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Cartoon description: A family cowers in fear in the corner because a man threatens them with a vicious dog called "DOGMA".
I believe this sums up spiritual abuse pretty succinctly.
Spiritual abuse is when spiritual leaders abuse their power and spiritual ideas to create a toxic culture of shame and control to fulfill their own desires. It is both of these: abuse of power AND the self-serving use of spiritual ideas.
Both of these are fueled by theology or dogma.
How many here know they've been victims of this? Or how many here are just realizing it? I've drawn a lot of cartoons on spiritual abuse over the years.
This was the first spiritual abuse cartoon I ever drew. It's 13 years old. I remember how much rage I stirred up to be so blatant about pointing out the accepted prevalence of spiritual abuse. But I also remember the gratitude from so many people who felt seen.
So I kept drawing and talking about it. If you've been a victim of spiritual abuse it's important to remember that it is not your fault. Fault lies with no one except the abuser and the system of enablers. There is never an excuse for spiritual abuse.
Here are a list of other blog posts I've written on Spiritual Abuse.