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1/21/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Why Atheistic Arguments Cannot Work Against Christian Fundamentalism

By John Blatt

I, along with many other ex-Christians, am in a rare position to speak on one of the most oppressive thought systems that has ever been subjected upon humanity and because I honestly care about our world and our spiritual and psychic evolution of humanity do I set out to help some to be free from this darkness. This HAS to come out of me. I need to know that I did all that I could with the knowledge that I have to help humanity in the best way that I can. It is a part of who I am and what I am here to do with the remaining time I have left.

Okay, why is it that Atheistic arguments cannot work against Christian Fundamentalism? Over the past three years I have read most of the major and many of the minor works on Atheism and its arguments against theism in general and fundamentalism in particular. There are some great arguments for sure, yet as a very knowledgeable ex-Christian I can logically answer 99% of all the hardest questions that can be posed to a Christian. I had (and still have) a solid answer for every question, and well-educated Christians (that is those Christians who truly know their bibles, hermeneutics, and the various disciplines of theology) also can answer such hard questions (though maybe not to the satisfaction of an Atheist). So being able to rebut Christianity through logic, science, nitpicking the contradictions of the bible, or various other means just doesn't work (on the whole). It just doesn't. If it did there would be hordes of people leaving Christianity. Certainly other religions have even less of an effect upon Christian ideology. If anything it strengthens the resolve of those who are serious Christians. If Atheism, rational thought, science, and every other religion cannot dismantle the Christian religion then is there any hope of freeing the world from this incredible darkness?

Yes. Most Atheists have never been a die-hard, living martyr for Christ and "the Faith." There are some of us Atheists who have lived that life, gave ourselves to Jesus and "his truth", sacrificed everything in our utter devotion to love and serve him, his truth and his church. "That Christ might live in us and that we might die" all for Jesus. There are ex-Christians who were as devout or deeply ingrained within it as I have been and they know, as I do, why arguments, whatever they might be, just didn't hold water. We know the passion and determination of other extremists from religions like Islam and Mormonism as well.

Ultimately, there are only two ways to break through this incredibly resilient ideology and belief system, to break into the minds of these people and help them to see. The first being: Universal Reconciliation, the third major theological system of the bible (the other two being Arminianism and Calvinism). Universal Reconciliation is the most consistent New Testament theological system and portrays god in the highest and most loving and merciful light. Universal Reconciliation is a much higher view of Christ and god than the vast majority of evangelical Christianity holds to, which falls within the confines of Arminianism or Calvinism (usually an inconsistent combination of the two). Anyone who truly knows the bible understands that the bible is broken up into covenants, mainly the new covenant and the old covenant. The new covenant was created when Jesus died on the cross (according to the bible that is). Everything before Jesus' death was under the old covenant, which was just a foreshadow or anti-type of the real, which was Christ and his new covenant. This is why knowledgeable Christians will never be moved with all the horrid and murderous quotes from the Old Testament - "that was under the old covenant and was fulfilled in Christ." The Old Testament is not the canon of the Christian, the New Testament is. Though many less knowledgeable Christians see the Old Testament quotes and try to follow them. This is why the Phelps' and other members of Westboro Baptist Cult in, Topeka, Kansas can say and do what they do. They take the Old Testament scriptures as their cannon (that is, it is authoritative to them) and use it for their own horribly deviant agendas. The new covenant puts all the duties and requirements of the Old Testament law completely fulfilled in Christ, but more than this Universal Reconciliation states that Christ died for EVERY person, past, present and future regardless whether or not they believe. Sure it is ideal to come to faith and be born-again in this life and know Jesus now, but it is not necessary for reconciliation with god. He did it all. Thus all the sins of all the people in every age, past , present and future were propitiated by christ on the cross, reconciling everyone to himself, yes, even Hitler, Dahmer, and Phelps. Some also believe that Satan will be reconciled and restored to god in the consummation of the end as well. This is a MUCH more positive and loving, (and I must say more scriptural) understanding and view of god under the new covenant. Though mainstream Christianity calls Universal Reconciliation a heresy and those who believe it are damned to hell. This blocks nearly 100% inquiry into this understanding of the New Testament. I didn't want to even look into it at first because I was so deeply programmed with the Christian status quo.

Once one also understands that 98% of English translations of the bible are translated by people who are programmed themselves with a certain theological system and that there are many places in the New Testament that are purposefully mistranslated to concur with their own theology, then you can understand that the word "hell" is never even in the New Testament. There is much to this of course, but suffice it to say that there are agendas within agendas even with translating the bible. If there is no hell in the New Testament then the current, mainstream evangelicalism and fundamentalism basically falls apart. Hell is a more generally a more treasured doctrine to Christians than redemption or reconciliation is, whether they would like to admit it or not, because without hell there is no NEED of faith in Christ.

Thus Universal Reconciliation frees the mind and heart to love Christ more or to seek other avenues of meaning in life. If I am reconciled to god whether or not I believe then I am free. Free to love Christ all the more or free to leave Christianity altogether. So this is the first way to free the minds and hearts of devout, truth seeking Christians.

The second and only other way is to expose them to the methods and means of the mind control that they are subject to. Logic and reasoning cannot penetrate their mind control and indoctrinated programming, no matter how sharp your logic is. See, knowledgeable Christians have an answer to every question that can be imagined. Their box is complete. This is why debating a devout Christian ONLY hardens them in their position. This is the nature of their control. The more you question them, the more you try to shake them from their faith, the more resolute they become. When they believe that there is an answer for EVERY question, no matter how difficult it may be, there is no way to rationally dethrone their thinking, because even though they might not have the answer - there is an answer - and thats good enough for them. This is just one part of the programmed mind of the Bible believer.

Christian mind control is based on indoctrination. Their indoctrination is, of course, based on the bible. Their understanding of the bible is based on a specific framework or system of interpretation of that bible (generally considered as theology). Their interpretation of that bible is largely based the on teaching of that interpretation by others, generally pastors, bible teachers, seminary professors, or parents, friends, or even popular Christian literature. In turn these people (pastors, teachers, seminary professors, parents, etc.) are indoctrinated by others and the cycle is continuous. This indoctrination, in order for it to be successful, must be authoritative. That is, the teaching that one receives is one of authority, either by parents or by a charismatic pastor, etc. This authoritative indoctrination, if accepted by the mind, reforms the thoughts of the person from one ideology to another or in a child's case from a blank slate. This is called Thought Reform or more generically brainwashing. Thought Reform or Brainwashing is unnoticeable in the convert since they continue to have a fully functioning free will and do not feel inadvertently coerced. They want to be taught/programmed with "the truth."

The gospel message of salvation or any other teaching by Christians that seeks to convert someone to "the Way, the Truth, and the Life" is usually a message designed to bombard the mind with the threat of eternal damnation (fear) and the reward of eternal life (joy). Evangelization, generally speaking, is psychological warfare of the mind. It is designed to confuse your current non-belief with a powerful, authoritative message of tremendous weight - eternity. Those who are in a weakened emotional or psychological state (from some inner turmoil, external stress, or even being lonely or homesick) are much easier prey to this psychological bombardment, and when it is masked with the guise of spirituality it becomes a serious burden to the Self.

When one undergoes the "born-again" experience and feels like a different person (and psychologically is) this is the mind succumbing to the psychological warfare and tremendous emotions of relief are felt and "renewal of soul" are felt because that burden, in a sense, falls through the mind of the person and is now free from it by being taken over by it. This is classic mind control. Any true research into psychological manipulation, Thought Reform and Brainwashing will reveal this very process. It is NOT a spiritual re-birth but a psychological reprogramming of the Self. There is no more powerful experience that one can undergo. Once one is programmed in this manner it is nearly impossible to be brought back or to be involuntarily deprogrammed.

The human mind is incredibly strong in many ways, yet it is weak just as much as it is strong and it is susceptible to suggestion, manipulation, and many other forms of coercion. Overt forms of control are easily thwarted, but it is the subvert or subtle forms of control that the mind is so easily turned by. If you have any question about this I recommend you watch some of the material by Derren Brown, Criss Angel, or any other talented mentalist and it is clearly evident how frightfully simple it is to control people without their knowledge. (Please see my Derren Brown videos I've uploaded to My Videos section).

When authoritative preaching is conducted, especially on a podium behind a pulpit (the elevation of the stage or podium above the congregates is a subliminal message of authority and exultation. The pulpit is also a symbol of an authoritative position) along with the "perfect and holy Word of God" this becomes an extremely powerful force upon the minds of those who are witnesses. You add the submissive rows of silent, attentive hearers and the mind is even further at risk to programming. The very sight of this kind of submissiveness and attentiveness of rows of people speaks volumes to the mind. The human mind has the tendency to "get caught up with the mob" or go along with the crowd and be swayed by what the others do. Its called the sheep mentality. You mix these powerful ingredients and you have mind control par excellence! When the preacher starts to preach the congregation goes into a specific type of hypnotism. This hypnotism keeps the congregates continually renewed in their indoctrinated programming. This is why pastors insist on members coming to worship every Sunday, because it helps to keep the sheep in line (the money flowing as well as their accolades for the ego of the pastor).

If one has a thorough understanding of this Christian mind control, what it is and how it works, one can use this knowledge to not attack their beliefs but to attack their process of mind control and help them to see the control without them feeling like their Faith is under attack. Once one comes to see the means of control and how psychological programming works then on their own they have the ability to look at the program and question it. Do you see? If one attacks their beliefs it will NEVER free them. It will in fact harden their beliefs. Though, help them to see the means of programming and they will in time question the program.

This is just a very condensed version of a book that I am currently writing on Christianity. I go into much deeper detail of the methods and means and effects of evangelical psychological programming as well as the teachings of Universal Reconciliation and the dangers and conspiracy of Dispensational theology, which is what mainstream Christianity is.

If you like this article feel free to visit my others at my MySpace site at: http://www.myspace.com/psychicevolution

33 comments:

Anonymous said...

Excellant post, I agree with you completely. It's like once they are satisfied with their beliefs, their beliefs are sealed in concrete and unimpenetrable. They are told to put on the full armour of God, and this, they gladly do.

I try to use the Bible to disprove itself, here's something I just discovered and have not tried it yet on a fundy yet.


Theoretically Adam and Eve would be still living today, if only they had not chose to sin, (the wages of sin is physical death, God's Law)then God sent his perfect son Jesus, to save us from our sins, yet he died a physical death also, but how could he have died, being perfect and without sin?

It would have all been so much more believable if Jesus were still alive even today, because others in the Bible supposedly lived over 800 years old, so nothing would have seemed unusual, even if Jesus had still been walking on Earth today.

But Jesus thought also himself, that he was from a God, he thought that he would survive the crucifixion, because of Mark 9:1 but their little scheme failed, because Jesus never returned, had Jesus still been living today there would be no need for faith, no need for churches and preachers, no need for different beliefs and all the different denominations.

Results of Jesus having survived physical death, a simple effective plan for God to reap and reward his followers.

No beliefs needed, no faith needed, no confusion, no churches or preachers needed, no different beliefs or denominations needed.

Peace on Earth, no need for weapons, no hospitals needed, no vineyards needed, no restaurants needed, practically no crime.

A perfect Jesus = a perfect domain here today.

John, what ya think?

Anonymous said...

P.S. Jesus was supposedly perfect without sin, theoretically Jesus could not have been killed in any manner, this was God's original law.

Jesus got fooled, as did his faithful followers, just as many many millions even today.

Anonymous said...

Great post there John.

It's funny how these coincidences pop up. Only a few days ago did I want to look into the psychology aspect of Christianity. - its methods to increase the flock through fear of damnation and the joy of heaven.

Not wanting to side track from this great post but I used to attend a 'happy clappy' church as I call them, where talking in tongues and so forth was pretty much the norm.

I always remember one lady standing up giving a testimony of how one of her relatives came to the lord not long before he died. However when he did die she spent every waking thought worring that he wasn't saved and that he was either in Hell or going to be sent to Hell.

'Then' .. she said that this weight was immediately lifted when one of the pastors was praying over her and came out with a 'prophecy' "and we thank you lord that you saved Ken" (not his real name - I can't remember it). She felt immediately at peace.

I sat there and listened to this and very slowly shook my head. This same pastor had 'prophised' over me saying how I was a pillar of light in the kingdom of heaven and that I'm truly blessed. The pastor knew that I was (and indeed am) a career for a relative. What that pastor didn't know that the only reason I attended that church was so my relative who's a Christian could attend.

What makes matters worse (in their eyes) is that I was at the time a practising Pagan Witch .. and still am. Here was this pastor alledging that he was prophising from God saying that I was a pillar of light when in fact if he'd known the truth he'd probably be rephrasing that - to involve Hell fire and the like.

All that evening I kept thinking of the lady and how her way of thinking was instantly changed because of this supposed revelation. Imagine if I had gone over and told her that if this pastor who'd told me that I was 'blessed' when I was (in their eyes) the enemy, how could he have had 'the authority' to say that her relative wasn't facing damnation.

I look forward to reading your book on the subject as I find this matter of particluar interest.

Cheers.

xrayman said...

Great article. I'm an ex-tepid Christian. For some reason I was born with a great deal of sceptcisism programmed within. I've been down and out on plenty of occasions, but the relgious meme was never really sold to me. Atheism came very easy to me once I became well informed.

I just watched the story on the History Channel of Jim Jone's mass suicide cult. How do people fall for such bullshit that leads to such an outcome? 900 people died for this asshole, and before that they signed every asset they had to him. How does this happen? How does a mind get sucked in so far? There is just a fine line between a church and a cult. When you are a preacher you such potential to have great power over a large group of people or sheep as they were called.

You usually can't get the the rock hard minds of the devout, but we must get at the non enthusiastic Christians as I once was. I was so easy to deconvert.

John Blatt said...

Hey xrayman,

It does seem crazy that 900 people would knowingly drink poison in their devotion with Jim Jones. Remember, most of those people were highly intelligent people, some of whom were doctors and lawyers. Yet this is the deception of mind control and it is NOT just found in these extreme religious groups. Let me make this as clear as I can:

Fundamentalist christianity IS mind control.

There is no imaginary dividing line between a church and a cult, they are ALL cults. The control is usually non-violent and so flies under the radar of danger for most people, but the same mind control that is witnessed in islam is identical to christianity - its just a different set of programming. Yes, christianity, islam, and conservative judaism all are mind control cults.

Thanks for the comments!

John

Anonymous said...

The more I seek to understand the power of evangelicalism and the attraction of the mega church movement, the more I, too, have found myself thinking that there is no line between the mind control used by small counter-cultural cults and the evangelical movement. I now think of mega-churches as "when cults grow up."
Valerie

The early communist mind control experiments were visibly cruel and coersive: sensory deprivation, threats of physical harm, sleep deprivation, and other cruelties along with isolation, repetition and so forth. If you look at cults, like the Moonies, you find that they represent the next level of sophistication. By this I mean that when mind-control is perceptibly cruel, there is some risk of backlash. The Moonies, Hari Krishnas etc use some of the less obvious aspects of mind control - isolation from an alternate community, promises, repetition, confusion and so forth without the obvious coersion.

Mega-churches take this a step further, so that the mind control seems completely benign and voluntary. And yet, if you look at it from a psychological perspective it works beautifully from the standpoint of eliciting and maintaining belief.

I don't know if even this type of information can be of value to people once they are in. I wonder if the only power we have is to inform outsiders who are otherwise vulnerable to seduction.

Anonymous said...

"most Atheists have never been a die-hard, living martyr for Christ... " no shit. none of the living atheists have ever been a living martyr? wow! i know lots of christians who are living who where martyrs...duuuu uuuhuck...

John Blatt said...

Anonymous said...

"most Atheists have never been a die-hard, living martyr for Christ... " no shit. none of the living atheists have ever been a living martyr? wow! i know lots of christians who are living who where martyrs...duuuu uuuhuck...


Okay, huckleberry, good one........

Anonymous said...

"Universal Reconciliation states that Christ died for EVERY person, past, present and future regardless whether or not they believe ... Though mainstream Christianity calls Universal Reconciliation a heresy and those who believe it are damned to hell."

There's an interesting episode of This American Life which talks about a popular preacher ("Carlton Pearson") who comes to the conclusion that God saves everyone. He ends up being ostracized by evangelicals. You should have a listen. (You can also look up the wikipedia entry on him.)

Episode 304
http://www.thislife.org/pages/archives/archive05.html

Andrew Hawkins said...

This is an extremely interesting post – many thanks. I was subjected to such mind control plus fear of hell to become a Christian. I would be extremely interested to read of a case-study of someone that has been de-programmed using these techniques.

You’re so right when you talk about faith just becoming stronger when it is attacked. I have used that knowledge myself to great effect. When I was trying to convince a Christian of the truth of the atheistic world she responded by saying, “Why are you even trying? You know you will not cause me to lose my faith”. “Of course not”, I replied, “That’s why faith is so dangerous - the more you attack it the stronger it becomes”. A shear look of horror came over her face as if to say you are right but I will not admit it. The argument ended there as it was, unfortunately rather heated.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, everything you've said actually does happen. but that's just the ugly side. the side that ,half of the time, means well but in the end still drinks the kool-aid. Sounds to me like you have a case of mind over spirit. Some people are too smart for there own good. You, yourself might have been brainwashed, but most of the people that you seem to be speaking about are spiritwashed. The only way to free them is spiritually. People who were brainwashed into Christianity seem to become athiests once they snap out of it. People who were spiritwashed into Christianity usually just find another church. There are many types of churches though. Some operate like cults, and other are completely free. The problem isn't "True Christianity". The problem is "Cult Christianity". It all comes down to finding out the truth for yourself constantly testing whatever it is you believe in.

John Blatt said...

Anonymous said...

"Sadly, everything you've said actually does happen. but that's just the ugly side. the side that ,half of the time, means well but in the end still drinks the kool-aid. Sounds to me like you have a case of mind over spirit."

That is very presumptuous of you since you don't even know me. I totally disagree with you. One of the things that you and many others fail to realize is that the mind and the spirit are very much interconnected. Its called CONSCIOUSNESS. The consciousness and subconsciousness of humans is an intelligent spirit. You cannot separate them in the way you have in "mind over spirit". I understand what you are saying, but we are thinking beings and not just spirit. We are a balance. This is why religious indoctrination is so dangerous. It effects the consciousness of not only the individual, but of the consciousness of all.


"Some people are too smart for there own good."

Really...In other words some people would be better off being stupid (namely people like myself and the other intelligent ex-christians here) instead of challenging the medieval thinking and control of christianity. This very statement reveals a lot about your own programming. One of my ex-"pastors" told me the very same thing when I left his church. Amazing.


"You, yourself might have been brainwashed, but most of the people that you seem to be speaking about are spiritwashed."

Define and thoroughly explain "spiritwashed" in contrast to "brainwashed". You can't because you do not understand brainwashing in the first place. Do your own homework and come back and lay down your explanation. I would like to understand the details of "spiritwashing" in contrast to Thought Reform.

"The only way to free them is spiritually. People who were brainwashed into Christianity seem to become athiests once they snap out of it. People who were spiritwashed into Christianity usually just find another church."

What you mean is the only way to free people is by the blood of christ, right? Why do you hide behind an anonymous name using vague language when you really want to say its the holy spirit that saves and those who merely believe in christianity intellectually (i.e. brainwashed) were not true christians in the first place since they were not "spiritwashed" by the spirit of god? Why hide? Because once "spiritwashed" always "spiritwashed," right? They might leave one "bad church" but end up in a good church. This is the very type of thing I was writing about in the first place. Because of your own programming and mind control you are unwilling to understand what christian brainwashing really is. It is a self-defense mechanism of the program. I challenge you to study what Thought Reform really is. Those who refuse to do so and want nothing to do with understanding it reveal that they themselves are brainwashed and controlled. If you are not brainwashed, explain to me how you are not. But you must understand it first to do so.


"There are many types of churches though. Some operate like cults, and other are completely free. The problem isn't "True Christianity". The problem is "Cult Christianity"."

I completely disagree. The problem is not the difference between "True christianity" and "cult christianity" but of christianity. There ARE many types of churches, but they are CHURCHES and churches are based on the christian bible and christianity. Christianity is a mind control system and the bible is a series of psychological documents.
Go read my own ex-testimony at: http://exchristian.net/testimonies/2005/06/pharisee-of-pharisees.php It shows how thoroughly indoctrinated and programmed I once was and how I much experience I've had with the christian religion of so variations.


"It all comes down to finding out the truth for yourself constantly testing whatever it is you believe in."

Exactly. You are right.

Anonymous said...

John,

I am afraid that the complexity of your explaination allows for the same argument to be made against everything you have said, as easily as for everything you have said...

Skipping the tit-for-tat details -- I believe you have acommplished nothing; except to scientifically break down the nature of how a person might believe in anything. And, even if you are correct (which I do not dispute), all you have done is come full circle...

You might sell some books though! People everywhere are searching for a way to explain the things that are just out of reach...

You should do well!

John Blatt said...

Tizso said...

"John,
I am afraid that the complexity of your explaination allows for the same argument to be made against everything you have said, as easily as for everything you have said..."

Hi Tizso, thanks for the comments. I do appreciate your honesty. I am really interested in what your thoughts are with regards to this. I'd like to know in more detail how my explanation is self-contradictory. I'm sincere in this request because I'd like to be informed if my thinking is flawed. If you wouldn't mind you can either email me privately at psychicevoultion@yahoo.com or post here. I'd like to hear back from you.

"Skipping the tit-for-tat details -- I believe you have acommplished nothing; except to scientifically break down the nature of how a person might believe in anything."

I would tend to disagree, since religion, specifically fundamentalist christianity, is based on faith and not evidence, based on an interpretation of a book. I believe that it is a much different thing to believe the inerrancy of the the bible than to believe that the Greek gods exist. There is no sciencific evidence for either, but inerrancy is a programmed and indoctrinated belief and the Greek gods is just mythology. Do you see what I'm saying? The doctrines of christianity are no greater than the doctrines of the Greek gods, but the difference is the power of authority. The christian system, whether we like it or not, has psychological authority over a majority of people, since it is true that a majority of this nation believe that the bible is true. People just don't believe in the Greek gods anymore, mostly because there are no authoritative presenters of that old religion and there is no authoritative belief structure (like churches, denominations, and seminaries and such) for the Greek gods. I know that I'm not being very clear here since I don't have the time right now to elaborate. I'll try to later.


"And, even if you are correct (which I do not dispute),"

If you do not dispute that I am correct, then how is it that my thinking is flawed? I know you didn't directly say it was flawed, but you did say it was basically self-defeating, am I correct?


"all you have done is come full circle... You might sell some books though! People everywhere are searching for a way to explain the things that are just out of reach...
You should do well!"

LOL, my real goal is to help the world from the downward spiral of religious insanity, which unchecked WILL ultimately destroy this country if not the entire world. Sure, who wouldn't want to be successful in something that they loved doing, but having my book on the NY Bestseller list, though it would be cool, is not my objective, only in so far as to get the information out.

Thanks again for your comments and look forward to hearing from you again.

John

boomSLANG said...

People everywhere are searching for a way to explain the things that are just out of reach...

Yes, yes, people "everywhere", including Christians. And according to most theists, again, Christians included, the "nature" of their "supernatural" deity is---by logic and definition---"out of reach"(especially when they don't have "logical" and definitive answers in regards to their deity.) Yet, interestingly, they "know" so much about Her. And how?....pen and ink. It's SUPERNATURAL, baby! lol

Anonymous said...

John,

Thanks for the civility. I'll try to take it one point at a time:

1) Your explaination is not self-contradictory --in fact for the portion of the problem that you are addressing-- you are correct. It is simply inaffective against oppossing information, in that it is equally complex.

2) Christianity is based on faith only so far as "religion" goes; and evidence, only so far as science goes. Your science is not incorrect, it is incomplete. Religion, it is true, includes "interpretation" and a bunch of hearsay. You are right to be skeptical and put off with all of that. However, at its core Christianity and the Bible are rooted in something much more factual (I am not saying "evidence" or "proof"), hence the faith problem that affects the masses. The facts that I am speaking of, are without hearsay; they are direct witness accounts of God's commuication with mankind. If you were the recipent of such an encounter, you could speak with authority about (and above) those who have not. That is the common thread of the Bible. It takes one to know one --- and such accounts begin to pile up, thus the making of a book that everyone but those who wrote it -- have room to be skeptical of. It doesn't "prove" anything. But, if it happened to you, you would'nt just sit on it either.

3) Your thinking is flawed and you have only come full circle, in that you have nothing to add that goes beyond the skepticism. Nothing, as a position -- is nothing. And if you don't have faith in the witness of others - you remain as you are. I can't help you with that -- it's a crappy part of the deal, but it doesn't prove anything either -- which ends in a stalemate. What I can say, is that if you want to move foward, you have got to be willing to go (and I don't want to discuss this with anyone who isn't up to it).

4) As far as getting the information out, you'll get no respect from me unless you address the portion of Christianity that is not spoiled by religion. The problem is that, that portion has blinding effect, even with you... Granted, to even attempt to go beyond would be like interviewing UFO claims -- but you could take a lesson from that: If there is anything to (any) of the claims -- you won't see it until you take it seriously. Until you do so, your debate, is beneath any real authority. That is the delema of mankind searching within himself (and his own world) to find a truth that is beyond himself... And therefore, down through the ages life becomes just another unfinished book.

Nice chatten.

boomSLANG said...

And if you don't have faith in the witness of others - you remain as you are.

Praise Jesus!

And while you're at it--praise Muhammed; praise bigfoot; praise 'Nessy; praise batboy; praise Elvis; praise Buddha; praise Mithra.... praise! praise! praise!......praise any ol'thing!.... provided it's "verifiable" by the "witness of others"!

"I believe", said the believer.

John Blatt said...

Tizso said...

"John, Thanks for the civility. I'll try to take it one point at a time: 1) Your explaination is not self-contradictory --in fact for the portion of the problem that you are addressing-- you are correct. It is simply inaffective against oppossing information, in that it is equally complex."

Sorry but you couldn't be more vague in your explanation. I really do not believe it is complex at all and neither do the dozens of others who have contacted me about this post, both christian and ex-christian. Why do you think it is so complex? Do you think that maybe you make it more complex than what it is because it challenges your own views?

"2) Christianity is based on faith only so far as "religion" goes; and evidence, only so far as science goes. Your science is not incorrect, it is incomplete."

Is it? That is a fairly convenient way of trying to get around the issue at hand I think. Even if psychology is "incomplete" (and do you think that you can prove that it is?) it is still effective in what it explains about the human mind and the methods and effects of Thought Reform. There is just no way around that. If you would have actually studied Thought Reform, the purposes and tactics of coercive persuasion, and the history and methodology of mind control, then you might be better able to argue your point. But I doubt that you really want to go there, because as my article states, you would have to deal with your own programming.


"Religion, it is true, includes "interpretation" and a bunch of hearsay. You are right to be skeptical and put off with all of that. However, at its core Christianity and the Bible are rooted in something much more factual (I am not saying "evidence" or "proof")"

You have to understand that I am VERY familiar with christianity. It was my life and breath for thirteen years (if you would have read my ex-testimony you would know this). I am not skeptical. Skepticism (in the manner in which you used the term here) implies being indisposed or willing to believe. I was willing and I did believe whole-heartedly. One of the things that is so frustrating with communicating with christians (as an ex-christian) is that they always tend to think that we are skeptical because we don't understand, that we just don't get it. Though I did get it and I do get it. But I know what you are saying. You are saying that true christianity is NOT religion and this is so because at its core - jesus - is not about doctrine or theology but experiential relationship at the deepest levels. It is not so much intellectual as spiritual, not so much doctrinal as union with christ. Thus you assume that because I wrote about programming and indoctrination and MIND control that that doesn't have any true baring on this "true" or "unspoiled" core essence of real christianity (i.e. a deep unconditional love-union with christ), but you are wrong. Every religion and non-religious spirituality has the capacity to have the same deep spiritual experiences as this "true" religion-less christianity you describe. It is different programming but the same experience. The Buddhist has incredible transcendent spiritual bliss experiences just as devout christians have with with christ indoctrination. Taoists, muslims, wiccans, and yes even some atheists have the same incredible experience of love spiritually. You might not believe this but I know because I've experienced it both inside and outside the christian bubble. This is incredibly hard for christians to grasp, who have never experienced these other religions and their spirituality. The experience is the same, the context (or programming for some) of that experience is completely different.


"hence the faith problem that affects the masses. The facts that I am speaking of, are without hearsay; they are direct witness accounts of God's commuication with mankind."

Are they now? You affirm that because you are programmed with that belief. You were taught that by someone and you accepted that as "fact". I understand what you are saying and it is a powerful thing to believe that experience is the hallmark of authenticity. "It happened therefore it is". Direct witness accounts of god's communication (with regards to the bible is) IS hearsay. You cannot prove that the bible was (or is) the plenary, verbal inspiration of god. You might think you can prove it, but that comes from your programming.

"If you were the recipent of such an encounter, you could speak with authority about (and above) those who have not."

I was and I did. I have had tremendous experiences when I was in the same psychological state of indoctrination. Visions, healings, revelations, prophetic utterances, words of knowledge, etc. I lived it and experienced it all, and I did speak with great authority. I preached with great authority and power. So I understand precisely what you are saying.


"That is the common thread of the Bible. It takes one to know one ---"

I see. The same old argument. Again, this is your indoctrination.


"and such accounts begin to pile up, thus the making of a book that everyone but those who wrote it -- have room to be skeptical of."

But you didn't write it, did you? With this reasoning only the actual writers of the bible could believe it.


"It doesn't "prove" anything. But, if it happened to you, you would'nt just sit on it either."

You're right it doesn't prove anything. You assume that those who wrote the bible are whom you were taught they are. You presuppose that it is genuine because you were indoctrinated to think that way in the first place. Your programming confines your ability as well as your desire to see otherwise.


"3) Your thinking is flawed and you have only come full circle, in that you have nothing to add that goes beyond the skepticism. Nothing, as a position -- is nothing.

You are extremely vague again here. Sure its easy to say that my thinking is flawed and that my position is nothing(???) without proving it or at least trying to. I can say with confidence that everyone who reads your comment is going...what???


"And if you don't have faith in the witness of others - you remain as you are."

Again, man, you are incredibly vague here. If I don't have faith in the witness of others I remain as I am...??? WTF??? In the context of what you have said this doesn't make any sense.


"I can't help you with that -- it's a crappy part of the deal, but it doesn't prove anything either -- which ends in a stalemate. What I can say, is that if you want to move foward, you have got to be willing to go (and I don't want to discuss this with anyone who isn't up to it)."

You mean that if I want to know the Truth and the truthfulness of christianity then I have to be willing to believe and go into it and experience it. And if I am not "up to this" you don't even want to bother with me. This is standard christian thinking. I've used this on countless people during my time in the Cult. *big sigh*


"4) As far as getting the information out, you'll get no respect from me unless you address the portion of Christianity that is not spoiled by religion."

To be completely honest, I do not care if I do not get your respect. I really didn't expect to get it in the first place. I don't say that to be mean or condescending in any way. I mean, you don't give a crap if I don't respect your position, right? MANY people will not like what I have to say and many people will not want to understand it.
Portions of christianity not spoiled by religion??? Now that is a good one. I used to think this way too. Usually this "unspoiled" christianity was my current theological position or specific christian viewpoint, everything else was either corrupt, heretical, or just mislead - all being "spoiled by religion." There is no "unspoiled christianity" that is free from religion. That is such a strong indoctrination, man. The very fact that you mention such a thing proves your deep seated programming.


"The problem is that, that portion has blinding effect, even with you..."

But not with you of course. And what may I ask is this blinding, unspoiled version of christianity? I'd would like to know. The position that you hold, correct?


"Granted, to even attempt to go beyond would be like interviewing UFO claims -- but you could take a lesson from that: If there is anything to (any) of the claims -- you won't see it until you take it seriously."

You are the typical condescending, THOROUGHLY programmed christian. Yes, being an ex-christian I couldn't possibly have been serious about my previous faith or your "unspoiled" religion-less christianity now. You'd be surprised, but you are programmed (again) to speak this way to those of us who "just can't see the light." Amazing.


"Until you do so, your debate, is beneath any real authority."

So I have to "take serious" your "unspoiled", religion-less christianity in order to have any "real authority" in my "debate"? Gosh, I have my plate full. First of all, I wasn't debating anyone. And even if I had your so called "authority" it still wouldn't matter a lick because you are controlled, which was the very reason why I wrote my article in the first place.


"That is the delema of mankind searching within himself (and his own world) to find a truth that is beyond himself... And therefore, down through the ages life becomes just another unfinished book."

Dude, not to be rude here, but your comments, generally speaking, are incoherent and vague. Most of your points don't make any sense. ***Speaking now to the readers of these comments***: Am I correct in saying this people? Look, your comments speak to me as if I am ignorant of true christianity either from a intellectual or experiential position, which isn't the case. Thats why this is on EX-christian.net.

In my opinion, in conclusion, your arguments are ones of confusion and vagueness because you are faced with the fact that your christianity is mind control indoctrination and you don't want that to be so. It took a long time for me to finally come to that conclusion. I know that I have probably offended you in my responses, but just as your own website states this just "tough love".

John Blatt

Sarabhi said...

John,

Great article. I'd never heard of Universal Reconciliation, but you gave a great, easily understandable description. Also understanding mind control is so important to ex-christians, imo, b/c it helps to understand the feelings we experience through deconversion and the experiences we had while we were christians. It's also, obviously, important for christians to understand mind control. I believe this article has strong potential to plant seeds of doubt in any christians willing to think on it.

Oh, and not only is your article great, but your responses to other posters have been excelent. Especially Tizso who, oddly enough, I thought was a young teenage girl until I visited his site. I completely agree with you that his arguments are confusing and vague. A sign that he's confused by his own vague understanding of things?

Ah well, again, great job! Thanks for posting this article.

-Sarabhi

tigg13 said...

Yeah, sounds to me like Tizso got himself a bad case of that cognitive dissonance stuff that the other poster was talking about. He can see that you're right, but you couldn't be right, but you have to be right, but then he might be wrong, but ... oh its just too complex. (ALERT! ALERT!)

Great post John. I was brainwashed too - went through hell deconstructing my whole sense of reality. (Still haven't figured it all out yet.) Wish I had read your post 20 years ago. (Can't wait for the book) Hopefully it will help a lot of other people break free.

Anonymous said...

John,

I new it was a mistake to comment… You seemed sincere and I meant to be kind.

I’m going to make this brief and then I’m going to drop it:

John, you don’t know me well enough to say all you said about me --- I had no programming or indoctrination. I was a virgin, and the first information I got was directly for God…But I do know you, well enough to say, that is not the level to which you knew Christianity.

In fact, due to your attempt at making me out to be some kind of victim of religious programming – I would venture to say that you were talking about you!

---You were the victim --you were programmed --you thought you knew everything, and you thought you had some real authority…

And, as you say--- you were wrong!

Oh, and the bubble – it isn’t Christianity – it’s humanity, your humanity. You think too small…and you’re not complex, you just rattle on…

John Blatt said...

"Tizso wrote: John, I new it was a mistake to comment… You seemed sincere and I meant to be kind. I’m going to make this brief and then I’m going to drop it: John, you don’t know me well enough to say all you said about me --- I had no programming or indoctrination. I was a virgin, and the first information I got was directly for God…"

Tizso, you said you HAD no programming at the beginning. You were a virgin when god spoke to you. This is fine. Before I became a christian, as a child and teenager, I used to have long, profound conversations with god. I was a "virgin" as well, of course until christianity crashed into my life and told me how to think about god. Tizso, I would say though that NOW, using the bible, and being in christianity that you have come to be programmed. Do you not believe certain truths about the bible? Do you believe that the bible is the perfect "Word of God"? Yes, you HAD no programming in the beginning. Neither did I. But that is not that case any longer is it?


"But I do know you, well enough to say, that is not the level to which you knew Christianity."

If you mean that jesus came down from heaven and spoke to me in person saying "follow me", then no. But you do not know me either, Tizso. It is easy to accuse in ignorance, but all we have to go on is what we share here and we both went off of that.


"In fact, due to your attempt at making me out to be some kind of victim of religious programming – I would venture to say that you were talking about you!"

Yes of course! I was subtly describing myself in everything in my last comment. No, no, I couldn't have been actually talking about you. It was me! I confess!


"---You were the victim --you were programmed --you thought you knew everything, and you thought you had some real authority…"

You know this is absolutely correct. I WAS programmed. I DID think I knew everything. I DID think that I had some real authority. You are right on the money, Tizso.


"And, as you say--- you were wrong!"

Yes. I WAS wrong. Very wrong. Thank you for making my point so poignantly. I mean that. I was very wrong about christianity and the bible and its authority. And I was very sad for a long time, because I loveed jesus so much.


"Oh, and the bubble – it isn’t Christianity – it’s humanity, your humanity. You think too small…"

Wow, you got all that from our little discussions in these two comments. You must be psychic,or um, I mean, prophetic. Its funny Tizso that you scold me for accusing you of being programmed because I didn't know you, but you turn around and do it to me. Wow, you are the average christian.


"and you’re not complex,"

Thank you. You confirm my point in my previous comment.


"you just rattle on…"

Of course. You know what A.W. Pink said (he was a fellow christian programmer I used to love to read), he said that denunciations and insults at the end of a conversation are the marks of one who has lost his argument. Well, I guess there are still some things that I agree with in christianity.

Zen said...

Dear John Blatt,

I am agnostic-Zen-Tao. I live in Jakarta, Indonesia. Chinese man. Left Christianity to agnostic Zen-Tao 14 years ago.

Universal Reconciliation… Hmmm, you make me remember with ancient Mahayana Buddhism in Afghanistan of first century that said everyone will be saved and will go to Nirvana. And that is the great task of Bodhisattvas: to save ALL people from darkness (read: religion/cult) to the light (read: conscience).

For me, “Zen” means “Conscience” because “true” Zen doesn’t believe in any scriptures, so Zen only believes in conscience, the logical and benevolent inner voice.

The dangers and conspiracy of Dispensational theology (Cult?)… Hmmm, you make me remember with old Zen parable below:

Human is like children who are playing in the house full with wild beasts (snakes, scorpions, etc) but they don’t know the danger. Then Buddha comes to rescue them. Pull them out and burn the house (=the cult) and kill the wild beasts (=the cult leader).

Talking about why arguments cnnot work against Chrsitian fundamentalism, I have my personal experience to share with you.

My brothers and sisters are Christians (some Roman Catholic, some Protestant). My wife’s brothers and sisters are Christians too.

FYI: The majority of Chinese in Indonesia is Christian. I am talking about indoctrination in the Christian/Western/Ex-Dutch School.

Only my wife and I are ex-Christian and A(aaaargh)gnostic!

Of course, my reason/logic is better than theirs so I can make them silent when they start to talk about Christianity teachings to take me back to Christianity.

Logic/science/history always defeats all their arguments successfully. But they are stubborn and still Christians because they fear to imagine like me: “maybe” there is no God or “maybe” there is no Heaven or Hell after death (they say John Lennon was going to hell with his song: Imagine).

They are afraid to escape from prison (religion/cult) and its warden (the fear of hell and the greed of heaven). They always go to Church regularly while I spend Sundays in home. They worship Father God; I worship nothing but Universe (based on my Tao faith) everywhere I go and listen to myself conscience (based on my Zen faith) everytime I breathe.

My late father was ordinary Chinese that went to the temple only in Chinese New Year and/or Qing Ming (5 April). My mother is ordinary “Buddhist”, so are my Father-in law and my Mother-in law. My mother goes to the temple every full-moon, and my parents-in law only pray in their home every full-moon (15th day of Chinese Lunar-Solar Calendar / Yin-Yang Li). My parents and my parents-in law can tolerate my agnosticism-Zen-Tao because sometimes I don't hesitate to follow them to pray Buddha and Bodhisattvas with burning incense just to appreciate/honor their ancient "good" religion. My elder brother and elder sister who are extreme Protestants always refuse to hold incense-stick, they say Buddha is Devil and burning incense is for satanic rites! What an arrogant Christians, always insulting their own ancestor's religion. So everything is in peace, as long as Christianity dogma doesn’t come in front of me to mess it up.
They say I am going to hell because I am skeptical about God but I say that they are now in hell because of barbaric cult called Christianity.

I remember I ever helped a bird that was injured. It couldn’t fly and bled terribly. So I buy a cage (btw, I don’t like any animals in my home, name it dog or cat or hamster, because I think animals are not hygienic and their original place was in nature, not home). Then I put that bird into the cage, took care its wound with antiseptic, and gave it fresh banana everyday, covered the cage every night with cloth to prevent it from cold weather. Then several days letter that bird was healed from its wound and I am so happy but I think I must put that bird in the cage for several days again until its wings strong enough to fly. In the next days, I could hear it sang very beautiful in the morning. Finally, I opened the door of the cage and I was waiting it escaped from the cage. And you know what? That bulbul didn’t want to go out from the cage. I think it is similar with religious a person who doesn’t want to go out from the cage of religion although we have opened the door to freethinker-ism.

I never closed again the door of the cage and it needs several days until that bird went out from the cage. The morning after he left the cage at night, I saw it on the tree in front of my home. It sang very beautiful, like a song of farewell to me, then it flew away to the blue sky and never came back. I hope someday my brothers and sisters do what that bird did: Go out from the cage of RELIGION and fly to the FREE blue sky of reason! But I can only support and hope, they must struggle themselves.

With Zen and/or agnosticism in my mind, I think I already become Arahat (LOL) and I feel I am Bodhisattva too (Mind you!), always trying to save my brothers and sisters (and close friends) from hell of religion to the heaven of freethinker!

I teach my only 8 years old son just like the way you are. I always teach him logic, honesty, and responsibility. I try my best to avoid religious words like “God”, “devil”, “angel”, “heaven”, or “hell”, replace those words with other words like “Universe” or “conscience”.

When my son was 6 years old, he asked me about the Father God (his school is Catholic, near my home), I replied, “My son, the Father in the Heaven is like your favorite Spongebob Squarepants in the pineapple under the sea. He does not really exist. The real existence is your conscience. And where is your conscience?” I held his hand and put it on his head and his chest and I said, “In your brain and in your heart. In your reason and your compassion. Don’t you see Papa always teach you to think logically? Don’t you see Mama always take care of you compassionately?” So then, if someone asks him where is God or Father, he will automatically put his hand in his head and his chest and say, “In my brain and my heart!” He will be freethinker someday. I will guide him to that way. Like father like son.

Zen

.:webmaster:. said...

Tizso (AKA Scott Allen Taylor) said, "The first information I got was directly for God"

Tizso's full testimony is here: I Witness

Jeff said...

I have read Tizso's testimony and I find his God experience unbelievable.

Sarge said...

Great posting, Mr. Blatt. Loved it.
Zen, you may be half a world away, but I consider you my next door neighbor. You live with a reality which some folks here dream of imposing on us in America, and I admire your perserverance. Keep up the good work, I enjoy hearing from you every now and Zen. Pardon the joke, if I don't make puns my head will explode.

Seriously, your in a difficult place to be honest with yourself. I salute you.

boomSLANG said...

RE: "I witness"

UNbelievable(both in testimony, and suggestion). Okay, firstly, I personally have known 4 people who have committed suicide, one of which, I got to clean up "the mess"(because the state doesn't do it) So fair-warning... this post will NOT be "civil".

Item: So, po' boy "Tizso" sank to such a low point in his life, that he actually contemplated taking his own life. Hmmm...boy, that's simply UNheard of, isn't it? Yes, succumbing to the pit-falls and trials in life is a rare occurance in our society. So, "one man"---in all his desperation---"called out to God" for help. Wow. Again, totally UNheard of. I mean, surely no one else with the business-end of a hand-gun pressed against their temple has EVER thought about "calling out to God" before painting the wall with their brains, right? Gawd...so original, that Tizso is.

'Tell ya what---what an insult to the friends and families of people who actually have taken their own lives, safely assuming that the deceased got no "Divine" intervention. "Oh....'sorry that God had a 'plan' for me to live, and not your loved ones."

Go F%CK YOURSELF, you pompous delusional prick.

BTW, if anyone gets a "message from God" to go live in the woods like Grizzley Adams, please don't eat the wild mushrooms!...or you, too, may find yourself "astral projecting" into the clouds. Idiot.

Dano said...

RE: "I witness"
Mental health facilities are full of people who hear voices, and see visions. Nothing new or unique here!

The last case of schizophrenia that I saw documented, was on TV last week, and told of the life of the guy in New York who had sought help from the health care system, was given cursory treatment and put back out on the street, something like 33 times.

He is in prison now after being found guilty of pushing a pretty young girl off a subway platform into the path of an oncoming train. He says, he doesn't know why he did it.

I believe that Tizso really does believe his out of body experience was a message from God. I'm not even sure that, if I had an equally "Marvelous" experience, that I wouldn't doubt my profound skepticism somewhat, but like someone said on another thread, (I think it was tigg13) "If God or Jesus comes to me and starts telling me stuff, He'd better bring a whole shitload of ID")

John Blatt,
I applaud your complete grasp of religious brainwashing including that caused by mystical experiences, and by being washed by the spirit. These people seem to be saying "If you could be crazy like me, you would be happy" I'm not sure though, that human societies can tolerate much more of that kind thinking.

Having faith in faith just seems to have outlived it's usefulness. As scary as reality is, hard core, this world, reality, I am, increasingly, of the opinion that we should constantly use it as our new faith.

Sure, having no certain belief in anything supernatural, I do have to say: "I don't know what happens to our spirit, (If we have one), after we die, and I don't know what created us or why, but I am absolutely certain, that none of the other 7 billion Homo Sapiens don't either!"

The good part of this is,that, certain, non belief, makes me impervious to all the threats of hell, and the mighty unmerciful justice of, "That GOD" of the bible,whom we created in our own image. You know what I'm talking about! All the havoc and carnage described in Revelations.

I tend to think now that if there is a God out there somewhere, he would have to be a much better than the ones we have made up in the past. Bible God just doesn't seem too bright, or good!
Dano (SKEPTICAL)

sarabhi said...

Tizso said:

"I new it was a mistake to comment… You seemed sincere and I meant to be kind."

John seemed sincere because he is sincere. What has he said in the article or any of his posts that seem insincere?

You meant to be kind? No. You meant to defend your religion by saying that John's article didn't prove anything. You meant to make a point, which you have proven to everyone you can't make.

-Sarabhi

Anonymous said...

John is one of the most intelligent,sincere,honest and compassionate persons I have ever known. He cares deeply about the sorry state our Earth is in and how it will affect his son as he grows up. Religion has destroyed our planet with violence,hatred and intolerance of all kinds. I truly wish there was a Jesus so he would rapture all their sorry asses out of here and leave the intelligent ones alone. It reminds of a song by 'Quiet Riot called 'Mental Health'. Religion is bad for humanity but no one ever in a Cult can actually see and acknowledge that they are in fact one.

TrisB said...

Dear John,

Great post - it clarifies at good length many of my own musings on why theists are often so arrogant. It would be great to see a hard-nosed manual of "how to brainwash people" and then systematically show how well Christianity follows it.

Your dissection of Tizso's attack was quite entertaining if not long winded - although indeed such responses often have to be to navigate the fog people create. I've tried before and words sometimes just don't seem to do it. (we would need mind-melds to get them back on track I reckon). You seemed frustrated and I hear you - ignorance and complacency are an unpleasant combination to endure in an opponent (the qualities always seem to come paired).

I am a student at Cambridge in England and I've had trans-Atlantic blog-battles with theists but always hit a brick wall when they go back on things like proof by personal revelation, proof by incomprehensibility or even worse, the proof by forceful assertion. Your article nicely establishes and elucidates this "wall" they put up but still cutting through it is very hard. What is the next step?

I doubt telling theists that they are brainwashed will go down well, but teaching them about the nature of human delusion might. One reason I am an atheist (former Christian although not for as long as you) is due to an understanding of basic psychology. Secular cases of textbook denial, deflection and fabrication in the face of a threat to normality come up all the time and are quite well understood. I think getting people up to speed on this, showing how easily we are brainwashed, could go far.

Dawkins likened the UNDETECTABILITY of religious brainwashing to that of a computer virus - it being a necessary attribute. It's the whole point, viruses are supposed to be undetectable! It has to replicate before it surfaces or else risk getting splatted (the analogy here with religeon is profound). Nonetheless too few theists seem humble enough to run a proverbial virus-scan on themselves, and would I applaud you for encouraging them to do so. All the best

Jamie said...

I'm glad someone posted to this and bumped it back onto the "Recent Comments" page otherwise I would have missed the whole thread.

Like John, I first came to believe in Universal Reconciliation. It was the only way a God of love and grace made any sense to me. Also, like John, that belief freed me to explore outside the Christian bubble. No wonder so many Christians are filled with fear at the very idea of Universalism.

And finally, like John, I became an ex-christian. In some ways it's still hard for me to actually SAY or WRITE that I am not a Christian. I have been one for 37 years, and not one for a matter of weeks or months, so I still feel some discomfort saying it. But it's the most honest thing I can say about my belief, and I can't bring myself to pretend that I believe otherwise.

Thanks, John, for the informative post. I do have a fear for my children. My wife seems to have gone further into the faith (possibly to find some comfort over our crumbling marriage). I worry my children's minds will be bound and chained by Church-Think. I guess the only thing I can do is offer them another point of view and let them decide.

Psychic Evolution said...

Its been a while since I posted this article and wanted to hopefully get it going again.