From: Preston Simpson
To: Dave Hamilton
Date: Aug 1 1998 3:52:26 am
Subject: Internettin' yahoos
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Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Dave Hamilton Internettin' yahoos wgah'nagl fhtagn.

PS>> In your opinion, is there a need for a specific definition of
PS>> a religiously-motivated trauma or disorder?

DH> Yes. And I know of no one in the field who privately disagrees.
DH> When my wife was working in the streetfront ministry a couple
DH> of years ago, they used to collect such victims and run a
DH> workshop based on Lewis-Herman's methods. They used the very
DH> same techniques as those for sexually abused children, because
DH> they had identical symptoms with the exception of history.

Then that settles it. As far as I'm concerned, there's a need
for such a thing and the politics be damned. I'd much rather
offend 50 people and help one than let one sink and let
50 ride undisturbed.

DH> The problem we are facing is one of stigma. Give me a pastor
DH> and I'll have him admitting in a few sentences that such
DH> religious abuse happens - but not in *his* denomination, or
DH> church, or [put your group here]. So everybody on the planet,
DH> it seems, agrees in private, but not in public.

It's the same problem as with everything else. Sure, we need
more jails/better ethnic diversity/whatever, but don't do it
in *my* neighborhood.

DH> I have old copies of DSM drafts that include proposals for
DH> cult-indoctrination that have never been accepted or even
DH> considered beyond 2nd draft because they are simply too
DH> offensive to some people, i.e. they are politically incorrect
DH> and those offended people might disapprove of us.

I'd like to see them sometime. It would certainly sink the
idea that psychologists are a bunch of lukewarm, spineless
jellyfish who worry about hurting everybody.

DH> I don't. Nothing. I just hope she considers life insurance
DH> after Jan 1/99 while she can still get it.

But would it cause a break in her faith? That can be a pretty
traumatic thing, and that's mostly what I'm worried about.
Things like that caused my own "crisis of faith"; I know that
similar events have inspired the same thing in others. But
I'm not sure about her ability to survive relatively
undamaged such a break with something that is now a major
portion of her life.

DH> I tend to agree. I know what it is to be addicted to alcohol,
DH> and one's choices *are* limited. It takes an extraordinary
DH> circumstance to get the notion of choice through to an addict,
DH> but then when that happens, whatever was broken seems to be
DH> fixed, at least temporarily.

Yes. People escape when they feel powerless--and powerlessness is
directly tied to having meaningful choices.

DH> It's my theory that our hierarchy of needs becomes skewed and
DH> we think we need the substance/religion to survive at the subconscious
DH> level. There is no chance of changing that intellectually. It

That's really where it counts with a lot of central issues to
people's lives: love, self-esteem, and so forth. If Maslow was
right about his hierarchy of needs, then it seems to me that
practically every religion can provide something on every
level of the hierarchy, from self-actualization to simple
feelings of security (yes, I know the bottom level is basic
physical needs--but those are connected at least moderately
to a sense of security). It's pretty hard to intellectualize
your way around something that feels so good.

--P. G. Simpson

... I respectfully submit that you are replete with feces.
--- GoldED 2.50+
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