Jump to content
Fábio Silva

How Religious Persecution Almost Ended My Life

Recommended Posts

Note: English is not my native language, please let me know about grammar, and typo so that I can edit the post, and everyone can better understand what I’m trying to say.
Note 2: I thought a lot before creating this post. But an important person for me committed suicide today, and I decided to talk.

I don't know how relevant this may be, as some people may have depression or live with others that have some mental disorder, but I've waited five years to write something like that.

I won't go into the details, because this post will already be long enough and may compromise some people's privacy, but in 2014 an influential person in a Christian religion accused me of occult practice, based on social networking photos of me reading and get together with people for something related to "Cthulhu." In quick research, the person saw that "Cthulhu" is a cosmic entity worshiped by cultists who perform rituals and sacrifices to them. He forgot the part where it's just fiction and accused me of occult practice. I live in a country town and the people here are Christians. My wife and I are Christians.

I lost my job, and some people walked away from me, but there was always someone on the prowl trying to prove that I practiced some occult. Out of a job, I devoted myself entirely to producing RPG content in Brazil and in English (for Fate Core, DCC RPG, and SS&SS) to pay the bills and bought food while trying a new job that never came. Some close friends and some publishers from Brazil know how many times I had to ask for money and advance to meet basic needs (buying food, for example). What hurt most was that I had dependents (my wife and some cats). I had depression and carried it with me until it began to affect my work with RPG production as the pressure of being watched continued.

So to take their eyes off of my adult role-playing work, I created a children's role-playing game called Gatos Espaciais (Space Cats). I did it because I had no money left to care for my kittens (and I would NEVER abandon them) and I would use the money to care for my animals and donations to NGOs. Also, I did it because it is a child theme, and the religious persecution cloud diminishes. These are the links do the projects:

Gatos Espaciais (first crowdfunding): https://www.catarse.me/gatosespaciais
Gatos Espaciais (second crowdfunding): https://www.catarse.me/gatosespaciaisnovo
Gatos Espaciais (third crowdfunding and printed edition): https://www.catarse.me/gatosjogo
Space Cats (I tried to release the English edition): https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/space-cats-children-s-role-playing-game/
This is my Instagram account where I post my art and talk about my life as a freelancer: https://www.instagram.com/imfabiosilva/

Then I started having panic attacks. I changed my phone number, created a pseudonym and new email almost every time I had a crisis, thinking someone was stalking me and would accuse me again in an attempt to ruin my life. I have eight facebook accounts, four Twitter accounts, six Instagram accounts, and sixteen emails. Throughout these five years, I have had numerous phone chips with different numbers. I did it because I'm a fan of Allan Poe, Lovecraft, and Call of Cthulhu. I wanted to continue to brainstorm, play online and set up my weekly tables with the few people I knew I could trust my life with. This has strengthened my friendship with influential people in RPG in Brazil, but also abroad.

It was five years of fighting depression, panic, and despair until I lost everything that I built for 14 years — my marriage. Things like this make you irrational. And it's at a time like this that if you don't have the right people around you, you do something irreversible. Sometimes it is not because you are suffering over the years that you make a terrible decision such as suicide. Sometimes it's because of those 10 seconds you saw or heard something that put you down.

Today the sister of a friend committed suicide, perhaps not only because she suffered over the years, but because she didn't have what she needed to hold on for another 10 seconds before making the decision. Maybe a little action would be enough. Another five seconds and perhaps she had given up and stayed alive.

With all this, I saw that everything needs its time. There is a time for war and a time for peace. I went through a war that lasted five years, I still fight, but today it is calm down. I lost a lot of things in this war, but I won it too. I have lost friendships and the trust of many people, including relatives, friends, and customers, and I know I won't have them back. I lost my marriage — but my ex-wife and I are great friends. But I gained new friends and new customers as well. A new life. It was enough for me to hold another 10 seconds and want to continue.

I had a chance to go to a big RPG event here in Brazil and talked a lot about Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu with a lot of people. I made many friends at the event. I made many friends on the internet, in social networking groups. I met the amazing people from Brazilian RPG youtube channels, blogs, and sites, and we kept in touch over the net. I met about two dozen other people, and we talked a lot about RPG. They are all amazing. The release of Call of Cthulhu 7th in Brazil has strengthened my friendship with many other ones.

I never had anything original from Call of Cthulhu because of this whole situation. I didn't want to risk anyone seeing my books and having to sell them (or burn them) in an emergency (I had to do this three times with some of my role-playing books). I also had no money, as I have no job (Brazil is a problematic country in this manner). I always bought the PDFs and printed them in my own home.

This slipcase on photos was produced by Chaosium exclusively for the 7th edition Kickstarter. Only those who supported the Kickstarter in 2013 received it. It’s no longer sold. Some friends helped me get a sealed copy. These are my first original printed CoC books. The first of many, I hope. Chaosium is amazing.

Today I want to extend my writing work to CoC as well. I want to write scenarios for the Miskatonic Repository. I want to do some illustrations too (although I am a child artist hahaha). And I will do.

I have lost many things over the years in this war. But I won too. And I still win. It was worth not giving up. If you have thought of giving up, don't do it. Give life another chance. If you know someone who wants to give up, don't let that happen.

There is a time for peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-13 at 16.18.48(1).jpeg

 

Edited by Fábio Silva
  • Like 7
  • Thanks 1
  • Sad 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sir, I am a Christian too, and those so called Christians are anything but. YWHW calls those who follow him to love, forgive, and never judge others. Those people are worse than cultists, they tried to play god. I can't stand people like that.

Aside from that, this story is inspiring and you have strengthened my faith today. I am glad you chose life and encourage others to do the same. I'm also deeply sorry for what you had to go through. Hopefully you will never see that kind of bulls**t in this community. It's crazy that atheists on this site embody Christ's ideals more than most Christians do...

Thank you for sharing. You rock! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Fábio Silva said:

Note: English is not my native language, please let me know about grammar, and typo so that I can edit the post, and everyone can better understand what I’m trying to say.
Note 2: I thought a lot before creating this post. But an important person for me committed suicide today, and I decided to talk.

I don't know how relevant this may be, as some people may have depression or live with others that have some mental disorder, but I've waited five years to write something like that.

I won't go into the details, because this post will already be long enough and may compromise some people's privacy, but in 2014 an influential person in a Christian religion accused me of occult practice, based on social networking photos of me reading and get together with people for something related to "Cthulhu." In quick research, the person saw that "Cthulhu" is a cosmic entity worshiped by cultists who perform rituals and sacrifices to them. He forgot the part where it's just fiction and accused me of occult practice. I live in a country town and the people here are Christians. My wife and I are Christians.

I lost my job, and some people walked away from me, but there was always someone on the prowl trying to prove that I practiced some occult. Out of a job, I devoted myself entirely to producing RPG content in Brazil and in English (for Fate Core, DCC RPG, and SS&SS) to pay the bills and bought food while trying a new job that never came. Some close friends and some publishers from Brazil know how many times I had to ask for money and advance to meet basic needs (buying food, for example). What hurt most was that I had dependents (my wife and some cats). I had depression and carried it with me until it began to affect my work with RPG production as the pressure of being watched continued.

So to take their eyes off of my adult role-playing work, I created a children's role-playing game called Gatos Espaciais (Space Cats). I did it because I had no money left to care for my kittens (and I would NEVER abandon them) and I would use the money to care for my animals and donations to NGOs. Also, I did it because it is a child theme, and the religious persecution cloud diminishes. These are the links do the projects:

Gatos Espaciais (first crowdfunding): https://www.catarse.me/gatosespaciais
Gatos Espaciais (second crowdfunding): https://www.catarse.me/gatosespaciaisnovo
Gatos Espaciais (third crowdfunding and printed edition): https://www.catarse.me/gatosjogo
Space Cats (I tried to release the English edition): https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/space-cats-children-s-role-playing-game/
This is my Instagram account where I post my art and talk about my life as a freelancer: https://www.instagram.com/imfabiosilva/

Then I started having panic attacks. I changed my phone number, created a pseudonym and new email almost every time I had a crisis, thinking someone was stalking me and would accuse me again in an attempt to ruin my life. I have eight facebook accounts, four Twitter accounts, six Instagram accounts, and sixteen emails. Throughout these five years, I have had numerous phone chips with different numbers. I did it because I'm a fan of Allan Poe, Lovecraft, and Call of Cthulhu. I wanted to continue to brainstorm, play online and set up my weekly tables with the few people I knew I could trust my life with. This has strengthened my friendship with influential people in RPG in Brazil, but also abroad.

It was five years of fighting depression, panic, and despair until I lost everything that I built for 14 years — my marriage. Things like this make you irrational. And it's at a time like this that if you don't have the right people around you, you do something irreversible. Sometimes it is not because you are suffering over the years that you make a terrible decision such as suicide. Sometimes it's because of those 10 seconds you saw or heard something that put you down.

Today the sister of a friend committed suicide, perhaps not only because she suffered over the years, but because she didn't have what she needed to hold on for another 10 seconds before making the decision. Maybe a little action would be enough. Another five seconds and perhaps she had given up and stayed alive.

With all this, I saw that everything needs its time. There is a time for war and a time for peace. I went through a war that lasted five years, I still fight, but today it is calm down. I lost a lot of things in this war, but I won it too. I have lost friendships and the trust of many people, including relatives, friends, and customers, and I know I won't have them back. I lost my marriage — but my ex-wife and I are great friends. But I gained new friends and new customers as well. A new life. It was enough for me to hold another 10 seconds and want to continue.

I had a chance to go to a big RPG event here in Brazil and talked a lot about Lovecraft and Call of Cthulhu with a lot of people. I made many friends at the event. I made many friends on the internet, in social networking groups. I met the amazing people from Brazilian RPG youtube channels, blogs, and sites, and we kept in touch over the net. I met about two dozen other people, and we talked a lot about RPG. They are all amazing. The release of Call of Cthulhu 7th in Brazil has strengthened my friendship with many other ones.

I never had anything original from Call of Cthulhu because of this whole situation. I didn't want to risk anyone seeing my books and having to sell them (or burn them) in an emergency (I had to do this three times with some of my role-playing books). I also had no money, as I have no job (Brazil is a problematic country in this manner). I always bought the PDFs and printed them in my own home.

This slipcase on photos was produced by Chaosium exclusively for the 7th edition Kickstarter. Only those who supported the Kickstarter in 2013 received it. It’s no longer sold. Some friends helped me get a sealed copy. These are my first original printed CoC books. The first of many, I hope. Chaosium is amazing.

Today I want to extend my writing work to CoC as well. I want to write scenarios for the Miskatonic Repository. I want to do some illustrations too (although I am a child artist hahaha). And I will do.

I have lost many things over the years in this war. But I won too. And I still win. It was worth not giving up. If you have thought of giving up, don't do it. Give life another chance. If you know someone who wants to give up, don't let that happen.

There is a time for peace.

 

 

 

 

 

 

WhatsApp Image 2019-09-13 at 16.18.48(1).jpeg

 

I will say a prayer for you. In the meanwhile lean into God as he can get you through anything.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As an atheist, I think all religious people are basically cultists, and one step away from lethal fanaticism on any day of the week, and history and current affairs both provide evidence that backs this opinion up overwhelmingly. 

As Voltaire says:

"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

You are not the first victim of Christians and their irrational hatred of RPGs, and I fear you will not be the last.  Actually thinking things through is exactly the opposite of what religions based on faith promote, as if they had members who weren't being praised for their gullibility and desire to conform and promote group-think  and mob-mentality, there wouldn't be any members left. 

I have always felt that the very best answer to this sort of attack is to sue the preachers and the churches involved for defamation, reckless endangerment, and hate-speech.  If a lawyer would still accept (statutes of limitations may apply)  your case pro-bono I encourage you to look into seeking damages.  Most preachers are really about feeling powerful and attacking vulnerable minorities, and getting rich off the gullible, so attack their primary motivations.  They may pretend to speak for a deity, but that doesn't give them the right to do what they did to you.

Edited by Darius West
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the words, guys. Things have been more comfortable now, after the divorce, as I also moved away from religious activities. Although I still live in the same city, my work as a child illustrator and freelancer made me lose touch with 90% of these people. I have some friends with whom I play Call of Cthulhu, D&D 5e, DCC RPG, and Fate Core. I created a new routine, where I focus on work and have been fine. These days I am focusing on producing scenarios for CoC 7th and should start publishing soon. Thanks for the words and for reading my story.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Oh yeah, and may God preserve us from fanatic evangelical atheists 😇

Speaking as an atheist I find that the "fanatical" atheists ( I'm looking at you Richard Dawkins ) can be very tedious and annoying. It's no use shouting at religious people or condescendingly explaining how science contradicts their faith since their very belief system IS faith. It overrides any other logic or scientific principal in their world.

As long as a religion isn't encouraging the demonisation or denigration of other persons or groups  ( which, sadly, a lot of them do ) or exploiting their congregation ( money-grubbing TV evangelists ) I don't really care one way or the other.

I'm glad you are in a better place now Fábio. As you say, suicide is a very permanent solution to a problem that may or may not be insurmountable, but seems very attractive when stuck in the depths of despair. You must have great strength of character to survive what happened to you.

To anyone contemplating suicide - hold on for one more hour and phone for advice immediately to any national suicide hotline that operates in your country. You can always kill yourself next month if things don't work out ( sort of joking but think about the logic -> don't kill yourself now -> try some help first and then see how your situation is a bit later on ).

Edited by groovyclam
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Darius West said:

As an atheist, I think all religious people are basically cultists, and one step away from lethal fanaticism on any day of the week, and history and current affairs both provide evidence that backs this opinion up overwhelmingly. 

This demonstrates a very poor understanding of how people work

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Fábio Silva said:

Thanks for the words, guys. Things have been more comfortable now, after the divorce, as I also moved away from religious activities. Although I still live in the same city, my work as a child illustrator and freelancer made me lose touch with 90% of these people. I have some friends with whom I play Call of Cthulhu, D&D 5e, DCC RPG, and Fate Core. I created a new routine, where I focus on work and have been fine. These days I am focusing on producing scenarios for CoC 7th and should start publishing soon. Thanks for the words and for reading my story.

I'm sorry for the things you suffered. There's so much ignorance, and it's so much about misusing tools to manipulate people. You can talk about religion, or the media, or whatever: someone always suffers. I'm glad you still are here to game and write with us!

Also, not all of us religious folk suck. I'm a Muslim woman and I game with Jews and pagans all the time. (And nontheists! I don't know personally any Christians that game because that's not my circle but they exist; my mom is an Episcopalian and she is lovely and my dad the Catholic bought me my first roleplaying game: the famous original Red Box from the early 1980s.)

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Qizilbashwoman said:

This demonstrates a very poor understanding of how people work

Try being an atheist some day. Consider your actions.  You do realise that atheists are murdered for "apostacy" with alarming frequency in Muslim countries I hope.  So too in the west, I see the separation of Church and state continuously eroded by religious fanatics who forget that they don't have a monopoly on the truth, and yet claim to speak for a god, while not even understanding the basic science that a real god would have to know.

Edited by Darius West

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Darius West said:

You do realise that atheists are murdered for "apostacy" with alarming frequency in Muslim countries I hope.

Bro do not in these United States talk to me about how atheists are oppressed

Do not

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Darius West said:

Try being an atheist some day. Consider your actions.  You do realise that atheists are murdered for "apostacy" with alarming frequency in Muslim countries I hope.  So too in the west, I see the separation of Church and state continuously eroded by religious fanatics who forget that they don't have a monopoly on the truth, and yet claim to speak for a god, while not even understanding the basic science that a real god would have to know.

I completely understand. The current state of the world is screwed up pretty bad. However, separation of church and state is a invasion of the right to "free speech" and was never part of the constitution...

My philosophy? Let people live as they want, if it doesn't effect me, I don't care. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Dethstrok9 said:

However, separation of church and state is a invasion of the right to "free speech" and was never part of the constitution...

Well, actually, separation of church and state is part of the constitution, and not an invasion of free speech. What SoCaS means is that the government cannot use its powers to enfore, promote, or create a single religion as a "state" religion. This doesn't prevent religious people from holding office, nor from privately practicing or supporting their chosen faith, but it prevents the establishment by the government of the types of religious institutions many early colonists fled from, such as the government-controlled Anglican or the government-controlling Catholic churches, which tried to prevent them from practicing their own.

Edited by Richard S.
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This debate over religion is getting quite off topic for the original purpose of this thread I think.

@Fábio Silva I'm terribly sorry for everything that's happened and that you've been through. You are an incredible person to have stuck it through this far, and, while there's no way I can empathize with your situation, you have my deepest condolences and prayers. I hope things never get this bad for you in the future, and I hope that the people you meet are never so willing to turn against you again.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

They aren't scientific either since they have no way of testing their atheistic hypothesis

That shows a lack of understanding of scientific principles. Science is about what is most likely to be true ( and, if a scientific proof is verified, what is true ).

According to science, any currently inexplicable natural phenomena are extremely unlikely to have been caused by an outside sentient force ( i.e. a god ). Science would say there is a non-theistic reason behind any currently inexplicable natural phenomena and that reason just hasn't been discovered yet ( because that is how all science has behaved/progressed over the course of time ).

It's a waste of time to a scientist to pursue a proof of what is least likely to be true.

Personally I go with Epicurus:

Quote

The Greek philosopher Epicurus (342-271 BCE) claimed that the existence of God proved there is no God.

He claimed that if God cannot stop evil then he is not all-powerful (omnipotent).

He then argued that if God can prevent evil but does not, then God is not good.

He linked these two points together, claiming that if God is all-powerful and good, then evil would not exist.

Finally, human experience is that evil does exist. Therefore Epicurus concluded that God must not exist.

That leaves you with God EITHER (a) is not omnipotent OR (b) is not good OR (c) doesn't exist.

I choose (c).

Edited by groovyclam
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can we maybe not re-litigate religion in this thread? There are shitty believers and shitty atheists. Please don't turn this into an argument trying to prove or disprove god. It's not appropriate and Greg Stafford and his best nonhuman friend, a spider the size of a Volkswagen Beetle, would be sorely disappointed in you.*

*This is not a joke Arachne Solara and Firewitch was modeled on his personal experiences

Edited by Qizilbashwoman
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, groovyclam said:

That shows a lack of understanding of scientific principles. Science is about what is most likely to be true ( and, if a scientific proof is verified, what is true ).

According to science, any currently inexplicable natural phenomena are extremely unlikely to have been caused by an outside sentient force ( i.e. a god ). Science would say there is a non-theistic reason behind any currently inexplicable natural phenomena and that reason just hasn't been discovered yet ( because that is how all science has behaved/progressed over the course of time ).

It's a waste of time to a scientist to pursue a proof of that is least likely to be true.

Personally I go with Epicurus:

That leaves you with God EITHER (a) is not omnipotent OR (b) is not good OR (c) doesn't exist.

I choose (c).

Yep, that is your choice, precisely.  To assert that it is therefore true is sloppy science. Anyway, I bow to the Qizilbashwoman. Unfortunately I cannot find a rolled up newspaper sufficient to swat a VW. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To nudge that in more productive (and topical) direction, if at all possible....

If one is atheist in Glorantha, or not following their clan's cult... as maybe many PC did other the years.. I betcha that wouldn't go so well...

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

Yep, that is your choice, precisely.

Exactly - it's MY choice - I didn't tell anyone else what to believe or not believe, so everyone cool your jets.

2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

To assert that it is therefore true is sloppy science

It's not science at all. It's philosophy. All the traditional/historical proofs of the existence or non-existence of god stem from philosophy not science.

To reiterate - I was saying what I believe in and why - I didn't tell anyone else on this thread what they should believe.

Edited by groovyclam

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, groovyclam said:

Exactly - it's MY choice - I didn't tell anyone else what to believe or not believe, so everyone cool your jets.

It's not science at all. It's philosophy. All the traditional/historical proofs of the existence or non-existence of god stem from philosophy not science.

To reiterate - I was saying what I believe in and why - I didn't tell anyone else on this thread what they should believe.

So be calm, and heed Qizilbashwoman's wise counsel.  As I said, I bow in her direction so I shall not otherwise respond. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People don't need religion to be a group of violent thugs, plenty of atrocities in the 20th century were committed by groups of fanatical atheists, such as the Khmer Rouge, the Bolsheviks, Mao's Chinese revolution, etc. 

My advice, vote with your feet. Its a big world, there is no need for an educated person to put up with ongoing threats to their life.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...