How To Recover From Christian Religious Abuse – Elizabeth Dahl Kingery

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“In an age where people have access to information regardless of social or educational status (thank you, internet!) a growing number of people are awakening from religious indoctrination.

Indoctrination is any kind of teaching of information, ideas, beliefs, dogma etc that does not allow the learner enough room to question, challenge or deviate from said beliefs. It’s often enforced using the strategy of repetition as well as pressure to conform to certain standards while simultaneously utilizing threats of punishment or suffering if those standards are not adhered to.

Hearing the same concepts over and over again in sermons week after week, year after year… can drill and cement beliefs into our mental programming that we might not normally be inclined to believe. Appealing to emotions such as through music or charismatic preaching further reinforces repeated mental conditioning phrases.

Church friends and family members often feel responsible for your “being led astray” or “walking away from God” or other derogatory phrases intended to guilt people into conforming to specific group requirements. You owe no one any explanation for your beliefs and life choices and you are under no obligation to put up with any harassment, well-intended or otherwise. Concerning any guilt, you’ve done the best you could considering we’re all limited in understanding – even the wisest of sages. You’re supposed to make mistakes. This is a natural part of life.

Another dangerous control tactic is the belief that you must submit to some kind of authority such as a pastor, spiritual shepherd, community group leader, a religious text such as the Bible, the Holy Spirit, Jesus or God (which is usually code for “your church pastor”.) You are perfectly capable of deciding for yourself who to choose for your mentors, guides, helps and friends, if any. As long as you have somewhat of a functioning brain, you are also intelligent enough to have your own thoughts. No one else owns you, your mind nor your life. You also do not need to submit to anyone or anything. This is a slave mentality. By defending your personal space, you are providing for yourself room to heal.”

– Elizabeth Dahl Kingery

(Read the full post here.)

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