"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: LaughingWillow ()
Date: September 19, 2004 12:57PM

I have a question? :?:

When I was in this church cult, the pastor would "lay on of hands" in which I would would feel "the presence od God" and feel overwheming states of bliss....After realizing it was cult by the loss of 20,000 dollars and psychosis from repeated fasts and sleep depervated "worships"
I come to realize that God would never show up in place like that or through such a person like him....but one question still lingers in my mind.
If it was not God that gave me trance-like states of bliss...what was it?
And how did he do it?

"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: Sylvia ()
Date: September 20, 2004 12:09AM

Hello Jojo Laughing Willow,

Who was it? It was YOU - and the minister, and God.

I’m sorry to hear that you lost $20,000 to that ‘church’. I hope that eventually you will come to consider it a good, but painful investment in your spiritual education, even though at the time you ‘gave’ it to them you were in an altered state of consciousness (psychotic mania). You could try to sue them and get it back, but it might cost a lot in time and money to do that.

However, I’m glad that you now know what sleep deprivation can do to your mind. It took me years to understand the consequences of that disgusting (but traditional) technique for creating altered states of consciousness. I am still learning more about it.

About the ‘laying on of hands’ faith healing process, I believe that, A: It could really be a transfer of healing energy coming from God, throught the other person, combining with YOUR energy, or B: It was just what the other person SAID or DID (which was verbal or visual hypnosis/Neuro-linguistic-programming - NLP techniques) that can trigger an altered state of mind (and therefore body) in you, or C: It was ALL of the above.

However, I do believe that ‘God’ would be in a place like that, protecting you from the bozo (minister/healer) who may not know what he/she is doing, and the negative consequences (psychosis) they are helping to create with a person. After all, didn’t Jesus hang out with the ‘sinners’ frequently, not the allegedly ‘good’ people? He was hanging out with the people whose behavior needed ‘a change’, not the ones who already believed that they were ‘holier than thou’. I know that it didn’t SEEM like ‘God’ was there, but ‘God’ doesn’t protect us from all negative experiences all of the time (judging from the results so far here on Earth) If ‘God’ did protect us all of the time there would really be no negative experiences to protect us from! That would be a blissful but ‘boring’ experience, wouldn’t it? How would we ‘learn’ anything that way? We need some negativity for positivity to exist here on Earth.

You may not have perceived that ‘God’ was there, but I suspect that he/she/it was. Yes, you got one of the ‘how to become psychotic lessons’ there, but you seem pretty clear about what happened. Now you can spread the word and help people understand the ‘dangers’ of religious experiences like ‘faith healing’, sleep deprivation, fasting, etc. They ALL can create potentially dangerous psychological effects in people. This applies to ANY spiritual practices of any religious/spiritual belief system.

About the ‘you are going to hell’ tactic that people use on you, you can tell them that the word ‘hell’ is related to the word ‘helios’, meaning light, or the Sun, and that yes, you probably will ‘go to the Light’! (I looked that up again this morning.) You can tell them to study up on some Greek and Latin, or read the Bible in Hebrew and see what it really says. Or, buy them a ‘New World Dictionary of The American Language’ which will show them the real meanings of the words they use. You can tell them that you love them but that the ‘fear tactics’ just aren’t going to fly with you anymore. You know, your family, and everyone else really, just need to feel ‘safe’, and they want you to be safe. When you contradict their current beliefs you make them feel unsafe, so they will attack you in one way or another. Fear breeds anger. Anger breeds aggression. If you alleviate their feelings of fear, they won’t worry about you as much, or transfer their fears to you.

Always ‘question’ any authority figures in your life. They may have a lot of good qualities and behaviors, but they will also have some ‘funky’ beliefs too. They are all human, not divine. We must learn more DISCERNment when relating to others.

The point/lesson is to become more aware and protect yourself in the future, and ask for help from others, including ‘God’ when you really need it. That way you can be independent, and interdependent, and have healthier, clearer, more loving relationships with other people. This includes getting rid of the ‘good guy/bad guy’ dualistic concepts which create ‘judgment’. We all have our sins/destructive behaviors, and we have to apologize/make amends for them when we can. When we can’t make amends/apologize for our ‘bad’ behaviors without causing more damage, that’s when it’s time to ‘call God, or our Higher Power’ for back-up. He/she/it will be there, even if we are ‘unconscious’ mentally or physically to make the call.

As for me, I have been studying up for a while on the scriptures that were taken OUT of the Bible as we know it these days, by the guys at the Council of Nicea. Getting back to the basics of any scriptures (writings), and finding out what ‘the author-ities’ edited out of the teachings is very helpful. I started this studying ten years ago, after I became psychotic, with my Dictionary.

Peace chick! (Hand up showing the old hippie Peace Sign)


"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: LaughingWillow ()
Date: September 20, 2004 02:52AM


you been so much ..thank you for helping me in this time of confusion

What have you learned about what has been taken out of the bible?


"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: Sylvia ()
Date: September 20, 2004 10:27PM

Hey Jojo,

I'm glad to be helpful. Good luck with suing those guys. It will be helpful to your case to get your medical records together and have 'psychiatric records' as evidence too.

Also, try not to feel 'stupid'. You can read in many threads here that very smart people have been taken for BIG money when they weren't thinking straight. I myself have spent thousands of dollars on various things when I was 'manic/psychotic'. It is a very common thing, so don't think that you are the only one. You just 'feel like an idiot' because you are angry, which is good - to be angry. It gets us out of our 'trances'- destructive beliefs - so we can solve whatever problem we have had and hopefully prevent other people from being harmed by unaware or greedy jerks like the leaders of 'cults' and other groups. Of course, we also must not become too extreme in our new beliefs, or we become like them! Studying various belief systems helps prevent that. You can learn how not to become a 'bad' group leader.

About the gospels that have been taken out of the Bible, basically the Bible has been 'edited' many times. Whenever information is translated into a different language, the meanings of words change, so the whole meaning of a story changes. The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and then translated into various other languages over time, and each time 'meanings' of words changed. Also, whole Gospels, which were floating around during the first few hundred years after Jesus, were dropped in order to 'consolidate' and standardize Christian beliefs. The beliefs taken out were then labeled 'heresies' by whoever was in authority at the time. You can read about the Cathars, Templars, the Gnostic Christians, etc. They were all labeled heretics, and therefore had to be 'wiped out', usually by killing them, but sometimes they were just wiped out of history by taking their beliefs 'out of print' by editing scriptures and book burning.

Some of the beliefs that were taken out of the Christian religion (Catholic at the time) are: The idea that Jesus was married to, or at least VERY intimate with Mary Magdalene, and the belief in reincarnation. The Mary Magdalene (Mary of Magdala)controversy became more publicized last year when the book 'The DaVinci Code' came out. (As in Leonardo DaVinci) I had already read all of the books mentioned in that book, so I understood it right away. 'The DaVinci Code' is fiction, but based on the 'Mary Magdalene' controversy that has been ongoing for hundreds of years.

Besides 'The DaVinci Code', you could read:

'Holy Blood, Holy Grail', by Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln

'The Messianic Legacy' - same guys

'The Templar Revelation', by Lynn Picknet and Clive Prince

The Meaning of Masonry - W.L. Wilmhurst (a very stripped down discussion of core Masonic concepts)

Basically, the idea is that we all have access to 'God', and don't need the intercession of anyone - like Priests or ministers - to do that. 'Gnosis' means knowing and we can 'know' through our own observations and experiences.

But, first, you must take care of yourself physically and mentally and continue your recovery. If you aren't already, become familiar with any drugs you are taking and their effects. Learn about current psychiatric treatment controversies. Anti-depressant drugs can also make some of us 'crazy' by causing seizures and adrenaline rushes. (See my post about nutrition in the Recovery section of this web site) Staying sane is a tough balancing act, but we can make progress by becoming more informed. Moderation IS the key to staying sane. Anything extreme or 'all or nothing' can be damaging. Be patient and be careful.

Here is a web site about Gnostic Christianity that I found yesterday:




"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: LaughingWillow ()
Date: September 21, 2004 02:16AM

You are a very wise person,

I have studied some gnostism since I droped the cult...basicly searching for truth on my own

I discoved for myself that reincanation exists. To me it just makes sence

I learned that all sound religions lead to God as all spokes on a wheel lead to the axis

most of all I learned to follow my heart an my gut intuition..and that truth for one person may not be suitable truth for anouther for we are all different

But those are some things that I have learned..I will check out those resources that you told me about

I am well aware of my side effects of the medicine.....I am being monitored for side effects quaterly.....I take Paxil Adderall and Geodon and Carbitol (for sezuires from brain injury)

Ya your right moderation is the key..I will focus on that

Thank you for all your help....you been very kind to me....so what ends you up here?


"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: September 21, 2004 03:49AM

Just to insert the Agnostic perspective here...

It could very well "just" be a production of your own brain, similar to what happens in hypnosis.
For instance, i can go to a "laying on of hands" event, but because i don't "believe" in it, then i am not going to feel anything.

On the other hand, if i deeply believe that God and the Holy Spirit is going to have a powerful effect on me, then i am going to "create" that experience in my own psyche.
After all, look at it in another context.

There are suicide cults, where people have REAL emotional experiences that there are Aliens in another dimension, and they can transfer to that dimension if they die in a fire. Don't you think these folks had "real" emotional experiences that seemed like it was the "truth"?

So i am not saying that i am correct, but what i am saying is to consider that it could all be a type of "placebo" response manufactured by your own intense spiritual beliefs.

For example, there are evangelical groups that get together, and they all start LAUGHING together, and they laugh for hours. They think its the Holy Spirit. I do not.
I did that exercise in theatre school. You all lie down, and put your head on the other persons stomach in a daisy chain. Then after about 5 minutes, someone starts giggling, and then it spreads,and soon everyone is laughing, for no reason. Its a psychological effect.

So of course, i am not saying that the laying on of hands is "just" psychological for sure. Personally, i think it is, but i could be wrong. Maybe it is the Holy Spirit. But it could also be a psychological effect, that has been used for centuries, similar to a "placebo effect".
After all, there is such a thing a psychosomatic illness, so something like the laying on of hands could "cure" that.

Also, Ritual, and social events, are ways to create powerful emotional experiences.

Just another point of view to consider.


"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: glam ()
Date: September 21, 2004 05:07AM

Ellen thoughtfully passed this website on to me, which I find very interesting. It provides an historical persective on religious experiences which sound much like the "laying on of hands." Take a look and see if it might help you:


"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: LaughingWillow ()
Date: September 21, 2004 06:44AM

Personly Coz....Right now, I am in confusion....I dont know what to believe. Part of me says God was there in an abstract form, but the other side of me says that it was just the plasbo effect because I really believed it was God....therefor I was hypnotized....there was a time in the "church" where I thought God refused to talk to me....everybody was "falling out in the spirit", in a hypnotic bliss, but I felt nothing....of course I did not want others to know of my internal struggles, so I faked it.

I however believe in God, but I am skeptical of this laying on of hands and spiritual charasmaticism, I believe God talks to me in my heart....that "gut feeling" a person gets. but I am still very confused. All I know that is true is there is a God and/or Goddess but that is all I believe right now....my friend was in the cult and she went through what I am going through with all this confusion...I did not understand what was happening to her, but now I know. She realized that the church was really a cult.

Thank you for your imput....I have alot to sort out in order to decide what is truth and what is bull.


"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: September 21, 2004 10:28AM

Hey Jojo, nothing wrong with doubt!
That's ok.
Its called having a "tolerance for ambiguity".

Its the opposite of the absolutist, cultic mindset.

Personally, i used to believe in God, in the sense of the Perennial Philosophy, and then the New Thought idea of God, and then also many different ideas about God. And i also researched all the major religions, etc, etc, for many years. I spent over 10 years trying to figure out if God existed.

I ultimately came to the conclusion at this time that i see no real evidence for a personal God. I see the opposite.
BUT, there are other ways of thinking about God. Einstein had some interesting ideas about this in his popular writings.

Also, some very smart people, like the mathematics genius Roger Penrose, believe in a type of "Platonic World" which somehow co-exists with our universe, which can be taken to be a type of "God" perhaps...

So there are all sorts of fascinating ideas out there to explore.
Joseph Campbell and the power of myth, Carl Jung, etc. (I understand Joseph Campbell and Jung are controversial figures).

But you know what?
Its ok NOT to know for certain. Its healthy.
I personally do not see evidence for a personal God, but i do see tons of evidence for the belief in one by humans.
But if i see different evidence, then i will change my mind.

One can also explore questions of God in the philosphical tradition, and try to see if there is any evidence for God, or against God.
This is a very complex line of inquiry that can take many years, but hey, its fun!

So let me be the Anticult, and encourage the Will To Doubt, and the tolerance for ambiguity, and having the courage to doubt and explore new ideas.
What is ironic, is that right now i am a real Agnostic, Atheist, Skeptic, Humanist, Transhumanist, and have been to various speeches, conferences, etc, on these subjects.
Skeptics i have found are some of the most open-minded, decent, law-abiding, reasonable people out there!
Godless Athesists many times seem to live by the professed Values of most religions, without the God hypothesis!

So i am just throwing these ideas out there, as there are many different ways to think about these things.
So each person will put this together for themselves, in a way that makes sense to them.
We can think of different ideas, but sometimes they amount to the same things in practice.

Its possible to enjoy the journey of exploration in trying to figure out if God exists, and what the nature of God might be.
It doesn't have to cause any angst to "not know" the Truth.
Or on the other hand, many folks choose to believe in their own personal religion, and do very well by it.


"laying on of hands"...what is it really?
Posted by: glam ()
Date: September 21, 2004 09:26PM


everybody was "falling out in the spirit", in a hypnotic bliss, but I felt nothing....of course I did not want others to know of my internal struggles, so I faked it.

It may help you to know that, from what I've read, many people have felt the same thing you have...while the people around them were in apparent "bliss," they felt nothing and faked it. In fact, some of the people around you who seemed to be blissed out may very well have been faking it, too -- and, looking at you, thought you were experiencing actual bliss and felt guilty that they were faking it!

Of course, I've also read that many people actually do experience this bliss state (I'm guessing you have), but there is a tendency in groups to look to others to determine the "proper" course of action at the time. So if you and your friend are going through similar experiences, it's possible that others in your group are, too...you just don't realize it.

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