Missionary Mishap: Sam Shamoun and Reaction Formation

I came across this post on Facebook and immediately cringed because Sam Shamoun was demonstrating a psycho-social phenomenon that is quite easily identifiable. Let’s take a quick look at his post:


Consider his argument:

  • If x says not y, I do y.
  • If Ehrman says don’t use the KJV, I use the KJV

In psychology this is called reaction formation:

Reaction formation is a type of defense mechanism in which a person acts in the exact opposite manner to his own disturbing or socially unacceptable thoughts or emotions. This behavior is often unconscious and appears exaggerated, perhaps in an effort to overcompensate for the embarrassment, guilt or repulsion the person feels regarding his private thoughts.

By using reaction formation, one’s self-identity remains “safe” as the ego is kept in ignorance of the person’s true motives. For example, a highly religious man with lustful urges toward women might react with exaggerated disgust upon seeing a woman in revealing clothes, or he may go into long lectures about modesty. Or a woman who harbors racist feelings may go out of her way to be overly kind to people of another race. Or a man who fears that he is falling in love with his new girlfriend begins to pick fights and lash out at her in anger.

Behavior due to reaction formation is often extremely exaggerated, compulsive and inflexible. These behaviors don’t vary due to changes in emotion as do natural behaviors. For example, a father who feels guilt at resenting his child may go above and beyond to express showy love to the child under all circumstances. These behaviors based on fake emotions are often easy to spot. Therapists often observe reaction formation in patients who claim to strongly believe in something and become vehemently angry at everyone who disagrees.

Does the last line remind you of anyone?

and God knows best.


Categories: Extremism, Christian extremism, Abominations

Tags: , , ,

12 replies

  1. Sam Shamoun posted an article link here criticizing Allah(swt) for asking the angles and Satan to bow down to Adam as a respect to Adams. Even though we have explained to him(Sam Shamoun) that, it is not to worship Adam as God but is just to show respect to him.

    As your article clearly reveals, Sam Shamoun suffers from reaction formation and therefore tries to equate the bowing down to Adam(AS) as “worshiping” Adam, a creature like how we worship Allah, forgetting that Allah did not ask anyone to pray to Adams 5 times a day. Allah did not ask anyone to continue bowing down to Adam at all times like how we do to Allah.

    Sam forgets that, in some cultures today people still bow down to elderly as a sign of respect but not worshiping them and some Muslims do that and there is no problem with that. It is not worshiping anyone and it is not worshiping as God. In English courts and other courts, the judges are addressed your worship, your lordship, my honor etc. by Christians. Are the Christians worshiping the judges?

    I did not respond to Sam Shamoun on that thread because I responded him several times on the issue but the reaction formation prompted me to cite this as an example that fits him(Sam Shamoun).


    Liked by 3 people

    • I think the incident mentioned in your comment is more an example of either intellectual dishonesty or one of severely poor reasoning capabilities.

      It’s either that Sam knows about relational verbs as a language construct and so out of sheer dishonesty refuses to acknowledge the Qur’an’s use of that construct or that he’s genuinely intellectually limited and knows nothing about basic language and exegesis. I think it’s a bit of both, which is why 9/10 of his articles and comments is him just copy pasting the same information over and over again ad nauseum.

      In the case of reaction formation, he actually teaches this as part of his “apologetics classes” on Paltalk. He tells Christians to never answer questions about Christianity, but to attack Islam as a response to questions about Christianity. So in the case of your comment, in order not to discuss his own beliefs which he can’t defend like the concept of man-God praying to himself, he tries to exaggerate Islamic beliefs beyond reason to grant his ego safety.

      I know Sam would read this comment, but he can’t respond to it so he won’t. It’s either he’s too stupid to counter-argue this psychological concept, or knows I’d embarrass him outright.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Intellect:
      spelling issue – just a friendly note:

      “angels” not “angles”

      Angle = the space (usually measured in degrees) between two intersecting lines or surfaces at or close to the point where they meet.
      a particular way of approaching or considering an issue or problem.


  2. Can you come to my paltalk room and embarrass me for all to see how stupid I really am? I promise you I will make you run like you did last time when you were in my room and couldn’t defend your profit. We will see that your psychological analysis is nothing more than a scam, much your like profit’s claims were.

    Make sure to be on today around 11-12 pm EST so I can make you run to your black stone for help as I drain the sewage of Mecca in the process. You can bring the other members of Muhammad’s sewage like Yahya and Yusuf to help me as I drain all of you at Muhammad’s expense. I’ll be waiting. 😉


  3. Sam Shamoun has thrown me out of platalk when i have asked questions about pornogrphy in the bible. why is he scared? Sam keeps barking about paltalk but when we come on paltalk he blocks us. WHY THIS GAME SAM SHAMOUN. I HAVE CHALLENGED TO DEBATE YOU ON PALTALK BUT YOU THREW ME OUT…please come out Sam Shamoun and stop with your lies about paltalk


  4. In the case of reaction formation, he actually teaches this as part of his “apologetics classes” on Paltalk. He tells Christians to never answer questions about Christianity, but to attack Islam as a response to questions about Christianity.

    Really? He says “never answer questions about Christianity” ?

    But I have noticed that he does do that a lot himself, but he also has many articles that do answer questions about the Bible and Christianity, so I am not sure it is “never”.

    “a lot” or “many times” is not the same as “never”.


  5. Most missionaries learn another culture and language and seek to understand where they are coming from, and be patient, and love the people that they are trying to reach.
    They apply the humility of Jesus in Philippians 2:5-8 and cultural sensitivity of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 and eat with sinners and tax-collectors like Jesus did in Luke 5:27-32 / Matthew 9 / Mark 2 and Luke 15:1-2 and following.

    Dr. White demonstrated that good attitude recently rebuking Steve Camp’s attitude.



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