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Pentecostal ?

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Pentecostal ?

Postby melvin » Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:55 am

I was raised in the Pentecostal Church and mentally I suffered for years because of it.As a young impressionable child I was exposed to all the supernatural hokus pokus that this denomination embraces.I was always a sensitive child so the speaking in unknown tongues,the congregation falling to the floor in what appeared to be eptiletic seizures terrified me.The claims of persons hearing the voice of God lead me to believe that I was hearing the voice of God.A voice that would tell me horrible things like how I was going to die in my sleep that night because I had commited some sort of sin.I was really mentally screwed up well into my adult years.But thanks to the Free Thinkers section of the library I stumbled across a book by a Psychiatrist who stated that the Pentecostal Church was a magnet for persons suffering from Schizophrenia.My Dad who has been a tithe paying Pentecostal for 50 years now and talks of hearing the voice of God,well I finally realized it was only the ramblings of someone suffering from Schizophrenia.My question now is,was the voice I heard Schizophrenia or was it the result of the indoctrination of the Pentecostal Cult? I no longer hear the voice and I am so repulsed by anything supernatural that I am now a Atheist. :?:
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Postby Butterfly Faerie » Fri Jun 04, 2004 1:00 am

Hi Melvin,

The mind is a powerful thing. I think what happened is that since so many people say they heard god etc, maybe since being around that for so long your mind just started to think that way as well.

Do you understand what I'm saying? I'll give you an example of the power of the mind, and I may not be exact on this.

2 researchers were walking through the jungle, they were near the equator where they set up came for the night. It was scorching hot that day and night that one of the researchers woke up in a cold sweat and couldn't get back to sleep. All he wanted to do was get some air and cool his body down so he could go back to sleep. He heard a zipper and instantly felt cool air coming into the tent and was able to fall back asleep.

The next morning he turns to the other researcher and says, thanks for opening the tent last night so I could sleep better. The researcher replies, I didn't open the tent, zipped down my sleeping bag.

The power of the mind, maybe that is what you were expierencing.
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Postby stubborn-envelope » Sun Jun 12, 2005 9:54 pm

Fundamentalist religion (ESPECIALLY Pentecostalism) can bring out a mental disorder. Religious delusions and hallucinations are very common.

I am 17 years old. I have some Pentecostal family and became interested in religion at the age of 10 (I'm a philosophical type, so I started exploring young), and I joined the Pentecostal church (a United Pentecostal International church). At around 11 or 12 I began to have hallucinations, then delusions. It was not until 17 (the age I am now) that I started antipsychotic medication. I definately believe Pentecostalism made it worse: the way they get in groups, scream, fall on the floor, the music...it can make anyone psychotic, especially someone with a disorder.

Here is a link to an ex-Pentecostal forum I visit:

http://www.ex-pentecostals.org/forums/index.htm

All types of people are members: liberals, conservatives, atheists, agnostics, (non-Pentecostal) Christians, and more. You can ask Lutherius for a free e-book that deals with the psychology and manipulation behind Pentecostalism.

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Postby Bacchus » Tue Jul 19, 2005 10:41 am

I would imagine that the voice you heard was in response to the pressure to hear voices. When that's the expectation, one would feel inadequate to not be able to meet it, and that alone may lead one to manufacture an experience.

I wonder if one joins a pentecostal church because one is schizophrenic or if the positive value put upon hallucinatory experiences triggers and fosters incipient psychosis. I do know that some schizophrenic individuals I have known felt especially comfortable there.

I don't happen to be a pentecostal--I've been an agnostic for over thirty years--but I know that the interpretation that "evil voices" require exorcism is dangerous. I've known people who were told to quit taking their anti-psychotic medication because they were possessed, and that just set them up for further problems and made one individual I knew become suicidal.

Even if I was a Christian, I would see "speaking in tongues" through Paul's perspective in Corinthians, that is one of the least "gifts of the spirit." He actually advised the Corinthians not to engage in that behavior because it was, essentially, counterproductive.
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Postby stubborn-envelope » Wed Jul 20, 2005 6:00 pm

I don't think I was pressured; none of my peers were pressured in that way. I'm sure even people without disorders can have brief psychotic experiences under pressure and with lots of music, etc. Most people have at least one point in their life when they think more like a psychotic person. The difference is that it isn't as persistent as it would be with a disorder.
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Postby mermaidmo » Sat Aug 20, 2005 2:08 am

You might find reading Battle for the Mind by Wlliam Sargant helpful. He discusses the physiological changes that particular kinds of stress can bring on in connection with religious conversion.

Increased suggestibility(occurs in group settings such as you describe. What you describe as epileptic seizures (I'd call them altered states of consciousness) can be explained by physiological changes that occur under stress. There are other explanation for these pseudo seizures that are far less exotic than "being slain in the spirit".

Schizophrenia is a major mental illness. It is thought that schizophrenia is caused by an excessive number of dopamine receptors in the brain. I can't say that I know alot about it, but I do know that if you were schizophrenic your voices would have continued whether you continued to be involved with the Pentecostals or not.

I would guess that the voice you heard in your head was probably to a large part due to increased suggestibility.

Hope this helps.
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Postby lesserpope » Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:03 pm

I have a friend who joined a Pentecostal church with cult-like aspects. I know this person to be a very nice man, however he is also a person who becomes extremely threatened when faced with having to admit that he might be wrong about anything. I am wondering if he is finding some kind of refuge in the church, where he might be receiving reinforcement from other people with similar traits.

An example is that he went to a family gathering where he had occasion to hug his niece upon departing. I wasn't there, but he came to me later and reported that his cousin had called him to say he didn't like the way he was hugging his daughter. Rather than express concern that the physical manner of the hug might have been in some way inappropriate (this has happened more than once) he went off about how the cousin was deceived by the devil.

At another time, I was admitting to a problem of my own, and he told me it was not my fault, but that a demon spirit was taking advantage of me and influencing my choices. (He did qualify that, due to the relatively minor nature of the problem, it was only a "minor demon.")

So I am wondering if a lot of people who are drawn to these denominations are people who need to deflect the responsibility for their own issues onto others, and who need to perceive there being an external "enemy" on which to blame their mistakes. And I'm wondering if they then find reinforcement within the church from others who have done the same.

In any case, I've broken off relations with this guy since he's gone deeper into the church, and he doesn't seem to mind.
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Postby amom2boys » Thu Jun 15, 2006 6:12 am

I would just like to add how it grieves me as a Christian in a church that is perhaps a branch of Pentecostal (basically we believe that God is still working today and the gifts of the Spirit), that people get wounded by people of a church in this way. In Corinthians it does not discourage speaking in tounges but talks about order being in the church. Sadly in some of the Pentecostal churches it becomes more of a circus than worshiping God and reaching out as Christ does to meet the needs of people. I am so sorry for anyone who has been been abused, or shunned in the name of God by certain sects of the denomination. I hope you can find forgiveness and healing and know not all churches that call themselves Pentacostal are this way.
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enouraging insanity

Postby violette » Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:56 am

I'd have to agree with most of what was said in previous posts here...

Mental Illness

I think if you had hallucinations or other delusions while in the group, and then they stopped afterwards, it's more likely that you were having experiences due to stress and mental suggestion, rather than a mental illness.

I also think that Pentecostal churches attract those who are schizophrenic. Also, I think that they make pre-existing psychotic disorders worse because they encourage individuals to believe that evil demons are possessing or influencing them... or that they can magically speak in foreign languages... etc. I think the whole psycho-circus atmosphere would stimulate anyone who is mentally sensitive to have outbreaks of illness.

Pentecostals have their own personal view of the Bible and their own personal dogma, like any other fundamentalist group... Personally, I do think they are a cult and I do think they are dangerous to the mental, physical, and spiritual health of their parishioners.


Innapropriate Hugging & The Public Psyco-Circus

In regards to the comment about the friend who was accused of inappropriately hugging ... I wouldn't doubt it. My experiences with Pentecostals is that they tend to be very touchy-feely people and they really get into close contact hugging. (eww)

When I was 17, I had a friend who was Pentecostal and after much coaxing, I finally agreed to attend a service with her. I had been raised a Roman Catholic and had since become an atheist, so, what I experienced and saw at that church was really shocking! (and I must say I was personally offended by some of the readings, but, that is another matter, all together...)

There was a lot of hugging happening before the service. When my friend and I arrived, there was a small mob of older men standing just inside the church entrance who greated everyone with warm and "snuggly" hugs... I found this really disturbing and uncomfortable. After enduring 2 hugs, I made sure to back away, and insisted on a handshake, instead. They all looked at me like I was a weirdo, no doubt wondering if I had demons in my head.

Shouting, jumping, shaking, and screaming... it was more like a mental ward without nurses than a church with parishioners! The part where the priest slammed his palm onto peoples foreheads, smacking the demons out of them, was especially bizarre to me. (Go to church to find peace, get smacked in the face and fall on the ground... that's just all wrong!)

My adivce to anyone who is interested in visiting a Pentecostal church: stay home
Kindness and Compassion are the building blocks for a life of Peace and Happiness.
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Postby SmallTalkRed » Wed Apr 25, 2007 4:15 pm

I have found this thread interesting to say the least.
There are many splinters of this church. Many.
I wont say it is wrong, because no matter the church or the God(s)
Who am I to say what worship is right or wrong for everyone else.

Being at this church, It is like a mass hysteria that overcomes people just as other groups around the world chant and sometimes become intranced.

It would seem ok if they did not expect you to go everytime the doors are open, you have no privacy. The "preacher" would ask where you were. Wrong thing to do with me, and I have encounter the feely huggy men. I made a complaint.

I realized I dont need organized "religion" to help me be closer to a monotheistic god.

jmho my ideas on god are very simple. Someone had to do the math. We are clinging to a rock with the help of gravity traveling thousands of miles an hour through the space of our solar system.

anywho..... rambling red here...... :oops:
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