Is Religion the Trauma Survivor’s Band-Aid®?

I have spent the better part of my adult life studying to understand the relationship between religion and the human mind. Growing up conditioned and abused by religion, at times, I am told I hate religion because it abused me.

In my book, “Cult Child“, I travel into where my young mind existed. Even though I grew up in a religious based, highly abusive and fear driven cult, as a child, I had deep inner insight. It was the adults around me who attempted to infiltrate and erase my original self. I always had a slight flame of knowing which told me this religious belief system was questionable. As a child, I saw the contradictions in the Christian religion. Yet, fear of being wrong held me compliant to the brainwashing.

After leaving Sam Fife’s Move of God cult, I remained in a fear-based mindset, wavering between my religious conditioning and the new information I now had access to in the secular world through books, my peers and other mediums. I was soaking up everything I could. In my twenties I moved into atheism. When the Internet launched I studied more religions, from Mormons to Islam to Santeria to transcendental meditation, oneness concepts and more.

I had a period of my life where I needed to understand my European ancestors, diving into pagan history and it’s morphing into religion, bringing them to America as brutal, religious tyrants. I dove into my Cherokee lineage, which was infiltrated by my European ancestors, wanting to understand all other spiritual practices of both sides.

By the time I moved into my late thirties and early forties, my mind had fully released believing in any systems outside of myself. No longer was there a being in control of my mind or dictating who I was or how I should behave. I had self-integrated MPD alters, dug into the depths of my DNA and realized I am the one in control of me. It is my sole responsibility to create my peace and be accountable for myself and my behaviors.

I lost all fear of death. I had never had too much concern over what happened to me after I died. Having experienced trauma based near death experiences as a child, I understand dimensional universal physics, and so reality based thinking became and still is my complete mindset.

I identify with no label or group. It is the most free my mind has ever felt. I stand within my own empathic molecular origins, a scientific morphing through time and space. Answering to myself and no one else has given me a feeling of mental completeness. While my human existence deals with trauma based bi-product, I became more functional as I became more self-empowered. I became able to identify and explore my abuse based programming.

When I began to connect with fellow trauma survivors, both online and offline, I spent the years observing them. I became interested in a specific pattern that emerged through my observations. I was finding so many trauma survivors who stated they did not find healing until they either met the Judea-Christian God or re-established their own relations with a God figure they had re-defined to fit what made them feel good or felt “right” to them. Some survivors moved from one religious mindset to a different one, claiming the new one as the real one, the one which healed them.

This inspired an urge in me to want to understand deeper, one, why so many trauma survivors felt healed once they found a religion and two, what was keeping them from finding healing in just believing fully in themselves.

In my own self-exploration, I did not truly begin to feel healed and whole until I had released believing in anything outside of myself. I want the same for these survivors.

I observe behavior deeply. I watch those who say they’ve been healed by religion, begging for prayer as they move through triggers, difficult times in their lives, anxieties, depressions, eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction, religious based delusions of grandeur and more.

I wonder to myself.

If a person believes that a prayer can work to heal them, what is blocking them from believing that they have the same mental capability to heal themselves? In a rush to heal, have they simply picked up a religious cane to help them get through life? What would happen to them if tomorrow they woke up and religion did not exist in their minds? How would they get through their days?

I have attempted to have these discussions with religious people. They can’t seem to wrap their own heads around the possibility that they could ever be a whole person without their religion. They say it makes them feel good. So does heroin. They say prayer makes them feel peaceful. So does a warm bath, laughter, a soft violin or a walk in nature.

This line of conversation has most often led to a shut down. Suddenly the survivor feels judged. I watch their behavior, most often, un-aligned with their own belief system. I realize that there is a deeper layered issue that exists in so many trauma survivors, and it could be blocking their own final healing. It began to hold me back from these discussions as I saw they were most times conversations which just created tension.

I hope that soon, trauma survivors will take the final step into their own clear minds, using grounding tools instead of prayer. Using Sunday mornings to rest and care for themselves or having brunch with other survivors who have learned to completely thrive on their own individual and unique pure will and strength instead of rushing off to a church to give away money or say penance for their weekly “sins” or doubts.

Believing that our existence is controlled and owed to an invisible entity, being or anything outside of ourselves is an emotional trauma based, self-defeating mindset, and the believer cannot understand this. It is a combination of absent critical thinking coupled with cognitive dissonance.

Religion tells the trauma survivor that through worship and belief, they will feel healed. They do, because their minds, an injection needle, convinces their DNA that they will feel better with this drug called religion. It is a mental form of pharmaceutical treatment.

Some might say. “Well, if it is working, then why change it?”

Yet, is it working? If prayer heals. If God makes lives better, there would be no religious alcoholics, drug addicts, food addicts, angry religious people who shut down, carry low self-esteem, have inabilities to be loyal, maliciousness and more behavioral issues which exist inside of the religious communities.

The religious answer would be that God gave the humans free will; that they choose to be this way and REAL religious people don’t have behavioral issues. This concept is illusionary. The most grounded people I know became that way partially through finally empowering themselves away from outside beliefs.

This concept that a god can both heal and reject healing, just sinks the mind further, as it presents deep, subliminal contradictions. God will heal you if you pray enough, but if you don’t become healed, well that’s your fault for not being faithful, for not praying enough, it’s not your time yet, you’re learning patience, and the reasons god didn’t answer is a long list.

There’s a psychological term for HUMANS who enact this type of behavior: narcissistic crazy makers and gas lighters.

There is something askew in the mind of a human who won’t allow these adverse behaviors from other humans, but believe they must accept the same adverse behaviors from an invisible entity.

The move from believing in outside control belonging to a deity, to critically thinking in total self-empowerment, is one small step of choice to becoming self empowered.

Yet, for so many, it’s a step which either does not exist due to their need for belief, or it feels too big for many survivors to take. While they may say it doesn’t, guilt and fear of a hell or a non-afterlife, still holds them inside a web of hope that everything in their life will be better if they just believe and give their worries to a God. Or, for some, the thought of standing “alone” or in the “unknown” is too terrifying.

While I do not spend my time specifically trying to de-evangelize humans one on one, I stand in my own space, on my personal forums, expressing this concern for those who care to consider it. For me, it is a concerning epidemic that contributes to the shattering of a human mind, not a mending.

I ask religious people to truly consider the generational belief systems passed to them as an answer for healing and the danger they create if they pass this disempowerment to their children.

Instead of using phrases like “All things are possible with God.“, simply saying “You have the abilities to create whatever you decide is possible.” changes the way a child feels about who they are personally. Religion does not self-empower a child ever. Eventually in life, things fall, and religion doesn’t fix it. We fix ourselves.

I ask religious survivors what would their fall back coping skills and joy centers be without religion. If they feel they would not have one, then I dare say they are not healed. They are living inside of a level of brainwashing which has convinced them they are, or that they will find it inside of something beyond themselves.

I challenge those who need belief, to ask themselves what keeps them from fully believing in themselves; from looking around at the empowered individuals who have come full circle into themselves without religion.

I say, that when the mind is open fully; when the mind meets itself; there is a clarity that no religion can ever provide. Our DNA awakens in us, finally free to live authentically in its cleansed state. In that feeling, there is the purest joy one could ever imagine. It is the joy of finally taking back control of our own lives and standing inside of authentic accountability.

So spend time meeting yourself purely. Who were you before you were indoctrinated as a child? How would you have healed as an adult if religion was non-existent for you to find? Spend time with your own body cells and DNA, listening to YOU!

It is a scientific fact that your body will speak to you. Your body will tell you how to heal its traumatic pieces, and you will be so empowered, that your health light will shine on its own for all to see. And you will get the full credit that you deserve for the work that you solely have done.

This is empowerment.

Vennie Kocsis is a cult survivor, author and advocate. She speaks openly about self-empowerment and the deprogramming of the human mind back to its authentic state.

7 thoughts on “Is Religion the Trauma Survivor’s Band-Aid®?

  1. Religion wasn’t really a part of my upbringing. But as I grew older I became attracted to the cosmos. I’m not entirely sure how, but my mind gravitated toward witchcraft, but not in the traditional sense. It hasn’t healed me, not by any means, but it does offer me a little solace when I need it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Vennie . . . When I was getting ready to leave the Palmer farm I took a long time to figure all this stuff out like: fear, doubt, and all the other things a stolen mind comes up with. The only word I came up with when I asked myself, “what have you learned in all this?” was, “You have learned that YOU and you alone are responsible for your actions . . . that’s it. . . . all the bullshit I had gone through these last few years in the ‘move’ was an experience, but not in the way I had imagined. . . I left the farm in fearless peace and still at 75 know that I am responsible for this time, in this body and I am totally at peace with that.

    I bought and am reading your book. My reaction? It was too good, too truthful, too graphic for me not to believe you (as I gather many have not) I am so ashamed that as a man who prides himself in the arts of self defense was not physically or mentally there for all you kids. Why? I don’t fully understand, but I learned a valuable lesson once I got free and all these years later I still refuse to follow anything or anybody anywhere. . . . I dropped Sam when he started to preach about living forever (even a numb nut like me knew THAT was fing crazy . . . when his plane went down I did too . . . . Good luck and know you are being a wealth of information to this old man. J

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vennie –
    Thank you for your fierce courage and brutal honesty in sharing your experiences in Sam Fife’s Twisted Circus. I’m almost fifty and have spent years being highly successful at derailing my life while trying to ignore what my years at Game Creek did to me and my family. My oldest siblings who had similar experiences have passed, leaving me to wonder alone if it was as bad as I remember. Everyone experienced it differently, but for me it was incredibly traumatic and lonely. I’m doing the work to rebuild my life. Thank you for the inspiration and validation.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh sister. I’m so sorry. Yes. Game Creek was as bad as we remember it. Do you remember my family? Linda (mom), Scott, Leyah and Angie Carpenter? How old were you there? I always feel a bit of “excitement” when I meet someone from the same compound as me. If you want to talk privately, my email is: 💞


  4. I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church where I was told to submit to the authority of my elders, especially male elders. Any talk of sexual activity outside of marriage was simply that it was sinful and abhorrent in the eyes of God. No one talked about abuse, so this among other teachings had me convinced my abuse was my fault. I felt degraded and dirty, essentially unredeemable despite the teaching that said Christ forgives all. After being a very active member in my church during most of my childhood, I finally had the courage to break free. Although I never took the Bible literally–too many contradictions, etc.– the conditioning took its toll. I figured I might possibly go to hell. But I was also taught that Jesus was in my heart, and my heart was deeply hurting, my soul aching to move on to something better.

    Like you I explored many religious traditions, discovering that when I experienced spiritual ecstasy it was not because of any particular religion, it was because I carried that capacity wherever I went. That spiritual fulfillment was nurtured by good and kind people of many faiths and by those with none at all. I still pray, as a spiritual practice that goes beyond meditation, but don’t need belief in any particular deity to do so, which I know is very confounding to others, believers and nonbelievers alike. It’s a habit that lifts me up and keeps me mindful of others, one that others may say is not praying at all–I just don’t have a better word for it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. In the throes of recovery from an entirely different type of cult and an entirely different experience, I find myself asking and observing the same things you address here. Religious addiction to be sure. And then i begin to question my own self, am i just judging their prayer? Maybe they experience prayer as I experience intention. Maybe its my own history and perception with prayer that has nothing to do with their prayer. To be sure, I am in awe of the people who are able to leave a cult and devote their lives to a religion with the same name. That said, I can also see the draw. I sometimes wax nostalgic about the times when I believed prayer and God would save me. Some say prayer did save me and that sparks a revolution within the body. Either way, your writing speaks to me on a level beyond comprehension to me at this time. I find your mind seems to travel similar paths to mine in behavior observation and awareness. Thank you for your writing and sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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