Matthew 24:34
"Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place."

December 9, 2007

Christian Brainwashing...

I've been doing some reading from a book entitled, "What the Buddha Taught", by Walpola Rahula. As mentioned previously, my wife is Thai, and a Buddhist.

While reading, my mind began to wander a bit (which is ironic, given the teachings of the Buddha regarding mental accuracy and focus). I started to realize a very sad fact of my Christian upbringing...

I will never be able to remove the evil tentacles of Christianity from my brain. It's got me, for the rest of my life. While I can completely and honestly know that the ideas of salvation, condemnation and imaginary friends are silly and childish, I will always take a tiny bit of doubt with me, everywhere I go.

If something terrible were to happen in my life, something catastrophic, the question would arise of whether I am being punished by BibleGod for not believing in Him. When I am on my deathbed, I will be forced to ask myself, "Do I really know that Hell doesn't exist"? The amount of relevance I'll assign this might be miniscule, but nevertheless it will be there, like an old hockey injury that never quite heals.

Now, allow me to contrast this for you, so that you understand why I find this incredibly sad.

My wife, who is Buddhist, does not believe in salvation, condemnation, or God. The discussion is not even valid to her. When she laughs at these Christian ideas, it is genuine, innocent laughter at something so strange. While I am busy combating Christianity, she is telling me, "Why don't you just let people believe what they want, even if it's stupid"? She will never have any doubts about her destiny, because she's never been brainwashed with these quirky Christian concepts. I, on the other hand, am always combating Christianity because I was brainwashed, and these concepts can never entirely leave me. I take it personal.

I wish that my mind could be completely liberated from Christianity. I wish I could dig out the rotten parts and discard them like a bad piece of fruit. The parts that tell me that I am evil for leaving the "flock". The parts that tell me I will burn for eternity because I don't believe in invisible men, regardless of whether I am a good person or not. The parts that tell me that bad things happen to me, or may happen to me, because of my apostasy.

Non-Christians can never understand what it's like, and Christians obviously think I'm "misguided" to begin with. That fact of the matter is that these diseased portions of my mind can never be repaired. I never asked for Jesus or God, or Heaven or Hell. It was forced on me by a Christian society, and a Christian family. It soon will be forced on elementary school children when they learn about Creationism in our public schools. And what Christians don't tell you is that once you get Jesus on the brain, He never goes away.

What an asshole.


  1. I just wanted to say that I understand where you're coming from. It's been a long journey for me, too, and like you said, you can never weed it all out. Intellectually, I'm good to go. Emotionally, there is that seed of fear with deep twisting roots that perhaps I'll never be able to remove. I'm envious of people like your wife who can live so carefree.

  2. Hey Daniel,

    This is Davie, your cousin, who also happens to be the pastor who is partially responsible for forcing upon you 'christianity'. I am so sorry that you feel so terrible about the residual brain-washings from your days here at the Church.

    I had no idea that it has had such a massively traumatic and negative effect on you. I am truly sorry to have caused you such pain and suffering, and hope you will be able to get rid of all the junk that was forced upon you and still remains embedded.

    I wish you and Mod the best!

  3. Hi Tee, sorry for taking so long to respond to you. I try and respond to everyone who takes the time to comment, though sometimes I forget or get carried away with other priorities.

    I don't think I could describe what I have as fear, perhaps more like anxiety. Regardless, I hope my thoughts could shed a little light on our mutual feeling and show that it's purely a result of our upbringing and/or culture, with my wife's culture as evidence to the contrary.

  4. Davie!! Wow, how on earth have you wound up here? I'm guessing my Facebook link? Very pleasantly surprised to see you posting. If you're turning skeptic, I promise I'll keep it a secret (even from Mod) ;)

    Let me say first off that in reviewing the original blog post, I used excessively-charged descriptions of "god infection" which I wouldn't use now. Does this change my feelings on the subject or the content of my post, no. But I certainly don't possess the same emotions concerning this topic as originally described. I'd attribute that to personal growth as both a person and a writer, haha. But the gist of my post remains accurate. I'm infected by Jesus, as is Tee above. I probably also have tapeworm, but hey these things happen.

    So with that said, I'd like to say that it is unfair for you to consider yourself 'partially responsible' for anything. First and foremost, you were not the pastor at the time of my forced indoctrination. Secondly, pastors are working a job like everyone else. You do not force people to come to church, you only keep the doors open. Well maybe that's not quite correct, allow me to rephrase: It is within the churchgoer's power to leave the church. While emotional attachments and pressures from church staff (and pastors in general) can be quite strong, we are all human and are capable of making our own decisions.

    Blah blah, I'm rambling here so I'll get to the point. You did not cause any pain or suffering, and it's incorrect to feel that I've been traumatized in any way because I haven't. My post makes an observation and emotionally charges it, but I'm by no means traumatized or suffering any more than an adult suffers residual effects of "boogeyman syndrome". Will I have anxiety on my deathbed? Perhaps. Is this anxiety akin to fear...not at all.

    I have my wonderful wife and a great family and friends, for what reason should I have to fear the boogeyman?

    Please do not feel sorry in any way. I am probably the most happy-go-lucky guy in the world, I'm sure grandma would tell you that haha. But I speak my mind and am able to separate emotion from logic. I can look at experiences from my childhood and label them wrong without laying blame. It's similar to me having the very rare argument with Mod, settling it, then laughing at something else a minute later. Why waste precious time in life being unhappy? Shit happens, so what?

    By the way, stop by anytime, our door is always open (and grandma is here every Saturday). We don't have to talk religion/atheism, just drink coffee/tea and shoot the breeze. Mod and I plan to retire in Thailand at some point, so we'll even have another house out there to chill at in the future.

    Check out the other posts if you get a chance. Are you up for the Revelation Challenge?

  5. Daniel (this is Davie),

    Thanks for your kind remarks, but I suspicion that I was indeed involved with your 'brainwashing'. Having admitted to that, I do fear that the residual effects of it are not just my doing, or anyone else's, but you know who!

    What is your Revelation Challenge that you waft in front of me? (I will scour your site and see if I can find it, if not, you can enlighten me).


  6. Well you weren't the pastor there when I was attending, just my cousin and I think the youth group leader? But I can't stop you from taking responsibility if you feel obligated somehow, so if you want to bear that cross then feel free. But understand that I don't feel that way in the slightest. Nor do I feel that way about your dad or Pastor Shoch who were the pastors at the time of my indoctrination. They are only working a job that they feel is helpful for people and have no bad intentions.

    Your reference to 'you know who' is quite on-topic with my post on Christian brainwashing. How glorious it would be if I'd never been exposed to such nonsense, like Mod or the millions of other Buddhists/Atheists on the planet who didn't happen to grow up in the West. These residual effects I experience (which are negligible nowadays) are the same ones felt by everyone else on the planet who have been brainwashed by different cults. If I attended a church which told me I was a cucumber every day, and then left after realizing it was all make-believe, I'd probably still have a thing for cucumbers...Now that I think about it, Mod does make a divine Japanese cucumber salad...Is this god talking to me?

    Davie, people speak of the light of Christianity, but I can testify that things are much lighter, brighter and fulfilling on this side of the fence. If it wasn't I would say so. Atheism has nothing to sell, nothing to fear, no tithing and no make-believe's simply a removal of the leash that was placed on you in childhood, like me and millions of others. Sure you'll be excommunicated from your church, your friends and possibly your family. But if the 'Christian' part of you is all they care about, then they weren't very nice people to begin with and you'd be better served by people who like you for you. Look at Dan Barker Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists: Here's a pentecostal preacher that opened his eyes to the light of atheism/freethought, was excommunicated by everyone from his circle, but is now happier and more successful than he ever was selling that JC fantasy.

    Plus you'd have Sundays off :)

  7. I think that you make a very important point, or at least an assumption, in your last post here. You seem to suggest most, if not all, people who believe in Christ (Christians) do so because of some type of brainwashing, or intellectual bondage.

    I am in no way not a free-thinker. In fact, I rather enjoyed Dawkins "God Delusion"! Guys like him rather intrigue me, but his book nor his 'arguments' do not threaten me (even though he does seem to be quite intolerant and spiteful to any and all who 'believe').

    I know you are probably quietly, and with sympathy for me, saying to yourself, "Davie, come on, you grew up in this stuff, you had no other choice. You were told you were a cucumber, and you still believe it!).

    There are just too many millions of people in the world who DID NOT grow up with it, who actually believe in it. That in and of itself does not make Christianity true, it just means it is not just a result of childhood brainwashing, or an environmentally produced delusion.

    Well, I am 'freely' rambling now, and must head off to prepare some enlightening words for Sunday!

    Talk more soon. (By the way, hope I am not intruding too much on your blog!? I know it is primarily for free-thinking atheists:)