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Healing Spiritual Abuse and Religious Addiction Paperback – August 1, 1994

4.8 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dennis, Sheila, and Matt Linn have given retreats and seminars on processes for healing in over fifty countries and in many universities and hospitals, including a course to doctors accredited by the American Medical Association, Dennis and Matt are co-authors of twenty-one books, the last sixteen co-authored with Sheila. These books have sold over a million copies in English and have been translated into more than twenty different languages.

Sheila Fabricant Linn, Dennis Linn, and Matt Linn work together as a team, integrating physical, emotional, and spiritual wholeness. They have taught courses on processes for healing around the world. They are the authors of 23 books, including 2 books for children and those who care for them. These books have sold over a million copies in English and have been translated into more than 20 languages. Dennis and Sheila live in Colorado with their son, John. Matt lives in a Jesuit community in Minnesota.

Dennis, Sheila, and Matt Linn have given retreats and seminars on processes for healing in over fifty countries and in many universities and hospitals, including a course to doctors accredited by the American Medical Association. Dennis and Matt are co-authors of nineteen books, the last fourteen co-authored with Sheila. These books have sold over a million copies in English and have been translated into more than twenty different languages. Dennis and Sheila live in Colorado with their son, John, whom they are home and global-schooling. Matt lives in a Jesuit community in Minnesota.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press (August 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809134888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809134885
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.5 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #374,987 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By M KIRK-DUGGAN on October 6, 1999
Format: Paperback
The first 48 pages of this tome deal with the title subject, and are insightful and worthwhile. Yet the remaining 100 pages seem more of a rehash of birth order determinants set in a biblical melieu: the responsible child (#1=Pharisee); the rebel child (#2=Samaritan); the lost child (the Essene); and the comedian/clown/distractor (the Sadducee). Each of these vignettes is portrayed in an open and instructive manner, yet the nexus between spiritual addiction (1st 48 pages) and this child-order hypothesis seems lacking. The chapters on Scripture & Spiritual Abuse, and What Would Jesus Do, seem to offer diagnosis without treatment. Notwithstanding, this book can be recommended. The notion of Spiritual Addiction, particularly by those called to the clerical life, is present in this book, and if we are content that this is a valid first cut at a significant problem, then the recommendation stands. Much more needs to be done on and with this topic. The authors' seminal book --"Good Goats: Healing Our Image of God" attacks the problem of spiritual addiction much better. "Good Goats" offers diagnosis and treatment of the root factors in spiritual addiction.(5 stars).
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I have long supported the wrtings and the works of the Linn's having had the opportunity to participate in many symposiums and other learning opportunities with them in person. This book was purchased as a replacement for several copies that I have loaned out over the years. Excellent teaching.
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This book, along with Boyd Purcell's "Spiritual terrorism: Spiritual abuse from womb to tomb" are two of the greatest books on the sensitive topic of Spiritual abuse. Purcell deals primarily with Spiritual Abuse on an institutional level, and what the Churches should do to end it. This book focuses on what we can do to overcome spiritual abuse we have suffered. The premise of spiritual abuse is how we relate to authority, and how we project it onto God. The abuse is basically when we have a concept of God as nothing more than a definable being identical to the King Gods of ancient civilizations. So we become spiritually abused when we make God into a mere earthly authority who determines right solely on might. The book shows that we get into this mold of thinking to handle shame. We are introduced to the concepts of the Responsible Pharisee, Rebel Samaritan, Lost Essene, and Distractor Sadducee. Each way is due to seeing God as only an external authority who shames those who cannot fulfill some standards. And we have the Pharisee who burdens their shame on themselves, the Samaritan who acts with hostility towards the shame, the Essen who runs from shame, and the Sadducee who denies shame. Each side also has a gift when our own realities, or God within is cared for, and we can essentially find a unique way to love with a more broad view of God not as some external authority, but an all encompassing undefinable absolute source, who if could be defines would be LOVE. The latter part of the Book covers how we can heal spiritual abuse from Religious authorities and Scripture. Without creating hostility towards the Bible or Church authority, the Linns explain how Love is the ultimate standard of judgment, when it comes to how we understand scriptures and Church authorities.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I say PRIMER because you won't get anything deep here. And that's exactly what the Linns want. Healing, while not easy, doesn't have to be entrenched in all sorts of psychological analysis- at least not if you're doing it on your own.

Anyway, the first part of this book demonstrates what spiritual abuse/religious addiction is and how it manifested itself in the Linns' lives. (As a woman, I really related with Sheila's graduate school years- I too attached myself to a reverend who could show what Christianity is- something I did not receive as a child.) The second part discusses the good and bad of each child's personality. Children are assigned to one of four roles: Responsible Pharisee, Rebel Samaritan, Lost Essene, Distractor Sadducee. The problem here is that one can find him/herself in each of these types. Many people change- when they are five, they might be Essenes, at sixteen Sadducees, etc.

I really appreciated the chapter "Generational Healing of Spiritual Abuse". I've known many Christians who seek to break the bonds of family problems through prayer. "I believe that the experiences of our ancestors, especially unresolved traumatic experiences such as religious persecution and spiritual abuse, are passed on to us in some mysterious way that we do not yet understand." (p. 102)

Like the other reviewer stated, the last chapters offer treatment without the diagnosis. I was disappointed, hence the four star rating.

Overall, this book makes a great gift for someone who needs to heal for religious abuse and spiritual addiction, but doesn't know where to start. It is my hope that the reader will pull what he or she needs from the text and then explore those points in more detail. For example, I will be studying more about healing generation problems.
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