How Dysfunctional Parents Siphon Resources Back from a Child, Depriving them of Healthy Self-Development

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much GraceOriginally published January 2012. This is part of a series on Understanding How Emotional Development in Childhood Affects Adults: Fostering Spiritual Abuse via the “Roots of Victimization” All images originals from Under Much More Grace. In the previous post, we discussed how children lack internal resources which the parent provides to them so that they can develop their own sense of self, internal peace and what many authors describe as a sense of abundance. … [Read more...]

Do Tell!

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI receive many messages thanking me for sharing my story of spiritual abuse via this blog.  People ask if they may use what I have written in their book project, as part of a spiritual abuse presentation or seminar.  People applaud my “courage” and often express their personal fear that, were they to tell their own story, they would suffer serious consequences.The desire to tell their story is framed in several ways.  Some know that telling will help them to heal.  Some want to warn others, or, at the very least, open the eyes of those who cannot see.  They hope that by telling, their friends, family members, church comrades, even … [Read more...]

Fear Factor

by Ellen cross posted from When Church HurtsMy friend, Rebekah Gilbert, has written a great blog post about Fear.  Her thoughts turned on a light bulb in my head because I realized just how true her words are.  You see, the spiritual abuse that was meted out to me had one purpose only:  to create fear in my heart and in my life.Perhaps the perpetrators’ ultimate goal was to get me to leave, but they did this in such a way that over the decade-plus years of spiritual abuse, I became terrorized.  And, just as my friend, Rebekah, realized, once I began to stand up to my abusers, the fear that they had placed on me returned to them.  Such great fear that their only recourse was to ban me … [Read more...]

What Churches and Time Shares Have in Common – Toxic Manipulation

by Suzanne Titkemeyer cross posted from her blog Every Breaking WaveLast week my husband Jim and I spent a week with friends at a resort in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It's a pretty nice place, perfect if you want to stay in a perfectly groomed white bread version of a tropical resort with fences and guard gates, minus the ocean but plus a pile of fancy swimming pools. It's wonderful for what it is, but it's not to everyone's tastes. The photo to the left was taken from our suite's balcony overlooking one of the pool areas.It's not a time share, nor do you actually own a week or a certain suite there. It's a vacation ownership organization that works on the points system. … [Read more...]

How to Keep From Spiritual Abusing People

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsTell the truth.That’s it.You’re probably thinking that’s crazy, but think about it.  If you have been spiritually abused, think about if the perpetrator had told the truth.“I am not open to questions.”“You have to support the staff and their decisions no matter what.”“We do not allow people to express concerns.”“I’m only interested in getting my own way.” … [Read more...]

Siding With The Many

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsI often reblog or link to the writings, wisdom, and insights of others, not so much because I couldn’t have said it myself, but simply because I fear that were I to address these issues, it would appear that I am simply trying to argue for myself.  As those of us who are intimately familiar with spiritual abuse, doing so would create an immediate dismissal of my writing simply because I would be perceived as only making an effort to defend myself.  In the world of spiritual abuse, this would result in making me the problem for pointing out the problem. … [Read more...]

Misunderstanding and Punishing the Character of Children as a Root of Victimization

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from her blog Under Much Grace Originally published January 2012. This is part of a series on Understanding How Emotional Development in Childhood Affects Adults: Fostering Spiritual Abuse via the "Roots of Victimization" A few days ago, I pointed out that the girls who survived incarceration at Hephzibah House (HH) suffered both trauma/torture and spiritual abuse, and upon leaving, they struggle with unique problems including trauma reenactment, revictimization, and an inability to self-protect. Though some of this relates directly to the debilitation of the self created by the harsh conditions at HH, the roots of these related deficits are created in … [Read more...]

Memories of My Own Cognitive Dissonance: Gothard’s Doctrine of Grace as an Example

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much Grace originally posted in 2010In so many words (!), I’ve already shared what cognitive dissonance felt like after some exit counseling and realizing that not everything I’d believed had been true.I’d like to discuss a bit more about the process that facilitated my acceptance of Gothard’s take on grace (and other ideas introduced at the Institute of Basic Life Principles conference I attended). I only briefly mentioned it in this post. Cognitive dissonance was easy to ignore for me when I first accepted his views, but when I revised my understanding after I left the spiritually abusive system; I had no other option but to let the process … [Read more...]

“Pay Now, Play Later”

by Ellen cross posted from her blog When Church HurtsWe heard this quote often at our former church:“Pay now, play later.  Play now, pay later.”One of the most impressive things we noticed when we first began attending our former church was that the senior pastor appeared to be very “servant hearted.”  Unlike the majority of churches that have a reserved spot for the pastor right next to the building, he would park at the far end of the parking lot so that others could park closer.  After services on Sunday, he would return all of his glasses (he usually had three or four glasses of water collected under his chair) to the kitchen and he would go into the restrooms and collect the … [Read more...]

Differentiating Between ‘Cult’, ‘Cultic’ and ‘Spiritual Abuse’

by Cindy Kunsman cross posted from Under Much GraceWhat is the difference between "cult" and "cultic?" (Sociologically Speaking) It’s a matter of degree. Defining terms is vital.Concerning things "cultic" versus a "cult." If you’re the average guy (or gal) sitting in a church or a concerned significant other of someone in a group, the first thing you generally notice is that something bothers you about the group. This realization is true of any subtle deception or of insidious problems such as something wrong with your car. You hear an unfamiliar noise and the right side of your brain become sensitized and unconsiously starts putting things together (as a built in defense mechanism). … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X