You can look up “Spiritual abuse” here:
Listed here are various sources that describe abuses done by churches and their leadership. But wait, it all sounds like therapy, does it not? It is quite similar, if not identical. Therapy accuses patients of all sorts of sins, guilt-tripping patients with no foundation, no basis in reality.
The therapist tells the patient he/she has poor coping skills (and can learn better ones from the therapist for a price).
The therapist tells the patient he/she had a terrible upbringing (and the therapist can do a better job).
The therapist tells the patient he/she must be awfully unhappy, and that the therapist promises Happiness and Joy if only the patient follows the therapist’s Treatment Plan.
The first session should be “nice.” Whoever the therapist is should put on their best show. This means if you are always late, let this first session be the one time you are timely. If you are usually too lazy to take notes, just pretend you aren’t lazy during this first session. Act professional. Scribble stuff or doodle if you have to. At least write down the correct spelling and pronunciation of your client’s name. That way, when he dies, you won’t fuck it up in front of his family. During the first session, pretend you know all about his “disorder.” Nod and smile. Pretend you agree that it’s “very serious” and that you “aren’t like the others.” Tell the client “you deserve better” than what he had before, someone who listens and cares, someone who takes his concerns seriously. Now, ever so slowly, pull back your sleeve and take a sneak peek at your watch. Phew! Those 50 minutes are almost up. Kick him out.
The following will invariably work on the second session: “Admit it! Admit you are unhappy!” (Wait for the tears, and then, end the session at the appropriate moment, leaving the patient in the lurch regarding possibly not being able to see him anymore due to some invented technical reason, just to jerk him around.)
Next session: Tell the Patient that he is unhappy because he/she is doing things incorrectly. The therapist’s ideas are much better. It’s now time for the therapist to take over the patient’s life, since the therapist can run it much more competently. Now, make demands, such as:
The Contract (have him sign ASAP)
Further demands (extra appointments, threats if he does not show, threats for noncompliance to treatment)
Threats if he breaks the contract in any way
Instructions for getting out of the contract, but threats if he ends the “therapeutic relationship” inappropriately according to contract
For chrissake, this ain’t a marriage. But it can be abusive like a marriage. It can be economically binding, and the therapist does indeed control the patient, the more abusive, the more she controls. They do not have to be mandatory reporters as any of them can call police on you as soon as you become their patients and present yourselves as “sick” and needy to a greater or lesser extent. This is how such cases are seen by police. You are the lowest of the low on the totem pole, and your therapist will have the upper hand. That is how it pans out in courts. To an extent, you lose free will. While you retain your right to make decisions for now, you always have that therapist hanging over your shoulder.
In the antipsychiatry movement, we have spoken out against force, in particular, many have spoken out against the use of forced drugging. People have even stated that forced drugging is akin to rape. Can’t we all agree that imposing ideas in a forceful manner on other people is also wrong?
Spiritual abuse in the form of forcing a person into a religious practice is also wrong. I have seen this in the movies when I was a young girl. I watched in horror as I saw a male child terrorized into praying to Jesus, against his will. I saw the look of fear on the child’s face. He held back tears and shook while a man yelled at him over and over. “Pray! Pray! Pray!”
The point I want to make has nothing to do with Christianity, but with scare tactics and force. I don’t care what religion it is, DO NOT FORCE YOUR IDEAS ON OTHER PEOPLE.
I don’t care what you are or what your expertise is. This includes meditation. If you are a meditation guru, please stop pushing it on me. I am tired of having it shoved down my throat like it’s some kind of universal truth. I don’t push running for exercise on people just because I enjoy it myself. I don’t push vegetarianism on people just because I leave the meat for Puzzle. I don’t run around telling people they should all braid their hair just because it works for me. I don’t tell everyone in the USA to leave like I did, because if you all came here I’d be pissed. I don’t want assholes for neighbors!
I have had meditation and mindfulness pushed on me so many times lately by people in and outside of the Movement, and frankly, these things are no different from religion or therapy. It makes me sick that mindfulness and meditation gurus think they are outside the realm of religion and assume they have the right to push their ideas as universal, and their authority as god-like. I am disgusted.
Are monotheists aware that much of the world either does not believe in any god, or has more than one god, and they are JUST FINE? Are Christians aware that the Universe survives just fine without Christ and we are not lacking nor do we live with this giant void in our lives? I am Christ-free and happy about that! Likewise, I am liberated without the burden of daily meditation and free of daily chanting. I am free of therapy appointments and free of committing my food to a sponsor. I do not feel empty nor do I feel that my life lacks meaning without these things.
Mindfulness is NOT the cure-all nor end-all and won’t solve everything. I am sick of hearing about it and having it pushed on me. It’s just another religion. Ever notice the slogans, the simplistic, repetitive statements made by these guru-like people? I feel insulted by it all, and I feel like shoving it right back at them. “So you don’t think much of the religion I already have?” Because they aren’t even aware that what they are doing constitutes religious coercion.
You can keep your yoga. Do it for exercise, but keep the spiritual part to yourself, please. You can keep your Om. Please hum quietly. Walk barefoot elsewhere, I do not want your smelly feet.