Ricky Gervais


16 thoughts on “Geloofsprongetjies!

  1. It’s Called Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome, and Yes It’s Real

    If there’s one thing I know the power of, it’s a name.

    For the better part of a decade I suffered from a chronic mystery illness that was attacking me from the inside out. Countless doctors and specialists couldn’t diagnose me, couldn’t give me a name for what was happening. They told me it was all in my head — that I could pull myself out of it if I just tried harder.

    I believed them.

    Debilitating fatigue and pain became a way of life. My physical distress was second only to the mental torture that went like this, “I am doing this to myself. I do not have an actual medical condition. These symptoms are not real. There is nothing wrong with me.”

    But there was something wrong with me. After eight years of sickness, a doctor handed me a slip of paper. On the paper was the name of the disease I had been fighting; the disease that had been fighting me.

    I wept with joy. (Which confused my poor doctor more than a little bit.)

    I had a name. The symptoms were real. I did have a medical condition. I was not doing it to myself.

    Because of the name, I found out I was not alone; there were thousands of other people dealing with the very same condition. Because of the name, I discovered community, support, resources, and treatment. Because of the name, I recovered.

    Because of the name, fatigue and pain are no longer a way of life for me.
    Which is why I am giving a name to a spiritual condition that is even more real and more dangerous than the disease that robbed me of my physical health for many years:

    Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome.

    PTCS presents as a severe, negative — almost allergic — reaction to inflexible doctrine, outright abuse of spiritual power, dogma and (often) praise bands and preachers. Internal symptoms include but are not limited to: withdrawal from all things religious, failure to believe in anything, depression, anxiety, anger, grief, loss of identity, despair, moral confusion, and, most notably, the loss of desire/inability to darken the door of a place of worship.

    The physical symptoms of PTCS — which may or may not be present — include: cold sweats, hives, nausea, vomiting, sexual dysfunction, sleep disturbance, rashes, heart palpitations, increased blood pressure — oh, to heck with it. The symptoms are as varied as the people who suffer them.

    There are degrees of PTCS — maybe you can still walk into a church, maybe you can’t, maybe you take the long way on the highway to avoid the sight of a steeple, maybe you’re even standing in the pulpit. But the one thing we all have in common is that we crash into religion when we go looking for God.

    And the crashing has left us with spiritual whiplash, broken bones, bruises, welts and lacerations. It has left us feeling alone and scared and suffering. It has left us with a boatload of internal and external symptoms the persons of spiritual authority tell us are all in our heads and would go away if we just had more faith.

    Don’t believe them.

    Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is not in your head, and you are not alone.

    When I tackled my own case of PTCS and blogged about it (, I received story after story — in person and via email and snail mail—from people who were suffering from PTCS. Our stories may be different, but the result is the same: we yearn for God without being bound by dogma and subject to spiritual abuse.

    Though I wish I could give you an answer of how to recover from PTCS in 800 words or less, I can’t. (It took me a year and a crazy journey through thirty religions to recover from my own case of PTCS.) Each journey back to spiritual health is as unique as the person taking it.

    But what I can do is hand you this virtual slip of paper stating the condition you’ve been fighting — the condition that’s been fighting you. I can tell you there are thousands, maybe even millions of us. I can tell you that I recovered, that healing is available, that God will meet you wherever you are or aren’t.

    But most of all, I can tell you a name. Sometimes a name is halfway to healing.


  2. Can you believe this shit???

    Prayer Blankets

    The Prayer Blanket Story

    The Prayer Blanket Ministry was introduced to St. Thomas More by a parishioner who was given the opportunity to give one to a friend who was facing treatment for cancer. It brought the friend great peace and joy from the gifts and prayers of a faith community. It also gave her a sense of “family” and confidence in God’s infinite love and mercy. St. Thomas More Prayer Blanket Ministry involves intercessory prayer and sewing lap-size blankets. These are given to anyone needing the gift of love and prayer. Prayers are offered for recipients as the blankets are constructed and thereafter by both the ministry and other members of the staff and parish community. All blankets are given free of charge and materials for construction are provided. The Prayer Blanket is a tangible sign that each recipient is lifted up in prayer by our Faith Community. The blankets are blessed at the 8:30 a.m. First Friday Mass.

    A Gift of Love & A Testimony of Faith

    The Prayer Blanket Ministry touches not only the lives of those who receive the blankets but also those who construct and distribute them and those who see them in use. Recipients speak of the impact they have on doctors, nurses, visitors and those who see them and ask about them.

    They are a testimony that a community of faith relies on God and one another to accompany on life’s journey. Intercessory prayer is a prayer of petition that leads us to pray as Jesus did. Jesus is able to save those who draw near to God through him. The Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us! So I say to you: “Ask and it will be given to you, search and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you, for everyone who asks receives, everyone who seeks finds, everyone who knocks will have the door opened.” (Luke 10:9-10).

    In the beautiful act of giving and receiving, blessing and prayer, the threads of these blankets become interwoven with faith, hope and love.

    Who Is Eligible To Receive A Blanket?
    Adults or children with a physical or emotional illness
    Individuals preparing for surgery or recovering from an acute illness
    Individuals living with a chronic condition or in treatment for a life-threatening illness
    Individuals experiencing a crisis such as the loss of a loved one, loss of job, relationship crisis, etc.
    High risk pregnancy, miscarriage or neonatal crisis
    “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and lowly in heart of you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” – Matthew 11:29


    How You Can Help:
    Sew Prayer Blankets at Parish Every Thursday 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.
    Sew Prayer Blankets at home
    Monogram the Prayer Blankets with the St. Thomas More logo and recipient’s name
    Donate materials needed for construction of the blankets
    Put finishing touches on the blankets

    – See more at:


    • Anyone who has just read what Schmoly posted here, should please not question me again about the anger feelings that should actually come up in any normal and healthy sober thinking person.

      I grew up with this kind of exploitative religious bullshit all around me. Evangelists were asking people to send handkerchiefs to them, pay some money, and then these hankies will be “prayed over”. The Oral Roberts of the world came here to SA and collected millions, offering nothing but hope, causing people to then think that got had deserted them because they did not get healed.

      I saw terribly sad individuals who suffered from all sorts of serious physical and emotional afflictions. They were truly suffering. And they believed….

      Boy did they believe that got will one day heal them, so they desperately tried everything, all related to got of course. They prayed and they gave, and they
      read the bible and they lived in eternal hope. They all died with their afflictions, having never been “faith healed”. I saw all of this.

      Those fucking religious liars, assholes, thieves, charlatans, greedy bastards.
      I actually hate them furiously, because of all the damage they do and have done to suffering humans.


      • Thankfully my parents did not do religion on me. In Fanie’s case the bullshit was so outrageous that he probably asked himself what he did to deserve being born into such a family. I bet his family was extremely good at making him feel guilty about his not liking them. My own father did not give a shit about me but the feeling was entirely mutual and I avoided him, to a large extent successfully.

        Let’s have a music break. I know I have posted this one before, but it’s a good one, one of Adriaan’s favourites.


        • My father didn’t like me because I was never “sweet’. He believed women and girls should be docile and shut the fuck up.


  3. Let’s hear it for a Quebec mayor…


    Muslim parents demanded the abolition of pork in all the school
    canteens of a Montreal suburb.

    The mayor of the Montreal suburb of Dorval, has refused, and the town
    clerk sent a note to all parents to explain why…

    “Muslims must understand that they have to adapt to Canada and Quebec,
    its customs, its traditions, its way of life, because that’s where
    they chose to immigrate.

    “They must understand that they have to integrate and learn to live in

    “They must understand that it is for them to change their lifestyle,
    not the Canadians who so generously welcomed them.

    “They must understand that Canadians are neither racist nor
    xenophobic, they accepted many immigrants before Muslims (whereas the
    reverse is not true, in that Muslim states do not accept non-Muslim

    “That no more than other nations, Canadians are not willing to give up
    their identity, their culture.

    “And if Canada is a land of welcome, it’s not the Mayor of Dorval who
    welcomes foreigners, but the Canadian-Quebecois people as a whole.

    “Finally, they must understand that in Canada (Quebec) with its
    Judeo-Christian roots, Christmas trees, churches and religious
    festivals, religion must remain in the private domain.

    The municipality of Dorval was right to refuse any concessions to
    Islam and Sharia.

    “For Muslims who disagree with secularism and do not feel comfortable
    in Canada, there are 57 beautiful Muslim countries in the world, most
    of them under-populated and ready to receive them with open halal arms
    in accordance with Shariah.

    “If you left your country for Canada, and not for other Muslim
    countries, it is because you have considered that life is better in
    Canada than elsewhere.

    “Ask yourself the question, just once, “Why is it better here in
    Canada than where you come from?”

    “A canteen with pork is part of the answer.”


  4. “Puer Aeternus” – the eternal adolescent or youth, the sempiternal Peter Pan – is a phenomenon often associated with pathological narcissism. People who refuse to grow up strike others as self-centred and aloof, petulant and brattish, haughty and demanding – in short: as childish or infantile.

    Pathological narcissism is a reaction to prolonged abuse and trauma in early childhood or early adolescence. The source of the abuse or trauma is immaterial – the perpetrators could be parents, teachers, other adults, or peers. Pampering, smothering, spoiling, and “engulfing” the child are also forms of abuse.

    In an abusive environment, the child finds it difficult to assert his personal boundaries, to separate from his parents, and to individuate. Consequently, it chooses either of two solutions: to internalize and introject the abuser (to become a monster), thereby siding with the strong and winning party – or to remain a child forever, thus securing empathy, compassion, and pity in a heartless, hostile universe. The typical narcissist is unusual in that it chooses to adopt both solutions at once and is, therefore, simultaneously a monster and a child.

    The narcissist is a partial adult. He seeks to avoid adulthood. Infantilisation – the discrepancy between one’s advanced chronological age and one’s retarded behaviour, cognition, and emotional development – is the narcissist’s preferred art form. Some narcissists even use a childish tone of voice occasionally and adopt a toddler’s body language.

    But most narcissists resort to more subtle means.

    They reject or avoid adult chores and functions. They refrain from acquiring adult skills (such as driving) or an adult’s formal education. They evade adult responsibilities towards others, including and especially towards their nearest and dearest. They hold no steady jobs, never get married, raise no family, cultivate no roots, maintain no real friendships or meaningful relationships.

    Many a narcissist remain attached to their families of origin. By clinging to his parents, the narcissist continues to act in the role of a child. He thus avoids the need to make adult decisions and (potentially painful) choices. He transfers all adult chores and responsibilities – from laundry to baby-sitting – to his parents, siblings, spouse, or other relatives. He feels unshackled, a free spirit, ready to take on the world (in other words omnipotent and omnipresent).

    This curious abdication may have to do with what I termed the “Inversion-Null Dynamic.” Briefly: the narcissist always seeks to fulfil the role of a child. His parents, his spouse, even his own kids usually compliantly respond to this hidden signal. This is the “inversion” part.

    Then, when another child enters the scene (the narcissist’s siblings, or his own newborn offspring), everyone react awkwardly, dismissively, or abusively towards the addition to the family because it is perceived as threatening to usurp the narcissist’s role and to upset the delicate dynamics and equilibrium that rule the narcissist’s intimate relationships. The newcomer is, thus, “annulled.”

    Such “delayed adulthood” is very common in many poor and developing countries, especially those with patriarchal societies. I wrote in “The Last Family”:

    To the alienated and schizoid ears of Westerners, the survival of family and community in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) sounds like an attractive proposition. A dual purpose safety net, both emotional and economic, the family in countries in transition provides its members with unemployment benefits, accommodation, food and psychological advice to boot.

    Divorced daughters, saddled with little (and not so little) ones, the prodigal sons incapable of finding a job befitting their qualifications, the sick, the unhappy – all are absorbed by the compassionate bosom of the family and, by extension the community. The family, the neighbourhood, the community, the village, the tribe – are units of subversion as well as useful safety valves, releasing and regulating the pressures of contemporary life in the modern, materialistic, crime ridden state.

    The ancient blood feud laws of the kanoon were handed over through familial lineages in northern Albania, in defiance of the paranoiac Enver Hoxha regime. Criminals hide among their kin in the Balkans, thus effectively evading the long arm of the law (state). Jobs are granted, contracts signed and tenders won on an open and strict nepotistic basis and no one finds it odd or wrong. There is something atavistically heart-warming in all this.

    Historically, the rural units of socialisation and social organisation were the family and the village. As villagers migrated to the cities, these structural and functional patterns were imported by them, en masse. The shortage of urban apartments and the communist invention of the communal apartment (its tiny rooms allocated one per family with kitchen and bathroom common to all) only served to perpetuate these ancient modes of multi-generational huddling. At best, the few available apartments were shared by three generations: parents, married off-spring and their children. In many cases, the living space was also shared by sickly or no-good relatives and even by unrelated families.

    These living arrangements – more adapted to rustic open spaces than to high rises – led to severe social and psychological dysfunctions. To this very day, Balkan males are spoiled by the subservience and servitude of their in-house parents and incessantly and compulsively catered to by their submissive wives. Occupying someone else’s home, they are not well acquainted with adult responsibilities.

    Stunted growth and stagnant immaturity are the hallmarks of an entire generation, stifled by the ominous proximity of suffocating, invasive love. Unable to lead a healthy sex life behind paper thin walls, unable to raise their children and as many children as they see fit, unable to develop emotionally under the anxiously watchful eye of their parents – this greenhouse generation is doomed to a zombie-like existence in the twilight nether land of their parents’ caves. Many ever more eagerly await the demise of their caring captors and the promised land of their inherited apartments, free of their parents’ presence.

    The daily pressures and exigencies of co-existence are enormous. The prying, the gossip, the criticism, the chastising, the small agitating mannerisms, the smells, the incompatible personal habits and preferences, the pusillanimous bookkeeping – all serve to erode the individual and to reduce him or her to the most primitive mode of survival. This is further exacerbated by the need to share expenses, to allocate labour and tasks, to plan ahead for contingencies, to see off threats, to hide information, to pretend and to fend off emotionally injurious behaviour. It is a sweltering tropic of affective cancer.”

    Alternatively, by acting as surrogate caregiver to his siblings or parents, the narcissist displaces his adulthood into a fuzzier and less demanding territory. The social expectations from a husband and a father are clear-cut. Not so from a substitute, mock, or ersatz parent. By investing his efforts, resources, and emotions in his family of origin, the narcissist avoids having to establish a new family and face the world as an adult. His is an “adulthood by proxy”, a vicarious imitation of the real thing.

    The ultimate in dodging adulthood is finding God (long recognised as a father-substitute), or some other “higher cause”. The believer allows the doctrine and the social institutions that enforce it to make decisions for him and thus relieve him of responsibility. He succumbs to the paternal power of the collective and surrenders his personal autonomy. In other words, he is a child once more. Hence the allure of faith and the lure of dogmas and ideologies, especially in troubled times, when everyone’s narcissistic defences are out in full force.

    But why does the narcissist refuse to grow up? Why does he postpone the inevitable and regards adulthood as a painful experience to be avoided at a great cost to personal growth and self-realisation? Because remaining essentially a toddler caters to all his narcissistic needs and defences and nicely tallies with the narcissist’s inner psychodynamic landscape.

    Pathological narcissism is an infantile defence against abuse and trauma, usually occurring in early childhood or early adolescence. Thus, narcissism is inextricably entwined with the abused child’s or adolescent’s emotional make-up, cognitive deficits, and worldview. To say “narcissist” is to say “thwarted, tortured child”.

    It is important to remember that overweening, smothering, spoiling, overvaluing, and idolising the child – are all forms of parental abuse. There is nothing more narcissistically-gratifying than the admiration and adulation (Narcissistic Supply) garnered by precocious child-prodigies (Wunderkinder). Narcissists who are the sad outcomes of excessive pampering and sheltering become addicted to it.

    In a paper published in Quadrant in 1980 and titled “Puer Aeternus: The Narcissistic Relation to the Self”, Jeffrey Satinover, a Jungian analyst, offers these astute observations:

    “The individual narcissistically bound to (the image or archetype of the divine child) for identity can experience satisfaction from a concrete achievement only if it matches the grandeur of this archetypal image. It must have the qualities of greatness, absolute uniqueness, of being the best and … prodigiously precocious. This latter quality explains the enormous fascination of child prodigies, and also explains why even a great success yields no permanent satisfaction for the puer: being an adult, no accomplishment is precocious unless he stays artificially young or equates his accomplishments with those of old age (hence the premature striving after the wisdom of those who are much older).”

    The simple truth is that children get away with narcissistic traits and behaviours. Narcissists know that. They envy children, hate them, try to emulate them and, thus, compete with them for scarce Narcissistic Supply.

    Children are forgiven for feeling grandiose and self-important or even encouraged to develop such emotions as part of “building up their self-esteem”. Kids frequently exaggerate with impunity accomplishments, talents, skills, contacts, and personality traits – exactly the kind of conduct that narcissists are chastised for!

    As part of a normal and healthy development trajectory, young children are as obsessed as narcissists are with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, and unequalled brilliance. Adolescents are expected to be preoccupied with bodily beauty or sexual performance (as is the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion. What is normal in the first 16 years of life is labelled a pathology later on.

    Children are firmly convinced that they are unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people. In time, through the process of socialisation, young adults learn the benefits of collaboration and acknowledge the innate value of each and every person. Narcissists never do. They remain fixated in the earlier stage.

    Preteens and teenagers require excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation. It is a transient phase that gives place to the self-regulation of one’s sense of inner worth. Narcissists, however, remain dependent on others for their self-esteem and self-confidence. They are fragile and fragmented and thus very susceptible to criticism, even if it is merely implied or imagined.

    Well into pubescence, children feel entitled. As toddlers, they demand automatic and full compliance with their unreasonable expectations for special and favourable priority treatment. They grow out of it as they develop empathy and respect for the boundaries, needs, and wishes of other people. Again, narcissists never mature, in this sense.

    Children, like adult narcissists, are “interpersonally exploitative”, i.e., use others to achieve their own ends. During the formative years (0-6 years old), children are devoid of empathy. They are unable to identify with, acknowledge, or accept the feelings, needs, preferences, priorities, and choices of others.

    Both adult narcissists and young children are envious of others and sometimes seek to hurt or destroy the causes of their frustration. Both groups behave arrogantly and haughtily, feel superior, omnipotent, omniscient, invincible, immune, “above the law”, and omnipresent (magical thinking), and rage when frustrated, contradicted, challenged, or confronted.

    The narcissist seeks to legitimise his child-like conduct and his infantile mental world by actually remaining a child, by refusing to mature and to grow up, by avoiding the hallmarks of adulthood, and by forcing others to accept him as the Puer Aeternus, the Eternal Youth, a worry-free, unbounded, Peter Pan.


  5. Computer glitch kept me offline for a day or two.

    The above is a great and well written article. Sadly, the state of Psychiatry today is just that: analysing, describing and labelling. It simply does not cannot will not offer a cure. Of the thousands of articles that have been written about the human condition, rarely if ever do they mention the Pain imprint from before birth, during birth, babyhood, infancy and childhood.

    Having said that, I must admit that there is some progress of late, however.
    Epigenetics has become the buzz word over the last few years amongst a handful of researchers. foremost amongst them is Arthur Janov, whom again, sadly, is the only one who can offer a cure.

    Articles like this one always makes me feel as if the author is actually criticising, blaming or condemning the patient for “being like that”. They are so extremely factual, much like someone who is listening to a beautiful rendition of Mozart and then observing and coldly analysing the chord structures, the instruments, the movements of the conductor, unable to be enthralled with the music.

    Empathy, sympathy and compassion seem completely missing. I must immediately add that no-one can be cured unless they shake off the denial and ask for help. Psychopaths, severe narcissists, most godiots and fascists, the criminally insane and the like usually die without having ever asked for help.

    I think on this blog we are trying to “shock” these religious nuts into admitting that they are severely afflicted and to ask for help. Is it working? Maybe, who knows? I have said before that I wish this blog – and many others – could be a place for emotionally crippled humans to openly discuss their disposition.
    Yep, perhaps it is a pipe dream.

    Imagine having tried to talk to Hitler a year or so before WWII, imploring him to
    “be more humane” and to try and understand humans and be kind, loving, caring, etc? His idea…… of an Ubermensch was so fixed in his mind. He genuinely symbolised and projected all of his painful childhood (which was horrible) on what he saw as “inferior humans” all over the world.


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