Religious Trauma Part 7: Society

Valerie Rice | March 16, 2021

Photo by Kat Jayne on

Has it been a while since we discussed this topic? Yes. I figured we all needed a cool down. But today, after several weeks of being absorbed into exmormon tiktok and a bazillion social and  psychological studies later, I decided to explain WHY we allow this trauma to continue happening. It will probably make you mad. It should. The only way to address the problem is to understand the problem. Without further ado: our system is built on control. Let’s go!


Rape culture is deely ingrained in our society. Not only do people have a hard time distinguishing between rape and se, but there is currently outrage over a movie choosing not to feature a cartoon rape skunk in an upcoming film. In fact, this offensive cartoon character is an excellent example of how pervasive rape culture is. Pepe is relentless in his pursuit of Penelope the cat refusing to take no for an answer. He also grabs her and holds on to her, kissing her as she struggles to get away. The fact that so many people see this as normal is seriously problematic. It should come as no surprise then that the aspects of rape culture which cults weave into their doctrine would not necessarily be seen as problematic. What are they? Purity culture. To quickly review, this includes slut shaming, victim blaming, sexual assault denial, refusing to acknowledge the haarm done by sexual assault, and so on. In fact, rape culture and purity culture are nearly identical.


The United States is a system based on social controls, which means that we tend to focus heavily on police, prisons, surveillance, and the military. We have become desensitized to a lack of agency and tend not to notice when it is further restricted. In fact, the way we control the behavior of our population, through fear and punishment, aligns well with cult psychology. For the “Land of the Free” we sure rank low when it comes to personal freedom, and it has been declining for over a decade. In a way, the US is the ideal place for the development of religious cults. Speaking of freedom and religion…


Cults model themselves after religions, something the United States pretends to protect by law, especially if said religion is related to Christianity. Occasionally some practice will rub the wrong way and the government will try to regulate it. A fine example of this is polygamy and the Mormons. The US managed to make polygamy illegal but many states still allow child marriage. In my opinion, they sort of missed the mark in regards to regulation. The “slippery slope” argument is often used as an excuse not to take action against cult behavior, but this is a logical fallacy. The government spent years denying the right to marry to people in same sex relationships, and had absolutley no problem with it, despite the fact that the Satanic church taches same sex marriage is a right. Placing religion in law is not appropriate, yet it is an effective way to control the population. Cult activity is therefore protected as religious freedom despite the danger it poses. 


The fact that we are free to be controlled by everyone but ourselves in maddening. Luckily, the age of religious adherence and importance is dying. The younger members of GenX and older Millennials started a trend of pulling away from organized religion which has continued. This is due in part to the hypocrisy of their religious parents, but mostly thanks to the internet. It is impossible to control the minds of people with access to information. So keep it up, you godless, educated heathens! Until next time, be well!

Published by vrice2010

A mother, an author, a nerd. After many years working in the fields of mental health and developmental disabilities, graduating from the University of Phoenix, and pouring my talents into my local community, I decided to spread my wings and reach a wider audience.

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