Friday, October 23, 2009

Religions Unheralded Role in New Zealand’s Suicide Statistics.

New Zealand has one of the worst levels of suicide in the world & youth suicide in this country is a major issue.

The reasons for suicide are complex and often linked to mental health problems - depression being the number one precursor.

SPINZ (Suicide Prevention Information NZ) is the national body charged with reducing suicide in this country by providing the public with preventative strategies such as improving self-esteem.

Some of these ‘red lights’ family members and friends should look for include:

- Feeling down all the time
- Say that life isn’t worth living
- Get into death image and music
- Use alcohol in excess or drugs
- Acting ‘out of it’, dangerous or violent
- Out of character risk-taking
- Changes in personality

Despite the comprehensiveness of sites like SPINZ there was a disturbing oversight in their advice.

They all failed to deal with one of the lesser-known causes of suicide.

The ugly ‘throw-back’ child that is spoken about in hushed tones even in professional circles, as if it didn’t exist.

We are not talking about the easy cubby-holes of death metal and Marilyn Manson – its belief in the after life & the false hope entities, homo-erectus chimps have named, Gods offer to those seeking help.

International Suicide research shows there is a major ‘at risk’ group that feels they are disenfranchised from their families, peers and society as a whole. This is why homosexuals are over represented in suicide statistics.

Those that fail to integrate into the mainstream are therefore vulnerable, so are those that have suffered a relationship breakdown.

So back to the whispered role religion plays in suicide – the taboo subject within the taboo subject.

Religious apologists argue that ‘good’ comes from religious adherence and individuals are instilled a belief they are loved unconditionally, are part of a community and have a greater purpose.

Theist beliefs and those ‘at risk’ therefore have to be dealt with as a whole.

The success stories of those turned around at the edge of the cliff by a new found belief in God are touted publicly - but what about the failures?

When religion fails to treat the symptoms or makes them worse we hear nothing?

Surely it is the role of the state (via SPINZ etc) to monitor bogus treatments in this contentious and convoluted area of human-psychiatry and highlight the possible dangers of indoctrinating often mentally-ill individuals with tales of invisible beings and Lord of The Rings type stories with unicorns and seven-headed dragons?

Offering someone hope is fine – but what if that hope is a false one?

Placing a meme in someone mind that “Jesus loves you” if no one else does is meaningless in itself when your own crap-life continues spiraling out of control and you still see no way out of your hole.

What happens if the only person who supposedly loves you unconditionally also lets you down when you seek their help?

What happens if you are Gay and you get told you are inherently evil and need ‘rescuing’?

Hold-on, if you listen hard to what your new found buddies are telling-you there is a way out from the dark-times!

A place which by definition of the word is: paradise.

It’s called ‘heaven’.

How does one get to this place?

Well the quickest way to get to heaven is not to give your life to Christ and wait for old-age – simply kill your-self.

You can be re-united with love ones, live an infinite ethereal existence without the pain.

Rub shoulders with Mother Teresa, Martin Luther, a whole bunch of virginal Popes and if you so desire it Peter Pan & the interesting half The Beatles as well.

Instead of dealing with the ‘issues’ of those with suicidal tendencies in certain individuals religion offers not just offers false-hope but a way-out – the imaginary ‘after-life’.

For those that doubt the power of religious indoctrination & suicide I have a one word answer: Martyrdom.

Note: The letter at the top of the article is an actual 'Suicide Note'.


Lucia Maria said...

There is one flaw in your logic. Suicide is generally the best way to get to Hell - not Heaven.

While as Matrydom is where someone else kills you because of your belief in Christ. It's not suicide to be killed by someone else.

Canterbury Atheists said...

Suicide is rampant in this country and unless we discuss ALL the factors contributing to its scourge – we are being negligent as a society.

Google ‘Suicide Notes’ LM and read the last testament of those that have taken their own lives.

You’ll discover about 30% mention an afterlife, meeting you again, Jesus, better place, heaven etc.

Many of those that suicide, revert to religious indoctrination from their younger days.

This is a complicated issue but there is no doubt believing in an afterlife makes the process easier = think suicide bombers.

Thanks for your comments.

Lucia Maria said...


My best killed herself when we were both 14 years old. She was Buddhist.

I've talked another friend out of suicide - he had sex abuse issues from multiple relatives in his past and was a practising witch.

Last year I was visiting a young man in the psych ward who almost managed to kill himself - he told me quite alot about his urges to die and his inability to overcome them when they occurred.

So, you know, I don't need to google. I have a good idea of what a suicide's mind is like.

Lucia Maria said...

Darn, first sentence should have been "My best friend killed herself ..."