Every now and then I will comment on a media article that can give us insight as to how we empower and/or disempower ourselves.
$50,000 for naked prayer sessions: I had no choice, court told. Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
A couple claim to have paid $50,000 to have two prayers that would stop the curse that would cause death to all family members. They believed the service being offered was legitimate and actually paid the money. As a result, the lady alleges to having hazy recollections of being sexually assaulted by the professed “Holy man”. Her partner concluded in response to paying the money and engaging the man’s naked prayer services, ‘he had no choice”.
This story seems bizarre and we can easily detect the naivety of the couple to be hoodwinked out of a large sum of money and be subjected to sexual abuse. What mindset could allow someone to be manipulated to such a devastating degree?
Here are some beliefs held by the couple based on their expressed views in the article, that may begin to explain the causes to this tragedy.
• Their believed in curses and the ‘evil eye’.
• They believed in someone else having the solution to their problems.
• They believed their lives and their family’s lives were seriously threatened.
• They believed there were no other solutions available.
When you examine the applied reasoning to the information available to them in their environment, we see the disempowering mindset at work and can draw the following conclusions: –
• Their self worth was low enough to accept death as a consequence through no logical cause or fault of their own. They trusted an explanation that reinforced their low sense of worth. As a result, they had no reason to pursue alternate solutions as they simply did not believe those solutions existed.
• Their insecurity was inflamed by a threat to their survival.
• They believed in a power and a solution outside of their direct control.
• Their critical thinking was diminished by their fanatical disposition that an ‘evil eye’ is going to cause the death of their entire family. Neither the $50,000 fee for two pray sessions, the requirement for the lady to be naked, blindfolded and alone with the ‘Holy man’ did not seem out of the ordinary enough to require further investigation and understanding.
These beliefs caused their disempowered state, leaving them to be easily manipulated by an abuse of the power they transferred outside of themselves to a third party. In other words, we are empowered by making decisions. The moment we transfer that responsibility to someone who supposedly knows better, we transfer that power to them.
A major blind spot in these situations is the assumption that there will never be an abuse of that power when it most instances, this is exactly what happens. The abuse of power is a common occurrence because a high position of power and responsibility is often compromised by their level of personal insecurity. The temptation to use that power for their own needs rather than for the interests of the persons they are meant to serve is extremely high. There is a ‘lack mentality’ where they believe their survival is in jeopardy.
To understand this further, we must appreciate our struggle with survival. If we don’t have enough money, food, clothing, shelter and friends, we believe we may lose our life. The logic is, we may starve, freeze to death or be in a situation that no one can rescue us from life threatening incident. Hence, this causes us to constantly seek resources to mitigate the potential of such outcomes. Power, regardless of where we source it and the responsibility that comes with it, gives us access and the ability to direct that power towards fulfilling our lack of feeling safe.
Its important to acknowledge that not even the couple’s religion was the cause of their tragedy. Many people of their faith would react very differently if faced with an identical situation. Whatever our religion, culture or upbringing, we need to interpret our environment in a way that ensures we remain responsible and empowered to solve our problems.
Anyone professing to be closer to a divine order and requests our money and blind trust to save us is hypocritically claiming a position they are incapable of fulfilling by wanting us to surrender our resources and responsibility.
If someone seeks to help you, these are the factors to be considered and ought to serve as alarm bells to avoid being manipulated and abused: –
1. Have they positioned your problem outside of your ability to be educated to solve it?
2. Are they suggesting no action on your behalf beyond giving them your money and trust will make a difference?
3. Are they suggesting only they have the solution to your problem?
4. Are they avoiding putting their advice in writing?
5. Are they avoiding giving you their advice in public view?
6. Does the fee justify the skill and effort?
By George Helou
Founder of www.mindpowercoach.com