Thursday, August 4, 2011

When God Becomes A Drug: Breaking the Chains of Religious Addiction and Abuse

Taken from When God Becomes A Drug by Leo Booth.


Inability to think, doubt, or question information or authority

Black-and-white, simplistic thinking

Shame-based belief that you aren't good enough, or you aren't "doing it right"

Magical thinking that God will fix you

Scrupulosity; rigid, obsessive adherence to rules, codes of ethics, or guidelines

Uncompromising, judgmental attitudes

Compulsive praying, going to church or crusades, quoting scripture

Unrealistic financial contributions

Believing that sex is dirty -- that our bodies and physical pleasures are evil

Compulsive eating or excessive fasting

Conflict with science, medicine, and [secular] education

Progressive detachment from the real world, isolation, breakdown of relationships

Psychosomatic illness: sleeplessness, back pains, headaches, hypertension

Manipulating scripture or texts, feeling chosen, claiming to receive special messages from God
Trance like state or religious high, wearing a glazed happy face

Cries for help; mental, emotional, physical breakdown; hospitalization

  • *Ordinary religious or spiritual lifestyle
  • Using Bible to calm nerves
  • Excessive church-going / Bible study
  • Praying before attending functions
  • Church / Bible becomes greater focal point
  • Using church / Bible / prayer to avoid problems
  • Black-and-white thinking increases
  • Missing family gatherings or work because of religious functions
  • Compulsively thinking about or quoting scripture
  • Preoccupation with church / Bible study
  • Thinking only of church
  • Rationalization begins
  • Secret irritation when religious practices discussed or criticized
  • Increased use of church / Bible / prayer to avoid problems
  • Thinking world / body evil
  • Compulsive church attendance and scripture quoting
  • Church attendance bolstered by excuses
  • Obsessive praying, church-going, crusades, proselytizing
  • Loss of other interests
  • Excessive financial contributions / tithing
  • Obsession with church / religion / preacher(s)
  • Increasing dependence on religion
  • Sexuality is perceived as dirty
  • Feel guilt when missing church functions
  • Excessive fasting / eating disorder
  • Refuse to think critically / doubt / question information or authority
  • Efforts to control church-going fail
  • Isolation from people
  • Unable to sensibly discuss religious issues
  • Non-religious family and friends judged or avoided
  • Brainwashing: family and friends
  • Grandiose and aggressive behavior
  • Conflict with school or work
  • Loss of job
  • Money problems
  • Radical deterioration of relationships
  • Preaching that sex is dirty
  • Sexual compulsive / obsessive behavior; sexual acting out
  • Unreasonable resentment(s)
  • Physical and mental deterioration
  • Powerlessness
  • Lengthy crusades / mission work / communes
  • Loss of family / friends
  • "Messages" from God
  • Unable to make decisions
  • Trances/stares
  • Complete abandonment
  • Isolation
  • Physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion
  • Psychiatric assistance
  • Hospitalization

For Those Trying to Heal From Spiritual Abuse and Still Remain Spiritual

Spiritual abuse was the biggest factor that caused hundreds of thousands of COG members to leave the church over the last 70 someeyars.  It is still an issue to this day, as the hundreds of COGlet splinter cults continue to abuse and mentally torture their members.

Years ago I picked up a book by Jeff VanVonderen called The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse. This book and When God Becomes a Drug were important in my recovery.  It is a great resource for those who have been spiritually and mentally abused by COG ministers and leaders.

You may have seen the author if you watch the A&E cable Intervention 

He has a new book for those who are seeking spiritual healing:

Soul Repair: Rebuilding a Spiritual Life (Hardcover) — $14.00
Do you fear that God is angry with you? Do you wonder if God is really for you? if God really loves you? Deep down many of us believe that we are not good enough, and never will be good enough, to have a meaningful relationship with God. This is because we have been spiritually trained in ways that have left us with distorted and inadequate spiritualities of four different kinds:
  • abusive
  • anorexic
  • addictive
  • codependent
Jeff VanVonderen, Dale Ryan and Juanita Ryan understand this problem because they have been there both personally and professionally. And they are prepared to help you rebuild your spiritual life. If you find yourself living out a burdensome and unfulfilling spirituality, this book is for you. If you are longing to have a relationship with God that works, this book can show you the way.