“The Night Has Come” Written and Illustrated by Lindsay Morris of The Church of Wells.

Video and content analysis below:

The Night Has Come Children's Book (downloadable video) (19.1 MiB, 1343 downloads)

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 Content analysis and comments provided by:   B.H. Taylor, of Orlando, FL, MA, LMHC, MAC

“This video is a slow, calculating way to get a religious indoctrination message across to children, but an element of bullying is present because of the very negative loaded language used.  A strong grooming message is present:  an unnamed night visitor who takes the child away from his home and helps the child consent to a rejection of some elements that normally define childhood (running, laughing, playing with other children) and things that appeal to a child visually and physically (a nice place to live, a shiny car for the family, a visit to a toy store).

“Bits of truth are interwoven with a plethora of negative words and phrases, some well beyond normal childhood understanding:  shame, sorrow, tears, depraved, wrong, sin, lust, decay, groan, fraud, dark, darkness, dark charm, harm, flaunt, heart alarm, snare.  Identifying childhood play and laughter as a ‘dark’ thing and an ungodly temptation might be especially frightening for a child who may think about doing those things or feel drawn naturally to do those normal things.

“The video has a sinister tone, a threat of torture and destruction — the noise of a crackling fire underscores the burning judgment of the world’s destruction, and is delivered by a hypnotic female voice with a trance-like quality.  A certain sinister effect is obtained by pairing a voice and visuals that might be especially appealing to a child with such an unsettling message:  choose the right way or be destroyed by a crackling fire whose color matches the hair of the ‘man in blue.’

“Being taken through the ‘white door’ by the ‘man in blue’ at the end of the dream seems to obtain for the child a mystical protection from the world outside, the dark, alarming world of toys and play and cars and ‘castles’ and childish thoughts.  It seals the child inside a place without those things, where his mom and dad have made a choice to be.  There is an implied choice for the child:  the world outside or this world with my mom and dad and a way to ‘seek God with my whole heart.’  The smile of the ‘man in blue’ has reassured the child he has made the right choice in rejecting that other world, however painfully.  The video is designed to deliver a sense of loss and rejection to the child.

“A video like this is part of closing down a child’s critical thinking ability and leaving him with a negative view of his future, except as he makes choices pleasing to this mysterious, unnamed ‘man in blue.’  It does not end with assurance of safety, security, or freedom, but with a task of continued seeking of God beyond all the sacrifices already made.

“The use of the verse from 1 Chronicles at the end is particularly revealing of an agenda that is adult-driven and adult-manipulated.  1 Chronicles 28:9 is part of a charge from a real father (King David) to an adult son (Solomon), not to a little child, and the way the passage is quoted leaves the threat of making a single wrong choice by the child result in his being forever rejected by God, one day to suffer being burned unendingly.  Terrifying to the child, the impact of this kind of indoctrination can be a lifetime of anxiety, stress and depression.  Many children raised with this kind of exposure to condemning religious programming are never able as adults to find spiritual release from a psychological bondage to fear and conditional acceptance implanted so early in life.”

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