"laestadian, apostolic, gay, lgbtq, ex-oalc, ex-llc, llc, oalc, bunner" LEARNING TO LIVE FREE: Bullying

Friday, February 19, 2016


Recent comments on an old post are worthy of a new post. How best to prevent bullying? (Please be constructive in your responses, and include a nickname so the thread can be easily followed.)

Image from "Help Prevent Bullying"
"I want this to be a non-religious post. I am a medical provider in Clark County and have had many adult and child patients that have complained about bullying related to their religious differences from the majority in the Yacolt, Amboy area. Generally the story includes bullying related to Apostolic Christians (Bun Heads, Bunners, etc) creating an unbearable environment in school for children that are not of the same religion. Since the stories are so frequent, and span time, it seems like an epidemic. It certainly does not show any qualities of Christ. I've had patients move school districts and finish high school at Clark College because the problem is so bad. I actually have sympathy for the bullies because their families can be so large, that these children are raised by their siblings and not their parents. The result of this isn't always good, acting out is inevitable and Christ-like qualities of love, patience, and kindness are not natural when biologically competing for nurturing to an unavailable parent."
Dear Medical Provider in Clark County:

The youth bullying issue has been discussed on this blog many times, and it's a concern in just about every community in which a single Laestadian group becomes the population majority.

One of the issues, I think, is that when a single Laestadian group becomes more visible, you begin to see its inner workings and the behavior patterns. I grew up as sort of an insider-outsider of a Laestadian environment, and the inner-group bullying and social relational aggression I saw rivaled any high school anywhere. You see this in strict sects such as the Amish. Believe me, being an insider in this group and among the bullied is no picnic. I've seen it with my own eyes of Laestadian children bullied and ostracized by their own group members and as teens they try to drift away, only to be shunned by their families for leaving their religion. It takes a lot of rebuilding to overcome this. I can't imagine what this kind of bullying might manifest itself when the Apostolics become the majority. Most of the time Apostolic kids are in the minority and fill the position in their schools of banding together in a tight pack and not making waves, flying below the radar and waiting out graduation when they tend to get married within a few months to a couple of years.

As an outsider, it must be very difficult to witness. It is even harder to do anything about it. Talking to the fathers of the bullies might be a first step, but many times, this community would see the correction as proof that their community is being persecuted. Or that their child is righteous and above the others as being part of this spiritual elite.

I also suspect that any teacher or administrator who takes on the bullying issues might find themselves in hot water with the local school board, as often the school boards are comprised of the group in majority areas.

What do you think could be some first next steps?"


  1. You said, most of the time apostolic kids are In the minority, an fill the position in their schools by banding together in tight groups and not making waves,flying below the radar.
    I went to school with many apostolic and catholics and kids of other religions, I never felt the need to band together and fly beneath the radar, what does that mean? do you think other so called world lies would pick on the Apostolics? or would the Apostolic band together in tight groups because they were taught that they were special people all of this comes down to false religious pride. Both the bullying and banding together in tight groups and not making waves, unless I don't understand what is being said.......Roy

  2. I think the writer is trying to say that the Apostolic kids, in most instances, are not the school bullies. Most places the Apostolic kids are the minority and they the ones at risk for being bullied. Wny? Try being the only kid in your class who can't go to school dances, and depending upon the sect, may have no frame of reference for popular culture such as film and music. In those localities where they are alone or only one of the few, there is a tendency for them to not make waves or to fly beneath the radar. However, inter-bullying in Laestadian congregations with youth is exceedingly common. When Laestadians get to be the majority, the bullying dynamic becomes more apparent. An outsider doesn't get to witness the inter-community violence, but large enough, and with more power and influence, the Laestadian children can become the bully in the public school. However, move the "problem" bully to a school where he or she is a minority, and you're most likely going to see that youngster become passive. Roy, I don't know how old you are and what community you are from....but you may come from the days where some of the stricter Apostolic factions allowed the youth to play school sports and participate more freely. I was very shocked when going through a high school yearbook that featured a Laestadian from a family we knew well, and finding that his very devout mother had allowed him to play school sports and be part of Homecoming Court where he may have even participated in a dance. This is the same lady who who wouldn't drink water from a wineglass-shaped goblet at a fancy restaurant because she didn't want to give the appearance of sin a couple of decades later. I would assume your school days were before the 1970s? And there is also a tremendous difference between today's kids who are IALC or Federation who are often very active in school sports, plays, and music as compared on a continuum to the FALC, LLC, and OALC which gets more strict as far as allowances go. It can be uncanny in school districts with multiple groups how attracted the Laestadian kids from respective groups are to one another even though they are not related and the families are not associated. They wind up as friends, somehow. Seen it happen many times.

  3. I was in school in the 60s in the Midwest and there were bullies then too, but kids never were bullied because of religious reasons. I just can't imagine kids having to gather in tight groups so as not to make waves and fly beneath the radar, that sounds like a terrible religious upbringing.
    I know that the Laestadian movement has some radical factions,these kind of things may happen in them. I have never been out west, Washington and Oregon,there is so many stories of bad things happening there. I remember a preacher friend from the Alc telling me how many sex abuse cases were being reported out there. I think that just shows that the spirit that rules and splits up the Laestadian movement is not the right spirit.....Roy......or maybe it's something in the water.

  4. Kids are bullied ALL the time for religious reasons...you should be glad that you were not bullied for religious reasons. I had a childhood neighbor friend who I played house with often...she would say, "Let's pretend we're drinking wine when her mom fixed us some kool-ade. As a good little Laestadian, I said, "Oh, no, our family doesn't drink wine because of our religion." I told her about our trips to church and big church weekends. Starting in high school, the girl began bullying me because I was so straight-laced. She was one of 9 kids in a hard-partying family that allowed their children to drink in their rooms in high school. A really close-knit family of Atheists, and it was hard to wrap around the close-knit with the large number of kids and partying that went on. Well, it turns out, the parents had sort of escaped Utah as a young Mormon married couple and ended up in the Upper Midwest, in a locale with the nearest temple hours away where they would be less likely visited by missionaries. In all the years we were friends and I hung at her house and rode the school bus with them, never heard anything about aunts or uncles or cousins, they never had any Utah plates in their driveway, it was just the family they built there. They hung out at the bowling alley and they were very musical. (In fact, both their parents funerals were held at the bowling alley!) In any case, her bullying me was probably just projecting their religious "otherness" onto someone else. I think kids bully kids who are vulnerable in some way or who stand out as different. I don't think it necessarily stands that every child who is religiously different is bullied. Also in terms of technology culture, I would venture to say that the life of a Laestadian child was more like his or her peers in the 1960s than it is today in the new millenium.

  5. The only bullying I witnessed as a kid that was based on religion was when a very popular kid who was Catholic converted to LLC and was kicked out of the home by his father, and it became a thing to call us kids from the LLC group names. Ironically, the one name that sticks out was "Heideman" ..which of course came from one of the other laestadian groups...and was picked up by the other kids. Funny, that, most of us didn't know who the hell "Heideman"was or why we were being called that name. We just new it was a derogatory reference to us. I was also pushed around and threatened with an ass kicking by an older kid when I tried to stand up for myself. It lasted a few months until something else distracted things.

  6. let me guess, you must have been raised in the llc. in the early 70s the heideman church split ,the ones that left and went on their own took the name Laestadian,from the old country. I was raised in Heidamen church, and their favorite sermon was to bash the Michelsons ,this is what I heard a thousand times,"they were once with us, then they departed, so they never were one of us. It's from the Bible in somewhat different different wording, and of course the Laestadian movement picked up on it, and claimed that that verse was talking about the split with the Michelsons , Just like the Bible says something about the spirit resting in the North country, and the Finns claimed, yup that's us reindeer herders' After attacking the Michelsons for all those years, when the split came ,the brand new llc started attacking the Heidemens , I remember thinking, serves you right. I was a young adult then ,and I could see the foolishness of it all, shortly after that I left the church.......Roy

  7. There must have been a very good reason that the church split occurred in the 70s. They wouldn't have torn 100s of families apart and split over just anything. What was the reason? It has greatly affected my family too...Pam

  8. I don't think anyone can or will answer that question; What caused the church split? In the 70s or any of the other church splits that happened in the Laestadian movement. The fact is , if you started to list the reasons, you would be too ashamed to post them, they would'nt amount to anything compared to the suffering that they have caused.
    The main reason for the church splits would be that the preachers are very proud ( sisu heads), and the people are like sheep, they follow blindly and will not read theBible for themselves. Most of the Laestdian movement is ignorant of what the Bible actually teaches. Here is a verse that we need to consider...Proverbs. 13:10..Only by pride cometh contention; but with the "well advised" is wisdom.....Read the Bible and become "well advised".
    I too am a Finn and am proud, so I'm not slamming anyone.....Roy....

  9. Bullies in Laestadianism? Bullying is part of all groups to some extent. That said 50 years ago the Laestadian bullies tended to divide into one of two camps; the worldly ones who sipped some booze on the side, smoked, watched TV etc... and those who were the fanatical religious bullies who held sway in the church. I have seen a few cases where there have been a majority of Laestadians on construction sites who turned on the few non-Laestadians and bullied them about religion but not that often. While I do not deny that there can be bullying going on, the worst bullying I experienced were from my Laestadian relatives as they were all big gossipers and fault finders. Roy, as far as the splits...from what I was told the Mickelson's and the Haedeman's split up due to Haedeman's insistence that he would be the kingpin preacher. In other words he expected all the other speakers to defer to him and his decisions. One person I knew who actually remembered Haedeman related how he would sit up in the pulpit and take his shoes off and pick his feet and no one would dare say anything about it. John Pollari tried to maintain unity with Haedeman without success and my father related to me how he had listened to both men preach and there was virtually no difference between the two. In fact, my father related how they both used to preach together. My father said that at one point, Haedeman veered to the right and he suddenly became more legalistic and demanding off confession and shortly after that the break between the Mickelsons and Haedemans was complete. Pollari et al later divided from the Federation. The Federation, or Mickelson group, seemed to have moved on after the split but I recall that the Haedeman's were very bitter about the matter. So bitter in fact that their anti-Mickelson rhetoric virtually became part of their doctrine. IMO all these splits happened because most of the Laestadian groups did not really have a solid foundation of faith in Christ. When I was born again myself and I received the Spirit I realized that I had been 'blind' all my life spiritually. I tried to tell some of the speakers that the church train was on the wrong track and how salvation was totally dependent on faith in Christ. Well I quickly discovered that I had stepped on the toes of a dragon as my former friends turned on me with vile hatred. I was told that confession of sins was a requirement, legalistic preaching was the only thing that would keep people in line, guilt was good and doubting was better, it just went on and on. It did not take me long to head for the exit door as I realized I was dealing with a bunch of dogmatic hard heads. In short I would guess that 'dogmatic hard heads' across the spectrum of Laestadianism have been responsible for both the bullying and schisms that have taken place throughout the years. I suspect not much has changed since my departure. Old AP

  10. I agree with all you said, that was mostly my experience also, except the story would change depending on what side of the split you ended up in. The root of the problem, at least the way I see it, Is that the Laestadian movement has yet to operate under the New Covenant. Under the law, God gave man some responsibility in order to be in good with God. Man had to bring a sacrifice every time he sinned,or at least once a year, God gave the law knowing that man could not keep it,every person under the 10 commandment law found out that they could not keep it. Therefore God designed the New Covenant in such a way that man has no kind of part in getting saved or staying saved. Well we do have a part, a responsibility , and that is to hear the gospel and believe the gospel ,that's it' just believe.Then God will place His spirit in you,and you will know it, and like you said, you will realize that you have been under false religion ,and you will know for sure there is no such thing as a "right church", but like you said, nobody, at least in the church wants to hear that.I found out in my life that letting go of "church tradition" is a lot harder thenI thought it would be, one more thing, the gospel is not just a phrase that is recited for absolution ,you have to learn what actually was accomplished for us sinners on the Cross, our job is to only believe it, and with the kind of teaching that the Laestadian movement has been teaching, can you do it? just believe what Jesus has provided,it is finished!...Roy

  11. These are all very interesting answers to the bullying question. I remember being bullied by kids at school because I was a Laestadian, but I was also bullied by my fellow Laestadians, and it was probably worse coming from them, since they were supposed to be my dear brothers and sisters in faith. I hadn't thought about bullying being a cause of the "heresies", but it makes perfect sense. Proud, stubborn Finnish preachers, absolutely convinced that they are right and the others are wrong, and no larger church structure or authority in place to keep them in check (like the Catholic Church, for example, for Anselm and Gaunilo). That's an interesting story about Heidemann. I can see that behaviour reflected in some Laestadian preachers I have known. So bullying has contributed to a classic case of "us vs. them" in Laestadianism that has split families and friends. It does make me wonder what the Laestadian movement would be like if the splits hadn't occurred. More mainstream? More radical? Easier to leave, harder to leave? I guess we'll never know, but it's fun to speculate.
    - NotQuiteLeftYet

  12. Roy, your thoughts mirror my own. Per 2 Corinthians 1:22 it says, "Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." This is confirmed in Ephesians 1:14. In other words once we are truly converted God gives us a 'deposit' of the Holy Spirit. In other words, part of God is within us and we begin to blossom as Christ's child. But this is given by God and it can not be obtained through intellectualism, reading a catachism or conscious cleansing via confessing sins to a brother. After being the target of my former friend's guile I realized that they did not & literally could not see the truth as the actual granting of the Spirit was from God. I had received a strong measure of the Spirit and everything was so obvious to me. Yet when trying to share this I ran into a wall of hatred. Thus I realized that the Laestadian Pharisees continued to walk around like programmed zombies telling others legalistic quotes, preaching about guilt, making doctrine out of Laestadius' sermons and stating how sinful and weak we were instead of proclaiming how the truth of God through faith in Christ. My feeling at the time was that I was dealing with a group of people who had come all the way up to the foot of the cross but were still holding onto traditions, introspective beliefs and fear without ever having been willing to put aside or surrender their most innermost beliefs by taking on the ways of Jesus in their stead. With regards to 'NotQuiteLeftyet' musings about what Laestadianism would have been like without the splits....if it had morphed into an evangelical Christian Church they could have become a rather large church group in America. But for the most part they rejected the great commission by Jesus himself to go make disciples out of all nations. I understand that some of the groups have become more evangelical. However, it is interesting to note how they will go evangalize in foreign countries and call them brothers yet look on other Laestadian groups as heretical demons. Old AP

  13. Ahmen to everything you said, my greatest regret is that after all these years,I don't think I have made one bit of difference in my family, they are just as much hardcore LLC and FALC as ever, they just trust the preachers and refuse to dig into the Bible. Apostle Paul had the same problem with the Jews and their traditions. He told them unless you let go some of the old testament traditions, Christ profit you nothing ,and you have fallen from grace. How can you get to Heaven if Christ profit you nothing?.....Roy

  14. Roy, I have talked to other ex-members who have tried to talk with family members and they would have had better luck talking to a brick wall. The 'hardcore LLC and FALC' are the same as the hardcore First Born, Federationists and Pollarites. My experience has been that all of them, 'just trust the preachers and refuse to dig into the Bible', just as you said. IMO I think there is a certain comfort level by deluding oneself that they are in the right group, having narrow social circles and then shutting out any other consideration. It is a case of willfull ignorance giving a person bliss. I suppose it works for some and not for others. But if one leaves, one usually has to do it on their own and that is difficult for most to do. For me I wanted to leave the Laestadian lifestyle which, at least to me, seemed centered on ignorance, blue collar working blues, narrow minded religious zealots, sin, guilt and confession, spiritual quackery, gossiping and hypocracy. Others seem to be oblivious to it all and they seemed to be happy and fit right in. I guess I was just a sore thumb who had too many intellectual questions about the truth. My only regret is that I did not listen to my gut instinct and leave sooner as in retrospect it was all just a waste of time. Old AP

  15. It is true there is a certain feeling of bliss when you are in a group that knows for sure they are special and think themselves fortunate that God is looking kindly at them.
    But like the Jews had to find out after the cross, there is a new way, a new covenant for Jew and gentile, believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. God cannot go back on his word, but He will make sure our focus is on Jesus and his finished work on the cross, otherwise we get nothing but religion, and that's what you have in the Laestadian movement
    When the church say's "believe your sins forgiven in Jesus name and blood", that is the gospel in a capsule.....but the church is wrongly using and understanding it. The name of Jesus is not the 5 letter word Jesus, the name of Jesus is made up of ,who He was and everything that He accomplished for us sinners on the cross. That's what we have to know, when asked to believe our sins forgiven in Jesus name.
    God through the spirit revealed that to me, and shortly after I was able to understand and believe.
    The Apostolic and Laestadians have a lot more comfort in this life then I have had. There is a very tight social circle that makes you feel safe.....Roy

  16. Roy, in Ephesians 1:13 Paul wrote, "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise." Paul basically clarifies the Gospel message with this verse by stating that first we must trust the veracity of the Bible as we must trust the veracity or truthfulness of the Bible in order to believe it in order that we are ready to hear it and not just listen to it. The third step is that we believe it (believing in Jesus) and then fourth upon conversion to the Word, God grants us the Holy Spirit which is a portion or a supernatural deposit of himself within us. Roy, somehow the Laestadians seem to ignore the specifics of this Bible verse and in essence say that 'salvation consists of someone feeling guilty about their sins, then they confess them to a Laestadian from the right group, the Laestadian places their hands on them and pronounces their sins forgiven and then they are a Christian.' Notice the stark differences between what is commonly taught within Laestadianism and that which the Bible actually teaches? Laestadianism teaches a mechanical process to conversion versus the Biblical teaching that a true conversion takes place when one trusts that the Words of Jesus are true and then that the person truly believe it and once they do they have a profound conversion experience as they receive an actual portion of the Holy Spirit whose fruits are love, joy, peace, patience etc (notice how there is no mention of legalistic judgementalism, doubt and guilt when speaking of the fruits of the Spirit). When I was a member I recall a fairly common belief where there were those who said that they did not know whether or not that they had the Holy Spirit! while still others nodded their heads in approval at those who made those statements. Once I was truly converted I realized that these kinds of beliefs are Biblical heresy as it is impossible to have the Holy Spirit and not know it. When the God's Holy Spirit is within a person the Bible is clear that this is a living force that exudes the fruits of the Spirit from within them. Years ago when I was converted, my personal belief was that my fellow Laestadians and former friends seemed to be blinded because the granting of the Holy Spirit is a supernatural event that can only come about through true faith in Christ. In short, when the Laestadian Movement began in the 1800's there were many true conversions but over time the narrow non-Christ centered legalistic teachings of guilt over sin gained control and conversion came to be defined as some one feeling guilt over their sins and then having the church verbally pronounce their sins forgiven and with time the REAL KEY to salvation, which was true faith in Christ and the granting of the Holy Spirit as a deposit of God himself was lost. Instead the 'keys' came to be defined by each Laestadian group as some sort of special power which only they possessed to go and pronounce sins forgiven versus the true meaning which was that the church itself was the body of Christ that carries the Gospel message which is actual key. Roy, you mentioned that Laestadians have, 'a very tight social circle that makes you feel safe.' Tight social circles can actually be a blessing, but from what I recall they also became the strongholds of spiritual bullies who formed cliques that basically ruled by consensus as no one dared take them on. Old AP

  17. You said it all better then I could have. I used to call the Laestadian way of confession and absolution the"horizontal forgiveness machine", it's no different then the Catholics or even mainline Lutherans. If you were a religious Apostolic or Laestadian or catholic or from any other religion, and then understood the true gospel, you surely would know when God seals you and places his spirit within you. If it was'nt for that assurance of salvation that I received I would n't have been able to tell others, the very next day I went to the prea her and asked, where do you get all this stuff that you are preaching?
    It wasn't long after that that I left and it was mutual. You made so many good points that I can't respond to them all. But I feel the Laestadian movement has hope, they know that they are sinners, they just don't understand the New Covenant way, the trouble is, does anybody care, it is very comfortable in the Apostolic and Laestadian "feathered nest".... Roy

  18. Roy, most Christian movements started with evangelical fervor but then they regress into doctrine as time goes on. Examples include Catholicism, Lutherans, Methodists, Episcopals, Presbytarians etc... Franklin Graham for example, recently criticized the Southern Baptist Convention as he had found that many churches in the SBC had made 'music ministry' their primary focus and they no longer had much to say about faith. In other words, it seems like the natural tendency for most churches is to fall back on doctrine once the inital fervor of the movement fades away. Even in the Apostlic time period this seems to have been true also. Hebrews 6:1 states: "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God..." and the writer then goes on to urge the Hebrew listeners to renew their focus on faith in Jesus. So IMO the Laestadians merely regressed into their own peculiar doctrine once the original flames of faith in Christ disappeared after the deaths of Laestadius and John Raatama. Since many of the Laestadians were not far removed from old superstitions, folk religion, stump worship etc... it did not take long for parts of the religious movement to take on old superstitions which underlied their newfound Christian beliefs. So that is why I think so many members came to believe in a harsh and punitive God as well as holding onto voodoo-like ideas, conscience cleansing through confession, fear of death etc.... This might explain why there are still many instances of severe spiritual bullying with the same bullyers having no concept that their actions are totally wrong and un-Christ like. Although the topic of suicide is almost taboo, there have been more than a few suicides within the Laestadian Movement. Having known the origins of several of them, I have to say that cruel spiritual bullying certainly played a part in the person's demise. From my viewpoint their life stories would have been far different if they could have turned to others being surrounded by people who were unsparing in their display of Christian love. Like you I believe there is hope as many in the movement do indeed know that they are sinners. And yes, I agree that they do not understand the New Covenant (New Testament) way as they have not yet received the Comforter as they are still holding onto their doctrines and traditions. The problem is that with their rigid sisu hold on doctrine, many can not seem to grasp that there is a better way that can only be obtained through faith. Old AP

  19. OLD Ap: You have a good understanding and lots of useful information, I know it didn't just in your lap, you had to have some desire to know the things of God, and of course the Spirit is ready to oblidge.
    The Bible say's in Gal.....Before faith came, we were kept under a schoolmaster" the law". But after faith is come, we are no longer under the schoolmaster"the law", my question to you and others is, what was the triggering moment, in your Apostolic Lutheran Laestadian life, that brought you from practicing a law filled religion, into faith alone in Christ, there must have been a incident...My moment was when a man asked me, what is the name of Jesus? I remember thinking, what kind of question is that? He knew more then I did. I hope the moderator allows a little change in topic.

  20. Roy, the 'forgiveness of sins' or confession and absolution amongst Laestadian members has been used repeatedly to paper over criminal conduct. I know of several young gals for example who were raped as children by teenage church boys. Yet some years later the boys decided to cleanse their conscience with the girls and the girls felt obligated to pronounce forgiveness yet the girls never had recovered emotionally from the event and they never did. Both of them remained deeply disturbed into adulthood by the event yet since 'forgiveness' had been asked for they could never deal with what had actually happened. It is basically akin to a person robbing a bank and then the next day asking for forgiveness and expecting to get off scott free. Try that line of defense when robbing a bank in Battleground, WA and see how much mercy the police would have. A lot of religious cults have had stories come to the surface of horrid abuses. I suspect that there are scores of untold stories about physical and spiritual abuse amongst the various Laestadian groups. Old AP

  21. Roy, my 'moment' came after a period of time where I had been thinking honestly to myself that I had never had been a real Christian as all the prescribed things like confession, being legalistic, listening to the minister's sermons etc... had failed me. It was then that it was as though God had placed a real Christian in my pathway who used the Bible and specific verses to expound on how we are saved through faith in Christ alone. It was not until then that I was truly converted and received the Spirit of God. Interestingly enough, the man who led me to Christ was himself disliked by the Phariees as he was too 'faith minded' and liberal for their tastes. The Word of faith was like a chelating agent which was used to detoxify me of all the spiritual poison that had been fed to me. So Roy, my moment came when I was actually honest with myself and I realized I was a fraud. Old AP

  22. A fraud? After all those years of jumping through Laestadian hoops,and all the work of confession and absolution you ended up lacking. Of course you did, it does'nt get you saved. But here is a good verse for everyone...ROM 4 something..But to that person that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the UNGODLY, his faith is counted for Righteousness....then you get the Spirit and you know it........Roy

  23. I read through this thread on bullying and it struck me that I had just used bullying as a reference to religious injustices. I posted the following on another blog in response to someone's inquiry: "u still havnt gave a good reason for making these blogs against this church?", and I thought it fits here as well. Keep in mind, a huge motivator in bullying is fear, insecurity or superiority. And bullying certainly is not limited to school age people! After all, where do these kids learn it is acceptable to bully another person?
    This is my own opinion, so please allow me to keep it as mine and do not think that it is the view of everyone or anyone else.
    Anytime we feel an injustice toward a persons body, mind or spirit, we feel compelled to shout it out. Think about the bloodshed throughout Biblical history, the Slave Movement, The Holocaust, all wars the world over, disease epidemics, bombings, school shootings... right down to individual bullying within our family. We do not and should not give the message that it is okay. In most cases, it is easier to do nothing than to do the right thing. But, as Gordon A. Eadie said, "If they don’t stand for something, they will fall for anything."
    Non of the above mentioned atrocities were keep in the quiet and things are being learned and exposed about them every year. Has it helped humankind to have knowledge about these tragedies? Absolutely! Has it stopped them from happening again and again? Absolutely not! (Another very debatable topic.) The point is, is that humans WANT to and NEED to know about human frailty and how it affects our lives. It is knowledge that gives us power to change things in our lives. When we find other like-minded people, we gather strength from them to forge ahead through tough terrain.
    So I believe that in the human mind lives a desire for the unjust to be exposed so that hurt is avoided in the future. Any caring, empathetic person would never want someone else to suffer the hurt they themselves have endured, and they will go to great lengths to help people avoid it!
    I think THAT is why people feel the need to post about their own personal experiences.
    The problem lies not in what they are saying but what we PERCEIVE IS THEIR MEANING of what they are saying.
    Again, this is my own opinion.