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Old 8th June 2006, 06:15 PM   #1
JP1283
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My Anti-Testimony (kinda long.)

This is my "anti-testimony." It is long, but if you enjoy reading about deconversion and how twisted religion is, read on.

I am a 21-year-old gay male. I was never raised in a religious family. Their was a general belief in God in our household, but my parents left it up to the kids to decide for themselves what God was. Of course, I generally believed in the Bible and heaven and hell. I would always say my prayers each night and tell God I loved him.

The only times I went to church were with friends. During one particular visit, the Sunday School teacher said that whenever we sinned, we were always to say "Forgive me, Lord." That developed into a ritual for me. Whenever I sinned, I would automatically pray for forgiveness.

When I was about 15 or 16, I started having horrible thoughts and images that I could not control. The Columbine shootings were actually what really triggered them. They would come out of nowhere, and I didn't know what caused them. I couldn't tell anyone about them out of embarrassment and fear, so I kept them to myself for a long time. I soon started praying for forgiveness when I had these thoughts, since the Sunday School teacher had said I should. Praying for God's forgiveness quickly became repetition. Soon I was praying for forgiveness hundreds of times a day for having bad thoughts, with the thoughts and prayers becoming more complex. They had to be done perfectly or I would have to start over. I didn't know what was wrong with me.

I moved in with my dad when I was 17 and got a job at a local supermarket. There, I met a girl named Jessica, and we quickly became good friends. One night, we went to Lake Tahoe and I opened up to her about the thoughts that I was having. It was a really big deal for me to talk about them, as I was greatly embarrassed. She then had the brilliant idea for me to talk to her fiancee's brother, who they both lived with. He was a Born-Again Christian (she had just been baptised herself, although she admittedly never read the Bible) and was really good with stuff like this. I remember looking up in the sky and seeing a huge flash of light, and I took it as a sign that God wanted me to go talk to this man. I guess I felt sure that God was leading me in the right direction, and I desperately wanted freedom from my mind.

Jessica brought me to her house, where this man, Mr. Brady, was just finishing up a Bible study. I went and waited in her room as Jessica told him that I "desperately wanted to find the Lord." She then brought me out and I met him and his wife. They seemed nice enough. We all sat down in the living room, with Jessica and I one couch and Mr. Brady and his wife facing us. I cannot recall the entire conversation; from what I can remember, he started by asking what sins I committed. I said that I sped when I drove; that I swore, etc. Somehow the topic of my parents came up and he asked if they were divorced. They were; he then said that I probably didn't want to get married, which was true. It was odd that he said that; I had just been talking to Jessica about the same thing. However, the reason I didn't get want to get married wasn't really because my parents divorced; it was because I was gay. Anyway, I told him about the thoughts that I was having and that it was the reason I wanted to talk to him. I explained it as best I could at the time: a voice, my voice, that said horrible, evil things.

Mr. Brady then started talking about Jesus Christ; just some basic stuff about him. He talked about how he descended into hell and saved everyone there, etc. However, I will never understand what exactly brought him to say this out to me. He said that "all of your sins will be forgiven, except for one, and that would be if you said that God and Satan are one." The second that he said that phrase, my brain grabbed a hold of it and never let it go.

Mr. Brady then switched places with Jessica and sat down by me. He claimed that there were no coincidences, and that God had brought me to him. He said that I must have been one of the chosen ones, since God chose his Elect a long time ago, and that it was as if God were telling Satan that he could not have me. He then claimed that God was showing him things about me. He looked really deep in thought as he said this. He then said that he "didn't want to embarrass me or anything." His wife and Jessica offered to leave the room, but I said no because I didn't want to be left alone with him. I'm not sure what he was going to tell me that God showed him; it probably would have been that I was gay or something. He then said a prayer for the voice to leave and for it never to return, which he had me repeat. He then put his hand on my shoulder and prayed for the voice to leave and for me to never remember that it was even there. He then got up and gave me a Bible to read. He said that he was a teacher at the high school and that if I ever needed to talk to him, I could come by any time. We said goodbye and I left.

I can remember the feeling I had when I left his house. I had been emotionally molested; my thoughts were in overdrive as the thought of "God and Satan are one" tortured me. Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night. I had went to him thinking that I was going to get help, and left feeling even worse.

From that point on, the the thought of "God and Satan are one" haunted me. I thought for sure I was damned, as I could not stop committing the "unforgivable sin" in my head. I would pray and pray for forgiveness, but the guilt was always there. I then started researching the unforgivable sin, the "Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit." Then I had every bad thought against the Holy Spirit that my screwed-up mind could think of.

The ordeal with Mr. Brady happened during the summer of 2001. My senior year of school started that August. I became friends with a girl named Rachel, and I ended up transferring into her English class because it was an easier one. The school board changed around the English teachers because one quit, and our class was given to Mr. Brady. Rachel knew Mr. Brady because they had a mutual Christian friend who had been killed that June. Mr. Brady thought that it was "weird" that I ended up in his class ("there are no coincidences.") Rachel thought that it was God trying to bring us closer to Him through Mr. Brady. I then got to be reminded every day of what I went through with him. I always acted like nothing was wrong and didn't let on the damage he had done to me. He was a generally nice guy; he offered to help me with my Senior Project and had a great rapport with his students. I remember him once saying that he "had one of those senses, and that he just knew people."

The horrible thoughts went on for a couple more years. I began researching my symptoms, as I finally began to realize that there had to be a reason for the thoughts. I had prayed for help with the thoughts but got no response. Somehow I came across a website all about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, or OCD. One of the tell-tale symptoms was constant, unwanted thoughts and impulses. Bingo. Another was ritualizing, i.e. compulsively praying. Double bingo. Another symptom was doing things obsessively, such as constantly checking a door to make sure it's locked or always having to wash your hands. Since I had been through all of those things, that sealed the deal. I didn't need a doctor to tell me that I had OCD. The website gave techniques on how to deal with the thoughts, such as simply letting them be there and not reacting to them. It took a while to get used to letting them be there, but I eventually stopped reacting to them and finally felt free of the mental restraint that they had on me.

I then became a full-fledged atheist. I had basically forgotten all about the Mr. Brady saga, and I deduced that anyone with OCD could understand why I didn't believe in God anymore. I couldn't have been happier in my life. For a few great months, I was truly happy, besides the fact that I was addicted to marijuana and I was driving myself into debt.

However, my life took a huge turn in August of 2004. I had talked with someone who knew someone that I had slept with, and they told me that I should think about getting tested because "they were a tweaker." I obsessed and obsessed over this, so worried that I may have contracted HIV that I couldn't think about anything else. I had not had unprotected sex with him; however, I couldn't shake the worry that something may have happened. So I got an HIV test; the results were going to take a week to get back. What happened during that week totally changed my life for the worse.

I ended up calling one of my best friends (Megan, a Christian) and telling her about my HIV scare. She had been the first person that I had told that I was gay and she was totally fine with it. However, she also thought that "maybe I should change," because she "was pretty sure that gay people went to hell." She said that maybe the HIV scare was what I needed, I guess to turn me or whatever. She suggested that I pray to God for help. I hung up the phone, got down and my knees and said an honest prayer to whatever God was out there. "Please help me, God. If anyone can help me, I know you can do it. Please help me through this. I can't have this disease."

The next couple of days were really bad for me. I couldn't tell anyone around me what I was going through. My friends didn't know that I was gay so I couldn't talk to them about it. I could only talk to Megan, but she lived 400 miles away. I tried smoking a lot of pot but it made my worrying totally worse. On the Saturday night of the week I was waiting for my results, I read something that really scared me and made me really worry that I did indeed have HIV. I then started obsessing really bad and grabbed my cell phone. I dialed the number to the ER and held it in my hand. Who knows if I would have called or not; I really do not know what I would have done had the following not happened. While I was holding the cell phone in my hand, my best friend Jennifer suddenly called. Jennifer rarely called me. I answered the phone and she asked what I was doing. I stalled for a couple of minutes, but I all of a sudden had the courage not only to tell her that I was gay, but that I was also going through an HIV scare. It's as if I didn't care anymore; I needed help and here it was right in front of me. It felt great to tell her about it; she was totally understanding and invited me over to stay with her for the rest of the waiting period for the test results. It turned out that Jennifer knew exactly what I was going through, as she had gone through an HIV scare as well. I told her about the timing of her call and she said that my praying probably had something to do with that.

All of a sudden I was believing in God again. But that was okay. I was believing in the general God; my own God. I kept praying for His guidance and to keep helping me; however, I soon began to start having bad thoughts about God that seemed to keep popping up; thoughts such as "I don't want your help" and "I hate you, God." I felt so guilty about them; it was as if the whole saga was starting all over again. I then started having bad thoughts against the Holy Spirit; however, I wasn't sure if they were the OCD or if they were me having the thoughts. They were different from my constant, repetitive thoughts that I suffered with before. They would just happen, as if I had just thought them. I felt nearly physically ill with guilt over having these thoughts. I decided that I would trust God in that he helped me before and that he wouldn't leave me; I remember thinking that as I saw a bumper sticker that said "Why Worry? God is in Control" which I took as a sign that I would be alright. However, the guilt was still there; I decided that as long as I hadn't said the things out loud, I would be alright.

As soon as I thought that, I remembered something that I had long buried in my mind. One night a couple of years before, while ruminating the thought of "God and Satan are one" by praying for forgiveness, I had stopped and gritted my teeth and said it out loud. GOD AND SATAN ARE ONE. The realization that I had done this sent me into a downward spiral. I had done the very thing that Mr. Brady told me never to do or I would never be forgiven for it. I thought that Satan had waited for exactly right moment to remind me of it; I had totally forgotten and right at that exact moment me thinking that I hadn't actually done it, the memory came out of nowhere and hit me like a sack of bricks. I felt totally, completely damned. All of my friends and family tried to tell me that I wasn't damned and that it was all in my head, but to no avail.

The HIV test came back negative, but I couldn't be happy about it. I was damned; how could I be happy? I then started obsessing over the unforgivable sin: had I really committed it? What was it? Was I really damned? I couldn't even work; all day long I would look up webpages on the unforgivable sin. For whatever reason, I was believing in Biblegod and that I was damned. I felt that I should call Mr. Brady and talk to him, but I was too scared to do that. I decided that I would go talk to a friend of mine that I hadn't talked to in awhile, and that I could talk to her friend who was supposedly psychic. I figured she could help me; after all, she knew I was gay from the moment she met me. She seemed to know all of my feelings when all I had ever said to her was "hello." If anyone had a gift from God, I figured that it was her and that she could help me deal.

I went and talked to the psychic. She read my keys and told me that she saw a cloud of stress all around me. Aside from other things, she said that the next four months would be difficult for me, but that around the first of the year, many new doors would open for me. She also said that in a year or so I would look back and wonder why I ever felt this way. I asked her if God loved me and said yes, and that I could know it simply by the fact that I was alive. I asked her if she believed in the Bible and she said no; it was a beautiful story to her, but that religion was a man-made institution. She said some other stuff that seemed to fit me a to a tee; I can't really think of the things right now. I left her feeling generally good. However, soon the fear of having committed the unforgivable sin came roaring back.

I was at work one day and feeling completely helpless. I was thinking about God and Jesus, and I felt a voice (that I now believe was my imagination) ask me if I believed that Jesus was the son of God. I couldn't say yes, and I felt like the Holy Spirit or whatever left my body. I didn't feel like I had a conscience or anything. I nearly broke down. I went and asked a co-worker, who I knew was a Christian since we had talked about God before, if we could talk privately. I explained to her about the situation, that I felt damned. She basically said that there was a spiritual warfare going on, and that all I had to do was say "In Jesus' name, Satan be gone." (Of course, that didn't work in the long run.) I then explained to her about Mr. Brady, and she suggested that maybe I go back and talk to him. I told her that I couldn't possibly do that. She understood, and said that it seemed that was a dark period in my life (well, duh.) She then said that maybe I was building blocks that were blocking God's love. That made me feel great (sarcasm). I even went so far as to tell her I was gay, and she said that I shouldn't tell anyone and that it probably wasn't good.

She was a nurse, and she explained to me something that had happened to her while working in a hospital. She had been taking care of a dying AIDS patient, who was homosexual. Apparently this guy was afraid of dying and going to hell, so he called her up and asked her to come teach him to pray. They prayed together, and as he lay dying, he looked at her and said, "Cindy (that's her name), they're here." Then he died. That story left me pretty shaken. Eventually I decided that it didn't really prove anything, as the patient was probably on a lot of meds at the time and probably was hallucinating. I was pretty confused by the whole conversation and shouldn't ever have brought anything up with her.

Eventually the fear of having committed the unforgivable sin turned into deep depression. I started fearing that God really did exist. All of the bad stuff I had been through mixed with the coincidences I had in my life, such as the phone call I got during my health scare and the psychic, made me, for whatever reason, fear that God did exist. I hadn't really thought about it, but the belief that God was watching over me 24/7 really scared me. Not to mention that it didn't seem rational. I started fearing the world would end, that I was going to hell, that Satan was after me, etc. on top of the fear of God existing. I really missed my atheism and wanted it back so badly. I would have given anything for God to not exist.

I had to give up my apartment because I couldn't afford it anymore; I didn't really care because I was living with my mom anyway due to the fact that being alone was hard for me. Out of the blue, my aunt called me and invited me to live with her and my uncle in LA. Suddenly it clicked...doors were opening for me. I moved to LA in December. They offered to pay for me to go to school, which was another door. The psychic was right! And that's when I really started obsessing over Mr. Brady. What did God show him? Since the psychic was for real, could he have been? What if the psychic was Satan trying to trick me?! What if I'm damned?

I dealt with severe depression, fear of God existing, fear of the unforgivable sin, fear of the world ending and going to hell, etc. all the while going to work and school. The majority of my day was spent obsessing over God, Jesus, Mr. Brady, the psychic...I tried to put it all together and make sense of it and to come to the conclusion that it was all bunk, but it was impossible for me. It was hard to convince myself that everything that happened in my life wasn't the plan of an all-knowing God and that Mr. Brady and the psychic for that matter weren't for real. It was also hard to convince myself that the phone call I received during my health crisis was a coincidence.

Now, I think I'm slowly making progress. The depression is still there, but the panic and constant worry have died down and allowed me to look at what happened objectively. I've basically brushed off the psychic, as some things happened that she said would, and others didn't. But I really can't believe that she got all of that information from my keys. And the nurse that I talked to was a whackjob nutcase.

And Mr. Brady. Why would God, knowing exactly what was wrong with me, knowing me better than I knew myself, allow me to believe I was going to get help with my mental problems and send me to Mr. Brady, knowing what would happen? I've often wondered what Mr. Brady was supposedly "shown" by God. I assume it was the fact that I was gay. Well, many people know right off the bat and it isn't because of divine intervention. But if God was going to show him things about me, why not show him that I had a bad mental problem and that he probably shouldn't say things like "Don't ever say God and Satan are one!" because it would set me off? Why would he not show him something that would help me, and instead show him something like the fact that I was gay, something I was extremely ashamed of at the time, and alienate me with that? It doesn't seem like the kind of thing an all-loving God would do. And I was in Mr. Brady's class for a year after that. If Mr. Brady "knew things about people" and had visions from God, why didn't God ever show Mr. Brady all the torment I was in because of that night and the thoughts he put into my head? All Mr. Brady had to do was walk up to me and say, "Hey Jeremy, everything is okay. Just forget about what I said before," or something to that effect. That would have helped. But no.

God sat idly by that night and watched Mr. Brady put that thought into my head, and let me suffer with it for years after the fact. And right after Brady put that thought into my mind, God decided to show Mr. Brady whatever deep, dark secrets I was hiding instead of showing him that what Mr. Brady had said to me was already forming as a cancer in my mind and that I had OCD. God had the choice of showing him something that would truly help me, and decided to not do that and alienate me instead? Looking at it objectively, it doesn't make any sense. That's what I focus on today when Mr. Brady comes into my mind.

I found out that my uncle used to go to high school with Mr. Brady. Apparently, he was very effeminate in high school and was on the cheerleading squad. Everyone thought he was gay. Many people get that impression that he's gay when looking at his photograph. I think he might be closeted gay, and I almost feel sorry for him because he has a wife and kids. Maybe he found Jesus because he didn't want to be gay or something. I honestly don't know. But I think I've always had that feeling about him. One time, when I was in his class, he offered to pay for me to spend the night at a hotel that was supposedly haunted (I was doing a project about ghosts.) What teacher does that? Either he was trying to be nice and helpful, or he had a crush on me. I'm not sure.

But I'm starting to realize that Mr. Brady has the same direct line to God that I do, which is none. No loving God would have sent me to him, knowing that I thought I was going to be helped, and let him put all that stuff in my mind and let me stew in it for years.

Honestly, all my fears aside, I label myself agnostic. In my heart of hearts, I know that I wouldn't want to worship a God who would give me a disorder like OCD and then "send" me to someone even though He knew that person would make it worse.

I think I'm starting to have the attitude that I don't really care if God exists or not. All of the stuff that happened can be explained away by coincidence, and none of it should be taken as signs that I should alter my life. It was just stuff that helped me out, and I should leave it at that. I have other things in my life to worry about. My OCD is starting to flare back up with bad thoughts again, and I need to work on getting it under control. But I do have good things in my life; I have a good job with good pay, another job in which I just got a promotion, a new place with brand-new furniture. I have it pretty good. There isn't any external evidence that I am damned in my life; it's all in my head, and that's what I need to keep reminding myself. I have made great strides in all of this and sometimes I wonder how I ever made it through the last couple of years. I guess it's true that whatever doesn't kill you will make you stronger.

Thank you to all of you who took the time to read this. I'm sorry if it's hard to follow; I'll try to fix it later if there are any problems or inconsistencies.

JP
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Old 9th June 2006, 04:16 AM   #2
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JP......


I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you told all of that. I read it all, and related to many parts of it. ('Cept I'm a girl, and hetero, mostly.)
You sound like a great guy who's has some stuff to deal with, and generally deals with it pretty well.

I'm not going to tell you what to believe. I don't like that. I am going to tell you to learn as much as you can from as many sources as you can, so you have tools to make good decisions with. I don't think believing in God is a bad thing unless it somehow hurts you, or you use it to hurt others. But I don't think you're like that. You got some stuff, sure. We all have stuff. It just differs from one person to another. Your stuff ain't all so great, but it ain't all so bad, neither. Some folks have messed with your head, and your head messes with you, sometimes. Yeah. Been there. Will be there again.

You'll figure it out. To me, the most important thing is to think for yourself, and do what you need to do. As long as you're not trying to hurt yourself or others in what you think and do, you'll be okay. Believe whatever helps you. But if it stops helping you, question it. Question it hard.

And keep talking. You write and express yourself well, and you're interesting!
And talking helps.

Have a hug from me.
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Old 9th June 2006, 10:29 AM   #3
Meffy
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Tough reading, and I don't mean the length. Sounds to me as if you've come through with your mind clearer than before. *salute* Keep thinking!

And to all the Mr. Bradys out there doing evil in the name of good, I aim a big razzberry. Would that you knew the damage you've done.
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Old 11th June 2006, 01:21 PM   #4
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Old 11th June 2006, 01:58 PM   #5
RandFan
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Thank you. I can relate to a small degree.

My upbringing was a bit of a mind ****** thanks to religion. I spent years in therapy.

I hope the best for you. If you are like me you will always have some lingering effects but you can be functional and largely lead a normal life.

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Old 12th June 2006, 04:27 AM   #6
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Testify Jp1283! Testify!
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Old 12th June 2006, 07:49 AM   #7
Trantor
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Hang in there and always think critically. Critical thinking will help you to sort out the BS from the real thing.
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Old 12th June 2006, 09:19 AM   #8
Thanz
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I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but it seems to me that your difficulties are more related to your OCD than with anything religious in particular. It seems that you tried to get help from Mr. Brady, who tried (in his own way) to help you. At the time, he didn't know you had OCD any more than you did. There is no way he could have known that you would obsess over that one phrase.

I wish you all the best in getting through your difficulties. You have mentioned speaking to religious people and to psychics. I think that you should consider speaking to a doctor about your depression and OCD. You may have mis-diagnosed yourself. In any event, a doctor can help you get to the bottom of it and perhaps show you some techniques/therapies that will help you.
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Old 12th June 2006, 01:41 PM   #9
LordoftheLeftHand
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Remember JP1283's story the next time someone asks you "what harm is there in religion?"

JP1283:
Lots of people (without an illness) buy into this bologna and can never get it out of their heads. Just keep fighting the good fight!

If you ever start to get crazy ideas again, post them here and will help destroy them for you

LLH
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Old 12th June 2006, 05:48 PM   #10
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Fortunately, there is no Unforgivable Sin against the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and the Beneficient Noodly One doesn't do wrath, just mild pique.

Ramen!
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Old 14th June 2006, 01:54 PM   #11
JP1283
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but it seems to me that your difficulties are more related to your OCD than with anything religious in particular. It seems that you tried to get help from Mr. Brady, who tried (in his own way) to help you. At the time, he didn't know you had OCD any more than you did. There is no way he could have known that you would obsess over that one phrase.
So basically Mr. Brady didn't really do anything wrong since he was 'just trying to help me in his own way.' Well, I think that if you were in my shoes (and actually went through it) you would feel a little differently.
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Old 14th June 2006, 02:37 PM   #12
Thanz
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
So basically Mr. Brady didn't really do anything wrong since he was 'just trying to help me in his own way.' Well, I think that if you were in my shoes (and actually went through it) you would feel a little differently.
Maybe I would. But from where I sit, he sat down and talked to you about your problems. Then, he gave you some theological viewpoints about God, Jesus, etc. He did not damn you to hell or anything - just the opposite. He prayed for you/with you, gave you a bible and said that he would be willing to talk to you again. He did not abuse you. He did not tell you that you were a bad person. Really, he had no way of knowing that you would latch onto that phrase the way you did. That latching on is not Mr. Brady's doing - it is the fault of the OCD. Seriously, I don't understand the blame being placed at his feet based on what you said here.

I repeat what I said earlier - you should probably see a doctor.
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Old 14th June 2006, 03:16 PM   #13
JP1283
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
Maybe I would. But from where I sit, he sat down and talked to you about your problems. Then, he gave you some theological viewpoints about God, Jesus, etc. He did not damn you to hell or anything - just the opposite. He prayed for you/with you, gave you a bible and said that he would be willing to talk to you again. He did not abuse you. He did not tell you that you were a bad person. Really, he had no way of knowing that you would latch onto that phrase the way you did. That latching on is not Mr. Brady's doing - it is the fault of the OCD. Seriously, I don't understand the blame being placed at his feet based on what you said here.

I repeat what I said earlier - you should probably see a doctor.
How can you sit there and say that he was perfectly rational in what he did?

Imagine you are him. I come to you and say "There is something in my mind that is causing me a lot of turmoil. It's like a voice that says bad things over and over." What the first thing you said to me be, "Hey JP, don't ever say this phrase..." For that, it is his fault, whether or not he knew I had OCD. And since he had the direct line to God because "God showed him things about me," he probably should have known that I had OCD, huh? So that proves that he's a liar, but he's still blameless, right?

And you don't know what happened that night, you weren't there. Maybe he didn't know it, but yes, it was a form of abuse what he did. I suffered for years because of that single night. I was just a kid, thinking that this guy would help me, and the exact opposite happened. He took something in my mind and made it a lot worse. Don't you dare tell me none of my suffering was his fault. Who the hell do you think you are taking my pain and making light of it? You're basically saying, "Oh, it's not his fault. So what if he put all sorts of thoughts into your mind that screwed you up for years. He's a super guy anyway that doesn't deserve any of the blame." I beg to differ.
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Old 14th June 2006, 03:36 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but it seems to me that your difficulties are more related to your OCD than with anything religious in particular. It seems that you tried to get help from Mr. Brady, who tried (in his own way) to help you. At the time, he didn't know you had OCD any more than you did. There is no way he could have known that you would obsess over that one phrase.

I wish you all the best in getting through your difficulties. You have mentioned speaking to religious people and to psychics. I think that you should consider speaking to a doctor about your depression and OCD. You may have mis-diagnosed yourself. In any event, a doctor can help you get to the bottom of it and perhaps show you some techniques/therapies that will help you.
I do think his problems stemmed from religion, in particular. OCD is managable. What's not managable is someone telling you "what you're dealing with is demons in your head, as long as you pray to god they'll go away" and then trying to deal with OCD. Yes, Mr. Brady didn't know that he was harming the kid but I don't think anyone is really trying to point fingers at Mr. Brady in particular. I do think it is appropriate to point fingers at religion.

What Mr. Brady did was harmful for the same reason quack medicine can be harmful. Instead of telling the kid "Let's see if we can find any medical information on what you are going through, and then maybe you should see a doctor," he just told him that his imaginary friend would fix everything; not only failing to provide him with help, but making the problem worse.
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Old 14th June 2006, 04:33 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
I don't want to sound like a jerk here, but it seems to me that your difficulties are more related to your OCD than with anything religious in particular. It seems that you tried to get help from Mr. Brady, who tried (in his own way) to help you.
Yeah, Kevin Treadu in his own way tries to help lots of people.

I don't think people like Mr. Brady should be helping by using religion. Religious nonsense has never been scientifically demonstrated to help anyone when it comes to psychological problems and I think studies (IIRC) have demonstrated that such "help" has exacerbated problems.
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Old 14th June 2006, 05:48 PM   #16
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I have had some huge problems with religion because of my own mental illness. So (and this is just my opinion of what has worked best for me) I find it best when having depressive and repetitive thoughts to see my therapist and psychiatrist.
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Old 15th June 2006, 09:17 PM   #17
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That's pretty depressing. We can really see the full effect of a religion based on fear, guilt, and self-loathing.

It's quite disgusting, but I am happy that you are getting out of it. Hang in there dude.
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Old 16th June 2006, 06:03 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by RandFan View Post
I don't think people like Mr. Brady should be helping by using religion. Religious nonsense has never been scientifically demonstrated to help anyone when it comes to psychological problems and I think studies (IIRC) have demonstrated that such "help" has exacerbated problems.
Religion does provide comfort to millions of people around the world. If JP has serious psychological problems, he should see a doctor as I have already suggested twice.

Religion is not the problem here. The problem is his mental illness. Did religion solve that problem? No, it didn't. But it is not the cause of it either. Everyone is jumping on Mr. Brady for telling this kid what he believes, and nothing more. He didn't know him. He didn't take money from him, cheat him, abuse him or anything else. He listened to him and tried to help. He made himself available in the future to speak to him again. I do not see his behaviour as reprehensible.
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Old 16th June 2006, 10:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
So basically Mr. Brady didn't really do anything wrong since he was 'just trying to help me in his own way.'
His heart was in the right place, it's just that his brain was entirely wired the wrong way. He didn't intend to do so much harm, it was inadvertant. But very real. And that's the thing -- we require psychologists and psychiatrists to go through years of training before they can get a license to get inside your head. Clergy, include self-styled clergy like Mr. Brady, need no training whatsoever. And people tend to put huge amounts of trust in them. To me that's a very dangerous thing.

I have to agree with telling you to see a shrink. That's who'll give you the help you need. Good luck and keep us aprised!
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Old 16th June 2006, 10:45 AM   #20
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Hello JP,

Are you receiving professional help?. You sound much better than the last time I heard from you. The problem is not the religion or what other people say to you. I think Mr. Brady was in the wrong place at the wrong time but from your story you tend to look for help from the wrong people!!

I really hope you get better.
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Old 16th June 2006, 10:56 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
Everyone is jumping on Mr. Brady for telling this kid what he believes, and nothing more. He didn't know him. He didn't take money from him, cheat him, abuse him or anything else. He listened to him and tried to help. He made himself available in the future to speak to him again. I do not see his behaviour as reprehensible.
Independently of how JP took Mr. Brady's word, I think it is morally wrong to tell a child that he will be damned if he ever says that God and Satan are the same. As an adult, he shouldn't have used fear to convince a child that God would forgive everything except the above. Besides, if someone tells me he is hearing voices in his head, at least I would ask if he is already receiving medical help.
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Old 16th June 2006, 12:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
Did religion solve that problem? No, it didn't. But it is not the cause of it either.
It certainly made it worse.

Quote:
Everyone is jumping on Mr. Brady for telling this kid what he believes, and nothing more.
Yes we are. Just like we would jump on Mr. Brady if the kid came to him with chest pains and Mr. Brady suggested magnet therapy. Mr. Brady may not have known the kid had cancer, but he should have known to send someone with chest pains to the doctor instead of pushing his crazy woo crap. The magnets may not have caused the cancer, but they still could be the ultimate cause of most of his suffering.

What Mr. Brady did was reprehensible. He's an adult, such ignorence is not an excuse.
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Old 16th June 2006, 12:43 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by CaptainManacles View Post
Yes we are. Just like we would jump on Mr. Brady if the kid came to him with chest pains and Mr. Brady suggested magnet therapy. Mr. Brady may not have known the kid had cancer, but he should have known to send someone with chest pains to the doctor instead of pushing his crazy woo crap. The magnets may not have caused the cancer, but they still could be the ultimate cause of most of his suffering.
Completely false analogy. He did not come to him with something as obvious as chest pains. Mental illness is a lot tougher than than that. Further, even in your example I would completely disagree that the magnets could be the ultimate cause of most of the suffering - that would still be the cancer.
Quote:
What Mr. Brady did was reprehensible. He's an adult, such ignorence is not an excuse.
Not surprisingly, I disagree. You seem to be behaving as if Mr. Brady had some sort of power or control over JP. He didn't. He was some screwed up 17 year old kid that someone asked him to talk to. So he did. Now he is the focus of blame for all that is bad in JP's life? Sorry to sound harsh, but when does JP's responsibility kick in? Once he realized he may have OCD, shouldn't he go and see a doctor? Shouldn't we be blaming the OCD itself, rather than Mr. Brady?
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Old 16th June 2006, 01:02 PM   #24
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JP, I would be among the last to defend religion in any conflict, but you did go to Mr. Brady specifically because he was a christian. Thus, he counseled you as a christian, albeit rather weakly. The counseling you received from the psychic was exactly what one would expect from a psychic too.

Take the suggestion offered here, please see a doctor. He/she will counsel you as a physician, which seems to be what you need.

Good luck
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Old 16th June 2006, 01:53 PM   #25
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JP,

When I was a teenager I found my way in atheism through the works of Issac Asimov. What he said made sense and I never understood everyone saying theirs was the REAL religion. So, I existed for many years as an outted but immature atheist. At one point in my life I "found Jesus" and became a christian. The problem was that I, once again, began to have doubts. I was told by church leaders to ignore them and pray. I never could block them out and eventually gave up on religion again. But, this time I felt that I couldn't tell anyone so I kept my atheism to myself. This lead to depression and eventually a half-assed suicide attempt. Needless to say I failed, but I realized that who I am is my business and that no one has the right to expect me to hide a part of myself because it makes them uncomfortable.

JP, I'm not trying to compare myself to you, what you went through was a thousand times tougher than anything I've ever faced. Also, the fact that you've made it this far shows that you have strength.

I wish you the best, but I also wish I could offer you more than just words.
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Old 16th June 2006, 05:52 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Q-Source View Post
Independently of how JP took Mr. Brady's word, I think it is morally wrong to tell a child that he will be damned if he ever says that God and Satan are the same. As an adult, he shouldn't have used fear to convince a child that God would forgive everything except the above. Besides, if someone tells me he is hearing voices in his head, at least I would ask if he is already receiving medical help.
I don't think he was trying to use fear. He was trying to give JP hope.

If Mr. Brady did indeed go though the same homosexual-related high-school trauma that JP went through, but without the OCD part, then Mr. Brady might just be telling JP the words that made himself feel better -- that homosexuality is not The Unforgivable Sin. I submit that telling JP that there is just one Unforgivable Sin without telling him what it was would have been far worse.

Yeah, Mr. Brady could have handled it better. But he could have handled it a lot worse, too, and without knowing about the OCD, he handled it just about as well as can be requested.

That said... that was an amazingly brave thing you did, JP, posting your story here; I'm sorry that you went through / are going through all this, and I repeat the advice that others have given you -- go see an MD.
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Old 16th June 2006, 07:24 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
Religion does provide comfort to millions of people around the world. If JP has serious psychological problems, he should see a doctor as I have already suggested twice.

Religion is not the problem here. The problem is his mental illness. Did religion solve that problem? No, it didn't. But it is not the cause of it either. Everyone is jumping on Mr. Brady for telling this kid what he believes, and nothing more. He didn't know him. He didn't take money from him, cheat him, abuse him or anything else. He listened to him and tried to help. He made himself available in the future to speak to him again. I do not see his behaviour as reprehensible.
I think there was a lot wrong. Mr. Brady may very well have had good intentions but he was not qualified to offer help. IMO, he exacerbated the problem and wasted JP's time sending him in the wrong direction.
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Old 17th June 2006, 01:53 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Thanz View Post
Completely false analogy. He did not come to him with something as obvious as chest pains. Mental illness is a lot tougher than than that.
Hearing voices in his head? Sorry, that's as obvious as chest pains.

Quote:
Further, even in your example I would completely disagree that the magnets could be the ultimate cause of most of the suffering - that would still be the cancer.
If early detection would have cured the cancer, then the cause is the magnet therapy. In his case, proper medical info would have made the problem nearly go away entirely. Besides the fact that religion also made things worse, it also caused almost the entire problem.

Quote:
You seem to be behaving as if Mr. Brady had some sort of power or control over JP.
You seem to be behaving as if lying to children doesn't cause harm.

Quote:
He was some screwed up 17 year old kid that someone asked him to talk to. So he did. Now he is the focus of blame for all that is bad in JP's life? Sorry to sound harsh, but when does JP's responsibility kick in? Once he realized he may have OCD, shouldn't he go and see a doctor?
No one said he was to blame for all that is bad in JP's life.

Quote:
Shouldn't we be blaming the OCD itself, rather than Mr. Brady?
Are you denying that Mr. Brady did any harm, or that he should have known better?
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Old 19th June 2006, 11:29 AM   #29
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JP,
that's a harsh deal you got there. Sounds like you're coming through it. I know what it's like to be extremely depressed; it sucks in ways that cannot be described.

Glad you're still with us, and keep trying.
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Old 21st June 2006, 03:59 PM   #30
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Thank you all for your responses.

Having said that, I do want to clear up a couple of things.

1) I have been seeing a doctor off and on for the past year, and have also been enrolled in an OCD Research Study here at the local university. They have helped a lot.

2) I did not go see Mr. Brady because he was a Christian. I did it at the suggestion of my friend, and I thought that he was going to help me. The fact that he was a Christian didn't really have anything to do with it at that point (although I knew he was born again.) I guess I should have figured that he would tell me some weird things, but I was so naive and in need of help that I looked past that.

3) The demeanor of Thanz during this discussion has gotten progressively negative, to the point of calling me a "screwed up 17-year-old kid" at that time. Very nice. I really hope that none of your children goes through what I did with someone like Mr. Brady. And if they do, I hope they don't tell you about it. You'll basically put their antagonist on a pedostal as if they were totally in the right. Now that's "screwed up."

I probably shouldn't have posted this here. I wasn't expecting it to get devoured and spit back in my face as was the case with Thanz. But if it does help get the word out that religion isn't the answer to mental problems, it was worth it.

Thank you,
JP
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Old 22nd June 2006, 06:40 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by JP1283 View Post
3) The demeanor of Thanz during this discussion has gotten progressively negative, to the point of calling me a "screwed up 17-year-old kid" at that time. Very nice. I really hope that none of your children goes through what I did with someone like Mr. Brady. And if they do, I hope they don't tell you about it. You'll basically put their antagonist on a pedostal as if they were totally in the right. Now that's "screwed up."

I probably shouldn't have posted this here. I wasn't expecting it to get devoured and spit back in my face as was the case with Thanz. But if it does help get the word out that religion isn't the answer to mental problems, it was worth it.

Thank you,
JP
I want to apologize for calling you a "screwed up 17 year old kid". I did not mean to offend you - at that point, I was having a discussion about you with someone else, and did not comport myself with the proper respect for your feelings. It was liking talking to someone about you and forgetting that you are in the room, and that what I may say will obviously be heard by you and affect you. I did not stop to think how that may affect you, and I apologize.

Next, I want to try and explain my perspective. Lots of people (myself included) were "screwed up" when they were 17 - it is an age of change and lots of people have various problems at that time. Your own situation was exacerbated by having to deal with an undiagnosed mental illness at the time. When I say "screwed up" I only meant it in the way that 17 year olds are usually screwed up - dealing with life changes and not quite sure what to do. I think that Mr.Brady tried to help from that perspective - which is not something that would help OCD.

Taking shots at religion is common on this board. I am not a fundamentalist, and a lot of what they do I disagree with. And when I disagree, I say so. I do not want the actions of some taint the whole, however, and will speak out if I feel that religion is being attacked unfairly. Here, I agree that Mr. Brady did not help you. I am not trying to make him a victim - clearly he is not - but I don't think he is a villain either. The "villain", if there is one, is your OCD.

I am glad to hear that you are getting medical help and that your situation is improving. I think that your story shows that for true medical problems, like OCD, there is no substitute for modern medicine. I hope that you can accept my apology and I wish you the best in the future.
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Old 22nd June 2006, 10:09 AM   #32
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Thank you, Thanz.
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