Friday, August 13, 2004

Book Suggestions for Recovering ex-ATI Persons
Many ex-ATI students and families go through a recovery period, trying to identify truth after the significant indoctrination that takes place in ATI circles. We're not saying that this indoctrination is wrong, but many times it is conducted without allowing a person the freedom to ask questions and disagree while in the pursuit of truth.

Here are a few book suggestions that may help you in your journey.

The Ragamuffin Gospel, and Posers, Fakers, and Wannabes: Unmasking the Real You, by Brennan Manning. A former Catholic priest who renounced his vows to get married, Manning is now divorced, a former alcoholic, and a self proclaimed faker. Manning's message is all about the radical love of God for the undeserving. His depth of insight into Christ's person is refreshing.

Anything by Philip Yancey: Titles include What's So Amazing About Grace?, Reaching for an Invisible God, Disappointment with God, and Rumors of Another World. Yancey identifies and struggles with Christianity's toughest questions, and he refuses to rely on formula or simplistic answers. Often he fails to identify an answer at all, pointing out that faith can only exist in an environment of doubt.

Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You, by Susan Forward, Donna Frazier. Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation that many will recognize immediately. Susan Forward identifies several common appeals to emotion:
  • I can't believe you're being so selfish. This isn't like you. You're only thinking of yourself.
  • You never think about my feelings.
  • I really thought you were different from the other people. I guess I was wrong.
  • Everyone knows that children are supposed to respect their parents.
  • How can you be so disloyal?
  • How could you do this to me (after all I've done for you)?
  • Why are you being so stubborn/obstinate/selfish?
  • Why do you want to hurt me?
  • Why are you making such a big deal out of this?

The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse, by David Johnson, Jeff Vanvonderen. This book discusses the idea of spiritual abuse, which is when "spiritual authorities" use their place of authority to improperly manipulate and control those under authority. Very useful for deconstructing this "control" without being insensibly rebellious.


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