So, Julia Baird and the ABC have declared war on Christianity. At least that’s what some would have us all believe.

My view is that if there was a war involving Christianity, it is one that the religion has been waging on the public for decades, and perhaps centuries. Anybody unsure of this only needs to look at the statistics on the sexual abuse of children.

However it is not just sexual abuse that runs rampant in the Christian faith. As we have seen reported recently by Baird and others from the ABC, there are some that are committing horrific acts of domestic violence, and sexual violence including rape upon their wives and believing the bible justifies their actions. Not why people sometimes refer to it the “Good Book” I’m assuming.

Today I wanted to talk about a different kind of abuse perpetrated by some preachers of the Christian faith, and it is a form of abuse I believe to be frighteningly prevalent and one that is in my view positively evil. I know all too well of this abuse as it is of a type I witnessed first-hand for a number of years, and one I have seen the results of many years later.

The abuse I speak of is psychological abuse.

Mental abuse, brainwashing, whatever you want to call it is frighteningly common and is done for all kinds of purposes. Some of these may include to control someone, for financial reward, for sexual gratification and for some I’m sure it just makes them feel like some kind of god.

How I came to experience this first hand takes me back to when I was a kid attending high school. It may surprise you to know I was not the best behaved boy as a young lad, and after some differences of opinion with the public high school I attended my parents thought it may be in my best interests to attend a private Christian school, one that whose legal representation I will no doubt be receiving a letter from soon.

In the early 1980’s when I first arrived at Redeemer Baptist School it was a high school with no more than 50 students, by the time I left it had a few hundred and included primary and infants students as well.

The Redeemer Baptist School is on the historic Burnside Homes site at North Paramatta

Reddemer 1

The Redeemer Baptists are a breakaway group from the Baptist Church and they were based in Castle Hill in Sydney. They all lived in the same block and did everything together. The head of the group, or cult as many viewed them, was a man by the name of Noel Cannon. Noel Cannon is deceased now, and the group is now based in North Parramatta.

Many of the kids I went to school with had parents who were part of the Redeemer Baptists and lived in that block in Castle Hill that was referred to as “The Community” or “The Commune”.

The kids from the Community had a different life to those of us from the “outside”. They didn’t hear normal music, only gospel music. They didn’t watch the same TV shows as us, or see the same movies. They didn’t read the same books.

But there were other differences. They dressed different to us, they looked similar to how members of the Brethren look now. All of their friends were from the Community, we went to the same classes, but if we did something wrong they’d rat us out in a heartbeat. None of them were punished by their parents, all discipline was determined and dished out by Mr Cannon or his deputy.

The boys from the Community were always neat, tidy, well spoken, but also very shy and guarded for the most part. It was like they knew there was a whole other world outside their confines but had heard so many bad things about it that they were either scared of it or totally dismissive of it.

The girls with their long hair in plaits were different. They had an air of arrogance about them that is hard to describe. It was like they knew us outsiders were going to fry in hell while they enjoyed the spoils of heaven. They had an air about them that in hindsight seemed to sit somewhere between the Manson Family women and the girls from the Westbro Baptists. To me it seemed like some kind of hypnosis.

None of us referred to out teachers as Mr or Mrs. If the teachers were married we referred to them as Uncle or Aunty, or if they hadn’t been married off yet we referred to them by their first name. When I say married off I mean just that. All of the teachers were from the Community and the leader arranges all of the marriages in the Community. This has allegedly led to some questionable blood lines and later in life I learned that the local police used to joke that they’d need a special DNA kit for a crime in the Community.

The Community is now headed by John Cannon, the son of founder Noel and someone of whose existence I was not even aware of as he didn’t live in the Community when I attended the school. John showed up much later around the time of his fathers health issues, most I have spoken with believe the financial rewards were just too tempting.

John Cannon on the left, teachers Diane and Stuart Garth on the right, with astrophysicist Angel Lopez-Sanchez

John Cannon on the left, teachers Diane and Stuart Garth on the right, with astrophysicist Angel Lopez-Sanchez

In recent years I have caught up with many of those I went to school with and have seen first hand and heard the result of these years of indoctrination by what is believed to be a highly profitable organization, church, or cult.

Some of those I have met are no longer in touch with their parents due to leaving the Community. Upon leaving the Community way of life behind you become an outcast and are disowned by your family who stay.

One former elder of Redeemer, Alan Nutt, shared his concerns with NineMSN’s Daniel Street over the division of families within the community:

“It’s very deliberate brainwashing to change people’s mindset about personal relationships, family relationships. To be told constantly that your parents are no good, ultimately the young person believes that and therefore if I’m going to make it in this life, I need to be in another household…”

However the major issue with those who attended this school whilst I was there in later life is their self-esteem, particularly in the women.

This is no accident.

It is only later in life you have the luxury of hindsight. Looking back I can see the damage being done to the minds of these girls in what I view as a very deliberate manner.

Girls all look the same in the Community, after all individuality is frowned upon. A woman’s purpose in life is to be a subservient housewife and if lucky a teacher at the school.

Those lucky enough to become a teacher were allegedly woefully underpaid for the privilege. Former Community member and teacher Vanessa Bromhead told media she was paid $11K per annum, while other teachers were being paid over $60K in public schools. Ms Bromhead was one of a a group of 14 teachers seeking payment from the church after claiming to be underpaid.

Girls at the school whilst I was there were in my view constantly put down and belittled by teaching staff. This wasn’t done in an obvious fashion, but done in subtle ways so that it went unnoticed.

Girls were encouraged to dob each other in for having “inappropriate” thoughts. This does not necessarily mean sexual or romantic, but can be questions of faith. Thinking the wrong way would lead to ridicule from other students and subtle digs from teaching staff. A girl had to know her place.

A later addition to the school. An brand new school building right behind a historic home.

A later addition to the school. A brand new school building right behind a historic home.

Being encouraged to rat on your mates led to girls in particular having serious trust issues. Boyfriends and girlfriends were not allowed at any age, and girls were always made aware that boys were predators with smiles and evil intentions.

At least girls who lived outside the Community had some escape, for girls within the mind games were relentless.

To give you another idea of how bad girls were made to feel, several times I have heard it alleged that girls from the Community were not allowed sanitary pads without getting the go ahead from Mr Canon.

So many women I know of that attended this school bear some awfully significant mental scars that are painfully obvious.

To those women I would like to say do not allow yourself to be what they made you, be what you would like yourself to be.

I don’t claim to have come out unscathed either. I certainly emerged with a healthy distrust of organised religion, and a despise of the “holier than thou” attitude which has also carried through to my political views. It has always been my experience that those calming the moral high ground are usually anything but what they claim.

I’ve heard stories of sexual abuse and suicide regarding former students but can only confirm that they wouldn’t surprise me if they were true, I don’t know for sure that they are.

What scares me however is that having seen the result of those who started at Redeemer Baptist in high school, I can’t imagine the psychological issues with those who have been there since infants.

Yes there is a war being waged, the aggressors think they are above the law and are blessed with a tax-free status.

And they don’t work at the ABC.

 

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6 thoughts on “Mind Games – Christianity and the ongoing war

  1. I know first hand AOG did similar Wixxy
    All so called Christian schools especially boarding ones are same or worse
    Just like politics,religion and education should never mix

  2. That was a great post Peter, & yet another! addition to the long long list of these religioso fruitcakes (by Whatever Name!) that pollute our planet. Reading your article…could be a facsimile of oher horror tales one reads or sees on tv (mostly, unfortunately! on the Crime & Investigation Channels!)
    It is good to get another post from you, after a long absence! Voices like yours are increasingly needed to balance the madnes of this world…ever more so …since the unbelievable election of The Donald in The Land of the Free!

  3. hi Peter. i appreciate your intent but can we make a few softening amendments?

    1) the people you are describing in the first part of your item are about as representative of “Christianity” as your local member is a “representative his constituents” … or a suicide bomber is “representative of the Faith of Islam”. none of these representations is accurate or helpful.
    if you need to renew your “faith in Faith”, look to the people in your neighbourhood (represented by any / every faith … and their atheist brothers and sisters) working as volunteers in local community organisations, hospitals, schools, sports clubs etc … look here and you will find good people and positive aspects of “Faith”.

    please be careful not to be fooled into attacking the good honest beliefs of caring people by pointing out the phoneys working under protection and behind the facade of Faith Fakery. many of the good deeds that provide an invisible glue that holds our society together are undertaken (often without recognition and financial reward) by people of “Faith” … you are playing into the hands of the most corrupt by lumping them them in with our ‘people of glue’ on which we reply.

    2) as for the brainwashing aspect of “Christianity”, the alternative on display in society seems to be worship of Money (yes i agree, not that the churches have any shortfall in their pursuit of that!).
    please share with us which television / media personalities and which social narrative you wish to promote in the place of the anachronistic values you so thoroughly despise. my guess is that they will be the same narratives shared by all the great faiths over many thousands of years of human history.

    Peter, your passion is Saintly … has a nice ring to it: Saint Peter (maybe it’s already been done??)
    expose corruption
    point out the pretenders
    server your community (pretty sure you already do … and you are welcome to come and help our community any time brother … we have you lots you can help with).
    … just be careful you are not inadvertently / mistakenly attacking the good people of real faith in your community whilst attempting to (rightly) point the spotlight on those abusing the system and betraying their community.

    cheers, owen.

  4. Point taken Owen and I agree are some good folk out there, I have bee fortunate to have met a few.

  5. Thanks Peter who needs the Taliban or ISIS or the Stasi or a Kim il Jong.
    Just remember John Howard gave all these nasty little psuedo education institutions free rein, for the same purposes as he has unleashed Pauline Hanson on us again

  6. Thanks Peter
    We are right up with the Saudi Wahhabi and the ISIS and the Taliban in the indoctrination and exploitation of innocent children, but it’s OK, I mean Christians wouldn’t hurt any one would they? After all ‘ .. Cardinal Pell ‘has openly – and repeatedly – condemned as immoral and intolerable the acts of abuse committed against minors….’ And he’s in the queue to be the next pope so…….

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