Tag Archives: submission

Another Twist of Scripture to Subjugate Women to Abusive Husbands

michalThroughout the twenty years I was in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult, this next topic was one that I heard often in the preaching. Without fail, the theme of the message was that Michal was barren “as a punishment” from God for her words with David. The underlying message that was given was this:  If a wife disagrees with her husband, she will be punished by God.  This instills “fear” and causes emotional trauma to the woman because what she has to say becomes unimportant. It tells the woman that she has no say so in the way her spouse treats her. If he desires to be mean, hateful, and abusive, that she must endure it or God will punish her too.  Her desires and wants have no value in the marriage relationship and are of no VALUE WITH GOD.  This twisting of scripture places the man in a position of control and abuse that God never intended. Let’s look at this passage and hear from an expert whom I hold in much higher regard than the unlearned and secularly uneducated men that hold positions of leadership in most I.F.B. churches, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin. According to Telushkin, it makes no sense to believe that God is punishing Michal for her words. Here is a paraphrase of what Telushkin talks about in his book, Biblical Literacy and then I will expound further on this subject.

“David whirled with all his might before the Lord” (II Sam. 6:14). The text tells us that Michal looks out a window and sees David dancing in the streets and despises him for it. Afterwards, when David returns, there is an exchange between Michal and David. Michal meets him after his return with anger and scorn saying, “Didn’t the king of Israel do himself honor today–exposing himself today in the sight of slavegirls . . . as on of the riffraff might expose himself?”

David responds to this verbal slap with an arrow to the heart of Michal: “It was before the Lord who chose me instead of your father and all his family, and appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel [that I danced]” (II Sam. 6:21). The chapter concludes with the verse “So to her dying day, Michal, daughter of Saul, had no children.”

Most Bible commentators generally sympathize with David; many explain Michal’s barrenness as God’s punishment for her angry words to David. But in truth, if Michal’s words were tactless, her husband’s were cruel. There is no reason to assume that God chose to punish Michal. More likely, after this brutal exchange the two never again were intimate.

— Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Biblical Literacy

One wonders, when Michal went to sleep every night in the palace, was she thinking of David or Palti, the only man who ever loved her and that she had five children with. 2 Sam 21:8,9 – “But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, . . . And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.”

No one stops to consider that Michal had been married for quite awhile before David took her from her husband! What kind of emotional attachment would she have to David by being FORCED to leave her husband and children!! The emotional TRAUMA alone is enough to chill one’s bones.  God is NOT going to punish further someone that is already suffering and is broken. If you think differently, then you do not serve the LIVING GOD that is full of compassion and mercy and love.  Michal was a broken women who was torn from her family by a King who showed no mercy,  compassion, love or care for Michal.  He did not love her. She was a tool used to keep Saul’s followers, and his enemies, at bay.  Michal, more than likely, was never intimate with David, because she KNEW he did not love her and did not care about her or her five children that she was taken from. David destroyed her marriage and family for his own SELFISH reasons.

David was human. He committed murder. He made some bad decisions. This was just one more to add to his list. BUT, to use this example in scripture to tell women that if they do not let an abusive husband have is way, that God will punish them is preposterous! More than likely, Michal did not have children WITH DAVID because she didn’t love him or want any children with him because of his cruelty toward her. And David. . . well, he didn’t FORCE himself upon her! That alone should make men realize that they DO NOT have a RIGHT to force themselves on their spouses and God does not expect women to submit to abuse.

How Submission is Obtained: The Cult Rationale

As mentioned in my previous article, The Sexual Exploitation of Women, “submission” is an submissionintegral part of sexual exploitation of women in a cult environment. Throughout history, women have been raised and taught to believe that they are inferior to men; that God intended for them to submit to the authority of all men. This simply is not true and is a flagrant corruption of scripture and total disregard for history and culture to support this premise. One of the major issues that church leaders use to control women in the church and the home is “submission”.

According to the Cultic Studies Journal, “sexual exploitation in cults takes place on both the group and personal levels. Sometimes everyone in the group must exhibit certain attitudes and demonstrate certain behaviors.” For those of us that have exited an abusive cult, we understand this to be true. The “thought reform” process that was mentioned in my previous article, causes members to act and re-act according to the attitudes and beliefs instilled by the cult. This can be highly dangerous in a family unit. The concept that women are inferior, less intelligent and must submit to men can cause young teenage boys to rebel against the parental authority of the mother. It can even lead to the child blatantly treating that same parent with contempt to the point of raising their hand to strike her in times of disagreements. I know this to be true from experience. In the groups setting, we find that those that do not “submit” to the rules are treated with similar contempt as well. They are ostracized and shunned until the desired attitude and behavior change to match the cult “mentality”.

The Cultic Studies Journal also went on to say that, “Since cults are essentially mirror images of the central leader figure, how this transpires in each group will depend on the whims, preferences, and predilections of the man in charge.”  It even gave a list of control strategies used by leadership to enable the leader to fulfill his desire for power and control.   The following are control strategies that turn up repeatedly in Lalich’s study of cults and in reports of former cult members. This list reflects Lalich’s findings as published in The Cultic Studies Journal.

Group Rules

By controlling sex, marriage, and procreation, the cult is better able to control its membership. Rules of all sorts will be put in place to govern the member’s daily lives, including their intimate relationships. This can range from standards of free love and free sex to strict behaviors. Some cults literally instruct their members when and how to have sexual intercourse.

Oftentimes cult policies will clearly define personal and sexual behaviors. Female members may be expected to dress a certain way (e.g., wear long skirts and look “womanly”), behave a certain way (e.g., never look the men in the eye, always look down when in the presence of others, be passive and joyful at all times), and speak a certain way (e.g., refer to the leader as “Master”). Other regulations may provide specific guidelines for dating, cohabitation, marriage and divorce, sexual relations, and so on. Female cult members are sometimes used to procure recruits through seduction and sexual favors. Some cults force women into prostitution to help finance the cult leader’s personal lifestyle. In others, men regularly flirt with and seduce women into friendships or relationships in order to recruit them into the cult; once in, the woman is usually turned over to someone else to “handle.””

In many cults, leadership decides who should have children and how many. In some, women are discouraged from bearing children, with sterilization or abortion used as means of birth control. In others, childbearing is expected and sometimes ordered by leadership in order to bring about more little cult members. Cults that particularly deride “the family” will have children taken away from their birth parents to be raised by other cult members, or sometimes even sent away to non-cult relatives or foster homes. Marriages and partnerships are arranged and broken at the whim of the cult leader. Members merely become pawns in an abusive play, where the leader gets to act out.”

I would like to add to these statements by Lalich that leadership will also send children off to a cult-operated boys or girls home to be “forced” into submission to the rules and attitudes of the cult and its leaders. In these types of homes, the children are treated as if they are in “concentration” camps. They are severely punished for disobedience. They are isolated from anyone that could “save” them from the punishments. And, the very strict rules are oppressive and many times, abusive in nature.  How many countless children have been physically and sexually abused in these types of homes? We know of quite of few and they can tell the horror stories of that abuse. Please see: Simone’s Story, Kim Holt’s Story, and Aaron Anderson’s Story.

Another point that needs driven home that Lalich has stated is that “children are taken away from their birth parents to be raised by other cult members”. How true! Especially in the Independent Fundamental Baptist Cult that I came out of. If the birth parents were having trouble making a child “conform”, that child would be placed in another members home to be raised and nurtured in the ways of the cult. Under this type of scenario, a false “love” and “acceptance” is employed by the cult family and used as a weapon to bring about conformity to the rules. This can often lead to the child looking at their own parents with a contempt because they do not live up to the standards and rules like the cult family does.

There are two popular control mechanisms: “The demand for sexual abstinence or celibacy, and the enforcement of certain prohibitions (for example, against homosexual relationships or other unsanctioned relationships). At first glance such rules may provide relief from the confusion of trying to master the intricacies of sexuality and intimate relationships, especially for young adults who may be struggling with these issues. In reality, however, the rules merely serve as yet another manipulation” (Lalich).

Ultimately, Lalich points out that once someone has been led to accept the cult leader’s philosophy, then just about anything goes. He calls the shots, and members are expected to go along with the program “or get out.” Threat of expulsion gets equated with losing a chance at salvation!

Tomorrow, I will talk about another strategy used by cult leaders to get members to submit – personal abuse.