Children from Cults face later problems
Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 11:24 am
Children who grow up in religious cults face diffiulties not only during their childhood, but also after leaving the group.
That is the conclusion of research being presented today, Friday 12 July 2013, by the Chartered Psychologist Jill Mytton at the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Counselling Psychology in Cardiff.
In her research Jill Mytton worked with 262 adults (95 women and 167 men) who had lived in a religious group as children. Around 70 per cent of the sample lost their family on leaving, 27 per cent reported child sexual abuse and 68 per cent had found the experience of leaving traumatic.
She asked them to complete a battery of psychological measures. The results showed that the average scores of the 264 partiticpants on these measures were significantly higher than the general population.
Two other measurss – the Group Psychological Abuse Scale and the Extent of Group Identity Scale – were used to assess the group environment and the level of group involvement respectively, and cignificant correlations were found between them and all clinical measures. This may mean that the specifics of the group environment, coupled with how strongly the group identity is enmeshed with personal identity, are key factors in the causation of distress in this sample. http://www.bps.org.uk/news/children-cults-face-later-problems
Re: Children from Cults face later problems
Posted: Sat Jul 13, 2013 7:50 pm
How can we understand why things like this happen? The same thing will affect one person in one way, another not so much. And some people are not affected at all (by exposure to the same thing). How can we understand this? There may be an answer - as unacceptable as it may be to those of a Western style education.
"Rebirth of the Human Soul
Rebirth of the human soul is not one of those philosophical subjects which can only apply to people whose philosophy includes it. If it is true that the soul is born many times into different bodies, as the philosophy of Advaita Vedanta states, then it must be true of all those who follow a belief system which does not appear to include the concept of reincarnation. The question then arises - "Is the belief system of those who do not have knowledge of (and thereby no belief in) reincarnation, compromised by the omission of the concept of rebirth of the soul?" The answer is a definite, "Yes !". And how is it compromised? Quite simply, a belief system which relies on a single embodiment of the soul lasting as much as 80 or 100 years, health permitting, must have the expectation that every human soul thus embodied, would be able to find complete success with the discovery of its true relationship with the Creator, within those few years. As this is a virtual impossibility for a completely new soul or one previously embodied as an animal, then the soul will likely be threatened with the banishment or damnation which needs to be proposed or invented by their belief system. The concept of damnation goes against the universal concept, which all Creator based belief systems contain, that the Creator is both compassionate and merciful. Also it would leave out any sense of justice in this creation of His, i.e. it is He that created the difficult situation in which we find ourselves and therefore He should give enough time and opportunity for us to find Him during our existence here on this planet. Verse 30 of Chapter 9 of the Bhagavad Gita gives more hope than the idea of eternal damnation gives to us:-
Even if a man of the most sinful conduct worships Me with undeviating devotion he must be reckoned as righteous, for he has rightly resolved. 30
The dirtiest water can be brought back to its original pure state through distillation. Even while in dirt its innate element is not lost. Man's case is much more definite than that of water. There is no such thing as eternal damnation to the sinner as some religions would have it. The unpardonable sin is a misnomer. Salvation of mankind is the supreme plan of the Divine. The more man turns to God the purer he becomes. His mind gets automatically set aright in God-thought. His good action then follows in the trail of his purified thought. He emerges as one reclaimed in virtue.
Applying Rebirth to Karma
Another quote from the authority of the Bhagavad Gita clarifies this situation for us. From chapter 6 verses 42 to 44.
Having attained to the worlds of the righteous and having lived there for endless years,
he who falls from yoga is reborn in the house of the pure and prosperous. 42
Or he is born in a family of wise yogis; only a birth like this is
verily very difficult to obtain in this world. 43
There he regains the knowledge acquired in his former body,
and he strives more than before for perfection, O joy of the Kurus. 44
"Most spiritual traditions agree that human beings are accountable for their actions, which can be thoughts, words or deeds. This is especially applied to actions which may have had an adverse effect on other creatures. The Indian traditional approach to this calls the accountability system, "The law of karma". In the words of the Semitic channel of belief it is called "As you sow, so shall you reap." In basic terms, the advice is that we cannot truly expect to escape the consequences of our actions in life as a whole. This is often called, the justice of the Creator or natural justice. For this to be acceptable to the logical and intelligent person, the outcome of any action, which must come back to any person, should be appropriate and tangible. This is so that all can see that the law of action and reaction is working. If this is not seen to be the case, then no one can expect intelligent people to believe in the justice of this accountability idea. When people no longer believe in this concept or forget it, then human society can collapse into anarchy and lawlessness. This century has seen this happening in what is now a common phenomenon called "The Failed State", where the rule of law is seen to have failed.
Belief in the law of karma must be able to leave no single action left without account. Hence, how are we to see that virtuous or wicked actions carried out in the last days of life, will come to account? Or the actions of those who manage to evade human justice systems? If there is no rebirth, then there is no law of karma here in this place where the actions were carried out. The idea in some belief systems that the individual will be accountable in some unseen place and unknown to others, does not satisfy the above criteria of tangibility. Reincarnation is the only way that the Creator can have a just creation where all can see the results of previous actions coming back to the perpetrator. This is often seen as a unexpected illness or calamity coming into a persons life. Where rebirth is not understood then such calamities in life cannot be explained. It is the knowledge of rebirth which shows that nature is balancing action and reaction, so that the justice of the Creator can be seen to work. It is also His system for continuity of the good actions related to acquisition of wisdom in life. This is so that the accrued benefit of a good life is also not lost. As stated in the Gita chpt. 6 verse 44 above. This may also explain why some are attracted to a spiritual life and others are not - even in situations where they happen to be born in the same family."
Re: Children from Cults face later problems
Posted: Tue Jul 16, 2013 9:56 am
Thank you Justice for the information. It will be interesting to see if the same sort of results can be obtained with a larger sample size.
At the risk of promulgating a somewhat tangential post, there are two main questions regarding what you said:
1. The cogency of your entire post relies on the very contentious assumption that we all have transmigratory souls. Other than the "problem of suffering", do you have any other reasons for believing that proposition is a true one? You assumed the proposition was true at the beginning of your post, but it seemed the whole point of your post was to provide an explanation for why some people are more affected by cults than others. If you're going to invoke karma as an explanation you can't start your post by assuming what you need to prove. (I say "prove" only because it is clearly your view that karma is the explanation).
2. I take it you believe that some kind of conscious and divine 'administrator' of karmic law exists (whether it be Isvara or someone else). My question is: do you think that 'administrator' is bound by the law of karma or not? I ask this because at some point you are going to have to introduce 'grace' (or an equivalent mechanism) to explain how liberation is possible at all given the enormous number of sanskaras we all allegedly possess.
As a general comment, karma suffers from a number of problems that undermine its validity - quite separately from the overarching issue that there is absolutely no evidence for its existence. One of these problems is over-determination: I.e. while karma is a possible explanation for a certain event happening, it is almost never the most plausible explanation. The question is, as always, what is the more reasonable thing to believe in a given situation? If a child in Africa dies from AIDS, is it really cogent to believe that 'karma' is somehow mysteriously involved when it is quite clear that the child inherited the disease from one or both of its parents? In other words, the natural/physical explanation of the event completely explains the event. There is simply no need to invoke the nebulous concept of 'karma', in the same way as there is no need to invoke the existence of spirits and demons to explain sickness in general.