People Are Laughing at My Country – And They Should Be

“There will be Satanic forces…We are not… up just against human beings, to beat them in elections. We’re going to be coming up against spiritual warfare.”  – Pat Robertson, Road to Victory, 1991

“Satan has his sights on the United States of America.” Rick Santorum,  Ave Maria University, 2008.

Why has my country become the laughingstock of the world? Well, look at the comments above: you need look no further than Rick Santorum, who embodies all of the craziness of America’s Christian fundamentalists, a guy whose worldview, frighteningly, most closely matches that of the majority of Republicans. As Jason Easley wrote here yesterday, it’s a chilling thought. Santorum is telling the world that Satan is attacking America. Gay people destroyed our economy. Fixing marriage will somehow fix everything. And this guy is currently the Republican front runner. How far we have come from the heady days of Barry Goldwater!

There once was a time when Americans could feel smugly superior to the rest of the world because of our power, our technology, our industriousness, and our science. We represented the future. Now, we wake up in the year 2012 and find ourselves on the express train to the thirteenth century. Rather than science we have superstition; we have thrown out the germ theory of medicine to which so much is owed and replaced it with prayer. People laugh at us. And they should. Because Rick Santorum wants America to represent the past.

I would laugh too, were I not weeping.

Look at what one of our two major political parties is telling voters:

  • When God is angry, he kills birds. Why is anyone’s guess.
  • When God doesn’t want to kill birds he can send tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and other things we once knew as natural disasters to do some truly obscene Old Testament-style slaughter, killing the innocent with the guilty.
  • When it doesn’t rain, the drought is not to be explained by way of the science of meteorology. How can it be, when supposedly the only cure for a drought is prayer? Never mind that this has the same success rate as sacrificing virgins.
  • Gas prices are also controlled by God. Apparently, he makes them high when he is pissed off about something. He will lower them, we are told, if enough people pray for him to do so. Never mind that it never actually works (see the comment above about virgin sacrifice).
  • You can pray abortion out of existence. So far it’s legislation that’s stripping women of their reproductive rights, not God. The level of hypocrisy here is staggering; at least take those offensive signs down or put your money where your mouth is.
  • People don’t exist because of a sperm meeting an egg but because God decided that a person should exist.
  • Zygotes are people – but women are not. How else to explain the near constant of an embryo’s life being worth more than the potential mother’s?
  • Global warming isn’t taking place because it can’t be taking place: God said he won’t destroy us by flood again, etc. God will take care of us.
  • The economy is not based on or governed by economic principles but by God. Farewell greed, not to mention supply and demand. If we pray hard enough and repent, God will fix the economy too.
  • God decides which countries will be powerful and successful. He once chose Rome. Now he has chosen the U.S.
  • God chooses rulers for countries, not voters. Inexplicable is his choice of several competing politicians. Perhaps a divine personality disorder might explain it? Again, if they really believe this, why do they bother to vote?
  • Abstinence works despite all the evidence pointing to the contrary (but it has to work because contraception is evil). Yeah, abstinence is the only 100% certain form of birth control but you have to practice it 100% of the time and that’s where the problems begin. Ask Bristol Palin.
  • Gay marriage will somehow destroy heterosexual marriage, an argument as illogical as their claim that neutrality toward matters of religion is actually an attack on religion.

These are beliefs the rest of the world began to abandon with the Renaissance and most had been pretty thoroughly rejected by the time of the European Enlightenment. There is a reason God scored a big goose-egg in the Declaration of Independence and in the U.S. Constitution.

We know the claims made in the above list are a bunch of hooey. We know why there are animal (including bird) die-offs. We know what causes various natural disasters, including tornadoes, hurricanes, and tsunamis; there are no mysteries there. It is no coincidence that earthquakes can take place on both sides of the Pacific – the Ring of Fire is explanation enough – pinning it on God is absurd when you have tectonic plates shifting. We also know what controls the price of gas and God has nothing to do with it. Ditto for the creation of life. We know where babies come from and it’s not God but vigorous and often mutually enthusiastic sex. The list above is crap and the modern world understands it as such and so there is no mystery at all why people are laughing at my country; it is no less than it deserves.

It is Americans, after all, who allowed the situation to get as bad as it has. There is no excuse at all for 2010.

How did this happen? How did the most advanced industrialized nation on earth, one committed to liberty, come to the brink of a superstitious, backward-looking theocracy?

A small group of racist white evangelicals saw their position of privilege begin to erode, and they panicked. The election of a black progressive Christian as president while a cause for celebration for forward-looking Americans (and most foreigners) was as the sounding of the gong of doom to these white fundamentalists. Here was a black guy who had the audacity to become president when he should have been serving them their breakfast, taking care of their garden, or doing maintenance at their summer cottage. At the best best he should be the White House gardener, not the occupant of the Oval Office. We all knew racism still existed; but many of us weren’t prepared for the shameless audacity with which so many conservatives expressed it.

Look (and let’s be honest about this): it doesn’t matter what President Obama does; it never did. Because no matter what he does or doesn’t do, he will always be a black man and the secret truth at the heart of conservatism is that only white Christian people (and then only the right type of Christian because mainline protestants are “gone from the world of Christianity”) are “real” Americans. America was made by God for white Christians and if the First Amendment doesn’t establish Christianity as a state religion than it damn well ought to!

Fundamentalists of course love what they’re hearing. That goes without saying. It feeds all their preconceptions: They are being told exactly what they want to hear, they are being told exactly what they already want to believe or do believe. Group psychosis has never been more popular since the Nuremberg rallies. The truly sad part is that so many otherwise intelligent liberals are still in denial regarding the threat to our democracy posed by these lunatic theocrats. All of them should pay a visit to TheocracyWatch. Read the entire site and then come back and tell me we’re panicking over nothing.

And here’s the deal whether you want to hear it or not: if the theocrats win in 2012, the Great American Experiment, born with such hope and optimism for an enlightened human future, may end like the snuffing out of a guttering flame. Like so many world empires before, the American empire will no longer be a culture in which people live but a place future scholars will study. For the American people things will be far worse, not academic at all, for we will have lost the flame that lights the demon-haunted darkness Carl Sagan once wrote about, and descend once more into an era best lost to history.

66 Replies to “People Are Laughing at My Country – And They Should Be”

  1. Having lived in the UK for most of my life I can just imagine the British people shaking their heads in disbelief at this bunch of idiots that are running for president, I remember when Bush was elected for a second term, the headlines in the newspapers said ‘How could they be so foolish’ then when Obama was elected the US went up really high in the estimation of the people, they really like him. I hope we are not losing our minds again.

  2. I’m British and would agree but for the bunch of maniacs currently in charge here. They manage to be just as evil but intelligent with it.

  3. I have several internet friends in the UK that I speak to almost daily. To a person they are saying WTF and have been for a long time. All I can do is shake my head and try to convince them I am australian

  4. it’s beyond my imagination that here we are in the 11th century by the GOP calendar and we have God and the devil who are still determining our daily lives.

    We know of certain religions, and I’ll bet for every one we know of there’s 100 that we’ve never heard of throughout time and yet we assume that the God that Americans believe in is the only one. isn’t it time to let that “the devil is doing this to us” thing go quietly into the past? Should I have blame God when my mother and brother died of cancer? Or should I blame the devil who appears to be just as all-powerful as a God is?

    How can those of us Americans who live in this century buy into the fact that the devil is after the United States? How can that be real? Are we turning into the most pathetic group of people on earth?

  5. The concern that the rest of the world is laughing at America is valid, only I don’t think some are laughing for the same reason…some are seeing a reason to fear another fascist regime or a 4th Reich or a Crusade rising as the reins of power veers off the track and heads for a crash. The game is getting a bit too real to find great humor in our political climate, but don’t worry…the fundamentalist have it covered.

    The white power people/Christian Nationalist Party (aka GOP) are already saying things to brace for the blow-back that is inevitable once the elections are over…that Obama will throw down all kinds of things to destroy “their” religion, take away “their” guns, etc. (see Jon Stewart’s diatribe Wed night on the subject). And, if he/we want to save ourselves from being more than just a laughing stock, Americans will have to demand, “protest” openly, honestly, instead of just grumble about the Bible Barbarians hacking democracy to death…nobody in the world is going to do it for us and if they do, it’s too late…

  6. In 1965, we all thought that by the 21st century, we would have either a better world or a smoking ruin. Nobody expected either G.W. Bush or this stuff.

  7. And you know when a tornado hits your town and kills a dozen people, destroys your house, but leaves you alive, this is a sign of God’s love for you.

  8. As a resident of the Buckle of the BuyBull Belt and Land of Mega-Churches who HATE everyone except their own devotees, I am in total agreement. These people must be stopped now…it is pathetic they have tax exempt status and preach their HATE of the “others” to thousands each week. TAX THE CHURCHES NOW. RID AMERICA OF THEOCRATS and HYPOCRITES.

  9. Simply stated, and horrifyingly true. Being a person with relatives in Europe, I constantly feel I have to defend myself as “Not one of those Americans”. But the truth of this matter is, it’s always been their right to laugh at us, ever heard the term “the Ugly American”? This is just confirmation that it’s worse now than it was 20 years ago. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it didn’t fall to ruin in just a day either.

  10. I remember going to Mexico and Australia when Bush was president and apologizing to the locals and other foreign travelers I met about Bush being our President. They couldn’t understand why we had such an idiot running our country. It appeared we returned to sanity electing President Obama and internationally people thought the US was going to return to the land of dreams. Now seeing the leading GOP candidates calling for elimination of safety nets, taking away women’s reproductive rights, calling for an end to public education and giving more tax cuts to the rich. Other countries must be shaking their heads saying this country is insane. I thought by now this country would be moving towards the Jetson age and all we are hearing is how these insane GOP religious freaks want to move us back to the days of the Flintstones.

  11. If the rest of the world is laughing at us for stupid politicians so what? The rhetoric coming from the extreme right in other countries is far more sinister.

    Santorum is easy to mock and easier to disagree with. The feelings and the thinking emanating from the right wing rank and file are much more disturbing. It is not hard to see a nationalist, white supremist, fascistic movement develop here.

    Santorum and Gingrich provide an alternative reality and a rich vocabulary of shared codices which could be developed into a truly ugly and formidable right wing totalitarian movement.

    The surveillance and enforcement organizations required to stamp out abortions could easily lead to a police with unlimited power to intrude in the lives of people accused of self-aborting a foetus.

    I fervantly hope that this vision remains a paranoid exageration and misunderstanding of the intent and temper of the pro-life movement, but a little bit of contemplation of the hundreds of thousands of murder prosecutions that would accompany the enactment of a statute criminalizing abortion makes it immediate obvious that the coercive powers the conservatives are willing to cede to the state are totalitarian in scale.

  12. And if the Roman Church hadn’t been deceptive and greedy, Rome wouldn’t have fallen.

    By the time of the fall of the Roman empire, the church was in control. They short-changed and abused their military allies among the northern groups, causing them to rebel. Learning this was a big surprise for me (at the time) because I’d been taught (by the churches) for most of my life that it was Rome’s decadence and “moral decay” that led to the fall.

    I would even assign the decline of the Roman Empire to the same cause. It was the CHURCH that did it, just as it is the churches that are bringing this country down today. Their desire for control and exploitation of others, their GREED and denigration of anyone not like them. (Never mind that the things they preach that tear down this country are just the opposite of the One they claim to follow taught.)

  13. You make many good points Shiva, just as a matter of clarification, I think Santorum was referring the power of evil to tempt us away from virtue.

    I think this a pretty profound idea, even without personification in fgures like the devil and god.

  14. The scary thing is that the neoliberal ideology is being forcibly exported to other areas. The measures taken in European countries are the exporting of the same thinking that is tearing this country down… I read recently an article (which I really need to find again and keep handy) that the countries that are in trouble have the biggest gaps between the rich and the rest… and like this country they’re trying to lower taxes on the rich and corporations while making people suffer.

  15. I hope that your characterization of the GOP as the white power/Christian Nationalist Party turns out to be a hyperbole. Nevertheless, I think the trends are worrisome. A great deal of what they put on-line may just be venting, or it may part of the right wingers delight in causing discomfort, but I fervantly hope the rank and file and the leadership in the GOP get a grip and start taking responsibility for the well-being of all the country instead of exclusively pushing their own parochial interests.

  16. The irony of the term Ugly American is that the title character of the book was actually the only American in the place- a mythical southeast Asian country- who was interested in the natives, treated them as equals or who, among the expat Americans, did anything to make the natives’lives better.

  17. What gets me… people are still trying to say that the “Religious Right” is dying or about to collapse.

    They’re IDIOTS. All they have to do is look at the people who are close to getting in the white house. All they have to do is look at the bills that are BEING PASSED in states like Florida to see just how “dead” the Religious Right really is.

    I run into even more people who think it’s just “Republicans vs Democrats” and politics as usual, maybe just a bit more nasty than normal. It’s so hard to get them to realize that we’re in a fight for our freedom (and for many of us, our LIVES). They have led such protected and insulated lives that they cannot see or refuse to see what is being done around them.

  18. Hesitate to ask because of “war on religion” claim:
    Are there organizations/ people looking into
    politics being preached in the pulpits of the

  19. I am one those people from the UK who say WTF or alternatively STFU when I hear rubbish from Romney, Gingrich, Santorum and perish the thought Palin!

  20. Yes, Bush was an idiot, but what does that say about those whose votes put him into office? Now it would seem those same intellectually bankrupt individuals have risen again and are telling the rest of us that the the likes of Ayatollah Santorum, Mr. Bendy Boots (Romney) and the slimy amphibian actually have credibility.

  21. I kind of like the term Ugly American. It fits what I’ve observed of American Tourists in other areas (even in Puerto Rico… they didn’t seem to catch on that Puerto Ricans are Americans too).

    The term “Ugly American” fit most of them perfectly… even the couple of American businesspeople I encountered while outside of mainland USA. They were so ethnocentric that they were blind to how they were coming across to everyone else (including my colleagues).

  22. Simply put, they were and are brainwashed. I admit I voted for Bush the first time. I actually believed the lies being told about Gore and the Democrats at the time.

    Anyone can be brainwashed, or misinformed. When almost all of the news and reporting you get is conservative, it’s hard to be a liberal… and they do use emotions to get past people’s intellect.

  23. I don’t know if you’ve ever been part of one of those churches, but they actually believe in a personal devil who is after them personally.

    Critical thinking thoughts are “the Devil attacking your faith”. Questions about the inconsistencies you observe were “put in your head by the Devil”.

    It’s a pretty good thought control tool. And yes, I believed that the Devil was behind all of the questions and critical thinking I experienced.

  24. It’s much worse than hyperbole. Their followers are committing violence (especially the ones with mental issues).

    I live in an are dominated by dominionists (the umbrella term for all of the theocratic movements). They actually believe that stuff – and far worse.

    A friend of mine has a website with a good description of some of their thinking (and her story about being a dominionist) –

    (The sad thing is that they’ve gotten a lot weirder in recent years.)

  25. It’s well known in my country that God is an Englishman and he has landed Santorum upon you as punishment for 1776.

  26. See my reply above with the link to Dogemperor’s story. BTW… she uses a pseudonym because of death threats. I use a pseudonym for the same reason – fear of retaliation by “Good Christians”.

    Yes, I’ve gotten death threats for what I’ve posted on blogs (for things like saying that one can be Christian and accept evolution as fact). In fact, it was saying that which caused a dominionist to internet stalk me for several months, with all sorts of threats. I had to call the NC state police to get the jackass stopped (his violation of the anti-stalking laws were so blatant that they didn’t even need further testimony or action from me).

    This is not hyperbole. We have a real reason to be scared. I’ve posted on other threads some of the things we’ve been put through and mentioned some other cases of people who experienced “Good Christian” retaliation.

  27. This is more lunacy than I have ever seen in either the US or UK, and I’m 57. The scarey thing is that we still have over 8 months to go. By then, the US is in danger of becoming a black hole of stupid.

  28. our forefathers came to America to escape religous persecution…in search of freedom to believe how you wanted…..and now the GOP want to persecute us all into thinking their way is the way… do we escape now???? VOTE!!!!!!!!! Get out and vote these fear mongers out of office!!!!!!!!!! Show our forefathers we still believe in Freedom!!!!!!!!!!!! OBAMA 2012!!! Get those governors and representatives out of there also….do you not see them ruining your states???????? These GOP extremists do not want us to have Freedom…..we are a government for the people and by the people…we the people of the united states in order to form a more perfect union hereby take back our country from those who want to repress us back to the 17th century instead of moving forward into the future with libery and justice for ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. Actually, it can be demonstrated that most came here in search of PROFIT – during the early years (i.e., the Pilgrims got tossed out because they tried to force their protodominionist beliefs on the countries in which they resided, so they decided to export it here, and because their beliefs included God showing the elect that they were going to heaven by how well off they were – and the Virginia Company who were honest in that they were here to try to get rich). Later it became a freedom issue for some… coerced for others (indentured servants, slaves, convict shipments, and so on). The Pilgrims? It wasn’t that long after they arrived before they started enforcing their religious laws on my people, who fed them and helped them in the beginning.

    Otherwise, your sentiments are very appropriate. This country has evolved, and the Republicans want it to evolve further – deliberately and in a direction that none of us want (it would be a regression if you measured progress on a scale with slavery at one end and complete equality and freedom at the other).

  30. Hrafnkell Haraldsson, your blog post is a powerful one, but if you eventually have the time, link each of your bullet points to news stories detailing each of the points you make.

    I remember every one of the stories you mention, but for someone who hasn’t, a link to the background would be valuable.

  31. I understand someone wanting to stand up for their religious beliefs but to take them to tell everyone else that they are all going to be targeted by Satan is just flat out wrong. We should not have someone like that running this country and neither should more then half those in Congress as they don’t know what reality is either.

    This country is not suffering because of godless people it is suffering because of all the greedy money grabbers that keep saying that they are Christian just to pander to their constituents. Remember, Christ said that it would be easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle then for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. I guess all the Santorum and Romney’s out there haven’t read that part of the bible or have conveniently chosen to ignore it.

    If they are Christian then it is time that we all turn to paganism, at least there they help one another instead of trying to find ways to make people burn in hell. If these guys are so Christian then it is time that they should darn well start acting like it and follow what it says in the bible. Are they letting the poor glean the 10th portion of the fields? Are they making sure that the homeless have a place to sleep? Are they loving their neighbor as much as they love themselves? Are they treating their enemies as they would themselves want to be treated?

    If they are going to go on and on about religion then they need to start acting like what it is that they are preaching instead of trying to one up each other and say the world is coming to an end!

    At least i try to practice what it is that I believe and say! Do they even know how to do that?

  32. Yeow. dogemperor’s tale is horrifying. Let’s hope Matt Taibbi is right and that these paranoid religious fascists are starting to eat their own.

    Yet another reason to never, ever, vote Republican for even the local dog catcher’s office. Get these sock puppets OUT of our state legislatures, city assemblies, etc.

  33. As an Australian I remember the ’90’s and Clinton years. They were good but importantly, hopeful. Then the Bush years – I was fearful. Then President Obama was elected, what a day that was. Then came 2010, the tea party and the election of idiots. Now I am fearful that a fool (Romney) will get elected just because he ‘looks’ presidential and dare I say, is NOT black. He will be beholden to the far right nuts. Just think of this scenario happening in the middle east. All of you Americans would be up in arms. Because it’s happening in your backyard you think it will go away. This nightmare of republican bullies is real and will not go away. The only protection you have is to re-elect Pres. Obama – a thoughtful and good man.

  34. Mathazar — You rascal! Yes, we Canadians get our exercise each morning picking our chins up off the floor after reading the latest craziness/nastiness emanating from the less-than-human GOP candidates. Well, they must be less than human, because real, civilized humans the world over do not utter such neanderthal-like thoughts.

  35. The moderate republican leadership lost grip during the Bush years; lots of them were tossed over-board at the hands of “The Family”, the mafia arm of the evangelical fundamentalist that had “other plans” to rule under a theology of “Jesus Plus Nothing”.

    Notice how “quiet” these thugs have been as of late? Of course, by their own, they admit that everything they do is done in secret because “it has to be” like, money laundering, genocide, rigging elections, little stuff like that…they believe they are the “ruling class”; more like the “rulers” of Anne Rice’s novel series of “Sleeping Beauty”…

  36. I followed your link also, and then a couple of Dog Emperor’s. The public needs especially to be enlightened about code words. W used them all the time, but we didn’t have the lexicon to get what he was talking about.

    I am more convinced than ever that Santorum is not a real Catholic, but one of those audacious steeplejackers with sights set on Rome itself.

  37. I know a lot of the world is amazed by our ignorant and vile republican politicians.. but most of the western world is heading in the wrong direction politically. Towards increased income disparity and voodoo economics and even religion in politics. Canada has Harper, UK has the Tories in power, and then there’s Germany’s Christian Democratic Union in power and Sarkozy in France.. oh and Spain’s recent election. Oh and everyone throwing around austerity as the solution when economies all over europe are going into a recession.

    So yeah we may be leading the way.. but it looks like the whole world has taken a shift to the right. Maybe you are just lagging our presidential pick. Europe looks to be setting up for a backlash soon.

  38. Sadly, tales like hers (and most walkaways have at least a horrific tale or two) are fairly common. I also have encountered women who were raped as young girls by their preachers… and then punished for it when they tried to get help (if you hear some girl referred to as a “Jezebel”, it’s likely that they were raped by the {pastor/priest/youth minister/an elder} and didn’t keep it a secret). Her story is bad, but not exceptional. Confidentiality keeps me from repeating anything that could be identified to a person, but many of the stories have common themes. I HAVE heard worse.

    The message we’re trying to get out is that (1) yes, those churches ARE that evil, (2) NO, none of this is made up, and most important (3) it is quite common.

    Most walkaways don’t talk about it. They’re too scared or too hurt. If you’ve read any of my past posts, you would understand why. Those churches have LONG memories and a short fuse.

    Worse, they use some of the most underhanded and cruel ways to hurt people, and it’s all done in secret so that people cannot defend themselves or find justice for the harm done to them.

    They will also go to great lengths like destroying an entire family to “punish” ONE member. Or poisoning or killing innocent animals that are loved by the person they’ve targeted. As far as I know (and I do believe this), there is no low they will stoop to in their retaliation, except that they strive to keep it all secret (so their precious church isn’t exposed).

  39. I was really surprised to learn that he was RC. He gives me all of the “Pentecostal” vibes… I thought he was NAR.

    They try to steeplejack every group they can. I’ve heard of steeplejack attempts on Native American groups (and even went to a couple of meetings of an ersatz “tribe” [the requirements for membership was belonging to the church]), the well-known and vile “Jews for Jesus” types (aggressively trying to convert Jews), and even “Messianic Muslims”. Funny, but I have never heard of such things involving pagans. I wouldn’t be surprised.

    As far as the dogwhistle… I knew a bit of it, but nowhere near as much as Dogemperor. It was after learning that I wasn’t alone in what I went through (a little over 20 years after I’d walked) and that it was actually a cult that had me, that I started recognizing the dogwhistle… long after Bush had been in office. I knew something about him creeped me out, but didn’t realize until then that he was “sending the signals”.

  40. I am an expat living in NZ and due to living in WA State, many here think I am Canadian at first. They shake their heads at the Bush re-election fiasco, asking “Why would you re-elect him?” Obama is viewed very favorably overseas and the Kiwis are amazed at the antics of the GOP. Please, dear God, just keep sanity in the White House!

  41. The world has not taken a sharp turn to the right. America has not taken a sharp turn to the right.

    Fact is, the (R) zealots turned out for the midterms while the rest of us relaxed… so now we have a whole BUNCH of governors, representatives, etc., who were actually elected by only 20-25% of the electorate, running the show. (By comparison, at the end of his term, Bush still had an approval rating of about 25%.)

    These zealots have no mandate from the People. What they have is the bottomless pockets of the 1% and the Corporations, which like things just fine the way they are — and will do anything, pay anything, buy anyone, to keep the status quo.

    And they have the Right Wing Echo Chamber – from Rush to Fox to Corporate-owned Media – to run their ads, to air their pre-packaged promotions, to push the meme (secretly; not out loud) that President Obama is the antichrist.

    Good thing people are awakening to their brainwashing scheme.

  42. Actually, the real process is not full-frontal brainwashing and this is a fact that needs to be clarified.

    If I may…

    Brainwashing is a systematic isolation-deprivation process that is more akin to actual torture. Read how Patty Hearst was “brainwashed” as a classic example.

    What the fundamentalist evangelicals are doing in the overt practice of mind-control, whereas it’s victims are brought into the process without their knowing it is being done to them. It is more covert, lengthy in it’s process. Several techniques are used that are less invasive (but equally as dangerous) than actual brainwashing. Cognitive Dissonance is the tool of choice in that the destructive “leader” reaches into the mind of the masses via trance induction much more effectively (Hitler used this technique over and over…the German masses were not brainwashed; they were induced slowly and methodically until peer pressure could take over for him).

    These groups have learned all they know at the knee of Rev Moon as he was one who brought it to America/the world and infected us…next to Hitler, he’s the best! In the 60’s, all these fundamentalist churches saw what he was doing, were very jealous of his ability to swear “their sheep” away to his flock. But, then they changed their minds…Notice how they’ve all made “peace” with him and he now sits on all their boards…

  43. What a scary thought! I read those books, and could only get halfway through the second one, then said, “that’s it! I’m done!”
    We can’t let these vampires take over. Whatever you do this November, Don’t vote REP!

  44. Again, it’s not brainwashing, it’s mind control…and the American people may be waking up to the fact they are being conned, but, they are not educated to the processes being used against them. We don’t teach it in our schools and these fcu8ers will make sure “deprogramming” never becomes a subject at any education level!

    And, many will never educate themselves; these mind-fuc8ers have built in to their communication loop lots of “stop-thought” triggers so that the average Americans are trapped into believing they can’t prevent them from taking power; fundamentalism is THE “logical conclusion”
    …these fuc8ers know how to program their triggers into sound bites that come off as “logical” to the unsuspecting non-thinking. It’s not subliminal either; if it were, we’d already be screwed. It’s a covert, passive-aggressive lure waiting for the masses to “lookie-look” out of curiosity…and we do.

    …it’s more insidious than you think because, they have created a sort of ‘factory’ (Fox) for their ‘product’…and people buy into it without even realizing it. Even if you don’t listen to Fox-bots you are still effected because they’ve stolen the narrative and get constant publicity for their antics by all media, including this site.

    How to stop it–take them off script Romney did a good job on Santorum pulling him off script in this last debate; scratch and “sniff” makes them very, very nervous as you get closer to their source (a hint; it’s not god, it’s the m-o-n-e-y).

  45. I was horrified after the first chapter…but don’t worry, I read the end and the prince and princess, after years of “abuse”, find that they only have each other and can only trust no one …and they live in scared terror the rest of their lives–the end.

    Why wouldn’t it sounds just like the idyllic lives of the young people who are sent to Ivanhold, the “C Street” house to groom the young to rule? After all, they only allowed Sharlett very limited access to their lives, and at one point, he started feelin’ the kool-aide.

  46. I think you might agree that the end result is the same, and in essence they’re re-programming the individual regardless of the technique.

    BTW… the Pentecostals (in their worst expressions) DID (and still do) practice the isolation-deprivation form of thought control. Again I refer to Dogemperor and her research on the organizations set up to program (or re-program) kids.

    (Found at Talk2Action )

  47. They’ve been pushing neoliberalism on the other countries for decades, and it’s like the way the dominionists program their followers – incrementally. Plus in every country you have the 1% and the 99%… and the 1% LOVE the essential message of neoliberalism.

    It encourages their greed and their disdain for the poor/working people.

    You mix that all up and throw in a few politicians who are greedy for gaining ground toward that 1% mark, and you have the present situation around the world.

  48. There is a distinction and, as an “academic”, I think you understand the importance of educating on the facts. Yes, there are exceptions where people have actually been forcefully “kidnapped”, locked in a dark cell, terrorized, deprived of food, water, light, toilet for more than 72 hours as a way to force submission (it’s been done mostly to gay kids).

    …that is the first step of breaking down a victim in preparation for brainwashing; from there, indoctrination begins. One example that comes to mind is actually the Scientologist who would throw their disobedient children in pit when they tried to escape, so it’s not just Dominionist
    –these techniques are used by all cults universally.

    Secondly, thought reform is a lengthy process and it’s not a forced; it’s comes in the form of the coercive persuasive model–in it’s benign form, when used by charming snake oil sales people, makes you cringe yet intrigued all at the same time–in it’s cult indoctrination form, it is used by an authority figure(s) who keeps “working the room” until the wallet opens–if you want to shut up a charismatic, open your wallet!

    (watch Sam Kinison, who was brought up to “preach” work the room…people love the style and that’s what fascinates them, love bombs them in the door)

    I digress…the terms and processes of controlling minds are distinct; the more people hear the word “Brainwash” the more they are turned off because they are programmed via triggers…it’s a “bad word” as well as the word “cult”. So, educating to the facts makes a better understanding instead of just throwing ubiquitous terms around.

  49. I also know that people have tried to eliminate the use of the word cult because they want to be “nice” and “not offend” the dominionists… thinking that maybe communication or more “reasoned” language will break the programming and get through to them. I responded by saying that any attempts to be nice to a dominionist is a failure, because they see it as “I’m really interested but trying to hide it; keep trying!”. I view it about as useless as trying to compromise with them – it just doesn’t work.

    Ask Dogemperor or Leah about being nice to them or trying to compromise with them.

    I don’t care if people are turned off by the words cult or brainwash (and yes, I do know the precise meanings of the terms, in different usages). It’s long past the time of speaking nicely about evil organizations and I think that is part of the reason we’re in the boat we are. When I say cult, I am deliberately including the connotations and implications that are associated with the word. When I belonged to the Assemblies of God, I belonged to a CULT (and I’m not using the social science definition). Maybe I didn’t have the deprivation and isolation used in “traditional” brainwashing (they do isolate you from people, but it’s not the pit-type isolation, and they do get you to deprive yourself by crazy fasts and other things), but I think the term accurately describes the changes that were done to me.

    I believe that we will have to disagree on this one.

  50. I’m not saying don’t use the word “cult” or “brainwashing” because they’re not nice, white and polite words; on the contrary.

    There is a history here; Rev Moon campaigned in the late 70’s via his hired guns, or, so-called academic Apologist. He paid them to say that the word “cult” was “pejorative”–their job was to make sure the message dominated the conversation and that all deprogramming was ridiculed, denounced and used as a scare tactic to keep followers in line. He did this because people were catching on to his con…and he had lots of bribe money! (Hraf is familiar with these guys…)

    Indeed the word “cult” should be used, but, the triggers of stop-thought have already been implanted in our lexicon to disregard it as “pejorative”, therefore, misused or not “heard”.

    I’m say both words need to be used in their proper context; we are not disagreeing on the content but the context under which the words are over-used and misunderstood.

    1.I am calling for more education on the issue, not emotions that trigger PTS in former members or deaf ears by those who are fuzzy and can easily misunderstand the terms.

    2. I’m asking for well-defined education on the problem in order to replace the emotional triggers solicited when term “brainwashing” is lazily used instead the actual technique employed by destructive charismatic leaders and followers.

    BTW, I don’t discuss my background, my MA or the work I’ve done with Rick Ross since the 90’s.
    It violates my code professional code of ethics.

  51. This is one of those articles that first evokes a denial impulse — come on, it can’t be that bad — and then the sickening admission that it is. The Holy Crusaders are poised to overrun the citadel of thought, and if they do there will be no more science, no real art, no freedom of speech or even thought, only the evangelical 1984.

  52. Know the denial impulse very well… I’ve been hearing it for literally decades, whenever I started talking about the Assemblies of God and what I experienced or observed while there.

    That’s why I keep pushing walkaways to tell their own stories. When you hear about the hellish experience from one person, it’s easy to deny it. When you hear it from a few, it becomes more difficult. When you hear it from a lot of people, you realize it’s for real.

  53. I say bring ’em on, let them openly spew venom and hatred. The GOP will ruin itself in a hurry if these are the idiots they nominate. The more extreme, the better! It’s the clever ones we should fear…the sneaky ones who know how to temper their words to suit the audience and the situation.
    Obama will win again (thankfully), not so much because he’s a good & decent man with the right temperment & intelligence for the position… but because his Republican opponent will be so frightening & distastful.
    Sane, level-headed people don’t subscribe to extreme & hateful ways…not many are waiting for a comet to take them to The Promised Land…So I say let these kooks show their true colors as vivdly as possible. Nobody’s buying snake oil these days.

  54. “Protestant” is Episcopal, Presbyterian, Methodist, Congregational, Dutch Reformed, Lutheran, Baptist and their offshots are considered Protestant churches. Other Protestant churches include Evangelicals, Mormons, and many others
    How are Evangelicals and such following Santorum? Find how he comdemned. in 2008, all the Christian Churches but Catholic.

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