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Cults: The Art of Deception

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4 hours ago, Rocky said:

Do you have computer access to A&E television's website?

*checks*   Thanks for checking on that. However, it's effectively the same as "do you have that channel?" The website wants confirmation you're already receiving their channel (or, more to the point, are paying for this channel.)  If you're not getting this on TV already, you can't catch it there, either.  Frustrating but true.

 

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1 hour ago, WordWolf said:

*checks*   Thanks for checking on that. However, it's effectively the same as "do you have that channel?" The website wants confirmation you're already receiving their channel (or, more to the point, are paying for this channel.)  If you're not getting this on TV already, you can't catch it there, either.  Frustrating but true.

 

Drat! Maybe that wouldn't be the case in the UK.

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6 hours ago, Rocky said:

Do you have computer access to A&E television's website?

Yep, your link works.  I am offered "sub-channels" - Blaze, H2, Crime Investigation, etc.  Can you send me a link to one of the episodes, and I can doubtless follow up from there and watch previous episodes.  Thanks.

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41 minutes ago, Twinky said:

Yep, your link works.  I am offered "sub-channels" - Blaze, H2, Crime Investigation, etc.  Can you send me a link to one of the episodes, and I can doubtless follow up from there and watch previous episodes.  Thanks.

https://www.aetv.com/shows/cults-and-extreme-belief/season-1/episode-3

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Last night's episode was the United Nation of Islam, leader was Royall Jenkins. They violated Child Labor laws. Group seperated from Louis Farakan

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This past Tuesday was Sean Moon's Unification Family, a splinter from his father's Unification Church. WOW, very pro NRA survivalist, attending worship with loaded AK machine guns. Next week is Children of God, then next is Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints(Warren Jeffers). Elizabeth Vargas from ABC's 20/20 is hosting the series.

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This past Tuesday was on the 12 tribes

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This past Sunday and Today at 12 noon was the 2 part finale to the A&E series hosted by Elizabeth Vargas of ABC News.

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possible follow up is also slated the same night as Leah Remini's Scientology starting with Word of Faith Churches

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I recently discovered this article that relates to cult brain. It describes a scenario much like Wierwille in the PFLAP class instructs students to reject anything other than what lines up with his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

Of course, many of us on GSC have discussed "waybrain" over the last nearly two decades.

... religious fundamentalism—which refers to the belief in the absolute authority of a religious text or leaders—is almost never good for an individual. This is primarily because fundamentalism discourages any logical reasoning or scientific evidence that challenges its scripture, making it inherently maladaptive.

-----

The single most important thing I may have learned over the last 32 years is that God is bigger than any notion of humankind, written or imagined.

How does this relate to Wierwillism? Well, the cranky old potentate(s) [Either Wierwille or Martindale, those were the only two I interacted with] of TWI was never allowed for discussion or disagreement. It was ALWAYS their way or the highway. As I can see now, that puts God into a very small box and twi followers into even smaller boxes.

It's increasingly obvious that religious fundamentalism is having a profound negative impact on society. But I won't get into that in detail here.
 

Edited by Rocky
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*reads article* 

Hm.  I've a few thoughts about it.   In short, I'm reminded that nobody's as free of ideology as they would like to think, and that no one subset of any social science can show us a full picture (although it might show us great insights from one perspective.)

 

-The writer is a fan of Richard Dawkins, and quotes him on the concept of memes, and other things. RD's a known hater of religious thought, so I would proceed carefully, watching for the presumption that all religious thought is de facto harmful.  (BTW, when did a biologist become an authority on Psych theory? I missed something.)

-The writer did NOT say that all religious thought is de facto harmful.

"In moderation, religious and spiritual practices can be great for a person’s life and mental well-being. "

"As such, there are often good and bad variants of any given religion. For instance, there are moderate versions of Christianity and Islamthat promote qualities like a sense of community and a moral code that fosters ethical behavior. "

 

Granted, he spent the rest of the article discussing the religions he considers harmful (all fundamentalist ones), but he is claiming there's beneficial religions as well as harmful ones.  I appreciate that.

 

-The article uses a biological analogy-actually, SEVERAL biological analogies- to support the writer's position.  I didn't see any Psychological basis for it beyond the extended analogy, and i certainly didn't see any sociological thought at all.   If we're discussing religions as group phenomena- which he brushed on as to how people convert (my term, not his)- them Sociology has more to offer us than Psychology.   For that matter, he spent several paragraphs on how fundamentalism is a "parasite".   How about a reference to a Psychologist who put this forth in accordance with an existing Psychological theory?   I'd like to know where it fits in to Erickson or Adler or any existing Psychological paradigm.

I remember wierwille used an extensive analogy about dogs on a hunt to "explain" his position on "no private interpretation"- which was later shown rather clearly to be an error. His answer was one he liked, but was not correct. He spent lots of work developing his ANALOGY when he should have actually studied the material.  As such, I get suspicious whenever someone uses extended analogies-and NOTHING else- to explain something. 

 

I would have liked to have seen what a competent Sociologist would have made of all this. For that matter, I'd like to see a Psychology article on this subject.

 

The most biased part of the article was this paragraph:

"We also know that in the United States, Christian fundamentalism is linked to science denial. Since science is nothing more than a method of determining truth using empirical measurement and hypothesis testing, denial of science equates to the denial of objective truth and tangible evidence. In other words, the denial of reality. Not only does fundamentalism promote delusional thinking, it also discourages followers from exposing themselves to any different ideas, which acts to protect the delusions that are essential to the ideology."

 

I'm aware there are SOME fundies who are into "science denial", and there are SOME fundies who like Science and study it.   But the writer went with "fundy= denial of science." He then followed up with "science denial=denial of reality", which means "Fundy= denier of reality."  He didn't use those exact words in that exact order, but that's where he went.  He followed THAT up with "fundy thinking is delusional thinking" and :"fundies never expose themselves to any different ideas."
 

I'm aware there's some people who consider themselves fundies that this could apply to- but there's plenty that this would NOT apply to.

He finished up with some rather pointed terms to equate with fundamentalism:  "harms", "parasitic virus", 

He finishes up with this:

"When a fundamentalist ideology inhabits a host brain, the organism’s mind is no longer fully in control. The ideology is controlling its behavior and reasoning processes to propagate itself and sustain its survival. This analogy should inform how we approach efforts that attempt to reverse brainwashing and restore cognitive function in areas like analytic reasoning and problem-solving."

 

So, to be a fundy is to be:

-no longer fully in control of your own mind

-no longer in control of your behavior

-no longer in control of your reasoning processes

-brainwashed, which needs to be reverses

-in possession of cognitive function that needs restoring

 

We have this on the authority of "THIS ANALOGY. " 

Forgive me, but my analytic reasoning is leading me to different conclusions than the writer.  I also think my cognitive function is working just fine.

 

 

 

Mind you, I think that the descriptions in this article could describe "waybrain" quite well, which WAS why it was linked here (I hope.)    Frankly, I'd be more inclined to gloss over all its flaws if there WAS something defective in my reasoning skills.

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17 hours ago, WordWolf said:

*reads article* 

Hm.  I've a few thoughts about it.   In short, I'm reminded that nobody's as free of ideology as they would like to think, and that no one subset of any social science can show us a full picture (although it might show us great insights from one perspective.)

 

-The writer is a fan of Richard Dawkins, and quotes him on the concept of memes, and other things. RD's a known hater of religious thought, so I would proceed carefully, watching for the presumption that all religious thought is de facto harmful.  (BTW, when did a biologist become an authority on Psych theory? I missed something.)

-The writer did NOT say that all religious thought is de facto harmful.

"In moderation, religious and spiritual practices can be great for a person’s life and mental well-being. "

"As such, there are often good and bad variants of any given religion. For instance, there are moderate versions of Christianity and Islamthat promote qualities like a sense of community and a moral code that fosters ethical behavior. "

 

Granted, he spent the rest of the article discussing the religions he considers harmful (all fundamentalist ones), but he is claiming there's beneficial religions as well as harmful ones.  I appreciate that.

 

-The article uses a biological analogy-actually, SEVERAL biological analogies- to support the writer's position.  I didn't see any Psychological basis for it beyond the extended analogy, and i certainly didn't see any sociological thought at all.   If we're discussing religions as group phenomena- which he brushed on as to how people convert (my term, not his)- them Sociology has more to offer us than Psychology.   For that matter, he spent several paragraphs on how fundamentalism is a "parasite".   How about a reference to a Psychologist who put this forth in accordance with an existing Psychological theory?   I'd like to know where it fits in to Erickson or Adler or any existing Psychological paradigm.

I remember wierwille used an extensive analogy about dogs on a hunt to "explain" his position on "no private interpretation"- which was later shown rather clearly to be an error. His answer was one he liked, but was not correct. He spent lots of work developing his ANALOGY when he should have actually studied the material.  As such, I get suspicious whenever someone uses extended analogies-and NOTHING else- to explain something. 

 

I would have liked to have seen what a competent Sociologist would have made of all this. For that matter, I'd like to see a Psychology article on this subject.

 

The most biased part of the article was this paragraph:

"We also know that in the United States, Christian fundamentalism is linked to science denial. Since science is nothing more than a method of determining truth using empirical measurement and hypothesis testing, denial of science equates to the denial of objective truth and tangible evidence. In other words, the denial of reality. Not only does fundamentalism promote delusional thinking, it also discourages followers from exposing themselves to any different ideas, which acts to protect the delusions that are essential to the ideology."

 

I'm aware there are SOME fundies who are into "science denial", and there are SOME fundies who like Science and study it.   But the writer went with "fundy= denial of science." He then followed up with "science denial=denial of reality", which means "Fundy= denier of reality."  He didn't use those exact words in that exact order, but that's where he went.  He followed THAT up with "fundy thinking is delusional thinking" and :"fundies never expose themselves to any different ideas."
 

I'm aware there's some people who consider themselves fundies that this could apply to- but there's plenty that this would NOT apply to.

He finished up with some rather pointed terms to equate with fundamentalism:  "harms", "parasitic virus", 

He finishes up with this:

"When a fundamentalist ideology inhabits a host brain, the organism’s mind is no longer fully in control. The ideology is controlling its behavior and reasoning processes to propagate itself and sustain its survival. This analogy should inform how we approach efforts that attempt to reverse brainwashing and restore cognitive function in areas like analytic reasoning and problem-solving."

 

So, to be a fundy is to be:

-no longer fully in control of your own mind

-no longer in control of your behavior

-no longer in control of your reasoning processes

-brainwashed, which needs to be reverses

-in possession of cognitive function that needs restoring

 

We have this on the authority of "THIS ANALOGY. " 

Forgive me, but my analytic reasoning is leading me to different conclusions than the writer.  I also think my cognitive function is working just fine.

 

 

 

Mind you, I think that the descriptions in this article could describe "waybrain" quite well, which WAS why it was linked here (I hope.)    Frankly, I'd be more inclined to gloss over all its flaws if there WAS something defective in my reasoning skills.

You hoped correctly. 

I appreciate that you read the article and put a good bit of thought into your analysis.

Not sure about the degree to which I agree with you or your conclusions. Perhaps sometimes we lose sight of the forest because of the trees.

I'd also welcome analysis by competent sociologists. 

:wave:

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My little TWI Story:

Here is what happened:

I took PFAL from splinter group of people who were in TWI and started there own fellowship.

I had deep misgivings about TWI. I went to Golden Valley Lutheran College in Minnesota, they are no longer in existence. During my education there, one beautiful woman who was a store clerk married a guy from TWI Campus Ministry at the University of Minnesota. I didnt even know she knew him until she was gone. Another beautiful girl (she was georgeous) was heavily recruited by TWI. During that time I went to one Twig meeting and saw VPW at a Minneapolis way convention. and knew the Univeristy of Minnesota Campus way guys,  at the U of M.

There was a Pastor who taught Greek at Golden Valley Lutheran College, I took 15 credits of Biblical Greek. HIs name was Pastor Lodigs. So we fought TWI, me and Pastor Loddigs with doctrinal stuff. It wasnt tough, there many holes in TWI sermons. 

That is my little TWI story

 

Paul D

Edited by sky4it

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On 1/15/2019 at 10:22 PM, Rocky said:

I recently discovered this article that relates to cult brain. It describes a scenario much like Wierwille in the PFLAP class instructs students to reject anything other than what lines up with his fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible.

Of course, many of us on GSC have discussed "waybrain" over the last nearly two decades.

... religious fundamentalism—which refers to the belief in the absolute authority of a religious text or leaders—is almost never good for an individual. This is primarily because fundamentalism discourages any logical reasoning or scientific evidence that challenges its scripture, making it inherently maladaptive.

-----

The single most important thing I may have learned over the last 32 years is that God is bigger than any notion of humankind, written or imagined.

How does this relate to Wierwillism? Well, the cranky old potentate(s) [Either Wierwille or Martindale, those were the only two I interacted with] of TWI was never allowed for discussion or disagreement. It was ALWAYS their way or the highway. As I can see now, that puts God into a very small box and twi followers into even smaller boxes.

It's increasingly obvious that religious fundamentalism is having a profound negative impact on society. But I won't get into that in detail here.
 

Rocky, yes!!  Thanks for the post.

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In response to the mention of religious fundamentalism, I've benefited from a lot of reading on the topic ever since I left TWI in 1987. If you're interested in part of what I learned, here are a few blogs I've written about that.

https://charleneedge.com/the-certain-curtain-how-fundamentalism-hooks/

https://charleneedge.com/the-word-which-bible-is-it-anyway/

https://charleneedge.com/christian-nationalism-notes-for-fundamentalist-friday/

Cheers,

Penworks

 

 

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