Saturday, August 1, 2009

Demon Busters: Part 1

I was going to post the story of when my parents sent me off to get the demons cast out of me, but I'll post that later in the week. First, I think I need to fully explain just how crazy my thinking - and the thinking of the adults around me - truly was.

I stumbled across the site (I am soooo not giving them a trackback link. And you know me - I link *everything*.) The condescending, victim-blaming, disease-denying, batshit-crazy writings below pretty much perfectly exemplify the magical explanation of the world I was given.

The FAQ page is actually a sales brochure, convincing you - John Q. Christian - of your urgent need for demon exorcism, AKA "Deliverance". The page is essentially a series of "questions" detailing every possible thing that could be going wrong in your life, and affirming (without backup y'all, not even scripture) that every single one of these problems is caused by the presence of demons. You're crawling with 'em, can't step for tripping over 'em I tells ya!

Here are some honest-to-dawkins "FAQs":
  • Do you wonder why some people get cancer and some people don't?
  • Do you ever wonder why some people die of diseases at a young age, and some people live to a ripe old age?
  • Did they really just go to the cancer place? Dude! This is a country that flipping loves Susan G. Koman and Lance Armstrong. We have cancer survivor heroes And just about everyone knows somebody who's dealt with cancer. My grandmother has had uterine cancer and squamol cell and is still here. My godmother died during her third bout with breastcancer. My grandfather had prostate, and then lung cancer which ultimately killed him. A friend in her early 30s died of a brain tumor this year. Are these people seriously going to claim they have the magic wand for curing CANCER?

    Yes, of course they are.
    Sometimes curses provoke diseases... This is why cancer might run in a family, because curses can run in a family, i.e. "the family genes".
    I've been going through my (cult-leader) grandmother's books trying to peel through all the layers of rhetoric and lies. This whole blog really started as a practice arena, where I could debunk and destroy writings that weren't embedded in my head, wired into my harddrive, and shoved down my throat. So I recognize one of her tricks here - notice the derisive, dismissive way that "the family genes" is written. The intention is to suggest that science doesn't know crap about genes or cancer, because it's really magical things like generational curses and demons making you get sick and die!

    Now surely someone at this point will say, "But wait, why doesn't God just kick these demon asses?" And "Is this why intercessory prayer fails so spectacularly?" In the Word of Faith and Deliverance crowds God is a puny thing. The real drama and action, the epic battle for good and evil, is between demons (not Satan, just his henchmen) and the Christian. My grandmother treated God like a genie in a lamp; Sure, she unleashed his power to banish demons and vanquish foes, but she was always the master.
    In addition, deliverance ministers have noted that cancer and arthritis may be provoked by unforgiveness, bitterness and resentment. Also, there is a demon of early death that causes people to die at a young age. This demon could enter someone through a curse.
    *FACEPALM!* I wish I was making this up, really I do. And my grandmother used this kind of magical diagnostic process. She claimed my out-of-socket hip was a result of my "wrestling with God" (like Jacob). She told people that arthritis was caused by grief and that head and neck pains were the result of stubbornness. (I told you it was bat shit, but I seriously believed it growing up.)
    • Do you ever wonder why some people seem to have a golden touch and prosper at everything they do, and some don’t, as much as they try?
    • Do you ever wonder why to some people, everything comes easily without much effort, but to other people, everything seems to be difficult?
    Socioeconomic inequalities, luck, knowing the right people, chance, etc.
    God blesses those who obey His laws, and He blesses them with prosperity. There are Biblical curses relating to the lack of prosperity that need to be broken.
    Wow, legalism and the prosperity doctrine, all in one. Nicely played Deliverers!
    • Do you ever wonder why some people are sad and depressed when they seem to have no reason to be, while other people are happy even when confronting problems and difficulties?
    It could certainly be a nuerochemical imbalance, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or Depression. Also, I don't think it's my place to judge if someone has a "reason to be" depressed.
    Although depression and emotional instability are very much related to how much faith and trust people have in God, there is also the chance that the demons of depression, despair and hopelessness need to be cast out.
    %&*^$*&#@^! I cannot even think of a strong enough curse word. Hey atheists, do ya'll feel depressed and emotionall unstable because of your disbelief? Nope, me neither. Though I was depressed as hell (damn near suicidal) more than once while having utter belief in God! So yeah, logic = fail.
    • Have you ever felt like you were cursed?
    • Have people called you "clumsy"?
    *snort* I love the lulz! But seriously, doing pilates or yoga can improve balance and reduce "clumsiness". (Why the obtuse quote marks, why?) No exorcism required.
    Curses are real, and there are different kinds of curses; biblical curses, witchcraft curses, self-imposed curses.
    Yes, these are the kind of people who protest Harry Potter because they think witches are real.

    This group preys on the insecure and ignorant. By having a litany of concerns, at least one of each any person can identify with, it seems to say "Aren't you unhappy? Isn't life tough? We can make it all better." Note: Doubt anyone who both tells you that you have a problem, and tries to sell you the cure. (Deliverance-ing can yield some big bucks in the revival circuit.) The monotonous, repetitive start to the questions also works on the reader to engage in that command word "wonder" over and over again. To see the effect command words can have on people, watch Derren Brown.

    Derren Brown "COLOR BLIND" - Watch more amazing videos here

    Then the same solution is proposed, over and over again, actually interfering with true thoughtful consideration, and instead lulling the reader into thinking that they have "wondered". They play on ignorance as well. When I'm curious about something, I don't simply "wonder" - I look it up. Knowledge really is power, and having the critical thinking and logical tools to discern whether something is true or not, can protect you from this form of brainwashing.

    I'm breaking for now. This will just have to be a multi-parter. Actually I've been meaning to ask you, do you prefer when these "debunks" are really long, or do you like it better broken up into bite-sized installments?


    1. Oh, SNORT!!! I love how they equate genetic history "some diseases run in families" with a CURSE! Never mind that science has been busily mapping the human genome for years now, with microscopes that clearly show the structure of chromosomes.

      Apparently, there's some magical Christian microscope out there that one day we'll all get to peer through and see teeny, tiny, miniature imps in red suits with tails and pitchforks leaping around in someone's body, cackling, as surgeons scratch their heads over their patient.

      Pass the Pepto...

    2. Wow, your blog hits really close to home. Hell, I was reading wondering if we're related (j/k). My Grandma was a cult leader too, but she was "the good witch" to my mother's "wicked witch". My mother has the direct line to the Jesus Batphone, so I completely understand where you come from.

    3. Volly - Sad but true: Medicare pays for "Christian Science healers" as if they were actually giving medical treatment, if someone cites "religious freedom". This is crazy. No one reasonable would support sending ambulances with accident victims to these quacks instead of a hospital, but if the patient asks for it, our government props up these lunatics if they were plying a trade (and not a con job).

      Domino - I'd love to compare notes sometime. I've never met another person with a mom/grandmother cult family member, just a lot of sons :)

    4. Hi Angie!
      I am a 3rd generation "cult member". My grandmother's generation didn't focus so much on "the spirit", so she was pretty mellow. My Mom, because she has phobias, doesn't drive so she worships the god who I call "TV God". She quotes Creflo Dollar, Jesse Duplantis and Benny Hinn at me all the time. The Spirit speaks to her all day.
      I am so grateful to have stumbled upon your blog. I SO understand why people who go through things join support groups. Reading your experiences really encourages me to stay on my current path. It's amazing to me that my parents wouldn't let me see the 1982 movie Poltergiest, but I could sit and hear about demons that want to come not only attack my body, but my very soul (thought process/consciousness). And we (Christians) are exposed to that at a very young age! It's so sad. I would love to see the world truly evolve and grow. Unfortunately, I do believe religion, especially ones who are so spiritual that they're no earthly good, inhibit our growth as society.

    5. Ah, once my grandmother's hip gave out (and god didn't heal it) she tuned in the TV God *and* Bill O'Reilly. Oh, with Limbaugh in the car.

      Lol, I'm not a "we(christian)" anymore, although I was for a quarter century. I really had no earthly idea how freeing life without fear of demons could be. I wasn't allowed to watch Care Bears, but I was dragged into the room to watch women give birth.

      I'll try to email you directly, but if that doesn't work hit me up at jackson dot angie at yahoo dot com.