In my last post I looked at how many of us escape spiritual abuse through the painful process of group expulsion. Born of metaphysical mimetic desire and the resulting conflict with our psycho-spiritual Model, we are scapegoated out of the ‘safe’ environs of the abusive group into a desert of aloneness and disillusionment. Yet surprisingly it is here that we begin to discover that the expulsion is in fact a blessing in disguise. It provides us with a vital break with the imitative desire field of the group and its charismatic leaders; the first step on the road to recovery and inner healing.
In today’s post I wish to examine another phenomenon, whereby we are ‘sprung’ from the prison of spiritual abuse and its psychological control, viz a transpersonal crisis. Such a crisis is an outer event that cuts across our status quo world view, particularly with respect to God and his dealings with us.
First let me look at the mindset that keeps us within the abusive group in the normal events of every day life. Such a paradigm sees life as a battle between God and the Devil, interpreted in the group context as us versus the Devil.We are programmed to expect difficulties along the spiritual road as interpreted by the group and its teachers. At any moment the dark opposition may strike and render us wounded or more alarmingly faithless. To lose one’s faith or connection with the Divine as portrayed by the group is the member’s worst nightmare but a real possibility if the groups direction or practice is ever questioned.
Conformity to leadership structures and the Model’s vision for the community is vital in keeping the Devil from the door. Stories of the narrow Way and the wide road to destruction are insidiously dusted off from time to time to keep any wandering sheep from thinking for themselves. Such alignment of Biblical imagery with the group’s social control narrative keeps the unsuspecting devotee on his spiritual toes, in a subliminal anxious state. The hypnotic message is clear: to leave the group is to leave God – both unthinkable scenarios for the enthusiastic group member.
Such a narrative allows for outside events to be quickly interpreted in light of community thinking, thus drawing the ‘attacked’ member further into the arms of God, the ultimate group sponsor,the Big Divine Daddy who smiles on the wonder that is the abusive community. This buffer or shock absorber can handle many of life’s day-to-day events, allowing the devotee to continue in the ‘safety’ of the subliminally abusive community.
So what can break through the psycho-spiritual defenses that such a dualistic war narrative provides?
Simply put, only the real life equivalent of a psychic atomic bomb, a transpersonal crisis.
Divine Love in its boundless compassion, allows for a life changing event to take place, one that will blast the abused believer out of the gravitational field of group desire and belief. A dark, painful event that explodes the myths of many years, the mindset that locks the believer into the cosy Utopian world of the abusive faith community.
The energy required to deprogram us from our long-held psycho-spiritual beliefs and group involvement is directly proportional to the pull of their desire fields. For those victims of mild spiritual abuse, a smaller ‘crisis’ is required; for those at the cultic end of the abuse spectrum an extremely dramatic and debilitating crisis is required.
When such a crisis occurs, it will prevail – the believer will never be the same again. Everything will be questioned, sometimes even one’s sanity. The religious ego’s defense mechanisms fall before the strength of such an unexpected psychic blast, the Big Bang that will eventually lead to the creation of a rewired psyche, one able to feel once again the tender touch of Divine Love.
In my own experience, the sudden and totally unexpected death of my baby son Ben, was the Big Bang that lead to my eventual departure from my Irish Charismatic, Shepherding group. My wife, Zan, and I, hung on for a few more years but the cracks in our psychic dam first appeared on that gloomy, tragic Sunday afternoon back in 1984; the day that our Covenant God seemed to have broken His contract with zealous worshippers.
I’ve never once believed that God took my little firstborn son on that fateful January day as suggested by many Christian friends at the time, those trying to paper over our embarrassingly raw grief. To do so would be a mistake, one that turns the God of Yeshua into a monster who commits infanticide. Yet, as I sit here today, I can see how Divine Love took the worst that life could throw at me and wove a beautiful tapestry, one that has a profoundly intimate message both for me and my readers. Ultimately, as Lady Julian of Norwich said, ‘All is well, all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well’.
The escape from spiritual abuse is often one of deep pain and debilitating confusion, yet an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. To retreat back into the apparent safety of religious control is a psychic dead-end; a graveyard that claims the corpses of those created to fly with the wings of Spirit Breath.
My advice is run and don’t look back!
Dylan’s Author page ~ https://www.amazon.com/author/dylanmorrison