Psychology of Suicide and Bullying–and how religion, school/classmates and family affect both

Katherine van Wormer, MSSW, PhD and Chuk Odiah, M.Sc, PhD of the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, presented a study on suicide-murder and the death penalty, in 1999 (van Wormer, Katherine and Odiah, Chuk (1999). “The Psychology of Suicide-Murder and the Death Penalty” in Journal of Criminal Justice, 27(4), pp. 361-370). The UNI professors detail suicide to be not only a violent act but an act that is frequently the result of violence.

Violence is perpetrated by bullies: parents, children, religious and government figures, schools (teachers, principals, classmates, and so forth) and at the workplace by coworkers, supervisors, bosses, and owners.  Violence is also the weapon used by others who wish to appear and take on the trappings of authorities. 

Bullying leads some people to commit violent acts against others in quest of paying the supreme penalty for their actions: “Suicide, in other words, [is] not as the consequence of murder but, rather, … its cause”, van Wormer and Odiah claim.  Those who want to die, but are afraid of the believed pain in suicide, will seek out someone to kill them: either by putting themselves in harm’s way, paying an assassin, killing another person in hopes that law enforcement officials will end their existence, or killing and then taking their own life in fear that state retribution could be more painful.

As I noted in my earlier book, Evangelical Terrorism, suicides and violence are especially prevalent among fundamentalists groups and those that preach hatred is peace and tolerance is weakness, as found in Islam, Pentecostalism, The FAMiLY, and Latter Day Saints and is increased among evangelical fundamentalists to the point that they form a psychological dictatorship that destroys hope and personal self-esteem (Ide, Arthur Frederick (1986). Evangelical Terrorism: censorship, Falwell, Robertson, & the Seamy side of Christian Fundamentalism. Irving, TX, USA: Scholars Books).  Religion, while many psychologists have not commented on it because they have not studied it and its effect on others, is one of the greatest tools for subordination of people and the illusion(s) it fosters can weigh heavily leading many into reprehensible acts or violence, as with the jihad movement in Islam and Christian terrorists in India, Norway, and elsewhere.

Suicide is never the “coward’s way out” as popular legend has it–suicide takes courage.  It is not an action that is haphazard nor accidental.  It is not committed rashly, or suddenly.  It is premeditated, and is usually a response to violence that the victim can no longer endure, or is the product of neglect. The suicide victim sees no alternative and no place to go as the family, church, school, and coworker offers no understanding, help, or proffer solutions, and as said earlier, usually are the reason for the suicide.

Bullying in groups

Most young suicide victims take their own lives because they feel estranged and left-out of a significant circle of others, or are harassed and ridiculed by others for any number of reasons, as I will detail. 

Those who ultimately commit suicide frequently see themselves as outcasts.  Older students bully younger students; better built students bully those who are frail and appear unable to take care of themselves.  Older girls will bully younger boys: especially within families where the older child is the girl and the victim is a second son who appears as a threat to the ranking order of the siblings, since in many families there was a partiality or preference for a male child. The same is true if the first-born is a boy, the second born is a girl, and the third and subsequent are either gender but when the first-born is a boy, the boy tends to look upon others within the family as rivals unless the family unit treats all children equitably.  It is a primitive animalistic form known as a “pecking order” as is common with poultry and other animals where the senior member retains control rights by pecking at new members of the group or those introduced into the group without the consent of the leader.  Alfred Adler, who worked with Sigmund Freud, called it Ichgebundenheit.

Older children will bully younger children

When the suicide victim feels abandoned or neglected by his or her family there is ans increased potentiality and possibility of the lowering of self-esteem in the estimation of the one contemplating suicide.  If the one contemplating suicide believes that he or she is ostracized by a religious, fraternal or familial group, or is being bullied by someone who feels that by bullying another he or she is superior (whereas in reality they are suffering from an inferiority complex) the potential suicide victim withdraws more from the family or fraternal circle, finds escape in cyberspace and makes “friends” (acquaintances) who can be imaginary or implants by those who oppose the individual and desire that he or she commits suicide. 

Stronger and larger people will bully weaker and smaller people

Suicide is seen as a way of escape, as well as a way of asserting the victim’s final right of control over the self and to leave the confines of the primary unit: the family, church, school, or group, which the future suicide victim  internalizes, consciously (openly), subconsciously, or unconsciously as a way of fighting the bully by depriving the bully of his or her conquest over the victim.  The victim of bullying is afraid to, justifiably, strike out and hit the bullying parent, grandparent, son or daughter, niece or nephew, uncle or aunt, religious leader, teacher, or classmate regardless of age, gender or physical condition of the bully.  The idea of “respecting one’s elders” and “authority figures” has been ingrained by all religions as a way of maintaining their hold over the congregant (e.g. Sirach 3:1, ‘Mata Pita Guru Daivam’ in Hinduism, Exodus 20:12, Koran 4:36 and 6:151, Ephesians 6:12), but none of the world’s religions consider the reality that some parents are bad people, hurt and harm their children (Abraham did attempt to slay his own son: Genesis 22:5, Koran 37:100-111, a prototype for John 3:16, where god demands that Abraham “sacrifice a son” to him) to the point where the child commits suicide (it is a statistic that 44% of all suicides are the result of abuse at home; while the statistics vary from 60-90% accusing the father as being less sympathetic, especially in Australia, there is little mention of the social climate the father was brought up in, as in most patriarch societies, the male is taught to be aggressive and violent).  By not striking back as some victims are now doing by learning judo and other self-defense techniques including carrying pepper spray or weapons (read here and here and here and here), suicide becomes the last resort, especially when the future suicide victim believes that his or her religion rejects protestations against bullies if they are in the family or the religious center.  This is equally true when the person contemplating suicide is castigated or slammed because of a perceived lifestyle that is labeled as being outside the scope of what the faith has codified as acceptable and there is no one to talk to about personal matters.

Bullying by grade level (USA)

The rise in cases of bullying are getting more notice.  There are new studies and demographics illustrating this paralyzing phenomena.

Bullying can be emotional or psychological as well as physical.

Until recently, few have looked at the bully and what motivates bullying. The bully is anyone: a parent, classmate, religious figure, sibling, etc. Because bullies are found in every walk of life, every vocation, every religion and social outlet, it is critical to understand the psychology of a bully if we are to better understand the psychology of the person committing suicide. 

A bully is any individual struggling for attention, authority, and sadistically revels in causing emotional, psychological, and/or physical pain. The bully can be a narcissistic bully, imitative bully, impulsive bully, accidental bully.  What they have in common is low self-esteem and the desire to control–which is the reason for such bully organizations as Opus Dei (international, but originally started in Spain) and the Tea Party in the USA. This is especially true among religions seeking absolute control over the individual as occurred in the Roman Catholic Spanish Inquisition that led to the death of millions and thrives to this day in such nefarious groups as Opus Dei, Councils of Bishops or Elders, one-dimensional religious groups such as  the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Church (WELS), Pentecostalism, Mormons and evangelical communities such as within the New Apostolic Reformation of the twenty-first century.  It is found from Poland to Peru, the USA to UK, Canada to Chad, and throughout the world. 

With today’s advances in technology, sadism of the bully is made easier.  Sadism is a mental disease (Holt, S. E., Meloy, J. R., & Strack, S. (1999). “Sadism and psychopathy in violent and sexually violent offenders”. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. vol 27(1) 1999, 23-32), and most sadists are mentally ill, especially those who use religion as a cover for their hatred and bullying: seeking pleasure by creating, watching, and continuing suffering in those who submit to their cruelty (Kernberg, O. F. (1983). “Paranoid regression, sadistic control, and dishonesty in transference.” Revista de Psicoanalisis Vol 40(2) Mar-Apr 1983, 323-328; Lloyd, D. W. (1991). “Ritual child abuse: Understanding the controversies”.  Cultic Studies JournalVol 8(2) 1991, 122-133; and, Radomski, J., & Sulestrowska, H. (1988). “Aggressive-sadistic behavior as a major symptom in schizophrenic psychosis in a 13-year-old boy”.  Psychiatria Polska vol 22(3) May-Jun 1988, 269-271; the role that sadism plays in religion is acute, especially in such sadistic groups as Opus Dei; cf. Sorensen, A. (2003). “Evil between ontology and inner experience – Georges Bataille”. Psyke & Logosvol 24(1) 2003, 361-389, and Hammand, J. (2000). “The Rod of Discipline: Masochism, Sadism, and the Judeo-Christian Religion,” Journal of Religion and Health. vol. 39.4,  pp. 319-328, as found in Proverbs 13:24, and enjoined by such sadists as the Roman Catholic church–especially Opus Dei, Martin Luther (Luther, Werk 54:157, 234-235, in German) and Jean Calvin (who defined anyone who rebelled against religious authority as a child, and decreed that “children can be executed” for rebellion, with young children being hanged, and very young children being hanged by the arms; Picot, History of Geneva, in 8 vols., t. II, p. 264, p. 355, cf. Robert M. Kingdon, Adultery and Divorce in Calvin’s Geneva. Cambridge, MA, USA: Harvard University Press, 1995, pp. 355-357 seq; Calvin also demanded the death sentence for adultery and blasphemy: “Sur les paillardises, adulteres, blasphemes, juremens et despitemens de Dieu”), most Protestant groups, and Islam, and hate groups such as Focus on the Family and the state legislature of Michigan). Today’s bullies can cause irreparable mental anguish and suffering by spewing hate messages on the internet: the most common means of choice being Facebook, MySpace, or other popular sites. 

What is a bully?

The bully has a distinctive pattern of deliberately harming and humiliating others in order to get what the bully wants: attention, subjugation of others to order them around as he or she wishes, adulation, and reverence.  To this end the greatest bullies in the world are members of the clergy, and those who claim to be defending “the faith”, who insist on a common lifestyle of and among the faithful, with the leaders of religions being the most bellicose, braying “you must stay married even if your partner has no love for you,” “you must marry to keep the precepts of god to ‘go forth, be fruitful, multiply,” “you must carry an unwanted zygote/fetus even if it is the product of rape, incest, has little to no chance for survival, or will be complete at the time of its birth,” and so forth (cp. Chernus, Ira (2006). Monsters to Destroy: the Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin. Boulder, CO, USA: Paradigm Publishers). 

Realities of bullying

Religion, in most cases is a shield to protect the sadism of the bully.  Those who bully in the name of religion use their assorted scripture to justify their actions.  They claim that what they want, their deity also wants. The bully sees himself or herself as the hand of god–a god of raw vengeance and cruelty whose will must be done if there is to be peace on the planet (cp. Luke 22:42 and Psalm 40:7-8).  Furthermore, the bully uses the idea of his or her god as his or her way of spreading the faith, being obedient to the faith, and having unquestioned loyalty to the faith: the basic foundation of the most odious and opportunistic organization known as Opus Dei.

Opus Dei New Hampshire protesting abortion

Abortion is among the favored bully clubs of the conservative religious, especially among the Roman Catholic hierarchy where none of the men could become pregnant (if they could, as I have written earlier, abortion would be proclaimed a sacrament), but still belt out “No abortion!” This mantra is ministered to those without measure, regardless if it is a child who has been repeatedly raped by a family member, or been sexually assaulted

Children abandoned on streets of Peru

by a classmate, teacher, religious official, or any other person—even though carrying the fetus to term can irreparably scar the student emotionally and psychologically. Children who are raped and become pregnant are abandoned on the streets of towns and cities, from Los Angeles, California to Lima, Peru–and beyond (The Consortium for Street Children’s State of the World’s Street Children: Violence report (2007) p. 17).  While the “Pro-Life” forces want to “protect the unborn” they do nothing to help it once it is born and, in the case of Roman Catholic countries, abandon the baby and the mother to poverty and life in the street–with the sole source of income frequently being prostitution, but the infant, if it survives its early years, is set to work in bazaars and open air markets.  The churches, schools, and communities do nothing but bully the abandoned children, especially those who become pregnant, by screaming “No abortion.” Those who are born have little chance of any future in any nation, and are subject to bullying.

Abandoned girl working in market in Peru

Many poor, around the world, turn to drugs before contemplating suicide. 

Glue sniffing in Peru

While drugs are expensive, they can be stolen, purchased with prostitution, or found in inexpensive formats, such as glue sniffing that is becoming increasingly popular among the poor in Latin America and other Roman Catholic controlled countries.

Bullies seek out those who lack assertiveness and radiate fear—telltale signs that bullies gravitate to in the same manner as sadists and masochists find each other.  After religion and religious leaders, the second greatest number of bullies comes from within the family: with the bullies being older siblings in most cases.  Sex is often a criteria, with older siblings worried that younger ones will masturbate and will either encourage or take the child to a prostitute—the reason being that the sin of Onan was masturbation (it was coitus interruptus: Genesis 38:8-10), while prostitution is referenced repeatedly in the Old Testament, even with Onan’s father having sex with his daughter-in-law in Genesis 38:15-16, and so forth).  The story of Onan and his “sin” has become a mainstay for Opus Dei.

Opus Dei is the greatest and most powerful organized hate group in the world, its tentacles reaching out and controls schools around the world, strangling personal identities and suffocating the flicker of democracy and freedom, teaching hate and doing nothing to counter bullying.  It continues to live the story of Judah and his whoring ways while distorting reality and rifling in on human sexuality as a target to control people. 

In Perú bullying is especially common in Opus Dei colegios, and in other religious schools—where celibacy and virginity are preached as admirable goals but seldom practiced and little is said unless a girl comes to class pregnant (some as young as the age of ten and eleven)—and then to be bullied for becoming pregnant while at the same time denied an abortion or offered comfort if the fertilized zygote/fetus is the result of rape or (more commonly) incest.  When I taught, for a short time, at one of the more exclusive Roman Catholic secondary schools in Lambayeque Province in Peru, it was common to hear 12 and 13 year-old girls warn female classmates that if they did not have sex with boys they would not be allowed to participate in their groups.  Those who refused the orders barked out by the wealthier students were hounded both on the patios and open areas, chided as being lesbians, and were physically attacked: their hair pulled, stomachs punched, and notes slipped to them urging them to commit suicide; when I reported this to the principal—who has since been transferred to Rome—the religious Order in charge of the school did nothing.  The priest only nodded and returned to his prayers. 

When I complained to those who claimed to be psychologists, I was informed “it is the culture, here” and instructed to say nothing.  Sexuality was far higher than contraceptive use because of religious leaders’ disapproval, and it was not on infrequent occasions that I would enter the restroom to find students from ages 12 to 18 engaged in sexual acts.  

After reminding students who were openly fondling one another during a video in the library that such action was inappropriate behavior and I would not accept it, I was denounced by the students as being against “our culture” as such action “is better than homosexuality.”  There is such an overwhelming fear of homosexuality, with the Biblical story of Onan being used as an example of incorrect sexual activity, that anyone who is not involved in heterosexual sex is automatically ridiculed, bullied and, as I heard on numerous occasions, told that they would “be better off dead”—statements that brought a rigid orthodoxy of concurrence from the priests.

The cruelty of bullying in school

Students who did not conform to the sexual code of the school had their lockers vandalized, obscene graffiti sprayed on the doors and on their personal belongings, books destroyed, and material stolen.  This matched what I had heard at other parochial (basically Roman Catholic, but equally prevalent in Baptist, Adventist, and other Protestant centers), private, and secular schools, and was intense at public schools. More than 70% of all students (85% female, 60% male) had gone through this form of sexual harassment and bullying, with teachers and classmates equally prone to bullying those believed to be “virgins”.  While I was teaching in the provinces, the same was common in Lima, but the percentage was higher in the shanty towns surrounding the capital city–especially in the public schools where education is at best a farce (the teachers are unprepared, their educational background minimal, their understanding of engaging students nonexistent, and their purpose for teaching was to earn money), as demonstrated when Antonio Chang, then Minister of Education, tested 300,000 teachers in 2005, and only 151 barely passed (surprisingly, 76% of the population approved of the testing).  I quit within a few days and began publishing on corruption in Perú’s education system and schools and universities.

The twisted standards on human sexuality were everywhere I taught: not to be engaged in heterosexual sex brought bullying, becoming pregnant presaged bullying, and seeking out and possibly obtaining an abortion did not assuage the bullying but intensified it frequently leading to the rape/incest victim to committing suicide even though abortion to save a woman’s life is technically legal although Cipriani (a close friend and supporter of the Peruvian dictator Fujimori and his daughter Keiko and son Hiro, as Cipriani’s goal has always been total and complete control over all of Peru; read Footnote 1, below) continues to chortle that such an abortion is murder (while the cardinal has been investigated as an accomplice in murder in Lima, and regularly interferes with the private life of all Peruvians—including non-Catholics) even if the carrier of the fetus dies (there are between 350,000 and 400,000 abortions each year in Peru) and is supported by 53% of the people polled, there is the other side that notes: Este tipo de discrepancias revelan las verdaderas intenciones de la ley. … controlar la capacidad de las mujeres de tomar decisiones sobre su cuerpo. Permitimos que el aborto se practique, pero no de manera abierta porque esto último daría demasiada libertad a las mujeres en una decisión que sentimos que afecta el sostenimiento de la sociedad. [Such discrepancies reveal the true intentions of the law. … control the ability of women to make decisions about her body. We allow abortions to be carried out, but not in an open manner because that would give too much freedom to women in a decision that we feel that affects the sustainability of society] also read here.  The youngest female became a mother at age five

Women in Peru protest in favor of abortion

Watch what happens in Peru here: http://vimeo.com/15606635 given the current ignorance of Carlos Alberto Tejada Noriega, Head of the Ministry of Health in Peru.  It is past time to say no to the Roman Catholic church that is destroying Peru and Latin America by its antiquated and illogical ideology that is not supported by medical science.  Bans on abortion risk the lives of women and increase poverty: twin goals sought by Lima’s cardinal Cipriani and Opus Dei.  In Peru and Latin America, religion is the greatest and most deadly bully with the bully club swung against the young by Opus Dei and Lima’s Juan Luis Cipriani. 

Josemaria Escriva (founder of Opus Dei)

Opus Dei uses sex, intimidation, religion and its assorted paranoia of promises of perdition and persecution in this world and “the next” as a means to control its members and those people with whom its members associate.  The leaders of Opus Dei have declared war on dissent, demand censorship of books, magazines, articles, even open forums at universities.  While Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code is fiction, the account of Opus Dei is based on fact (read Footnote 2, below), including the claim that scruples and traditional values are to be rejected if it can lead to converting anyone to “the faith” and self-flagellation required of believers, while the flagitious founder of Opus Dei—Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer y Albás (9 January 1902 – 26 June 1975) who had the support and endorsement of Karol Józef Wojtyła—the agathokakological man who would become Pope John Paul II and was instrumental in declaring Escriva a saint as a political move depraved of any charitable characteristics—wrote in his book The Way that the faithful will use secrecy to obtain end results (The Way, No. 839), compromise is a form of laziness and weakness (The Way, No. 54), true Roman Catholics must follow blindly “in obedience” all Church teachings (The Way, No. 617 and in 941): “Blind obedience to your superior, the way of sanctity. Obedience in your apostolate, the only way; for, in a work of God, the spirit must be to obey or to leave.” Submission to religious authority is understood to be a good in itself, while calling non-Catholic schools, “pagan schools” (The Way, No.866).  Modern enlightened thinkers, such as Voltaire (The Way, No. 849) were/are instruments of darkness.   Opus Dei is like the Vatican has spent its history on suppressing truth, distorting what was said, and codifying rules to maintain a docile following. Private interpretation of anything is forbidden; students engaged in interpretation must interpret and translate according to the dictates of the Roman Catholic Church. Bullying of those who do not conform or follow The Way is at the forefront, especially if celibacy is determined for a student by a numerary (one of the chosen followers of Opus Dei whose election is foretold: John Allen (2005). Opus Dei: An Objective Look Behind the Myths and Reality of the Most Controversial Force in the Catholic Church. New York, NY, USA: Doubleday Religion; while the complete list of Opus Dei members is not available to the public, some lists do exist).  

As corrupt as is Opus Dei, Opus Dei is equally matched in the USA by numerous certified hate groups:  Focus on the Family, The FAMiLY, Americans for Prosperity, Lion and Lamb Ministries, Eagle Forum, and so forth, where bullying is seen as a challenge to “fight back with the gospel” and those who complain are considered weak for not “offering their pain to Jesus.”

The third greatest number is found in the workplace or school (a typical bully is Donald Trump, who was known as a bully since he was age 13).   Bullying in the workplace is on the rise: the bullies being coworkers, supervisors, managers, corporate leaders, and owners (cf. Sperry, Len (ed., 2009). “Workplace Mobbing and Bullying” in Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice and Research. 61.3 (September), pp. 190-201; cp. Kilburg, Richard R. loc. cit., pp. 268-275; and, MacDoanld, Geoff and Jensen-Campbell, Lauri A. (2010), Social Pain: Neuropsychological and Health Implications of Loss and Exclusion. Washington, DC, USA: American Psychological Association). 

Women are among the greatest offenders of bullying on the job

Frequently it is “the boss” who is the bully, making unreasonable demands, telephoning the employee at the employee’s home at unusual hours, and requiring evaluations only to ridicule them showing the boss’ insecurity and frequently inability to do the work required, while self-glorifying himself or herself by degrading the individual who does the most, has the greatest talent and offers the soundest solutions that could profit and benefit the company and coworkers.  Forms of workplace bullying include: moving employes without advanced notice,  replacing long-existing contracts with new short-term contracts on less favourable terms with the accompanying threat of “agree to this or else”, increasing workloads, changing work schedules, changing roles and assignments of employees, blocking or terminating career progression paths, making sexual demands, insisting on conformity, requiring “favors” including menial and demeaning tasks. At the same time as bullying is increasing in the workplace, so, too, are workplace suicides, mass murders followed by the killer taking his or her own life.  In Canada, one out of every six people are bullied in the workplace, and for many it is god’s vengeance and the fulfillment of the promise of Opus Dei.  In the USA, 70% of all employees experience bullying at work, while Spain records only 14% report being bullied (but that is because Spanish workers are afraid to come forward and admit to being bullied and have been threatened by employers and the churches if they speak out against bullying, as employers and religious leaders claim that such actions are the will of god).  Most bullied people consider god to be the architect and enforcer of bullying.

Lori Drew and daughter Sarah Drew

Many of those who are bullied are not only bullied at work or in school, but it is increasingly more common to be bullied in cyberspace: over the internet.  Cyberbullying has led to numerous suicides, and the cyber bullies are not just other classmates or coworkers, but their friends and family, as is the case with 50-year-old Lori Drew of Missouri who was found guilty cyberbullying in a federal court for her role in the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meir (United States vLori Drew, 259 F.R.D. 449 (C.D. Cal. 2009). The judge later acquitted Drew who admitted to her instigating the bullying, claiming that she did it to protect her family and was working to help her daughter Sarah take action against the friend who had decided against remaining a friend of her daughter after transferring to a local Roman Catholic school and had made new friends.  Drew knew Megan Meier personally: the

Megan Meier

young girl lived only four houses down the street from the Drews. This led the Drews to create a fictitious internet lover: Josh Evans.  Drew, who wrote as if she were Josh, wrote to Megan that the world would be a better place if she killed herself–a common ploy among cyber bullies.  Megan, after reading the e-mail from Josh was found a few minutes later having hanged her self in her bedroom closet.  This repeated itself in Missouri when Elizabeth Thrasher (age 41) cyber bullied the 17-year-old daughter of her ex-husband in May 2009 by putting the teenager’s photo, workplace, e-mail address and cell phone number on a section of Craigslist for people seeking sexual encounters.

Elizabeth Thrasher

Suicide is the eleventh largest killer in the USA.  It has equally astonishing statistics worldwide.  No less than one million people succeeding in killing themselves every year around the world. It is the third main reason for deaths among the young: ages 15 to 24, with suicides now occurring even in those who are in their pre-teenage years.  To actually commit suicides depends on factors such as fearlessness and being able to tolerate pain and to act impulsively.  Fearlessness is a conditioned response that leads to enduring abuse: whether from abuse by others or by their own hands, and it grows gradually until the suicide has grown tolerant of physical discomfort but cannot cope with the mental anguish that bullies from the pulpit, at the table, in the classroom or school yard heap out like sewage from their own twisted mentality to torture those least able to understand aspersions and defamation and have no one to whom he or she could turn for succor or for understanding. 

Cyber bullying

While most adults age 40-65 turn to suicide as a way to avoid facing financial bankruptcy, job or family loss.  In the USA it is primarily an escape route for men, with in the US is 17.7 per 100,000 among men compared to 4.5 per 100,000 women committing suicide in 2005

Women, more than men, attempt to harm themselves (which is wrongly labeled as attempted suicide) because of living in overcrowded conditions, conflict with their families (extended and internal), with disrupted childhoods, history of drinking, criminal behavior, and violence. Individuals under these stresses become anxious and depressed and then, usually in reaction to a single particular crisis, they attempt to harm themselves and frequently their children. 

Bullying statistics

Children commit suicide because they are ridiculed about their weight, size, perceived sexual orientation, or academic and social performance.  Those most responsible for suicide among children are classmates, teachers, and family members.  Religion has its role as well, in child suicides, especially in Islam where children are openly recruited to be suicide bombers to prove their love for their god (Allah).  The rise in child suicides in Muslim lands in the Middle East has grown sharply, with children as young as four and five committing suicide in religious devotion.

Child suicide bomber in Muslim world encouraged by the family

Suicide affects both the victim and those who remain after the death. The most common response is denial.  The immediate family, most commonly, rejects that there was any estrangement within the family, arguing that all were happy and mutually loving, and that the act was not suicidal, but the result of an unfortunate accident.  Research shows the opposite:  the suicides are frequently the result of family bullying: a parent or sibling or other relative attempting to control a weaker member or a member who is different from the bully or the family.  This is commonly the case with a homosexual member who is bullied by heterosexuals in the family into having a “companion” of the opposite gender. 

In many Latin and Muslim communities the presumed homosexual family member is taken to a prostitute if a male as early as age ten, or raped if the suspected homosexual is female (Hovey, JD (1999). “Religion and suicidal ideation in a sample of Latin American immigrants.” Psychological Reports 85:171–177; the article further notes fear of religion stops many Latin Americans from completing a suicide attempt). There is no claim within the article that religion is good—or bad—but that fear can control actions, something that all dictators have learned and used against people throughout secular and religious history.  It was fear that sustained and led to the raison d’être for Christian and Arab crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Thirty Years War, Adolf Hitler, Idi Amin, the current curia in the Vatican and the protestations of the German pope, and the Latter Day Saints Apostleship.  The same is true if the victim placed himself or herself outside of the family’s religious beliefs, circle, or institution, especially if the victim was homosexual and his or her religion denounced/condemned homosexuality and enjoined reparative therapy (a malpractice that has been denounced by every professional psychological and psychiatric association (cf. Kjaer R., and Selle, M.S. (2004). Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen.  September 23, 124(18):2396, cp. Saocarides, CW and Kaufman, B. (1994). “Reparative Therapy” in American Journal of Psychiatry January 151(1):157-159).

Homosexuality is a major problem of perception.  Orientation is genetic (in a private communication I received from Professor Katherine van Wormer at the University of Northern Iowa, Dr. van Wormer noted that she is not convinced that homosexuality is genetic; as she wrote: I’d say biological; it seems to stem from activity in the mother’s womb. I agree it’s not a choice….; I will do further research on this issue for another article. My thanks to my colleague, as I took an early graduate degree from UNI in 1968, and feel the university to be one of my many homes) and not chosen nor conditioned according to the American Psychiatric Association and all other health organizations.  Homosexual orientation is not a mental disorder. Bigotry (cf. Vedantam S. “Psychiatry ponders whether extreme bias can be an illness.” Washington Post. December 10, 2005: A1; and, Dunbar E. (1997). “The relationship of DSM diagnostic criteria and Gough’s Prejudice Scale: exploring the clinical manifestations of the prejudiced personality.” Cultural Diversity and Mental Health 3:247-257), homophobia, xenophobia, however, are mental disorders (read here and here).

Homophobic bullying in the UK

The individual who commits suicide because he or she is labeled, discriminated against, or bullied as a homosexual may not be homosexual—but the stigma placed on homosexuality through ignorance codified as religion will inspire and encourage some to commit suicide.  This ignorance about homosexuality is especially true in fundamentalist religious movements (especially among Mormons, WELS, Orthodox Jews and Roman Catholics) where parents, religious officials, and family read bad translations of ancient literature and attempt to instill and include the word homosexual within the alleged sacred text—even though the word homosexual was not even coined until the end of the nineteenth century (Albert Philibert Franz von Schrenck-Notzing; Charles Gilbert Chaddock (1895). Therapeutic suggestion in psychopathia sexualis (pathological manifestations of the sexual sense), with especial reference to contrary sexual instinct. Philadelphia, PA, USA: F. A. Davis; it does not appear in any English American Bible before 1973 (New International Version: NIV), and does not appear in any of the original languages: Hebrew, Greek, Latin, etc.).  The cruelest religions in this regard are Judaism, Christianity, and especially Islam and the Latter Day Saints (Mormons), even though homosexuality is not mentioned by name, yes same-sex love is (as with the case of Jonathan and David (1 Samuel 18; if one reads the Bible literally), Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1:14 seq, cp. Genesis 2:24), and others; Romans 1:26-27 is about shrine prostitution if read in the original and not through a faulty translation, cp. Aristides, Apology Sec. 16, paragraph 2).

Those who reject suicide as a motive to leave torment behind are mistaken.  While Ernest Becker (1973), argued that the human notion of death is strongly psychoanalytical, views the fear of death as a universal phenomenon, this is incorrect, as it implies that all people fear death because of some divine punishment (such as hell) awaiting the suicide or that there might not be an afterlife (Becker, Ernest (1973). The Denial of Death. New York: Free Press).  This ignores the material showing that the suicide victim wants to escape pain and suffering brought on by any degree of bullying: from name calling and erroneous biblical recitations as Dakota Ary preachificated in Fort Worth Texas, or protestations by grandstanding teachers such as Viki Knox of New Jersey who prophesied “eternal damnation” for any member of the LGBT community, to the mealy mincing of reality by Iowa’s religious Fuehrer Bob Vander Plaats—a theocrat seeking the end of democracy in the USA and establishment of a theocracy on the order of Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann,  Rick Santorum and Governor Sam Brownback who converted from evangelical Protestantism to Roman Catholicism are both members of Opus Dei who want a government in the USA on the order of Iran, and others who has no training in theology or psychology (in this quest they are supported by the four USA Opus Dei bishops: Archbishop José Gomez of San Antonio, Archbishop John Myers of Newark, New Jersey, Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City-St. Joseph in Missouri and Bishop Nicholas Anthony DiMarzio of Brooklyn, New York all who have opposed any anti-bullying legislation or rights for women; there are a total of 24 Opus Dei bishops in the Roman Catholic church.   This has not stopped Vander Plaats who has set himself up as an authority on human emotions and psychophysical identification, justifying the survey that shows that two out of three people in the USA believe that organized religion (churches) actively contribute to suicides among LGBT people even though all religions have homosexuals in their leadership roles from pastors and rabbis to priests and bishops, even in Islam that claims it has no homosexuals (as with Iran) but where Imams and ayatollahs also have mortal sexual desires and needs equal to anyone else.   

One point that Becker is correct about is that some suicides are committed as a way to show the world (the family, the religious organization, the community and so forth) that the person committing suicide has strength, fortitude and the ability to carry out a deed: an act of heroism.  However, it is also, at times, a way for the suicide to blame others without resolution to refine, define and establish his or her own identity as a person of self-worth.  If the suicide fails, the individual who sought the solace of death fails to achieve the role and laurel of a hero.  This can lead to further mental illness and/or antisocial behavior.

Those who are either unable or unwilling to end their own life, will kill another in quest of having someone kill them (Thomas, E. (1997, July 28).  “Facing death”.  Newsweek, 20-30. Karwarth, R. (1992, November 7).  Death-his own-was killer’s goal.  Chicago Tribune, 1. Kennedy, D. Homant, R. and Hupp, T (1998), Suicide by Cop, The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin67, 30-48). In this case, death is the promise of peace.  This is more common among believers in some external force, such as religion, but at the same time those who profess a religion are less likely to commit suicide or seek out ways of exiting life in fear of “other world judgments” and concepts of heaven and hell, than are those without a religious affirmation, confirmation or indoctrination.  Atheists have the least difficulty in committing suicide successfully (Dervic, Kanita; Oquendo, Maria A.; Grunebaum, Michael F.; Ellis, Steve; Burke, Ainsley K; and, Mann, J. John. “Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt.” The American Journal of Psychiatry. December 1, 2004, vol. 161. pp. 2303-2308).  However, one must be cautious when using this statistic as the authors note, as religious countries, especially those that are controlled by the Roman Catholic Church under-report suicides because of the stigma the Roman Catholic Church attaches to suicide (cp. Kelleher MJ, Chambers D, Corcoran P, Williamson E, Keeley HS: “Religious sanctions and rates of suicide worldwide.” Crisis 1998; 19:78–86).  A more accurate reporting, although still under-reporting is found in the World Health Organization (WHO) of the United Nations (UN), where Roman Catholic countries are showing a greater number of suicides since 2003. The lowest rate of suicides, evidence shows, is in Islamic controlled nations, such as Malay, where Islam strictly forbids suicides, and an attempt at suicide can bring capital punishment and the death sentence that carries a stigma to the family as a whole. Again the problem is religion as Islamic leaders (civil and religious) prohibit full reporting, and many suicides are not investigated because of family objections, while many are considered “honor killings” that are both voluntary (suicide) and involuntary (murder) which is seldom reported and less often dealt with given its religious and family overtones. In China, over 75% of all suicides are in the rural areas and the majority of suicides are among women lacking dowries. Suicides in Japan, where there is one suicide every fifteen minutes by the year 2006, are high among students, given the emphasis on academic success and the movement of a class into a profession. Those who claimed that they were /are atheists or had no religion had abandoned religion as a consequence of depression or hopelessness, frequently because of terrorism within religion itself: the concept of unforgiving god, the fright of the existence of a possible hell and torment in an afterlife, and family pressure to practice the community faith. 

In the USA, the greatest pressure is found in Mormon families where, regardless of the stress a family member feels, or because of depression commits suicide, the family is quickly on the defensive, arguing that the family is loving group, compassionate, caring, and they have no idea of why the suicide occurred.  This is classic denial (abnegation) of reality, as the family protestations are an effort to shore up the family itself as being the foundation for growth and community (cf. Neeleman J, Halpern D, Leon D, Lewis G. (1997). “Tolerance of suicide, religion, and suicide rates: an ecological and individual study in 19 Western countries”. Psychological Medicine 1997; 27:1165–1171).  The tragedy is that it is universal as seen in the World Health Organization statistics on suicides 2003.

As Sigmund Freud noted, abnegation is a personal or family defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is kept out of conscious.  In psychodynamic psychology, denial is found in any person who unconsciously puts up a barrier to experiencing what is too painful to consciously bear, especially the loss of a family member, personal pride, or reputation.  While the person rejects the idea that a family member committed suicide, that is a ruse for denying responsibility: being open to talking with the person before the suicidal act took place, or defending “the family honor” or the “family name” or reputation.  To this end a family will argue against anyone who claims the suicide was the result of a dysfunctional family situation, the inability to communicate interactively with the family members (the one in denial will protest that she or he was always receptive to a discussion)—but not about certain aspects, such as human sexuality, which is why most LGBT members leave the home, seek a life of their own without family encumbrances, and when faced with bullying for others or the bullying of silent distance between them and their families or significant others will commit suicide. (cf. Freud, Anna. (1937). The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defense, London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis. (Revised edition: 1966 (US), 1968 (UK)); and, Paulhus, D.L., Fridhandler B., & Hayes S. (1997). “Psychological defense: Contemporary theory and research.” In Briggs, Stephen; Hogan, Robert Goode; Johnson, John W. (1997). Handbook of personality psychology. Boston: Academic Press. pp. 543–579).

Numerous studies show that members of the family: from parents to siblings as well as grandparents and cousins, actually bully those who are less prone to defending themselves and their individual rights.  Highly critical parents and older siblings can have a negative effect on the self-esteem of the younger children in the family (cf. Safer, Jeanne (2002). The Normal One: Life with a Difficult or Damaged Sibling. New York, NY, USA: The Free Press).  Families deny that children have rights, and in many cases, because of strong religious ties, especially within the Mormon, Roman Catholic and evangelical communities, praise parents who are overly strict with their children.  This leads to a rise in both bullying and suicides.

It is the feelings of guilt, embarrassment and shame by a family when one of its members commits suicide that leads to outbursts, denial (frequently denials even of the death or cause(s) of and/or for the suicide) that accompanies the advent of the feeling of anxiety.  Anxiety is felt as an increase in bodily or mental tension and the signal that the organism receives that allows it the possibility of taking defensive action towards the perceived danger by claiming another source, reason, or person is responsible for either the actual suicide or for mistranslating the cause célèbre that created the anxiety.  This, of course, is psychological transference neurosis. 

Sigmund Freud saw transference neurosis as occurring in patients who would not accept reality by arguing that the blame lay with the physician or therapist [today it could be a writer, newspaper, or other source], stating that transference neurosis is: “a whole series of psychological experiences are revived not as belonging to the past, but as applying to the person of the physician at the present moment”  (Sigmund Freud, “Case Histories 1 – Dora and Little Hans”, The Penguin Freud Library, Volume 8, 1990); cp. Freud, Sigmund (collected 1959). Clinical Papers. New York, NY, USA: Basic Books, vol. 2, p. 125, 251, 344, vol. 4, p. 43).  It is at this point, as Freud argued at length in several works, that religion takes over; while the illusions offered by religion can temporarily satisfy, religion and its confessional stands can lead to neurosis that are both egotistic and self-protecting, as well as antisocial where guilt is fostered by “giving into temptation” rather than eschewing it in favor of prayer or corporal acts of mercy and charity.  As Freud wrote: “Unredeemed backslidings into sin are even more common among the pious than among neurotics, and these give rise to a new form of religious activity, namely, the acts of penance of which one finds counterparts in the obsessional neurosis (Freud, op. cit. vol. 2, pp. 33-34; cp. Freud, Die Traumdeutung) leading to the repression of reality and what occurred (Freud, Collected Papers, vol. 4, pp. 86-87, 90-91 with emphasis on countering unbearable thoughts in vol. 1, p. 155).

Bullying is abusive and aggressive behavior of a person who is mentally ill.  It is expressed emotionally, physically, and verbally and frequently leads to thoughts of suicide or the act of suicide. It is most commonly found in the school, church, and the family—and it is in these three areas that it is most commonly denied and little is done to stop bullies braying from pulpits as they pound their religious literature, or from the teacher’s desk where the instructor rants about a student’s clothing, hairstyle, selection of friends or life style, or at the breakfast or dinner table where the authority of the patriarch is preached as if the family leader was somehow divinely ordained.  To question authority is forbidden, and to differ from the family leader invites the same corporal punishment that was dealt out to Martin Luther by his parents who beat him until the blood ran from his skin, allegedly for stealing one nut (Roland H. Bainton (1950), Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther. New York: NY, USA: Abingdon-Cokesbury, p. 23; cp. Erik H. Erikson (1962). Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History.  New York: NY, USA: Norton Library, pp. 67-68 seq.). Numerous studies, both clinical and historical, show that bullying is linked to family violence, which explains Martin Luther’s verbal and written assaults on both the Jews of Germany but on the peasants in rebellion in his Wider die räuberischen und mörderischen Rotten der Bauern (1525), but the writings of those who take to cyber bullying and physical bullying as with the two students who were bullied into killing their bullies before committing suicide in 1999 at Columbine High School.

Eric Harris (left) and Dylan Klebold (right)

More than two-thirds of the academically brilliant students are bullied. More than one-third harbor thoughts of violent revenge; about half will enact or act out their scenarios for revenge.  The was the case with two senior students, Eric David Harris (April 9, 1981 – April 20, 1999) and Dylan Bennet Klebold (September 11, 1981 – April 20, 1999), who decided to hunt down their bullies and taking charge of their own lives.  On April 20, 1999, the two youths killed  thirteen classmates and wounded another twenty-four at Columbine High School in Colorado.  Harris and Klebold were among the most gifted—and the most bullied—at Columbine. Peer rejection, ridicule, and bullying—all of which create a lifelong tendency to depression—was a daily experience for Harris and Klebold that would erupt like a smoldering volcano.

Harris and Klebold shot their tormenters, giving expression to their growing hatred of being targeted by others who had nothing but scorn for them. Harris kept a log of the troubles he faced, and wrote about his growing hatred for the school and society, and began to pen death threats against those who bullied him, including calling both young men homosexuals (which several students said was wrong, as neither use was gay; in fact in the reports left by Harris and Klebold, the two acknowledged they called others “fags”: this is popularly known as “pecking order” psychology, first discussed in 1921 as Hackordnung by Thorleif Schjelderup-Ebbe in Zeitschrift fuer Psychologie, 1922, 88:225-252, and in teenagers, it is commonly linked to bullying (read here and here);  the two felt left out and had, over a year plotted revenge), while the athletes at the school taunted them as not being “men” who were involved in other “manly actions” and were accosted for dressing “differently” (Goldberg, Carey. “For Those Who Dress Differently, an Increase in Being Viewed as Abnormal.” New York Times. May 1, 1999) being known as the “Trenchcoat Mafia”. 

No one at Columbine took notice or action to intervene; even the families of the two youth and their victims remained silent save for one mother who was ignored. It remains the scenario for today’s talented and today’s bullies—the bullies who write on Facebook and on bathroom walls for their victims to commit suicide as the victims now speak openly of killing classmates, teachers, deans, preachers, pastors, priests and parents who bully them.  It is an epidemic—one that no religion can halt nor erase (Kim YS, Leventhal B; Leventhal (2008). “Bullying and suicide. A review”. International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health 20 (2): 133–54). The solution is tolerance, acceptance of differences including multiculturalism that the Norwegian Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breveik rejected, and giving space and attention to those who appear troubled. Conformity is not essential for a fluid and dynamic society.  People commit suicide when there is no tangible, immediately ascertainable hope—religion cannot fill that void.  People fill the void as people are real and tangible.

FOOTNOTES

Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani of Lima, Peru

(1) “No abortion!” is the maniacal mantra chanted by one of the most ignorant and cruel bullies in South America: Juan Luis Cipriani Thorne cardinal presbyter of St. Camillus de Lellis (the first Peruvian cardinal from the clandestine and dangerous Opus Dei movement), who is supported by two other Peruvian Opus Dei bishops and the collective college of bishops of Peru.  Although Cipriani has been under prolonged investigation for the murder the liberal Jesuit and his predecessor, Monsignor Augusto cardinal Vargas Alzamora (1922-2000), the majority of the clergy in Peru rallied behind him because of his position in the church in Peru.  Vargas Alzamora—a stern and stalwart critic of Fujimori—was poisoned after suffering a “long illness” following his mandatory retirement when Cipriani was installed in his place. 

Cardinal Augusto Vargas Alzamora

While Vargas Alzmora was more liberal that his successor, he was no liberal, but declared that there was room to co-exist with the guerrilla faction that was attempting a take over of the government, insisting that the Roman Catholic Church sought justice and peace but not at the point of a gun—and that the Church would always align itself on the side of the poor—the exact opposite view expressed by Cipriani who supported the dictatorship of Fujimori.  Vargas Alzamora established his own social welfare structure, known as Fe y Alegria (Faith and Happiness) and for a long time as the primate of Peru, took young people who wanted to develop their spiritual life to see the overwhelming poverty of the shanty towns on the outskirts of Lima so that his students could see exactly what social injustice means. On the other hand, Cipriani only stands with the wealthy and powerful;

Peru politics and church interference

he condemns women who seek equal rights, self-determination and choice, denounces students who demand greater freedom in the church, and rejects the spirit of democracy, fitting Peru to meet the identification of Cardinal Josef Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) that follows Nazi unofficial ideology of Kinder, Küche, Kirche (it was actually defined by Kaiser Wilhelm II (Depew, Chauncey Mitchell and Champlin, John Denison Champlin (1910). Orations, addresses and speeches of Chauncey M. Depew. New York, NY, USA: privately printed (8 vols), p. 260), but taken over by the Nazis and instilled in the Nazi Wahrmacht of which Ratzinger was a part until he deserted and became a temporary prisoner of war in 1945). 

Cipriani is widely unloved and denounced by clergy and faithful as returning the church to its ignominious days of the Inquisition. When Cipriani’s elevation was announced, it was publicly denounced, and when an open-air Mass was held in celebration, it had few who attended, with the exception of the militantly conservative New Catechumenate movement and fraternity dedicated to the Lord of the Miracles. Cipriani denounced anyone who questioned his word or interpretation of anything as traitors.  The Peruvian Conference of Bishops condemned the protesters’ “disrespectful behavior” as an “anti-witness” and declared that Pope John Paul II’s decision to include Cipriani in the newest group of cardinals “must be respected and accepted by the faithful. Therefore, no offense against [Cipriani] is justified, let alone during a sacred celebration.” This cost the Peruvian Conference of Bishops popular support, especially among students who saw it as a return to the Dark Ages, leading many to abandon the Roman Catholic faith, and the bullying of its priests and bishops.

While Vargas Alzamora had worked as a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, and helped with the official re-evaluation of Liberation Theology acknowledging the right of the poor for political and social freedom, the work was rapidly undone by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger who saw in it too much of Marxism.  This delighted the small minority of Spanish-Peruvians who celebrated their enrichment at the expense of the poor—and quickly swung to the one-time professor of agriculture Alberto Fujimori—whom Cipriani championed.

Vargas Alzamora rejected Fujimori.  When the Japanese born president declared that he had won a second term (technically, by the Constitution that Fujimori suspended, he could not be president since he was not Peru born), Augusto Vargas Alzamora declared the second “re-election” illegal. From that day forward, many knew it was a matter of time before Vargas Alzamora would be “replaced.”  Those who supported him were openly bullied: students, parents, clergy, other Peru bishops, leading many to seek his death.

There is debate if the assassination was at the hands of Fujimori’s now-jailed spy chief, Vladimiro Montesinos who had Los Barrios residents and students from various universities murdered on the orders of Fujimori who was encouraged by his daughter, the current Congresista Keiko Fujimori who (at age 18) replaced her mother as First Lady and tried to cover up her father’s physical assaults on his wife; or if Cipriani did or had an aid do the actual murder. Former Justice Minister Fernando Olivera traveled to the Vatican in 2001 with letters purporting to show Cipriani sought the “elimination and incineration” of videotapes linking him to Montesinos after the church took money from the spy chief and requested an additional $120,000 “donation”; read: http://www.odan.org/media_peru_cardinal_upset.htm, the article is a reprint from the 2004 publication in The Wall Street Journal and various other publications; the accusers of the nefarious prelate include two other Perú bishops; the Vatican later declared the letters to be fake since they cast aspersions on a cardinal within the church). 

Cipriani’s crepitating actions match the barbaric “Right to Life” movement in the USA, which is identical to that of Nazi Germany, that demonstrates in front of schools and clinics using Photoshopped images of aborted “fetuses” and warning women that they will “go to hell” if the women “abort your child [sic]”, and their spiritual ancestor: Adolf Hitler who prohibited “Nordic stock” German women from obtaining an abortion (while forcing abortions on Jewish women without their consent).  This was a common occurrence under Dictator Alberto Fujimori in Perú who had more than 200,000 mountain women forcibly sterilized in his crusade to cut down poverty. 

Fujimori saw the “mountain women” as ignorant women who were not adding to his wealth or the fascist state he had created after suspending the Perú Constitution and ordering the mass execution of dissenters: La Cantuta: the National University “Enrique Guzmán y Valle”, July 18, 1992, pulling students and teachers out of the classroom; two years later a corrupt military court sentenced ten of Fujimori’s special assassins to prison terms from one to twenty years, ignoring evidence provided by generals that Vladimir Montesinos, Alberto and Keiko Fujimori’s closest friend and various military generals were the primary parties responsible. On June 14, 1995, one year after the bankrupt trial had ruled obediently to the presidential bully, Fujimori’s congress approved a law (many claim that Keiko Fujimori was the author of the legislation) granting amnesty to military, police and civil officials involved in human rights violations committed from 1980 through that date; those sentenced for the Cantuta massacre were freed; later Cardinal Cipriani was ordered to testify about what he knew, as many saw him as a conspirator eager to dispatch all students who he considered to be leftists or even terrorists.  This was but a copy of the La Rochela Massacre in January 1989, where paramilitary groups were organized to “persuade” [bully] anyone who opposed them, including children and students.

(2) Brown, Dan (2004). The Da Vinci Code (New York, NY, USA: Doubleday) is correct in the assessment and pictorialization of Opus Dei.  Followers (numeraries) do self-flagellate their flesh/skin; wear a spiked chain (known as a cilice) around the thighs for at least two hours, and kiss the floor saying “Serviam” (Latin for “I will serve).  The majority of Opus Dei bishops and cardinals come from South America and Spain, but there are four in the USA who demand unwavering loyalty to themselves and their “calling” to refute “liberalism” and bring “strayed Catholics” and Protestants back to a conservative church that hails the Spanish Inquisition as a glorious past in Roman Catholic history–complete with the millions of murders the sacerdotal clergy committed “in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.”  The members take cold showers and sleep either on a board or on the floor in memory of the misery Jacob and Jesus is alleged to have experienced–without a pillow (cp. Genesis 28:10-19a, Matthew 8:20, which is even incorporated/plagiarized in Islamic theology).  They attend Mass daily, hear lectures on selflessness, and strictly segregate the sexes. 

Opus Dei rejects Vatican II as it gave recognition to individual consciences and ideals and did not place much authority on the magisterium of the church. This was apostasy to the founder of Opus Dei and to such renegade popes as John Paul II and Benedict XVI who are strong admirers of Josemaria Escriva, whom John Paul II, over the objection of many in the Roman Catholic church denounced as a fraud and imposter, raised to “sainthood”–most of Escriva’s opponents reject that title and imposition by a pope many believe was already senile. 

Father John McCloskey, a prominent member in Washington, has attacked the “liberal establishment” in the USA.  McCloskey has won the support of one-time US Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), as pose seek a theocracy to replace democracy.  McCloskey urges the creation of schools to teach Latin and Greek, devotion to the Mass and strict obedience to the bishops, but also demands solid educational training (minus theories such as evolution and human rights) so that the future generations can be similar to Escriva.

Opus Dei $75 million headquarters (New York City)

Opus Dei has no respect for labor, and in France forced workers to toil for free. Girls as young as fourteen have been forced to work from seven in the morning until ten at night, seven days a week–and when given a paycheck are forced to endorse it and turn it over to Opus Dei.  Corporal mortification of workers is applauded, and the organization notes that Mother Theresa of Calcutta and John Paul II practiced their concept of corporal pain and hunger, winning the support of Benedict XVI who is considered a closeted member of the group.  To “fan out across the world”, Opus Dei raised from middle-income to wealthy Roman Catholics in every walk of life (US Senators, British Members of Parliament, sports figures, entrepreneurs on every continent, entertainment figures, and so forth) over $75 million to build its headquarters in New York City, USA.  It is tightly attached to powerful bishops in the USA and throughout South America, finding support especially among the hierarchy of Peru, led by Cipriani of Lima, and Darío Castrillón Hoyos, of Columbia.  Its stated goal is to take over the world and

Opus Dei central headquarters Rome

force everyone to be Roman Catholic–Opus Dei’s idea of what Christianity must be: from the end of human and civil rights, the glorification of the male head of the household, strict obedience of children, rejection of bullying charges against priests and nuns, and the silencing of complaints and lawsuits against clerical pedophiles in the Church, in the same way as John Paul II ignored the issue and worked against those who levied charges, and Ratzinger (Benedict XVI who is openly called the Inquisitor General of the 21st century) has been especially effective in silencing dissent.

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6 Comments

Filed under Alberto Fujimori, atheism, Bible, Bullying, Christian Terrorists, Church history, Fujimori (Alberto), Homosexuality, Perú, Roman Catholicism, suicide

6 responses to “Psychology of Suicide and Bullying–and how religion, school/classmates and family affect both

  1. Heya i am for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I’m hoping to provide something back and help others such as you helped me.

  2. Oh mijn god! een ongelooflijke artikel dude. Met dank aan Toch ik ben uitdaging met ur rss. Weet niet waarom Kan niet abonneren. Is er iemand krijgt niemand gelijk nadeel? Iedereen wie weet vriendelijk reageren. Thnkx

  3. renzo

    That is totally true, bullying occurs in the family, school, religion and so forth. it also makes remind me when Alberto Fujimori made an sterelization to poor woman IN Perú in order to cut down poverty, that is bullying, too. Now, I do not know what to expect in this world . Yesterday, I read about the muerders of 27 people in a school from the USA. There were children between 5 and 10 years old. It will not surpirse me if that young man was abused by the society or his parents or siblings.

  4. Pingback: Freedom of Religion: Fact and Fantasy | Arthur Frederick Ide's Blog

  5. Pingback: Freedom of Religion: Fact and Fantasy

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