Spiritual Abuse

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Spiritual Abuse

Spiritual abuse is the maltreatment of a person in the name of God, faith, religion, or church, whether habitual or not. Share your story or someone else's, anyone can join!

Members: 29
Latest Activity: Jun 13, 2013


Spiritual abuse occurs when a person in religious authority or a person with a unique spiritual practice misleads and maltreats another person in the name of God or church or in the mystery of any spiritual concept. Spiritual abuse often refers to an abuser using spiritual or religious rank in taking advantage of the victim's spirituality (mentality and passion on spiritual matters) by putting the victim in a state of unquestioning obedience to an abusive authority.
Spiritual abuse is the maltreatment of a person in the name of God, faith, religion, or church, whether habitual or not, includes any of the following:
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-Psychological and emotional abuse
-Any act by deeds or words that demean, humiliate or shame the natural worth and dignity of a person as a human being
-Submission to spiritual authority without any right to disagree; intimidation
-Unreasonable control of a person's basic right to make a choice on spiritual matters
-False accusation and repeated criticism by negatively labeling a person as disobedient, rebellious, lacking faith, demonized, apostate, enemy of the church or God
-Prevention from practicing faith(not necessarily faith in God or any gods here, could be a faith in logic and science)
-Isolation or separation from family and friends due to religious affiliation
-Physical abuse that includes physical injury, deprivation of sustenance, and sexual abuse
-Exclusivity; dismissal of an outsider's criticism and labeling an outsider as of the devil
-Withholding information and giving of information only to a selected few
-Conformity to a dangerous or unnatural religious view and practice
-Hostility that includes shunning (relational aggression, parental alienation) and persecution

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Comment by jen o on May 29, 2009 at 10:46am
Yes I think it was Richard Dawkins who said that in his letter to his ten year old daughter. Okay I gotcha T W. I was confused about the closet thing, I didn't know you were referring to you being gay, I thought you meant the atheism closet, so that's why I was confused.

I understand though about the last straw. My husband and I have pulled so many straws with his family, we have almost completely separated ourselves from them now. Lately we have been thinking about actually moving a little further away from them so we can have a little more privacy. It's hard. We just recently told them we aren't 'christians' and they had a hard time swallowing that one. I think it was an easy way to sugarcoat that we are atheists. But I think at the moment my husband leans more toward being agnostic anyways. The reason it was so urgent to tell them something is because they were telling our children bullshit things about jesus and prayer. grr
Comment by T W on May 29, 2009 at 8:26am
I remember someone saying "there's no such thing as a christian child, or catholic child or muslim child... there are children of christian parents, etc. Children are not capable of making these heady decisions for themselves but the world goes about assuming this."
Comment by T W on May 29, 2009 at 8:23am
yes Nelson, that is correct. and now that my grandparents are gone i'm not as worried about the rejection as i once was (they raised me more than my parents did). it's really just about the sense of loss of roots i suppose.
Comment by jen o on May 28, 2009 at 11:25pm
Hey T W, what do you mean exactly, the last straw? Can you explain, I want to understand exactly what you are talking about.

thanks : )
Comment by T W on May 28, 2009 at 10:45pm
It is amazing to me how after all these years I still get scared about being open about my atheism. My family is from the "buckle" of the bible belt (WV) and have stood by me "coming out of the closet" but this - this I think is the final straw.
Comment by jen o on May 28, 2009 at 2:10pm
I agree. People need to be aware. But honestly, it's hard to wake out of this, you don't realize it's happening to you when it is. It's good to have a safe place to go and talk to people after you come out of something like that. It's been 8yrs since I left and it has taken that long for me to find healing in my heart. I want to help people who have gone through the same thing. That's why I am here : ) Thanks for your support!
Comment by jen o on May 26, 2009 at 10:18pm
I just googled spiritual abuse and searched images, it was one of the first ones that came up and I knew for sure that was the one! Thanks!

Can you share a little bit of your story of it on our discussion? You know I am not sure that I knew of you going through that too, I must have been too young to understand at that time. And of course that had to be before we were separated, because after that was when I had my experiences.
Comment by jen o on May 26, 2009 at 5:23pm
Welcome welcome Morgan and Nelson!! Thank you for the support, we need a lot of it in this world, more than we know. This kind of abuse is so undermined, but it's real oh boy it is real! And the more people talk about it, the more others can wake out of it!
 

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