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Jun 19 2013

Kidnapped for Christ

The folks who are making the documentary Kidnapped for Christ are still trying to raise the funds to finish the project and get it released. I think it’s a really important documentary. It’s about kids who are sent to a “therapeutic Christian boarding school” in the Dominican Republic where they are abused, often because their parents think they might be gay or not Christian enough. You can contribute at the link above. Here’s the trailer:

7 comments

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  1. 1
    Sastra

    You have to wonder about the parents and counselors and advocates for this school. Somehow, this is all seen as a good thing — harsh but necessary. My guess is that they must by justifying it to others and themselves through some inner narrative, one which frames these kidnappings as not just acceptable, but exemplary. “Some day these kids will thank us; some day they will look back and realize it’s the best thing which could have happened to them.”

    I once was lost, but now I’m found. Tough Love.

    Sure, you can find micromanaging mind control tactics within any form of absolutist ideology — but my, doesn’t it fit in well with religion? Pain and suffering and hard work help to purge the wickedness of the world away, leaving a broken will which submits with grateful obedience to the Authority of God. We’re forming souls eager to conform to the will of their Lord. Those more moderate Christians who see this school as wrong because it’s ‘playing God’ with the lives of children might be overlooking the fact that the longterm goal of their religion is in fact for God to play God.

    That I may rise, and stand, o’erthrow mee,’and bend
    Your force, to breake, blowe, burn and make me new…
    Take mee to you, imprison mee, for I
    Except you’ enthrall mee, never shall be free

  2. 2
    bmiller

    Sastra: Interesting argument. This is the ESSENCE of Christianity, isn’t it. For those who submit, eternity (heaven?) is nothing but slavish worship of Yahweh, for ever.

    Pace Christopher Hitchens, at least in North Korea, when you die, they are done with you!

    If anything, it can be argued that Christianity’s cousin faith (or bastard child), Islam, is even more totalitarian.

    http://rantswithintheundeadgod.blogspot.com/2013/02/islam-and-secret-of-monotheism.html

  3. 3
    Gregory in Seattle

    It is significant that such “schools” are in the Dominican Republic and Belize and other Central American and Caribbean countries with corrupt governments and almost nothing in the way of oversight or child protection. They HAVE to be in such countries: if they tried these in the US, the people running them would end up locked away in prison for a very, very long time.

  4. 4
    raven

    if they tried these in the US, the people running them would end up locked away in prison for a very, very long time.

    These schools were in the USA.

    They got run out for child abuse, sadism and torture, and mostly because large numbers of kids died in those camps. I saw a list and it was maybe 50 or so.

    One of the things that drives these camps is,…surprise!!!….money. They have untrained staff, not many of those and charge huge amounts of money.

  5. 5
    raven

    There are still camps like this in the USA. In a lot of states (guess which ones, no surprise), oversight and regulation are about zero.

    The fundie xians are huge fans of Stalin and Stalinism. They have episodic purges for thoughtcrimes. They also have their own Gulag system.

    It’s only for kids because that is who they have legal power over.

    The Mormons always insular, have their own Gulag for their kids called obviously…the Mormon Gulag.

  6. 6
    tbp1

    There’s a book about this phenomenon, Jesus Camp, by Julia Sheeres. Might even be the same camp. Very chilling—well worth a read.

  7. 7
    bones

    It’s the same author. Though, in Julia Scheeres’ Wikipedia entry it says, “In December 2011, Escuela Caribe, the reform school featured in her memoir, was closed down due to a successful internet campaign by alumni to expose its 40 year history of child abuse.”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Scheeres
    So the film isn’t going to help close down THAT school.

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