Thursday, November 02, 2006

Hell House yet another perverse religious abuse of children

For Anderson cooper 360, CNN's Tom Foreman took a look in Texas. October 31 2006Excerpts edited for brevity:

‘FOREMAN: This is Hell House, a shocking, rocking, roaring attempt to transform the horrors of Halloween into the fear of God. The man, who has turned Hell House into a US national phenomenon, is Pastor Keenan Roberts. PASTOR KEENAN ROBERTS, HELL HOUSE CREATOR: Hell House is aggressive. We're very aggressive in the name of Jesus. FOREMAN: How many churches have you seen this done in? ROBERTS: Well, across the United States, they'll be probably about 3,000. ROBERTS: This is absolutely a modern day parable. It is helping portray and colour and bring to life, to reach the sight and sound generation. It is -- it is using the tools that are attractive to this culture to help them understand spiritual principles of Christ. FOREMAN: Certainly, learning about sin and salvation is why many came here. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a fair reflection of what's going on in the world today. You know, some of the scenes.’

‘FOREMAN: Ordelia Ortiz brought her daughter, Araceli (ph). UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You can't trust anybody nowadays. I mean, you have to be careful with everybody, anybody. So I just want her to have an open eye out for it. FOREMAN: What are you scared of? What do you think you're going to see? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Things I might go through later on during life. FOREMAN: But in the very first room on the 45-minute free tour, it is clear this is not Sunday School. UNIDENTIFIED MALE ACTOR IN SCENE: Let's have ourselves a little gay pride. FOREMAN: This is what makes Hell House so controversial: a mock gay wedding presided over by a demon, who doesn't just say this is wrong but quite literally damns homosexuals to death by AIDS and eternity in hell. Room after room the sins roll by: domestic violence, Internet porn, drinking and driving. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's no gray. There's right and wrong. There's heaven and hell. There's Jesus and Satan. There's forgiveness and unforgiveness. And this makes the message of the gospel, it packages it in a contemporary rather format that young people will come and see.’ ’FOREMAN: Certainly, many people experience something powerful. The exit is a parade of emotion. Remember Araceli Ortiz and her mother? [Then you see a shot of the distressed sobbing Arceli] [To Arceli] You're pretty upset. What's so upsetting about this? ARCELI: Sobs and puts her face in her hankerchief unable to speak. FORMAN: [To the dopey mother] was this good to bring her here? THE MOTHER DOPEY ORDELIA: In a way I would say yes; in way, no. FOREMAN: Hell House organizers say 75 percent of their visitors are people who don't regularly go to church. And that's who they're after. UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Best thing that could ever happen to me. FOREMAN: Why? UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Because I need the lord in my life.’ They then cut to an interview with Pastor Philip Wise, Senior Pastor of the 2nd Baptist Church and Critic of the Hell House movement. ‘FOREMAN [The organisers of the Hell House] would also say we believe something, and we're acting on it. Isn't that what any person of faith should do? WISE: Well, I would just say if you believe that, then you believe the people who flew the planes into the Twin Towers were doing God's work. Response to the statement by THE GRUBBY PASTOR ROBERTS: To compare us to terrorists is just absurd. The people that point fingers at this as the problem are pointing in the wrong direction. We are giving people -- we're giving people the answer.’ (1)Obviously this deplorable individual, whom in my opinion should be sued for child abuse, cannot differentiate between an ‘opinion’ and an ‘answer’. He also can’t seem to understand the connect between Christian dogma and/or Islamic dogma and violence.

What Is Psychological Trauma? - By Esther Giller - President and Director, The Sidran Foundation

The key to understanding traumatic events is that it refers to extreme stress that overwhelms a person's ability to cope. There are no clear divisions between stress which leads to trauma, which leads to adaptation. It is also important to keep in mind that stress reactions are clearly physiological as well. Different experts in the field define psychological trauma in different ways. What I want to emphasize is that it is an individual's subjective experience that determines whether an event is or is not traumatic. Psychological trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions, in which: The individual's ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed, or the individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity. Thus, a traumatic event or situation creates psychological trauma when it overwhelms the individual's perceived ability to cope and leaves that person fearing death, annihilation, mutilation, or psychosis. The individual feels emotionally, cognitively, and physically overwhelmed. The circumstances of the event commonly include abuse of power, betrayal of trust, entrapment, helplessness, pain, confusion, and/or loss. (2)

Emotional abuse of children can range from a simple verbal insult to an extreme form of punishment. The following are a selected few examples of emotional child abuse: Yelling or screaming, threatening or frightening, negative comparisons to others, belittling; telling the child he or she is ‘no good’, ‘worthless’ or ‘bad’, shaming, humiliating, terrorizing a child and witnessing the physical abuse of others

Child abuse can have dire consequences, during both childhood and adulthood. Child abuse may result in: Impaired social behaviour, antisocial behaviour, difficulty establishing intimate personal relationships, alienation and withdrawal, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, feelings of worthlessness, self-injury, suicidal tendencies, substance abuse and high levels of medical illness, eating disorders or drastic changes in appetite, problems in school or work, impaired psychological development; personality disorders, cognitive disorders, nightmares and bed wetting and on becoming adults abusive parenting or care giving (3)

Religious abuse or cult abuse is amongst other things, where the child is forced to accept the narrow, exclusive religious views of the parent or guardian to the exclusion of any other belief or possibility of any belief. (4) Religion-related abuse has significantly more negative implications for its victims' long-term psychological well-being. (5)

Coercive persuasion can be defined in the technological concept as the effective restraining, impairing, or compelling through the application of psychological forces. A coercive persuasion program is a behavioural change technology applied to cause the "learning" and "adoption" of a set of behaviours or an ideology under certain conditions. Over time, coercive persuasion, a psychological force akin in some ways to legal concepts of undue influence, can be even more effective than pain, torture, drugs, and use of physical force. (6)

Spreading the crap: Churches and youth groups have gobbled up Roberts' $299 production kit, which consists of a 300-page manual on how to put on Hell House, ranging from the creation of "Satan's throne room" to sound effects like thunderclaps. Roberts was youth pastor at Abundant Life Christian Center in Arvada when he decided to create a scripted production out of an older idea dating back to the 1970s, which used haunted-house, Halloween scare tactics to teach Christian morality. Roberts' production provoked a firestorm and also drew thousands of visitors. He's since founded his own church, [tax free profits perhaps?], New Destiny Christian Center, in Thornton. The church is mounting its own Hell House production. (7)

Christian Extortion At It's Worst, (B Phelps Reviewing the documentary DVD): “The most frightening part of this documentary is when young children, after being subjected to scenes that relentlessly hammer them with violent images, are psychologically coerced into going through a door "where there are people waiting to pray with you", or re-enter the secular world and risk damnation. As a psychotherapist, (another thing that evangelicals believe are of the devil) I can now fully understand why the majority of my most impaired clients come from fundamentalist backgrounds. Allowing young children to go through a Hell House is nothing short of child abuse, and at the very least Christian extortion.” (8)

Charge Pastor Keenan Roberts with child abuse - NOW

“Hey preacher… leave those kids alone!”

Refs: (1) (2)
_sexual_neglect.htm#definition (3) (4) (5) (6)
0,1299,DRMN_15_5029091,00.html (7)
/dp/B000092T6A (8)

No comments: