[I'll just butt in and butt out again - thought you folks might be interested in this tidbit I just posted to the AsiaPac group]

... and how. Don't know if any of you remember a young Kiwi chick Joanna Baldwin. She was a genuine case of of severe religious child abuse who ran away from home after battling with anorexia and several half-hearted suicide attempts.

Somehow she found us. She posted a brief introduction here explaining her situation and began hanging out regularly on chat. She was extremely naive and horrifyingly ignorant of anything real world, to the point where you would think she was a troll - it was difficult to believe someone like her was real, which is the bit that boiled my blood. Damage like that goes way beyond anything I have encountered, and is not incidental - it is the result of absolute control and manipulation of her reality from the point of her birth. Anyway, she escaped, and for a while seemed like she was beginning to get her shit together. She enrolled and was accepted into a vet nursing course, something she said she really wanted to do.

But then she met a boy. An evangelical boy.

She started popping by less and less frequently, and when she did, you could tell she was getting frazzled and on the verge of losing it again. Said boy and his gang got into the habit of cornering her and hammering her with questions - they knew she had dipped a toe in godless waters, and it became their mission to reclaim her soul. There was more than just a hint of desperation about her when we chatted with her. Her anorexia was in full swing again, and she said she was down to 45kg and getting worried...

I last spoke to her on July 15. Helped her set up her blog and tried to give her some tips on how to deal with religious bullying. She said she had to make a big decision, and didn't know what to do. I didn't meddle, just told her to do what she thought was the best thing for her. The first entry of her blog is here from that same night. After that, she made her decision here, and set it in concrete here. You may want to scrub yourself with turpentine after that last item.

It's out of our hands now. Quite a few folk here did what little they could to help her out, listen patiently to her endless whiny bullshit and try and get her some kind of professional help and guidence. But there is only so much you can do over the ether. She's gone, time to stop worrying about stuff you can't change. Shit happens.

What next ? Possible suicide we'll never hear about. Maybe she'll try to be sane again and return. My bet, the rot will take hold, she'll lose all personality and will, and obediently breed a new generation of victims and the cycle will begin again. Religion is a beautiful thing.

In desperation of mind I texted a few people asking for prayer... soon after that, it was amazing... it was like suddenly I didn't need to think about it anymore and I KNOW God just removed my rational brain, and it became easy to accept Christ. -- Joanna Baldwin: saved, unsaved and saved again.


Tags: abuse, baldwin, jo, joanna, religious child abuse

Views: 58

Replies to This Discussion

Wow! Don't you just love how they are proud to have tossed aside their logical reasoning.

"As the prejudices that are in the heart, against the truth of divine things, are hereby removed; so that the mind becomes susceptive of the due force of rational arguments for their truth. The mind of man is naturally full of prejudices against the truth of divine things: it is full of enmity against the doctrines of the gospel; which is a disadvantage to those arguments that prove their truth, and causes them to lose their force upon the mind. But when a person has discovered to him the divine excellency of Christian doctrines, this destroys the enmity, removes those prejudices, and sanctifies the reason, and causes it to lie open to the force of arguments for their truth."
-- Jonathan Edwards

Are you kidding me?
I was notified last night about her most recent blog entry, but I deeply thank you for posting this Felch.

If any moron every thinks the guy living in a desert on an island is cruel or heartless. I merely need to link them to this post.

Your brand of cynism is a virtue anyone can admire...but enough about that...

FUCK the fucking cults in the fucking ass with a fucking 10 inch spiked dong!
From her blog: In place of the confusing[sic] and desperation I felt a quiet peaceful overwhelming feeling inside... and it was amazing.

Maybe rational thought isn't for everyone? Felch referred to Stockholm syndrome on another post. Is it possible that some have been so thoroughly damaged by religion or other extreme abuse that the only antidote to their pain that they can imagine is... more of the same? Can you force someone to get well?

The state of perceived foundationlessness that one exists in after abandoning a religion is too much for some to handle. To run back to the comfort of their delusion may be their only way to go on.
Felch referred to Stockholm syndrome on another post. Is it possible that some have been so thoroughly damaged by religion or other extreme abuse that the only antidote to their pain that they can imagine is...

I specifically said it about this girl in the thread in AsiaPac. We laid out all the groundwork for her, found places she could try and find help, even gave her telephone numbers. I think it was all too scary, being solely responsible for herself. The hell she ran away from must have seemed more comforting because there are less decisions to make, no unfamiliar environments to have to get used to. Yes, I think it was retreat, of the curl up in a fetal position kind.
Exactly, Felch. Independent thought and proactive decision-making can be terrifying for those that are used to being controlled.
I used to pray for god to remove my free will, so that I could quit offending him. Makes me sort of burp-vomit now to think of it. Stockholm? Hell, it's Battered Woman Syndrome.
I used to pray for god to remove my free will, so that I could quit offending him. Makes me sort of burp-vomit now to think of it. Stockholm? Hell, it's Battered Woman Syndrome.

Exactly, Angie. I prayed that he make me do his will, that he make me believe, that he make me stop doubting.

Maybe she got love-bombed and it felt so good she couldn't resist? I wish her the best. I hope she finds her way to some therapy for the eating disorders.
The fact that she's reached out at all means she's more likely to do so again in the future. It wasn't the first time I went to the nutritionist that I got better, but going that first time made me go for all the follow up visits.
Yes. One minor victory - she actually picked up the phone and dialled the NZ anorexia help line number I gave her once, live while on chat. She got voicemail. But it was something. That simple act may make the next one easier.
Just knowing that people won't judge you for getting better is sometimes a really big help. I was too ashamed to admit a problem to look for help for the first several years, and my family was only too happy to pretend nothing was going on. I was very, very unhappy. I have a great life today, which includes food and sex and building leggo towers with my son. Maybe I'm an optimist, but if I could go from believing I had super magic healing powers to being an open and outspoken atheist in the past year and a half, I just guess I can hold out hope for her. It may be as useless as prayer, but I'll take it.
Love bombing is a cult tactic, where cult members swarm a new convert (or former member they're luring back) with compliments, praise, and "love". Then, once the person has become dependent on the group, the "love" is systematically denied or withheld, and can only be "earned" again by doing exactly as the cult requires.

It's straight up emotional manipulation.
Normally I don't talk ill of people when they aren't here to defend themselves, but I think I can make an exception for this particular person.

I think she was an attention whore or at the very least someone in desperate need of attention. She needed other people to validate her as a person and would have joined any group that would just pay attention to her; it just so happens that Christians were the closest group to her.

That being said, I don't think it is a loss because I doubt sincerely that she was ever an atheist to begin with; perhaps she had a sincere resentment of religion but not a kind revocation that most of us have gone through.

Is it a loss? Surely, perhaps in some numerical quantized sense it is.


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