Author Peggy Holloway

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The Evangelical Cult

Posted by peggyholloway62 on January 6, 2019 at 12:35 AM

The Evangelical Cult

and the brainwashing technique


 

     Having grown up in an evangelical church, I understand why the evangelicals are sold on Trump.

     I remember being forced to attend church every Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night. During a revival, we had to go to church every night from 7:00 p.m. until midnight. In the summer we went to camp meeting where, from early morning to late night, for ten days, we were subjected to messages through songs and screaming. These messages were based on fear and shame. I remember going to the altar and repenting during every revival and camp meeting, from the age of five. I was well indoctrinated but had no idea why I was repenting.

     When I was seventeen, I rebelled and refused to go to church. My family shamed me by calling me a backslider and telling me they were praying for me. They said I was going to hell.

     One Sunday night I agreed to go to church. During altar call I was dragged down to the front where the pastor screamed and pounded me on the back, begging God to forgive me. I was so tired of fighting to become who I was meant to be that I decided to surrender. I started screaming along with the pastor. He was impressed and said I had been saved.

     For many years after that I was in church every time the doors opened. They made me young people’s president. My family was proud. I found sin everywhere I looked. I was judgmental of others.

      If you haven’t grown up like this, you might not understand the addiction that’s involved. Nothing was more thrilling to me than having the church crowd worked up to the point of crying and screaming. The rest of life seemed boring. Eventually that didn’t satisfy me. I was like an addict searching for the next fix.

     Years later, I became anorexic. Starving myself helped me reach that light-headed pseudo-euphoria I was no longer able to achieve in the church. I didn’t realize what this addiction to adrenaline was doing to my nervous system, until I woke up one morning shaking so hard that I couldn’t hold a coffee cup.

     Through therapy, I was able to become unprogrammed and find some peace. I redefined God for myself. I now believe in a God of love. I don’t believe in a God who would create someone and then condemn them for being that way. I don’t believe that God created some people superior and others inferior. I don’t believe that God plays favorites. I have met people who claim that God speaks to them. When I was still brainwashed, I dated a man who, to get his way, would tell me that God told him that I was supposed to do this or that. I think it makes some people feel special to claim to have a special “in” with God. I believe that God gives us growing experiences that may be painful. God gives us tests. I don’t believe God is sitting on a throne in the sky. God is everywhere.

     So, what does this have to do with why the evangelicals are so taken in with Trump?

     1. Concrete thinking – Children see everything as black or white. During “normal” development, at around early teenage years, the child begins to see things in less concrete terms. They begin thinking in the abstract. I didn’t make that transition until much later. The evangelical church keeps you locked in the black and white or all or nothing thinking.

     To a black and white thinker, the term “gun control” means that they must give up their guns. They think we can either help the veterans or the immigrants, instead of both (all or nothing thinking). Every issue is very black and white to them, especially abortion. If someone claims that they are against abortion, the can commit murder and it’s ok with some people (like Trump’s doing with the immigrant children).

 

     2. Addiction to adrenalin – You see it at concerts, in mega churches, at carnivals, at theme parks… the loud noise, the excitement, the screaming, the jumping up and down, as the crowd get whipped into a frenzy. The adrenalin is pumping through the nervous system and you’re part of it. It can be addictive. It’s easy to see how a Trump rally could attract the evangelicals. It’s much like an old fashion revival.

 

     3. The evangelical voice – There is a certain tone that evangelists use. Compare it to Trump’s.

 

     4. Repetition – The most important component in brainwashing is repetition. When Patty Hearst was kidnapped and locked in that closet, her captors took turns giving her messages through the door. These messages were repeated 24/7 until she was programmed. The same thing happens with both the evangelical churches and with Trump. Even after he became president, he never quit campaigning. Every rally is the same. Repetition. “Mexico’s going to pay for the wall,” “fake news,” and so on. Hitler said you could make anyone believe any lie if it was repeated enough.

 

     5. The followers of the evangelicals are easily led because they don’t think for themselves. They are used to hearing the messages repeated over and over by a “strong” leader or in a book. When I was a “Christian,” I searched the Bible or asked the minister for advice. I was terrified of making a “wrong” decision. Because I thought in black or white, I thought of decisions as right or wrong. I didn’t understand that, in every decision, there is something to be gained and something to lose, and that mistakes are the way we learn.

 

If I had been the brainwashed person I used to be, when Trump ran for president, I would have voted for him. I cringe every time I think about it.

 

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2 Comments

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