I have long enjoyed the videos Vice has to offer and was bummed their new show was on HBO. They surprised me and have streamed the first episode on their website.
They visit the Philippines and Afghanistan and show how rough life is there. The segment in Afghanistan really resonated with and troubled me. They addressed the topic of suicide bombers and how they use children to transport the bombs through lying and indoctrinating them.
What is it about religion? It is an instrument that can be taken by extremists and lead to violent ends. Highlighted in the segment was they recruited uneducated people to be the bombers. How common that is that fundamentalist leaders prey on those who are not educated to recruit to their ranks. It is really sick that children are viewed as mere chattel and I probably would hazard a guess that leaders are using the belief system for a power trip.
It really pisses me off that an outlet that allows us to connect to the universe that is infinite and unknowable ends up being a scam. In the worst case you end up dead or broke. Most of us who leave these groups through educating ourselves still feel dirty and used in a way. Sprinkle in the pathways cut in our brain by these assholes that kick guilt up on occasion then you can see what a mental rape religious abuse is.
These people come along and offer knowledge and community up front. After that, the real negatives start to show up in the form of unspoken rules and other legalistic stuff. Then you are in too deep to walk away and feel trapped. The spiritual side of us is something that should never be used for power or monetary gain. However, since we all crave this intimacy and community; we are vulnerable and there are opportunists to swoop in and sell a bill of goods.
There were 2 kids who were caught attempting to suicide bomb and were pardoned and sent to school to be deprogrammed. Guess what, they were both caught trying to do it again. This show to me the mind fuck that is fundamentalism on any level. It is next to impossible to let it go and move one. These belief systems get in our heads and actually have defense mechanisms against competitive information. It is like ideologies survive in the same way viruses and other creatures.
Education keeps you or pulls you out of fundamentalism but the baggage will always be there. The best thing is I pulled my kid out before they got as burned as I did. I don't think any of these problems will go away overnight, but if enough people like me start to walk away then these bullshit ideologies no matter the religion will die a much deserved death.