I was indoctrinated as a child, there is no doubt about that now. I recently watched a series of videos on YouTube called Theramin Trees. In a video entitled, “Grooming Minds," The author of the video explains how indoctrination actually breaks a child’s mind. When the child finally breaks through the indoctrination at some point in his future, his mind shatters into a million pieces and must be reassembled. In the middle of this tedious and awful process, the sufferer just is at odds with life. My experience was horrendous. At first, there was a free and wonderful feeling of being mentally unencumbered, then came neurotic breaking points, then the phase that we call thrashing, right now I am sitting at a complete mind rebuild and it is not simple. That list of painful phases is enough for me to say that the methodical indoctrinating, or as we say, “brainwashing,” is the biggest crime that churches commit and has done to me personally, the greatest harm.
Over the years there are questions that give you pause. You tear into the Bible. You ask your pastor, your spouse, your best friends, your mom. The doubts that start as little questions becomes a crushing indictment of your personal character. You must be lacking faith. “Are you tempted by sin?” Where are all these questions coming from you know the answers to these questions. “I taught you that when you were young, why are you doubting now?” You start learning that the Bible was chosen by men from a stack of scrolls. They were guided by greed, not God. When all the puzzle pieces click into place and you see that there is no Jesus, just this sad collections of stories, you see that all of your nagging questions are answered. In one complete picture pieced together you see it all so plainly that all the faith you held in your heart vanishes with a newfound love for facts and reality. The freedom that comes is priceless.
Your mind starts to soar and the possibilities are endless until you realize, “I have to tell people.” The dread starts to build as you sit down with your partner, call your parents, and quit the now pointless Bible studies. The freedom does not last long. You start getting irrationally angry at completely innocuous things. Men in suits make you want to punch them, because the pastors that hurt you the worst wore suits. You don’t trust people that carry Bibles and wear crosses. You irrationally start thinking all of them are judging you and you can’t help but be confirmed that they are because they start leaving WHOLESALE. In the abandonment phase, while you are tripping over stupid things that scare you, you start mind thrashing.
You start seeing things as arbitrary and what are “REAL” morals, anyway? Up until this point the neuroses were just fun and games. Up until that point it felt like small papercuts of brokenness. The thrashing that comes from having to figure the world out yourself is like setting your mind on fire. Fueled with the phantom of guilt that was never yours and that you are no longer trying to own. You realize everything that is broken in society comes from this phony kowtowing to (borrow a phrase from my fiancé) false, broken, disgusting, panty sniffing morals that have no bearing on any real issues such as hunger, injustice, equality, and preserving the globe we live on. By now, the mind fire is tearing through you and you long for the days when you just wanted to throat punch suit wearers. Now you want to line up everyone that says fornicators have no morals and light them on fire. Then you realize that solves nothing and is really disturbing, but you can’t stop feeling like it might be a viable solution. Lifelong monogamy has never worked. But we keep cramming it down everyone’s throats because religion said so. It is time to start reevaluating. Being violently angry and loud is not helpful and can be alienating. So you strive to be kinder.
You sit down with your shiny, new, hard-forged, all-encompassing morality and do your best to take your tattered, charred mind and rebuild it. You stop thinking about what you don’t want and start listing all that you DO want and building your life around that. The people you left behind start talking, but at this point, you don’t fucking care. You think about what really is lovely, good, and pure. With pain you realize it is none of the stuff you were raised with and your new life looks much more happy and moral because it has none of that nonsense in it and is filled with infinitely more. You sit back and look at what you have done over the course of a year and are well pleased. Sure, you have walked through hell, but it was worth every painful agonizing step.
You realize that the intense, psychological brainwashing you received as a child did this to you. You swear that everyone you meet will hear about what you have endured and you will do anything to keep others from being treated this way. Children are too young to be forced into making lifelong decisions that will tear their minds apart. If the truths of religion are as strong as the believers say that they are, the children will believe as adults. But we all know how much believers actually believe the crap they teach. It is clearly seen in the numbers of divorces and affairs they have. Seen in the way the treat doubt as the worst crime on the planet. Believers know that their belief is empty assuaging of false guilt that only leads to manipulation and nothing more.