Religious Abuse - If and when did you experience religious abuse? What was it and by whom?

All,

 

I have been doing a lot of reading about the history of religion. Just a hobby. I ran across the following definition:

Religious Abuse is the crushing inner psychological, spiritual and emotional damage suffered by members of authoritarian communities of faith whenever its spiritual authority is twisted by spiritual leaders to achieve a desired goal through unethical, cruel and damaging means.

 

What was your experience in your time in the great MoCh? If so who, what, way, where and when?

 

Gene

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I personally don't feel like I experienced "religious abuse" during my time in Mormonism, but I don't deny that others in Mormonism very well experience this.  We each have our unique ways of interpreting our realities such that two people going through what outwardly appears as a near identical experience, and one escapes unscathed of psychological trauma while the other ends up with deep emotional scars or hang ups.

I believe I did experience religious abuse from a stake president I had. This was in 2006-2007 in Pasadena, California. I was the sucker that listened when the church told me to talk to my leaders if I looked at pornography or masturbated. He had me visit with him every few weeks for about 6 months. I am still not over it completely. Part of me wants to thank him because he helped open my eyes to the church, but part of me still wants to punch him in the face. Here is a snippet about it from my exit story: 

 

He said that I just wasn't spiritual enough, I didn't really love [my wife], it was as if I was cheating on her, that there were grave eternal consequences for my actions, that he was considering bringing me in for a disciplinary council and he was very clear that he couldn't understand how I could have the problem at all as a married man. I didn't believe these things. I knew I loved [my wife]. I have never come remotely close to putting myself in a position of cheating on [my wife]. I felt I had sinned, but I felt like his helping me to repent was killing me.

 

But I also read in the Doctrine and Covenants that I should take my leaders words as if from the Lord's own mouth. I told my stake president, "the Doctrine and Covenants says to take the prophet's words as if from the Lord's own mouth and I have always understood that to extend to my local leaders as well. I am trying to do this, but I find myself questioning some things they say to me." I was talking about him. Without even a moment of reflection he immediately said, and this is close to verbatim, "you understand it right, you shouldn't question, you should take it all as inspired."  I was a complete and utter mess after meeting with him for about 6 months. 

 

Happy Guy,

Good grief. You should sue someone.

Not that it would do much good, but this is a case where because I can make you miserable, I am going to. A boxer who does not hit someone is not a real boxer, and it looks like an authority that does not make someone suffer is not a real authority. 

I once heard that if you lust after a woman (man) you have committed adultery in your heart and the adultery was next to murder. This was before slavery, child abuse, robbery etc. It took me  week to decide that the statement was just BS.

 

Love and peace bro.

Gene

 

 

no, Astro, he heard right, that was what i was taught too.

Dear Astro Logic,

Thank you so much (I think). So this goes very deep and I have only been looking at it on the surface. If I lust after a woman then I am lusting after my own destruction through sin. I am therefore murdering myself. I am lusting after my own destruction to free myself from this world of ill-logic and sorrow. I am sublimating my wish for death into a healthy lust for sex. OK, I will stop lusting and just do it thereby freeing myself. Do you have any time tonight?

Gene   

love your reply gene

Astro Logic,

 

Mission in Idaho?

Heavens no. Hell is where you go after you die.

I went to Denmark. It was so nice to get out of Tremonton Utah and into real civilation. My culture shock was the big step up in the standard of living. 

 

After my mission i refused to go home an dmoved to Germany for a year. Much fun.

 

 

No problem, I am often confused with Brad Pitt so I am used to it.

Dear Astro Logic,

 

I read your comments four or five times and became more confused each time.

after the matrix/design/pattern(womb)that is the origin(original sin) of this world, then you must have betrayal or treason, already in your heart, which would require you to murder that which is righteous

 

My reply is phycobabble and was a wild-ass guess as to what you were writing.

Gene

Astro Logic,

Please do not.

Just accept my humble apology.

I am most sorry and I was out of line.

I did not mean to hurt your feelings.

Love and peace,

Gene

You should read the story about Kip Eliason, whose father sued the Church over its playing a part in his son's suicide over the guilt and shame he experienced by participating in autoerotic behavior.

 

It's experiences like yours Happy Guy that make me think the Church should require all its leaders, local and otherwise, to have some training in counseling and psychotherapy.

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