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Has anyone here had their significant other turn evangelical/religious? If so, how did it turn out? What's your story?

–Signed, Dealing With It

By mykhael6
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Yes. He was an agnostic when we first got married and for several years afterward. He sustained a traumatic brain injury which later resulted in non-convulsive seizures (temporal lobe epilepsy), resulting in hyper-religiosity, resulting in an obsession with reading the bible, resulting in an evangelical mentality. He was a well-educated man, but after the TBI and evangelical indoctrination, he became someone else --- someone I didn't recognize.

Because he was experiencing religious-type hallucinations and major depression, his predator pastor (along with the elders) told him that he was dealing with "spiritual warfare" and should go through a deliverance --- that he was being tormented by demons. They completely ignored the fact that he had experienced a TBI resulting in a neurological disorder.

They also informed him that if he didn't go through a deliverance that these so-called demons could come onto me and our new-born. Because he was in a weakened mental state, this "counsel" freaked him out and he committed suicide the same day he was advised to go through a deliverance.

Several years later I remarried. When I married him, I had already denounced Christianity but was a diest at the time. He seemed to be OK with that. He was/is a Southern Baptist cultural Christian. Didn't really care about the rules of his religion until I went through a full deconversion from god belief and became an agnostic atheist. That's when he said that we were "unequally yoked." Suddenly, the rules mattered, especially with regard to my place as a woman.

How did it turn out? I divorced him.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I empathize and sympathize. What's your story?

Great. Odin's. Eye patch.

Hi Victoria,

Firstly, I'm so sorry you've had such a difficult time when it comes to marriage. I'm especially sorry for what happened to your first husband. It must have been devastating going through it. I can only imagine that you must have been livid at those who helped lead him down that path. Seriously, I would have been very, very angry. I hope you can still find happiness.

As for my story... We were living out west where we'd been for twelve years. After a second job offer from her company at corporate headquarters in Houston. I agreed to go along (though I hate Texas–at least east Texas). Her family is from the area. We got her moved and I stayed in where I was until her niece and her husband moved out. We didn't talk much as she was pretty busy at work and taking care of her mom. After eight months, I decided it was time to join her, so I packed everything up and shipped it down. She drove up and picked me and the rest of my things up.

First thing I noticed was a cross hanging in the rearview mirror and some bibles in the back seat, but didn't think too much of it. Her little brother-turned preacher, had a small church about fifty miles from her moms house out in the country and I figured it had something to do with her mom and her brother.

We were about halfway to Texas when my wife revealed that the niece and husband had not yet moved out. I was surprised and asked her how were two dogs, three cats and five adults going to live in a small two bedroom, one bath house and she replied that "Jesus would take care of it". I had noticed subtle changes in her personality, and of course, the cross and bibles, but never suspected this!

Over the next year and a half, the niece and husband moved out and she and her mom went to church every Wednesday and Sunday. Her job was an hour and a half+ away down in Houston, the church an hour northwest and then an hour home on Wednesday nights.

Her little brother/pastor's church as a very small one and had about 12-20 members which were mostly family. I never went and they didn't expect me to, though they never stopped trying. I took her mom to church on Wednesday nights and then I went back home.

Needless to say, there was a lot of religion in the house...and I was pretty much captive to it (and alienated by it). Her brother and family would come over on Sunday afternoons and play games, laugh and listen to Christian music.I'd either stay in the bedroom on my mac or go to the nearby National Wildlife Refuge to shoot some photos.

Anyway, the straw that broke the camels back was one Monday morning she woke me before leaving for work and said there was a revival at church that night and that she'd be late coming home. I didn't think too much of it, since it was one night. Her brother picked up her mom and took her to church. That night it became late and I began to worry that something had happened. Cell service was bad in the area and I couldn't reach her. They got in at midnight. I was already pissed that this was going on when she had to work the next day (up at 4:30 for that long commute). She said the next morning that the revival had been extended for another night...then another...then another and finally the rest of the week. I was livid. I told her that if she crashed and hurt herself, her mom, or anyone else, I'd come after her brother and those responsible for this B.S.all through the middle of the work week. Yeah, I was already at my limits with this crap, but now I was hot.

Just as I suspected, both she and her mom got very sick from being worn out. Very sick. Which made me more upset. Soon after, we had a sit down and I asked where I was priority wise in her life...where did it figure in? Her answer was: 1. God, 2. Her mom. 3. Me. She did admit that she made a mistake by not telling me in advance about her religious conversion and that she'd curtail some of her activities.

That made things a little better, until the "Prayer Cloth". Yes, the "Prayer Cloth". One day I was changing out the bed sheets and found a small patch of cloth under my pillow with some scripture on it. I later found out it was indeed a prayer cloth. Good grief! Well, it wasn't long after that that I packed up and left for the pacific northwest. Yeah, I made a trail outta there!

I haven't seen her since early 2014. We've spoke a couple of times on the phone, a few texts, but that's it. I suggested a divorce about a year and a half ago, and though she seemed surprised, she agreed and said she'd handle it. So far she's been "too busy".

So, that's what happened to me and where I am at the moment.

It was a very bad experience. I never expected anything like this to happen. It's been a real eye opener. She's a very good person, smart and loyal (maybe to a fault).

@mykhael Thanks for sharing your story, and I appreciate your thoughtful words to me. Yes, it took me quite a while to process everything that happened during that ordeal with my late husband, and, yes, I did get angry after I learned about all this deliverance, fear mongering crap that led to his death, but the dust during this time hadn't settled yet and I didn't get angry for several years afterward. In the meantime, the vultures were circling and I was one of their targets.

Those that lead people to conversion tend to be very cunning in their approach and have no problem lying for Jesus. There is a strategic process they use, very similar to thought reform and totalism. Unfortunately, it happened to me, too, not too long after his death. That's when I was the most vulnerable to indoctrination. I wrote a blog post a little over 2 years ago with some of my findings if you're interested in reading it. This blog post gets a lot of traffic daily, still, because so many ex-Christians can relate. [victorianeuronotes.wordpress.com]

Dr. Lifton, a world renown American psychiatrist, published a book in 1961 titled: “Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of “Brainwashing in China”. His book was based on research with former prisoners of the Korean War and Chinese war camps.

Lifton interviewed American servicemen who had been POWs during the Korean War. He also interviewed people from China who fled their homeland after being subjected to mind control. The studies entailed coercive techniques that he labeled “thought reform” or “brainwashing”.

Lifton defined a set of steps involved. After reading these steps, I was blown away at the similarities regarding evangelical indoctrination. I used scriptures supporting the same thought-reform steps noted in his book. It's rather eye-opening, to say the least.

It saddens me to read that you're still having to wait to fully move on. IMO, it's likely (because of her indoctrination) she won't follow through on divorce proceedings. Her loyalty can be used against her, and it seems to me it has already. Her first loyalty is to her god (and scripture). It's demanded in the Bible.

These revivals use techniques such as "voice roll" where evangelists cause a trance-like state in an audience by using speech patterns that occur at a regular rate, typically a beat-rate of 45 to 60 per second. The same happens with the carefully chosen music they use. I went into detail in another post titled: "How I Fell In Love With Jesus and Why I Stayed a Devout Christian For So Long."

It, too, might give you some insight into what's happened to your partner. I hope you can soon find some closure and I'm sorry you had to experience seeing your partner become bamboozled and all the fallout as a result. Carl Sagan once said:

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.”

@VictoriaNotes Thanks for your insight. The video was (at your bio) hilarious! Your message here however, as intended --not so much. Yes, I agree that she probably won't follow through. I thought about trying to snap her out of it, but wasn't sure if I had that right. I mean, if she is happy, then why interrupt her bliss? It's a very personal thing. But I feel like I let the sharks have her. Thoughts? (I'll be reading your blog)

"I thought about trying to snap her out of it,"

@mykhael Since you are still her husband, and since the Bible (both Old and New Testament) commands women to submit to and obey their husbands, you might have some leverage. But, as you said, she might be happy, although I can't imagine her being OK with being told that she (as a woman) is inferior to half of our species and is under the rule of her husband, according to Genesis 3:16. That never sat right with me when I was a believer, and that message, along with several other cruel biblical teachings messed with my self-esteem and caused depression at the time.

Evangelical Christianity devalues or eliminates all sources of self-affirmation so that there is no hope, or beauty, or meaning, and more importantly, no integrity of the self without it. When a belief (indoctrination) does that to you, you will have almost no chance of being able to critically evaluate its truthfulness. Conservative Christianity alters your identity to ensure the survival of itself.

She may still be in the neurological "honeymoon" period of her belief so hasn't realized the impact on her psyche, yet. If she's smart and the curious type, I'll wager she eventually will. Bliss only lasts so long when one is caught up in the oppressive, fear-mongering evangelical movement. Cognitive dissonance kicks in, and asking valid questions to the clergy will only result in being told to not lean on your own understanding. Charlatans.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I very rarely share it on this site, but I thought it might help, in your case. I'm sorry for your loss, Mykhael.

@VictoriaNotes Thanks for your insight, Victoria. I think it will be very valuable. It's given me food for thought regarding trying to possibly "saving" her. I feel deeply like I owe it to her.

Again, thank you so much. I'm very lucky to have stumbled into your life.

@mykhael smile001.gif All the best in your endeavors. Sometimes, however, people just grow apart.

@VictoriaNotes Thanks Victoria. Yes, people do change. And I'm a realist so I have no wild expectations.

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