Perfect Peril: Christian Science and Mind Control

PerfectPerilPerfect Peril: Christian Science and Mind Control, Linda S. Kramer

Previously published as The Religion That Kills: Christian Science-Abuse, Neglect, and Mind Control: How Could This Happen?


This is a wonderful book that has helped many people understand their way out of Christian Science. Originally printed with the publisher-imposed title The Religion that Kills, it is now an eBook with this more temperate title. The first two-thirds deconstructs the control mechanisms that operate under the surface in Christian Science. Linda shows how Christian Science employs influence factors and thought reform techniques that psychologists have identified as typical tools of cults. This explains how Christian Science is able to keep a hold on people, many of whom are intelligent, educated, good folks, and who later are astonished at their deep involvement with Christian Science. In the last third of the book, Linda tells her personal story of finding a new religious path based on an understanding of Jesus Christ as illuminated in the Bible.

– Bruce


Linda Kramer’s book gave me a lot of compassion for those who are still practicing Christian Science. The author clearly explains how Christian Science is consistent with the characteristics of a cult, and why it can be considered a form of mind control. Linda discusses specifically why leaving and recovering from Christian Science is such a difficult and complex lifelong process. All former Christian Scientists that I know have Mary Baker Eddy quotes still bouncing around in their heads, often cringe at the doctors office, etc… why? Linda’s book gives some pretty great insight. This has been helpful to me in my own healing process. I better understand my family and am encouraged to speak more boldly.

– Katie B.


I attended CHILD meetings with the author, Linda Kramer, for probably five years. I watched and participated as she was in the throes of working through what had every evidence of being a process of deprogramming. It can be frightening and there is no way that the reactions can be feigned.

In this book Linda brings her well-trained scientific mind to the monumental task of reliving and reinterpreting half a lifetime’s experiences and beliefs. Giving full expression to the emotional content while analyzing it with clarity, she has made a powerful case for relegating Christian Science to the category of cults.

– Marion


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK_zRnRWlgI]

Linda S. Kramer talks about her upbringing in Christian Science, her decision to leave, her book, Perfect Peril: Christian Science & Mind Control, and her ministry to others leaving that faith, speaking at the conference for the Fellowship of Former Christian Scientists, Grace & Peace Fellowship, St. Louis, MO, August 2014.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KK_zRnRWlgI

Bad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine

Bad FaithBad Faith: When Religious Belief Undermines Modern Medicine, Paul Offit, M.D.

Paul Offit is professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and a board member of Children’s Healthcare Is a Legal Duty (CHILD).


Despite the title, Paul Offit’s latest book is not anti-religion. He argues that compassion is the core of Christ’s teaching and that much good is performed by many religious organizations, but the notion that medical treatment conflicts with reliance on God persists in many sects, resulting in unnecessary suffering and tragedy, especially to children.

The struggle to repeal religious exemptions in US federal and state legislation is part of the story Offit tells, with much credit to Rita and Doug Swan for their perseverance in that cause. This is an important book, painful to read in places, about an issue that has been under-reported far too long. Of special interest to Christian Scientists is Offit’s discussion of the psychological factors that keep people devoted to cultish systems.

– Bruce


[Paul Offit] reports on the tragedies of faith healing, anchoring the book by beginning and ending with Rita Swan’s story.

It is compelling and informative, and if you weren’t upset before reading it, you will be afterwards. (Most of us are already upset.)

He gives the appalling history of child abuse, covers incidents I didn’t know about, and gives a Christian-based rationale for rejecting faith-based health care.

– Marion

 

God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church

book cover/God's Perfect Child God’s Perfect Child: Living and Dying in the Christian Science Church, Caroline Fraser

 


This is the gold standard critique of Christian Science – scholarly, exhaustive, and courageous. Roughly the first half of the book is an unfiltered history Eddy’s life, the early days of the Christian Science movement, and the establishment of the Mother Church. The second half covers the social history of Christian Science in the 20th century, conflicts within the movement, the Board of Directors’ campaigns against dissidents, the censorship and suppression of critical books, the disastrous business decisions made by church executives during the 1980s and 1990s, and the demise of the Monitor, etc., including an unflinching account of the child cases of the 1970s and 1980s and the defensive attitude of the Mother Church. Fraser puts Christian Science in the context of American cultural mythology. This is a must-read!

– Bruce


I left the church officially after reading God’s Perfect Child.

-Marica


God’s Perfect Child is a lot to digest. I read it three years after I departed the church, and I’m glad I waited. I wasn’t ready for it until I’d been out for a bit, and any sympathy I had for Christian Science was largely gone.

The book answered many questions I always had, like why dentists and optometrists are okay but doctors are not. It clarified some of Mary Baker Eddy’s peculiarities. The history of Christian Science was also enlightening.

Every page is thoroughly researched and annotated, and is pretty much unassailable. That’s why The Mother Church hates this book so much. They have a hard time refuting it.

– Jeremy


God’s Perfect Child was mind-blowing for me, even though I’d been out of Christian Science for five years when I read it. God’s Perfect Child made me realize what a house of cards the whole church is. I’ve read the book several more times cover to cover, and my copy is marked up, highlighted and Post-it noted.

– Liz Heywood


Christian Science tended to be so vague and anecdotal that even in retrospect, I never got a clear objective sense of the thing. God’s Perfect Child provides an unblinking appraisal that for the first time gave me some real clarity about my own childhood experiences. It gave me so much more of the history and context that are crucial to understanding how Christian Science developed. It’s objective, thoroughly researched and cited, and places Christian Science in a sane and clear context.

This book is a bracing wakeup call for anyone who’s ever had any connection to Christian Science. It is strong stuff that elicits deep responses, and the sense of outrage that it evokes needs to translate into positive action or acknowledgment in support of yourself, and not just a vague sense of hopeless anger.

– Hughes


Caroline Fraser is spot on with everything as far as I can see. I had a front row seat for much of the stuff that went on in the 1980s and 1990s, and her research is impeccable. Reading what she writes about Mary Baker Eddy is an education. That woman was a con artist on par with L. Ron Hubbard, David Koresh, and Jim Jones. Our dear families were duped by a master. For someone with knowledge of the Christian Science community, this book is a real page turner.

– Marcia


It wasn’t until I read Caroline Fraser’s book God’s Perfect Child, that I realized how deeply programmed I truly was. I highly recommend it.

– Katie J.