Warning Signs of an Abusive God: 15 Signs of an Abuser
15 Signs of an Abuser by Ann Landers - Warning Signs of an Abusive God
Highlighted: These are also warning signs of an abusive God from my personal
observations and experiences. - Coral Anika Theill, BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark
I dedicate this article to the women, men and children who have survived the horrors of patriarchal, religious and spiritual abuse.
Every day, all women in our society deal with male domination. Women are verbally intimidated, bullied, battered and killed by men, but our patriarchal society is in a state of denial about the truth and severity of the abuse.
Raising the consciousness of the violence against women is the beginning of what it will take to bring it to an end.To heal and recover from violent crimes, survivors need the community to create the conditions for an experience of justice. Some experience of justice is the prerequisite for forgiveness and eventually for healing.
Susan Brown-Miller has said "rapists are the shock troops of patriarchy." It follows that the men who batter and psychologically abuse women are the army of occupation - forcing subjugation and servitude. Please read, How I Became a Brood Mare & Egg Donor for the Church & State: Judge Albin Norblad Laughs about Rape
(1) PUSHES FOR QUICK INVOLVEMENT: An abuser presses for an exclusive commitment almost immediately. Wants you to choose him this day and don't delay. "Today is the day of salvation and now is the excepted time."
(2) JEALOUS: Excessively possessive; calls constantly or visits unexpectedly. He even says his name is Jealous. He shows definite signs of being jealous.
(3) CONTROLLING: Interrogates you intensely about whom you talked to and where you were; keeps all the money. Expects 10% of all your money, supposedly watches you at all times, keeps a record of all that you say and do. Says he will judge you.
(4) UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS: Expects you to be the perfect mate and meet his or her every need. Expects you to be perfect and obey all his commands. Wants absolute obedience.
(5) ISOLATION: Tries to cut you off from family and friends. Commands you to forsake your father, mother, brother, sister, wife and children for him. Commands you to come out from among others and live separate. Commands in the Old Testament to kill your own children.
(6) BLAMES OTHERS FOR PROBLEMS OR MISTAKES: It's always someone else's fault if something goes wrong. If you are tempted it is always Satan's fault, or yours (or the woman's - story of 'the fall.") If you fail it is always your fault. His ways are supposedly perfect.
(7) MAKES OTHERS RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS OR HER FEELINGS: The abuser says, "You make me angry." This God is always angry at something or someone. You feel as though you are always "walking on egg shells" to keep "god" happy.
(8) HYPERSENSITIVITY: Is easily insulted, claiming hurt feelings when he is really mad. This God is easily insulted and is mad often and claims his feelings are hurt by your actions or attitude. Tries to make you feel guilty if he is not pleased.
(9) CRUELTY TO ANIMALS OR CHILDREN: Kills or punishes animals brutally. Also may expect children to do things that are beyond their ability (whips a 3-year-old for wetting a diaper). This God regularly punishes and kills animals brutally. Killed many people for minor offences and promises to punish forever for temporal offences.
(10) "PLAYFUL" USE OF FORCE DURING SEX: Enjoys throwing you down during sex; finds the idea of rape exciting. This God instructed men who desired a woman to just take her, as long as she was an enemy. Complimented a priest for killing a couple while having sex. Allegedly impregnated a virgin. Kidnapping and rape is condoned in the Old Testament.
(11) VERBAL ABUSE: Constantly criticizes or says cruel things. This God constantly criticizes and says cruel things to those who are trying to follow him. Be perfect, etc. Vengeance is his, he says.
(12) RIGID GENDER ROLES: Expects you to serve, obey and remain at home. This God commands women to stay at home and serve their husbands, to obey him. To not teach men but be in submission.
(13) SUDDEN MOOD SWINGS. According to history, this God will be kind one day and angry the next. One never knows what mood he will be in.
(14) PAST BATTERING. This Hebrew God has a history of violence. Drowning, killing, punishing, even to the extent his is called a God of war.
(15) THREATS OF VIOLENCE. This God has threats of violence for anyone who doesn't believe in him or obey him. They have a future of eternal Hell if they do not believe in him.
I agree with author James Redfield. He writes, "A group consciousness which speaks constantly of separation and superiority (our religious and legal systems) produces loss of compassion on a massive scale, and loss of compassion is inevitably followed by a loss of conscience.”
I believe our goal should not be eliminating religion, but illuminating the tactics by which it commands obedience and discourages doubt so that people can recognize these and reject them. It is more important that we all make up our own minds, use reason to guide us, and do not passively rely on faith or authority of religious leaders. Rather than keep our thoughts in captivity, we should set them free to explore wherever they wish - to seek out different viewpoints, to question fearlessly, and most importantly, to expose all ideas to the fire of testing. The ones worth being kept will survive. Humanity has a vast potential to accomplish things as yet undreamed-of, but blind faith will never take us there. If we are to become aware of the dangers that beset us and enter into a future where we can realize this potential, this is the way we must learn to live.
Two hundred years ago a system of legal slavery allowed for the ownership of human beings as if they were livestock. Children were ripped away from their mothers with as little consideration as separating a calf from a cow. In this country today, extreme forms of paternalistic religion promote an institutional form of slavery where a woman must be totally obedient to a husband who has absolute control of her life. The wife’s lot is to obey and bear children. If she rebels and chooses to save herself by escaping from this life, the father – supported by the church community and often by the court system, can forcibly strip a child away from the mother.
"Losing Custody of your child is shameful and elicits public condemnation. It is also the symbol of "patriarchal ownership" that exists still today. The chattel laws of the past are very much alive and the only women who retain custody after divorce are those whose husbands did not fight. When we divorce in this society, we are divorcing the protection of marriage, like an umbrella, the rights given to men were shared with the wife. Once divorced, we are not protected under the law and, therefore, our children are not protected either. Nor do we have a rightful claim to the children we birthed. We are set adrift in a society still clinging to archaic practices. The manipulation and retaliation, the denial and complicit behavior of community are foundations in patriarchal society where male superiority is king, and women who fight back against this rule are punished severely. Mothers desperately, both individually and collectively, need to be vindicated and our good names restored." - Melissa Barnett, Mothers of Lost Children Advocate
Although,I have many painful memories and experiences from my 20 years of exposure to legalistic fundamental Christianity and Christian “cults,” I am comforted knowing that my soul was on a journey of remembering who I truly was. I believe we all long for freedom from oppression and bondage – that was what my spirit secretly longed for and hoped to experience. I am grateful for each brand new day and the experience of being.
Spiritual abuse is the use of spiritual knowledge to deprive, torture, degrade, isolate, control, or (in rare and extreme cases) even kill others. It is used by evil-minded church and cult leaders, to gain advantage, dominate, or exercise control over others. The type of trauma individuals experience from cults and their leaders is similar to that described by POW’s. The trauma experienced by cult members results from being powerless and abused day after day, year after year, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually – souls are literally emaciated. The Word of God is used like a thrust of a knife, constantly reminding the cult member (victim) of God’s displeasure and eternal damnation.
Religious groups/cults use covert induction, a type of hypnosis induced without the individual's awareness or consent.
Spiritual and mental bondage is often soon realized by those who are under submission. Invasion of privacy is a signature feature of cults. Besides the doctrinal concerns of these groups – the most damaging is the psychological and physical harm, moral injury, and disruption of family ties.Studies have determined that cults are detrimental to an individual's mental and physical health. Emotional effects include overwhelming feelings of fear, guilt, anger, humiliation, hostility, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, violent outbursts and suicidal tendencies. Mental disturbances include disorientation, confusion, nightmares, amnesia, hallucinations, delusions, depression and the inability to break mental rhythms and patterns associated with group practices. Many of the women I knew in cult and fundamentalist circles suffered from depression, anxiety disorders and/or mental breakdowns. The most powerful emotional control tool cult leaders use on its members is fear.
The leaders create a phobia indoctrination. A member will have a panic reaction at the very thought of leaving the group (cult). A member will perceive that it is almost impossible to conceive that there is any life or spirituality outside of the group. There is no physical gun held to the member's head, but the psychological gun is just as, if not more, powerful.Cults are a product of fear. Neale Donald Walsch writes these beautiful words, "Fear is the energy which contracts, closes down, draws in, runs, hides, hoards, harms. Love is the energy which expands, opens up, sends out, stays, reveals, shares, heals. Fear wraps our bodies in clothing; love allows us to stand naked. Fear clings to and clutches all that we have; love gives all that we have away. Fear holds close, love holds dear. Fear grasps, love lets go. Fear rankles, love soothes. Fear attacks, love amends. Love never says no."
Monica Sjoo & Barbara Mor posed a searing question near the end of The Great Cosmic Mother:
"The burning question remains: Why do women continue to give our gifts—of spiritual devotion, of impassioned energy, of mental brightness, of profound social concern—to male-dominated and male-defined religious institutions which are based, structurally and ideologically, on a searing contempt and hatred for women? Why do women continue to give our physical endurance and biological endowment to patriarchal churches which exist, ontologically and practically, by attempting to dominate and control human female reproduction like a bunch of cattle breeders controlling the fertility of their cattle? What would happen, today, if all the millions of religiously active women on earth just walked out of their patriarchal churches, just left them flat?”
Allowing others to make choices for you allows them to create your worth, and when they do, they always make it too small.
When people believe in a vindictive "god," they will treat those around them in the same way as the "god" they serve.
Related Books & Articles
There are more than 200 bible verses that specifically belittle and demean women.
Women, Church and State by Matilda Joslyn Gage (First published in 1893)
This classic history of woman's oppression is one of the first attempts to document the sad legacy of injustice and discrimination against women, which is unfortunately inseparable from the history of both Christianity and the evolution of the Western state. Beginning in the pre-Christian era, where she finds more evidence of freedom for women than in subsequent eras, pioneering women's rights advocate Matilda Joslyn Gage traces the patterns of male domination in both church and state that kept women in virtual bondage. Among the topics of her research is the medieval exaltation of celibacy as an expression of the male belief that women were unclean and the cause of original sin, the gross discrimination against women in canon law, abuse of women in the feudal system, the persecution of women as witches, the virtual slave status of wives and their almost total legal subjugation to their husbands, toleration of polygamy, the debilitating drudgery of woman's daily work, and the widespread opposition to women's education by both church and state.
Perhaps the most farseeing and radical of the early feminists, Gage had the vision to realize that society's fundamental institutions had to be drastically reformed before women would begin to enjoy equal rights. Many of her concerns sound very modern: she deplored the unequal treatment of the prostitute vs. her client, the practice of non-conviction or of pardoning in rape trials, unequal pay, wife battering, the sexual abuse of female children, and many other abuses that only today are being seriously addressed. Originally published in 1893, this work was the fruit of twenty years of research and should be read by everyone who supports equality between men and women.This new edition is complemented by an introduction by renowned author, lecturer, and historical performer Sally Roesch Wagner, who helped found one of the country's first programs in women's studies. She is the former executive director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation.