To vaccinate was to allow a belief of possible harm to enter thought

By Marion, an Ex-Christian Scientist Group contributor.

When I was a Christian Scientist, our older child contracted diphtheria, and this fact was published on the front page of the local big city newspaper. Many people asked why we had not immunized him. This was my answer, and it made sense to me at the time:

If we were to have vaccinated him, he would have been protected from diphtheria, but still in danger from many other things, like accidents or other illnesses. But if we had been successful as students of Christian Science, he would have been protected against every thing that could hurt him.

In my thinking at the time, since to vaccinate was to allow a belief of possible harm to enter thought, the protection against every ill would have been compromised. That is, vaccinate, and you endanger your child by compromising the protective thought. He then could be hit by a car, or be subject to any number of tragedies.

6 comments

  • Susan Howes

    In our 3rd generation Christian Science House, we were never, ever allowed a “negative ” word or “thought” – though I always wondered how they could ‘police’ the thought bit – but that’s another matter. So I grew up not knowing many “negative” words, like “lesbian.” I couldn’t work out why a female teacher at school kept pinching my bottom. I was told she was a lesbian. When I asked my mother what a lesbian was, ” they did not exist.”
    I did not know what RAPE was. On my first night at university, a male student insisted I stay for “coffee.” I was such a zombie and totally used to being told what to do and pleasing my practitioner mother, if I didn’t I was yelled at. Told “it was no wonder I was sick.” (I was always sick – my brother wasn’t – he was just angry and acted out. If only I had been brave enough to do this too! I might have been HEALED, instead of internalizing all the guilt, etc. I mean, a BAD person doesn’t deserve to be WELL, does she?
    Getting back to that night at uni. I obediently sat back down. Given my conditioning, this was hardly surprising. Anyway, quick as a flash he was on top of me and I was RAPED. Thanks Christian Science. Susan Joy Howes.
    I don’t need to hide my name.

    • Sylvia

      Dear Susan,
      I am so sorry about what you went through. I hope you now know that you do deserve to be well and that it wasn’t your fault. I recently left C.S. with my 13 year old daughter. I feel such anguish and guilt about raising her in C.S. that I can not talk about it yet.

      • Susan

        When she’s ready, she may bring it up. At least now she has the opportunity to grow up, in a non-toxic, non guilt-ridden home. All the very best! ­čĺĽ

  • Bruce

    Growing up in a Christian Science home, we were kept so naive.

    • Susan

      Thanks for understanding Bruce. I think there are so many people out there who have been abused in so many ways. They always talk about ‘Divine Love’ whereas the lack of affection and emotional nourishment was entirely lacking in the home. I have so much I could tell, but you guys know it all too well. Best Wishes, Susan.

  • Chrystal Cole

    Oh, Susan. I can relate to what you say here so much. Right along with the rape thing. Trusting ALL people to be good and honest. Because growing up with either rose colored glasses or blinders to humans being human & wrong.

    I am so sorry you had that rape experience. I am so happy to tell you that I got my kids out of Christian Science at the ages of about 13 and 11. Maybe 12 & 10. But it took them an extra year to let go of the beliefs on their own time, and at their own terms. They now hate it as much as I do. I keep pointing out “well, Christian Science would have said this _______” and they are shocked. It’s just helping point out all the ways we were “led astray.”

    Policing the thoughts. I was champion at policing my thoughts. It led to anxiety – something that of course didn’t exist.

    That’s really terrible the bad teacher kept pinching you!! What a horrible thing to have to endure! OUCH!! I hate it when people touch my bottom. I am so sorry you had to deal with that, too.

    And, my best friend in high school was a lesbian. Her parents called me up one time and said, “is she gay?” I said, “I think she’s happy. I think you’d have to ask her.” It was so weird. That’s when my ultra CS parent had to explain to me the other meaning of the word “gay.” And of course told me that anyone like that will eventually be healed. Because it’s like a sickness. Sigh.

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