Edit: This is in no way meant to offend anyone of any religious belief or any religious organisation. I am a member of one myself. It is an attempt to use metaphor as a way of looking at the worst of the BPS 'religion' and draw parallels with the worst features of some religions. If you are sensitive about your religion, maybe don't read on...
Is BPS a religion, I ask myself.
Here's how I answer myself:
It has a god (SW) who is worshipped and placated by the powerful by being heaped with honours - knighthood, Regius Professorship, Presidency of Royal Colleges of Psychiatry and Medicine...
It has high priests who devote their lives to proselytising and acting out its beliefs (PW, MS, TC, EC, RMM, to name just a few...)
It has lower level acolytes, many of them young, naive and female, trained to carry out its practices without question (psychologists, OT's, nurses, physios).
It produces religious texts (PACE and other papers) that are treated as holy. Anyone who questions them being treated as blasphemers (vexatious, harassment). It (falsely) accuses its opponents of personal threats to its high priests and looks to the state to defend them.
It sends missionaries to other countries to spread the word.
It uses brainwashing techniques (CBT) to try to gain converts.
It claims that if others believe and use its practices, they will gain health and happiness.
It blames unbelievers (us) for their ill fate and tells them they have false beliefs.
It's beliefs are often antithetical to science, and its arguments against science are belief based, not based on rationality or evidence. It claims its 'knowledge', ie its belief system, is the true science.
It makes un-provable and unproven claims of healing the sick. It uses as evidence personal experience and individual reports of miracles, rather than anything that can be physically measured.
It makes sure it gathers and reports on 'cures' before the brainwashing has had time to wear off, and fails to follow up to see whether the effect lasts. If it doesn't work or doesn't last, it blames the sufferer, saying they haven't tried hard enough to follow the true faith.
It uses its influence to gain the ear of government, so it can get protection from criticism and higher status and positions of power and influence for its priests.
Governments are keen to adopt it as a state religion so it can use the priests and acolytes to subdue and control the population and brainwash them into conforming to its controls. It had a belief system which gives governments the excuse to oppress the sick, and deprive them of aid 'for their own good'.
It adopts practices from other religions and incorporates them into its religious practices, (for example taking mindfulness meditation from Buddhism and yoga and breathing practices from Hinduism), distorting and taking them out of context to be used as a control technique for its own ends, and to add a sense of mystique.
It runs its own publishing houses to print its religious texts (psychology journals), with editorial decisions based on their own religious beliefs, and texts validated by its own supporters.
It gathers new recruits (patients) into small groups, run by the acolytes, to foster group pressure to conform to the practices, with converts being encouraged to share their miraculous experiences, while discouraging negative feedback and dissent. It uses acolytes with a 'caring' style, 'love bombing' the weak to convert them.
It has small sects (LP), within the religion who develop their own, often secretive rituals which involve not only brainwashing, but persuading converts that they will only be saved if they follow the practices, believe what they are told, and keep its secrets.
It holds religious ceremonies (conferences, media briefings with refreshments) and invites the media to help spread the word, making sure it uses biased PR experts to get its message across (SMC).
I rest my case.
Have fun adding to the list.
Is BPS (bio-psycho-social) a religion?
Blog entry posted by trishrhymes, Jan 17, 2017.