I recently used the term "spiritual abuse" and this has had a strong reaction from a couple of posters on the Jesus Christian Forum.
I put the posting in question on two forums. I am not sure whether the JC's are responding to my posting on this forum, or the other more active one which I understand the JC's have been suggested to leave alone. It's actually a free thread, where people won't be banned for promoting the Jesus Christians, or criticising them, and there are many new surprise posters, as well as the old faithfuls.
When I used the term "spiritual abuse" it came from contemplation, not from an analysis of the subject. It is intesting that when I now google the term, the following is the Wiki entry:
Dr. Ronald Enroth in Churches That Abuse identifies five categories:
Authority and Power - abusive groups misuse and distort the concept of spiritual authority. Abuse arises when leaders of a group arrogate to themselves power and authority that lacks the dynamics of open accountability and the capacity to question or challenge decisions made by leaders. The shift entails moving from general respect for an office bearer to one where members loyally submit without any right to dissent.
Manipulation and Control - abusive groups are characterized by social dynamics where fear, guilt, and threats are routinely used to produce unquestioning obedience, group conformity, and stringent tests of loyalty to the leaders are demonstrated before the group. Biblical concepts of the leader-disciple relationship tend to develop into a hierarchy where the leader's decisions control and usurp the disciple's right or capacity to make choices on spiritual matters or even in daily routines of what form of employment, form of diet and clothing are permitted.
Elitism and Persecution - abusive groups depict themselves as unique and have a strong organizational tendency to be separate from other bodies and institutions. The social dynamism of the group involves being independent or separate, with diminishing possibilities for internal correction and reflection. Outside criticism and evaluation is dismissed as the disruptive efforts of evil people seeking to hinder or thwart.
Life-style and Experience - abusive groups foster rigidity in behavior and in belief that requires unswerving conformity to the group's ideals and social mores.
Dissent and Discipline - abusive groups tend to suppress any kind of internal challenges and dissent concerning decisions made by leaders. Acts of discipline may involve emotional and physical humiliation, physical violence or deprivation, acute and intense acts of punishment for dissent and disobedience.
When you apply these measures to the demonstrated treatment of Kirstie, as recorded on the Jesus Christians Forum, maybe not all boxes are ticked, but so many are that........
Maybe the Jesus Christians think it is normal to treat someone like this? That is a really scarry thought!
I rest my case.
Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 08/10/2008 12:58AM by Blackhat.