Breaking the Silence on Spiritual Abuse by Lisa Oakley, Kathryn Kinmond

By Lisa Oakley, Kathryn Kinmond

Religious abuse happens whilst a person, church or a trust procedure, no matter if good intentioned or now not, dominates, manipulates or castigates members via worry strategies, brain keep watch over, or another mental or emotional abuse. Breaking the Silence of religious Abuse provides the 1st sustained exam of non secular abuse in the Christian religion, exploring the definitions and old context of religious abuse whereas giving voice to survivors' tales in their own reports. delivering a stability of
empirical study and functional issues, this ground-breaking booklet outlines a technique version for the various phases of non secular abuse and comprises suggestions for therapists operating with survivors of non secular abuse.

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Extra resources for Breaking the Silence on Spiritual Abuse

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The current text is based upon experiences of SA which do not include sexual abuse. Whilst it can be argued that experiences of SA may include sexual abuse, such abuse would find redress in law as the focus would be on the sexual abuse. However, experiences of SA excluding sexual abuse have no such redress and as outlined earlier there is also limited understanding of this area. A further issue with current published definitions of SA are that none of them are grounded in survivors’ own stories.

Sometimes individuals reported fearing the consequences if they did speak out within the abusive environment. ’ Whilst some ministers are careful not to appear to be dominating the decision-making process others were blatant about their control. Controlled decision making is detailed as a feature of SA in the literature, Appleton (2003) notes the rubber-stamp approach to decision making in abusive churches, where there is little or no discussion. What Does Spiritual Abuse Look Like? 31 The issue of dominance of decision making was discussed as an aspect of leadership structures by Arterburn and Felton (2001) and Howard (1996), suggesting that a pyramid leadership style operates in many abusive churches (see Chapter 1).

The use of these discourses allows the abusive behaviour reported in the narratives. This chapter will now explore these biblical discourses and extrapolate the manner in which power is exercised and misused through them. There is an absence of any discussion of discourse in the published literature outside the authors’ work. What Does Spiritual Abuse Look Like? 45 Discourse one – the Bible as ultimate authority The most powerful discourse I identified is ‘the Bible as the word of God’. This view of the Bible is clearly espoused within scripture and as divine teaching has authority for Christians to guide their lives and behaviours.

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