(By Loren Grace. Originally posted on: https://lorengrace.com/2019/01/18/a-letter-to-the-victims-of-bride-ministries-trauma-bond)
Hoovering, named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner, is a word that describes the process whereby abusive individuals use whatever means necessary to continue to control and manipulate their victims. Specifically, the article describes hoovering as “a technique narcissists use to try to “suck” their victims back into the vicious cycle of abuse and regain control.”
Definition: Trauma Bond
The article describes a trauma bond as “the intense bonds we formed with our toxic partner in an attempt to survive our abusive experiences,” but the term can be used to describe an unhealthy bond that is formed within a variety of unhealthy relationships. For instance, the toxic relationship might be between partners (as the article describes), or it could be an unhealthy relationship between an abusive parent and a child. Or between a mind control programmer and his mind control victim. Or between a so-called “counselor/life-coach” and his client.
… keeps us tied to abusive people through the very abuse that they heap upon us; and when we try to leave, hoovering sucks us back in.
… keeps us confused as to who is the victim and who is the perpetrator.
… turns our thinking around into incorrectly believing that we have done something wrong to deserve the abuse; therefore, we incorrectly believe that we have to do everything in our power to make it right again.
… keeps us from forming healthy boundaries, and keeps us in an unhealthy cycle of abuse, susceptible to hoovering, and generally causes us to accept behaviors from people that would otherwise be unacceptable.
… leads to an increased dependency (co-dependency) on the abuser to make decisions for us; and at the same time, we begin to have an inability or a decreased capacity to make decisions for ourselves, or the inability to trust our own judgement outside of the opinion of our abuser.
… can manifest as a desperation to please our abuser, even to the point of saying or doing things that are untrue or wrong, but are things we know will please our abuser.
… often has us internalizing the emotions of our abuser. (For example, sensing or knowing that our abuser is not pleased, will cause us to wonder what we did wrong.)
… causes feelings of protection and loyalty towards our abuser, and a strong desire to defend them against any threat, imagined or real.
“Duval and the support leaders and the other clients treated me badly, but I was pretty messed up before I even got there, so it wasn’t all their fault.”
"If you had a brain tumor and went to the hospital to have surgery, how would you expect to be treated?
Would you expect the nurses and the other support staff to look at you with disdain? Would you expect them to roll their eyes when you were crying because of the horrible headaches you were having? Would you expect them to laugh behind your back and gossip about you because you shared with them your fears of surgery, or any other issues you were having? Would you expect them to complain about having to change your bed sheets or complain that they had to help you to the bathroom or help give you a bath?
Would you expect the support staff and the surgeon to allow the other patients to treat you with contempt and disdain? If the other patients started gossiping about you behind your back and spreading lies to the nurse staff and to the surgeons, would you expect the doctors and support staff to listen to and believe the other patients’ lies about you, and to then treat you according to those lies that they believe?
Would you expect the surgeon and support staff to play favorites with the patients? To ignore your concerns and needs, but provide everything that their favorite patients needed or requested?
Would you expect the surgeon to dismiss your concerns and fears? Would you expect him to force you to make decisions that you weren’t prepared to make? Would you expect him to treat you with disrespect and disdain? Would you expect your surgeon to lie about you and to gossip about you behind your back?
Would you expect the surgeon to be actually QUALIFIED to do surgery on you? Would it be acceptable to you if your brain surgeon had absolutely no qualifications whatsoever to open your head up and poke around your brain? Would you make excuses for his ineptitude and say to yourself, “Well, he says he’s qualified, and he does have a lot of other patients waiting for him to do surgery on THEM, so I guess it’s okay…”
Or would you demand to see proof of his qualifications? Would you expect to see evidence of an accredited degree that gave PROOF to the qualifications the surgeon claimed to have? If he didn’t have qualifications, would you stay there? Or, if you decided to leave, would you then blame yourself for leaving?
If you did leave and then warned other people of your horrible experiences so that they wouldn’t have to experience the same pain and danger that you did, and if you were attacked and maligned and slandered by the surgeon and his staff, would you find this abuse acceptable? Would you make excuses for it and say something like, “Well, I was messed up before I went there, so….”
But assuming you were okay with the lack of qualifications your surgeon had, would you expect to go into surgery without any anesthesia? Would you expect that the surgeon would stop halfway through surgery, leave you on the operating table, open to infection, and then when he finally decides to comes back, would you be okay with him ignoring your complaints and your cries of pain and anger?
What if your surgeon was verbally, emotionally, and spiritually abuse to you? Would it be okay for a professional to be this way?
Would you expect to be forced to sign a contract that you aren’t allowed to complain about the services you receive, even if he botched your surgery and it led to your harm?
And if you were treated this way, how would you react?
Would you accept it and say to yourself, “Well, it’s not their fault, because I had issues before I came here”?
Or would you say, “This is bullshit! They don’t have the right to treat me like this! THEY are the ones with the problem, not me!”
You see, it is NOT acceptable how you were treated in BM, and excusing or downplaying their behavior is not going to help you heal. Instead, you are in danger of falling back into toxic behaviors yourself…. by allowing yourself to accept the toxic behaviors of other people, either by people in Bride Ministries, or by other people.
You went there for help. OF COURSE you had problems! Why else would you have gone there if you didn’t have problems? The fact that you were treated badly is NOT a reflection of you, but of THEM.
Furthermore, DD and his staff (INCLUDING PRESTON BAILEY) are no more qualified to counsel people than I would be qualified to do brain surgery. You see, if I were to convince a dozen people — a hundred people… or even more!! — to let me cut open their skull and poke around in their brain, that does not qualify me as a brain surgeon!!
In the same way, just because DD and others have conned people into THINKING they are qualified to “counsel” them, does NOT make them actually qualified. They are not qualified, and unless something has changed with DD’s staff of so-called “counselors” since I last looked [please see the postscript], NONE of them have any real qualifications whatsoever in regards to mental health. In some cases, they have degrees from “colleges” that are not accredited! This means the “college” they went to wasn’t qualified! In the U.S., we call these “diploma mills.”
I’m all for alternative education. I home schooled my three children. I think alternative education is a great thing, when used properly and when taken seriously. However, if I need to have brain surgery, I don’t want to employ a brain surgeon who got their degree from a diploma mill!
By the same token, if I need help from a mental health counselor, I don’t want someone who got their so-called “qualifications” from a diploma mill!
And even if I weren’t concerned about real degrees from real colleges and was going to be happy with getting counsel from a “pastoral counselor” — such as from Preston Bailey, who, from my research, even though he has a fake degree in “counseling” from a diploma mill, does appear to have an actual, real degree in theology, potentially qualifying him as being a pastoral counselor — then I certainly don’t want a pastoral counselor who is teaching false doctrines, the way Preston Bailey, Dan Duval, and associates are!
You were conned by a narcissistic con artist and his group of con-artist friends who claim to be Christians, but who are actually teaching doctrines of demons, and making tons of money off of gullible people who mistakenly think they are qualified as “counselors” or as “life coaches.”
I was conned by them, too. So were a lot of other people.
That doesn’t make YOU the bad person. It doesn’t make ME the bad person.
It makes DANIEL and HIS STAFF the bad people!
So… all that to say this: learn to recognize toxicity (EDUCATE yourself on those things); learn that it’s okay to get away from it; and learn that it’s NOT your fault for the toxic, abusive, ungodly behaviors of other people.
Don’t take the blame for other people’s sins. That’s not healthy and it’s certainly not Godly or Biblical."