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Cult Awareness and Recovery
  • speakup September 2011
    Posts: 57
    Since leaving the organisation, I find that I have discovered my old personality and interests that I had lost in the past few years. I have heard other people on this forum talk about this also. I found this information in Margaret Singer's "Cults in Our Midst" 2003, p.79-80, I would like to share this quote:

    "As part of the intense influence and change processes in many cults, people take on a new social identity, which may or may not be obvious to an outsider. When groups refer to this new identity they speak of members who are transformed, reborn, enlightened, empowered, rebirthed or cleared. The group approved behavior is reinforced and reinterpreted as demonstrating the emergence of "the new person".

    However, the vast majority of those who leave such groups drop the cult content, and the cult behavior and attitudes, and painstakingly take up where they left off prior to joining. We see from years of research with prisoners of war, hostages, battered wives, former cult members and other recipients of intense influence that changes made under this influence are not permanent.

    This phenomenon has been described as formation of a pseudo-personality or pseudo-identity, a cult self, or a cult personality. It is the cult environment that produces and keeps in place the cult identity. Some people stay forever in the group, but the vast majority leave at some point, either walking away or being lured out by family and friends."
  • pavitra September 2011
    Posts: 270
    I don't know if someone already posted this link but anyway I found it instructive and funny
  • batawebatawe September 2011
    Posts: 409
    good link..good starting point to guide your thoughts on the subject or variations of the subtle elements of possible manipulation, belief, belonging, feeling special etc...

    I would put this link somehwere on the frontline here on the forum, as it goes with the broader 'mentality'/scope of the problem.
  • falseswamijifalseswamiji September 2011
    Posts: 255
    may i add this one too again :

    The Emotional Pain Of Leaving A Cult
    The following is how former cult members and members of spiritually abusive systems described how they felt when they finally left their group. This may give you some insight into their pain and why there are no easy answers for them.

    It Hurts
    It Hurts to discover you were deceived - that what you thought was the “one true religion,” the “path to total fredom,” or “truth” was in reality a cult.

    It Hurts when you learn that people you trusted implicitly - whom you were taught not to question - were “pulling the wool over your eyes” albeit unwittingly.

    It Hurts when you learn that those you were taught were your “enemies” were telling the truth after all - but you had been told they were liars, deceivers, repressive, satanic etc and not to listen to them.

    It Hurts when you know your faith in God hasn’t changed - only your trust in an organization - yet you are accused of apostasy, being a trouble maker, a “Judas”. It hurts even more when it is your family and friends making these accusations.

    It Hurts to realize their love and acceptance was conditional on you remaining a member of good standing. This cuts so deeply you try and suppress it. All you want to do is forget - but how can you forget your family and friends?

    It Hurts to see the looks of hatred coming from the faces of those you love - to hear the deafening silence when you try and talk to them. It cuts deeply when you try and give your child a hug and they stand like a statue, pretending you aren’t there. It stabs like a knife when you know your spouse looks upon you as demonised and teaches your children to hate you.

    It Hurts to know you must start all over again. You feel you have wasted so much time. You feel betrayed, disillusioned, suspicious of everyone including family, friends and other former members.

    It Hurts when you find yourself feeling guilty or ashamed of what you were - even about leaving them. You feel depressed, confused, lonely. You find it difficult to make decisions. You don’t know what to do with yourself because you have so much time on your hands now - yet you still feel guilty for spending time on recreation.

    It Hurts when you feel as though you have lost touch with reality. You feel as though you are “floating” and wonder if you really are better off and long for the security you had in the organization and yet you know you cannot go back.

    It Hurts when you feel you are all alone - that no one seems to understand what you are feeling. It hurts when you realize your self confidence and self worth are almost non-existent.

    It Hurts when you have to front up to friends and family to hear their “I told you so” whether that statement is verbal or not. It makes you feel even more stupid than you already do - your confidence and self worth plummet even further.

    It Hurts when you realize you gave up everything for the cult - your education, career, finances, time and energy - and now have to seek employment or restart your education. How do you explain all those missing years?

    It Hurts because you know that even though you were deceived, you are responsible for being taken in. All that wasted time ... at least that is what it seems to you - wasted time.

    The Pain Of Grief

    Leaving a cult is like experiencing the death of a close relative or a broken relationship. The feeling is often described as like having been betrayed by someone with whom you were in love. You feel you were simply used.

    There is a grieving process to pass through. Whereas most people understand that a person must grieve after a death etc, they find it difficult to understand the same applies in this situation. There is no instant cure for the grief, confusion and pain. Like all grieving periods, time is the healer.

    Some feel guilty, or wrong about this grief. They shouldn’t - It IS normal. It is NOT wrong to feel confused, uncertain, disillusioned, guilty, angry, untrusting - these are all part of the process. In time the negative feelings will be replaced with clear thinking, joy, peace, and trust.

    Yes - It hurts but the hurts will heal with time, patience & understanding.

    There is life after the cult.

    © 1985, 1995 Jan Groenveld
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] September 2011
    Posts: 0
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Shivashakti September 2011
    Posts: 75
    an article from Craig Harper i thought it has some great points...

    Jesus on the Telly - Our Need to Belong

    It’s Sunday night here in Melbourne and I have just finished watching Jesus on TV. Well, an Australian bloke who claims he’s Jesus, anyway. How cool; a messiah who says ‘fairdinkum’. I bet the marketing people could have a field day with those two ingredients: 1. Aussie 2. Messiah.

    Church in thongs (flip flops).

    Now, not only does AJ Miller (his non-biblical name) believe that he is the son of God, but so do hundreds (maybe thousands) of others. Many of them live with him on his compound (there’s a term to discuss) in Queensland and there they (his followers) were on my telly tonight talking about what it’s like living with the saviour of mankind. And his partner, Mary Magdalene.

    I XXXXX you not.

    No, I am not being sarcastic and no, I’m not making any of this up. Some of them said that they lived with Jesus first time around (back in the first century). A few even said they were there at his crucifixion. They were totally serious and their account of the story was complete with shaking, quivering lips and tears. Interestingly, I don’t think they were acting. I actually believe that they meant (and believed) what they were saying.

    Giving Away Our Power

    Now, while I’m tempted to explore the world of cults in this discussion (only because they fascinate me), I’m not sure that that particular exploration would be (1) appropriate or (2) relevant to the majority of my readership. So, for that reason, tonight I thought I would write about the propensity we human beings have to (1) look for someone to save or fix us (2) give away our personal power (3) allow ourselves to be manipulated by others and (4) ignore logic and discernment in order to belong.

    The truth is we all want to belong.

    To something or someone. Take a look around and you’ll discover that we’re pack animals. Even if it’s a pack of two. We’re not great on our own. Sure, we like to think we’re cool flying solo but the bottom line is… we’re not. We all want to be part of something. A family. A group. A club. A team. A marriage. A partnership.


    Losing Us

    Sometimes (not always), in our efforts to be part of something, we wind up losing much more than we gain. We lose our ability to think clearly and independently. We lose our potential to grow. We lose our ability to have a contrary opinion. We lose our perspective and objectivity. We lose the attributes that made us special and unique.

    In short, we lose us.

    As we merge into our group, all too often we become a patch of someone else. A cog in someone else’s machine. A puppet in somebody’s show. And a player in someone else’s game or vision. Of course, being a part of something bigger than us (can be) a positive in our world as long as the price is not… us.

    You, me.

    If you’re not good enough by yourself, then you’ll never be good enough in a group. Of course, many organisations want you to believe that you’re not good enough because it’s in their interest for you to be dependant on them. That’s how they control you. They don’t want you to think, only believe.

    I say, think.

    I say, pay attention to your own inner intelligence. The knowing you have beyond the wishing and the wanting. Your own inbuilt wisdom. It’s there. I say, tap into your own gifts. Your own power. Your own potential. Don’t lose yourself to someone or something else.

    Right now, right where you are, you’re good enough.

    Note: Of course, I am not saying that belonging to any group is bad thing (I belong to a few). I am saying (1) be wise (2) be discerning and (3) don’t be in a hurry to belong.

  • truthseeker September 2011
    Posts: 541
    Reply to @Shivashakti: great article! It's good to be part of this internet group where we all are independent and where we can find empowerment. :-)
  • speakup October 2011
    Posts: 57
    Just love this section from "The Art of Deception" by Arnie Lerma, 1998 - ex scientology member:

    Maintaining the Illusion - Some techniques

    Once you enter the Scientology Circus tent, in order to maintain the illusion that "it works", the stage is carefully choreographed. The things that you are allowed to view are the props crafted to imply that Scientology is truly a road to ability and ultimate truth.

    Much is made of a few deluded big shot Hollywood stars' names, but they are just stage props for your deception. Much like that old TV series Mission Impossible, where identities are stolen and situations fabricated in order to gain access to the target.

    Only the target in this case is your wallet.

    To maintain the illusion, whenever someone inside the show awakens, and realizes that it is in fact, just a show, they are spirited away, and whisked from view.

    You are told that they had a "psychotic break", and that they are the ones who are crazy. You are very sane, you see, as long as you give your money and your life to Scientology and are not concerned about things going on outside of Scientology's tent.

    The policy used to accomplish this is called "disconnection policy" and the policies for handling folks, called "Handling PTS" [ PTS = Potential Trouble Sources ] There is also expensive 'auditing' that you mustpay for to fix these "troublesome conditions" , which stem mostly from just asking hard questions and exercising common sense.

  • speakup October 2011
    Posts: 57
    Armie Lerma again on Scientology (or other cults):

    Protecting yourself

    The coercive tactics described herein are used by any organization that is built upon deceit. To avoid this trap, wherever you find it, here are a few recommendations:

    A) Never trust anyone who tells you there is anyone you must not talk to, especially if they were once friends or family.

    B) Never trust anyone who feels they have the answers to the universe.

    The Scientology entrance to the Hubbardian belief systems territory uses a pattern of unattributed excerpts of past great philosophers, making an appeal to reason and common sense, while systematically destroying the repute of all prior friends and sources of information except the wisdom of the ages as plagiarized and fictionalized by Hubbard. This pattern is not exclusive to Scientology.

    These tidbits of prior art are woven together into a compelling matrix that makes the inquirer think that what comes next is AS TRUE AS THE STOLEN PRIOR ART. And what comes next?

    The lies.

    Other systems of mind control use similar tactics, all disconnect you from your family, all make less of your friends and anyone you ever considered an authority or source of knowledge.

    While titillating you with pieces of wisdom, you will be given one source, a guru, the leader, the con man, who will then take your heart's joy at being shown these pieces of wisdom and then use your heartfelt joy to make you do his bidding - as this has now become 'the way'.

    When it becomes your way, you are in a cult.

    This purported unique 'way' is in fact a program that demands your obedience or you are dismissed from the group. That demands that you separate yourself from all others who might disagree. That demonizes those who hold opinions that are not part of the program.

    This is mental slavery.

    This is one person or group following a formula designed to control you and impose their will upon you.
  • Roman October 2011
    Posts: 347
    Reply to @falseswamiji:
    Long time ago when I couldn’t find a job during the recession during the first president Bush, I found work at a vegetarian restaurant owned by Chin...’s follower for barely minimal wage ($5/hr at the time). Those people look to me like us (of course I believed that our swAmi was superior to this tennis playing master). Now I know why the energy there was similar. Same mechanics of cult.
  • falseswamijifalseswamiji October 2011
    Posts: 255
    problem with any personality cult is that devotees focus emotions on the cult leader and remain empty and cold for their brothers and sisters humans. guru is the focus of love and adoration because he is perfect , and it is obviously more simply to adore someone who is perfect than someone who has weaknesses , to adore s person instead of a principle - primitive mind/spirit can only focus on something on a material level- a personification, so guru is needed in this phase of development. when time comes every guru loses his mask and spirit has to evolve , to develop love and appreciation for a pure spiritual principles and that is hard jump for consciousness to make - at beginning it feels like disintegrating - that's why all those bhaktas defend their illusion with so much panic and aggressiveness-missing the point of their whole spiritual growth .
    They have to fall down first to see where they are missing the target.
  • mangal October 2011
    Posts: 489
    Reply to @falseswamiji: I would say that you opened the next pandora box for members of Cult of personality (yidl) The problem is, that many of the cult members work at first on relationship with their guru. But it takes so much effort, that their normal relationships are a bit neglected. Of course, not at all. And I know some of them, which relationships are nice, but mostly they are not from inner circle. But if you take inner circle-whose relationship towards their intimate are cared in the way as relationship towards their guru? Most of them are alone, they know...
  • Mercury October 2011
    Posts: 13
    This is all so true what you are talking about..when you write all these things it seems like you are describing my sister...she comes to me once in a while trying to persuade me how wrong I am talking against THE organisation and xxx...I don't know why she needs to persuade me? Who cares? If I believe in,I don't know fairies I don't need to persuade no one that they exsist.She is trying so hard to defend him, our newspapers were full of stories about him and she was going crazy, she sayed there are evil powers in the world that are preventing the human race to evolve (because xxx is working to spiritualy evolve the masses :-)) and in the same time she and her boyfriend (which was one of the key figures in Jadan Ashram for so many years) are acting like egocentric maniacs and feeling so superior above all of us, as they say, unevolved and primitive souls..they don't have nothing spiritual except talking about God and xxx all day long but in real life they suck..they suck so much that unfortunately I can't describe it here 'cause I risk too much..my parents have already threatened me to leave the house where we all live in..there is no problem leavin' but in that case tha Jadan boy will take over more more which is his primary intention and I won't give up this fight. That much about spirituality...
  • mangal October 2011
    Posts: 489
    Reply to @Mercury: You are right. You mentioned interesting point. The behaviour of inner circle of yidl hardcore organizers. No humbleness-some people asked me-who is this woman often near to the XXX? She walking like director of the world.......Her behaviour? Awful. It was our dear U. The crowd in canaric dress and upper cast of his intimate friens? Nice panjabi and so on. Nose in the sky. We are the choosen one. Right hands of living God. I am sure they know the truth about his sexual life. Of course, amongst them there are slaves, who were choosen just to serve. They are innocent and honest, they are victims of his manipulations. But hard core?..........But of course-all we can see they regard just as dirty campaign.....Nothing bad in yidl.
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