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Author Topic: Dragonslippers for Christians  (Read 968 times)
Huldah
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« on: November 09, 2015, 01:48:31 pm »

Dragonslippers is a graphic novel about domestic abuse. Recently I happened across their website. The page on Learn the Warning Signs of Abuse* caught my interest, because so many signs of domestic abuse and control have equivalents in abusive churches. These are the signs that resonated with me:

"If he tries to go too fast, too soon, this spells DANGER."
Spiritual equivalent: love bombing; church members who are literal strangers treat you like you're the greatest thing ever to walk in the door.

"If he demands that you give up your dreams this spells DANGER."
Spiritual equivalent: give up your education, your sports involvement or hobbies, and/or your career plans, so you can devote your life to the church.

"If he insists that his plans are more important than yours, this spells  DANGER."
Spiritual equivalent: The church's scheduled activities are more important than your needs. Their long-range goals take priority over your personal goals.

"If he uses derogatory language towards your family & friends this spells DANGER."
Spiritual equivalent: The derogatory language will be subtle. "Our parents love us, but they don't speak with the wisdom of Christ."
   
"If he is inconsiderate, disrespectful, or puts you down in public, this spells DANGER."
Spiritual equivalent: Public shaming or shunning of group members who don't toe the line.   

"If he tries to isolate you from friends and family, this spells DANGER."
Spiritual equivalent: Telling you that friends or family aren't profitable for the Kingdom of God. You need to concentrate on people who are open to the Gospel. This can also include isolation from other churches and Christians. "Of course, they're brothers in Christ, but our church is better, we have more of the truth the way Jesus meant it. We're a bode fide New Testament church and they're not. Why would you settle for second best when you can have God's best?"

"If he blames you for what has happened and minimizes his abuse, this spells DANGER.... If he checks  on your every move
this spells DANGER..."
Spiritual equivalent: Self-obvious. Shepherding movements are notorious for their close control of the flock, and for demonizing those who criticize or even ask too many awkward questions.

"DANGER... The first sign of dissociation is when you start to wonder if it really happened at all."
Did you ever, while in GC, see or hear things that made you feel like, "This can't really be happening; this is so bizarre; am I going crazy?" I certainly did. And I experienced or witnessed every single one of the other signs of abuse listed above. If only I hadn't been too young and naive to understand what was happening at the time.

It seems that abusive, controlling personalities follow a predictable pattern, whether they're abusing one woman or man or an entire congregation.

(*Warning: cartoons on linked site contain some profanity.)
« Last Edit: November 09, 2015, 01:50:40 pm by Huldah » Logged
margaret
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 05:43:51 am »

Wow. That is so good.  Thanks, Huldah.
I think I'm in the stage of "feeling like an idiot for having been duped."
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Primrose
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 08:36:38 am »

I must admit I still feel a bit crazy as so many people from my former church rave about how amazing and awesome they are. For years I thought I was losing my mind as I saw obvious signs of manipulation and control. I still rehash the things that were said and done...I'm in a fog really.
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jtk1983
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2015, 11:23:57 pm »

The church I went to hit on every single one of those points. Especially the last one about dissociation - where you start to take a step back and realize 'is this really happening'?!?!

My turning point was when a few leaders organized a meeting about a member of the church who wasn't devoting enough of their time to the church. They gathered all of this individual's closest friends and pretty much told everyone to stop talking to the individual. This poor saint had no idea people were meeting behind their back. I could not turn my back on my pal over something like that. I still can't believe it happened.

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