Monday, January 16, 2017

Indoctrination: Shock and Awe Removal

It goes without saying that in order to fall away from one's religion one has to first be a convert, but the reality of my situation is focused less on conversion and more on indoctrination. I was not really converted into religion, I was manipulated. I had never once recoiled in shock to the idea of Jesus being beaten, tortured, and crucified. I had never once questioned the validity of the talking snake. The idea of original sin never once crossed my mind. In all honesty, skepticism was curbed by a growing fear of hell.  I was exposed to religion before I knew how to talk. And at the impressionable age of five, there I was praying to accept Jesus. It was at this point, I accepted the whole package of Christianity. So right from the start I was biased, manipulated, and indoctrinated.

Why do they think it is okay to teach children these stories as incontrovertibly true 
and to threaten them with hell? Maybe they know that the older a child gets the better the chance they will see through all the lies and bullshit. At the age of four and five when does a child even have the capacity to be shocked, to question, or to be skeptical? They don't know how to read yet. Telling kids like me about these shocking religious claims at such an early age removes the shock value. Noah's Ark  and Flood is a messed up story,  but showing that cute boat and all those cute animals deadens the sounds of babies drowning. Tell a child about Jericho and the conquest of Israel, not only does the five year old just accepts that big walls can just collapse because people marched around it a certain amount of times but they ignore yet again the screams of all the dying children. Not too mention all the stories that don't get told in Sunday School.

Bible stories should terrify children, but the packaging makes all these accounts seem innocent, soft, and even great.  So here I am at the innocent age of five surrounded by grown adults who believe in all this shit. What I am I suppose to do?  The most "rational" people in life believe in all of this, and those people who don't are depicted as sinners, infidels, and heathens. Even at such a young age, there was an us vs. them mentality. We had to reach out them, but be careful they are of the devil. And if you think I am exaggerating all this, I would invite you to read the works of Jack Fucking Chick.

Hell is promised for those who question too much. So before I am even taught how to access claims, how to be skeptical I basically strong armed into believing whatever claims my superiors say.  The relationship between a parent and child is a special one. I am connected to my parents, because even to this day I strive for their approval. So when religious claims are wedded with parental love and care, the indoctrination becomes entrenched even more. And it is not like my parents are doing this out of malice, but out of good intentions and out of love. Who wants to see their child go to hell. So of course, they are also being duped by an overarching system that feeds like a leech upon family units and cultures.

The one aspect of removing the shock and value and normalizing all these religious beliefs is done effectively when you get a five year old to accept these ideas before he even had a concept of what they mean but now he has accepted the whole entire worldview. This is damaging because he will from the outset build his philosophy, epistemology, and ethics from an insulated faith based worldview. There never was an outsiders test of faith, because at the age of five I was never on the outside. Considering also the manipulating techniques of fear mongering about hell, this alone is a built in mechanism to remove doubts. So, of course not only do I not know how to question claims, but this pernicious and devilish doctrine of hell will remove the desire to do so. Add in that all this is reinforced by loving parents who might be victims themselves, a culture, church and support structure. Being skeptical can actually be dangerous and scary. So from the outset, I want to make it clear, I am a victim of religious indoctrination and manipulation and I am kind of pissed off about it. 

No comments:

Post a Comment