I am concerned over my parents' state of mind?

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My parents have always been very religious individuals. I am not religious, but I feel people should be free to believe whatever they want (so long as it doesn’t harm themselves or others).
However, over the past year on the occasions where I’ve spoken or visited with my parents I have noticed that religion is nearing a delusional level for them.
It all began when they met a fellow who travels around the country preaching. They get on well, and he decided to set up shop around my folks. Since that time my parents have shifted all of their focus onto religion.
Like I said though, this isn’t just someone taking an interest in it. It’s becoming unhealthy, almost cult-like. Any moment of free time they have is spent reading the Bible or religious books, watching religious television shows, or listening to religious lectures on tape. They are spending hundreds of dollars on books and lecture sets.
They’ve fronted the money for this preacher to sell his own lectures on CD’s, and they’re working like a secretary for him (with no pay). It’s near impossible to get through the telephone to their home from Monday to Wednesday because they’re spending hours calling hundreds of people on the preacher’s contact lists.
They’re also doing very odd things, such as my dad constructing an altar on his property. They were telling me about one recording session they had with the preacher where his lapel mic battery died. Because it was a new battery and the recording session was wasted, they’re claiming that was a spiritual attack. Demonic beings killed the battery??
There’s numerous other crazy things they’ve said or done. It just seems like this is growing potentially dangerous for them, mentally and financially. I can’t afford to look after my parents if they throw all their money down the drain because of religion, nor can I afford to look after two mentally unstable individuals.
I’ve already talked to them about this and told them my concerns but they lash out, saying that I’m being used by the demonic to criticize what they’re doing. That you are either on God’s side or “the other” side, and I need to be careful, etc.
Is there anywhere I can contact to get them help with this? They’ve nearly gone bankrupt once before in their lives while pursuing religion. They wont recover a second time, and as I said I can’t afford to handle that situation.

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xo379

Wow, what a tough situation…I’m really sorry.
It’s hard to say…but if I were you, I would focus on this guy. He sounds very strange, and it does sound as if he is creating some sort of cult. Now, this sounds messed up, but…you need to bring him down. Research him; see if he’s done anything bad in the past. See if he’s doing anything illegal right now. Contact newspapers…etc.

MSS

Since you said that it is “almost cult-like”…. Well, this “fellow” seems to be the prob em. The extremist views such as “you are either on God’s side or “the other” side” is a huge problem all over the world. You need to either separate your parents from this guy OR just let it go… Some people make mistakes and be religiously extreme and then later come back to normal. My parents are very liberal open-minded people. But if they turn bad, I would just let it go. Try to inter fear with them may make the problem much much bigger.

Just Thinking

I agree research him and find out what you can, these people usually leave a trail of devastation, you could also look up people who specialise in cults and saving members Im not sure how but an internet search should point you in the right direction…. just because they ahve been sucked in doesnt mean they are mentally unstable, they are probably just an easy target for this charasmatic thief and his lies.
Best wishes and remember you are not responsible for your parents they are responsible for themselves and if the worse case scenario happens made sure you protect yourself and your family.

Lara^mt

how about getting a priest’s help to fix all this and alk to them. they might not listen to you but surely they will listen to the local priest/vicar

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