Friday, November 03, 2017

A Sweet Story, a Familiar Tune

A friend posted this sweet story about the love of friends. The hymn will be a familiar one to many of you.



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

One of Us


I strongly recommend "One of Us," a documentary (now streaming on Netflix) that follows three people who have left their ultra-Orthodox Jewish community. No longer "one of us" to their family and friends, each person has a distinct story, a unique trajectory out of their former lives. You'll recognize the same themes we've encountered in Laestadianism -- ultra-Orthodox Lutheranism, if you will.

In a magazine interview here, one of the men in the documentary explains his former faith:

"Does it withhold a broad education from their children in order to keep the children narrow-minded and uneducated? Yes. Does it vilify the outside world in order to keep its members from joining it? Definitely. Does it have a fear and/or doomsday element to it? Of course. Is there ex-communication for those who dare to leave? Oh yeah."

"For most of my life, I believed that all non-Jews hate us and want to kill us. I believed that all goyim are murderers, rapists, degenerates and dirty second-class citizens. Of course, they/we aren’t but I was taught that in order to make the secular lifestyle less appealing. I was told horrible things would happen to me in this world and the 'next world' if I leave. I was told I would end up a criminal or drug addict. Many members of my family refuse to speak to me to this day."

The Laestadian version of "One of Us" has yet to be made, but a proposal is in the works, and if you are interested in supporting it, let me know.


Saturday, October 07, 2017

Insights from a Cult Recovery Counselor


Interesting insights about recovery from high-control groups. 

"There's this dichotomy I've noticed with people who are raised in cults: they are made to feel that they are better than the rest of the world, they live in a higher sphere, they are closer to God, they are the chosen ones . . . but at the same time within the group, they feel very low, so they're higher than the rest of the world but they're knocked down with the group . . .  and you never quite know how to meet the world face to face . . . (that) you're not less than, you just are a part of the world with everybody else."



Friday, September 22, 2017

Critical Thinking 101: No True Scotsman Fallacy

The introduction of the term is attributed to British philosopher Antony Flew. In his 1975 book Thinking About Thinking, he wrote:[3]
Imagine Hamish McDonald, a Scotsman, sitting down with his Glasgow Morning Herald and seeing an article about how the "Brighton Sex Maniac Strikes Again". Hamish is shocked and declares that "No Scotsman would do such a thing." The next day he sits down to read his Glasgow Morning Herald again; and, this time, finds an article about an Aberdeen man whose brutal actions make the Brighton sex maniac seem almost gentlemanly. This fact shows that Hamish was wrong in his opinion, but is he going to admit this? Not likely. This time he says: "No true Scotsman would do such a thing."