Jump to content
GreaseSpot Cafe

Psychologist survey data on cults


Rocky
 Share

Recommended Posts

Cults have a history as long as history has been recorded, but there has been remarkably enhanced concern about them more recently. In the 1970s at least two noteworthy whistle-blowers called attention to the rapidly expanding adversity of cults.

One was Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D., a psychologist,
and the other was John G. Clark, M.D., a psychiatrist. Their
writings (Singer, 1979; Clark, 1979) sounded an alarm.

They suggested that harm, which consists of physical and
psychological constraint and manipulation, refusal to let
adherents leave, depletion of adherent’s funds and assets,
denial of competent treatment for illness, and even plain and
simple wasting of adherents’ time
, had been widely noted as
a consequence of destructive cult involvement.
Such harm is
now clearly perceived by a significant segment of the
population, but widespread awareness of the extent of
destructive cultic harm is not yet incorporated into the American culture.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

In 1985 The International Cultic Studies
Association/University of California at Los Angeles,
(ICSA/UCLA) Wingspread Conference on Cultism developed
the following definition:


Cult (totalist type): A group or movement
exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or
dedication to some person, idea, or thing and
employing unethically manipulative techniques
of persuasion and control ... designed to
advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the
actual or possible detriment of members, their
families, or the community. (West & Langone,
1986)


In a 1992 survey of physicians, Lottick (1993) defined
destructive cults as


groups which violate the rights of their
members, harm them through abusive
techniques of mind control, and distinguish
themselves from normal social or religious
groups by subjecting their members to
physical, mental, or financial deprivation or
deception to keep them in the group.


 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Intuitively, Mark and Avoid is recognizable as psychological abuse. And that's by far NOT what The Way International's abusive conduct has been limited to.

Perhaps the first abuse twi subjected me to was (more than 40 years ago) when I was "influenced" to discontinue saving money from my meager military pay to donate to the movement of God's Word over the World. I had been on track to have enough to purchase a new car at the end of my enlistment. 

Instead, I mustered out of the USAF in late November and hitchhiked in winter weather Rochester NY to visit family before heading west to a small Ohio town and then on to Lawton, OK.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

36 minutes ago, Rocky said:

Cults have a history as long as history has been recorded, but there has been remarkably enhanced concern about them more recently. In the 1970s at least two noteworthy whistle-blowers called attention to the rapidly expanding adversity of cults.

One was Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D., a psychologist,
and the other was John G. Clark, M.D., a psychiatrist. Their
writings (Singer, 1979; Clark, 1979) sounded an alarm.

They suggested that harm, which consists of physical and
psychological constraint and manipulation, refusal to let
adherents leave, depletion of adherent’s funds and assets,
denial of competent treatment for illness, and even plain and
simple wasting of adherents’ time
, had been widely noted as
a consequence of destructive cult involvement.
Such harm is
now clearly perceived by a significant segment of the
population, but widespread awareness of the extent of
destructive cultic harm is not yet incorporated into the American culture.

Great posts, Rocky !!!!!!

no new revelations here with what’s already been discussed on Grease Spot - but I like how you put it so succinctly in your posts - it all fits The Way International to a “T” !  I got a kick out of even mentioning  “a little thing” like the wasting of your time part. That even affects “low level” cult-followers - maybe they’ve never been WOW, gone in the corps or any other programs - but they regularly go to fellowships, way-functions, take the classes - blah blah blah…not to mention all the money they regularly give to TWI in abundant sharing - money is another form of time - it takes time for folks to EARN that money by doing LEGITIMATE work! We’re all familiar with that old saying “time is money” or you can flip it around - money is time.

Edited by T-Bone
Typos
Link to comment
Share on other sites

From page 13 of the pdf of the linked study:

Destructive cults often create peculiarly distorted,
unreflected-upon, short-cut, sometimes concrete thought in
their recruits who are undergoing processing. It appears to
the observer that these recruits have lost their higher powers
of empathy, insight, and judgment. A percentage of cult
followers develop symptoms partly as a result of this
distortion or derangement and the concomitant short-cutting
of their prior-to-cult, formerly richer and more reflective
thought patterns (neural connections).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The paper mentions this book, Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time

From a review of the book on Amazon:

As a former member of a cult this study really hit home for me. My wife and I struggled for years trying to understand how we could have been so readily drawn into the Children of God. Thank God we found our way out. We did not suffer many of the aftereffects many ex members do but some of our friends did. A malignant Pied Piper emerges when an individual with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder finds a population who need a leader to take over the responsibilities of life for them and tell them what to do. They become dictatorial and usually sexually exploitative. When they take the next step and become involved in the occult they can become malignant and violent. 

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert Greene's book, The Art of Seduction, seems to be directly related to how and why we ALL get conned and so many (apparently increasing numbers in contemporary times) became/become vulnerable to cults. Critical thinking skills can be helpful, but I wonder how often (and how easily) seduction can overcome critical thinking. Greene has also written books on Human Nature and Laws of Power

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/9/2021 at 7:11 PM, Rocky said:

even plain and simple wasting of adherents’ time

Oh, how many things in TWI were "make work."    Constant vacuuming the carpets, washing floors, polishing things.  Yes, some things/places do need constant cleaning (kitchens!), but not everything.  Yes, we all like things kept nicely - but twice a day, to keep in rez corps busy??  How, one wonders, are they coping without all that cleaning and polishing because the in rez Corps isn't large enough to do such things?

Out on the field - constant meetings, witnessing sessions, classes...  doing "bless jobs" for leaders.

This is a really small example.  It took place many years ago, but still bugs me:

I recall watching a small team type up some notes of a meeting (this is outside, not at HQ).  They were using Word, which as no doubt most of you know has short-cuts and ways you can program in a few keystrokes which will reproduce as a commonly-used phrase (like "pfl" might always reproduce as "Power for Abundant Living" or "bsl" for "be strong in the Lord").  They were all proficient typists/Word users, so they should know this.  Ideal, for TWI jargon-speak.  And yet, every one of them was typing out these phrases in full, no shortcuts.  I observed this and asked why they didn't do shortcuts.  "Because Rev xx says to do it this way."  Rev xx probably hadn't a clue about shortcuts - his only concern would be whether the notes were accurate.  But that's only 3 keystokes, as opposed to 25/21 - reproduced many times.  Very minor, I know, but if repeated many times/session, it just wasted the time of those women.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LINK

Quote

The narcissist develops a unique defence mechanism: a story, a narrative, another self. This False Self is possessed of all the qualities that can insulate the child from an ominous and hostile world. It is perfect, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent. In short: it is divine.

The narcissist develops a private religion with the False Self at its centre. It is replete with rites, mantras, scriptures, and spiritual and physical exercises. The child worships this new deity. He succumbs to what he perceives to be its wishes and its needs. He makes sacrifices of Narcissistic Supply to it. He is awed by it because it possesses many of the traits of the hallowed tormentors, the parents.

The child reduces his True Self, minimises it. He is looking to appease the new Divinity - not to incur its wrath. He does so by adhering to strict schedules, ceremonies, by reciting texts, by self-imposition of self-discipline. Hitherto, the child is transformed into the servant of his False Self. Daily, he caters to its needs and offers to it Narcissistic Supply. And he is rewarded for his efforts: he feels elated when in compliance with the creed, he emulates the characteristics of this entity.

Suffused with Narcissistic Supply, his False Self content, the child feels omnipotent, untouchable, invulnerable, immune to threats and insults and omniscient. On the other hand, when Narcissistic Supply is lacking - the child feels guilty, miserable, and unworthy. The Superego then takes over: sadistic, ominous, cruel, suicidal - it chastises the child for having failed, for having sinned, for being guilty. It demands a self-inflicted penalty to cleanse, to atone, to let go.

Caught between these two deities - the False Self and the Superego - the child is compulsively forced to seek Narcissistic Supply. Success in this pursuit holds both promises: an emotional reward and protection from the murderous Superego.

 

 

 

 

 

Pointless tasks serve a function . . . The leader outsourcing for supply

Edited by Bolshevik
fixing format stuff to appease the emperor
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 10/9/2021 at 12:10 PM, Rocky said:

The paper mentions this book, Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time

From a review of the book on Amazon:

As a former member of a cult this study really hit home for me. My wife and I struggled for years trying to understand how we could have been so readily drawn into the Children of God. Thank God we found our way out. We did not suffer many of the aftereffects many ex members do but some of our friends did. A malignant Pied Piper emerges when an individual with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder finds a population who need a leader to take over the responsibilities of life for them and tell them what to do. They become dictatorial and usually sexually exploitative. When they take the next step and become involved in the occult they can become malignant and violent. 

I now have my own copy of this book in front of me on my desk. I checked the index, neither Wierwille nor TWI are cited in the book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Rocky said:

I now have my own copy of this book in front of me on my desk. I checked the index, neither Wierwille nor TWI are cited in the book.

When you don't like something the Bible says, just grab a fine tip Bic pen and those little metal rulers and fix the problem.  Give some sort of Greek or Aramaic word game reasoning.  Having various colored pens, wide margin companion Bible, and other note making systems helped in this ostensible show of diligent research.

 

I'm sure this old tried and true technique could be applied here if one were so inclined.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

I'm sure this old tried and true technique could be applied here if one were so inclined.

I'm confident you're correct.

The seven primary subjects of the book were all high-profile and responsible for significant casualties (deaths). Nevertheless, it's obvious former followers of Wierwille will recognize him in the pages of this 174 page (not counting notes, bibliography and index) book.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...