The Weiler Psi

Parapsychology Journalism: The People, The Theory, The Science, The Skeptics

Fundamentalist Christians: Mixing Fear and the Psychic Stuff

My wife and I saw the DVD for the movie “Jesus Camp” a couple of nights ago.  The 2006 movie, which is about a camp for Fundamentalist Christians to indoctrinate their children into their beliefs, came out in 2006 and was nominated for an Academy Award, but lost to an even better documentary:  “An Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore.

What struck me was that on the one hand, the fundamentalists have a deep sense of their psychic side and use it freely.  On the other hand, they constantly sabotage it with their fears;  this movie was about passing that legacy along to their children.  One of the many things that separates fundamentalist Christianity from the rest of the Christian pack is their obsession with the Devil and guilt.  To them, Satan is always hanging around ready to tempt them and lead them astray and they must always be on their guard to prevent this.  In one particularly telling scene, organizers were setting up a meeting room for a particularly large gathering of children and their parents.  Now it is well known that electronic equipment can spontaneously fail in the presence of psychic phenomena, this is well documented, and their revival type atmosphere, speaking in tongues and other group psychic activities certainly qualify, but to them, failing electronic equipment is the work of the Devil.

So on the one hand, they were blessing the equipment and putting out their intention that everything should work properly, which is a correct application of consciousness, but then they would immediately muddy the waters with talk of how the Devil would try to disrupt their meeting: thereby specifically and intentionally inviting trouble.  (No electronic problems were shown in the film.)

This fundamentalist attitude of spirituality, love and guilt and shame all in the same breath is a particularly toxic cocktail for children and this was immediately evident in the film as the kids got completely carried away by the energy and then in a state of extremely heightened emotional awareness were fed this idea of guilt, shame and fear.  It drove them to tears and the messages they got from this can be locked into their psyche’s for the rest of their lives.

For the fundamentalists their strength is their unity and singularity of purpose; but because of their institutionalized fears, this can never achieve its full effect.  They rely on charismatic leaders, but these leaders can no more carry the guilt and fear without acting out than anyone else.  The list of charismatic Christian leaders involved in highly publicized scandals is ridiculously long, but this can occur in more subtle ways.  What happened after this movie came out is instructive.  The Jesus Camp, on which much of the movie was based, was forced to shut down.

The controversial Jesus Camp in the US has shut down after a documentary film which featured events of children praying in tongues and sobbing with repentance in the camp met with a negative response.

Camp director Becky Fischer commented to Christianity Today: “Christians go after me because of doctrinal issues, whereas the world is going after me because they think I’m another Adolf Hitler.”

She added: “They’re accusing me of raising a Christian jihad.”

How did people come to this conclusion?  Because she was telling the children that they were soldiers of Christ and must be willing to lay down their lives for him.  And this got caught on film and made it into the movie.  This attitude seems normal to a fundamentalist, but stark raving mad and truly scary to anyone else.  That the people being filmed were unable to grasp this at the time is a testament to the depths of their fears.  Because they were blind to how they were perceived by the outside world, they were blindsided by the criticism.  The problem lay not in their views, -they can believe anything they want to-, but rather their ability to understand how others might perceive their beliefs.

Ironically, this inability to self examine their beliefs is a trait they have in common with psi skeptics.  In both cases there is a strong fear of being wrong manifested by an aversion to looking at any evidence that may prove contrary to the belief or, when faced with the evidence, to not accept it at face value, but rather question it to death, looking for any flaw, real or imagined that may serve the emotional purpose of disproving the offending evidence outright and allowing the belief to remain intact.

But getting back to the psi aspect, this is the stuff of nightmares, literally.  Using psi is serious business; it goes straight to the core of personality and self, bypassing all the ordinary protective aspects of personality and in this state changes to the psyche become much more facile.  You have to be very careful about what sort of information goes in.  In the film, there was a clear push to teach the children to use their psychic attention while feeding them fear and guilt.  Being children, they easily learned to speak in tongues, do psychic healing and connect on a spiritual level but were surrounded by adults intent on shoving a totally incongruous message in with it.  The kids were instilled with a need to always be on guard and watchful of themselves lest they fall prey to the Devil.  The end result is predictable:  humans who are anxious and fearful all the time.  And since fear clouds our judgment in proportion to the fear, they will always have clouded judgment.

The most sensitive kids are the most likely to embrace the message, but also the most likely to be screwed up by it.  In my encounters with other psychic people, the most tormented have always been those with a strong religious upbringing.  The strain of dealing with what you intuitively know versus what you’ve been taught can be quite challenging.  The sense I get is that these psychic people feel torn in half.  It can be quite difficult to undo the religious damage if it was imprinted in a psychic state as a child.

As for us as a society, we need have no fear of fundamentalism.  They will always be on the fringe and they will always self destruct;  all of their power is temporary and their goals are ultimately unachievable.  They can be a nuisance and a pest, but they are ultimately not very harmful.

5 comments on “Fundamentalist Christians: Mixing Fear and the Psychic Stuff

  1. MJ
    July 31, 2010

    Thank you for this article. It sounds like you are well aware of the cross between religion and Psychic. I have only seen some of the Jesus Camp bit, but by the looks of it they were actually decent, meaning, no one was getting cult brainwashing, the idea of the soldiers of Christ is just a metaphor and people usually get that without it needing to be explained. Maybe its better that they shut the place down, in this day and age, where religion is slowly being seen as only the minority of peacemaking, while materialism the majority. I thought it was funny that you would think Psychic Powers would cause electronics to malfunction, you must mean someone or a group that is VERY powerful, nothing I have witnessed, I have only some excess perception of telepathy (mind reading skills) AKA the “claires.” I think Jesus was the world’s expert in Psychic Powers, but sadly He is long gone leaving us to talk to Him on our own or in groups. I think it is sad that religion is controlling people so much that they do not know how or where the spirit is really coming from, AKA Psychic Powers. In this day and age it is a suprise to see intolerance of religion, but it is actually more damaging for there not to be religion, since if there is a bad name on the church, people will only believe in science and science is greatly powerful but cannot do anything to the supernatural, only we can contact that, even as non-psychic people by prayer and religion.

  2. Liz
    July 21, 2010

    Thank you for this article. It helps me to better understand my own trauma from being raised this way. I left my parent’s fundamentalist Christian beliefs back in my twenties, and now at 36, realize I still have some issues from it. Just lately, I am realizing how traumatic, abusive, and damaging their teachings were to me. I think of that poor, scared, confused child at age 5 who was so afraid to do something to make God mad at her. This anxiety and fear went on for years and years. It was emotional child abuse and I am still trying to heal the wounds. The worst was the extreme fear and guilt surrounding sexuality….how demented. The wounds are healing, now that I am on a healthy spiritual path, but it has taken quite some time. Sometimes, the level of the sheer insanity of their beliefs hits me, and I just can’t believe what I went through! It is abusive, no doubt! I actually married in to another fundie family (and then divorced) who spent their summers on mission trips teaching speaking in tongues and casting out demons. Ay-yi-yi!!! I was one confused girl there for awhile! My ex’s family was just like a cult. What a long strange trip it’s been!

  3. Saille
    July 9, 2010

    Once I saw a group of Christians promising ‘cleansing of the soul’. In reality? They were a bunch of psychics too addicted to the Bible to realize that what they were doing was sitting a victim down, calling on every available drop of energy in their bodies, and blasting them with it. I’m amazed no one had brain damage. And I can see why they did it–when you’re a Christian, you’re part of a wide hive-mind that sucks you in, ESPECIALLY if you have empathic abilities. There’s no way out.

    Those poor children…I hope they recovered quickly.

  4. Brody Montoya
    June 18, 2010

    I am a practicing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day Saints (the Mormons). For a very long time I felt like what I could do was extremely sinful. The attitude towards sensitive people in my enviorment was very negative and looked sown upon! As life progressed and much studying had occurred, I soon began to realize that if you were to actually look my situation up in the scriptures it would actually go against the view of us. God would never create a child damned from birth, so what a person may be able to do may be out of the ordinary it serves a purpose on earth for something he would see as righteous!

    • craigweiler
      June 18, 2010

      There are two parts to every religion. The spirit or essence of it, and the dogma. They all start with spirit and slowly build up the dogma over the course of time. Churches are generally run by people who embrace and need structure in their lives and they tend to tailor the teachings to meet their needs.

      Psi is very anti-structural and tends to hack away and the foundation of these people by bypassing the dogma and going straight to spirit. It threatens their authority. You have the role of mystic and you will always be on the margins of your religion because of it. May as well settle in and get comfortable in this role. Good luck.

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