MindShift
My Fight for Justice: Surviving a Cult and Sexual Abuse (with Dassi Erlich)

My Fight for Justice: Surviving a Cult and Sexual Abuse (with Dassi Erlich)

June 14, 2019

After many months of anxious waiting, I finally re-connected with this week's guest: Dassi Erlich, survivor of both sexual abuse and a very cultic, controlling Jewish fundamentalist sect in Melbourne, Australia.

Not only is this amazing woman surviving, she's leading the fight for justice--to bring her abuser to trial, to answer for her many abuses of children both in Israel and Australia. Listen in to hear Dassi's amazing journey away from this Jewish sect, and her continuing battle for justice for her and the many victims of this abuser.

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Dassi Erlich: Beyond a Survivor on Facebook

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SexVangelical: Coping with Religious Trauma and Sexuality (with Janice Selbie)

SexVangelical: Coping with Religious Trauma and Sexuality (with Janice Selbie)

May 31, 2019

This week's episode features returning guest, Canadian therapist Janice Selbie! Fresh off a conference in San Fransisco, CA., led by Dr Marlene Winell, Janice returned home full of ideas for discussion.

This week, the guest I'd had lined up had to cancel--so Janice gracefully stepped up at the last minute as a replacement! And we had a phenomenal discussion about sex, and specifically how religion can seriously mess up people when it comes to this subject.

Join myself and Janice for this helpful and frank discussion on the topic of...sex!

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Bonus Episode: Rapture Anxiety - Deconstructing “A Thief in the Night”

Bonus Episode: Rapture Anxiety - Deconstructing “A Thief in the Night”

May 29, 2019

After publishing my article "Rapture Anxiety" on Medium several weeks ago, many who read it asked if I could do a special episode on not just the topic of the movie itself, but also critically assess its theology.

In this bonus episode, not only do I delve into the theological interpretation of its creator, I further get into various interpretative issues around biblical prophetic and apocalyptic literature--and the problems that poses for those who would portray those events in book or movie form.

If you were forced to watch these traumatic movies as a child, then this episode will help you to process through some of the trauma you may have experienced that, for many of us, lingers well into adulthood. 

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Rapture Anxiety article on Medium

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Spanking My Children Made Me an Atheist (with Bethany Carter)

Spanking My Children Made Me an Atheist (with Bethany Carter)

May 17, 2019

This week's episode features a great conversation with Bethany Carter, who became an atheist after confronting a lot of issues around the subject of...spanking her children?!

Find out how this particular issue started Bethany off on the road of deconstruction of her former evangelical beliefs, including questioning God, the Bible and its many issues, and why she no longer counts herself as a believer.

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Follow Bethany on Twitter @leia2187

The Milkmaiden Blog

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Rapture Anxiety article on Medium

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid (with Ronna Russell)

The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher’s Kid (with Ronna Russell)

May 3, 2019

This week's episode features a conversation with author Ronna Russell, whose book "The Uncomfortable Confessions of a Preacher's Kid" has just recently come out.

We talk about Ronna's backstory, growing up as a preacher's kid in evangelical churches. But what happens when things don't go the way they're planned, and all the pieces don't fit into the nice "churchy puzzle?"

Ronna has worked her way through some absolutely amazing and traumatic experiences, and this episode will be helpful as much as it is empowering for those who grew up in church, and who have since walked away from it all.

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Bonus Episode: How Cults and Cult Leaders Maintain Control over Followers

Bonus Episode: How Cults and Cult Leaders Maintain Control over Followers

April 28, 2019

In this special follow-up bonus episode to the one I recently did on "The Psychology of Conversion," I move further into developing psychiatrist Dr Robert Jay Lifton's model of cult formation.

Lifton demonstrates how, in 8 different ways and methods, cults and cult leaders operate to control and manipulate their followers. This is a fascinating study for me, and has  proven to be very helpful for others who have come out of cults or groups with undue influence.

Beyond exploring his 8 characteristics of cults, I also delve a bit into the markers of cult leaders and how it is they tend to operate. Further, I relate much of it to evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity, which is my own background.

Medium Article Links

Is Evangelicalism a Cult?

The Personality Cult of Donald Trump

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Deconversion Stories (with Neil604 Atheist)

Deconversion Stories (with Neil604 Atheist)

April 19, 2019

Keeping it in the Great White North, this week I'm returning to Canada for a great conversation with Neil604--the Canadian atheist!

On his YouTube channel, Neil loves to speak with people who have left religion behind--religious deconversion, spiritual transitions, divorcing religions--whatever you'd like to call it.

Religion has done a tremendous amount of harm to humanity, in spite of its claims to the contrary. Strip away the ideology, and much of it looks very similar in terms of the psychological, and other, effects on people worldwide.

In this conversation, we get into Neil's own story and discuss how people can recover from their time spent in religion.

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Amazon Resource Page

Contact Details

Neil on Twitter: @604atheist

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Medium Article Link

Is Evangelicalism a Cult?

Deconstruction: You’re Not Crazy, You’re Growing! (with David Hayward, “The Naked Pastor”)

Deconstruction: You’re Not Crazy, You’re Growing! (with David Hayward, “The Naked Pastor”)

April 5, 2019

In this return visit from Canadian ex-evangelical David Hayward, “The Naked Pastor,” we get right into the subject of religious trauma, how evangelical churches can resemble cults, and how people can recover from the damage they may have suffered while in the system.

As a former evangelical pastor like myself, David has a large and supportive group of people who have left church, and possibly their Christian faith too, behind them. But they are in recovery…which means David is ideally placed to serve as a pastor–somewhat ironically, since he’s left the church long ago!

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The Lasting Supper Website

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Escaping the Cult Bubble: Different Ideology, Same Psychology (with ex-Scientologist Chris Shelton)

Escaping the Cult Bubble: Different Ideology, Same Psychology (with ex-Scientologist Chris Shelton)

March 22, 2019
As I've been connecting with more and more ex-cult members, I have been learning that even though each cult has very different ideology, the psychology of mind control, thought reform, manipulation, abuse and exploitation is virtually identical group to group.
 
Thus, whether you've come out of a dangerous cult group, or a fundamentalist Christian church--chances are, you'll have suffered a lot of religious trauma, identity suppression, and many other forms of abuse.
 
Helping you to recover from your experiences in such groups is the goal of people like this week's guest, former Scientologist Chris Shelton. Although we don't delve much into Scientology itself, we get into the practicalities of how groups control their followers--and how you can rebuild your sense of identity after leaving.
 
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Bonus Episode: The Psychology of Conversion and Deconversion (adapted from Robert Jay Lifton)

Bonus Episode: The Psychology of Conversion and Deconversion (adapted from Robert Jay Lifton)

March 17, 2019

 

This special bonus episode draws upon the work of psychologist Dr Robert Lifton and his seminal 1961 work on the psychology of brainwashing, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China

 

In particular, I make use of Lifton's 12-step model to explore further the psychology of conversion, as well as what happens to a person who deconstructs his or her religious faith and leaves their church or cult group behind--the process of "deconversion," or spiritual transitioning.

 

This is a helpful discussion particularly for ex-evangelicals, but also for those who have left a cult. Unpicking the conditioning, and understanding how you were controlled and manipulated will help you reconstruct your sense of self--and your identity. 

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http://preachersforum.com/mindshift-amazon-resource-page/

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