The following article is taken from The National Herald, March 15, concerning some of the corruption in the Greek Orthodox Church links to for the original Greek and English transcription are included:. This article is based on the writings of Albert D.
Biderman, a sociologist who worked for the USAF in the s. Biderman showed how Chinese and Korean interrogators used techniques including sleep deprivation, darkness or bright light, insults, threats, and exposure far more than physical force to break prisoners.
A link to the entire pdf can be found at the end of the article. The most effective way to gain that cooperation is through subversive manipulation of the mind and feelings of the victim, who then becomes a psychological, as well as a physical, prisoner.
Once a person is away from longstanding emotional support and thus reality checks, it is fairly easy to set a stage for brainwashing. Abusive groups are not outward-looking, but inward-looking, insisting that members find all comfort and support and a replacement family within the group.
Cut off from friends, relatives, previous relationships, abusive groups surround the recruits and hammer rigid ideologies into their consciousnesses, saturating their senses with specific doctrines and requirements of the group.
Isolated from everyone but those within the group, recruits become dependent upon group members and leaders and find it difficult if not impossible to Do greek orthodox have nuns sexual misconduct resistance to group teachings. They become self-interested and hyper-vigilant, very fearful should they incur the disapproval of the group, which now offers the only support available to them which has group approval. He is bombarded with group values and information and there is no one outside the group with whom to share thoughts or who will offer reinforcement or affirmation if the member disagrees with or doubts the values of the group.
The process of isolation and the self-doubt it creates allow the group and its leaders to gain power over the members. Leaders may criticize major and minor flaws of members, sometimes publicly, or remind them of present or past sins. They may call members names, insult them or ignore them, or practice a combination of ignoring members at some times and receiving them warmly at others, thus maintaining a position of power i.
The sense of humiliation makes members feel they deserve the poor treatment they are receiving and may cause them to allow themselves to be subjected to any and all indignities out of gratefulness that one as unworthy as they feel is allowed to participate in the group at all. When leaders treat the member well occasionally, they accept any and all crumbs gratefully. I deserve no better. I have no rights but to go to hell. I should be grateful for everything I receive, even punishment.
Abusive groups insist on compliance with trival related to all facets of life: They insist on precise schedules and routines, which may change and be contradictory from day to day or moment to moment, depending on the whims of group leaders. At first, new members may think these expectations are unreasonable and may dispute them, but later, either because they want to be at peace or because they are afraid, or because everyone else is complying, they attempt to comply.
After all, what real difference does it make if a member is not allowed to wear a certain color, or to wear his hair in a certain way, to eat certain foods, or say certain words, to go certain places, watch certain things, or associate with certain individuals. In the overall scheme of things, does it really matter? In fact, in the long run, the member begins to reason, it is probably good to learn these disciplines, and after all, as they have frequently been reminded, they are to submit to spiritual authority as unto the Lord.
Eventually, members may no longer even know what they want, feel or think. The leaders may also persuade the members that they have the inside track with God and therefore know how everything should be done. When their behavior results in disastrous consequences, as it often does, the members are blamed. Sometimes the leaders may have moments, especially after abusive episodes, when they appear to humble themselves and confess their faults, and the contrast of these moments of vulnerability with their usual pose of being all-powerful endears them to members and gives hope for some open communication.
Threats sometimes accompany all of these methods. The members begin to focus on what they can do to meet any and all group demands and how to preserve peace in the short run. Abusive groups may remove children from their parents, control all the money in the group, arrange marriages, destroy personal items of members or hide personal items. In other words, what the church wants, believes and thinks its members should do becomes everything, and you feel preoccupied with making sure you are meeting the standards.
It no longer matters whether you agree that the standards are correct, only that you follow them and thus keep the peace and in the good graces of leaders. People subjected to this type of spiritual abuse become worn out by tension, fear and continual rushing about in an effort to meet group standards. They must often avoid displays of fear, sorrow or rage, since these may result in ridicule or punishment.
Rigid ministry demands and requirements that members attend unreasonable numbers of meetings and events makes the exhaustion and ability to resist group pressure even worse. Feelings of being overwhelmed "Do greek orthodox have nuns sexual misconduct" demands, close to tears, guilty if one says no to a request or goes against a church standards.
Leaders of abusive groups often sense when members are making plans to leave and may suddenly offer some kind of indulgence, perhaps just love or affection, attention where there was none before, a note or a gesture of concern. Other groups practice sporadic demonstrations of compassion or affection right in the middle of desperate conflict or abusive episodes. This keeps members off guard and doubting their own perceptions of what is happening. Some of the brainwashing techniques described are extreme, some groups may use them in a disciplined, regular manner while others use them more sporadically.
But even mild, occasional use of these techniques is effective Do greek orthodox have nuns sexual misconduct gaining power. Be concerned if you have had an ongoing desire to leave a church or group you believe may be abusive, but find yourself repeatedly drawn back in just at the moment you are ready to leave, by a call, a comment or moment of compassion. These moments, infrequent as they may be, are enough to keep hope in change alive and thus you sacrifice years and years to an abusive group.
Abusive leaders are frequently uncannily able to pick out traits church members are proud of and to use those very traits against the members.
Those with discernment are called judgmental or critical, the merciful are lacking in holiness or good judgment, the peacemakers are reminded the Lord came to bring a sword, not peace.
Do greek orthodox have nuns sexual misconduct efforts are made to convince members that they really are not gifted teachers or musically talented or prophetically inclined as they believed they were. When members begin to doubt the one or two special gifts they possess which they have always been sure were God-given, they begin to doubt everything else they have ever believed about themselves, to feel dependent upon church leaders and afraid to leave the group.
Unwillingness to allow members to use their gifts. Establishing rigid boot camp-like requirements for the sake of proving commitment to the group before gifts may be exercised.
Emphasizing helps or service to the group as a prerequisite to church ministry. This might take the form of requiring that anyone wanting to serve in any way first have the responsibility of cleaning toilets or cleaning the church for a specified time, that anyone wanting to sing in the worship band must first sing to the children in Sunday School, or that before exercising any gifts at all, members must demonstrate loyalty to the group by faithful attendance at all functions and such things as tithing.
No consideration is given to the length of time a new member has been a Christian Do greek orthodox have nuns sexual misconduct to his age or station in life or his unique talents or abilities. The rules apply to everyone alike. Such analysis requires moving beyond what we believe to why and how we hold beliefs of central importance.
Many people do not analyze their beliefs much beyond the what Do greek orthodox have nuns sexual misconduct. They have little difficulty explaining the content of their beliefs, and their arrogant pronouncements clearly reveal how they believe. Less visible are the psychological reasons why they close their minds to anything that contradicts what they know to be true—absolutely true.
Psychologists can only infer from observable emotions and behaviors the invisible forces that drive people to close their minds to reason and act in self-defeating ways.