Saturday, October 14, 2006

Jesus Camper Speaks Out -- Has PTSD

Wow. Some choice quotes, but go read the whole thing:
There's a reason I write about dominionism--not just on the political threat, but the real threat inherent in these groups by virtue of many of the hardline "spiritual warfare" dominionists being in essence abusive Bible-based cults.

I know all too well about the danger these groups present--not just for the country, but for the kids themselves. I in fact live with it everyday.

You see...I was once one of those kids like in "Jesus Camp" myself.

I'm a survivor of the same "Third Wave" (aka "Joel's Army") dominionist movement that spawned the camp depicted in "Jesus Camp". I even remember in my youth attending a day-camp program run by the dominionist church I escaped--one that was very much like "Jesus Camp", in fact.

To this day I have serious issues trusting people and have had to undergo therapy for complex PTSD (yes, kids who grow up in this stuff go through literal shellshock, in some ways worse than Gulf War or Vietnam veterans--because they never had anything "before the war" to go back to), and have socialisation issues to the point people have wondered if I didn't have Asperger's Syndrome.

I've compared the experience of growing up in these groups to something akin to growing up in a pit filled with zombies--all of which are trying to zombify you, and grab onto you as you try to climb out the slick, jagged walls...and that's assuming you decide to at all, because you're taught all your life that even with the horrors in the pit that Outside is Much, Much, Much Worse.

Most of us who've escaped discovered either people "in the pit" were lying about Outside, or we had a caring person from Outside tell us what it's really like (usually kind of a mix of both); more and more, these kids are being isolated from ever having contact with people from Outside till they're well in their twenties or even beyond that.


The problem is that--because dominionism is, at its core, a spiritually abusive movement with political aspirations it isn't that simple at all...because you have to fight the programmed mindset.

I am posting this info in the hope that people--in particular, experts in the psychological field (I know we have at least one on the board!) will be able to give suggestions. I also post this in the hope people realise the difficulty us walkaways have had in getting out--and maybe our success stories will give people hints on how to stop the hijacks from occuring.

One thing that is difficult to explain to people who have never been involved in a coercive religious group is just how people get "stuck in" and refuse to leave.

What people don't tend to realise is that most coercive groups--be they dominionist groups or some other flavour of coercive group (such as Scientology, the Moonies, etc.)--have as part of the coercion in and of itself various "thought stopping" techniques and other forms of coercion that literally prevent the person from questioning the group at all. (In fact, that's how we can define dominionism as a coercive religious movement, especially in its "spiritual warfare" and "premillenarian dispensationalist" flavours.)

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