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HOW TO SPOT SUBTLE SPIRITUAL ABUSE Religious PTSD is real. Spiritual abuse is a thing. Some think abuse is just violent treatment of another person. But when people’s freedoms are restricted or violated, this is a subtle form of abuse. It’s violence against the human spirit. Like this cartoon, spiritual abusers don't tape people's mouths, cuff their wrists, shackle their feet, put them on a leash, or set them in a cage. Not literally. But they might silence people, restrict their movements, prevent their freedom, limit their involvement, and control their lives. Here are subtle forms of abuse: You are...

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A family cowers in fear in the corner because a man threatens them with a vicious dog called "DOGMA". SPIRITUAL ABUSE IN A PICTURE I believe this sums up spiritual abuse pretty succinctly.  Spiritual abuse is when spiritual leaders abuse their power and spiritual ideas to create a toxic culture of shame and control to fulfill their own desires. It is both of these: abuse of power AND the self-serving use of spiritual ideas. Both of these are fueled by theology or dogma.  How many here know they've been victims of this? Or how many here are just realizing it?

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A flood, a hand reaching out of the water for help, and a man in a rowboat considering whether to save them or not: "You're not gay, are you?" Sometimes I don't feel like saying anything about my cartoon.  Today's one of those days. Because you get the point. Right?

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abuse -

Wolves take sheep from a flock while the shepherd looks on. One wolf says, "I just love their forgive and forget policy!" That's because abusers and bullies and the violent will always continue and escalate their behavior unless they're called on it and pay consequences for their actions. People who've been in relationship with such people know this. Painfully.

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Two pastors preaching to a crowd of people. One thinks, "Look at al the beautiful people!" The other thinks, "Look at all the beautiful women!" WHEN PREACHERS ARE PREDATORS Every day it's in the news. This is not a rare occurrence, but prevalent. I know many women who have experienced and been the victims of unwelcome flirtations, inappropriate sexual behavior, sexual harassment, and sexual assault by preachers, pastors, and spiritual leaders. I wonder how many women here, reading this post right now, have as well.

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