Obscured Reality in Shame-Based Systems
THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM THE BOOK "THE SUBTLE POWER OF SPIRITUAL ABUSE" BY DAVID JOHNSON AND JEFF VANVONDEREN
The dynamic: In shame-based systems, members have to deny any thought, opinion or feeling that is different than those of people in authority. Anything that has the potential to shame those in authority is ignored or denied.
People can't find out about life through normal trial-and-error learning because mistakes shame.
Interaction with people and places outside the system threatens the order of things. The system defines reality. Consequently, you can't find out what "normal" is. Problems are denied, and therefore they remain.
The effects: Out-of-touch with feelings, needs, thoughts; ignoring your "radar" because you are being "too critical"; feel like no one else understands you; guessing at what is normal; threatened by opinions that differ with yours; afraid to take healthy risks; self-analytical; suspicious or afraid of others; narrow-minded; suffering stress-related illnesses, EXTREME FORMS OF DENIAL, even delusion.
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When these characteristics exist in a church or Christian family system, the result will be spiritual abuse. It will be a closed system with rigid boundaries that prevent people from leaving. There will be the perception that there is a lot of evil on the outside (which keeps people in) and there will be a lot of power postured on the inside to compel you to perform. There will also be tired, wounded people who feel that they are either unspiritual or crazy.