rely on information from the sites listed above (and other sites where necessary) regarding "deliverance ministry" theology and will rely on various online sources regarding the latter (which will be documented).

Warning: Long analysis ahead )

Religious Tolerance has grave concerns:

Of concern is that TheoPhostic counseling is performed in a religious setting, typically by conservative Christian counselors with no academic qualifications. Many believe that since prayer is involved in the sessions, that God will prevent any evil acts or false memories from emerging. It is our opinion that God is not responsible for any good effects of TPM nor is Satan responsible for any evil results. Rather, the impact of TPM -- whether good or evil -- is determined by the counselor, the client, and their interaction. During the 1980s and 1990s, RMT seriously harmed many tens of thousands of its victims, drove some to suicide, and disrupted tens of thousands of families of origin. Many of its victims were counseled in a conservative Christian religious setting. Since TPM and RMT are so closely related, we urge the reader avoid becoming involved in TPM or in any other similar experimental therapy. We suspect that TPM has the same potential for evil, if it becomes widely used.

Another area where they can be compared, sadly, is in involuntary attempts to "exorcise" people.

Involuntary confinement and 'death by exorcism' in deliverance ministry and Scientology )

dogemperor [userpic]
The Carey Murders


I know this case has been alluded to here before, but there have been some updates in the sad and strange case of the Carey family murders:

Read more... )

Most importantly, I wanted to discuss the bizarre and troubling meeting of the ways of law, religion and psychiatry that this case presents. I'm especially concerned with the testimony diagnosing the couple as having a "Dual Psychosis". They were following the teachings of many churches throughout the country, probably including their church, although perhaps a bit more actively and literally than most other followers. The psychosis angle strkes me as a way to deflect attention away from the religious nature, the potentially organized religious nature, of this crime. Does anyone know which side offered that testimony?

(snagged from [info]halls_of_psyche)

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]
Why strict churches are strong

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

Since recently we've been discussing the sociology and psychology of fundamentalists, I thought this article which discusses the appeal of fundamentalist organizations would provide some good fodder.

Would you believe until I went to post this I forgot I wasn't a member here but was only monitoring. :P

dogemperor [userpic]
Rather interesting article...


The Psychology of Christian Fundamentalism

dogemperor [userpic]
Scientology "contract"


Tom Cruise claims to have been dyslexic before he was saved by Scientology. Let's hope that he can read the fine print in a new agreement the religious organization is demanding its members sign.

The contract -- called the "Agreement and General Release Regarding Spiritual Assistance" -- makes it clear that the signee does not believe in psychiatry and does not want to be treated for any kind of psychiatric ailment should one befall them. Instead, once the paper is signed, the agreement calls for the Church of Scientology to step in if there's ever a problem.

The result would be total isolation and constant surveillance.

Scientology "contract" story

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