There is a book that I think may help you. "When God Becomes a Drug.By Bart Aikins. Please vdon't feel that this is a criticism of you. You are a victim- one of countless millions. I am rooting for you.On the comment page he says:
Joe, I read all of you post. I know you had a tough time. I'm glad you have that bgehind you. Bu god/jesus had nothing to do with it. Ple4ase Joe, read " When God Becomes a Drug." Joe this book w2as written for YOU. You have nothing to lose but your delusions. Join us at ExChristian.net. You will be as welcome as the flowers in May. Share your experiences & your thoughts with us. You may write as a Xian or a former Xian. Many people start with us as Xians, & are 'won over'. But you are very welcome to make posts as a Xian. It is POSSIBLE that you can make some4one revert to Xianity, thru reasoning, tho I haven't seen anyone who did that, to my knowledge. But I reaslly think it will give you the experiences & thoughts of other people who have suffered as you did.
So I looked for this book. I found that He got the author's name so totally wrong it makes me think he's putting me on. Instead Bart Aikins it's Leo Booth. Booth is an Episcopal priest who wrote this book not as a denouncement of all religon but as a warning against the kind of rigid fundamentalism we all know and hate. He is in no way saying that all religion is like this. As one book reviewer says:
"And yet he says that there is nothing in the nature of religion which makes it unhealthy in itself, and that it is possible for a neurotic to use a healthy belief system in an unhealthy way. Booth writes that it is not necessarily the contents of the belief that make a system addictive, but rather the personal rigidity of its purveyors who discourage any kind of questioning or disbelief."In spite of this we find the atheist having a field day in their propaganda using this book as though it totally disproves all religion. Shy David's Religion page, (there's a scholarly source for you) does a hack job on the book. Sky David is so balanced and fair minded he opens with the balanced and articulate statement:
--John A. Speyrer
Religion has always been used by evil men (and some times women) to inflict evil upon the world. The evil enacted is always either by design or by consequence. The latter generally has two causes: the person engaged in evil believes he is doing good, godly works, or another person or groups of people take the result of someone's good works and builds upon those works with evil acts. A specific example I can readily think of is Islam: when Mohammed founded his religion, he taught liberal reforms such as equality for females and tolerance for infidels. One problem, though: he was illiterate. When the Koran / Qur’an / Alcoran was written by his followers, Mohammed's teachings were drastically altered. Slavery of women became law; infidels were taken hostage and, upon threat of death, ordered to convert; women who did not sexually submit to their owners could be beaten, with the authority of law.nothing polemical there is there!? He has a link to a page using the book for propaganda. He presents a chart used in the book but takes it out of context by giving no basis in understandign what the book is really about:
THE TWELVE STEPS FOR RELIGIOUS ADDICTS
(TWELVE STEPS TO RELIGIOUS ADDICTION)
1. We admitted that we were powerless over our dysfunctional religion or beliefs -- that our lives had become unmanageable.
2. Came to believe that a Spiritual Power WITHIN OURSELVES could guide us to sanity.
3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to this Spiritual Power as we understood this Spiritual Power.
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our dysfunctional religious beliefs and behaviours.
5. Admitted to our Spiritual Power, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of those behaviours.
6. Were entirely ready to work with our Spiritual Power in replacing all those old behaviours.
7. Worked with our Spiritual Power to help replace our dysfunctional patterns.
8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
9. Made direct amends to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we made mistakes, promptly admitted it.
11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our Spiritual Power, as we understood Spiritual Power, praying only for knowledge of that Power's guidance and the willingness to carry it out.
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Of cousre he offers no data whatsoever that religion is addiction, that one can make an analogy form drugs/alcohol to religion or belief systems. No studies, no evidence, the whole thing is based upon hating religion enough to compare it to soemthing it's nto even remotly like but something negative (alcohol). The whole thing is nothing but argument from analogy.
He also offers a list of 'signs' of addiction similarly glaned form misreading the book:
Taken from When God Becomes A Drug by Leo Booth.Most of those could also be used of atheism, or fashion deign or just about anything you wanted to compere.
SYMPTOMS OF RELIGIOUS ADDICTION
- Inability to think, doubt, or question information or authority
- Black-and-white, simplistic thinking
- Shame-based belief that you aren't good enough, or you aren't "doing it right"
- Magical thinking that God will fix you
- Scrupulosity; rigid, obsessive adherence to rules, codes of ethics, or guidelines
- Uncompromising, judgmental attitudes
- Compulsive praying, going to church or crusades, quoting scripture
- Unrealistic financial contributions
- Believing that sex is dirty -- that our bodies and physical pleasures are evil
- Compulsive eating or excessive fasting
- Conflict with science, medicine, and [secular] education
- Progressive detachment from the real world, isolation, breakdown of relationships
- Psychosomatic illness: sleeplessness, back pains, headaches, hypertension
- Manipulating scripture or texts, feeling chosen, claiming to receive special messages from God
- Trancelike state or religious high, wearing a glazed happy face
- Cries for help; mental, emotional, physical breakdown; hospitalization
Inability to think, doubt, or question information or authority
Black-and-white, simplistic thinking
sure sounds like atheism to me. Here's a trick. he doesn't give any page numbers or context so you have no idea how faithful he is to what the book is saying. Now does an Episcopal priest really say that reading the bible to clam oneself is the begining of religious addiction?
- * Ordinary religious or spiritual lifestyle
- # Using Bible to calm nerves
- * Excessive church-going / Bible study
- # Praying before attending functions
- # Church / Bible becomes greater focal point
- * Using church / Bible / prayer to avoid problems
- # Black-and-white thinking increases
- # Missing family gatherings or work because of religious functions
- * Compulsively thinking about or quoting scripture
- * Preoccupation with church / Bible study
- # Thinking only of church
This really represents the most innane slip shod thinking. If this does not qualify as a hate group strategy what does? It's on a par with Blacks are lazy and Mexicans steal. Or is it Mexicans are lazy and blacks steal? I'm forgotten my old time Texan prejudice 101.
Of course the atheist propagnda brigage who comment on books on Amazon, books they probalby have not read:
This book is amazing. i read the older version. It taught me how what i thought was certain powers and divine messages and things the world was showing me were really my own fears that i misplaced and transformed into a god. This book and the help i later recieved from a therapist were able to return me back to society in a more wordly way. This book was fantastic in that it helped show me how when i was suffering i was creating false illusions and ways out of it through God thinking that God would solve all my problems, when in fact i needed to confront my emotional issues in real life. I am very greatful for Father Leo for taking me out of my religous persecution i was brining on my self and showing me how i was torturing myself emotionally in the name of God. How these tortures were not based on God but on my own fears and my desires to heal myself. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who feels that they are treating themselves poorly in the name of god. For example anyone beaeting themselves up believing sex or masterbation is wrong while it is a gift the earth has granted us.I know religion is stupid now. I can't wait to get on the secular web and be patted on the back and called "smart" for a change. that god stuff is all for stupid people. They keep slinging words around like "addiction" and 12 step with no medical evidence, no psychological studies. No spiritually mature person would give up a relationship with God just because some ultra liberal unbelieving priest suggested that belief in God's spiritual reality is an "addiction." That person is a mindless drown who can't think for her self. This just continues to prove that atheists can't paly fair, can't think, don't understand very much.
"The Painful Truth"
book Review by Gary L.
Anyone who has ever tried to challenge a religious addict's belief system has undoubtedly been met with hostility bordering on fury. People who are spiritually healthy will not react with fear and anger to questions about their beliefs and practices.
Healthy spirituality in contrast is freeing; differing beliefs or even outright opposition do not threaten you. The symptoms of religious addiction point to a narrow, restrictive belief system, which limits your spiritual growth and victimizes you as well as those around you
Again, no data, no proof ther is such a thing as "religious addiction." If that is the case is there Addiction to art? To classical music? To being nice? Isn't everything and addiction? How about breathing and eating food? It started out with just a little milk now and then and now I have to have red meat all the time.
The real tragedy is how these people will never bother to read the real studies about religious eperince and its transfomrative effects on people's lives. 300 studies show that religion is the best thing for you. It transformas your life dramatically, it's taken people off drugs and stopped Heroin addiction and Alcohol. They want to shut down trust of God and they want you to stop praying to stop believing that God will help you. Instead of trying to understand these things in wisdom and not be stupid about it they are so self serving they have to try and destroy the best thing there is. The research I've done for my book points me toward the Rosario study which shows that religious experience and spiritual practice turns the lives of chronically ill and "challenged" ("handy capped") into positive growth situations that make them able to cope and enable them to grow as people. These are not things that drugs do for you. This is the not the result of addiction.
Now you can believe the hate group propaganda which lies and distorted the evidence, (Booth has no evidence to begin with he himself is a recovering Alcoholic so he's just following the only model he knows becuase he has not had the good religious experiences) or you can look at the scientific studies and see what's proved about the nature of religious experience. But we see the atheist hate group propaganda for what it is.
My religious experience argument which talks about many of the studies
Argument from religious instinct which employs many of the studies and talks about their Trans formative effects
The Mohan article with bibliography where he describes what many of the most recent studies say. Mohan is a practicing psychiatrist unlike Booth.
there are books arguing that atheism is personality disorder. For example Atheist Personality Disorder: Addressing a Distorted Mindset Fr. John J. Pasquini (Author)
That book is not very good either, it's as bad as Booth's. It's the same thing the atheist are doing. but two can play at this game. All this atheist propaganda is going to accomplish is just more of the same.