Soul Survivor – Holy Spirit or Crowd Manipulation?

So I went on holiday recently and thought I’d talk about it! The place I went to was Peterborough for Soul Survivor week B. It’s essentially a field in the middle of nowhere where people go with their churches to pitch up tents and learn about/worship Jesus.

Before you immediately vomit and leave I want to say this: I didn’t go there as a christian, so it was quite interesting to me as an outsider looking in on how it works and how they do the things they do.

I used to be a christian because of these festival type things like these but since learning about crowd manipulation I basically saw how all the things at Soul Survivor could be attributed to actual scientific things instead of god.

Essentially the type of things you can expect to happen are people to be overcome by the holy spirit, collapse from the power of the holy spirit, start crying or laughing uncontrollably due to the holy spirit or healed by the holy spirit. All of these things took place while I was there, however with the knowledge of how to do things like this I was less sure.

For the record I’m unsure, could have been either one in my opinion. Here’s a few things I noticed about the healing that took place when I was there.

First of all Soul Survivor has received complaints of asking people to become Christians in dim lighting while hypnotic music is playing, obviously very manipulative. To their credit they didn’t do that, the lighting was bright and people were sitting down, it was either after worship or a talk that they would do it, they wouldn’t ever do it towards the end when the healing started which I’m happy with. It would be stupid for them if they didn’t create new Christians but I’m glad the conditions for them are so much better.

The next thing that I noticed is that they very obviously want the weird holy spirit things to happen. It was either the first or second day that they preyed for everyone but nothing was happening at all, they kept on praying for an extremely long time before a slight amount happened and it stopped. It was a very long time.

So they are looking for that kind of things but are they forcing them intentionally or unintentionally? Often during these things there tends to be hypnotic music in the background, that was not there. The only sound was a really strong wind, very strong and loud, I didn’t know if it was heating, wind outside or there for manipulation. I don’t know enough about it. There was also a large variety of lights of many different colours and a smoke machine if that means anything to anyone? The wind was constant, extremely consistent and hardly ever stopped.

As well as this there was a very clear set up to how people who had the holy spirit got preyed for. For example it was always after the talk and first worship, the meetings went on for so long that all you were thinking about was God. The message of the talk was often very good at making people emotional, shamed, wanting to change, or hopeful. Many people had seriously strong emotions after these talks and with these emotions there straight after was prayer, people with these intense emotions and feelings would stand up and be prayed for and immediately a swarm of people would flood them creating instant joy and emotion which led to those symptoms e.g uncontrollable laughter, crying and fainting.

From personal experience  of being prayed for in previous years the feeling of many others rushing to pray for you often feels better than the reaction.

A lot of the time the prayer would be highly descriptive and highly personal, feeling special to each individual creating those reactions. The love, people surrounding them and words could just have easily led to those reactions as the holy spirit in my opinion.

I got a 30 day free trial for netflix so that I could watch Derren Brown’s miracle, where he performs the same things you see at healing and Christian events, it was very interesting to see him perform those same healings while saying that God has nothing to do with it. The main difference is that Derren plays extreme music to produce that reaction, uses different language to create the effect and does it on his own and without a crowd. Basically it’s not actually crowd manipulation and just hypnotism so it wasn’t exactly very helpful to finding out what techniques soul survivor might have used.

Maybe the biggest concern that would lead me to think that it’s all fake at soul survivor is the fact that they only asked for physical healings on the last day, it’s always on the last day. Derren Brown made it very clear during his show that you would still need things like their glasses, pills and medication saying that they would go back to the way they were.

By having the physical healings on the last day in the same way it’s possible that the people at Soul Survivor know this, want people to see the healings and then go away saying “this thing happened, wow!” when in reality they will return to how they were the next day.

I can speak from personal experience, I saw one of my friends on crutches run and bend his knees only to become exactly how he was the next day, or even the night after the healing took place!  Then I myself have tricked myself into believing that I have been healed only realising later that it didn’t actually happen.

To give an example you someone might pray for you and say how are you feeling? Better? I might respond 5/10. Then as they keep on continuing and keep on praying your whole focus is switched to the physical part of yourself that they’re praying for and every minor change feels like a healing, due to this change you might increase it. It was only when I was at 10/10 that someone pointed to it and was like “but nothings changed”.

But that’s the thing I know that everything that took place there is by no means proof because of these reasons, in my opinion there is still a chance it could be God, the thing is there was no way for me to know,  I just observed a lot of things happening and thought about it. The thing that I would need to convince me was the exact same things happening in completely different situations.

I want pop music, everyone sitting down, nobody putting their hands on anyone and nobody knowing who is praying for them and nobody knowing who wants to pray and who wants people to pray for them. Then the reactions must be the same and only received by the people who want prayer. There must also be no talk, not emotional/manipulative language and normal room temperature. Heck everyone should be in their own individual compartments  so that people can’t see or know anything. This way it would be proven to be God instead of manipulative language.

If likewise I wanted a test to specifically disprove God I’d want a crowd manipulation expert (someone like Derren Brown) to go to Soul Survivor and say this is fake, or alternatively to prove it say this is real and God is doing this.

Also I did actually pray for someone who had an extreme reaction to the holy spirit. I didn’t believe anything would happen, didn’t even pray, but he collapsed all the same. There was a few things that I noticed there as well.

First of all people faint for four main reasons: Getting up too quickly, feeling too hot, being dehydrated or (I guess maybe) the holy spirit, I guess shock as well.

The guy both got up very quickly, was wearing a thick jumper in a very hot place and hadn’t drank a large amount (probably wasn’t dehydrated though, only slightly) but there was another thing. The more extreme the persons life has been the stronger and more vigorous the reaction actually is. The person who had prayer lived an extremely difficult and troubled life (as a youth leader had told me without going into specifics) so it’s very easy to see how that extreme emotion at the time could cause such a serious effect.

This is hopefully the last thing but often the leaders receive a message from God saying “You’ve always had a difficult relationship with your step mum and just before coming here she said something to you that you just can’t get over. Come to the front and pray if this is you, God wants to meet with you tonight.” and someone always comes. The thing is that the way he says it makes everyone start out thinking “It might be me” literally EVERYONE thinks that before it goes into specifics and is lost on more and more people to a point where if it even matches a little people will want to go up. That’s why theirs often like 10 people or so that go up, why is that? God said that the statement was only for one person so how can there be 10?

It’s things like that which make me suspicious. But I still don’t know which to believe honestly because I may just be wrong and overthinking it.

I really want to hear your perspective on this and opinion because this is really interesting. Also what do you think of these spiritual events in general? Thanks!

2 thoughts on “Soul Survivor – Holy Spirit or Crowd Manipulation?

  1. Feeling overcome, collapsing, laughing/crying uncontrollably…reminds me of weed-smokers. Not that I have anything against religion or Christianity in particular, but things like what you describe are just so unnerving.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hahaha I’m pretty sure they’re not giving you weed without you realising! Yeah I agree, I think a lot of non-believers would have been creeped out in that situation, people are fainting and instead of giving medical help they’re praying! What I will say though is that at the very least they are positive experiences for the people who are doing that, and they look back on them as really amazing things. I promise you it did happen like that on most days, not a huge crowd but specific people doing it, it’s up to you to decide what to do with the knowledge that these kind of things happened after prayer.

      Liked by 1 person

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