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  1. for more on link wray... http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5024749 i heard it broadcast while returning from the grocery store (i'm an npr junkie) - and it was a great story.
  2. Happy Day Pawtucket! I'm really REALLY glad you were born, and I celebrate the day!!! HOpe your celebration is a GREAT one! Love ya!
  3. ok - got the ted green cd in the mail today, and it's great stuff! thanks for the recommendation!
  4. well shoot! biking down to duck, nc, in mid may...if you're still drinking beer then...lemme know!
  5. yeah huh! get a motorcycle, and we'll wander together...I'm putting pins in the map of gs'ers who will give me couch for a night...here there, and everywhere! vroom :)-->
  6. awww grandma! i'm so happy for you! i have goosebumps! i really loved reading about your experiences regarding such a special time. and now.... it's payback time, eh? hee hee
  7. Oenophile, About the paper… My proposal was to conduct research into: “What role does cultic narrative play as a rhetorical strategy to create a social reality in which followers are persuaded to succumb to things they would ordinarily avoid or even lead to the group-think mentality that ultimately results in mass suicide – as in the case of the Rev. Jim Jones group or the Solar Temple cult?” I don’t for a minute think there is one answer to the question, but I had to narrow down the research to a communication topic – this is not a sociology or psychology course I’m taking. Below are two excerpts from juried journals which I used to support my idea regarding convergence in cults leading to groupthink This general theory assumes that “human beings are social storytellers who share fantasies and thus build group consciousnesses and create social realities.” (Bormann 1985). Bormann, Ernest G., (1972) Fantasy and rhetorical vision: The rhetorical criticism of social reality, Quarterly Journal of Speech, 58, 396-408. "Equally important in Durkheim’s method is his hypothesis that social states of mind and morality are qualitatively different from individual ones—that group or society is not merely a summation of meanings or beliefs of individuals, but a new reality produced through combination and community interaction. Collective society is therefore a reality exterior to the individual but exercising coercive effect upon him, and this social influence exerts an effect most profoundly in the moral sphere, as evidenced by the sometimes striking difference between publicly professed ethics and behavior as actually practiced." Funk, Alfred A. (1974) A Durkheimian analysis of the event at Masada, Speech Monographs, 41, 339-347. What happed at Masada was 964 or so Jews committed mass suicide.
  8. The way Bormann uses the term “fantasy” is not as “imagination, fancy or product of imagination: illusion” but more as a shared narrative/story. Something the group all has heard a million times, and shares…such as the snow on the gas pumps, or the man with the withered hand, or the fire engine red curtains, or the woman with the fear in her heart that ultimately led to her son’s demise…perhaps? Maybe it could also include the themes we were privy to such as the proliferation of devil spirits running rampant in people’s minds. So, I think people in the way did share “fantasies.” More thought on this would probably reveal even more fantasies – and probably ones that caused or at least contributed to the shared twi social reality to be revealed more clearly as a product of these shared fantasies? I dunno…thus the research.
  9. I’m going for my masters in communication arts at the same school from which I got my undergraduate degree. The course was called Communication Research, and really had nothing to do with cults. It is just the second course in the program, the first one was communication theory, which is where I first got interested in the Symbolic Convergence Theory (see Bormann, Ernest) – especially in light of cult/Way Brain. The assignment was to put together a Research Proposal. It could have been about anything, but I find it easier to write about things that personally interest me. Within the proposal, I had to state the method(s) of research I would use, and part of what I listed was participant observation, which freaked me out. Can you imagine attending twig again? Shudder to think!
  10. I think being a "seeker" has a lot to do with it.
  11. I want to thank those of you who helped me - some probably without knowing it. 1) Paw - thanks for having this site, and for doing all the work that is involved in maintaining it. By the way, the blue plate special is GREAT! but the coffee...? 2) Those five or six of you who actually took time out to answer the survey - I really appreciate it! I used it in my research proposal (no names, just tabulations). I presented it as a "test survey" to serve to help hone a future survey. I think that really impressed the professor! :)--> 3) Those of you, My3Cents especially, who helped me by just responding and helping me make a cohesive theme to my paper. "Talking" and bouncing ideas off of you all was more helpful than you'll ever know. 4) Karl for putting his book together - I got some stats from it about TWI that I included in the paper. 5) Paw again - who put the links to other articles on the site. Used some of those too. Who knows...I may just do this research someday. For right now, it was an assignment: To prepare a research proposal in the field of communication. The professor actually said, "I enjoyed reading it" and "novel idea." Go me! and, go you - thanks again!
  12. Hi Shellon! Thanks for jumping in! What you said in your post sounds more to me like how you survived it. And, gracious exit or not, thank goodness you found the door out. But, what I'm wondering is what compelled us to stay under the circumstances we found ourselves in after the honeymoon days ended? Some have said they stayed out of fear, which I totally understand. I'm sure also, there was a comfort level in being accustomed to the TWI reality – maybe we didn't want to have to start over in a new social reality outside of the Way Int'l. As I’ve read in other people’s threads, and as I have experienced myself, the loss of the society we were in was like a death of sorts, and involved a grieving period which was painful. But, there were people in twi that, as My 3 cents said, “ignored the violations of personal boundaries and integrity” to a staggering degree. How did TWI create the environment (physical, mental, emotional) that allowed people like you and me to succumb to those violations? I remember thinking toward the end of my stay - surely God has a plan, ‘cause this sucks! What are the people who are still in thinking? How bad can it get before they look for a way out? Do you think that twi could go the way of Jim Jones or David Koresh or Heaven’s Gate groups? (shudder)
  13. During some of my cult research, I came across an article describing how the moonies captivate their converts through intra, inter and public communication. Some of the points made in the article are listed below. Do you feel TWI followed the same course? Do you think the questions are slanted? Do you think major religions use the same techniques - or are these points particular to cults? The intra personal ones involve where the convert was psychologically when they were "invited" to join. The interpersonal ones mostly involved peer pressure. The public communication of the Moonies was really bashed as being "pathetic." If you would like to answer this survey, perhaps "yes" "no" and "not applicable" might be the easiest to tabulate. I am also open to suggestions. Not much time was put into the wording, and I know I have not offered definitions for the terms - sorry. 1)Would you say you were at a major “turning point” in your life when you started attending cult meetings? 2)Did you feel you were in an undesirable state when you became interested in the teachings? 3)Had you tried other avenues to resolve a problem causing you tension in your life before resorting to the cult’s solutions? 4)Did the cult isolate you from your regular peer group? 5)If you expressed a different point of view from the group, did the group reprimand you and explain the proper way to think? 6)Were you discouraged from analyzing things for yourself, and encouraged to conform? 7)Were your decisions about individual actions taken away, and replaced with a strict regimen of group activities including group eating, sleeping, listening, talking, working and playing? 8) Do you think the public teachings were delivered with skill by polished, knowledgeable and dynamic speakers?
  14. OK then, what do YOU think is the psychological profile for someone susceptible to cultic rhetoric? Also, do you think it has anything to do with the public appeal of the speakers? Do you think their delivery of the message was appealing? Or would you say the teachings were trite, psuedo-scientific, jingoistic, confusing or just boring? I really appreciate your input. Thanks!
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