Date: Wed, 11 Nov 1998 12:12:26 EST
Subject: Using superstition to control


Here's an extreme version of what happens when folks use superstition to control others.......most day-to-day Christianity isn't as harsh as this physically...but is every bit as harsh psychologically. I think that folks who spend their lives imagining that they need to be controlled by external rewards/punishments never learn to possess self-control. They remain eternal children...and never learn the self-possession/self-discipline that is an important element of "enlightened" adulthood.

Mystics of every stripe and age extol seeing/understanding things with "childlike clarity"...meaning without preconceived notions clogging up the plain "clean" observation of reality as it is ..... Way, way, way too often this is confused with childishness. Childishness is easy to simply means never growing up all the way......childlike clarity is, however, difficult to attain...though once attained its easy to maintain...far easier than childishness. Scientists (among others) endeavor to see the world with childlike clarity... The superstitous are childish and clog up their heads with suppositions and preconceptions. ...organized "revealed religion" rarely attains "childlike clarity'"...being instead satisfied with the more easily managed childishness of superstition.

'Childish' and 'childlike' ....similar words...huge difference in meaning and implication.


Cops: Tenn. Couple Brainwashed Girl

.c The Associated Press

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A former pastor and his wife allegedly kidnapped a baby girl from a children's home, then raised her while brainwashing her into believing God wanted her to be their family's servant.

For nearly 20 years, the girl served the couple and their four children, police say. And all the while, she was being physically and sexually abused by the couple, according to an indictment.

"I don't think she ever really knew it was wrong," said police Capt. Blaine Wade in nearby Bristol.

The alleged abuse was discovered when the woman, now 20, was hospitalized after a suicide attempt last year.

"While hospitalized in a coma, (she) often was heard to call out, `I made the coffee, Daddy; please don't hurt me,"' court documents said.

After she was released from a hospital, the pastor apparently sent her to stay with friends outside the area, Wade said. However, she later contacted police in Bristol.

Joseph Combs, 50, was charged last week with kidnapping, aggravated assault, perjury and seven counts of rape. He was pastor of the now-defunct Emmanuel Baptist Church.

His wife, Evangeline Combs, 49, is charged with kidnapping, aggravated and misdemeanor assault and child abuse. The Combses were jailed in lieu of $250,000 bail each.

The couple did not mistreat their three biological children or an adopted daughter, police said.

The indictment alleges the young woman was beaten with a rope, brooms, sticks, a metal whip, a baseball bat and a wooden shoe.

Authorities said the couple took the girl from a children's home in Indiana when she was 4 months old under the pretense of adopting her but never did.

The couple allegedly kept the girl in seclusion, and only family members and a few church members knew about her. The couple home-schooled her, according to police, but she is unable to read or write.

In 1992, police in the Virginia half of Bristol, which straddles the state line, found the girl locked in a convenience store bathroom, crying and saying she was afraid of her abusive parents. It was unclear why no action was taken, but the girl remained with the couple.

In 1996, she disappeared from her father's church and was found wandering around a neighboring county with no memory of how she got there. Again she was returned home.

The woman has been reunited with her birth parents and is getting dental work and other attention, Wade said.

"She looks 100 times better," Wade said.

AP-NY-11-11-98 1022EST

Copyright 1998 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.


The views and opinions stated within this web page are those of the author or authors which wrote them and may not reflect the views and opinions of the ISP or account user which hosts the web page. The opinions may or may not be those of the Chairman of The Skeptic Tank.

Return to The Skeptic Tank's main Index page.

E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank