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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %CONVERSION PERVERSION GOSPEL NEW TESTAMENT 960405 The process of perversion of a religious gospel by addictive religious leaders is often gradual and invisible to those involved in the religious perversion process. Converts to a religion may feel called to share their good news and convert others to their way of perceiving and responding to life's situations and contexts. The motivation to share their good news and converse together may gradually shift into a sense of duty to share their good news, to get others to conform to some set of religious doctrines, participate in some set of religious rituals, and to dedicate themselves to participate in a more fully conformal way. Gradually members of the religious tradition may come to identify certain beliefs, perceptions, feelings, descriptions and behaviors which do not conform to their prescriptions to be evil (or the precursors of evil) which must be avoided at all cost. Since evil is obviously bad and should be avoided, religious leaders may seek to be helpful by clearly identifying what is evil and what is not evil; who is evil and who is not evil; and to take steps to prevent evil beliefs, perceptions, feelings; descriptions and behaviors. Religious leaders often feel called to hate evil and evil doers, and to engage in crusades to prevent and destroy evil behaviors and evil doers. In the process they perfect the technology of identifying what and who is evil. In the above religious traditions leaders perfect laws, rules, regulations and prohibitions which they design in the interests of controlling evil and being in charge of the forces of goodness. Such religious leaders become experts in law enforcement, condemnations of the disobedient, and excommunication of those who are unfaithful in not conforming themselves to the requirements which have been devised to defend all that is good against all that is evil. Religious leaders perfect the process of drawing distinctions between experts in religious purity and faithfulness, and perverts who show inadequate concern about religious purity and faithfulness. They pride themselves in their ability to perfect the distinctions which clearly show that they are superior to those evil people who ignore and /or engage in obscene violations of religious laws, commandments, rules, violations, and prohibitions. In many gradual processes religious leaders appropriate the good news of a new testament and pervert it into being a tool for their lording it over others and controlling others for personal gain and satisfaction. In this way highly religious leaders become proud task masters---lording it over poor victims and prisoners whom they have made vulnerable, and powerless to be true to themselves or to others. In their arrogance many religious leaders cannot recognize their pride as an evil reality which engenders much alienation, misunderstanding, confusion, coercion and violence which undermine both personal and communal integrity---while they are working hard on appearing to be good, better than others. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================