I recently came across an Independent Fundamental Baptist blog that was brand new, but it seemed to be crawling with IFB supporters, getting lots of traffic and comments. I’m not one that typically allows himself to get jealous… and that’s not really the reason I’m writing this. Although jealousy did creep into my mind (which I think is a normal response given the fact that I’ve put years of hard work and dedication into this site) since I want the site to succeed, the biggest thought on my mind was my more typical response… curiosity. Mainly I’m curious to know why a brand new site with a few articles that’s pro-IFB could outshine a 7 year old site with more than 50 articles that’s anti-IFB. It just doesn’t make sense. The laws of SEO (search engine optimization) dictate that my site should far outshine a brand new site of the same topic (the IFB). After all the search engines don’t recognize or care if a site is pro- or anti- they just care about content.
As I sat in curious contemplation, struggling to figure it out, it finally dawned on me – actually more like hit me like a ton of bricks. I came up with two reasons for this strange phenomenon.
Reason 1: Fanaticism. This blogger has fanaticism on his side. The IFB are notorious for being fanatical about their belief system and traditions and will stop at nothing to promote them. When a blogger springs up to vocalize his agreement with the IFB dogma, the drones flock to the site and get in line to support one another.
Someone once asked me if there is anything that I agree with the IFB about. I would have to say this is one of them – not the fanaticism/drone part, but the support and community aspect. I can honestly say that there was never a time in my life where I ever experienced such a sense of community and support – that is until I left. Which leads me to the second reason…
Reason 2: Effects of Abuse. I’ve lost count of the number of private email messages I’ve received expressing a heartfelt thanks for the site and/or sharing tremendous pain associated with life in the IFB yet at the same time asking to remain anonymous.
IFBites are taught not to listen to their critics so anyone that’s been in the IFB and left develops a strong sense of abandonment as their friends (and sometimes family) abandon and shun them. After all if you aren’t part of the IFB you are considered a critic and an enemy. Any and all attempts to explain why they left or to re-establish relationships outside the IFB is met with heavy resistance. Once that sense of abandonment sets in, the loss is so great that the escapee does anything to keep from further experiencing such painful emotions and thus remains silent. Fear of further contempt from friends and family keeps people reading in silence then quietly moving on so as to keep from re-experiencing more abuse at the hands of the IFB.
The escapee also may be attacked for leaving the IFB and bullied (like I am on a consistent basis because of this site) or at least fear attack and bullying. As a result they simply lose their drive/motivation to speak out. So they suffer through their Spiritual Abuse in silence.
As a result of these two reasons I’ve determined that visitors to the site (which number in the thousands each month) simply read and then click away declining to get involved because of their fears. Unfortunately this sends the message to those in the IFB that their intimidation tactics work.
I can fully understand reason number 2 and I honestly feel the same way. I’ve been able to step outside my comfort zone to bring the world this website, but beyond that I have to admit that reason number 2 still affects me. This brings us to a third reason – our differences in being vocal.
Because of reasons number 1 and 2 above, the pro-IFB blogger is more at ease at vocalizing his thoughts and sharing his site. He probably talks about it at church and promotes it on facebook. He is in a much better position, unfortunately, to openly recruit more readers and site visitors.
I still have trouble sharing this site with friends and family as a result of reason number 2 and that’s to my shame. I publicly apologize for that. I’m happy to be a voice in this format for those who don’t yet have a voice or are too fearful to raise their voice. I’m also happy to bear the brunt of the bullying and abuse as a result of this site. But that doesn’t make it any easier to have the people who I used to go to church/school with (friends and family) know that this site exists.
But, I would like to publicly declare that I will be trying to do more to break past the fears I have and be more vocal about this site. I ask that you, the visitor, be willing to as well – when you are ready of course.
A Call To Action
We must not be silent and allow these bullies to have a stronger voice. When we do that we tell them that their bullying and intimidation is effective. Standing up to bullies is a sure way to make them stop, but I can’t do it alone. I’m asking for as much help as you are willing to give. Just contact me and let me know what you can do or simply post a link to the site on FB or share with a friend or share your story with us or write an article. Whatever you can do, even if it’s just something little, will help.
In the near future I will be posting some emails that I’ve received with bullying tactics trying to keep me silent. I hope that it will help balance the fight for the welfare of all the victims of this dangerous cultish denomination.