Author Topic: Those Who Once Were.....  (Read 1162 times)

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Offline Alzael

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Those Who Once Were.....
« on: April 12, 2012, 12:04:41 AM »
Ok, so first some backstory. I was on r/atheism earlier tonight and there was a Christian parent posting who's teenaged son had just started to become an atheist. The parent seems to be fairly cool with it and more or less a Christian of the more intelligent variety, however he/she is wondering why her son is suddenly so hostile to him/her. Treating her like she's an idiot and various other behaviour. You can read the thread below if you want.

http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/comments/s4mbd/please_dont_be_mean_to_me_because_i_really_want/

There were a lot of possibilities given, however my thought was that this might be the result of backlash from the child (now being free of his religious upbringing) resenting the fact that he was raised/brainwashed to be religious in the first place. Not having any personal experience with being religious myself I wish to pose 2 questions to those who once were.

1)Do you view your religious upbringing as being analagous to brainwashing or indoctrination? Or do you feel that it did you harm in some way?

and

2)Do you (or did you) harbour any resentment towards your parents/priest/church/etc. for being raised in this way?
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Offline freakygin

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2012, 12:40:45 AM »
1. Yes, it hurts me when my religious friends saw me as a bad influence, just because i don't believe in something they do.
It hurts me when they're trying to "Save" me (I'm 100% going to hell).
Maybe they think my Atheism is contagious.

2.  Yes, i hate the priest, because they f*cked up my friends mind.
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Offline Timo

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2012, 02:42:33 AM »
I don't think I was ever all that religious myself.  But I definitely came up in a religious household.  So that's where I'm coming from.

1.  No.  Not really.  I think that all parents make some effort to pass almost all of their views to their kids, even if they're also trying to encourage free thinking.  And I think that religion is just a part of that.  It can extend to everything from a particular taste in music to political affiliations to what teams are worthy of being rooted for.

But to get back to the matter at hand, in my case, my parents are both Christian, but they come from different traditions.  My father comes from a kind of chaotic religious background.  His mother's immediate family is almost exclusively Catholic but she rebelled and ended up experimenting with a lot of I guess evangelical and charismatic churches.  Growing up, he didn't think much of these churches but he still believes in Jesus.  In fact, he's one of the most personally devout but still open minded people I know and, being an adult now, I really enjoy chopping it up with him about all this.  But yeah, he's just not into the whole organized religion thing.  My mother, on the other hand, comes from a pretty strong community-oriented church and that's the church that I grew up in.  And after having rejected theism and Christianity, I still feel good about occasionally attending services and participating in a lot of what the church does.  I went through a phase where I wasn't really fucking with it but I think that I've ultimately come away with a relationship to that church that I think is pretty much analogous to the relationship that most of my Jewish friends seem to have with their congregations.  None of us believe.  And we participate more about the sense of the community that our ethnic/religious traditions can foster than anything else.

2.  No.  Actually, one of the questions that comes up every now and again, whenever I happen to be in a serious relationship, is whether or not I would be comfortable raising my potential children in the Christian tradition.  On the one hand, I think that Christianity is untrue.  And I wouldn't want to burden my child with ideas like hellfire or make them feel guilty about their bodies or their natural feelings.  But on the other, I really don't think I was harmed by the tradition that I grew up in.  In fact, I value it in a lot of ways.  I don't know, I just have really good memories of things like Easter speeches.  And I know I'd never hear the end of it, if I avoided churches all together, even with my family knowing where I stand intellectually.  It's weird.  I've seen some of my non-believing, children having cousins struggle with this and I just wonder where exactly I'm going to stand when push comes to shove.


So yeah....



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Offline Tero

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2012, 06:35:18 AM »
My parents never discussed god etc. It was simply what everybody did. In school you got bullied if you were a "communist" and parents took you out of religion class (Finland). So I had about 5 years of school indoctrination.

Later, there was one summer of pressure when three relatives conspired to have me do confirmation school. I actually kind of enjoyed it, as it gave me the little contact I ever had with the Finnish church. I left the country for good after that and had lived here a couple of years already.

The religion part is something I barely remember. I know I had an easier time reading the bible in Finnish, as it is more modern language. Not King James.

So in a strange way it was a positive experience to learn something about my culture. Even the last religion class was more church history than dogma.

I was out of the Finnish system by 1976. I never had to "drop out" as many have in the past 5 years. Some slightly fundamentalist wing is hanging on to power while the mainstream Lutherans resemble American Unitarians quite a bit. They are liberal.

The last bits dealing with the Finnish church had to do with me burying the last three relatives, parents and aunt.

Online One Above All

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2012, 06:39:41 AM »
1) Analogous? It IS indoctrination and brainwashing.
2) Yes. They manipulated me into believing what they wanted me to believe.
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Offline Grimm

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2012, 07:02:20 AM »
1) Nope.  I mean, it likely is, but I just never felt the oppression that seems to be a connotation of this question.  It helps that I went to several different churches early on, I think, and ended up in a fairly liberal faith.

2) Nope.  They simply did what they thought best.  It may not have been right, but there was no willful viciousness in it.

... as for your teenager?  I think it's simply that they're a teenager.  There's this ... superiority and nonsense that comes with thinking you know everything, and I remember how stupid my parents seemed when I was, oh, say, seventeen. :)
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 08:06:28 AM »
1)Do you view your religious upbringing as being analagous to brainwashing or indoctrination?

Absolutely.  It uses every compliance technique in the book.

Or do you feel that it did you harm in some way?

In then end, no.  I wish I had been better prepared by my parents to deal with it though.

2)Do you (or did you) harbour any resentment towards your parents/priest/church/etc. for being raised in this way?

I'm a little peeved with my parents.  My parents were not religious but my grandparents were.  When I was around 12 or 13 they insisted I be confirmed in the RCC, and my mom allowed it.  Her explanation years later was she wanted me to "learn about it" to get a background on religion so I could make an informed decision.  Apparently she did not understanding the difference between social studies and indoctrination.  Or she was just making excuses for a bad decision.  I feel like they should have given me more guidance to balance the baloney the nuns and priests were feeding me. 

As for the church and the priests, I do not resent them.  For the most part my interractions with them were positive.  The priest was sort of a friend of the family, though not close, and he was a sweet, if misguided, man.  The same goes for the nun.  I have nothing bad to say about either of them. 


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Offline Bluey

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 08:09:59 AM »
1)Do you view your religious upbringing as being analagous to brainwashing or indoctrination? Or do you feel that it did you harm in some way?

and

2)Do you (or did you) harbour any resentment towards your parents/priest/church/etc. for being raised in this way?

1) As a christian, I don't consider myself to have been brainwashed in any sense of the word.

2) No resentment, no.

Offline velkyn

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 08:17:23 AM »
One thing that strikes me immediately is that I think this mother is playing the victim/martyr card.  How dare her son question her?  So she claims to be so "hurt".  Classic emotional manipulation.  and a woman being a catholic, I don't believe for a moment she's thought about her faith, other than to cherry pick it to remain what she is.

1)Do you view your religious upbringing as being analagous to brainwashing or indoctrination? Or do you feel that it did you harm in some way?
I do, but brainwashing from people too ignorant to know any better.  They trusted those people who told them that this god nonsense was true and were in a society that enforced it.  I do feel that it did harm me but not that my parents, my community tried to harm me intentionally.  They just don't know any better.  The harm mostly was when my church split and the kids were most affected by their parents hatreds (and yep, hatreds, it was indeed that bad). 

2)Do you (or did you) harbour any resentment towards your parents/priest/church/etc. for being raised in this way?

Yep, I do.  What a lot of grief for no good reason. 
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Offline Dante

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 08:40:06 AM »

1) As a christian, I don't consider myself to have been brainwashed in any sense of the word.

How odd that you don't see yourself as brainwashed. I never would have guessed.  &)

Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 09:14:41 AM »


1)Do you view your religious upbringing as being analagous to brainwashing or indoctrination? Or do you feel that it did you harm in some way?

Yes, it was indoctrination, by definition.  It harmed me by stealing a lot of my time, when I should have just concentrated on being a kid. 



Quote
2)Do you (or did you) harbour any resentment towards your parents/priest/church/etc. for being raised in this way?

The ministers, for not being honest, and my parents somewhat for being complacent and somewhat lazy. 
Religion. It's given people hope in a world torn apart by religion." -- Charlie Chaplin

Offline bertatberts

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2012, 09:15:58 AM »


1) As a christian, I don't consider myself to have been brainwashed in any sense of the word.
Then two questions, at what age did you first hear about god? and at what age did you choose to be a Christian?
 
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Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2012, 09:20:00 AM »
There's no such thing as a child that is Christian.  Or Muslim.  There are children of Christians, but the child has no way of weighing the evidence and making a sound decision on the god question.  Such labelling is abuse in my books.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2012, 09:25:28 AM »
^^ A child can certainly be theistic, though, Ice Monkey.  Theism just means the belief in at least one god.  Kids can do that, down to a very young age.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2012, 09:27:54 AM »
If you read through the comments in the OP link, the woman seems fairly level headed, just christian. She fully accepts that her son doesn't believe, but their newfound religious differences are causing friction. So what she is facing is something that is completely normal, just new to her. And she seems to honestly be trying to come to grips with the situation. She does't like that her son yells at her and tells her she is wrong. She still loves him and wants a more peaceful relationship. As of last night when I ran through the comments, no serious arguments had arose between her and the reddit atheists, and she was very accepting of what people were saying.

Sounds like a caring mother who wants to do things right, relationship-wise. She didn't seem to be asking how she could pull her son back into the fold.

And while I don't connect Christianity and brainwashing directly, it does need to be pointed out that someone who is successfully brainwashed doesn't know it. Ex-christians who feel that they were brainwashed are not incorrect in using the term, but there are different levels of brainwashing, and most of us have not been subject to the process in its more severe manifestations. To be sure, there are cases in this country where it is apparent that christians brainwash, like the small kids in the Fred Phelps group. So the idea does apply. An important part of brainwashing is controlling access to the outside world. And most christians aren't in that situation. They do get to see other points of view. So I think in most cases the term "brainwashed" is a little too extreme.

But real brainwashing is done by people who know they are brainwashing innocents. And since most christians sincerely believe in their god of choice, they think they are doing the right thing when they tell their children. And since said beliefs are part of our culture, it isn't surprising that such things happen.

Are we brainwashed in relation to our political climate here in America? Do you get goosebumps when you hear someone singing "Oh say can you see" or feel pride sweel up in your chest when you see an American flag? Is that brainwashing? Were you raised to think the New York Yankees are the greatest team in the world? Or the worst? Was that brainwashing? Are kids watching NASCAR races with their dad in real life or on TV every weekend brainwashed? Cultural norms usually don't fall into that category.

Religion is wrong, but everyone telling the story to its "victims" needs to know it is wrong before it can be considered true brainwashing.

Take the recent story of the North Korean prisoner who managed to escape and make his way out of the country in 2005. He was raised in prison because of the "sins" of his father. When he was six, a classmate in the prison school was found with one kernel of corn in her pocket. She was beaten and died later that night. He considered it correct that she was punished and acceptable that she died. He later had to tell authorities about his mother doing wrong and she was executed. He considered that the right course of action.

He had no idea he was brainwashed. If the concept had been explained to him while he was still a prisoner, and then if he were asked if it applied to him, he would be too frightened to say yes, and may not have even known if that was the correct answer. Obviously the people brainwashing him knew it. But he didn't know enough to know until an older fellow prisoner told him of the outside world. And even if that world was just ordinary life in North Korea, it still sounded better.

Sort of a long story, but worth the read. I figured that if we are going to talk about brainwashing here, we should have a decent idea of how bad such a condition can be. And how bad it currently is for hundreds of thousands of prisoners in North Korea right now.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/mar/16/escape-north-korea-prison-camp


Edit: The OP asked whether christians are "indoctrinated". I'm fine with that. Yep.
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Offline Ice Monkey

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2012, 09:37:07 AM »
Yep.  Call me crazy, but I'd much rather teach my kids how to think than what to think.
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Offline ParkingPlaces

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2012, 09:43:59 AM »
Yep.  Call me crazy, but I'd much rather teach my kids how to think than what to think.

Why...why, that is child non-abuse!!!
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Offline Aceluffy

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2012, 10:02:26 AM »
I will never go so far as being hostile to my parents, I owe them everything & I intend to let my religious parents live out the last years of their life in peace & happiness.

Now, addressing the OP :)

1. It doesn't harm me directly, but it certainly hindered my drive to learn more about a lot of things since both my parents kept telling me over & over that god is the cause of everything.
It practically made me lazy. Had I not been indoctrinated that way, I could've been more informed about a lot of things rather than trying to play catch-up now. So there.
It did however, harm somebody I know quite well back when I was in junior high.

I have a neighbour, a 40-something year old lady. One day, she suddenly had a major seizure. Her eyes turned completely all-white, she was foaming from the mouth, combined with some blood ( She probably bit her tongue ). While that happened, we had several neighbours who were muslims telling her husband that she was possessed by demonic spirits. Like a fuckin' fool, her husband believed them. Hell, even my parents told me that she was possessed because she doesn't have Jesus in her heart.

So they made her drink some special "holy water", basically it's just a combination of tobacco and rose flower dipped in a bowl of water. When the seizure subsided, 4 adults held her & her husband forced her to drink that bowl of water.

Even as a junior high kid, I was so surprised that none of those adults even attempt to bring her to the nearest hospital for immediate medical treatment. They waited almost 2 days before admitting her to a hospital.
I was so sad to hear that a month later, she passed away. I never got to know what her actual sickness was :(

So, in conclusion. Even though it doesn't harm me personally, it haunted my whole teenage life thinking that the devil took her life because she didn't believe in Jesus. I blamed everybody in my village for that, even my parents.

2. Which of course lead me to this. I did resent my parents for a while, especially since I moved to US and had much more materials to research & came to a final conclusion that my younger years were wasted believing in fairy tales, a cruel one in that. But I forgive them, I know they didn't mean any harm and I'm pretty sure that was how they were raised as well.
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Offline Azdgari

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2012, 10:24:59 AM »
My background is a "might-have-been" story, where indoctrination could have succeeded had it continued longer.

But, the childhood indoctrination never really took root with me, which I attribute to the fact that my father (the religious one between my parents) left us when I was 4 years old.  I never got the required conditioning after that.  But Sunday School up to that point, in his Baptist church, was definitely indoctrination.

When I was older, he and his 2nd wife tried to bring me into the fold.  Tried to make me afraid of Hell (which I was told I deserved for not being of his faith), etc.  Without having had enough childhood indoctrination, though, I rejected his ideas as unfounded and nonsensical.  "Everything is either of God or of Satan, son!  >:(" -> "Is the fridge 'of God' or 'of Satan', dad?  :?"

It did affect our relationship from that point on.  I never brought it up directly, and now he's dead so I can't.  I just felt estranged.  He calmed down from that intense fundamentalism after his 2nd divorce, but I still felt I couldn't let him know my real thoughts, couldn't have a genuine relationship with him.

I am pissed about that.  It was bad enough not having my dad live with us, but I could handle that okay.  Having him tell me I deserved eternal torture for having thought critically about things, though?  No, that fucked me up.
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Offline gonegolfing

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2012, 10:30:08 AM »

Quote
1)Do you view your religious upbringing as being analagous to brainwashing or indoctrination? Or do you feel that it did you harm in some way?

Brainwashing wouldn't be my choice of words. Brain polluting--yes.

But it is most certainly forced indoctrination. And it is so by the fact that a baseless and incomprehensible idea is being forced upon a child's mind before they reach the age of properly being able to use reasoning, and it is done so with the tactic of using the child's naivety, intellectual weakness, and fear to permanently have the child's mind dominated by the idea. This is a wicked and unfair tactic that a child cannot defend itself from. 

Yes I do feel that now, as it without question harms us in our most basic integrity--but not at the time as a child. As a child it was impossible for me to comprehend the hideousness and irrationality of believing in a being that watches you continually and that will convict you of thought crime at the end of your life, and then torture you eternally for exhibiting the flaws that it created you with.

For some it's a deeply psychological an emotional struggle to walk away from faith and it leaves scars after the healing process is done. I was born into and raised in a pentecostal environment with special emphasis on end times and the doctrine of hell. Nasty stuff. Very intellectually harmful. Hard to get rid of.

Quote
2)Do you (or did you) harbour any resentment towards your parents/priest/church/etc. for being raised in this way?

No I did not....and do not--as my parents couldn't seem to help themselves--like most theists.

It's hard however, not to resent the self-proclaimed spokespersons of the god idea though.

I do kinda feel a bit bad for one group of clergy though--The clergy project is clearly showing that more and more pastors believe that what they teach is false and they simply teach it because they have no other means to live by or are to afraid to lose their social standing. That's gotta be tough.

I do resent one thing though and that is the fact that much of the clergy are drunk with power and feelings of superiority and importance, and fortify those feelings by adamantly claiming that religion is the only source of morality and therefore for humans to be moral they must adhere to and practice the religious doctrines that they teach. That claim is an outrageous lie of course and yet the sheep have been conditioned to believe it to be true and blinded to the real truth. Pitiful.

I had a pastor who was an incredibly funny, warm, and loving guy away from the pulpit, but come Sunday, he was arrogantly all god's nasty business and sometimes I would think "Is this the same guy !?".

If, and that's a big if, in fact, the observations of the mother above are correct and she's not just wanting everybody to cry her a river, then her son needs to be reminded that, in spite of his current feelings, his mother's acceptance of his atheist position is monumentally good, and especially in light of the fact that most Americans view atheists as at the bottom of the scrap heap--the worst of the worst. So cooling it with the hostile behaviour towards his mother would be a good idea, and as an atheist, a good idea in general.

My guess is that he feels he's been lied to by religion. And he is wrongly taking out his frustrations on his mother about that and perhaps doing so because he feels that she propagated the lie in him as a child.

 
"I believe that there is no God. I'm beyond atheism"....Penn Jillette.

Offline Alzael

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2012, 10:43:36 AM »
Thank you for the responses so far. It seems, at least from the small sample size we have here, that it is at least somewhat common to view such as thing as an indoctrination at best. Or in some cases outright brainwashing at worst.
"I drank what?!"- Socrates

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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2012, 10:46:34 AM »

There were a lot of possibilities given, however my thought was that this might be the result of backlash from the child (now being free of his religious upbringing) resenting the fact that he was raised/brainwashed to be religious in the first place.
An Aside:

The rebellion is Darwinistic. In our garden, each year, there are Robins (European Robin, not American). They have, when adult, a red breast. For most of the year, Robins are solitary and very territorial - they will savagely attack anything that has a red breast.

When the young are born, they do not have a red breast, and the parents love them. Then, as they grow up the red breast starts to appear and the parents find it harder and harder to keep their temper.

Eventually, the young are driven away to find their own territories, and so the fittest Robins survive and breed.

Other birds have non-similar chicks and do similar with them, and many mammals eject males from the group but hold on to the females.

I am convinced that human males do the same thing but, instead of growing a red breast, their behaviour is moderated by violent attacks of hormones, thus making them irritable, aggressive, and, to the parent, objectionable.

The sending out of the son into the world to spread his/your genes is then so much easier, and humans then survive to breed in their own newly conquered territory (a horrible apartment to which they hope to attract a charming young lady.)
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Offline Alzael

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2012, 10:49:44 AM »

There were a lot of possibilities given, however my thought was that this might be the result of backlash from the child (now being free of his religious upbringing) resenting the fact that he was raised/brainwashed to be religious in the first place.
An Aside:

The rebellion is Darwinistic. In our garden, each year, there are Robins (European Robin, not American). They have, when adult, a red breast. For most of the year, Robins are solitary and very territorial - they will savagely attack anything that has a red breast.

When the young are born, they do not have a red breast, and the parents love them. Then, as they grow up the red breast starts to appear and the parents find it harder and harder to keep their temper.

Eventually, the young are driven away to find their own territories, and so the fittest Robins survive and breed.

Other birds have non-similar chicks and do similar with them, and many mammals eject males from the group but hold on to the females.

I am convinced that human males do the same thing but, instead of growing a red breast, their behaviour is moderated by violent attacks of hormones, thus making them irritable, aggressive, and, to the parent, objectionable.

The sending out of the son into the world to spread his/your genes is then so much easier, and humans then survive to breed in their own newly conquered territory (a horrible apartment to which they hope to attract a charming young lady.)

This possibility was considered as well.
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Offline screwtape

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2012, 11:39:47 AM »
1) As a christian, I don't consider myself to have been brainwashed in any sense of the word.

Crazy people don't think they are crazy, either.  It is one of those things you cannot judge for yourself while you are in the midst of it.

It would be pretty piss poor brainwashing of the victims knew they were brainwashed, wouldn't it? 
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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2012, 12:29:37 PM »
I should add that although I do not identify indivuduals as doing brainwashing, simply being in a 90% Lutheran homogemeous cultutre dumped a HUGE guilt trip on you. See my Guilt thread.

Offline rev45

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2012, 03:59:55 PM »
1.  Indoctrinated, yes.  "We believe the Bible is the word of God and everything contained in it is true."  That was my religious upbringing.  It did stifle my inquisitive side.  My parents never tried to isolate me from opposing ideas but they made sure to say that whatever others may think, they were wrong or misguided. 

2.  I have no resentment towards my parents.  I believe they did what they thought was best.
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Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2012, 04:51:25 PM »
Although I stopped believing in it pretty early on--by age 10-- being raised strict JW meant going along with the program. There was NO choice. I spent years pretending out of fear of what would happen if I disagreed with my scary drunk dad. I feared him long after I stopped fearing Jehovah God. It was my dad who got mad when I admired the neighborhood Xmas lights as we drove past, not Jehovah God. If I was still living in his house, I would still be pretending. :o

I had questions as soon as I was old enough to compare the JW world with the real world and think about it. The answers I got were lousy and I knew it.[1]

After a while I knew which questions were not supposed to be asked. But how do you find out the real deal, if you are told that all other ways of thinking will lead straight to everlasting death? Kids don't have a choice. At least the Amish have Rumsprigga, but fundies don't allow any of that straying onto the devil's turf-- they know we would never come back!

I think the worst thing about a strict religious upbringing is that it teaches you that to lie and be a hypocrite is better than not being religious. We have numerous Xtians who come here and say we atheists should just go to church, read the bible, pray to god and pretend until we start to believe. Like priming a pump or something. &)

 1. Like "the stork brought you" is a lousy answer to "where did I come from" and little kids know it, but nobody will tell them the real deal either.
Extraordinary claims of the bible don't even have ordinary evidence.

Kids aren't paying attention most of the time in science classes so it seems silly to get worked up over ID being taught in schools.

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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2012, 10:01:44 PM »
I would like to pose a follow-up question as well, if none of you would mind.

As you think of yourself back when you were still drinking the Kool-Aid, how do you feel about your past self? Does the thought that you used to be taken in by the lies conjure up any particular emotions for you, or is it just something in the past that you got out of and you feel nothing about it than you would when you got your last haircut?
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Re: Those Who Once Were.....
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2012, 10:57:30 PM »
1)  Yes.  It was absolutely indoctrination.  And while I was always a black sheep, I spent too much time looking for truth in fantasy to actually get my life on track.  I dropped out of med school for God's "purpose" in my life.  I married the girl "he wanted me to marry" (while I'm happy with this marriage and all that's come from it, it still should have been a choice I made on my own, and in my own time).

2)  To this day, I resent my parents.  I have a horrible relationship with them, and me being an atheist just compounds it.  They picture me as some sort of delinquent, when I don't engage in ANY of the activities that they think I do (or should as an atheist).  But they had lost me as a son long before I de-converted, so.....
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