This is my fifth article on the fun ways to help Christians deconvert.
I will first restate my basic premises for my deconversion system.
1. People did not get their religion by argument, you are not going to deconvert them by arguing with them either.
2. One of the most powerful words in the English language is the word AND.
3. You listen to what they have to say
4. You agree with them by saying "AND"
5. Then you mess with their mind. (see my other posts for more ideas)
KEY PHRASE (referenced later)
*Also, one critical part to this process is to understand an old saying
"If I say it, it might be true, BUT if they say it, it MUST be true"
De-conversion #5. Talk with Christians about zombies
First, you may be saying what does talking to Christians about zombies have to do with the bible - everything. Ever hear of someone rising from the dead? Thought so.
But that is not it, there is so much more in the bible to have fun with.
Pre-Setup (or a little background before we start)
First, you don't just jump right into conversations about Christians and their personal beliefs. You actually start a little distance away from that topic, getting their agreement along the way. Then once they have agreed with you for the last 5 minutes, you slightly alter the course. Presto - the gears of their minds are so messed up.
Some key points to start out. Once you unleash the finale, you have to walk away or change the subject. They will want to debate with you and challenge you. You might think that they are trying to change your mind. They really are not, they are trying to get their thoughts straight and get their footing replanted.
It is VERY VERY important that you leave them hanging in disagreement with you and not arguing their point out loud with you. You want them to be fuzzy for while, that is going to let the cracks ripple through their brain causing all kinds of trouble. Remember, our objective was not to convince them about zombies, our goal was to get them beginning down the deconversion path. Also, remember this one point is not going to get them completely deconverted.
The objective in deconversion is that it is a process, it takes time. People have a lot of thoughts laced through their heads. It affects, their marriage, their kids, their work, their politics, their friendships, and so much more. Think of each deconversion like a hit on a giant gong. It reverberates loudly for a really long time throughout the entire person.
Some research you need ahead of time. I would really recommend you rent/download/watch the movie "Death becomes her" starring Goldie Hawn and Glenn Close. It is going to be a powerful tool because it is a zombie movie that is not in the typical genre recipe.
Here are some short notes on that movie if you want to get a early start with folks and have not seen the movie. But will not compare to actually seeing the movie and knowing the quotes and quirks. Even if the other person has never seen it.
=====Notes from "Death Becomes Her"
From: http://www.amazon.com/Death-Becomes-Her-Meryl-Streep/dp/0783225482 from a review
The film centers on the eternal quest for beauty and youth by an aging Hollywood starlet, Madeline Ashton, (played by the brillant Meryl Streep). Her high school rival, Helen, (Goldie Hawn), brings her latest beau to meet Ashton after a campy performance in a musical based on "Sweet Bird of Youth" (get the theme already?).
When Madeline runs off with Helen's fiance (Bruce Willis) Helen falls into a demented state and becomes obese and determined to get even with Madeline. After discovering a secret potion sold by a Hollywood witch (Isabella Rosellini) both Helen, and later Madeline regain their youth, vitality, and beauty. However, all this comes with strings involving immortality.
Some of the key points you might mention from this movie
* Zombie caused by a secret potion
* Helen: hole through her midsection
* Madeline: with a twisted neck
* eternal quest for beauty and youth
* dressing nicely
* no weird diet
Here we go. The key to this deconversion routine is the mostly in the setup phase.
We start with a normal conversation about movies. Talk about any area you like. Eventually, maybe after a minute or two, you get to the topic about zombie movies. Some of the things you might talk about are:
* whether they like horror movies
* what do they think about zombie movies
* what was their favorite zombie movie (or one they remember most)
Now we want to ask some preliminary questions, but be careful not to tip your hand
Better to play it a little dumb and get them to give you definitions
Especially get them feeling they are talking from the movie perspective.
* what is the difference in zombies vs. vampires?
* Aren't they both dead or undead?
* What would happen to a zombie once it was created, would it die, it is undead
* Is it written anywhere what zombies eat, although movies like chasing people does that have to be always true.
* what if an undead Climbed out of the grave because the "earth rumbled"
-don't say "rose from the grave", Rumble is keyword we use later
* What if they were undead by a potion like in the above movie
* would it matter how they became undead- virus, bacteria, potion, magic
* would they still be a zombie if was a curse or spell
* who makes zombies. Are they supposed to be evil or neutral
* A zombie is not good, right? (notice how this sentence is built slightly different)
Now we have one more set of questions we are going to use for the finale -
To really get their brains cooked and smoke coming out their ears.
You don't want to be perfectly right here, a little sloppy goes a long way.
* What do they think about voodoo. It's just a bunch of junk, isn't it.
* is it a real religion?
* Do you think the voodoo priests and priestesses are real
* Voodoo says they can make zombies for real.
* Voodoo tries to even get ANY god to make zombies, even the christian god?
* Do you think the christian god or Jesus made zombies, like in the movies?
(there is a subtle part added to the above sentence. We added "like in the movies."
some Christians are well trained apologists, we are staying prepared, just in case.
we don't want them jumping ahead, before we finished our setup.
* do you think that zombies are real?
* Say something like zombies are pretty spooky to you
* So you think there is absolutely no REAL way a zombie would exist?
Now the last step is that we want to nail down historical data
* if a zombie was ever created in the past they would still be walking around, right?
* I have never seen a zombie, have you?
* If there were a bunch of zombies walking around in history, do you think that would go unnoticed.
* I have been looking for historical stories of real zombies walking around and have not found any, have you?
Here is what we are after
1. They define what a zombie is
2. They define that a zombie can come from multiple sources including curses or magic
3. they don't believe curses and magic make zombies
4. zombies would still be walking around
5. christian god does not make zombies
So far we have been playing it kind of neutral. We have been talking about movies, talking about "OTHER" religions. This time we are going to Christianity. It is important to note: WE ARE NOT ATTACKING. WE ARE NOT GOING AFTER THE PERSON.
We are going to use the ideas in the bible. Those ideas are our partner. Remember, we are working on deconversion. That is about using the bible, not science to be our friend. AND remember, we want the ideas in the bible to be RIGHT not wrong. Deconversion happens when they think that "if the bible is right, I am wrong". yeah bible.
So here is how we begin the finale.
I really think is great how SOME Christian's believe in zombies.
I mean it is saw awesome that they think zombies are real.
I am not sure where they get that idea from.
Do you think Christians who are big believers in the zombies
are part of the main core of Christianity,
or are the likely the weird ones on the extreme? (he he he, we are sneaky...)
I have even heard that it was in the bible. That is not right, is it?
(a sneaky loaded question, because we know the answer)
*** we let them ramble some, and get ready to set the hook to reel them in.
blah, blah, blah
Now we interrupt them .. and continue
Well you know there are zombies all over the bible in the new testament.
******** THE REVEAL********
Before you get into the biblical reveal I need to make a couple points here.
* The reason you started this dialog with this person was deconversion
* You are not trying to be an expert on the bible
* In fact, you want to be a combination of strong and sloppy
* The sloppy is more important than the strong and accurate
* Many people think that by providing accurate quotes and facts will win the case
But remember my KEY PHRASE
"If I say it, it might be true, BUT if they say it, it MUST be true"
* You want to give partial and incomplete information
* You want them to leave you without the answers
* You want them to leave you with questions and doubts
* You want them to have to look up details in the bible
* most people have busy lives and many won't even bother to look it up
* Those who do bother too look this stuff up are in for a shock
* Those who wait to look this up, get this stuff EATING THEIR BRAINS - like a zombie.
* it is a no win for them
* The look it up, they lose
* they don't look it up, they lose
* They look it up quickly, they lose quickly
* that wait to look it up, the lose slowly.
This stuff is so much fun ...
Here we go...
There are a lot of places zombies are mentioned in the bible.
As a matter of fact the bible mentions zombies directly or details of zombies in over 70 places in the new testament and just about as many in the Old testament.
In the new testament at least 6 zombies are created by name, some by Jesus and some by his crew. Most people know about all the zombies rolling around Jerusalem created when Jesus died. The bible talks about entire crowds who witnessed these zombies and written accounts of this being witnessed in the bible. The bible even mentions specifically dead people climbing out of their graves and walking around Jerusalem.
Just some fun facts to remind them. Counts about zombies or zombie related stuff.
Matthew: 8 entries
Mark: 2 entries
Luke: 6 entries
John: 8 entries
Acts: 16 entries
Cor(both): 16 entries
Romans: 16 entries
And there are tons more. I kind of picked some low end numbers from these books, probably could add another 4 to 6 more to each, but not trying for overkill here.
Many people who read this kind of material will next be looking for those one or two good stories that knock it out of the park to prove your point.
PLEASE - Do not look for those one or two BEST cases. As a matter of fact if you do that you will shoot yourself in the foot and have wasted this whole exercise. I am not kidding.
Let me explain. As it stands right now, they have just been hit with 78 examples. 8+2+6+8+16+16+6+16 = 78 examples from the bible at least. That is an overwhelming number.
The next thing they are going to do is deny this. That is OK. Because the next thing following that is for them to ask you to give them some examples. YES. That is what we want - BUT - we want to give them mediocre to poor examples.
You might ask why would we want to do that. Lets give them the best examples, much more powerful. Remember, we are not in this to win the argument, we are in this for the deconversion. THEY HAVE TO DISCOVER THE BETTER CASES FOR THEMSELVES. We want to give them weaker cases also because if we give them the 2 best cases and they can rationalize their way through those on their drive home, then they can outright dismiss everything else without having to do any research, because you told them that your examples were the best. Therefore, since they could rationalize the best ones away, the others really did not matter.
By giving them mediocre ones, they have to go back and investigate for themselves, and do all kinds of research on their own. AND THEY HAVE TO PREPARE A LIST and SORT THAT LIST for us to show how their list of zombie stories can be overcome by THEIR logic.
DID YOU JUST GET THAT.
*** They just made a list of ZOMBIE Stories.
*** They researched zombie stories in the bible and else where
*** They sorted those stories into best to least
I am not kidding they are going to want to come back to you with a list to prove to you that they are not crazy, wacko, on the fringe, and here is their logic why.
You say, sure I would love to talk with you later about this (he he he he...)
Now you need to remind them that they have to sort out the zombie stuff and the resurrection stuff out differently. And they can explain to you how they decided to sort it out (don't tell them how, you will understand later).
You say, now I am going to give you an easy one that EVERYONE KNOWS, but I am going to ask you a question after wards. I will bet I can tell you in one word and you can even tell me the story. What is that one word - "Lazarus". Yep. Told you you would know that one. This is not the best case, just a real simple one everyone knows that I don't have to convince you anything about.
Lets run though the story really simple. A ordinary guy named Lazarus dies, blah blah blah, Jesus, blah blah blah, he is alive. First this is not a resurrection story, remember, resurrection is Jesus' thing. This guy was dead, now he is undead. He has not floated up to heaven, he is just undead and will go about his daily life with his family. So this is a simple case of a zombie.
Now you might want to argue with me about the science that maybe this guy was not really dead, maybe he was just sick or something. That is not what the bible said. We are looking to the bible for our facts, we can't just make stuff up. The bible is the reference. If you want to say their are weaknesses in the Lazarus account you are opening up a whole bunch of problems with all the better stories. So you better consider Lazarus a great zombie example, even though it is not one of the better zombie facts in the bible.
If you died and a GOD makes you undead. remember, he had been dead for a while so rigormortis had already passed. Flies and maggots had eggs laid and were starting to grow, his guts and skin and eyes were beginning to rot.
The bible did not say he was restored to perfect health. No, his rotting, undead body came out of the tomb and unwrapped the strips of linen and he took off the cloth from his face. So here is the rotting undead man named Lazarus who will roam the earth for all eternity. Remember the last sentence in John 11 - "the DEAD MAN CAME OUT". the bible did not say he was given back his life, it said the dead man was now walking out.
Here is my question I told you I would ask - do you think Lazarus is still walking around undead, do you think somebody like killed and dismembered him like in the zombie movies, or do you think he just got tired and found a grave to live out the rest of his undead days.
GET THEIR BRAIN SMOKIN'
Here is the wrap up of this routine.
Tell them you would be glad to talk with them about their thoughts on this
Ask them if they would like to talk with you later (most likely will want to)
Remember, do not go into this now, you want them to leave and think on this.
Tell them that you can't see them for at least 3 - 4 weeks.
The longer you leave them stewing on this, the better the deconversion works.
Remember all those questions we were asking in the beginning. All that movie stuff. All that vampire, voodoo stuff. We are now going to get the payoff from those questions
... So you continue with them ...
So when we get back together, I will remember how you said zombies don't exist, potions and magic, blah blah blah. Just give them back all the ideas they confirmed to you about how they don't believe in zombies
tell them that you would like to hear about how they decided which zombie stories were real in the bible and which ones were not. And which specific fact they used to tell if a person was a zombie or a resurrection because you want to be able to explain to others as well.
Well thanks for chatting with me. Look forward to talking with you next month. and send them on their way.
Remember, our objective here is deconversion. This one routine is not going to totally deconvert someone, but it will do some serious messing with their minds.
Their head is going to be ringing for days with this. They will probably have trouble sleeping until they can spend some serious time in the bible.
So I bet you are wondering what you talk about when you get together in a month. We are looking for deconversion, so guess what we are NOT going to be talking about. That's right. We are not going to be talking about zombies. Nope. no way, no how. If they get a chance to talk with you again, that is practice time for them to sharpen their belief system - we don't want that. We want their belief system shaken and weakened. They think they are going to try to convince you about differences in zombies and resurrection and whatever.
We don't care about that stuff, that is their belief system. It has to make sense to them, not us. Just tell them, that you already know what's in the bible and we already discussed your beliefs so the matter was actually closed a while ago.
Instead when you get together again, you pick one of the other deconversion topics and work on that. Remember, you have a limited amount of your own personal time. Don't waste it on arguing or having them explain stuff to you. It is their belief, keep it to themselves. When you get together with them, you want to be constantly crashing and smashing and trashing those belief systems of their with the facts of the bible, giving them tidbits of information, and making them have big homework assignments.
Think of it like a guy with a chisel and hammer on top of a giant rock. You position the chisel, swing and BING, nothing happens (visibly that is). You re-adjust, get together again, and swing, hit the chisel and BING again. (still nothing visible). All the while, tiny little cracks are ripping through the rock. Finally, one little swing, maybe even not very hard and bing, CRASH!! the entire rock cracks and crumbles and falls to pieces. So was it that first swing, the second one, or that last one. It was all of them together, that is the way deconversion happens.
this was a very long post, and if you can remember it, I think you will find it to be one of the most devastating blows in your bag. The key to most christian faith is resurrection and this is a massive blow to that part of the belief system. They still have other parts holding their beliefs together, but this is a big one.
I hope you have a lot of fun with this...