Author Topic: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)  (Read 8168 times)

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QuestEon

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The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« on: July 16, 2010, 01:37:46 AM »
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First someone asks “is it a cult?” But then someone else asks “what is a cult?” And then I write some huge article. We all have our roles to play

Read the articles here:

The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
  • Yes, there have always been cults and some weird ones at that. But did you know that modern destructive cults can all trace their beginnings back to the Korean War? Here's a brief history.  Part 2---A little history
  • Has anyone ever tracked an organization in the process of changing people's personalities without their knowledge? I'd thought you'd never ask.   Part 3---Caught in the wild!
  • The biggest misunderstanding most people have about cults is right here---what kind of person would join a destructive cult. A must read.  Part 4---Who are you, Cult Member?


Read the archive of previous comments on Liberating Minds here:  Liberating Minds--The C Word

And please...continue the discussion below!
« Last Edit: February 02, 2012, 01:11:32 AM by QuestEon »
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Silo Bill

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Re: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2012, 05:52:17 PM »
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Hi QuestEon
I have just read with fascination 'part 2 a little history'. I am able to see from the unfreezing to freezing process how this might occur/is occurring in the work place but to a lesser degree than a fully blown 'cult'
One can see it in 'Team Building exercises' where complete strangers are brought together that would not normally inter mix. They are coerced into undertaking interactive processes that in themselves are not harmful but are for the common purpose of bringing all together for the 'good of the business'.
I think the intent is that all staff should conduct themselves in a particular fashion as fits the business.
I have seen some staff come from other companies to ours and believe that the principle of the exercises is to remove the old company from the employee and engage them with the new, your 'unfreeze' and 'freeze' process.
It clearly works for most but some resist as they struggle in coming to terms within  their new regime.
Those that do struggle do indeed suffer some varying degree's of stress.
Mind blowing stuff and almost 'cult like'.
Thanks for the insight QuetsEon.
Rainbow - Light in the Black

Silo Bill

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Re: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 04:04:50 PM »
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I really hope people are taking note of PARTS 1-4 listed above. I have just read part 3. It backs up my comment above about getting the old company out of the employee. Moving towards a single mind set, indeed, the team building exercises are surely aimed at doing just that.
I think we all know it goes on, it's just that we never 'realised' what was going on.
Naturally the aim is to improve the business, yes folks it's all about making money.
Rainbow - Light in the Black

QuestEon

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Re: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 08:38:00 PM »
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I really hope people are taking note of PARTS 1-4 listed above. I have just read part 3. It backs up my comment above about getting the old company out of the employee. Moving towards a single mind set, indeed, the team building exercises are surely aimed at doing just that.
I think we all know it goes on, it's just that we never 'realised' what was going on.
Naturally the aim is to improve the business, yes folks it's all about making money.
Yes, I think it is all about the money and it has been used for decades. For some reason it doesn't seem all that evil to me, partly because--as you say--we all know when a company is trying to force us to drink their kool-aid. And secondly, I don't think it affects us as deeply as someone trying to affect us on a deep spiritual or values level. You know, you have your "work" personality which is a little different than your real personality and you rarely take the work personality home with you.

Having said that, I have seen some types who are so committed to the place they work for it makes me wonder if they aren't cultists!

I'm really glad you liked that series. Of all the articles on the blog, it's the one least specific about FDR and the one I enjoyed researching the most. I had two big surprise learnings as I researched this. The first is that this entire process of thought reform wasn't crafted by master evil psychologists. As the person I quoted in the article says, "there is no evidence that psychologists, psychiatrists, neurophysiologists, or scientists of any sort played any significant role in their planning, development, or execution…There is every reason to believe that they evolved pragmatically, empirically, and to some extent sui generis in response to the military and political needs of the Russian and Chinese governments over the past half-century."

It tended to re-affirm my belief that Molyneux isn't an "evil cult leader." I think if such people exist, they are quite rare. I think cult leaders by their nature are the first and most ardent members of the cult and they fervently want to be good. The thought reform that may or may not occur at FDR and similar groups isn't planned or designed, it has just evolved.

My second big surprise learning inspired Part 4. People who criticize FDR from the outside sometimes write it off as a community that attracts and cultivates weak-minded and weak-willed people. Far from it. It takes an iron will to leave your family at age 18 and pretty strong mind to do it for philosophical reasons.

My theory is that's why people who leave FDR, especially if they were deeply involved, tend to "crash" emotionally. It's because their sense of identity, or a good portion of it, is based on their superior intelligence and they start beating themselves up for "falling" for it all. The truth is they didn't fall for anything. Thought reform can take down anyone.
It isn't about winning the debate. It's about the truth.

Patience

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Re: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2012, 06:13:09 PM »
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My second big surprise learning inspired Part 4. People who criticize FDR from the outside sometimes write it off as a community that attracts and cultivates weak-minded and weak-willed people. Far from it. It takes an iron will to leave your family at age 18 and pretty strong mind to do it for philosophical reasons.

My theory is that's why people who leave FDR, especially if they were deeply involved, tend to "crash" emotionally. It's because their sense of identity, or a good portion of it, is based on their superior intelligence and they start beating themselves up for "falling" for it all. The truth is they didn't fall for anything. Thought reform can take down anyone.
Certainly, my son showed great determination, when he struck out alone at such a young age.  Over the years, despite difficult times, he has managed to stick to his principles and I respect and admire him greatly for his strength of purpose.  But, for his sake, I hope that one day he will reflect on his situation and consider what may be the best choices for him to take next.

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Re: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2012, 08:48:05 PM »
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But, for his sake, I hope that one day he will reflect on his situation and consider what may be the best choices for him to take next.

When I read this, I just hear that you're saying you miss him!

Elucidated

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Re: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 04:29:22 AM »
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Quote
    But, for his sake, I hope that one day he will reflect on his situation and consider what may be the best choices for him to take next.

Quote
When I read this, I just hear that you're saying you miss him!

I hear more than this. I think that Patience you are concerned that the choices he made were not made for the right reasons and were therefore not the best choices for his emotional well being. Maybe its knowing FDR that makes me think this is the case.

Its almost impossible to tell someone they've been 'unduly influenced' because in telling them, you too are trying to influence them, and how can they choose which is 'good' or 'bad' influence?

Elvis_left_the_building

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Re: The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2015, 02:26:54 AM »
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Yeah but since definitions are always true because they are descriptive, your flow chart is no different than any definition you could come up with.

You can sign a contract without knowing the details and yet it is valid. That is not culty. ;) You can make a radical change because of good reasons. Your chart is indifferent to that matter.