Author Topic: On Defooing  (Read 22705 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Marc Moïni

  • FDR Aware
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Respect: +57
    • marcmoini.com
Re: On Defooing
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2016, 10:47:22 AM »
0
I'll assume for now that you are saying that you believe that 'people with strong healthy emotional bonds to their parents and siblings are extremely unlikely to  cut off from their family
Yes.
I think almost all people would agree with that statement.

Well, I'm not one of them.  :)

I just have a few scattered observations about this thread.

I think what Marc is trying to do is noble. It also seems like he is projecting his own experience onto most other families. That isn't unique, however. Molyneux, Bradford, and others tend to do the same thing. I don't think that's necessary to affect the kind of change Marc would like to make in people's lives. I'm behind his goals 100%, just not his motivating beliefs.

Marc, some of the things you say suggest to me that you look at individuals as blank slates at birth, who can be turned into well-adjusted adults by surrounding them with a healthy, loving family. People are more complicated than that.

In addition, you appear to believe that a well-adjusted individual is always well-adjusted, when in fact they sometimes are and sometimes aren't, depending on their situation. Even the most well-adjusted 18-year-old--living alone for the first time in a dormitory many hundreds of miles away from their family--can be susceptible to undo influence. So can someone going through a divorce. So can a single person during a job transfer. Everybody who is stable can (and does) become unstable once in a while. That's all a cult needs.

This is why cult experts know that it is not about who; it's about when. Trying to figure out the "type of person who is susceptible to cults" has always been a failed enterprise and provides no insight into undue influence and how it works.

If it were down to a type of person, then I would think the age distribution among the maladjusted who seek out cults would be equal. The same percentage of 20-, 40-, 60-year-olds, etc., would be "seeking" and joining cults.

But people do not join cults; they are recruited by cults. Cults seek out and recruit candidates exactly the way Fortune 500 companies do. And they look for them at times of stress, when--no matter how well adjusted they may be--they are vulnerable.

The primo time is at the point of individuation for mid/late adolescents, which is why modern cults began infesting campuses in the '60s. This is the point that Freedomain Radio was designed for as well.

QuestEon, I appreciate your sympathy, and I appreciate that you are providing this forum for discussing these topics I am interested in. :)

I am puzzled by the views you describe, which seem to contradict mine. If I am making mistakes I would like to see them. So I have all these questions for you (and some clarifications afterwards):

If I understand correctly, your main claim is that there are moments in anyone's life when we are vulnerable enough to manipulation that a cult will able to recruit us. And the main window of vulnerability is around the time people get into college, because for most people that's when you think they get isolated from their support network for the first time. Is that right?

Do I understand correctly, that are you convinced that vulnerability to manipulation by cults is a fact of human nature, and overall there is no way of preparing people so they will be immune to this manipulation for the rest of their life?

Do you think our options are limited to denouncing cults and fighting them, as well as maybe watching one another so that if we see someone getting recruited, we can try to intervene and save them?

I'm not sure what you mean by "a type of person", what is it? When I write "people who are suffering from the effects of childhood trauma", do you think of these as a type of person? I'm confused because I think anyone can be traumatized (I'll clarify below) by what gets done to them in their formative years.

What are some of the things you think commonly (I'm not asking about rare medical conditions) do get in the way of someone growing up into a well-adjusted adult even if they are surrounded by a healthy, loving family?

I don't see why it's important to make the distinction you are making between being recruited and joining. I suppose that's because in either case I see the root of the problem in the emotional wounds the candidate is suffering from, which greatly impairs their ability to give or withhold consent. Would you please explain the importance of this distinction?

When you say that cults seek out and recruit people just like Fortune 500 companies do, what exactly are you referring to? I don't understand. 

Are you saying that if it was childhood trauma that mostly made people vulnerable to cults, then people of all ages would enter cults, instead of mostly young adults? I don't understand how that follows.

For my personal interest, I'd like to know what you think are examples of me imagining that other people's family life must have been like mine, when in fact theirs was different in key aspects.


The clarifications:

What I mean by "traumatized": as I understand it, you get traumatized when you think you are in a life-threatening situation that requires immediate action, and you don't find any way of protecting yourself. Maybe you're a baby and you sense your mother is ignoring you, maybe you're 6 and you see yourself losing your family and ending up in the street, maybe you're 15 and you're getting savagely beaten or raped. I think these are things that could happen to anyone, not just some people. Events like these get etched in our brain, and then anytime we detect we might be nearing a similar situation, we get overwhelmed by fear so strong that it might also prevent us from noticing we are afraid. Having emotional wounds like this can be as much of a handicap in various areas of life as having a broken leg is for running, except it's invisible, so you might not even realize you are wounded, and you might end up blaming yourself for not being able to run as well as people who have their two legs (Molyneux might have used this analogy before, I don't know, but I still think it is a valid one).

Yes, I do think that most people can be turned into well-adjusted adults by surrounding them with a healthy, loving family.

And I agree that major life stresses can impact even very self-aware and emotionally well-developed people. But I struggle to see how these stresses could overwhelm them so much that they would lose enough of their intellectual clarity for long enough to get sucked into a cult.
lessons from my journey out of confusion and despair:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEy_JSW_saSvsiG6wFnB8DeYUzT26-bA6

Marc Moïni

  • FDR Aware
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Respect: +57
    • marcmoini.com
Re: On Defooing
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2016, 06:19:48 PM »
0
This is an interview with cult expert Dr. Alexandra Stein where she talks about her experience in a cult and the subject of her thesis about attachment theory.  It had been posted a few years ago on this forum.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/harm-reduction/2012/08/23/trauma-bonding-and-cults

Around 20 minutes in, she says her research attempts to explain how these cult leaders are able to gain so much control over their victims' lives, when the victims are often (like herself) intelligent, functional people capable of critical thinking in other aspects of their lives.

She believes the answer is in the lack of a secure attachment to a caregiver during childhood, and lack of one later in life.  At around 22 minutes, she refers to studies in attachment theory in the 70's which estimate that 60% of the population were lucky enough to have had a secure attachment in childhood, which would suggest that around 40% didn't.

She goes on to talk about how different styles of attachment in childhood affect the brain and thinking patterns.  The result most dangerous to one's survival is dissociation, which disables instincts to run away from danger, the result of a childhood where the source of security and threat were one in the same.

Thanks for the link and for your summary. I find attachment research very interesting, and it makes sense to me that attachment issues can leave someone vulnerable to manipulation, since attachment is such a core part of our mammalian nature.

If you're interested, Stephen Porges talks about the evolutionary changes that underlie attachment. YouTube has a number of interviews with him explaining his Polyvagal Theory. I think his ideas are extremely useful for understanding how people suffering from emotional trauma can soothe themselves and heal (and thus in my opinion, also no longer be vulnerable to cults).

lessons from my journey out of confusion and despair:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEy_JSW_saSvsiG6wFnB8DeYUzT26-bA6

money detonator

  • FDR Wizard
  • *****
  • Posts: 729
  • Respect: +769
Re: On Defooing
« Reply #32 on: August 23, 2016, 09:50:09 AM »
0
If you're interested, Stephen Porges talks about the evolutionary changes that underlie attachment. YouTube has a number of interviews with him explaining his Polyvagal Theory. I think his ideas are extremely useful for understanding how people suffering from emotional trauma can soothe themselves and heal (and thus in my opinion, also no longer be vulnerable to cults).

Thanks, Marc.  I found and listened to some podcasts he did with Dr. Drew and Adam Carolla.  It's an interesting subject, very helpful for understanding addiction and other behaviors.

(unrelated sidenote: Molyneux unsuccessfully tried to troll Carolla a few years ago)
« Last Edit: August 23, 2016, 11:16:06 AM by money detonator »

Rafaman

  • FDR Enlightened
  • ***
  • Posts: 203
  • Respect: +220
Re: On Defooing
« Reply #33 on: August 26, 2016, 08:37:32 AM »
0
I'll assume for now that you are saying that you believe that 'people with strong healthy emotional bonds to their parents and siblings are extremely unlikely to  cut off from their family
Yes.
I think almost all people would agree with that statement.

Well, I'm not one of them.  :)

I just have a few scattered observations about this thread.

I think what Marc is trying to do is noble. It also seems like he is projecting his own experience onto most other families. That isn't unique, however. Molyneux, Bradford, and others tend to do the same thing. I don't think that's necessary to affect the kind of change Marc would like to make in people's lives. I'm behind his goals 100%, just not his motivating beliefs.

Marc, some of the things you say suggest to me that you look at individuals as blank slates at birth, who can be turned into well-adjusted adults by surrounding them with a healthy, loving family. People are more complicated than that.

In addition, you appear to believe that a well-adjusted individual is always well-adjusted, when in fact they sometimes are and sometimes aren't, depending on their situation. Even the most well-adjusted 18-year-old--living alone for the first time in a dormitory many hundreds of miles away from their family--can be susceptible to undo influence. So can someone going through a divorce. So can a single person during a job transfer. Everybody who is stable can (and does) become unstable once in a while. That's all a cult needs.

This is why cult experts know that it is not about who; it's about when. Trying to figure out the "type of person who is susceptible to cults" has always been a failed enterprise and provides no insight into undue influence and how it works.

If it were down to a type of person, then I would think the age distribution among the maladjusted who seek out cults would be equal. The same percentage of 20-, 40-, 60-year-olds, etc., would be "seeking" and joining cults.

But people do not join cults; they are recruited by cults. Cults seek out and recruit candidates exactly the way Fortune 500 companies do. And they look for them at times of stress, when--no matter how well adjusted they may be--they are vulnerable.

The primo time is at the point of individuation for mid/late adolescents, which is why modern cults began infesting campuses in the '60s. This is the point that Freedomain Radio was designed for as well.

QuestEon, I appreciate your sympathy, and I appreciate that you are providing this forum for discussing these topics I am interested in. :)

I am puzzled by the views you describe, which seem to contradict mine. If I am making mistakes I would like to see them. So I have all these questions for you (and some clarifications afterwards):

If I understand correctly, your main claim is that there are moments in anyone's life when we are vulnerable enough to manipulation that a cult will able to recruit us. And the main window of vulnerability is around the time people get into college, because for most people that's when you think they get isolated from their support network for the first time. Is that right?

Do I understand correctly, that are you convinced that vulnerability to manipulation by cults is a fact of human nature, and overall there is no way of preparing people so they will be immune to this manipulation for the rest of their life?

Do you think our options are limited to denouncing cults and fighting them, as well as maybe watching one another so that if we see someone getting recruited, we can try to intervene and save them?

I'm not sure what you mean by "a type of person", what is it? When I write "people who are suffering from the effects of childhood trauma", do you think of these as a type of person? I'm confused because I think anyone can be traumatized (I'll clarify below) by what gets done to them in their formative years.

What are some of the things you think commonly (I'm not asking about rare medical conditions) do get in the way of someone growing up into a well-adjusted adult even if they are surrounded by a healthy, loving family?

I don't see why it's important to make the distinction you are making between being recruited and joining. I suppose that's because in either case I see the root of the problem in the emotional wounds the candidate is suffering from, which greatly impairs their ability to give or withhold consent. Would you please explain the importance of this distinction?

When you say that cults seek out and recruit people just like Fortune 500 companies do, what exactly are you referring to? I don't understand. 

Are you saying that if it was childhood trauma that mostly made people vulnerable to cults, then people of all ages would enter cults, instead of mostly young adults? I don't understand how that follows.

For my personal interest, I'd like to know what you think are examples of me imagining that other people's family life must have been like mine, when in fact theirs was different in key aspects.


The clarifications:

What I mean by "traumatized": as I understand it, you get traumatized when you think you are in a life-threatening situation that requires immediate action, and you don't find any way of protecting yourself. Maybe you're a baby and you sense your mother is ignoring you, maybe you're 6 and you see yourself losing your family and ending up in the street, maybe you're 15 and you're getting savagely beaten or raped. I think these are things that could happen to anyone, not just some people. Events like these get etched in our brain, and then anytime we detect we might be nearing a similar situation, we get overwhelmed by fear so strong that it might also prevent us from noticing we are afraid. Having emotional wounds like this can be as much of a handicap in various areas of life as having a broken leg is for running, except it's invisible, so you might not even realize you are wounded, and you might end up blaming yourself for not being able to run as well as people who have their two legs (Molyneux might have used this analogy before, I don't know, but I still think it is a valid one).

Yes, I do think that most people can be turned into well-adjusted adults by surrounding them with a healthy, loving family.

And I agree that major life stresses can impact even very self-aware and emotionally well-developed people. But I struggle to see how these stresses could overwhelm them so much that they would lose enough of their intellectual clarity for long enough to get sucked into a cult.

Marc I have thought about your post for a few days.

Is this really what you see when you look at the world? Pain and people suffering from internal problems at every turn. Your posts never mention people being satisfied or happy. That's a very dark image.

Marc Moïni

  • FDR Aware
  • **
  • Posts: 73
  • Respect: +57
    • marcmoini.com
Re: On Defooing
« Reply #34 on: August 26, 2016, 10:36:02 AM »
0
Marc I have thought about your post for a few days.

Is this really what you see when you look at the world? Pain and people suffering from internal problems at every turn. Your posts never mention people being satisfied or happy. That's a very dark image.

Rafaman, I'm surprised you are getting this from my posts, since my world view looks very positive to me. For example here is what I wrote earlier in this thread, which does mention being satisfied and happy and excited:

1) These are people who have natural healthy emotional attachment to their parents and siblings, because they grew up receiving enough love and respect and consideration, and enough empathy, and they had many many opportunities to build these strong bonds with the people around them, who were treating them well enough.

2) Because their emotional needs for safety and love and empathy were met often enough, they are generally in touch with their feelings and they don't get overwhelming emotional reactions to normal life situations (which is one of the major indicators of emotional trauma, from what I understand).

3) They were raised around people who modeled for them what healthy relationships look and feel like, thus they generally find it easy to enter into and maintain satisfying relationships, with friends and with romantic partners as well as in their professional life.

4) They are kind and honest people who are self-assured without being arrogant, again because that is what was modeled for them while they were growing up, and in their formative years no one attacked them or betrayed them or abandoned them or neglected them or hurt them so badly that they didn't recover from it.
...
I want a world free from childhood trauma, that’s why I’m passionate about helping people recover from any trauma they might have (starting with my own, and I can now recognize all of I to IV in myself, so I'm hopeful it can be done). I appreciate very much that this forum is a far more receptive place for open discussion of this topic than the FDR board ever was, so I'm hoping we can talk about this here in a productive manner. I also worry that it might be difficult, because it is a topic that can bring up such strong emotions, but I'm excited to do all I can to try!

So I wonder, are you worried about me? Or maybe you're feeling a bit uncomfortable when thinking about the argument I've been making in this thread? (that most likely if someone does "defoo" the root of it is the childhood trauma they received.)

What seems so dark to you about wanting to look at facts and derive an understanding that we can then use to free ourselves from the consequences of childhood trauma, and also help others safeguard themselves from cult-like manipulation?


Separately but related, I just saw this in a reply of yours in another thread:
You have described one of the underlying characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder. Its that fundamental "insecurity" that leads to the creation of this super-ego alpha personality that is omnipotent and above everyone else. Its a classic case of over-compensation to those of us on the outside looking in but it goes much deeper for those with extreme narcissism. The level of entitlement becomes them, they will no longer be victims but will control others around them to regulate their own moods constantly. They see the world as harsh and unforgiving so why can''t they just do the same but they will be the ones to always strike first regardless of the situation.

I agree with you that this is a trait present in people who are diagnosed as narcissists. Does it seem possible to you that the fundamental "insecurity" you mention could be a result of childhood trauma? For example, according to what he says, Molyneux was abandoned by his father at a young age, and his mother not only didn't give him much affection she was also physically and emotionally abusing him. It seems to me that this would be enough to make him believe that he is deeply flawed, creating this insecurity. And then, for some people but maybe not all, the way they find to have enough self-esteem to be able to stay alive is to pretend to be the opposite of what they unconsciously believe they are, they start to think of themselves as better than everyone else.

Anyway, my point is that for the diagnostic of Narcissistic Personality Disorder and most other such diagnoses of psychological disorders or mental illnesses, childhood trauma looks like a plausible root cause. This is just another point to counter your claim that childhood trauma is the exception and not the norm. How does this sound to you?
« Last Edit: August 27, 2016, 11:21:13 AM by Marc Moïni »
lessons from my journey out of confusion and despair:
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLEy_JSW_saSvsiG6wFnB8DeYUzT26-bA6