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Do Evangelical Beliefs Lead to Mental Illness?

lisa haven
Charismatic Evangelical and Conspiracy theorist Lisa Haven

Repost from 2015. Edited, rewritten, and corrected. 

Do Evangelical beliefs lead to mental illness? Yes and no. Certainly, Evangelicals, thanks to their religious beliefs, are, to some degree, deluded. They believe things that aren’t true, but I am not inclined to think that this means they all have some sort of mental illness.  All of us are capable of self-delusion. That said, I do think some Evangelicals are mentally ill, and thanks to their beliefs, they see their illness as God giving them some sort of inside information about the world. These Evangelicals are the religious version of Mel Gibson in the movie Conspiracy Theory. Let me illustrate this with a YouTube video put out by a Charismatic Evangelical named Lisa Haven.

The following video details Haven’s belief that the United Nations is a secret front group for the nefarious New World Order. This video has already been viewed almost 270, 000 times (434,000 people subscribe to Haven’s YouTube channel). The video is 11 minutes long, but I do hope you will watch all of it. Doing so will allow you to understand what follows. Be prepared to see lots of air quotes.

Video Link  (Sorry, for some reason embedding this video causes my RSS feed to break, so you will have to view it on YouTube)

As I watched this video, I was, at first, amused, and then quite sad. I told Polly, here’s a young woman whose mind has already been ruined. Imagine, for a moment, where Lisa Haven will be 25 years from now. Will she still be, to use her words, “digging deep and finding truth . . . spread (ing) truth no matter where it lies?” Or will she be taking psychotropic drugs, wondering what went wrong? I’m sure some Evangelicals will object to me categorizing Haven, a mother of four children, as mentally ill, but any non-religious interpreter of her video would come to the same conclusion.  Remove the religious context, and Haven’s rant sounds eerily like the rantings of a crazy person.

In a video titled 18 Unsettling Predictions For 2016: Warning You May Get More Then You Bargained For!, Haven makes 18 predictions (all grammatical errors in the original):

  1. Increased crime and more terrorist threats (due to mass immigration and influx of Refugees, he [Obama] wants to bring in 10,000 alone in 2016)
  2. Rise of Islam and anti-semitism. Christianity will either stay stagnant or decrease.
  3. Economy will continue to falter, maybe even a “Global Recession.”
  4. America will becomes more third world in nature.
  5. More gun laws and restrictions will be enforced.
  6. An Increased amount of race riots and civil riots.
  7. More movement into the New World Order, Pope Francis will continue his push in this direction, likely embolden it.
  8. Increased earthquakes, tsunamis, weather activity as predicted in the Bible and the warning letter sent to FEMA by prior presidential advisor John L. Casey.
  9. More fusion centers, NSA surveillance and more suppression of truth over the Internet (things like Facebook, twitter, Google, will all work together to oust truths and suppress reality).
  10. A move in the direction of policed streets in the name of “safety.” Increased activity of military helicopters, drone activity, domestic military drills, etc. More laws will be passed promoting this.
  11. Possible World War III due to numerous rumors now transpiring with Russia, who is currently preparing for war against the United States and they want the battlefield to be Syria.
  12. Patriots, Christians, Conservatives, Libertarians, Gun Owners and Veterans will become more of a target.
  13. Activity in the Middle East will embolden! More war activity in Jerusalem, more attacks on Israel as the Bible predicts.
  14. If Obama has his way, due his clean power plan, our energy prices will increase.
  15. Increased demoralization done under the banner of “political correctness.”
  16. More technological advancements, including more movement in the direction of a global ID, Mark of the Beast style (however their goal is not to have this fully in place until 2030)
  17. World governments will become bolder in their tyrannical moves.
  18. America will either have a revival or be apathetic.

While there is a minute element of truth in some of Haven’s “predictions,” it should be clear to readers that her conspiratorial thinking is being driven by her Evangelical beliefs concerning the Bible and eschatology (future events). Over the years, I have met numerous people such as Lisa Haven. Every one of them had one thing in common: Evangelical Christianity.

In a 2015 News2morrow interview, Haven shared how she views the world:

Another one – and I just put this story out yesterday, don’t know if you saw it – we could be having a repeat of what had happened in the Soviet Union here in America. And what I mean by that, in order to silence political opposition the Soviets started labeling political dissidents as a psychiatric disorder. The official label was sluggish schizophrenia.

They started labeling people with these titles, basically silencing any opposition that they had.  When I dive through some of the information I see in America, I see some of that being mimicked here. However they’re labeling it as conspiracy theorists and that could open a whole realm. I mean, you can say bible prophecy is a conspiracy theory. You can say a certain realm of patriotism is a conspiracy theory. The term is so broadly used.

There are various reports of research being done at colleges basically studying the minds of conspiracy theorists and labeling them with personality disorders. Again, when something like that happens, I’m like “Ahh!  What is the game here?”


I think, what could happen, is that they’re targeting political dissidents, basically the ones that are in opposition to what they want to play out – which would be your patriots, constitutionalists, veterans, Christians. They’ve been specifically targeted on numerous documents. We were targeted on Project Megiddo. There’s the right wing extremist documentation that we have today, and the presentations that they’re giving to our military. These are some of the, quote unquote, “right wing extremists” that are being labeled and targeted.

I think the reason why they’re doing that is, when something happens with the economy and we go into chaos, they’ll have reasons to go round up those dissidents – right wing extremists, as they label a lot of us. They could say that they’re rounding them up to prevent riots, and would send them to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) camps that they’ve set up. And they don’t call them FEMA camps – the official government term is internment camps.


Persecution can come in many forms. Right now there is a huge push of persecution against the reality of Christ. Right here in America! — that’s what we’re seeing starting. And that’s being turned into the lunatics that believe a lie. And part of that psychiatric diagnosis is that they are bringing in religion. So you can see what we might be headed in the future with something like that. They’re even claiming in some studies that I’ve read that it could be a medical diagnosis.


It’s hard to say, but I think we can push it back. We can delay it definitely. We’ve also seen the leaking of possible false flags that were planned by the government but were diverted because people in media have gotten it out. Sometimes people will say, “Oh but it never happened!” No, it didn’t – thankfully! Because it got diverted through media outlets, especially the alternative media.

The mainstream media seems to be government run. They can’t regulate the alternative media and that’s why they’re pushing that net neutrality (legislation) to put it on the lap of the FCC (Federal Communications Commission).  Now if they can silence alternative media, they can implement their plans. But it can be diverted by waking up the masses.

What is it that drives Haven’s thinking? What leads a bright young woman to think that chem trails are poisoning all of us and that drinking tea will cleanse us of its deleterious effects?  What causes Haven to abandon her youth and devote her life to chasing after black helicopters, the New World Order, and Jesus? Two things: her belief that the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Words of God and her literalistic interpretation of these words.

Haven is the poster child for what happens when someone really, really, really believes the Bible. Haven attends a Charismatic church which, week in and week out, reinforces her end-times, conspiratorial beliefs. According to Haven’s website, she is taking classes through the International School of Ministry (ISOM), an online Charismatic Bible college. ISOM is operated by Berin Gilfillan and his wife Lisa. Both have secular degrees (University of Michigan, Michigan State), proving yet again that educated people can be quite deluded.

According to a previous version of ISOM’s website:

Each Trimester of ISOM study consists of 32 teaching sessions of training. You can click on each of the blue buttons below to explore the wonderful content of those five Trimesters. They contain a total of 160 sessions of teaching from 30 renowned instructors such as Jack Hayford, John Bevere, Joyce Meyer, A.R. Bernard, Reinhard Bonnke, Marilyn Hickey, Brian Houston, T.L. Osborn and Bill Winston to name a few.

This ISOM program is tried and tested and has been used around the world by over 330,000 students with wonderful results. Now that ISOM has make-up and review classes online, it is even more friendly for use by pastors and churches. Please note, however, that ISOM is NOT focused on high theology, but on practical training and impartation.


Many people who previously graduated with doctoral degrees from another institution have commented on how ISOM was so impartational and so different to their previous studies. It is possible for people to start ISOM at a higher level, but not recommended as ISOM core really contains some classic content. We allow students of any age to participate in ISOM. I have graduated two 11 year old students and one 91 year old.

The Gilfillans also give pastors an opportunity to have an ISOM in their church. According to a previous iteration of the ISOM website, “ISOM is the world’s largest video Bible School and is being used in more than 15,000 locations, in 142 nations and in more than 70 languages.” The skeptic in me says, I would love to see ISOM’s and the Gilfillan’s financials. I suspect a lot of money is being made through “training” gullible Evangelical Christians for ministry. One such person is Lisa Haven.

Will Haven’s ISOM training encourage her to think critically? Of course not. The Gilfillans readily admit that ISOM ” is NOT focused on high theology, but on practical training and impartation.” In other words, all that ISOM training will do for Haven is reinforce her belief that she is called by God to expose the evil New World Order and all its attending conspiracies. Here is a list of some the classes Haven will have to take to get a degree from ISOM:

  • Foundations of the Faith
  • Supernatural Living
  • Praise & Worship
  • Fear of the Lord
  • Old Testament/New Testament Survey
  • Living by Faith
  • Jesus Our Healer, Today
  • Church-based training (or how you can start your own ISOM franchise)
  • Altar Call
  • Spiritual Breakthrough
  • Wilderness Mentalities
  • Spiritual Warfare

I have no doubt that the training provided by ISOM will only increase Haven’s conspiratorial delusions. While it would be tempting to put all the blame on Haven for her craziness, the truth is her church, pastor, parents, husband, ISOM, and hundreds of thousands of adoring YouTube followers have made Haven into the person she is today.

Is Lisa Haven mentally ill? I don’t know. I’m not a doctor, so I am not qualified to make such a diagnosis. I can say, based on the videos I have viewed, Haven does exhibit the signs of someone who is mentally disturbed. Sadly, as many former Charismatics will attest, mental illness is just a typical Sunday night worship service at the local Charismatic Evangelical church.

Unless Lisa Haven has some sort of rational epiphany, there’s little that can be done to help her. Sadly, being deluded is not a crime (even though Haven thinks she will one day be imprisoned for her beliefs). She has been taken captive by her Bible and literalistic Evangelical beliefs. She will remain imprisoned until she sees the light and comes to realize that her entire worldview is based on lies.

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

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  1. Avatar

    Yes and no. I think people who are predisposed to mental illness are more likely to become fundamentalists. I also think that the intensity of fundamentalist beliefs can drive mental illness. I testify these things from my own lived experience. Been there, done that.

    I subscribed to the belief that the UN was a force of satan. The earth charter and ark of hope, along with the United Religions Initiative, were conduits of this evil. For a person who is brainwashed into fundamentalist evangelicalism, specifically charismatic flavors, it’s easy to get caught up in this stuff. In my time, LaHaye and Jenkins fueled the fire. It was my greatest hope to attend a religious institution much like the one you describe. It became exciting, because the faster things go to hell on earth, the sooner Jesus will return. Whoohoo!

    My experience of this is textbook — growing cognitive dissonance between belief and intellect, a mental health breakdown, and eventual deconversion because it was the only way I could become mentally healthy. What do you know, it worked!

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      Bruce Gerencser

      I think there are numerous ways for looking at this issue. It is certainly true that people predisposed to mental illness are often drawn to religious fundamentalism. Sometimes, thanks to religious conditioning, people are led down a path that leads to mental confusion and emotional stress. From this point, the person can go many different ways.

      As I reflect on my own life and battle with depression, I think I can safely say that religion caused my depression. I had/have perfectionist tendencies and this fit well with fundamentalist ideology. Those of us who were sold out, on fire believers were deeply affected by demands of increased devotion for God. This led to thinking that we were never doing enough for God.

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        I don’t agree with the statement that religion caused your depression. It compounded your depression because you suffered extreme neglect. Your mother deserted you, chose death rather than you. For fuck sake Bruce, religion is a tool that is used to forge the damage already in place. Religion is not neutral, I give you that but you were given up to the chaos of life when your mom died and even before, when your father failed. If you had a mom and dad who were there for you, religion could not have claimed you as a tradesman. Religion exacerabated an already critical suffering and offered you perfect denial. You would not have accepted that denial without becoming a tradesman in it, a preacher. My dad never got to where you are now. He never realized out loud that the tool failed him but it did. My dad was a reader too and did consider other perspectives but only by way of acceptable channels: You can look at Catholicism and Islam but only via books published by ‘Baptists’. My dad never needed more than that and your choice to simply claim that religion is the culprit in your depression does not do justice to your life. Your depression is honestly won and comes from before religion. Religion is not innocent by any means but merely a tool that took your brokenness and built a church, your church. (I submit this humbly as a man who is your brother in these matters. I am willing to be told otherwise but not be silent. What you do here is very important to me.)

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        I wouldn’t say religion caused my depression, because it began when I was very young. BUT I know for sure that it exacerbated it. I won’t get into a lengthy explanation, but I know this for certain. I came away with more than just major depression, but with PTSD, too. Yay church.

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    Is fundamental religious belief a good indication of mental illness? Perhaps not in itself, but the mind that is capable of fundamental religious belief is one that has rejected reason, so is more likely pre-disposed to mental disorder.

    Does Lisa Haven show signs of mental illness? I think she does. She already falls into the category of those who fail to reason properly, but on top of this she has psychoses that are typically consistent with people diagnosed with some sort of mental disorder, especially those feeling threatened by imaginary forces.

    Her take on the concept of a world order, intent on disarming her so they can do what they want to do, is ridiculous. Getting two people to agree is hard; getting whole armies of politicians and business leaders, from different countries to agree is just plain barmy. In any event, what would they do. Businesses make money by keeping people in jobs, buying things, living harmoniously, and generally doing what we are doing. If they stop doing these things then the economy grinds to a halt and everyone is poorer as a result. This woman is simply batshit crazy.

    Incidentally I continue to be astonished by the way in which right wing Christians obsess about gun ownership. You’d have thought they would be the first to oppose them, but no, they just want more. Logic isn’t their strong point.

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    [up front note – I’m still in the evangelical realm of things]

    I used to be part of the Southern Baptist Convention and I was amazed at how obsessed church leaders and members were with conspiracy theories. I remember during the first election of Obama how I sat in a leadership meeting with the pastor and other deacons and they were all literally convinced Obama was the antichrist. They are still pretty obsessed with him being a Muslim and honestly I cannot help but shake my head. This all just scratches the surface of the insane conspiracy theories that are rife in the more fundamentalist churches.

    I’m in a non-denominational church now with more liberal views and it is much better. I am a former atheist converted to Christianity (the opposite of you Bruce) and I still retain a huge degree of my skepticism and it causes me to dig deep when presented with these conspiracies. It also gets me in trouble because sometimes I ask too many questions about day to day faith and church issues.

    I feel the issue is more broad than fundamental Christian evangelicalism. I think one good example is fundamentalist Islam as well. These extreme views of religion, whether they are based in Christianity, Islam or some other faith system seem to attract the mentally ill for some reason and perhaps lead them even further down a path of delusion and poor mental health. Honestly, I think the same could even happen in the militant extreme of atheism. Extremism is not good for mental health at all. It certainly builds an us against them mentality that encourages isolation from the real world.

    In my faith walk, I am trying to be more loving and working towards coexisting with other faith systems. I enjoy reading what you write here Bruce, although I don’t always agree with you. I enjoy being challenged in my faith. I hope 2016 is a great year for you and your family!

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      It is about extremes, indeed… Islam, Christianity, it makes no difference. I think you are on an admirable path and that in time, you will be able to let God go, an extreme you walk away from…. But in the meantime, your awareness of the danger of extremes is wonderfully human!

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    Karen the rock whisperer

    I suffered from depression all my life, until I was diagnosed and treated in my mid-30s. In my early to mid 20s, I spent some time in a fairly liberal Evangelical church, and the experience definitely deepened my depression. My husband saw that happening and insisted we stop going to church. It was perhaps the kindest single thing he ever did for me. Left to my own devices, I might have accelerated downward rapidly.

    Freed from the miseries of church influence, I was left to gradually re-think Christianity. This gave me the respite I needed to continue functioning for another decade, until extreme overwork followed by a difficult situation change put me over the edge and I finally got treatment. Bless him, through it all Husband tried to support me as well as he could, but neither of us really understood what was happening. It wasn’t until that first prescription of Prozac finally started to take effect that I started to feel really human sometimes, for the first time ever.

    So what would have happened if my husband hadn’t been there to rescue me from the Evangelical church? Looking back, I suspect the end result would have been suicide. Never mind that God wouldn’t have approved that, didn’t the pastor say week after week that I was scum, not deserving of God’s love? Plus, depressed, I knew I was intensely scum, scum below all others. There was no possible way God could love me. There was no possibility of heaven, so there was no theological barrier to killing myself. I was a good engineer; I would eventually have worked out the details and done it.

    Now I’m in my mid-50s and pretty glad to be alive. Depression is more-or-less controlled, though The Doc has changed the meds cocktail several times to achieve that, and I learned many helpful tricks in therapy for getting my mind to be mostly self-supportive rather than self-destructive. I still have bad days, but I can wait them out. However, Evangelical preaching fires up triggers I seldom am aware even exist in my brain. The casual Facebook postings of Evangelical family members can fire some really bad memories. I only attended that church for a few years (raised Catholic) but the damage lingers.

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      Hi Karen, I relate very strongly to your message. My parents are both very aged and unwell and I dread their deaths because the religious bullshit will be like having to drink bleach for me. And there is no way out except to avoid the ceremonies themselves. I know in my heart that I have every right to avoid the ceremony and could make my own on my terms. I can choose to stay out of churches but my whole family is fundywackgelical Baptist and far gone for generations. I want to somehow be there to say goodbye to my mom and dad but I dread the toxicity. I have always managed to control myself in that but I don’t know if I can anymore. And taking over a service like that to tell them all to fuck right off seems very very over the top to me even if I feel it.
      Depression is my travel-mate. I have tried drugs but found that they took too much from me, both my ups and downs and left me blurry. Feeling therapy, expressing the feelings (beyond words) has been a great gift to me. Becoming agnostic and then atheist has been good medicine.
      I sure appreciate your commenting here when you can and want you to know that I admire your courage and strength. Religion poisons everything.
      BTW, Lisa Havens is clearly lacking balance to say the least. She is an internet sponge who soaks up conspiracy theories to feed her own needs and religion poisons her all the more as she worships delusion. That she has so many watchers confounds me but the fact that she is bad TV perhaps explains it.

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        Karen the rock whisperer

        My mother’s funeral was led by a Catholic priest (her choice) who was a complete jerk. He made it all about God and Jesus and Heaven; he barely knew my mother’s name. It took every bit of self-control I had to not run up and throttle him.

        When my dad died three and a half years later, he was unchurched (he’d been nominally Lutheran but hadn’t attended in years). So I had the funeral home pastor do the service, but I was determined that it would be about Dad. The pastor talked me into giving the eulogy, and my eulogy was completely secular and highlighted what I wanted said about Dad’s life. It was difficult, but I did it. And it made it uber-easier to endure the traditional Christian stuff that came before and after, which I included because most of Dad’s friends were Christians. (Funerals are for the living.)

        So, my advice to you is, speak at the funerals. Make sure, among all the Jesus-babble, that the important things about your parents are said. You’ll find the rest is far easier to endure, and that you will properly have done your part in sharing the true value of those beloved people.

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          Helpful thought, and probably generally a good policy: Speak. Usually, at these funerals in our family, the big shot preachers take over pretty much and steer the barge along to glory. But your suggestion makes much sense to me, if I can focus on my parent(s) themselves and stay out of the religio-babble.
          I remember my best friend asking me to request my retired dad take the funeral service for his mom. My dad agreed to do it and basically gave the mostly secular crowd a last-chance to get in on the best deal of the centuries! I just got sooo sad and miserable but most people ignored it because they expected that sort of indecency. It was normal!

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          I had the exact, identical experience with my father in law’s funeral which was a Catholic Mass. It was horrifyingly offensive, impersonal and irrelevant to my FIL, who was a kind, giving man, but not at all religious.

          I could not stop myself from rolling my eyes, sighing and thinking “I cannot believe I am watching grown-ass men saying and doing these things.”

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          Hi Karen the rock whisperer, update: Both my parents died this last year and I decided to speak at my mom’s funeral but not my dad’s. I wanted to share about my mom but when I considered that for my dad, only silence endured so I just sat through the affair. Thanks for speaking to this issue some years ago. It helped me.

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    Random thoughts: Tim LaHaye brought the conspiratorial mindset from his time as a member of the John Birch Society, and it worked to enable him to start creating the whole Religious Right ethos. Jerry Falwell also imbibed of it as well. Read Richard Hofstadter’s essay ” The Paranoid Style in American Politics.” Hofstadter’s essay is 50 years old, but is still true today.

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      @khughes1963, Thanks for this… I think that Hofstadter’s point about not using the term ‘paranoid’ in its strict clinical sense is very important so we do not reduce the conversation to just labeling somebody as nutso. These are otherwise normal people, so to speak. But the tendency to go overboard with conspiracy stuff and imagine persecution is so powerful in evangelical circles now. The imbalance is significant if not new. The power of this voting block directs national decision-making and it appears to be growing as the new industry of terrorism flourishes and feeds the war machine, feeds our fear.
      Yesterday I was in BC, near Merritt and stopped at a Dairy Queen with my teens because of a snowstorm. A man sitting in the place was talking loudly about how Donald Trump is just telling the truth for a change about foreigners and Muslim terrorists. Now this is Canada, not the USA! Fear of outsiders is ripe all over and being fed by the media. Religion in its preaching peace, goes to war in support of freedom, justice, the right to bear arms, you-name-it. Trump uses it as the tool it is and feeds fear. I’ll build a wall! I’ll blast those Muslims! And he stays ahead in the polls this way. Suddenly Trump becomes ‘religious’ in that fundies will say God may be using this man of power to His own end. We just love to be afraid…. Is it actually possible that America is so far gone that Donald TV Trump could become Commander in Chief?

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        Bruce Gerencser

        Dammit, Bryan, I just saw a black helicopter. It was in my grandchildren’s toy box. ?

        You are right about these people being quite normal. I know quite a few educated, middle/upper middle class people who would agree with Havens. Turn on the TV some Sunday and tune into one of the Christian channels. Those megachurches? Filled will educated, well heeled people. Doctors, lawyers, dentists, school teachers, professors, etal. Yet, they have bat-shit crazy beliefs.

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        Brian, I really fear that a lot of American citizens are batshit crazy. I don’t watch TV news because it is mostly shallow and without substance, and many Americans get their “news” from Fox News and talk radio. Fox and talk radio creates a closed loop system in which the paranoia reinforces itself. All that I can say is that you shouldn’t be surprised to see a mass exodus of Americans to Canada if the batshit folks get their way. Trump isn’t really religious in the way that the fundies would understand it, or in the way incipient theocrat Ted Cruz oils. He was raised attending Marble Collegiate Church in New York City. Trump’s appeal is really rooted in racism.

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          “the closed loop” is a dangerous phenomenon much challenged by the internet. But when you are young, raised into the closed loop, your ears are very selective… only accepted channels are allowed and trusted…. So it is that Fox News was born!
          I am quite sure that you are wise to avoid mainstream news. We do not even have it fed into our home, just rely on internet choices. At least that way we can choose our prejudices this way and that and get some perspective in world affairs.
          I am not convinced that Trump’s appeal is just rooted in racism (if that is your stance)… I see him appealing to xenophobia for sure but also to the dream/fantasy of wealth, the cash that prosperity Christians preach as ordained by God. It has its basis I believe in something more fundamental in us, a fear of harm that cow-tows to power and bully ways. Trump in some sense is the emperor without clothes/hair, a lottery wish.

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    I realize now my mother had Borderline Personality Disorder, including elements of narcissism and a heaping helping of OCD. I’m really not sure which came first, since she was raised steeped in the fundamentalist paranoia (which almost checks all the boxes to be a cult) of the church of christ. Her parents were extremely serious about it, so she was heavily brainwashed from the get-go. She was also a Depression-era kid, so that came along with its own baggage – that my dad shared, as well. So, if she was born with these tendencies, fundamentalist religion almost certainly exacerbated her condition.

    Upon my ‘epiphany’ that I was not a believer and had never really been one, and that it was okay and it was all a lie anyway, my lifelong chronic, clinical depression immediately plummeted by about 75% on its own. I continued to seek treatment, including talk therapy, with a much better idea of what was really wrong and an ability to articulate it more accurately than before. Now I consider myself ‘in remission.’ There are aspects of that many years of damage that I’ll probably never shed. My introversion is pretty set and I’m no longer willing to do many social things that make me uncomfortable. It’s just not worth the effort it takes and the time it takes to ‘recover’ from dealing with banalities and small talk. But I’ve also made peace with it and no longer feel guilt – guilt, of course, being one of the biggest burdens of my former life. You know, if you’re doing terrible, awful things that hurt people, you should feel guilty. The thing is, I never did any of that. I bent over backwards for everyone. I was the placater. I was the buffer and the peacemaker and the people-pleaser. And all those efforts were in every way unappreciated AND never considered ‘good enough.’

    Ah, well, enough of that. Yes, based on what I personally experienced, I believe certain types and degrees of religion can cause or exacerbate mental illness. My brother, who is still in the cult, as I call it, seems fairly okay; but every once in a while we’ll be having a completely normal conversation and BAM! – out of nowhere comes some crazy that sounds just like my parents. I just uh-huh and let it pass, but I’m sorry that still has any control over him. His depression has improved too, though, I think since my parents have passed away. That’s a saga for another day, but caring for them really was hell on earth. I did love them, but there was a reason I married a man in the military and didn’t live close again for the 24 years he served. We moved to Texas and stayed for three years, all I could stand, after my husband retired. We moved back to the PNW and will never go back. For us, it’s just so much easier to love family from a distance.

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    Mrs. Haven must not know there is a Georgia in Europe. It is pretty obvious the Georgian page shown in the video was not Jimmy Carter’s Georgia.

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    A relative of mine, who was raised in a charismatic, Pentecostal church, was a fairly normal kid. But in his late teens, he sort of ran off the rails and became very angry and depressed. He dropped out of college, started drinking a bit too much, and couldn’t hold a job. One day, basically out of nowhere, he announced that God had started “speaking to him.” He claimed he could hear God’s voice in his head when he prayed, and God helped him stop drinking. Before long, he was preaching on a regular basis in his church, and people considered him “prophetic.” He started his own small church, married, had a family. Things seemed to be going well…or about as close to well as one can expect in that environment…for a few years.

    Then all of a sudden, he claimed that not only was God talking to him, but Satan and demons were talking to him, as well. He became paranoid; he cancelled his phone service and threw his TV in the trash because he said demons were using them as communication devices. He claimed he heard Satan whispering to him through the walls of his house. One night, he supposedly prayed to God for help, and God apparently told him that the only way to rid his house of Satan and the demons was to burn it down. So he did. Fortunately, his wife and children got out (and got him out) in time. He was arrested and charged with arson, but was found incompetent to stand trial. In fact, the psychiatrists who examined him said he had one of the worst cases of schizophrenia they had ever seen. He’s now in a state-run mental institution, and it’s unlikely he will ever be released. Even with medication and therapy, he remains extremely delusional. He insists that his (now ex) wife and children have been killed and replaced by demons. It’s all terribly said.

    Which came first, religion or mental illness? Who the f*ck knows. All I know is I am staying far, far away from both.

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      The late teen years to the early 20’s are generally when schizophrenia rears it’s ugly head. it’s not always something that completely ruins function. just massively impairs it. So the timing of the story fits. Poor man, I’m no fan of evangelicals, but I have compassion for the sick, and that’s what he was.

  9. Avatar
    Jeffrey Ady

    This conversation seems to be an echo chamber, with everyone writing from the assumption that Christian fundamentalism is always, associated with, or leads to, mental illness. Or at least that fundamentalism of any kind has that association or causality.

    Besides the fact that the wall of this echo chamber bubble is based upon the writer’s and commenters’ personal experiences, which is a structure of anecdotal data from non- and ex-Fundamentalists at best, let’s look at the “equation” from a reverse perspective. What about all non-Christians [or non-fundies] who are mentally ill, and then “get religion”?

    There is another basic assumption: Fundamentalist Christianity=irrationalism…followed by another: Fundamentalist Christianity leads to the degradation of familial relationships.

    And, while some commenters have said, in effect, “we can’t comment authoritatively here on mental illness”, almost everyone here has.

    As a fundamentalist Christian and professor at a large public, and very liberal, Tier 1 research university of 24 years, I can say that fundamentalist Christianity doesn’t necessarily lead to mental illness, irrationalism, familial destruction, or all of the other social dysfunctions cited here. I grant that there are many, many “winds of doctrine” that are harmful, and that the worldviews pushed by many Charismatic and Pentecostal ministers impel people in unhealthy directions. And I also am frequently among the first to criticize the many wolves in wool, cosplaying to take advantage of the weak-minded.

    Many here will love this even more: I have suffered from severe, treatment-resistant depression my whole life, and have gone through the whole algorigthm of treatment many times. The best doctors and psychiatrists in my State have conferred and pronounced me as a one-in-a-million, endogenous clinical depressive. But that started before I got religion, so to speak. And the writers here don’t seem to address that possibility. I wager that many who are mentally ill and fundamentalist Christians have a similar experience, which rather reverses the “fundamental” equation underlying this whole discussion…by the way, which sounds to me like it is irrational, conspiracy-theory-esque, and harmful.

    Despite living with severe depression, I am a licensed minister with a major Pentecostal denomination possessing, and using, an intact mind. I have my irrational moments to be sure, but I am also entirely rational. Otherwise I wouldn’t have succeeded to the extent I have in academe. Teaching leadership and ethics to non-Christians in a R1 public university and writing what I do as a scientist, I have learned to combine my fundamentalism with making a living and self-actualizing by teaching, administrating and researching…serving my students and colleagues as a Christian, giving my heart and soul completely to the tasks at hand.

    But I also preach to my church fundamentalist, Dispensational and Pre-Tribulational messages, not emphasizing conspiracy, decoupling from society at large, or not planning for the long-term while we spend our time on this planet in our earth-suits [bodies]…but on the redemptive, healing power that comes from what the living and loving God did for us in the person of Jesus Christ.

    Many times I used to wonder whether my life was compartmentalized, primarily because my messages in these two social contexts have been different. But who on this planet doesn’t talk differently in diverse social contexts?

    But as I’ve aged, I’ve come to see my depression as a gift. I have always been a borderline empath. I know what it is like to suffer profound soul pain, and for the last ten years I have lived with more chronic, physical pain than I think I can bear in any given moment. But that’s just life…I haven’t changed my belief system against God because of it. Rather, in the midst of all of this, my heart attitude has become the same toward my church friends, my work colleagues, and students. And I am consistently rated the best teacher and advisor in our graduate program year after year, because I absolutely love my students and colleagues with what I understand to be supernatural love, teach from my heart, use rational arguments and cutting-edge data, and spend more time than most with my students on a one-to-one basis. And both my spouse and I agree that, if it weren’t for the constantly renewing and strengthening influence of our faith in a living and reigning Jesus, our marriage of 30 years would not have even begun, much less lasted as long as it has.

    Yes, this is another anecdote, but I want to inject it into this what would otherwise be a uniform and self-reinforcing narrative.

    Is that so irrational, crazy, or socially destructive?

    Liberal Christians, humanists and atheists can also exhibit fundamentalist, irrational and socially-destructive behaviors and engage in that kind of communication. To argue otherwise is simply irrational. This echo chamber is Anecdote Number One.

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      Bruce Gerencser

      I find it interesting that you read this:

      “Do Evangelical beliefs lead to mental illness? Yes and no. Certainly, Evangelicals, thanks to their religious beliefs, are, to some degree, deluded. They believe things that aren’t true, but I am not inclined to think that this means they all have some sort of mental illness. All of us are capable of self-delusion. That said, I do think some Evangelicals are mentally ill, and thanks to their beliefs, they see their illness as God giving them some sort of inside information about the world. These Evangelicals are the religious version of Mel Gibson in the movie Conspiracy Theory. Let me illustrate this with a YouTube video put out by a Charismatic Evangelical named Lisa Haven.”

      And came to the conclusions found in your comments.

      That said, I do think that Evangelical beliefs, particularly those found on the extreme right of the Spectrum, do cause psychological damage. I could never in good conscience recommend anyone become an Evangelical. My conclusions are hardly anecdotal. I spent 50 years in the Christian church, 25 years as an Evangelical pastor. Through this blog I have come in contact with scores of Evangelicals (past/present) who have been psychologically harmed by Evangelical churches, pastors, and beliefs. My wife and I, along with our children also add our stories to the mix. Taken as a whole I can rationally and empirically conclude the Evangelical beliefs and practices do have a negative psychological effect on many people. That it “seemingly” doesn’t have the same effect on everyone doesn’t negate the fact that Evangelicalism has harmed millions of people — including people who are still Christians but have moved on to kinder, friendlier expressions of faith.

      I use the word seemingly above because it is very hard to get Evangelicals to see the harm their religion is causing not only to them, but also to their families, communities, and country.

      I hope you will re-read this post and offer an opinion about the people mentioned. In particular, does Lisa Haven demonstrate signs of mental illness?

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      Jeffrey, you refer to this being an ‘echo chamber’, but isn’t that the nature of like minded forums? I’ll lay odds that you’ll get more sensible and rational comments here than you would from any gun supporter site!

      I’m assuming that you are a professor in theology, or religious studies. I worry at the type of institution that you hint at, because US religious colleges aren’t renowned for their intellectual integrity.

      Of course, there are many mainstream teachers, and professors, who have strong religious belief, though it is very rare for it to fundamentalist belief. The point is that a history, or geography, or science teacher can have religious belief, but has to hold that belief in a different part of their head to their academic qualifications. There is a limit to how far religious belief can be rationalised. For me, any kind of religious belief is irrational, but for many it has become part of their lives and they can just about accommodate it alongside the academic side of their nature. The trouble is that they don’t really sit well together; and that is why fundamental belief is impossible for most academics, in that there is just too much conflicting irrationality.

      Your comment, if read quickly, can appear almost reasonable, yet you refer to ‘pre-tribulation messages’, and other such ridiculous concepts, as though they should be taken seriously. Then you refer to your use of rational arguments and ‘cutting edge’ data. I’m intrigued. Please do explain, but expect to be challenged.

      All of which is precisely the issue about which Bruce posted. Of course, religious belief is not a requirement for mental illness; I have several friends and acquaintances who are, or have been, very mentally ill, and I’d say that on the whole they weren’t religious. However, in each case they have been treated in a variety of ways, and all had at least one deep seated underlying issue (I don’t say cause because mental illness appears to be largely physiological).

      The fundamentalist Christian has to deal with all of the silly nonsense that Bruce describes then, when they become mentally ill as a result, are told that their treatment is more of the same. They are trapped, and told that the things which caused their illness are things they have to do even harder. At least those who suffer for other reasons can understand how they may be cured; the fundamentalist Christian doesn’t have even that luxury.

  10. Avatar
    John Arthur

    Hi Bruce,

    Pentecostal and Charismatic churches, with a tendency towards alleged private revelations from God, have a propensity to attract “crackpots like bees around a honeypot”. Or is it that in an atmosphere of “private revelations”, people can more easily become “unhinged”?

    Admittedly, many Pentecostal/Charismatic pastors try to keep a lid on some forms of extremism. However, in many of these groups you have some people who think that they have inside knowledge on God’s plans, purposes and desires that are not available to others. It is these kinds of persons who may be mentally unwell and need to seek outside professional help to ascertain whether they are mentally ill or not.

    When science and empirical evidence are rejected in favour of private alleged revelations from God that give one so-called inside “knowledge” that contradicts what science has discovered through empirical means, then these kind of people who specialise in such “revelation” may be in serious danger of mental illness and need to be professionally assessed and treated, where this is possible. My guess is that Lisa Haven is “mentally unhinged”.


    John Arthur

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    I went from being a Huckabee delegate IFB member to voting for Bernie in 8 years . Sure I am still negative towards booze but I got out . I was over 40 when did always hope!

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    Wow, what a fascinating discussion!

    I have dealt with depression twice in life. First time in the early 1990s, when my boss was SO BAD that a psychiatrist told me I was like a battered woman and I needed to get out. Second time was when I got divorced. Was on anti-depressants for a year both times, and was in counseling for a year while getting divorced. No problems since then.

    I used to think that fundagelicalism didn’t really affect me, until I left. I remember the day last year when I finally said I would no longer identify as fundagelical and quit praying. The peace that came over me in the next few days was amazing, and it hasn’t left. A week later, I gave up my puzzle game.

    Now that may not seem like a big deal. But I found this puzzle game and enjoyed it because it kept my brain occupied for hours. I’d always had it set to produce the highest number of pieces possible, and some nights I’d do 4 or 5 puzzles. I still have it on my iPad, but I’m no longer interested. Once I shut off that “constant prayer” connection, my anxiety level dropped by 95%. Sure, I still worry about running my business and paying the bills — who doesn’t? But I no longer have that frantic noise and activity in my head. And I no longer have the need to find long-lasting games or other activities to keep my brain from exploding.

    Anxiety? Definitely. Mental illness? Maybe a bit. Relief from walking away — PRICELESS.

    Thank you, Bruce and everyone here, for helping me find my way.

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    One salient fact is agreed by all if not the 8 portents actually denied by B.G.when he posted his thesis.Humankind is self destructive and cannot survive much longer.On the other side.Jesus says.”I have come to give you Life but that more abundantly.(John 10:10.)Not just dna life for a brief span..”Without love you are a just a gong!”Your time is all but spent.”Take care churches..because you are lukewarm I will spew you out of My mouth”.

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    We can always detect a weak argument when its cutting edge uses abuse and ad homini attacks on the opponent.To accuse someone of being a fool or mentally idiotic is to indulge in a superior arrogance.For anyone..whether of Christ or Dawkin to assume that tactic is an act of “murder” deny someones right of free expression.Would our Creator so describe us and at the same time offer His very self to love and die for the very ones that direct murderous abuse at Him?The words “mock” and “crucify” ring down the ages on the very One that seeks to deliver from corruption and death itself.Yet I conclude with His familiar appeal.”Father forgive..they know not what they do”.From me..thanks for challenging us.. yet confirming a peace offering to you all before you put more hope in this delusory transience with its own death sentence borne of rebellion.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      How about trying to interact with what I actually wrote. Are you suggesting that mental illness cannot be determined by observing behavior? Are you suggesting that Evangelical Christianity is NOT a magnet attracting people with mental health issues?

      This post was about Lisa Havens, a delusional, perhaps mentally disturbed Evangelical. Have you bothered to watch her videos? If so, how are they anything but what I have described here?

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        Not only suggesting but commending the timeless magnetism of The One you condemn as a figment of the delusional mind.Even if He were such no one really ascribes His life and works to any contemporary madman in world leadership capacity today.Rather to a healer of physical and demonic affliction.Indeed I know of countless mentally defective people that dont know God or any other religious influence.Like you I do know bigots that seek to blot out all testimony opposed to their own.That above all is a sign of mental breakdown or hypocricy and pretension.You must agree my friend!

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        To be fair I have researched and assessed both the Presenter and her source material.Not my style any more than yours but I dont believe she exhibits a split personality or a desire to rubbish indiduals.She acknowledges the intellectual and corporate mindset of powerful Elite whether they are rooted in Quasi religion or not.Time is against us all..even from the words of CERN spiritual scientific Authority with its Appolyon and Shiva mascots.

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    Is magical thinking equal to mental illness? I don’t think it is healthy.

    When religious people get together and praise their God, they conjure him into existence, at least as an idea. God inhabits the praises of his people – it is probably the only way he can exist – as a thought exercise.

    E.g., a believer might get up in front of other believers and say something like “God’s love is so great, that if you could taste all the love that humans are capable of producing, it would seem like excrement compared to the surpassing love of God! Oh, how great a God we serve!” But you could do that same imaginative exercise with any character.

    When Christians talk like that, they feel like they are in the same company as the people depicted in the bible. And it makes it seem like they are experiencing the reality of God, but really they are just running wild with imaginings.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if people eventually get mentally ill from living in such a fantasy world, if only because all that time spent praising an imaginary character could be better spent figuring out real things.

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      Wonderful to get your drift and to agree about your concept of magic and illusion.There are indeed many people with or without religious desire that actually believe that everything comes from nothing!Even at sub atomic level.What I find so compelling is that the CERN directorate describe the multi dimensional universes in the same weird scientology without actually using the word “Magic”.
      Whilst the Lord of Heaven and Earth goes well above our finite magic to reveal Infinite Power over all the forces that CERN buffs venerate they admit cannot possibly return.The Darkest Abyss of Apollyon..the very site in which it has buried itself.Matins generally begins on Sunday mornings but by all means worship Atheists instead.They are truly magicians par excellance!

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          Simple bring you a happy retirement,Bruce.
          No offence.Another thing to expose rank hypcricy and self delusion unseen in my life.
          R.I.P to you before you are dead and forgotten with your tragic tale !
          You have not found peace at all really.Nor will anyone with psychotic grudges over old dears at prayer gatherings with their amiable charity borne of a non existent Author.
          What is your point? Despatch everyone that you have grudges against especially the God that failed to heal All your deseases..of body and mind?I
          Rest my case.Have it your Way!So long ..old brother

          • Avatar
            Bruce Gerencser

            Thank you for finally exposing your true motives. I will assume you have now said all you need to say, so I will approve no further comments from you.


          • Avatar
            Bruce Gerencser

            You squandered your opportunities to do so. I know you read the commenting rules, so it is no one’s fault but your own — after a half dozen comments — that you did not directly and succinctly say what you intended to say. Maybe you were too busy figuring out which name/email address to use?

            As far as being too close to the bone? Not a chance, Brian. All I see/hear is a gnat buzzing around my head on a warm summer day.

            And with that,it is time for me to head to a MILB game in Fort Wayne.

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            Love to join you .I love games where the commentary,outcome and winner is announced from the stand..not the bet fixer.
            As for me I have learned far more from democracy,right of reply and common courtesy across the floor than the groundswell of Atheistic regimes consigning all dissenters to penal or mental servitude.
            Sincerely feel for you anyway in Christ .Pardon me but I found your blog devoid of all hope..even for your avid followers..poor critters?

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            Bruce Gerencser

            Follow the Bible, Brian and don’t cast your pearls of “wisdom” before swine.

            We marvel at your great knowledge. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your loving, kind, thoughtful, helpful thoughts about me personally,my readers,and atheists in general. I’m sure the big Kahuna is proud of you.

      • Avatar

        I know Bruce isn’t letting you comment further (in reality you haven’t uttered anything other than gibberish so far), but I do want to challenge your assertion about ‘something from nothing’. I am an atheist but I don’t believe there was ever a create from nothing point. I don’t accept that there is anyway of defining ‘nothing’, nor that it’s even a possible state, or that it has any coherent meaning. In short, there’s no such thing as nothing.

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          Excuse me but as you dont even have an explanation for “nothing”or anything really we have dont have any grammatical format with which to share.At least scientific data agrees on both but still questions the physical boundaries that leave them dumb as ever.”Unfortunately” most pioneers in science today cant accept your simplistic cop out.

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            That is one of the most poorly constructed paragraphs I have ever read. It makes no sense whatsoever. If you are disputing my contention regarding the incoherence of the meaning of ‘nothing’ then please give scientific citations.

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    Thanks for your kinder comments.But mostly to calling me up the humorous aspect of your blog .I will send you my text link to share the joke if I may.Thank you.

  17. Pingback:Why Evangelical Beliefs and Practices are Harmful ‑ Part One –

  18. Avatar

    Gday Bruce. Great Article! I am a conspiracy theorist, because I went to VictoryLife “Sing songs to Jesus” church. At 45yrs old, I started having flashbacks to a UFO abduction event, started researching, and found Lisa’s (+ many other christian beliefs) stating that Aliens=Demons. Wanting to know what the Bible and Christians had to say on this, I started studying the Bible intently. Mind you, my wife of 12yrs, left me prior for Jesus and went back to the Baptist Church from her fear of hell upbringing.(I knew all about Fear, and took the Bible as myths when younger)
    It was the Biblical term “Elohim” that led me to Z. Sitchin, and his knowledge of the Sumerian gods, and of course UFOs in the Bible like “Ezekials wheels, Elijahs whirhwind,Jacobs ladder,etc). An Aussie TV doco that confirmed my UFO event, plus the “Scoop Mark” on my leg, plus many images on the net merely confirmed the UFO event as REAL.
    My “Jesus Moment” was, if they lied about UFOs to us? What else are they lying about?
    One theory, was the Jesuit/Catholic infiltration of all denominations ….to bring people back to the church. Unfortuneately, that conspiracy was proved at VictoryLife……its name, and Communion at the back too obvious. As you are probably aware(I was not), that there are many Catholic Churches called “Our Lady of Victory”, or “Our Lady of Life”……then I also found out they had “friends of Israel” meetings there, and homeless meals.
    Basically, the ex-catholic Pastor, married to a prominet Liberal politician, went to the USA to get her “Pastor Ticket” and is now Evangelical. Her name is Margeret Court, the ex aussie Tennis Champion. Church & state….Catholic influence…USA teaching…..abuse homos…..feed the homeless to give a good image….. YES, the Conspiracy Theory was true, and a famous female sports star to give it all credibility…PUKE!!!
    The UFO confirmation, you will just have to trust me…..which is very hard in a society that promotes Denial. But our society, IS, the Society of Jesus(IHS/Jesuits), that controls everything and especially the University System, and of course mental health, and who is rewarded with a Psychiatry PhD.
    Years of blocking my abductions as just dreams (fear of Lunatic lock-up) kept me silent until, I knew it was true. Thinking I had a mental illness,(many ward admissions from depression), I went to a Psyche. He labelled me as Bi-polar. Wanting another diagnosis, the next psyche labelled me Delusional. Really, it should have been PTSD, but that means they would have to name the traumatic event on paper……. Mental Health? Psychology? Or is it all just another control system of the Jesuits, with the added benefit of finding out how people think, and how best to use this inside info?……Yes, Lunatic!…where did you escape from?…had your meds today? Cognitive Dissonance? All attacks I have faced on the net.
    Cog Diss~ the confusion in ones brain when 2 opposite beliefs collide. (Ironic they use a UFO cult as an example), but dont we all have this? As little children we are taught of Jesus=Xmas=Presents = Creationism is good, BUT, when we start primary school, we learn of Dinosaurs and Evolution. It seems we spend the rest of our lives trying to console these two diametrically opposed beliefs…..many Aetheists have had death bed conversions!
    Fortuneately, due to Lisa and Christianity’s Bible, I am now an Ancient Astronaut Theorist……and this has given me the truth that this 3rd alternative explains everything. (I can explain why if you like)
    Lisa? Aliens=Demons?…….Christians should learn, that this comes from Enochs Book(not canonized), and his talk of the fallen angels. But studying Sumerian storys, the name was IGIGI. The Greek went to “egregori”, which in latin went to GRIGORI-fallen angels…….awake I am now! Watchers? The Dome of the Rock UFO event, proves they are real too, and how they cover it up. FOX used a hoax CGI image on a still, and because one was hoax, the rest became hoax. The hoax is the Mississippi tourist, and has no reflection on the Dome, or moving cars in foreground.
    Hey Christians, a miracle over Jerusalem? Like lightning? Miraculous ascent to heaven?….sounds a bit like that Jesus Advent/Rapture story doesnt it?
    My point? Uni Phd labelled me Delusional, and society a Lunatic. Evangelical Church proved Jesuit Infiltration. Studying the OT, led me to UFOs in the Bible and Ancient Astronaut Theory…
    I now watch Lisa Haven like a Hawk! Some institute is pushing/promoting/supplying her topics and agendas and YES, they are the ones that are mentally-ill. Jerusalem is the Target. A new world order, with everyone back under the one true church. Jesus? What false flag /Biblical prophecy/ CGI hologram etc will they use?
    All the best with your Depression…..mine was sub-consciously knowing something wasnt right in the world…..and whatever “my conscience, god within, inner voice, telepathic message” or whatever one labells it as Spirituality?…it showed me the truth, and Lisa, exposed as a liar, “see, Biblical Prophecy is being proven true”(destruction of Damascus)…..but not by god, but F18s , missiles and bombs….man made prophecy fullfilment.

  19. Avatar

    I really don’t believe it’s right to speculate on whether she is mentally ill. Even saying she has signs comes too close. Each individual must be judged by a qualified professional, with an interview in person/video, and with consideration of the individual’s culture. Many words are defined quite differently by everyday individuals than professionals. For instance, if someone tells me, as a professional, that they have panic attacks I ask what they mean as many say panic attack as a symptom for anxiety. Too much speculation can increase prejudice against mental illness

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Okay, how about this? Her religion has fucked her up in the head. I’m not making a medical diagnosis. I am saying, however, she has signs of mental illness. I say the same about Donald Trump. Of course people should see medical professionals. I do myself. That said, there’s nothing normal about Lisa Haven. Her beliefs and practices not only cause harm to herself, but also to her family and those who believe and follow her nonsense.

  20. Avatar

    I have been focusing on finding out more about people who believe in conspiracy theories. Interestingly, they are people who do want to find truth. However, most haven’t been taught how to use critical thinking skills in order to determine the veracity of sources. They are people who need training in this regard. Unfortunately, many are swayed by the superiority they feel in having the “real” truth, seeing behind the scenes, having secret knowledge. Doing the research, tracking back to reputable sources, educating oneself on topics we haven’t studied, these things are HARD and time-consuming. One appeal of conspiracy theories is that they neatly connect all the dots in a cohesive manner with a bow on top. Questions answered, voila, end if story. Reality isn’t that simple.

  21. Avatar

    Religion didn’t cause my mental illness. But it sure made it worse. Instead of helping me back to reality, it only encouraged more delusional thinking. Definitely not good for those already struggling with their mental health.

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    Lisa is in no way mentally ill, but you may want to examine yourself and get a life for yourself. Sad article. Many, many appreciate her for who she is and what she is doing. First time to comment.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      She is, at the very least, psychologically troubled, regardless of who cheers her on.

      I’ve examined myself, no testicular cancer.
      I’ve got a life too. Married 42 years, six kids, 13 grandchildren, cat, and a dog. Oh, and I have a widely read blog.

      But what do I know. I’m mentally ill.?

    • Avatar
      Brian Vanderlip

      Rhonda, I just read your view of things and went to Lisa’s most recent video and boy, I gotta wonder if you did… She is first selling her own money-making venture with VPN’s but then talking about microchip implants coming soon! Her pressure of speech leads me to believe she is at least a high pressure salesperson! If not, then I would guess an internal motivation to rush the secret message to us! She might be not be struggling with her mental health at all but that does not mean she is healthy either. Personally I will avoid her videos for basic comfort reasons. I do not find her very interesting but i sure understand that people in the USA might find her someone to appreciate.
      By the way, you are rude.

  23. Avatar
    M Beth

    All of the predictions she has made which are listed and ridiculed in this article have either happened or partially happened in 2020. Surely I can’t be the only reader to notice this.

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      Let’s see:

      Increased crime and more terrorist threats (due to mass immigration and influx of Refugees, he [Obama] wants to bring in 10,000 alone in 2016) False

      Rise of Islam and anti-semitism. Christianity will either stay stagnant or decrease. False

      Economy will continue to falter, maybe even a “Global Recession.” False

      America will becomes more third world in nature. False

      More gun laws and restrictions will be enforced. False

      An Increased amount of race riots and civil riots. False

      More movement into the New World Order, Pope Francis will continue his push in this direction, likely embolden it. False, because there’s no such thing as the NWO

      Increased earthquakes, tsunamis, weather activity as predicted in the Bible and the warning letter sent to FEMA by prior presidential advisor John L. Casey. False

      More fusion centers, NSA surveillance and more suppression of truth over the Internet (things like Facebook, twitter, Google, will all work together to oust truths and suppress reality). False

      A move in the direction of policed streets in the name of “safety.” Increased activity of military helicopters, drone activity, domestic military drills, etc. More laws will be passed promoting this. Mostly False

      Possible World War III due to numerous rumors now transpiring with Russia, who is currently preparing for war against the United States and they want the battlefield to be Syria. False

      Patriots, Christians, Conservatives, Libertarians, Gun Owners and Veterans will become more of a target. False

      Activity in the Middle East will embolden! More war activity in Jerusalem, more attacks on Israel as the Bible predicts. False

      If Obama has his way, due his clean power plan, our energy prices will increase. False

      Increased demoralization done under the banner of “political correctness.” False

      More technological advancements, including more movement in the direction of a global ID, Mark of the Beast style (however their goal is not to have this fully in place until 2030) False

      World governments will become bolder in their tyrannical moves. False

      America will either have a revival or be apathetic. This isn’t even a prediction

      So, ALL false predictions for 2016. Remember, 2016. According to the Bible, Haven should to stoned to death.

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    Bruce you list your “pastoral credentials” above to convince people you have an “informed view.” All it does is display one very clear truth which most commenting here are unaware of:

    They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us [1 John 2 v19].

    • Avatar
      Bruce Gerencser

      I list my pastoral credentials so uninformed readers such as yourself will know a little bit about me.

      Most of the commenters on this blog know 1 John 2:19 quite well. How could they not, with assholes like you stopping by every few days to remind them that they never were Christians. Speaking on their behalf, let me quote to you Bruce 3:16: fuck off.

  25. Avatar
    ... Zoe ~

    Oh Dan. Did you think you were the first one to throw 1 John 2:19 at Bruce?

    I’m sure you think you’ve really done it but my dear Dan, we’ve heard it over and over and . . . well, the only one here who is unaware of it at the moment, is you.


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    1 John 2:19 is a rather predictable escape hatch to explain away why believers do stop believing or seek out new church homes. It’s the same silly rotgut as that “No True Christian™” nonsense.

    Ultimately, Dan, everyone “leaves.” Faith requires a living brain, so at death every believer is fated to instantly become a non-believer.

  27. Avatar
    Brian Vanderlip

    Christianity of the viral sort is such a magnet for bully mentality…. John was clearly one of those bullies, the us or them type and his minions still blunder over the earth selling membership or eternal death…
    Dan, fuck off.

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