Author Topic: The instant transition from normality to religion.  (Read 111 times)

karadan

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The instant transition from normality to religion.
« on: January 29, 2009, 01:43:19 PM »
After reading the post by Chimera about his sisters sudden convertion to Christianity, it got me wondering about how harmful such a drastic and immediate reversal of psychological outlook can be to the mind. It also reminded me of someone I used to consider a friend.

His name was Nathan. I still think about him to this day. I still feel quite sorry for him.

Nathan Was a cool guy. I knew him from University some 8 years ago. He was a handsome chap, always looked very sharp and always wore designer clothing. He had a gift of talking to women so many of us guys seem to lack. Consequently, whenever I saw him, he'd be with an alarmingly attractive lady. He was popular and a genuinely nice bloke. We got on well.

When my best friend moved back to the UK from America (we'd not seen each other for 3 years) he needed somewhere to live. As I already had a fixed contract, I was unable to move in with him. I recommended Nathan, as I was sure he'd be a great housemate. Anyway, Alex and Nathan seemed to get on but only after living with him for a few weeks, Alex started to tell me some weird stories about Nathan which seemed completely out of character. He seemed to lie...A lot. Not just little inconsequential lies, but rather big ones like 'I paid the gas bill last week' when he plainly hadn't. I'd never previously noticed these personality traits about Nathan but then I'd not actually lived with him either so these things hadn't really surfaced before.

So, as time went on, my friend Alex started to find out more and more about Nathan. He'd never help with the cleaning. He'd never buy milk etc, and the lies - the most unfeasible lies... The only thing Nathan seemed passionate about was taking women out to fancy restaurants and giving the outward impression of wealth and success.

So, one day, Alex was at the end of his tether. He'd received a call from the landlord to say that only half of the rent had been paid, again. Nathan had promised Alex that he'd paid it the week before. He reassured the landlord he'd speak to Nathan but the landlord was fairly angry and started threatening Alex with eviction and loss of deposit. This was obviously unacceptable so he confronted Nathan. It went a lot easier than expected. Nathan came up with the cash straight away! He'd been loaned £5000 by his father (who happened to be a man of the cloth) to help start a graphic design business.

The next few weeks went ok. The end of the six month tenancy agreement was looming and Alex was looking forward to getting a new place away from Nathan. Apparently Nathan hadn't been doing any work on his new business but had just been taking hot chicks out to dinner giving them the impression he was a wealthy graphic artist in the big league. Obviously, it couldn't have been further from the truth. At the end of that same month the rent was due again and Alex overheard Nathan talking to his dad on the phone. He heard the words 'borrow' and 'rent'.... He'd spent five grand in one month on women and clothes!

None of us saw Nathan for two weeks after that. He just disappeared. The landlord didn't call either so the rent must have been paid somehow. When he returned he was a very different person. The smile on his face betrayed the look in his eyes. Apparently he'd spoken to God...

It transpired that his father had come down to pick Nathan up after he'd confessed to spending the £5000 on stuff other than the business, and took him back to the family home up north. Alex and I think he must have had some sort of nervous breakdown because of how long he'd been lying to himself unrestrained. The realisation that he'd completely fucked up his own life must have been enough to push him into a nullified mental state and consequently, highly suggestible. So, Nathan truly believed god had spoken to him and had told him to do various 'things'. Luckily Alex only had to spend another few weeks sharing a house with him before the tenancy agreement ran out, but they were very long weeks indeed. One day Alex came back to the house to find all his food gone (he'd only been shopping a few nights previously). Nathan had gone out with all of Alex's food and given it to the homeless!

The last time I saw Nathan he'd been preaching to me, trying to convey to me how awesome god is, yada yada yada... All I could see was a broken person who'd been brainwashed whilst at a low ebb. His mind was irretrievable. His eyes were vacant.

As far as I know he is now a preacher somewhere in York. I often wonder what happened in his early childhood to form his eventual inability to be truthful to other people and to himself, as this was obviously the root cause for his eventual breakdown. I have no doubt his father played a large part in this.

It was the first time I'd seen anyone change so drastically from one personality to something else so absolutely over such a short space of time. I'm quite certain that in the long run, this cannot be a good thing. I'm no psychologist but I wouldn't be surprised if it heralded the beginning of the long, unfortunate downward slide to schizophrenia and/or psychosis.

So, after that long post, have any of you ever personally experienced something like the above with someone you know? It doesn't have to be religion but just the complete and total reversal in the psychological makeup of a person and how they view the world around them.
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Sophus

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Re: The instant transition from normality to religion.
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 01:59:48 AM »
One conviction can change them all. Yes, I've seen things such as this happen. It's more like they're trying to find belonging in a group than it is what they genuinely believe. Sad.
‎"Christian doesn't necessarily just mean good. It just means better." - John Oliver