De Charismatische persoonlijkheid en Glossolalia

Somewhat different conclusions were reached in a psychological and linguistic examination of glossolalia conducted recently by the Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn under the direction of John P. Kildahl, Ph. D., and Paul A. Qualben, M. D., and financed by the National Institute of Mental Health. According to their report, they compared the personalities of certain individuals who spoke in tongues with those who did not. Their purpose was “to determine the relationship between certain personality variables and the practice of speaking in tongues” (p. 5). […] Among the significant findings in their “Final Progress Report” were the following:

1. As far as emotional and mental health is concerned, the two groups were found to be very similar. Neither group was mentally more healthy than the other. However, it was discovered that an individual’s level of maturity did affect the way in which he used glossolalia. The more disturbed use it in a more “bizarre” way, while the maturer person employed it in a more careful manner and made more modest claims concerning its value and effectiveness. (Pp. 25-26)

2. Tongue-speakers are more dependent on authority figures than are nonglossolalists. They have a strong need for guidance “from some external authority” and a strong tendency to lean on “someone more powerful.” Having such authority figures “often brings with it great feelings of peace and relaxation.” (P. 27)

3. Glossolalists invariably initiate their speech in the presence of a benevolent authority figure, in reality or fantasy (p. 15). “They are able to develop a deeply trusting and submissive relationship to the authority figure who introduces them to the practice of glossolalia. Without completely turning oneself over to the leader, one cannot begin to speak in tongues. In psychotherapy this is called a “dependent transference” (pp. 26 f.). This ability to submit oneself to a mentor “is not a function of either mental health or illness”; rather, it is “the same general trait that is called hypnotizability.” (P. 28)

4. The influence of a leader is also apparent in the style and type of glossolalia that is employed by a group. The Kildahl report states: “Where certain prominent tongue speakers had visited, whole groups of glossolalists would speak in his style of speech.” (P. 27)

5. While speaking in tongues, the individual “does not lose contact with his environment and his senses continue to operate during the experience. But there is an apparent lessening of conscious control” (p. 6). Some believe that the movement of their tongues is directly controlled by God. This experience apparently brings with it a feeling of peace, joy, and inner harmony, and in certain cases gives the charismatic a “tremendous feeling of worth and power.” (Pp. 7, 29)

6. Speaking in tongues “is not gibberish. The sounds appear to a non-linguist to have the rhythm and qualities of language.” However, glossolalia as it is practiced today lacks the ordinary features that are characteristic of human speech and is not therefore to be classified among natural languages, either living or dead. (Pp. 5, 16, 25) [7]

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