Religious (and other) Predator Defense

Before I continue, I wanted to state this up front, as this is very important no matter how much of this post you may wish to read:

“If any religious type people approach or talk to you, and this makes you angry, it is time to do some serious introspection, and find out why you feel threatened! Take some quiet time to determine why you believe what you believe. If you believe in nothing, that is fine too, but know why. For some people, belief in nothing is its own belief system, and as valid as any other belief system. Ignorance of why you believe what you believe creates fear, and this type of fear is groundless.”

Religious Predators deny who they are. Preferring to appear in Sheep’s clothing instead. Pretending concern over your well being, your future and your soul. Never mentioning they are on a recruitment campaign and you are the next most likely candidate.

Some predatory religions take on the guise of Christian religions. The word Christian is used in a very loose context with them. However, there are many, many groups out there who profess to other beliefs that sound as if they could be Christian’s with a few modifications to the verbiage. Others are more obscure, and their beliefs are farther from the middle of the road than many are comfortable with.

Religious predators are not limited to Christianity. They can be an offshoot of any belief system. Buddhism, Taoism, Daoism, Cultism, every major and minor religion has its less than stellar subsets. No set of beliefs is immune to predation by Wolf’s posing in Sheep’s clothing.

What should you do when approached by someone who apparently has more in mind than asking how your day is? The answer is both complex, and simple. Most people’s answers and reactions are personality based, and rarely grounded in a rational thinking process. Let’s change that into something positive.

The first and foremost things to remember is, “Be street smart“. Do not volunteer any information you would not want a complete stranger to know. These people are complete strangers. Treat them with respect, and keep them at arms length.

When the matter of belief or religion comes up, it’s time to, “Man or Woman up”, as the case may be. Whether you prefer complete honesty, or a fabricated tale, the choice is yours. It really doesn’t matter if both of you know you are lying. Basic politeness prevents a stranger from calling another stranger out for a lie.

Telling the truth about your beliefs is plausible. For example, “I believe our purpose on this Earth, is to love one another and get along as best we can.” You do not have to go into more detail, other than to say you are happy where you are at. This is my way of firmly stating I am not interested without being rude.

The worst way to manage a conversation with a Religious Predator is injecting energy into the conversation, by being rude or challenging them. Remain calm, and be firm, they are people too. There is no need to disagree with comments they make which you think are wrong. Disagreement opens the door to more conversation. You want to end the conversation, not enter into a prolonged debate.

If the situation permits, state you have to attend to some task where they would not be welcome – use the bathroom for example. Say you need to attend to some distasteful task (picking up dog droppings for example) and they are welcome to join you. Finally, say you need to end the conversation because you have to get home, go inside your house, meet someone, rescue your meal from the stove.

In any of the above examples, you have not opened a door for a Religious Predator to challenge your belief system, force you into conversation or debate (which you will probably lose), as debate is their strength, or have caused any reason for offense. You are simply saying, ‘I have a life and need to attend to it’.

Anger and arguing are poor choices in most situations. You open yourself with emotion, and emotion is a slippery slope on which to mount a defense. If you can not reasonably speak to a potential Religious Predator standing in front of you, simply say, “I am busy and not interested, Thank you”, as you close the door or walk away.

When I hear of someone speaking in anger or being rude, it tells me the person is unsure of themselves and their beliefs. They are bogged down with emotion. As far as religious or other predators are concerned, angry people have a target on their forehead.

Finally, religious predators will want to leave you with a pamphlet, or perhaps a small book for you to read. Politely say, “No thank you”. Accepting material opens the door to further conversation and visitation. If you are curious about the Group, the Internet is your friend with thousands of sites more than willing to share with you any information you wish to know.

If you come home, and find information left on your doorstep, and you can stand the mess, leave where it was placed. Let it fall to the ground. You need to provide a firm message as to what, “Not interested”, means. If you take pamphlets in to throw away, you are creating an opening for further visitation and conversation.

Religious Predation is not something new, it wasn’t invented this year, and has been around as long as belief and religion have existed. A Religious Predator in your face may be new to you, but they are well polished and have lots of experience in accomplishing their objective. Follow the steps I listed above, or create a new plan on your own, and you will be successful.

In their defense, some people I have had conversation with whom I consider Religious Predators, do not see themselves in the same light. They think they are doing what their beliefs tell them they should be doing. Once again, they are just people, so treat them as you wish to be treated and all will be well.

Religious Predators Are After You

Religious Predators are looking to recruit you!

Having finished another period of having people show up at my door for weekly, “Bible” lessons, I realized there is a lot of information you really need to know. Over the previous decades, I have been visited numerous times by various groups, though they all act basically the same.

Some visits were stop and go, others longer term. They all have the same predatory practices, with hidden secondary motives. I won’t be so dramatic as to suggest your soul is in peril, but your lifestyle, family and friends are, if you are not awake and cautious.

Each time I receive a “visit”, I listen cautiously and carefully to what they tell me. I am not so vain, to think I have a lock on belief and knowledge. Caution is key in these situations though. You are constantly challenged to offer opinion or manipulated into a position of arguing a point where you may have no real knowledge, understanding or grounding.

I have Family and Friends who had solid foundations in their respective beliefs and religion. After some months of interaction with Predatory Religion visitors, they unthinkingly recruit themselves into the, “New and Better Belief System and Religion”. For the first months, they generally said little about their day to day life. They would give glowing reviews on how great the people are, what they were learning, and how much their life has improved. A “new” family was often implied.

Slowly, they grew more distant. They said they were learning the real way to believe and act. They were unknowingly transforming themselves from new recruit, into pliable student, to becoming the new recruiter – incidentally, at the bottom of their new ‘family’ food chain. Conversation with family and friends changed to discourse of how everyone is lost and confused, in danger of losing their soul, and ending up in hell.

Then the hook in their mouth is pulled tight. They are now required to not only attend all group functions, but participate in the solicitation of new members in more than their spare time – almost all their time is spent in recruitment. Their own family slowly becomes a dim memory. One was required to become a, “Street Preacher”, in hopes of recruitment of those truly lost on the streets. This in most rational opinions was dangerous and unwelcome street level evangelism.

Most of them dropped out about a year later and went back to reclaim their old religion and reclaim their lost life and now distant and distrustful distant family. One true believer stayed away for many years, always sacrificing more and more of his personal time, work time, and quality of life to promote and recruit new members, because “Church” peer pressure expected this of him.

He was punched on a few occasions while door to door preaching, but it was all in the name of the “truth”. This doesn’t include the times he was yelled at, sworn at, or otherwise demeaned. When he finally had enough and tried to slow down, he was Shunned and Ignored by his Church Group. This was an emotionally devastating time for him. His support system had been pulled out from under him, leaving him in a void. His “Church” was all he had. He lost his job of course as a Church Group Member was his boss.

He had distanced himself from friends and family for years, and was now ignored by his Church Group. He had no one to turn to. He had no current friends. He did not feel he could contact anyone and ask for help as he felt he burned his bridges with family and friends.

In the end he left his home without notice and quietly moved to a new City, hoping his church group would never locate him. After some months, he was located, after distancing himself from this group’s peer pressure, and barely disguised harassment by those who wanted him back in the fold. He was a valuable resource to them. They wanted him back.

These are some of the traits of Religious Predators who will be approaching you soon – if they have not already. In no particular order:

1. Have a pleasing personality

2. Make you feel special

3. Express a sense of urgency for your salvation

4. Are convinced the world is about to end

5. Propose to have the correct belief system

6. Urge you to share their beliefs and point of view

7. Feign being “offended”, that ‘some’ people they contact act rudely towards them

8. Schedule time to have ‘religious conversation’ with you

9. Share “real”, knowledge with you

10. Bible referenced chapter and verse to support their story

11. Bible chapter and verse re-enforcement of what you are being taught

12. Subtle suggested psychological restraints on your current belief system or religion

13. Claim to be a “Religion”, and not a “Cult”

I think 13 is the correct number to stop at. I hope the number 13 makes you think. These Groups are mainly comprised of Religious Predators. Preying on People who they think of as ‘lost’, or perceive to be lonely or vulnerable. They will try to slowly integrate themselves into your life, drawing you away from your life, slowly turning reforming your beliefs into their beliefs.

It is always about Love

I recently finished a book named, Burro Genius, by Victor Villasenor. In itself this is an excellent book, and if you can get ahold of a copy of Burro Genius, I do not think you will be disappointed. Burro Genius is an autobiography of a child’s (Mr. Villasenor) struggle to hold on to what he believes is true in the face of adversity by people who want him to believe untruths and go against everything he was told and believes . The struggles of a little boy are carried into his teen years and beyond.

The reason I mention Burro Genius is Mr. Villasenor in his book, reminds me there is more to our lives than the mundane. He also makes it clear that standing alone on our side of the line in the dirt does not mean we are wrong or we are standing alone.

There are other stories of creation that are as valid as yours or mine. God speaks to us continuously. We all can hear what God has to say if we are quiet, patient, and open to listening. Occasionally, when it is important to God, the message arrives via a stronger messenger and then we hear.

I have been interested in the occult and paranormal. My interest started because I had parents of different religions, and little slices of life memories of before I came here. That was pretty heady stuff for a small child to make sense of. One parent going to hell even though they both believed in God, and making sense of memories that did not happen on this earth or in this world for that matter.

I rarely talked about or asked about my memories of before here when I was a child, and when I did, it was as if a curtain came down between myself and whatever adult I was speaking too. My parents differing religions were the same way with no one neutral on the subject. Needless to say, the two ‘imaginary’ (adult) people in my back yard, and my occasional visions were something I never brought up. By the time I was eight or nine, I had my secrets and I kept them.

When someone going door to door decides I am a good candidate for conversion from heathenism (not being of their church) to the light of their religion, all goes well for a short while. Then I have to ask: When exactly does our eternal life begin? If we love one another and try to do the right thing are we bad people? Did our eternal life started eons ago, and we are not aware of it because it is not Gods will we should be more aware? These questions pretty much stop all discussion. In no time these people of God quickly think of reasons why they need to leave – in mid discussion.

We it comes to our beliefs, we can only know what we know. What we know is only real for us. If someone uses different words or phrases it does not make what they say and think untrue. It only makes their perception and verbiage different than our own.

Many of us see ourselves and our family here on this earth with everything else not part of us.  Everything mystical, religious or paranormal is not of the world we have created unless it is in that little slice of time we go to church in. Eternal life starts when they were born. Eternity is what follows. This is their only chance to determine where they will spend eternity.

Such a tidy way of making sense of life and religion. Anything that does not fall in that narrow depiction of how the spiritual side of life works, is either to be ignored or feared. God no longer speaks, and Evil is winning the war of good and evil. If it doesn’t happen in the Sunday service, it isn’t real. They make a pill for that don’t they?

Speaking of pills for that, I read the other day, if you are an adult past forty and have feelings of immense gratitude, or sadness, this is an abnormal condition. There now is indeed a pill for that. I have issue with the definition of ‘abnormal condition’. Seems to me the people defining abnormal conditions are mundane, and have never witnessed any mystical experiences, how can they determine what someone who may have should feel? Then there is rule 2. If it isn’t part of church on Sunday, it is not real. If it is real, it is surely evil incarnate.

It is not my place nor my intention to challenge your belief system. Your beliefs have been with you your whole life. To you they are as comfortable as say being under your blankets on a cold night. I will suggest however that maybe everything you believe to be true is not the complete truth?

Many of us are explorers of one type or another. Some conquer mountain tops, others the sea floor. Most of us explorers partake in physical pursuits. A few explorers however explore possibilities. They travel inward and outward at times leaving their bodies in a safe place as they travel and explore. They catch glimpses other truths, and experience other worldly events.

Over your lifetime there are experiences or events you pretend are not what they were. Those things do not happen.  But they did, and they do not fit anything you knew before or after. These memories live right under the surface of our thoughts. Visions, sights, sounds, waking or sleeping dreams. We all have experiences we may have never shared with another person.

Why are we so quiet about these experiences we  won’t admit may be true? Is it because they are uncomfortable and do not fit nicely in our world. Are we afraid of what others may think of us? Mr. Villasenor found his answers, and he found his truths. He may explain some things a little differently, and that is ok. It is hard to find fault with an angry little boy cum young man, who found his way to became a caring human being who knows there is more to the world, than a few hours on a Sunday.