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Source: (consider it) Thread: Spiritual abuse is now a recognised crime
Mudfrog
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It all repeatedly comes down to one thing:
It was entirely the responsibility of the one man and his 'need' to be with this young lad. He used his position as mentor to spend an inordinate amount f time alone with him.

The mentorship was evidently, it seems to me, the means he employed t get near and stay near him.

That's the issue here, I feel. It's not spiritual - it's a different thing entirely.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
This isn't the first time there have been incidents like this in an Anglican context, nor will it be the last.
[...]
I don't think this particular case will add anything other than perhaps to contribute to a growing sense of wariness that an increasingly secularised society feels towards organised religion in general.

No, I certainly don't imagine this problem is new. But the question in the OP (AFAIUI) is whether it would 'open the floodgates' in terms of this kind of thing coming to public attention.

If not, then I'm sure the CofE can deal with occasional problems as they arise. An institution that encourages so much diversity has to get used to people who take things in a troublesome direction.

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Again, for all preachers and leaders, the questions should be "am I empowering or enfeebling my congregation?" and "am I respecting them as individuals of equal worth to myself?"

Surely there is also a responsibility for church leaders to instruct their flock to live their lives in accordance with church teaching, and to admonish or discipline them should they fail to do so?

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by chris stiles:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Abuse doesn't mean "shouting at somebody". It means exploiting a dominant position to the detriment of an individual in a more vulnerable position.

I have problems with this definition as long as it isn't practically articulated as something that ends up being un-falsifiable.
When going to law, yes. Proofs are required. In my case I had them. For more attempts at definition on my part in the immediate aftermath, quite a few years ago now, see here.

I think any system is capable of being abused. All systems are fallible. The right response is to a) educate people appropriately b) set up suitable checks and balances c) provide guidelines. Multinationals are learning fast how to do this because these concerns are increasingly affecting their bottom lines as non-financial ratings agencies start rating them on CSR type issues. That doesn't get rid of abusive behaviour but at least it provides a way of dealing with it.

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That's the issue here, I feel. It's not spiritual - it's a different thing entirely.

It sounds as if you're saying "so long as we're spiritual, there's no danger of abuse". That is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to the potential for spiritual abuse.

In my experience spiritual abuse is exactly like other forms of moral harassment but more serious, because the abuse of authority invokes God to impose one's will on someone who believes that God is the ultimate authority and who may be made more fearful of questioning what's going on because of that.

I was on the receiving end of spiritual abuse, and I consider myself a strong personality. If I had been less strong, or had less support, I think I could quite easily have committed suicide or become a psychiatric case. As I think many others here can attest, being told you're demon-possessed and/or that your wife is can screw with you and your marriage. Many people who go through this kind of thing never recover. Spiritual abuse is not trivial.

Otherwise, as I always say in these threads, go watch The Firm. How many times I have watched this film and thought I was back in some of the nastier parts of Newfrontiers.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Again, for all preachers and leaders, the questions should be "am I empowering or enfeebling my congregation?" and "am I respecting them as individuals of equal worth to myself?"

Surely there is also a responsibility for church leaders to instruct their flock to live their lives in accordance with church teaching, and to admonish or discipline them should they fail to do so?
Those responsibilities are not in and of themselves incompatible. But if the ones you invoke are performed in the absence of the ones I invoke, you have a sure-fire recipe for spiritual abuse.

Here's an interesting exercise: go through the Bible and find all the places where it talks about leaders exercising authority over others and list them here. If you don't have the time, guess the answer. Go on, guess.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Mudfrog
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The floodgates, I am ascerting, is the common usage of the term.

I have hesitated to use this as an example because of the issue but now is the time.

A c List pop star here in the UK has recently complained to the London Transport people and to the Mayor of London no less (!) about an incident in which, from what I gather, the said pop star was driving through London and turned into a road, misjudging the width of the road, and got into an altercation with the driver of the London bus coming the other way.

I am guessing that it may have been easier for the car to reverse than for the London double decker bus but it seems the pop star was having none of it; with the result that the bus driver called him a 'poofter'.

Yes, it was wrong.
Yes, the driver had no right to insult the pop star.
Yes, it's more than just politically-incorrect to call the gay pop star a poofter - it is just wrong.

BUT said pop star is claiming that this is homophobic abuse - so much so that he's taken it to the Mayor for him to do something about it.

The context is a row in the street where tempers were frayed and lost.
This word was not used in a systemic manner, it was not planned or deliberately and continually levelled at the pop star; it couldn't have been because 30 seconds before the driver had no idea who the car driver was. He was wrong in that he as a professional should not have lost his temper, should not have shouted at the car driver and should certainly not used such insulting language.

But it was an insult, it was not a deliberate 'abuse'.

My point is this : when the public see headlines such as the one describing the minister and his mentee - spiritual abuse - the words and phrases enter the public consciousness and they become our vocabulary. So, to use this example, a bad-tempered insult becomes an abuse because that's the word that is current and de rigueur.

No one is insulted anymore, we are abused.
That's where the floodgates are opening - where we use words that over state the situation because they are too easily used in the media.

To go back to Hyde Park; I did not feel abused, I did not feel harrassed or spiritually oppressed. Nowadays, however, many people in that situation may feel they have been the subject of harrassment.

[ 09. January 2018, 11:36: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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Eutychus
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There is a difference between abuse, which need not involve any abusive language at all, and abusive language. Stop changing the subject.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:

quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
That's the issue here, I feel. It's not spiritual - it's a different thing entirely.

It sounds as if you're saying "so long as we're spiritual, there's no danger of abuse". That is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to the potential for spiritual abuse.

In my experience spiritual abuse is exactly like other forms of moral harassment but more serious, because the abuse of authority invokes God to impose one's will on someone who believes that God is the ultimate authority and who may be made more fearful of questioning what's going on because of that.

I was on the receiving end of spiritual abuse, and I consider myself a strong personality. If I had been less strong, or had less support, I think I could quite easily have committed suicide or become a psychiatric case. As I think many others here can attest, being told you're demon-possessed and/or that your wife is can screw with you and your marriage. Many people who go through this kind of thing never recover. Spiritual abuse is not trivial.

Otherwise, as I always say in these threads, go watch The Firm. How many times I have watched this film and thought I was back in some of the nastier parts of Newfrontiers.

I am very sorry to hear of your experience and I would dread to think I was pontificating on your hurt.
I can't say that I have been abused by any ecclesiastical authority or system - indeed, I cannot think that the Bible itself, not any of the churches who teach it and have built a church around it - has anything abusive about it.

What I do see is abusive people the stereotypical Nuns, Priests, choirmasters, Pastors, Scout leaders, housegroup leaders, gym coaches, office managers....who use their position and the subject matter they deal in, to abuse and control people.

The fact that (let's guess a %) 95% of people within all those structures will use the same methods and subscribe to the same beliefs in the correct and non-abusive ways with positive and helpful results, shows that it is not the structure that is abusive but the aberrant abuser who sees it all as an opportunity to abuse others.

It's spiritual abuse (or educational or sporting abuse) but only because that's the context and the vehicle. In the hands of another, those same activities and scenarios, properly done, would not be abusive.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
There is a difference between abuse, which need not involve any abusive language at all, and abusive language. Stop changing the subject.

Eh?
I'm not changing the subject - the whole idea of a discussion is that it moves about.
I'm actually replying to Svitlana's point about the floodgates opening.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by balaam:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Spiritual abuse seems quite a loaded term to me, given that there are very common forms of religion where this kind of "shepherding" is part of the deal.

"Found guilty of Spiritual abuse" is a term used in the Torygraph headline. In the Bishop's Disciplinary Tribunal the accusation was that a breach of safeguarding procedures ... amounted to spiritual abuse. (Introdution, para 2)

The conclusion of the tribunal was that it s possible to spiritually abuse someone unintentionally, (Para 58, page 18) but I cannot see any conclusion to that effect in this case. The conclusion being that the vicar is guilty of abuse of spiritual power and authority and is guilty of misconduct which was unbecoming and inappropriate to the work and office of a Clerk in Holy Orders.

As the evidence is that a vicar abused his position and authority, not that anyone was spiritually abused, even though this was alleged in the complaint, I find the Torygraph headline to be misleading. Nobody has been found guilty of spiritual abuse.

quote:
I'm not sure that it is a simple thing to draw a line between acceptable and unacceptable "spiritual" leadership.

But the behaviours here are clearly screwed up, stupid and unthinking. The guy in question clearly has shown himself to be unsuited for a leadership role in a religious organisation, in my opinion. He might not have done anything criminal in a strict sense (or at least in the sense that we're usually familiar with the term in the usual secular courts) but he has done something monumentally stupid.

Pretty much what the tribunal concluded.

The key issue in most of these cases is the inappropriate behaviours and the Christianity is a side-show. Until an excuse / reason is needed to justify the inappropriate behaviours and then it’s all about the Christianity.

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Martin60
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Where was Davis' manager in all this? Who was he accountable to in moving in to a family of his flock's home with a mental illness from an unknown trauma?

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Love wins

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:

My point is this : when the public see headlines such as the one describing the minister and his mentee - spiritual abuse - the words and phrases enter the public consciousness and they become our vocabulary. So, to use this example, a bad-tempered insult becomes an abuse because that's the word that is current and de rigueur.

No one is insulted anymore, we are abused.
That's where the floodgates are opening - where we use words that over state the situation because they are too easily used in the media.

[...]
I'm actually replying to Svitlana's point about the floodgates opening.


I wasn't thinking so much about the floodgates opening with regards to fairly commonplace doctrines and ideas being treated spuriously as 'spiritual abuse'.

Rather, I imagined the OP to be referring to a range of truly abusive situations that were formerly under the radar, now being swiftly brought to the light. You only need a few of these cases to come out to influence public opinion.

Maybe it all comes to the same thing, though: an accumulative negativity towards all sorts of religious perspectives.

For example, I think many secular people have come to see any kind of religious 'indoctrination' of children as spiritually abusive. (This fear would certainly help to explain the collapse of the Sunday Schools.) Yet others resent the churches' appeal to the vulnerable more generally.

As a Christian I find these complaints mean spirited, but in this case the vulnerability issue provides food for thought. The woman in this story seems to have been living alone with her son. Did she allow this vicar to get so unusually close because she thought he'd be a good, strong male role model? And did this meddling vicar focus on her son over all the other teenagers in the 'very large, successful church' precisely because there was no father in the house? It makes you wonder.

But the trouble with 'spiritual abuse' is that it's inevitably going to be culturally determined. Just like insanity.

[ 09. January 2018, 12:48: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Martin60
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It's not OK in our culture for a 50 year old man to be in a boy's room and face for 2 hours a night even if he's his father.

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Love wins

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Mudfrog
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At risk of being accused of changing the subject, I would like to bring in the idea of faith schools that are outside the education system and are very much looked at with great suspicion and, I might add, some hysteria by the BBC.

I was a little concerned to hear that the secular society i complaining about such schools - calling them 'faith schools' indeed, even though they are not the local Church of England or Roman Catholic Local Authority-style Primary School!

The report talked about the worry that abuses were taking place in these private establishments and my mind immediately thought of the Muslim schools where children are segregated and taught Islam in an intensified way but immediately the reporter mention one are where there were a couple of hundred .
Jewish schools, and where across the UK there were many Christian and Muslim schools, all outside the education authority (and not meaning academies).

My thought was, what are these so-called Christian schools and why did the BBC specifically mention the number of Jewish schools??

I did wonder whether it was the BBCs attempt to downplay the existence of the Islamic ones by suggesting the Jews and Christians were up to no good as well!

I would love to know what the Jews are teaching that might indoctrinate or radicalise their kids!
I would also like to know what these so-called Christian schools are that are being lined up against the well-publicised Islamic schools that keep the genders apart and discriminate against girls.

These are evident abuses but I fail to see what the Christians and Jews might be doing.

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Chorister

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quote:
Originally posted by Gramps49:
Emotional abuse is hard to prove.

I guess that is the difficulty in any context. So yes, probably a good idea to widen the discussion away from a specific incident.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
At risk of being accused of changing the subject

You certainly are, but what gets me about your post is the impression that abuse is liable to occur everywhere except in Christian circles, and that it is precisely this sort of impression that opens the door to unchecked abuse.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Martin60
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It can be hard to recognise when you're party to it.

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
Again, for all preachers and leaders, the questions should be "am I empowering or enfeebling my congregation?" and "am I respecting them as individuals of equal worth to myself?"

Surely there is also a responsibility for church leaders to instruct their flock to live their lives in accordance with church teaching, and to admonish or discipline them should they fail to do so?
There are ways of doing it but usually there are checks and balances in the system to protect everyone involved – the discipliner and the discipline.

In a friend’s church, which works on a membership basis, church membership could be suspended if your behaviour was considered inappropriate for a church member in good standing. The suspension had to be agreed unanimously by the church leadership.

Once the decision had been made, the member would be informed in person by two members of the church leadership team. A Nother person would be present who acted as the advocate / supporter of the church member. The church members were informed that X’s membership had been suspended at the next church meeting, but that was all they were told. X was offered pastoral support to sort things out and, once this was done, the membership would be instated.

All the membership suspension meant in practice was that you couldn’t vote or speak at meetings or have any sort of leadership role. You were welcome at services etc and it was never mentioned. ,

In practice, in the 200 plus years the church existed only one member was actually suspended. And they freely admit it was entirely fair in the circumstances. It was the wake-up call they needed to get themselves together. Their membership was unsuspended once the issue was resolved and the only reason they left was because they moved.

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
A completely over-the-top poem which had the CofE authorities meeting conspiratorially to coin religious-sounding words - even architectural terms like 'narthex' - in order to hoodwink and bamboozle people.

{Silly comment warning ... } I didn't think the CofE had narthexes, only The Episcopal Church (USA). { Comment ends}
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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
At risk of being accused of changing the subject

You certainly are, but what gets me about your post is the impression that abuse is liable to occur everywhere except in Christian circles.
I don't think that's what Mudfrog is saying at all. I think he's saying:

1. "Abuse" is a serious term. So let's not devalue it by using it when we talk about relatively trivial insults or incidents.

2. People such as Vicars use their spiritual position and authority to abuse. However if those same people weren't religious leaders, they would probably find other ways of abuse as doing so seems to be part of their personality.

Or am I hopelessly muddled?

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It's not OK in our culture for a 50 year old man to be in a boy's room and face for 2 hours a night even if he's his father.

I agree. Two hours working on some hobby or academic problem, perhaps, but certainly not a spiritual problem! British fathers aren't expected to dominate their children's spiritual lives, or even to offer much spiritual guidance at all, AFAICS. And of course, stopping your teenage son from having a girlfriend is a cultural no no.

Yet the mother allowed this man to have this kind of relationship with her son. I think she must have been hoping he'd fill some kind of gap in her son's life. She was glad that someone cared.

[ 09. January 2018, 13:57: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
At risk of being accused of changing the subject

You certainly are, but what gets me about your post is the impression that abuse is liable to occur everywhere except in Christian circles.
I don't think that's what Mudfrog is saying at all. I think he's saying:

1. "Abuse" is a serious term. So let's not devalue it by using it when we talk about relatively trivial insults or incidents.

2. People such as Vicars use their spiritual position and authority to abuse. However if those same people weren't religious leaders, they would probably find other ways of abuse as doing so seems to be part of their personality.

Or am I hopelessly muddled?

That's exactly what I'v been trying to say. Thank you.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
At risk of being accused of changing the subject

You certainly are, but what gets me about your post is the impression that abuse is liable to occur everywhere except in Christian circles, and that it is precisely this sort of impression that opens the door to unchecked abuse.
I am well aware that abuse can take place in Christian circles; however, what I am asking, in the context of the abuses carried out in private and often hidden, unregistered faith 'schools' is, where are the Christian ones?

Are there indeed parallel schools akin to the Muslim ones?

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:


These are evident abuses but I fail to see what the Christians and Jews might be doing.

I'm not sure what this has to do with anything. But to try to answer your question - there are a small number of very conservative (and private) Christian schools with (what most of us would regard as) strange ideas about children's education. OFSTED recently found many Christian schools associated with ACE inadequate and reports from former pupils suggest some pretty bizarre practices including having children sitting in individual booths facing the wall where they copy out from text-books in silence day after day.

Illegal Jewish schools have been reported to be places where violence was routine, where children are not kept safe and where the students receive very little education.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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I suppose the irony is that the Christian schools were set up legally whereas the Jewish ones were illegal - perhaps showing how those communities view the structures of wider society and/or their ability to navigate the legal systems.

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Mudfrog
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That report is extremely interesting.

1) I don't see the syllabus of the school as particularly abusive. The beliefs are actually quite mainstream, considering that the school itself closed down 18 years ago! Just consider how far secular society's views on homosexuality have come in those 18 years. There was nothing in the page that was pictured that taught anything that many people would have believed and taught before 2000.
I have to say, many conservative Christian groups and churches would subscribe to what was written in that lesson still today.

2) Balance the view of the boy who rejected his school learning with the boy (now both young men) who, whilst no longer as conservative as his boyhood self, believed the school was affirming and positive. Is there any difference between any teenagers, one who stays in a church and another who rejects his sunday school background and drinks heavily at University? I don't think so.

3) Oh look, see who the main complainent is - a member of the British Humanist Society. Quelle surprise! He's going to be against anything from ACE right down to a school assembly where they tell the story of the Loaves and Fishes. He's going to see no good whatever in a curriculum where faith is taught as a informing a meaningful world view.

4) I have worked with the elderly as a chaplain and I can guarantee that if you were talk to anyone over the age of 80 they will all tell you that in every school in the country they learned Scripture by rote, took tests in reciting Bible verses, etc, etc. They all told me about proper Scripture Lessons and RE - none of this stuff they learn now. I fail to see what the first boy had against this:
quote:
we recited that month's scripture passage; we had to memorise around 10-15 Bible-verses each month
What?? My God: that is real spiritual abuse that is! If they were learning 10 -15 Bible verses a DAY I could understand his displeasure, but come on. It's a Christian school. I bet he would complain he had to learn the Lord's Prayer as well!

At my school we sang hymns. If I was an atheist now I would be wanting to sue the BBC for producing a blue BBC hymn book and making us sing along t the wireless; I can't get those songs out of my head at the age of 55. How DARE they indoctrinate me?

*...goes off singing, When a Knight Won his Spurs in the Stories of Old...*

Grrrr. I was abused!

[ 09. January 2018, 15:04: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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mr cheesy
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So you're not interested in the reports that the school left pupils incapable of dealing with subsequent life, about the weird and isolating pedagogy etc.

Figures.

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arse

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
So you're not interested in the reports that the school left pupils incapable of dealing with subsequent life, about the weird and isolating pedagogy etc.

Figures.

Well, that's the opinion of one boy. As I said, the other boy tells a different story.
If they learned other subjects as well as learning to recite Bible verses then I don't see the problem.
He obviously got a decent education if he's doing a PhD at such a youngish age.

What was it exactly that prevented him from learning about the real world, did his parents keep in in a cupboard under the stairs as well?

Maybe I should sue my senior school because it was a boys' school for most of my time there and I never spoke to a girl until they mysteriously appeared in VIth Form. I'm sure that must have ruined forever my worldview about females, sex and relationships.

Or perhaps not seeing that I got married 5 years later at 22 - and I'm still married to the same 'woman' I think they're called, 33 years later.

[ 09. January 2018, 15:13: Message edited by: Mudfrog ]

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
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Chorister

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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:


At my school we sang hymns. If I was an atheist now I would be wanting to sue the BBC for producing a blue BBC hymn book and making us sing along t the wireless; I can't get those songs out of my head at the age of 55. How DARE they indoctrinate me?


Grrrr. I was abused!

So is it merely a question of degree, then? Rather like smacking - those who are talking about a light tap on the legs wonder what all the fuss is about, whereas those who were beaten to within an inch of their lives think all physical chastisement is serious abuse. They are not talking about the same thing.

I should think that some forms of spiritual and emotional control (think cults) would definitely come into the category of abusive (and others might merely be the whimperings of a sensitive snowflake), but where do you draw the line??

I guess it was the fact that everyone involved believed a line had been crossed, in this case, that it ever came to tribunal at all.

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Eutychus
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Mudfrog, I think you're failing to understand that spiritual abuse can happen regardless of what we believe about Dead Horse issues and whether UK education should look like it did in the 1950s.

As I said in DH recently, it would be nice if upright behaviour coincided with our idea of orthodox, "sound" Christianity but the demonstrable reality is that it doesn't. Nobody is immune to abusive practices. You can tick all the right doctrinal boxes and still be an abuser. The differences reside in either a) what checks and balances are put in place to prevent them b) more cynically, how good people are at covering them up. You don't have to look far to find examples of b) in Christian circles.

Do you still think the incident in the OP is still too trivial to be termed abuse?

[ 09. January 2018, 15:32: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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Marvin the Martian

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It's not OK in our culture for a 50 year old man to be in a boy's room and face for 2 hours a night even if he's his father.

I agree. Two hours working on some hobby or academic problem, perhaps, but certainly not a spiritual problem!
By the many-tentacled chin of Great Cthulhu and all his shrieking shoggoths, why the ever-lovin' fuck not? [Mad]

I earnestly pray that, should I ever be blessed with a son, I will be the sort of father who, with the Lord's help, can spend a couple of hours helping my son with any spiritual problem he might have. For you to say that fathers shouldn't have such a role in their child's life is just unfathomable.

quote:
British fathers aren't expected to dominate their children's spiritual lives, or even to offer much spiritual guidance at all, AFAICS.
And that's a large part of what's wrong with Christianity in this country. [Disappointed]

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Hail Gallaxhar

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Eutychus
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If a 50 year old is in his son's room and face for 2 hours a night on a regular basis, the relationship is not a healthy one, because it doesn't suggest the parent is allowing the son to grow towards autonomy. Again that is not abuse per se but it could be terrain for it.

We are not supposed to be "dominating" anyone's lives. Not even our kids'. In my view it's attempts to "dominate" that are a large part of what's wrong with Christianity throughout the entire planet.

[ 09. January 2018, 15:38: Message edited by: Eutychus ]

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:


Or perhaps not seeing that I got married 5 years later at 22 - and I'm still married to the same 'woman' I think they're called, 33 years later.

[Roll Eyes]

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arse

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Mudfrog
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Oh Chorister, you're a braver man than I, mentioning the 'Snowflake' word. [Smile]

Eutychus, you make my point very well for me about the misuse of the word 'Abuse'

There is no way on God's good earth that 'forcing' an 11 year old child to recite 10 verses a month from the Bible is abuse.

If anyone thinks that, then they are one of Chorister's snowflakes.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Eutychus, you make my point very well for me about the misuse of the word 'Abuse'

How? If you think nothing short of physical violence constitutes abuse, I'll see you in Hell.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
Was it abusive? Honestly, I don't know. It was uncomfortable at times and I think in the long term it contributed to my general dislike of this form of religion. And the window it gave me into other lives certainly made me wonder at the time whether it was a slippery slope into bad stuff.

I don't think such situations are intrinsically abusive, but they can very quickly become abusive if the person in a position of authority:

I think the situation mr cheesy describes is coercive at least and not a million miles away from abusive.
The space between teaching and indoctrination isn't a chasm. They are on the same road and where one turns to the other isn't perfectly clear.

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Hallellou, hallellou

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Eutychus, you make my point very well for me about the misuse of the word 'Abuse'

How? If you think nothing short of physical violence constitutes abuse, I'll see you in Hell.
Well, that's a bit abusive.

Have we got our wires crossed? I was talking about the boy in the Christian school...

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G.K. Chesterton

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
[qb] At risk of being accused of changing the subject

You certainly are, but what gets me about your post is the impression that abuse is liable to occur everywhere except in Christian circles.

I don't think that's what Mudfrog is saying at all. I think he's saying:

1. "Abuse" is a serious term. So let's not devalue it by using it when we talk about relatively trivial insults or incidents.

2. People such as Vicars use their spiritual position and authority to abuse. However if those same people weren't religious leaders, they would probably find other ways of abuse as doing so seems to be part of their personality.

Or am I hopelessly muddled?

That's exactly what I'v been trying to say. Thank you.
He understands what you said, but I don't think anyone here didn't.
Abuse is
quote:
use (something) to bad effect or for a bad purpose; misuse.
And the OP describes this very thing.
You want the spiritual out of it as if that wasn't a factor.
But it is. In an environment where "God will punish you" and his representative have his authority, it is a factor in the abuse.
Also, abusers will always abuse is Calvinistic, but untrue. Environment affects behaviour. Giving spiritual a pass is part of the problem.

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Baptist Trainfan
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Yes, but surely there could be other triggering situations as well (eg teacher in boarding school, one-to-one counsellor, officer in the armed forces ...).

[ 09. January 2018, 16:01: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
It's not OK in our culture for a 50 year old man to be in a boy's room and face for 2 hours a night even if he's his father.

I agree. Two hours working on some hobby or academic problem, perhaps, but certainly not a spiritual problem!
By the many-tentacled chin of Great Cthulhu and all his shrieking shoggoths, why the ever-lovin' fuck not? [Mad]

I earnestly pray that, should I ever be blessed with a son, I will be the sort of father who, with the Lord's help, can spend a couple of hours helping my son with any spiritual problem he might have. For you to say that fathers shouldn't have such a role in their child's life is just unfathomable.


Two hours a night, night in night out, as I understand it, starts sounding more like berating than helping.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Have we got our wires crossed? I was talking about the boy in the Christian school...

In that case show me where I've made your point for you in any respect.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:

I earnestly pray that, should I ever be blessed with a son, I will be the sort of father who, with the Lord's help, can spend a couple of hours helping my son with any spiritual problem he might have. For you to say that fathers shouldn't have such a role in their child's life is just unfathomable.

No, no, no. I wasn't saying that they 'shouldn't' be involved. I said that the culture doesn't expect it. Even church culture doesn't seem to have very high expectations there. Yet fathers are very important in their children's spiritual development.

It would be interesting to know how long this vicar intended spending on this boy. These two hour sessions couldn't have gone on for ever. TBH, I'm surprised the vicar had the time to do what he did anyway. Why didn't he send one of the youth leaders to do the job? If he has a family what did they think he was up to?

The context is strange.

[ 09. January 2018, 16:06: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes, but surely there could be other triggering situations as well (eg teacher in boarding school, one-to-one counsellor, officer in the armed forces ...).

What lilbuddha said:
quote:
You want the spiritual out of it as if that wasn't a factor.
But it is. In an environment where "God will punish you" and his representative have his authority, it is a factor in the abuse.



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Mudfrog
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The abuse stems from the motivation behind the action.
There is nothing wrong with teaching the Scripture, nothing wrong with 'teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,' (2 Timothy 3 v 16), nothing wrong in mentoring, spiritual formation, discipling, etc, etc.

But there is something very wrong when it's so intensive and extensive. The motivation here is clearly not spiritual. I hesitate to suggest what it might be.

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Yet fathers are very important in their children's spiritual development.

Speaking as both a son and a father (and, God help me, a grandfather) I can only agree with this. But in my experience fathers are valuable as someone to turn to and have as a point of reference. The art of fatherhood is to nurture the child's own sense of responsibility, not impose an iron rule.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
Yes, but surely there could be other triggering situations as well (eg teacher in boarding school, one-to-one counsellor, officer in the armed forces ...).

Yes. But using the threat of Hell adds even more weight. Christians posit that God is the very reason for one;'s existence. That His approval and love is the most important thing. Of course it is a massive factor and an accurate descriptor for the type of abuse.
We have physical abuse, sexual abuse and mental abuse. The fact that they can exist independently doesn't eliminate any of the descriptors as being accurate or important.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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I'm not sure why you are so averse to the obvious conclusion that this vicar got a bee in his bonnet that this boy was backsliding away from his version of "the true faith" and anything up to and including crawling naked over broken glass was justified in trying to win him back. Hellfire, damnation and all that.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Mudfrog
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quote:
Originally posted by Eutychus:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
Have we got our wires crossed? I was talking about the boy in the Christian school...

In that case show me where I've made your point for you in any respect.
You said, and I presume it was in response to my comment about elderly people remembering reciting Bible verses in Scripture lessons:

quote:
Mudfrog, I think you're failing to understand that spiritual abuse can happen regardless of what we believe about Dead Horse issues and whether UK education should look like it did in the 1950s.
I inferred from that that you were suggesting that 1950s-style Bible teaching was spiritual abuse.

And I NEVER, not even ONCE said, hinted or implied that the case in the OP was 'trivial'.

If people would stop putting words into my mouth and actually read what I wrote...

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"The point of having an open mind, like having an open mouth, is to close it on something solid."
G.K. Chesterton

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I'm not sure why you are so averse to the obvious conclusion that this vicar got a bee in his bonnet that this boy was backsliding away from his version of "the true faith" and anything up to and including crawling naked over broken glass was justified in trying to win him back. Hellfire, damnation and all that.

I think this is possible and I don't think it changes anything in my position.

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Eutychus
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
The abuse stems from the motivation behind the action.

Not necessarily. One can engage in abusive behaviour unawares because one is part of an abusive system. I've done it. I'm not proud of this.

quote:
There is nothing wrong with teaching the Scripture, nothing wrong with 'teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,' (2 Timothy 3 v 16), nothing wrong in mentoring, spiritual formation, discipling, etc, etc.
And here is the root of the deception. You assume that so long as you are doing all these things, you cannot be behaving in an abusive manner. This is not true.

quote:
The motivation here is clearly not spiritual.
"Spiritual abuse" doesn't mean that somebody is being "spiritual" while they abuse. It means they are engaging in objectively abusive behaviour in a spiritual context and often using spiritual language, with all the added force that language gives to their abusive behaviour.

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Let's remember that we are to build the Kingdom of God, not drive people away - pastor Frank Pomeroy

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