[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. You do realize you sound like an ass hat, right?

You sound like the fundies. "She wasn't a True Atheist"
Nicely put Don.
Sorry I'm not joining the nice wagon circling here, but from talking to her quite often in chat, it was abundantly clear that she desperately needed attention:

Fawning over a guy who even she admits had no respect for her; wanting to be with someone who had told her he wanted her only as a second choice to a Christian girl he was dating. Not once, or twice, but quite often admitting to falling into depression over this guy.

Admitting to having an eating disorder but not going to a psychologist.

Given Felch's, and the chat's, and my own attempts to get her to seek help, to seek company, to find support groups, to get psychological counseling, even going so far as to do research for her; all in order to help her out in ways that we could not hope to given our geographic isolation; I don't think much more could have been done short of physically going to where she was and keeping her company and holding her hand through it.

Do I read like an asshat? Am I being insulting? I hope I am. That's the whole point. I'm not going to make excuses or stroke the ego for someone who wouldn't come some of the way when the rest of us had gone far more than half. Many of us went out of our way to help a perfect stranger for no other reason than their clear need of help, searching for resources that we couldn't even hope to use ourselves for someone we barely knew -- just to find the end result being their sprinting back to the problem.

How can I be expected to mourn the loss of someone who runs headlong back to a dark past and history when dozens of hands reached out to her. Someone who finds more comfort in a handful of anonymous people "praying" over the many faced people here who actually looked for resources for her.

It's inexcusable. Is she a disturbed person with a dark past? No doubt, even I wouldn't call that into question. But to run back to that, back to abuse, back to empty wishful thinking while the rest of us actively tried to help her is disheartening to the point of insulting.

The Nietzschan in me screams because I no long feel the empathy for someone who must be forced to help themselves and still chooses instead to go back to that which broke them. I have no mercy for someone who chooses to hurt them self.
What can I say? I was as messed up as it sounds like she is. When I help someone, it's because I need it, not because they've promised to do such and such level of performance. I don't expect people to get over years of mind-rape with a couple of resources. It doesn't mean it's useless to offer them, and it doesn't mean that the things you did won't be a huge help to her. Do you have to get to see it or get credit for it in order for it to matter? Isn't it okay if she gets better, possibly even with advice you gave her, somewhere else, or at her own pace?
Do I read like an asshat? Am I being insulting?

I think you read like someone that tried to help and now feels very frustrated and disappointed that it didn't seem to accomplish anything. As Angie points out, something you or Felch or some other well-intentioned individual said to her may help her out down the road. We can hope.
Jack, its easy to be brave and strong from the safety of a non-fucked up environment. Given your discussions here, you have seem to have the benefits of a decent education and were raised in a relatively fear free environment. This has given you the strength to break what shackles you had left to your catholicism. Not everyone is so lucky.

To be brutally honest, I have no feelings in this matter whatsover. I truly don't care on an emotional level. They were not my reasons for posting this. I was just sharing this experience with the group. But on an intellectual, and if you like Nietzschean level, I am angry. This is a random person that has been subjected to wanton vandalism. Her treatment at the hands of the cult she was born into epitomises the nihilism that Nietsche ascribes to xtianity. You lucked out, she didn't.

Yes she was a whiny, ignorant, self-centred pain in the ass. But she didn't know any better. We tried, we failed. We get over it and move on. I have. If she comes back, we'll welcome her again. And I won't let what has transpired thus far affect anything.
Can't edit. By nihilism I mean the process of taking a human being and their potential as an entity and grinding it into dust so there is nothing left but a shell. That's what was done to her. Do you still want to frown down on her ignorance and naivety ?
Oh I'm saddened by this. What can one do? This woman is proof in action of the destruction that is religious indoctrination. It's ugly, mean and sickening...
I went through years of magical thinking before settling upon the materialistic universe. Somehow though, I had never really accepted the claims of the religious, whose own acceptance of the irrational made their claims abhorrent to me.

I can't even imagine how some peoples claim to "know" without knowing...and go on to attempt enforcing their own faulty logic on others-imposing lifestyles upon others who may have need of different lifestyles based on their own experience. How can one do the best for oneself if one lives someone else's life? Example: If you have high blood pressure, you can't treat it by lowering your sugar intake...that's quite illogical.

To me, this lady is either unable or unwilling to reject the doctrines of her upbringing. If she loves it so much, logic will not come to her easily or naturally. Since she is willing to accept such authority over herself, not thinking of herself as an equal among the rest of the human race, she will forever remain subservient to those who wish to have dominance over her.
Oh man, this breaks my heart. I wish I'd known about her before it was too late. Felch, do you know of any way to reach her now? I'd love to try to start a dialogue with her.
Nate, thanks. Best bet is her FaceBook -


With a bit of luck she may know who you are, but I wouldn't count on it - she was effectively in a cloister until about a year ago. You could also try commenting on her blog (link above).
Well, I sent her a friend request along with a note on Facebook. As for the blog, for some reason I can't add comments...I don't find the option on her blog. I'll sit tight for the moment and hope she adds me.

Thanks so much for the heads up felch.


Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today



Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon


Nexus on Social Media:

© 2015   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service