This is actually a pretty important thread (that ties onto my own thread yesterday on "how people get recruited into literal cults")--anti-mainline-medicine stuff in general is an increasingly big way people get recruited into Christian Nationalism

My own thread:

And as a prep in addition to this thread, here's a link to the thread I did yesterday on how people do get recruited into cults and what goes on upstairs when people get pulled in:…

So part of what we'll discuss today is cross-recruitment

So, one of the things that has received relatively little info from even exit counselors until relatively recently is that...there are coercive groups that have overlapping systems of management, or overlapping theologies, or something else overlapping,

and it's not uncommon that someone gets pulled first into something else that's high demand and psychologically abusive, and gets pulled in from THERE into something ELSE that's nasty.

And in the case of Christian Nationalism, this goes back a long way

Probably the granddaddy of this phenomenon--and this actually applies directly to what we're gonna talk about later--is MLMs.

Specifically, AmWay/Quixtar/etc., which is not only a fairly major funding front for Christian Nationalism, but...

has historically been a fairly major way in which people get pulled *into* New Apostolic Reformation groups to begin with.

And much of how this works is that MLMs and NAR megachurches have a *remarkably* similar system of "uplines".

So basically a classic MLM has three or four leaders, and they have multiple people under them, and each of those has multiple people under *them*, and so on.

And pretty much at the same time AmWay started, certain NAR linked megachurches,

particularly a *very* large megachurch in South Korea that at its peak had close to a million members (in multiple satellite congregations, *all* managed like an MLM), took on that MLM-like structure as a way for explosive church growth…

and also realized around the same time that this was *really* similar to how Maoist "people's revolutionary cells" worked, and later weaponized that to take over mainline churches (and at least one major political party) from within.

(That's another thread.)

There is at least some evidence that this whole "pyramid structure" is *probably* inherently harmful, and it's definitely harmful in practice in NAR churches and MLMs…

And the similar structures and history of Christian Nationalism from Amway...

DOES mean both that people get sucked into MLMs (like AmWay and Herbalife) via things like those "home Bible studies" and "small groups" (basically the cell churches, the bottom of the "pyramid" there)...and people do get sucked into NAR groups through AmWay and other MLMs

(Probably the actual best book I've seen so far on how AmWay has in fact been used to recruit people into Christian Nationalism and NAR stuff in particular is the book "Merchants of Deception" which can be read for free:…)

And this relates...

to the general promotion of Anti-Medical Woo in Christian Nationalist and especially NAR circles in that MLMs, including AmWay, tend to sell a lot of Very Expensive alternatives to common consumer products like laundry detergent...and vitamins and supplements

So AmWay has had a history of...being *particularly* aggressive in this regards, even at one point with a NAR-linked downline weaponizing the Satanic Panic against Proctor and Gamble (and getting sued by P&G for libel)…

but MLM sales of vitamins and herbal supplements in general is a big thing AmWay does, and it's a big thing other MLMs do, and especially NAR, Quiverfull, and Latter-Day Saints women get targeted especially for getting into MLMs (to the point Utah is a known hotspot)

and it's largely because of these things like "Christian homeschooling groups" or "small groups" (which are often simultaneously in an MLM downline AND part of an MLM-esque structure in a coercive religious group) promoting this stuff to moms with kids in particular

specifically as a "Christian work-at-home solution for stay-at-home moms" that these get picked up like crazy. (And yes, there is a heavy pressure in NAR, LDS, and Christian Nationalist communities in general for women to raise kids at home if at all possible.)

And--specifically to promote herbal supplements, and to promote expensive vitamins--there's an awful, awful lot of medical misinformation promoted, which has included Wakefield Woo (and that's also where a lot of Baby Slurry mythos re vaccines got spread,

as well as earlier Baby Slurry myths about the supposed horrors of "placenta" in facial creams in order to promote MLM-produced (and expensive) alternatives).

In the *specific* case of the NAR, there's another element involved in this too,

in that (and here I must be blunt) the fact Pentecostalism (the movement that the NAR ultimately originated from via Lanhamism) has always had a definite "anti-medical" bent, with at least some Pentecostal groups eschewing medical treatment altogether

And while there's usually official *denials* from NAR preachers on that regard, there has been a definite strain of this "med-denialism" in NAR linked Christian Nationalism from the days it was called the Latter Rain and "Word-Faith" movement in the 60s/70s

And really it goes far earlier.

When I'd noted yesterday that one of the big things that cults tend to do in making people believe they can be real life superheroes? I wasn't kidding at all on that, and I'll actually give an example here.

Probably THE core document of the branch of Lanhamism that eventually became the NAR (and what was known as the Manifest Sons of God) was a book written in 1950 called "Atomic Power with God, Thru Fasting and Prayer" (sic) by Franklin Hall

It was big in the 50s when MSoG got going; it was seminal to Latter Rain stuff; it was big in the actual church I am an #exvangelical escapee of; Lou Engle and Morris Cerullo, major NAR promoters, actually push the book to this day

And in essence....

the book is meant to be essentially a training manual on how you can supposedly awaken *ALL* the Jesus Powers, by literally starving yourself in extended fasting, and going very, very heavy into religious devotion.

Yes, this includes apparently self-curing of disease,

as well as being able to cure others.

(Note: THIS DOES NOT WORK, especially if the claim is that all that "fasting and prayer" will cure things like diabetes or autism or the like. I'll go into detail in a bit on just HOW much this stuff Does Not Work)

And in general, when the fasting and the praying does NOT in fact work to grow a new arm or a new pancreas or a new set of eyes (or to pray away the gay, etc.) that's...when some of the nastier aspects of Cult Life start coming into play, and more of the hate/fear.

As I noted: These groups also see themselves in kind of a Real Life Justice League against a literal Army of Evil, and according to them pretty much all the Bad Things that happen are in fact the result of Satan coming in and trashing the place,

and this also means by extension that...there's some *remarkable* denialism of things like germ theory, or genetics, or systemic racism and poverty.

Nope, to them it's demons all the way down, and Satan is keepin' the man down and we could be god-kings (or at least

little children of God in the literal sense, little brothers and sisters of Jesus Himself) if one could just purge one's self of *all* the Satanic Fuckery.

Hence why they'll starve for 21 or 40 days, hoping that the "love offerings" given will rise them out of

a bad family situation, and get their cousin who got addicted off the H and Saved, and get their baby in hospital all healed up from being born prematurely.

(This also, in general, does not work. The "love offerings" arguably make the family finances worse.

In fact, I can confirm from life experience that contrary to the preacher's claim, a "love offering" consisting of a large portion of the family's income under a claim God will multiply it tenfold as if He ran an MLM himself actually tends to spend the family INTO poverty.)

So, after all the prayin' and fastin' and love-offerin' doesn't work...then the fact that The Magic Isn't Working starts into frank Forever Psychic War Syndrome. It's always something like "you had X secular product in the house, or you watched something,

or listened to something, or read something that obviously opened a doorway for Satan to get in and Fuck Around".

And if it's not you, it's a member of your family, so you have to get them all converted or there's always a risk you'll lose your God Powers.

And if you have somehow managed to convert your entire extended family to NAR theology (as my mother damn near did before she died, and as my sib I no longer speak with has tried)...well, it's obviously something your *ancestors* up to seven generations back did,

whether it was "be born as an indigenous person in a non-Christian culture", or "be the wrong kind of Christian" or "Grandma had her Tarot done when she was a young one".

(Note: Pentecostalism has only existed since about 1906, and its predecessor the Holiness Movement

since the late 1800s. NAR Christian Nationalists seriously believe they're the only ones to get Christianity right in 1900-odd years, and the supposed God Powers are somehow proof of this.

Yes, if you're doing the math at home, this means nobody is free of sin)

And if you've finally manage to somehow purge the curse of your ancestors (which has sometimes literally involved exorcisms or even destruction of things like *birth certificates* and *immigration papers* and *family keepsakes* in a desperate attempt to *close the doors*),

well...after all that, they'll then blame it on how you aren't praying hard enough, you aren't naming and claiming your God-descendant-given ROYAL RIGHT to the thing you want hard *enough*.

And you'll be told to explicitly deny to yourself things like being sick.

Or having physical handicaps or neurodivergences.

Anything that is a reminder of actual physical, mental, or neurological issues, or of social circumstances, is *in and of itself* considered Opening The Doors For Old Scratch and inviting Satan in for tea.

(Note: This denial of reality doesn't work, either. It ultimately killed my mother; it caused suffering to at least 3 relatives of mine subjected to deathbed conversion attempts by relatives who had convinced themselves God would cure them.

Hell, there's a certain infamous subreddit that explicitly focuses on the *tragedies* caused by this denialism that have led to thousands of likely preventable deaths.)

So yeah, there's definitely this whole undercurrent of "it's demons all the way down".

And that leads to the *OTHER* aspect of how a lot of anti-medical stuff gets propagated in Christian Nationalist circles...because there's a lot of specific sorts of denial, specific sorts of "embrace the superpowers" imagery in Christian Nationalist groups,

and in NAR groups in particular, that mainline pediatric and mental health and social work groups have looked at and said "this isn't just fractally wrong; it's fractally wrong in a way that is actively hurting and killing people".

And so they have pretty much a whole alt-medical industry, and a whole alt-*psychiatric* industry, specifically so that Christian Nationalists will not have to deal with non-friendly medical professionals…

And the alt-psychiatric industry--which started out in the 80s, and has always been intimately connected with "degaying", and "Satanic Panic" forever-psychic war narratives--is ESPECIALLY harmful in this regard…

One of the specific things that's explicitly promoted is...that mental illness isn't from genetic causes, or trauma, of a lack of non-store-bought neurotransmitters...but it's Satan all the way down.

And yes, they do encourage people to go off meds.

Kids (and adults) who have been sent to two specific Assemblies of God-run "alt-mental-health" groups (Mercy Multiplied--formerly Mercy Ministries until they got too infamous--and Teen Challenge) are known to even take people off psychiatric meds and try to cure

people of depression and bulimia and autism and even being LGBTQIA by "exorcism"--in this case, smearing oil on them and screaming at them in tongues and holding them down until they break.

(This also does not work. This usually induces psychiatric injury like C-PTSD.)

And yes, as you can expect, this is also why Christian Nationalists who are *deep* in will do things like beat kids to death (in the thoughts that they are literally driving demons out), or disown/force out LGBTQIA family members.

And there's another nasty aspect.

The third bit in this unholy trinity is a bit of a dirty secret that I touched on heavily yesterday in my talk on how people get recruited into cults.

As I noted, coercive religious groups explicitly seek out people who are having a difficult time,

one that is so rough it forces them to reset their worldview, where they're adrift on a metaphorical sea looking for a lifeboat.

And yes, this means that coercive religious groups *explicitly target people with mental illnesses to recruit*.

In fact, people who are having issues in finding appropriate mental health care, or people who have treatment resistant mental illnesses, are seen as ESPECIALLY attractive prospects because not only can they be promised Something That Works This Time,

but a lot of times (and I have sadly seen this myself more than once, and I have read stories--like Dena Schlosser--where this went *tragically*) signs of mental illness and decompensation are actually seen as bona fide religious manifestations.

And this, in and of itself, also encourages people to go off their meds--when a preacher tells someone who's bipolar who's in a manic phrase that it's basically their Jesus Superpowers manifesting, that's going to be a powerful encouragement to Not Be On The Meds

So yes, tl;dr there is just a *huge* anti-medical and especially anti-psychiatric thing that Christian Nationalist groups and especially NAR groups do a lot, though I'd argue it's something that they have in common with the Co$ and for almost identical reasons


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More from @dogemperor

Jul 5
Apparently there are folks having luck successfully reporting Christian Nationalist churches for illegal electioneering and this is a TikTok challenge I STRONGLY encourage. And in fact, I'll share how (and @OhsakaRin if you wanna share back with the TikTok kids :D)

So this is literally something I have done before in past, so I'll go ahead and give y'all some info on how to do this. (And almost certainly, you'll have a particular church or group or Christian Nationalist "educational group" you can target this way)

So. First off, you will want to get documentary evidence of stuff like handing out copies of partisan voter guides telling you to vote for Republicans, or a preacher stumping for a particular political party or candidate (and often this is easier than you think)

Read 21 tweets
Jul 4
Today, I'm going to be discussing something of an unusual subject that actually has some pretty heavy relevance to US politics and (honestly) world politics:

I'm going to be discussing cults (in the coercive group sense).

A thread:

So lately there's a lot of people who keep thinking re Christian Nationalism that "it can't happen here" (even as it is), or thinking they won't touch *Griswold* or *Loving v Virginia* or *Brown v Board of Education*, or even proposing "national divorces",

and I've discussed (largely to political audiences) why they absolutely would try to target these and *more*, and why the latter is likely to be as effective as the Maginot Line longterm in stopping an actual religio-fascist cult movement…

Read 60 tweets
Jul 1
Oh god the way this Lovely Techdouche is literally fractally wrong about this whole concept, let me count the ways:

1) Firstly: Unless you are in Japan or in areas which HAVE a large concentration of techbros, QR codes for menus are FAR from universal

(Like, literally in my little corner of the world that cannot decide whether it wants to be in the Southeast or Midwest...I've literally *never* seen QR codes as a menu substitute. Not during the Plague Times or afterwards.)

(And yes, I've seen them in a *very* few places, but it's places like "airport restaurants in an area with a well established tech community", not "area with less tech jobs than Minneapolis, Minnesota, where there are parts of the state even phone Internet isn't a thing".)

Read 17 tweets
Jul 1
Today is your gentle reminder that Hobby Lobby, Chick-Fil-A, AmWay/Quixtar/etc, In-N-Out, Sweet Frog, and Forever 21 are *literally* corporate sponsors of the exact Christian Nationalism ripping out the underpinnings of the Republic

(And yes, quite serious on that.)

I literally wrote about at least some of these companies 15 years ago (before it came out Hobby Lobby was literally buying stolen antiquities, both from Da'esh held Syria and Iraq *and* from a thief who stole from the Oxford Museum):…

Forever 21 is owned by members of a NAR-linked coercive religious group that has used the chain as funding for its cult (and Juicy Couture is owned by the same firm):………

Read 7 tweets
Jun 28
@Teri_Kanefield This is a point I would like to gently remind you that "active measures"--including the "they didn't do enough!" stuff to split progressives off--is a Known Thing, and not just by foreign hostile actors…

@Teri_Kanefield One of the explicit things suggested in Aleksandr Dugin's "Foundations of Geopolitics" (used by Putinists as a guide as well as the far right in our own country, and written by a Bolshevik-turned-religiofascist) even discuss on how to wreck the US this way,

@Teri_Kanefield by weaponizing both the far-left AND far-right.

It should be noted that Christian Nationalists have had a *long* relationship with Putinists (really, since around the time just before Putin got in office, and ramping up exponentially around 2011-2012), and

Read 12 tweets
Jun 27
Before people go in full conspiracy theory mode:

A lot of the problem is that you still have a LOT of train crossings in the US, especially in rural areas, that are functionally unguarded train crossings (and trains take a good mile to *stop*, they are Large and Heavy)

Amtrak also typically goes on freight rail lines outside of the Northwest or CA/OR/WA corridors (this was #4 Southwest Chief, which goes along primarily BNSF routes in CA and was former Super Chief pre-Amtrak), so complaints should go to BNSF for not having guarded crossings

(Also as a related aside:

a) Do not try to defeat the crossing arms at a guarded crossing, they are there for a Reason
b) Be careful as hell if you're at an unguarded crossing (one with only a sign, or which only has lights).

Read 4 tweets

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