RELIGIOUS ABUSE encompasses many religions and religiously run systems across the world. It is not a problem that is just happening within U.S. borders. Within each religion the abuses vary but, one facet of religious abuse crosses all denominational and systemic barriers; that facet is that the majority of the abused are women and children.Women and children have no protections from these religious abuses because RELIGIOUS LEADERS have been allowed to have free reign in establishing the rules and guidelines that followers must adhere to for their respective religions and/or religiously run systems. They use man-made religious writings of the early centuries to enforce their dogmas and rules on the present culture and times. What many do not realize is that these writings were written for the culture and times of their day, not for today’s time and culture. God is a God of TODAY, not yesterday. And, most religious writings have been tampered with and changed by religious leaders and scribes throughout history to point people in the direction of their preconceived opinions and ideals. These changes have been made in order to bring women and children under complete and total domination of men for sexual exploitation.
For centuries, religious leaders have used BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION, THOUGHT REFORM and INFORMATION CONTROL to bring about conformity to man-made rules. Those that do not conform have been murdered and/or mutilated. As a result of this free reign across the world for centuries, inequality exists in the world whereby women and children are the primary targets of the abuses meted out. To escape the abuses can mean any or all of the following for an abuse victim: shaming, shunning, financial destruction, labeling, mutilation and/or death.
HONOR KILLINGS are a very strategic part of certain religions and religious systems; strategic, because it has one goal – to CONTROL by FORCE and FEAR women and children in order to prevent them from exercising personal liberty and autonomy as human beings. Because religious beliefs are interwoven into civil laws in many Muslim countries, women and children are left unprotected. The abuses are rampant and allow men and women free reign to murder, mutilate and maim in the name of “honor” and “God.” Any “perceived” wrongdoing for a woman or child could be a cause for death, burning or mutilation. It is time for people to see the reality of the horrible RELIGIOUS ABUSES hidden within a system that is designed to proliferate a male-dominated society where the value of women and children are worthless. Before we dive into this extensive list of murders, mutilations and attempted murders, let’s learn a little about how Islam operates and what it is. The following video will help the reader to understand how an abusive religion or religiously controlled system can infiltrate, spread and take over whole nations.
For more articles and videos on how Islam is affecting America and the reality of what is taking place, click HERE.
The following indexes need to be viewed by EVERY AMERICAN. These reflect a TRUE picture of the FRUIT of this system. After these indexes, will be some pictures of Islamic Religious Abuses perpetrated upon women and children.WARNING: These pictures are graphic!!!
This index is provided by WikiIslam and can be accessed HERE . This Index is not updated weekly on this BLOG like the Clergy Abuse Archive is. You MUST access WikiIslam to see new updates added to this list.
This is by no means a comprehensive list as many honor killings are covered up just as U.S. religious sects cover up their abuses. The reality is that RELIGIOUS zealots and fundamentalists can be dangerous. Those religions and/or systems that harbor these abusive zealots and fundamentalists, need to be identified and the populous made aware of them. It doesn’t matter what people say about their religion, if women and children are being abused, suppressed, oppressed, strictly controlled and harmed, then we will know them by their fruit, not their words. Any silence on this issue from those within the religion or system, makes them complicit in the crimes committed. Anything less than 100% support in stopping these crimes and changing laws to protect women and children, makes them complicit in the crimes.
Please share these indexes with everyone you know so they can see how abusive this religiously controlled system can be. Share the pictures as well. It’s time for our eyes, as well as the eyes of peace-loving Muslim people, to be opened to the truth about the dangers of this religious system’s dark side. Let me say that EVERY religion has a dark side. The dark side of this one just happens to be the LEGAL right to burn, mutilate and murder women and children. These indexes are provided for reference purposes only.
The following photos are only 30 of the countless photos of mutilation and murder of women and children that I have found on the internet. Many of the photos could not be put here because of the graphic nature of the sexual mutilation done to the women by Muslim men because they were non-Muslim women. It is time for American Citizens to open their eyes to Sharia and the cruelty and murder it condones in the name of “Honor.” There have been many honor killings here in the U.S. As Americans, it is time for us to take the blinders off and see the danger that ALL religions can pose when there is no escape from them and their abuses. When a religion is completely male dominated and it influences laws toward male dominance and control, women and children will become the targets of the worst crimes against humanity; especially sexual crimes and pedophilia.
This week marked the third anniversary of my exodus from Christianity. There has been much healing during this year, especially over the past three months. I am now free to explore all of my beliefs in greater depth, without fear, and without a need for confirmation of their validity. As Robert Plant so eloquently put it, “there are two paths you can go by,” and I chose the one that emphasizes the good and concentrates on now.
About the only thing that I have retained from the past is my belief in a Higher Power, a Divine Source that guides and provides, that watches over all of us with nothing but pure love. Out of habit, I still call this presence God, but find myself addressing it more and more as Divine Spirit. I have indulged in a life long interest in Angels and have been learning more about each of them, as well as the Archangels, and how each of them play a role in my life. I have long believed that there are “angels on this earth, masquerading as humans” who are in just the right place and right time in my life. I have even started acknowledging and learning about the “realms of the faeries.”
I have also found that interacting with others who have been through the same journey as I have emerged from, is helpful to both me and to those who are just beginning their way out. I have met some awesome people, and their stories and support have been invaluable.
I will continue to share stories about those who cause hurt and pain by invoking their beliefs upon others. While I try to respect the paths of all, that doesn’t mean I will sit back and not protect those who are persecuted.
I will also continue to share items that I feel are uplifting, inspirational and thought provoking. We all need encouragement along the way, and as Rumi said “we are just walking each other home!”
Pedophilia, abuse and rape cross all denominational barriers. This IS a WORLDWIDE problem and one that is in desperate need of people’s attention. Laws need to change and become harsher toward these predators, and fast, in order to protect women and children from these abuses!
I originally wrote this as an outline on August 20, 2006 to teach in the nursing home. To me, it is a testament to the fact that God had already started opening my eyes to how dangerous man-made religion can be in the lives of its followers. Little did I know at that time, when I was teaching this in the nursing home, that God would extract me from the grips of religious bondage to a fundamentalist baptist sect that was abusive toward women and children and set me on a course to do His will in warning others about the dangers that lurk underneath religion’s mantle. Looking back, I am amazed at how much God allowed me to see of the truth and, I am severely disappointed that I ignored it and continued in my bondage. What a sad reality it is to comprehend that I was being shown truth but could not fully understand the seriousness of it due to religious indoctrination and religiously instilled fear. I have made a few changes and additions to this outline for better clarity and understanding. I sincerely hope that what I am about to cover falls on an open mind and heart that is not blinded by man-made doctrines, rules and religious precepts (the doctrines and commandments of men).
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RELIGION – SATAN’S BIGGEST WEAPON
John 3:1-21 – There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
(3)Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (You mean you cannot CONTROL the Spirit of TRUTH in God’s people just like you cannot control the wind?)
Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
(10)Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness. If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things? And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (It does NOT say, “That whosoever believeth in the Pope, Pastor, Priest, Rabbi,or any other religious leader, or the Church, should not perish, but have eternal life.”)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in HIM should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (You mean believing in religion, the “man of God” or the “church” won’t save you?)
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil (Say it isn’t so! Men’s deeds EVIL?). For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (It doesn’t say that his deeds are perfect, because mankind is sinful. It says that his deeds are wrought in God. There will be many sinners coming to the knowledge of the truth that desire to warn others about the “greatest deception of all.”)
Verse 3 (highlighted above) tells us that we cannot get to heaven unless we are born again of the Spirit of God. Most people do not understand what being born again means. Some people actually think that means going to a man-made church and serving men who call themselves by religious titles. Verse 10 tells us that Nicodemus, although a religious leader, had no understanding of spiritual things. His RELIGION was keeping him blind to the truth that had the power to save is very soul and set him free from religions bondage. However, he did recognize that Jesus was a ‘teacher come from God’. (verse 2) He was confusing works with faith. Notice how he addresses Jesus as “Rabbi” and “teacher.” He understood that the miracles meant that God was with him. However, he was not willing to let go of a LIFETIME of man-made religious dogma, precepts and rules, coupled with religious tradition, and acknowledge Jesus as “Lord.”
The same is true today. Religious people from all walks of life refuse to let go of a lifetime of religion and tradition to embrace the truth. God has given us his spirit to guide and teach us so that “we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.” Instead, religion has replaced His Spirit with a Pastor, Priest, Rabbi or other religious designation, so that these religious leaders are now leading and guiding God’s people. The Holy Spirit has been SUBSTITUTED. The people have erred and do not even realize it. Because of this, they foster hatred toward those that oppose a wicked religious leader. They persecute, malign and shun those that find the courage to speak the truth and expose the lies and crimes. And, they themselves become secondary abusers complicit in the crimes perpetrated – all because of blindness and refusal to listen when truth is spoken.
(1Co 2:12) Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.
(1Co 2:13) Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
(1Co 2:14) But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
— RELIGION BLINDS ITS FOLLOWERS TO THE TRUTH —
It causes people to turn a blind eye to truth instead seeing and understanding it. The reason for this is clear as we shall see from the up coming passages. The Pastors (religious leaders) have caused their flocks to go astray. God holds religious leaders accountable just as he did the Pharisees. Just as the Pharisees instituted their rules aimed at controlling the people, so Pastors of all denominations have done today. As pastors have built unto themselves financial empires off the backs of the poor, they have fallen to corruption. Power, prestige and money are the root of this corruption. The abuses abound and are well hidden by the church and its leaders. Those confronted with the abuses, turn a blind eye to them and support the abusers. Religious followers cannot see past the titles and labels that religious leaders wear that affect clear thought processes. Therefore they both fall into the ditch and it causes followers to become abusers themselves of those that step forward to speak truth. They have rested their lives, their money, their families and their time in religious leaders and church institutions instead of Christ. They have forgotten their true resting place.
2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
Jer 50:6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds (PASTORS) have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place.
— IT TEACHES AS TRUTH, MAN-MADE ORDINANCES AND RULES —
Man-made ordinances and rules fill the churches of all religions. It is not isolated to any particular sect. Countless multitudes believe every word that proceeds from religious leaders within their respective institutions. As a result, they are led astray through corruption and false teaching.
Just for the sake of an example, I would like to take a look at what the Roman Catholic Church teaches it’s priests about the Pope and compare it to what the Word of God says. What you will notice is that their many rules are based on what MEN SAY Peter is “perceived” to have said or done and not what “Christ” has commanded, said or done. It is also based on man-made religious precepts. This is where corruption rears its head – listening to men and not God. Men can make their own rules in God’s name and force implementation of them. This is exactly what has transpired from the beginning.
In considering this doctrine of the papacy, I will only use the teaching of the church as contained in the dogmatic definitions, the official documents of the ecumenical councils, and the teachings of the Popes. These represent the actual teaching of the church, regardless of what some Catholics believe, what certain priests teach today, or even what some bishops may have written. The following statements are duly documented.
The acceptance of the authority of the Pope and submission to him is necessary for salvation!
“Furthermore, WE(mere MEN, not God) declare, state and define that it is absolutely necessary for the SALVATION of all men that they submit to the Roman Pontif. [Bull Unam Sanctum of Pope Boniface VIII,1302. The Teaching of the Catholic Church by Neuner and Roos, S.J. p. 204, No.342.] (SUBMIT to a MAN and not GOD?)
The Primacy of the Pope
“WE(mere MEN, not God) decree that the Holy Apostolic See and the Roman Pontiff have primacy in the whole world, and that this Roman Pontiff is the successor of blessed Peter, the Prince of the Apostles, and true “Vicar of Christ” head of the whole church and father and teacher of all Christians; that to him in blessed Peter was given by our Lord Jesus Christ the full power of feeding, ruling and governing the universal church as it is contained in the acts of the ecumenical councils and in the sacred canons. [Council of Florence, 1439. Ibid., p. 206, No. 349.] (This is not in scripture anywhere. As a matter of fact, Peter states the opposite about himself in 1 Pet 5:1, 5:3, Acts 10:25)
“If any one, therefore, shall say that blessed Peter the Apostle was not appointed the Prince of all the Apostles and the visable head of the whole church; or that he directly and immediately received a primacy of honor only, and not of true and proper jurisdiction [right of power] – – let him be anathema [excommunicated and condemned] [Vatican Council I, 1870. Ibid., p. 223, No. 374.]”(God does not imply or command this anywhere in scripture. This is a THREAT aimed at silencing those that speak the TRUTH. See 1 Pet 5:1, 5:3, Acts 10:25)
“Hence WE(mere MEN, not God) teach and declare that by the appointment of our Lord the Roman Church possesses a superiority of ordinary POWER(Yes, it IS all about POWER, not about God.) over all other churches, and that this POWER of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is truly Episcopal, is immediate; to which all, of whatever rite or dignity, both pastors and faithful, both individually and collectively, are bound by their duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, to submit, not only in matters that pertain to faith and morals, but also in those that pertain to discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.” [Ibid., p. 224-225, No. 379] (Well, well…it IS about POWER and CONTROL through SUBMISSION.)
“If then anyone shall say that the Roman Pontiff has merely the office of inspection and direction, but not full and supreme POWER of jurisdiction over the universal church, not only in things pertaining to faith and morals, but also in those things that relate to the discipline and government of the church spread throughout the world; or that he possesses only the principal part, and not all the fullness of this supreme power. . . Let him be excommunicated and condemned!” [Vatican Council I. Ibid., p. 226, No. 382] (MORE FEAR tactics through THREATENINGS.)
Many more quotations could be given from papal decrees, councils and dogmatic statements; but, let’s hear how the dogma of papal infallibility is defined by Pope Pius IX in 1870 at the first Vatican Ecumenical Council:
“Therefore, faithfully adhering to the TRADITION(Not from God. God has no tradition.) received from the beginning of the Christian faith (Says, Who? MEN?), for the glory of God our Saviour, the exaltation of the Catholic religion, and the salvation of Christian peoples, the sacred Council approving (MEN), We teach and define that it is a dogma divinely revealed (Really? DIVINELY REVEALED? – Not by God, Jesus or the Prophets – so this is a lie.): that the Roman Pontiff, when He speaks ex-cathedra, that is, when in discharge of the office of Pastor and Doctor of all Christians, by virtue of His supreme apostolic authority He defines a doctrine regarding faith or morals to be held by the Universal Church, by the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, is possessed with that infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed that His church should be endowed for defining doctrine regarding faith or morals: and that therefore such definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable of themselves, and not from the consent of the church. But if any one which God avert – presume to contradict this our definition – let him be excommunicated and condemned!” [Ibid., p. 229, No. 388] (God says no such things in scripture; so this is a man-made religious dogma aimed at CONTROLLING people through threats and fear.)
Catholic Statements About the Pope
The Pope is usually and formally addressed as: “Most Holy Father.” [See encyclical by Leo XIII as introduction to the Douay version of the Bible.] (Mat 23:9 – And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.)
In the Cardinal’s Oath, Pope Pius X is addressed as: “Our Most Holy Lord.” [From the Article “Scriptures for Roman Catholics,” by Dr. Bartholomew Brewer.] (Now they are placing a mere MAN in the place of Christ and making him Lord. In case you didn’t know this, this is deception. 1Co 8:6 – But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and ONE LORD Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.)
The famous historian Moreri writes: “To make war against the Pope is to make war against God.” [Ibid.] (This is a good way to PROTECT a DECEIVER; through fear of God.)
WHAT POPES SAY OF THEMSELVES [Ibid]
Leo XIII(mere MAN, not God) (1902) said:
“The supreme teacher in the church is the Roman Pontiff. Union of minds, therefore, requires, together with a perfect accord in the one faith, completeSUBMISSION and OBEDIENCE of will to the CHURCH(Not God) and to the Roman Pontiff, as to God Himself.” [Ibid.] (Interesting. Another RULE instituted by MEN to bring about UNQUESTIONING obedience and control to the church and a MAN.)
Pope Pius X (mere MAN, not God) stated:
“The Pope is not only the representative of Jesus Christ, but He IS Jesus Christ Himself hidden under the veil of flesh. ‘Does the Pope speak? It is Jesus Christ who speaks.” [Ibid] (In this statement, we are told that the POPE is CHRIST. This is DECEIT. He is a mere MAN, not God, placing himself in the place of CHRIST – a SUBSTITUTION – a fake in place of the real.)
Pope Pius XI (mere MAN, not God) once declared:
“You know that I am the Holy Father, the representative of God on earth, the Vicar of Christ, which means that I am God on the earth.” [Ibid.] (Well, well…another SUBSTITUTION aimed at POWER and CONTROL of People.)
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As stated earlier, there are other religious sects that can be used as examples where man-made doctrines are being taught that go against the Word of God…. and countless multitudes blindly believe they are necessary in order to please God. So, let’s look at the scriptures and see what they really declare.
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— WHAT THE SCRIPTURES DECLARE–
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder . .” 1 Peter 5:1(You mean he wasn’t a “CHRIST and head of God’s People?”)
“Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:3(Not LORDS over God’s People?)
“Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out, and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you . .” Acts 14: 14-15.(Even Paul and Barnabas KNEW that no mere MAN should be worshipped nor placed in the position of Christ.)
“And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. But Peter took him up, saying, Stand Up; I myself also am a man.” Acts 10:25.(What! Peter did not demand WORSHIP? You mean he was just a mere MAN and not a God?)
Acts10:25-26 “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in Heaven.” Mathew 23:9(This is self-explanatory.)
In the light of the Holy Scriptures, certain dogmatic definitions and statements on the Pope sound blasphemous! This his how Religion keeps people blinded to the truth of God’s Word. Religion keeps people in bondage. Religion makes up its own rules and institutes punishments for going against them. Salvation frees us from this bondage so that we can worship in “Spirit and in truth”. Religion seeks to control people through their many religious rules backed by threats. Those that do not conform, are killed and/or silenced through threats, coercion, harassment, etc. Remember the Reformation and Inquisition – Over 90 million men, women and children were tortured, mutilated and killed by CHRISTIANS of the Church of Rome under the direction of religious leaders.
Joh 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
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Religion usually teaches a works salvation. If you live a good enough life (works), you might make it to heaven. If you serve in the ministry of the church (works), God will be pleased with you. If you follow all the church’s rules and precepts, God will bless you abundantly (works). If you give of your MONEY (works) to the church, God will bless you.
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Here’s what God says:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, . .
Heb 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God.
(You mean all these works are considered DEAD WORKS?)
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Religion DEMANDS obedience to the MAN-MADE ordinances, dogmas and precepts instead of obedience to God’s Word. It demands obedience to a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” in order to please God. It demands obedience and loyalty to “the MAN of God” or, the “Religious Institution,”
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God’s Word says:
Mat 15:3 – But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
Mar 7:9 – And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
Mar 7:13 – Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye (Who are Ye? MEN, usually religious leaders.) have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
Col 2:8 – Beware lest any MAN spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
1Pe 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
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— RELIGION CREATES CONFUSION IN THE HEARTS OF MEN AND WOMEN —
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The masses would prefer to follow anything but the truth. Why? John 3:20 – “ lest his deeds should be reproved.”
God did not invent religion, man did. Man uses religion to keep people in bondage to an institution instead of setting them free to worship God and obey his will in their lives. Religion is the biggest weapon used by Satan to keep people blind to the truth and in bondage to men, religious institutions, and religious leaders. Religion propagates HATE toward those that disagree or question the lies being taught. Religion harasses those that expose those lies and/or any abuses. Religion tries to silence the voices of TRUTH that God has placed in the world to WARN others about the biggest DECEPTION of all time – that deception is man-made religions owned and operated by MEN who have corrupted the scriptures and would have all POWER, CONTROL, MONEY and PRESTIGE for themselves. Religion has been murdering and abusing for centuries. Please remember that more than 90 million people lost their lives “in the name of God” during the Reformation and Inquisition. Right now, women and children are suffering at the hands of religion and its leaders across the world. This is serious. It’s time to wake up and realize the deception. Religion starts wars, murders its own and others, oppresses and abuses women and children setting them up for sexual exploitation, and incites hatred and violence toward those that disagree or expose the lies and abuses. RELIGION IS SATAN’S BIGGEST WEAPON.
I am sure many of you may be wondering about this topic that I will be writing about. You may be wondering what exactly IS the DARKNESS? I realize that this subject matter will be delicate and, will evoke a lot of emotion in people. But, I also understand that many of you may not realize that the subject I will be covering even exists; and if you know it does exist, you may even believe that it could not be possibly happening in your church. Countless multitudes do not even realize that what I am about to talk about has been going on for centuries and is alive and ongoing today in religious institutions across the globe. As a matter of fact, it has been taking place since the third or fourth century; that’s how long this DARKNESS has been growing.
Before I get started, I would like to tell you about two organizations that are trying to make a difference in the lives of those affected by the DARKNESS – G.R.A.C.E. (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment) and Together We Heal.
Together We Heal works to provide victims of sexual abuse, rape and incest – aka, the DARKNESS – with the free professional counseling services they so desperately need in order to begin the healing process. But, they cannot help victims without your donations. A victim’s help is only as available as the funds are to hire these licensed, professional counselors for them. Right now, the link on my blog is set up to fund an account that will help to pay for victims needs and to aid them in recovery and healing. Your tax deductible donations go directly to this fund which goes directly to help victims of this type of abuse. As fast as we get money in, it goes out, because the need is so great and so few people give. Right now, we have ZERO religious organizations donating to help victims of this abuse. Why is that? Answer: Because churches don’t really care about these victims. The love of God must stop short when it comes to victims of abuse, rape, incest and sexual assault (the DARKNESS) in the church. Not one church has had the genuine Christian character to step out and do the right thing regarding these victims and support Together We Heal’s fund for victims through my blog. They give to missionaries, but not the abused, victimized, raped, tortured, broken and poor that they are responsible for creating.
Religion’s Cell is also a supporter of Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (GRACE). This organization is a legal and professional team whose sole purpose is to defend these victims of sexual abuse and, to educate church congregations on the signs of abuse and how to respond to it in a religious environment. If you can afford to support GRACE through the link on my blog, I can assure you they NEED the funds too. Legal and professional help is not free.
Now, let’ talk about this DARKNESS. It is also known as Religious Abuse. I would like to explain what it is, what it encompasses and how it has affected societies and cultures around the globe. When I am done, you should be able to understand and see the scope and magnitude of the true DARKNESS that lies hidden underneath religion’s mantle.
But, before I get into the subject matter, I would like to give you some excerpts from a few recent news stories and then afterwards, ask everyone a few questions. I am warning you up front that these stories will evoke an emotional response in many of you. But I ask that you be patient with me as I cover these because some of these stories are difficult even for me, to read or listen to. All of these stories are recent, by the way. They are cited on my blog HERE, HERE, HERE AND HERE.
BIRMINGHAM, AL. Pastor, Richard Shahan, of First Baptist Church arrested for the murder of his wife. A minister nabbed by police on new year’s day moments before trying to get out of the country.
Reena Ninan has the details. Reporter: Richard Shan was an Alabama-based Baptist preacher with a devout following. This morning, he’s accused of murdering his wife.
Arrested New Year’s day trying to board a plane to Germany. I think he was totally shocked when they — pulled him out of line. And detained him.
Reporter: He was nabbed after a customs official recognized his passport. But the pastor’s lawyers said he was traveling to Germany and then Russia to work for a children’s ministry. Once he got to Russia the chances of extraditing him were nil. (abcnews.go.com 1/6/14)
MUSCLE SHOALS, AL.Authorities say children’s minister Jeff Eddie told them he had so many sexual experiences with children at his church he could not recall all the times he had done it.
A felony complaint police filed against Eddie, 41, said the Highland Park Baptist Church children’s minister admitted to performing oral sex and masturbating children when Muscle Shoals investigators questioned him Sunday.
Eddie, who was arrested Sunday, is charged with 31 counts of sodomy, 2 counts of possession of child pornography, and 2 counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12.
In the sodomy complaint filed against Eddie, police said the abuse came to light after a church member walked in on Eddie with his hands up a minor’s shirt. One of the victims says Eddie engaged in sex acts with him downstairs in the church’s electrical room at least once a month going back to 2011, when the child was 11 years old. The incidents happened until July of last year, the child said, and then happened twice after that. (waaytv.com, Posted: Wednesday, February 5, 2014 11:24 am | Updated: 9:13 pm, Wed Feb 5, 2014)
SEDRO-WOOLLEY, WA. On the night of May 11, 2011, sometime around midnight, 13-year-old Hana Williams fell face-forward in her parents’ backyard. Adopted from Ethiopia three years before, Hana was naked and severely underweight. Her head had recently been shaved, and her body bore the scars of repeated beatings with a plastic plumbing hose. Inside the house, her adoptive mother, 42-year-old Carri Williams, and a number of Hana’s eight siblings had been peering out the window for the past few hours, watching as Hana staggered and thrashed around, removed her clothing in what is known ashypothermic paradoxical undressing and fell repeatedly,hitting her head. According to Hana’s brother Immanuel, a deaf 10-year-old also adopted from Ethiopia, the family appeared to be laughing at her.
When one of Carri’s biological daughters reported that Hana was lying facedown, Carri came outside. Upset by Hana’s immodest nakedness, Carri fetched a bedsheet and covered her before asking two teenage sons to carry her in. She called her husband, Larry, who was on his way home from a late shift at Boeing, then finally dialed 911, telling the operator, “I think my daughter just killed herself. … She’s really rebellious.”
Hana was pronounced dead at the hospital, the cause hypothermia compounded by malnutrition and gastritis. The following day, when Child Protective Services tried to check on the other children,Larry Williams refused to let them in. When police followed up, a deputy noted that the family acted as though Hana’s death was “an everyday occurrence.” Twelve days later, detectives and CPS conducted interviews with the children, but their answers seemed rote and rehearsed, all repeating that Hana was rebellious and refused to mind Carri; one child said he thought Hana was possessed by demons.According to investigators, Immanuel said that “people like [Hana] got spankings for lying and go into the fires of hell,” just before Larry abruptly ended the interview.
When Hana died, she became one of at least dozens of adoptees alleged to have been killed at their adoptive parents’ hands in the past 20 years, and part of a far larger group of children who become estranged from their adoptive families—frequently, as it turns out, large families with fundamentalist beliefs about child rearing. Just within the Seattle area, and just among Ethiopian adoptees who came from the same orphanage and adoption agency as Hana, there has been an unreported crisis of “forever families” that fail. These are adoptions that, in an absence of any real oversight and in environments of harsh discipline, began with good intentions but went profoundly wrong….click here to read more.
Esther Comb’s Story of Rape and Torture
Courtesy Of ABC News.
Joe and Evangeline Combs were Independent Fundamental Baptist. They perpetrated the most heinous crimes against a child. They are now serving 179 years in prison for their crimes against Esther.
Here’s Esther Combs story of abuse as told by ABC News – Part ONE.
What do all of these stories have in common? They are all abuses related to religion and/or its teachings/belief systems.
Who are the victims? Women and children
Was justice served in every instance? No. None of these victim’s perpetrators is behind bars.
Why is the punishment not meted out for these horrible abuses? Because it took decades to pass for these victims to find the courage to speak out. For child abuse, there is no law that allows for prosecution after the fact when such time has elapsed. For sexual assaults and rape of children, the Statute of Limitations has expired in many states. Also, keep in mind that as long as the victims FEAR speaking out, the perpetrators remain free to abuse others. Such is the majority of cases.
What many do not realize is that religious abuse is a broader scope than we think it is. Believe it or not, but the average person has never heard of such a thing. And yet, religious abuse encompasses the following:
Throughout history, every single one of these items mentioned in my list has been going on. Does anyone have any idea who the victims are of every single one of these that I have stated? Women and children. What we need to realize is that these abuses against women and children are going on underneath the church’s mantle. Many people I come in contact with refuse to believe that it is, and yet the reality has been all over the internet in the last several years. If you have an opportunity to peruse my Religions Cell blog, please do. My blog contains an alphabetized list by state and city of news stories of convicted and/or charged clergy for sexual crimes, murder and abuse. This is in no way a comprehensive list. There are thousands of more articles to add. To enter this archive, click here: Clergy Abuse Archive. My blog also has numerous personal accounts of religious abuse survivors and what they endured. I have to warn you that the victim testimonies will make you angry – and here’s why – because most of the perpetrators of these crimes are still free and serving in churches across America. Most of them never served jail time. They are STILL in contact with YOUR children! The number one reason for this? The church leadership covered up the crime and silenced the victims through public humiliation, threats and fear tactics. As a result, the Statute of Limitations ran out on these victims.
Can I ask another question? Why do you think a victim of rape or incest in the church setting would decline to come forward immediately? The answer: FEAR. Victims are threatened by family members, church members and church leadership. Victims are harassed by the same. Victims are humiliated and shamed. Victims are sometimes tortured. Victims are psychologically conditioned by this fear to keep their mouths shut. This is why it can take decades for a victim of childhood sexual assault and abuse to come forward.
As a result, the statistics on these crimes are vastly skewed. The numbers are much greater than what is reported.
Many of these victims of abuse are being blamed by the churches that hid their abuses. This is done to discredit their testimony. Many of these victims are being called liars. This is done to discredit their testimony and protect the abuser. The fact is this: Religious indoctrination has a lot to do with this secondary abuse to survivors of sexual assault and abuse within these institutions. Here’s why:
Religious people may be programmed into believing only what church leadership tells them is true. If leadership says a victim is lying to “hurt the cause of Christ,” then they become militant against that victim.
Religious people may be programmed into supporting religious leadership even if evidence PROVES the crime! Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN., is a prime example of this. He is serving a 12 year jail sentence for sex trafficking a minor and STILL has a huge following, even in jail.
Religious people may be programmed into doing what leadership tells them to do against victims. Remember that I stated that they can become militant when they are told someone is “hurting the cause of Christ.”
Many religious people even believe they are doing a God a favor by harming these hurting and broken people who are just trying to seek justice for the crimes committed against them.
These are so-called CHRISTIANS that perpetrate the secondary crimes of harassment, slander, public humiliation, stalking and attempted murder! Why? Answer: To SILENCE their voice of truth and protect their religious leaders from prosecution. Why? Because they are “clones” of the religious system they serve through indoctrination. What these victims are doing is speaking out about lies in teaching and/or crimes committed against them. If you are a clone of the system, your mind cannot accept these things as true and it rejects them. That’s the power of indoctrination. It keeps people blind, obedient and willing to do what you tell them to. This is why religious fundamentalism can be very dangerous to any society.
Let’s look at more examples of abuse. The following victims, to date, still have not received justice regarding the crimes perpetrated against them. By the way, there are many more than these from this girls home. Even though many of them reported to police in Arcadia, La., the man responsible for raping and torturing them and allowing others on his staff to do the same, is still a free man.
Those complicit in the crimes are still free as well. How can this be? Answer: I don’t know. But I am sure you have some ideas floating around in your head at this point. Read the New Bethany Book (link above) and then try and figure out how this could possibly be so. Could it be a huge cover-up? I have heard some victims say it is. Honestly, I don’t know. These were children! Needless to say, three decades later, they are STILL trying to get justice served and have Mack Ford arrested. The police have done nothing, to date, on this issue.
Religious abuse carries with it psychological trauma. Many of these victims, as a result of their trauma, suffer with flashbacks of the abuses, PTSD, panic attacks, physical illnesses, cancers, alcohol and drug addictions and mental illnesses. The list of maladies is large and those that are the ones that were to look out for these victims, failed them, shunned them, shamed them and silenced them. Many of these victims need professional help, but cannot afford it. The institutions that allowed these crimes against them to happen, have deserted them, leaving them without hope of help and healing. It is time for religious institutions to be held accountable for the crimes they have hidden (the DARKNESS) and, for protecting the perpetrators from prosecution. It is also time for them to bear the financial load of helping them recover.
This DARKNESS has affected societies AROUND THE GLOBE with the implementation of civil laws in some countries that restrict and oppress women and children, protect rapists and pedophiles, and punish victims that dare to escape or speak out about the abuses. In some countries, it is perfectly legal to burn, torture, maim and kill women and children without recourse. Forcing victims of rape to marry their rapists, is another civil law some of these countries have. And some of these abusive laws can be seen spilling over into America’s laws. For instance, did you know that many states give visitation rights to a rapist if their victim gives birth to a child as a result of the rape? This is no different than marrying the rapist! The psychological trauma and abuse is the same. As a result, more abuse and torture for these poor women and girls. How’s that for the influence of religion on civil law?
As a result of religious indoctrination, victim-blaming has reached pandemic proportions across the world where victims are concerned. Why? Because men and women are not being held accountable for their physical and sexual crimes and murder if it is done in the name of “honor,” “religion,” and “God.” Protecting the religious mindset and keeping laws that propagate this kind of power and authority over defenseless human beings is ludicrous!! The perpetrators of the crimes you are about to see are RELIGIOUS people. They are people that LOVE GOD. They are SERVING God. They THINK they are doing GOD a favor. Yet, they are committing atrocities in his name against women and children. Something just isn’t right with this picture!
Let’s look at some examples of this religious influence across the world:
But these abuses are a result of Islam, not Christianity, you may be saying to yourself. Have you already forgotten your history? Remember the Dark Ages, the Reformation, the Inquisition. It was CHRISTIANS that tortured and mutiliated and murdered over 90 million men, women and children. Look around you and see the abusive religious influences and MINDSETS that are seeping into America. How long will it be before RELIGION influences our civil laws? If you don’t think it has, you are mistaken. Women and children need MORE protection from these crimes against them in the religious setting. Religious Institutions that hide these crimes and harbor rapists and pedophiles need to be dealt with harshly. Tax-exempt status needs to be pulled and arrests should be made in order to deter the crimes and protect our precious women and children.
Religion CAN be good. It can help people. When it is good, it is very good. But religion CAN be bad. When it is bad, it is an EVIL of the worst kind toward women and children.
Thus, the reason for this blog. Educating the public on this hidden DARKNESS is vital. People must understand that it is real and that they may even be suffering from it. Victim’s voices must be heard. This platform is for victims to tell their experiences. They will not be harassed here and their voices will not be silenced. Next, victims need a place to go where they can deprogram. The articles written here are to help them with that deprogramming so they can better respond to life around them as well as overcoming the fear that religion has instilled in them through false doctrine and twisted theologies. Next, victims need resources to help escape the abuse and, in their healing process. This blog provides resources. Victims also need help financially so they can get the professional help and/or medicines necessary to keep them healthy. That’s why this blog has teamed up with Together We Heal to provide a special fund that will provide these victims with the help they need. But, as stated earlier, we cannot help them without your tax deductible donations! Their help is only as available as the funds we have to give. You have no idea how many victims we have had to turn down due to lack of funds! Not one church has stepped up to the plate to financially support a large and growing populous of abused and hurting people. They give to missionaries, but not the broken, bruised, victimized and poor that they are responsible for creating.
To learn more about this serious subject matter, please peruse my blog and read the articles that I have written on this subject. Become knowledgeable and become a supporter of this sect of society – women and children – that have been suffering silently for many countless decades. Also, become a financial supporter. It is only through the donations to Together We Heal and G.R.A.C.E., through my blog, that these victims can be helped and start the healing process. They need help and they need support. It is time for their voices to be heard and laws to change to protect others from the abuses they have endured.
Many of today’s Christians have no idea that what they believe is not what early Christian’s believed; although they are being told it is by their religious leaders. Countless Christians actually believe they have found truth. Sadly, they interpret and believe based on what they are taught without questioning and researching to see if it IS truth. This allows corrupted leaders to spoon feed them their beliefs and influence their behavior.
As a result, through invented doctrines and rules, through corruption of the written texts and translations, what we have been handed today in no way mirrors the early church and what the early Christians gave their lives for. We have a mutant form of Christianity that blinds and abuses. It leads its followers toward the way of judgmentalism and hate and, incites them to violence against those that disagree or believe differently than they do. It also suppresses and oppresses women and children. None of these things are reflective of Christ. Christ never instigated violence toward those who believed differently. Christ never cast a stone at one single sinner. Christ treated women with respect, dignity and honor. He treated them as equals, not inferiors. Christ would not even allow his disciples to raise their hands, nor given powers, against those that disagreed or hated them. And, Christ NEVER raised his hand against a woman or child to force conformity to his teachings. Christ did, however, spew his anger at the religious leaders of his day. Interesting. We Christians will raise our hands against women, children and unbelievers, but not against corrupted religious leaders? Very interesting.
Today’s Christians, no matter the denomination or sect, are being taught to hate those that hate them. They are being taught to hurt those that live differently than they do. They are being taught to punish those that disagree or speak out about the lies and corruptions they see. They are even being taught that anyone that speaks out about abuse within the “church” is a liar that must be silenced. You see, religious leaders tell their followers that these abused individuals aren’t just liars, but, they are “hurting the cause of Christ.” Why would they say this? Answer: to hide the crime.
Today’s religious leaders are controlling the flow of information, instituting rules that bring about thought and behavior reform and, coercing poor and needy people to give away their substance – all in the “Name of God.” The result of this is the ability for religious leaders to stifle truth, propagate lies and, control lives and fortunes – all in the “Name of God.”
How in the world did Christianity become such an abusive system that harbors pedophiles and rapists, murders and abusers of all kinds (see my Clergy Abuse Archive). How did it become a system that degrades women, setting them on an unequal plane that will always lead to their abuse? What about the children? Followers within this system are taught to raise their hands against them in order to force conformity to all the rules and precepts. Sadly, today’s Christianity is abusive and is creating abusive mindsets and behaviors in those that truly believe they are doing the “will of God.” How blind many have become! They are justifying abuse in the “Name of God?” How can this be? Propagating inequality – which always leads to abuse of those slighted by it – in the “Name of God?” How far we have fallen from God! How far we have fallen and Woe unto us!
Today’s religious institutions and leaders make a mockery of God. They wear a facade, but underneath are full of dead mens bones and every wickedness. They sell the Gospel for money. They sell a twisted truth of God for money. They exact tithes they have no right to. They vie for position and power. They sell their wares to the poorest in their congregations without care for their financial welfare. They hide sexual abuse and exploitation of women and children. They pit the brethren against each other. Today’s Christianity has become an “Us vs. Them” war.
It is time for people everywhere to open their eyes; to pull the blinders off! It is time to LISTEN to the CRIES of the ABUSED. Listen to the cries of innocent CHILDREN, MEN and WOMEN who have fallen victim to the perverted men and women worshipping amongst them; many of which, are even LEADING them! What will it take to wake you up out of your intoxicated state, people of God? You have drunk the wine of religion and it has you in a stupor! Wake up out of that stupor and look around you and see all the victims of abuse lying by the wayside in need of help and healing. These are the very ones that Christ gave his life for! These are the very ones that he spent his days with helping and healing! He didn’t spend his time with the religious crowds! Understand this fact.
It is not too late to change. It is not too late to help. It is NEVER too late to make right, what is wrong. There are countless victims of abuse, incest, childhood sexual assault, rape and sex trafficking that need help. You can start by GIVING to GRACE and Together We Heal through the links on my blog. These two entities are working to make right, what has gone wrong. Instead of giving to an institution whose only goal is to control you and your finances and live off the backs of the poor, break free! Start giving to those that are TRULY making a difference in the lives of those the church has cast off as trash.
Dark secrets lie within the walls of Religion’s pristine cell,
They are hidden amidst TRUTHS that religion seeks to sell.
Poor souls get trapped in bondage within its walls so fair,
They see their cell as wonderful, for surely, TRUTH is there!
They cannot see the Darkness that hides behind the walls,
There is an ever-present Evil that hails to the Warden’s call.
The Simple feast on fatness, of words dressed in pure white,
Not knowing that the words they eat are poisoning them each night.
The words of TRUTH are laced with the faintest hint of LIE,
Just enough to make that TRUTH appear, to the Simple, to have new life.
This “taint” is man’s opinion, interpretations and fears;
And it’s just enough of darkness, to take them unawares.
The horrors found within this cell are covered in fear and dread,
For inside this prison of religion, lies many martyred heads;
Martyred by the church, for exposing abuse and lies
That the Warden has kept hidden, to keep control alive.
He leads them along in darkness, yet tells them they can see,
And inside the cell of Religion, are many anguished pleas.
For once you are enslaved, and bound in Religion’s Cell,
The Warden has control, as to him your soul, you sell.
For power and prestige, the Warden knows no bounds,
He masquerades as righteous, yet within, much evil resounds.
He fosters hate and judgment toward those who disagree,
He teaches abusive tactics that his followers cannot “see.”
The Warden builds his cells, to appeal to mens desires,
While making sure the Simple, do what he requires.
Those who are easily swayed to purchase the Warden’s wares,
Believe the “truths” they are handed that are meant to keep them there.
Trapped in bondage to Religion, and locked within its cell,
The Simple live their lives never knowing that they’ve failed;
Failed to see the bondage that has them bound within,
Failed to see the lies that the Warden seduced them with.
Religion’s Cell is dangerous, before it, princes cower,
It controls lives and fortunes, to keep its fame and power.
Breaking free from this cell may cost one all he owns,
Cause him grief and heartache, from those he’s always known.
But through the thick darkness, the TRUTH of God shines forth,
And severs the yokes of bondage to the Warden’s evil work.
The light breaks through the sorrow, that holds us in its snare,
Releasing the shackles of bondage that kept us hostage there.
For decades, Religious Abuse has been well hidden within organized religions throughout the world. Those that bear the brunt of this abuse are women and children. In this article, I would like to focus on how it affects children that are raised within, and trapped in, an abusive religious system. My blog is full of articles and stories that cover this topic of abuse against women and children if readers would like to learn more about this type of abuse. First of all, let me explain what religious abuse is, and then I will explain how it affects children. Many have no idea what the definition of that term is. So, what exactly is Religious Abuse?
Religious Abuse – Any harm or violence inflicted by people within any religious sect toward an adult or child that results in harm or trauma physically, emotionally, psychologically and/or sexually and, may even lead to the death of the victim. There are many facets to religious abuse. They are as follows: Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, and Spiritual Abuse. Each of these areas of Religious Abuse can be expounded upon here: RELIGIOUS ABUSE – What Exactly Is It? The number one goal of those that inflict this abuse is complete CONTROL of others for personal gratification and/or gain, monetary greed and power.
The most destructive aspect to religious abuse is Spiritual Abuse. Spiritual Abuse does NOT allow for any of the following:
Individuality or autonomy
Independent thinking and reasoning
Freedom of Choice
Freedom of Belief
Questioning of authority, religious rules, religious precepts, or abuses inflicted.
Escape from the abuse and control
Spiritual Abuse DOES demand, in the name of “God”:
Blind and unquestionable obedience to religious leaders
Conformity to all group rules, dogmas and precepts
Punishment of those that disagree or question the authority or rules
Punishment of those that speak out about abuse inflicted by those in authority
The silencing of, public humiliation of, and/or death of, those that continue to disobey and/or speak out about the abuse
As stated earlier, the goal of abusive religions is ultimate control of others. In a religious setting, this can be a breeding ground for the sexual exploitation and abuse of children. Because those in authority use the name of God and Scripture to justify their abuse, the psychological trauma is unparalleled. To the victim, God becomes vengeful, exacting, merciless, unloving, uncaring AND gives permission for “his people” to be abusive in his name.
Because of this demand for religious conformity and control within an abusive system, religious abuse occurs and children cannot escape it. In an abusive religion, children have no rights. They have no choices. They have no voice. The abusive religion requires them to obey without question or suffer the consequences. Many of these consequences are criminal. Many result in the death of the child!
In order to facilitate the programming and behavior modification process, many are put in boarding schools or behavior modification facilities to be “forced” into conformity. Many of these facilities harbor rapists, pedophiles and abusers that perpetrate sexual violence, physical abuse, emotional and psychological abuse and, spiritual abuse. Freedom of choice and belief has no place in any of these facilities. Those that run these facilities are given absolute and unquestionable authority over these children. This type of authority leads to religious abuse and can encompass all aspects as mentioned in my article, RELIGIOUS ABUSE – What Exactly Is It? Non-conformity to the demands of leadership within these places will bring punishment in the form of spiritual abuse, psychological abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse and, yes, sexual abuse and exploitation. Here are some stories of children that have endured these abuses at the hands of those that should have been their protectors:
All of these children were emotionally and psychologically destroyed through the constant barrage of verbal abuse, physical abuse and sexual abuses. For more stories like these visit my blog – www.religionscell.wordpress.com. Also search the internet…the stories are endless.
You may be wondering how in the world abusers can get away with such crimes against children? Let me tell you how:
Sexual exploitation of women and children in abusive religious institutions is a very difficult subject matter to deal with. Exposing it is an even harder task. It has been going on not just for decades, but centuries! Abusive religious institutions have mastered the art of silencing, shaming, bullying, building loyalty, stalling and, walking away from victims without ever helping them and providing restitution and vindication for the crimes perpetrated against them. Instead they have punished and placed blame on the victims. They have used their religious authority and administrative and financial prowess to effectively destroy and silence any who dare to speak out about the abuses they may have suffered. Character assassination, death, torture, public humiliation and shunning by church members and or family members, are just a few of the tactics that victims have to deal with after coming forward with abuse allegations. To understand what I mean by character assassination, please read my articles entitled “Character Assassination.”
There are several reasons why these “abusers and predators in the name of God” can get away with their abuses against children. One of the main reasons for the lack of prosecution of sexual predators is Statute of Limitations (SOL) laws here in the U.S. that prevent victims of sexual assault from prosecuting their rapists after a certain number of years has passed. It can take decades for a victim to muster up the courage to speak out! Many church leaders are working hard at keeping these S.O.L. laws in place while victims of the abuse are fighting to get them removed.
Another reason is that many of the crimes are perpetrated in foreign countries where our laws do not apply. Many abusers and rapists come back from the foreign mission field to live free lives here in the U.S., never spending one single day in jail for their crimes. Prosecution must be sought in the country where the crime occurs in order for victims to stop their abusers from hurting others. Many mission organizations and foreign churches are SILENCING and placing BLAME on the victims and, are not reporting the crimes done on foreign soil! As a result, predators are going free; many of which, are moving on to new victims. Churches here in the U.S. are moving pedophiles and rapists from church to church instead of turning them over to police. Religiously run homes and boarding schools on the foreign field and here in the U.S. have become safe havens for abusers of children due to laws that prevent state and local authorities over site of the facilities. Another issue is that some of the rapists are still on foreign soil and cannot be prosecuted because of this. The following video is one of the perpetrators admitting to his abuses and living freely here in the U.S.
Despite these frustrations, victims of sexual assault must forge ahead, paving the way for changes in law that will protect women and children in religiously run institutions. Is this an easy endeavor? NO, it is NOT! It takes years to affect change. It takes years to get all the cogs out of the wheels of religiously run institutions that are in place to specifically protect the institution from accountability to victims! Can it be done? Absolutely Yes…if victims will be persistent and join their voices together with all the thousands out there that have suffered the same fate as them. There truly is POWER in numbers.
Freedom of belief is of paramount importance in the lives of adults and children alike. Freedom of belief allows for freedom of choice. Most religions do not allow for either of these and, as a result, religious abuse is rampant and children cannot escape it. Parents and missionaries within abusive and controlling religions become abusers themselves through physical violence, sexual exploitation, incest, rape and emotional abuse of children. It’s time for people everywhere to wake up to what is hiding underneath the “mantle of righteousness” many religions wear. Religious abuse is real and it is destroying lives! It is responsible for people having a distorted view of God and spiritual concepts as well as turning them away from God. The following stories will give you firsthand testimony of what can happen to children in an abusive religion.
Stopping the abuse means that we must find the root of it. The root of the problem seems to stem from inequality, authoritarian leadership and, lack of freedom to believe and choose for oneself. Within abusive religions, these factors affect women and children and lead to abuses not only within religiously run institutions, but in the home.
My first part of this series, Religious Bondage – Behavior Control, touches on how behavior reform can cause people to act in abusive ways toward others that disagree or expose abuse within the religious setting. It also explains the tactics many religious followers use in order to silence someone that speaks out about or reports sexual assault, child molestation and rape, or other abuses. In part two, Religious Bondage – Information Control, we learned that one of the key areas of manipulating and controlling people is to control the flow of information within the group. Doing so, allows leadership to rally the group toward their goals, their preferences, their rules, etc. It also allows for abusers to hide their abuses. Behavior Control and Information control are two aspects of Religious Bondage. Religious Bondage is the product of Thought Reform, Information Control and Behavior Modification and, leads to abuse.
As I stated in part one and two, in order to explain this phenomenon that so few know anything about, I have taken Religious Bondage and put it into simple terms everyone can understand – “Religious Freedom vs. Religious Bondage.” There are three parts to religious bondage as stated above. This will be the third part of this series and, once again, I will use Steven Hassan’s B.I.T.E. model from his book, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, chapter two to show the Religious Bondage, I will compare this to my own model for Religious Freedom. At the end of this chart, I will then summarize.
Questioning doctrine and belief is permitted
Independent thinking encouraged
Questioning of leadership and their behaviorsis permitted
Leadership is held accountable for actions
No fear of other religious groups
Secular education is encouraged to help in a better understanding of others, the world, and different beliefs
Ideas and feedback on improvement is accepted
Freedom of expression allowed
Freedom to decide one’s own goals and aspirations
Need to internalize the group’s doctrine as “Truth”
Map = Reality
Black and White thinking
Good vs. evil
Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)
Adopt “loaded” language (characterized by “thought-terminating clichés”). Words are the tools we use to think with. These “special” words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous “buzz words”.
Only “good” and “proper” thoughts are encouraged.
Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down “reality testing” by stopping “negative” thoughts and allowing only “good” thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.
No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate
No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful
Manipulate and narrow the range of a person’s feelings.
Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader’s or the group’s.
Feeling-stopping (with number 4, Excessive use of guilt). Like thought-stopping, this is the automatic suppression or blocking of feelings that are not acceptable by the cult identity- such as feeling ”homesick” or feeling ”depressed” or feeling ”resentful”.
Excessive use of guilt
Who you are (not living up to your potential)
Your thoughts, feelings, actions
Excessive use of fear
Fear of thinking independently
Fear of the “outside” world
Fear of enemies
Fear of losing one’s “salvation”
Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
Fear of disapproval
Extremes of emotional highs and lows.
Ritual and often public confession of “sins”.
Phobia indoctrination : programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader’s authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
No happiness or fulfillment “outside” of the group
Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: “hell”; “demon possession”; “incurable diseases”; “accidents”; “suicide”; “insanity”; “10,000 reincarnations”; etc.
Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group’s perspective, people who leave are: “weak;” “undisciplined;” “unspiritual;” “worldly;” “brainwashed by family, counselors;” seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.
(Steven Hassan’s B.I.T.E. model from his book, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, chapter two)
My thoughts on Thought Control (Mind Control):
Controlling a congregant’s time is paramount in controlling their mind (thought reform). It leads to the mind accepting negative and abusive responses and actions without thought to reality. By demanding that everyone in the group attend all functions of the group (time and behavior control), it allows for the inputting of beliefs, standards and opinions of leadership (indoctrination sessions). Leadership has mastered the art of manipulating scripture to cause interpretation of it to lean toward their way of thinking. Often, it will be taken out of context and used in forcing conformity to the many rules leadership puts in place. Scripture is also used to instill fear of going against “the man of God.” It is twisted to give the impression that doing so will bring God’s wrath and judgement upon the individual that disagrees with, goes against, prosecutes, or speaks out against, “the man of God.” There will be “consequences” or “punishments” for those that do not conform quickly to leadership’s rules. This may involve destructive gossip, public humiliation and shunning until one conforms. Many will conform in order to avoid the “consequences” or out of fear of retaliation from other members and/or God.
Thought control (mind control) creates clones of the leadership and the abusive system. All members think alike and act alike. They learn to like the same kinds of music, foods, restaurants, stores, etc. They are trained to go to leadership for input on making all major decisions in their lives. Members believe leadership knows what is best for them and that whatever leadership tells them to do is the right thing. Members will only believe what leadership says is truth and they allow leadership to control their homes and familial relationships. They will not believe former members or others that see abuse from the outside even if they are professionals or authorities that deal directly in this area of expertise where abuse is concerned.
Scripture is twisted and used against the women and children to force them into subservient roles to men and other adults. Their minds are filled with scripture that has been manipulated and changed in order to instill abusive doctrines that are designed at getting them to submit and obey without questioning the many “rules.” All teachings are designed to stop women and children from thinking independently and questioning leadership’s, rules, actions, dogma and church policy. It is also designed to prevent them from questioning abusive actions of family members and spouses. Inequality of the sexes is hammered home using twisted teachings and corrupted translations of scriptures. Attitudes are instilled in the men that women are “lesser,” are not allowed to have positions of authority over them, must submit to all male authority. This inequality of the sexes leads to abuse of women emotionally and physically in the home. They either submit to the manipulation and control or they will find themselves being emotionally and physically abused (domestic abuse). This leads to eating disorders, physical ailments, emotional imbalances, mental illnesses and depression in many of the women that allow themselves to believe the lies and teachings of the group.
The children are forced to “shut up and put up.” They have no say so in anything. If they are falsely accused by adults of wrongdoing, parents and other members will believe the one telling the lies. The children are rarely believed. If they try to question the abuses, church authority and/or twisted teachings, they will be punished. They are isolated from the world and from authorities and those that have the legal power to help them when abuse does occur. They are rarely believed by those within the abusive or cult-like group when they speak out about their abuses.
Through the use of “congregant bashing” from the pulpit, leadership instills a negative self-image into members. Many will feel that they cannot do anything right and that bad situations that arise in their life are their “fault” for not being good enough or following leadership’s advice. Many will even believe that these situations are the result of God punishing them for disobeying leadership. To them, God is ever ready to punish those that cannot live up to the standards and many rules imposed upon them by leadership. Pleasing God means pleasing leadership and adhering to the many rules imposed. In the minds of congregants, leadership’s rules become God’s rules. Therefore, any transgression of the rules deserves punishment not only from God, but from leadership.
The group as a whole becomes “spies.” They report every little thing that does not conform to group think, standards and rules to leadership so that “disciplinary” tactics can be employed against the non-conforming members.
My first part of this series, Religious Bondage – Behavior Control, touches on how behavior reform can cause people to act in abusive ways toward others that disagree or expose abuse within the religious setting. It also explains the tactics many religious followers use in order to silence someone that speaks out about or reports sexual assault, child molestation and rape, or other abuses. One of the key areas of manipulating and controlling people is to control the flow of information within the group. Doing so, allows leadership to rally the group toward their goals, their preferences, their rules, etc. It also allows for abusers to hide their abuses. Information control is one aspect of Religious Bondage. Religious Bondage is the product of Thought Reform, Information Control and Behavior Modification and, leads to abuse.
As I stated in part one, in order to explain this phenomenon that so few know anything about, I would like to break it down and keep it simple. I will call it, “Religious Freedom vs. Religious Bondage.” There are three parts to religious bondage as stated above. This will be the second part of this series and, once again, I will use Steven Hassan’s B.I.T.E. model from his book, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, chapter two to show the Religious Bondage, I will compare this to my own model for Religious Freedom. At the end of this chart, I will then summarize.
Flow of information not monitored and controlled
Honest evaluations and input
Access to non-cult sources of information is encouraged
Allowed to read whatever they want to gain knowledge and truth.
Free access to internet, books, articles, social media
Association with former members
Free time to enjoy family and friends
Equality: Equal access to information by leadership and non-leadership
Information freely accessible
Everyone receives the same information
No spying on other members
No “buddy” system present
Outside professional counseling encouraged
Leadership is not “all knowing” and therefore encourages secular professionals where needed.
All information provided is from outside sources
Books, magazines, journals video tapes, CDs, etc.
Non-cult sources studied and discussed in order to understand proper context
No Shaming or Manipulation
No use of public confessions which is the same as public shaming. This is abuse.
Confidential information shared in counseling is kept confidential and not used to manipulate and control congregants.
No sharing confidential information between leadership of like churches.
Use of deception:
Deliberately holding back information
Distorting information to make it acceptable
Access to non-cult sources of information is discouraged
Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, internet, social media
Keep members so busy they don’t have time to think
Compartmentalize information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
Information is not freely accessible
Information varies at different levels and missions within the hierarchy
Leadership decides who “needs to know” what
Spying on other members is encouraged
Pairing up with “buddy” system to monitor and control
Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership
Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
Newsletters, magazines, journals, video tapes, CDs, etc.
Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources
Unethical use of confession
Information about “sins” used to abolish identity boundaries
Past “sins” used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution
(Steven Hassan’s B.I.T.E. model from his book, Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, chapter two)
My thoughts on Information Control:
Information Controlallows for leadership to rally congregants to THEIR cause instead of a victim of abuse or an outsider. Congregants readily believe what leadership tells them and, believe that all victims of abuse are liars that are trying to “take down the man of God” or, “destroy God’s works.” Because leadership limits information, twists truth, and/or outright lies about abuses, congregants have no way of knowing what truth IS due to lack of correct information. But, when in doubt, the congregants will naturally lean toward leadership’s views because all information points to that view as “correct” due to information control.
As shown above, information control is paramount in controlling “perception” in the minds of others. Those who control information, control thoughts. Those who control information, control behavior. Abusive leadership will ALWAYS encourage shunning to stifle the truth. Shunning is very important because it prevents current members from listening to and believing those that have been abused or, have witnessed abuse, from being heard and believed. This is why shunning all former members is mandatory in an abusive religion or cult-like church. Those that continue to speak out after being shunned, will then be stalked and harassed either emotionally or financially by existing leadership and members for not remaining silent. Many different techniques are employed in taking down someone that won’t stop talking to authorities, but the number one technique used time and time again is getting them fired from their job.
Information control also keeps congregants dependent on leadership for “correct” information. Only leadership has the “real truth” regarding every situation; not those falsely accused by leadership or targeted by leadership in order to silence them. Congregants:
Will not believe media reports.
Will disregard facts if those facts go against what leadership has told them.
Will disregard witness testimony as lies meant to destroy their leadership or work of God.
Congregants become secondary abusers to victims of sexual assault, rape, incest and physical abuse who report crimes within the church.
They will stalk those that go to the authorities to report crimes (psychological abuse).
They will harass privately and publicly those that go to authorities to report crimes.
They will use their influence to get them fired from their jobs if they work with members of the same abusive church.
They will alter important documents to make it look like the victim is dishonest, using those documents against the victim to destroy them professionally.
They will outright lie about victims to others.
They will make fraudulent claims against victims to state boards in order to cause victims to lose their professional licenses.
They will use the legal system to attack victims that step forward to report by placing frivolous lawsuits on them.
It will affect victims socially – they will have no friends.
They will pit spouses against spouses and children against parents.
They will use the internet to write articles about them to discredit them and their testimony.
They will use social media to harass a victim.
They will slash tires or break in to the homes or offices of those that expose the abuses, sometimes killing beloved pets in a heinous manner in order to scare and intimidate into silence.
They will commit murder to ultimately silence a victim.
They will rally other family members against those who report crimes. Thus destroying familial relationships.
Any information told in “counseling” sessions with a pastor is used to spread gossip and slander against anyone who dares to speak out about abuses they have endured or expose them, within the church. This information is also used to blackmail congregants into conforming to leadership’s agendas, demands, desires. This information is then shared between pastors of various churches of the same sect in order to control members that leave to go to another church within the same sect. Pastors across the country work together in applying the same pressures and abuses on a congregant that tries to flee the abuse by attending another church within the same sect.
Information Control allows for abuses to continue, hidden. It allows for abusers and rapists to move on to new victims. It ensures that a victim will remain silent. Silence stops the secondary abuse.
The best way for victims to combat and stop these secondary abuses is to report all instances of it to law enforcement and victim advocate attorneys assigned to the case of a victim. Press charges against every person that threatens, harasses or slanders. By using the legal system to show a definitive pattern of harassment and abuse from the abusive church or group, it allows the authorities to either prosecute and/or stop the secondary abuse. If you have pressed criminal charges against a person in leadership within a religious organization, you must understand that witness tampering and harassment is against the law. Reporting every instance to the police ensures that every individual that is involved is held accountable legally. Don’t be afraid to press charges. Don’t be afraid to speak out. By speaking out about abuse and exposing criminals within the religious system, you save lives – lives of children that won’t be molested and raped, trafficked, physically abused and emotionally abused. You will save lives of teenagers from the same abuses. You will prevent rapes and untold trauma to others.