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The C Word (How to recognize a destructive cult)

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QuestEon:
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)

* What are cults and what's the difference between cults and destructive cults?  Part 1---Q.E.'s cult identification flowchart
* 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!

Silo Bill:
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.

Silo Bill:
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.

QuestEon:

--- Quote from: Silo Bill on February 09, 2012, 04:04:50 PM ---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.
--- End quote ---
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.

Patience:

--- Quote from: QuestEon on February 09, 2012, 08:38:00 PM ---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.

--- End quote ---
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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