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Cult Awareness and Recovery
  • admin August 2011
    Posts: 61
    @speakup suggested:

    Dear Roman, I am wondering if you could start a new discussion thread: cult awareness and recovery? I want to post some information that may be helpful to others and am not sure where else to put it. Sorry this post is a bit long, but I have reading information about cults very useful in understanding the behaviour and attitudes of some people posting on this forum and of those still trapped in the organisation.

    I would like to offer this quote from Steve Hassan's book 'Combatting Cult Mind Control', 1990, p. 62 -62.

    Thought Control

    Thought control, a major component of mind control, includes indoctrinating members so thoroughly that they internalise the group doctrine, incorporate a new language system and use thought stopping techniques to keep their mind "centred". In order to be a good member, a person must learn to manipulate his own thought processes.

    In totalistic cults, the ideology is internalised as "the truth", the only "map of reality". The doctrine not only serves to filter incoming information but also regulates how the information can be thought about. Usually the doctrine is absolutist, dividing everything into "black versus white", "us versus them". All that is good is embodied in the leader and the group. All that is bad is on the outside.

    A destructive cult typically has its own "loaded language" of words and expressions. The cult's cliches, or loaded language, also put up an invisible wall between believers and outsiders... (eg. 'guru vakya')

    Another key aspect of thought control involves training members to block out any information which is critical of the group... The first line of defense includes denial (What you say isn't happening at all"), rationalization ("This is happening for a good reason"), justification (This is all happening because it ought to"), and wishful thinking ("I'd like it to be true so maybe it really is").

    If information transmitted to a cult member is perceived as an attack on either the leader,the doctrine, or the group, a hostile wall goes up. Members are trained to disbelieve any criticism. Critical words have been explained away in advance as "the lies that Satan (eg. Asura shakti's or Cici) puts in peoples minds. Paradoxically, criticism of the group confirms that the cult's view of the world is correct. The information presented does not register properly.

    Perhaps the most widely and effective way to control cult member's thoughts is thought stopping rituals. Members are taught to use thought stopping on themselves. Whenever a cult member begins to experience a "bad" thought, he/she uses thought-stopping to drown out the "negativity" and center himself, thus learning how to shut out anything that threatens his/her reality. Different groups use different thought stopping techniques: praying, chanting aloud or silently, singing (eg. mantra repetition, bhajans). These actions, many of them useful and valuable are perverted in destructive cults ... thought stopping is the most direct way to short-circuit a person's ability to test reality ... it can also serve to keep a cult member working as an obedient slave.

    My comment:
    It would seem that many people still within the organisation are still stuck in this mental trap - the challenge is how to persuade them to open to the questions that are probably arising in their minds, but which they are blocking. I don't believe direct and personal attack is the best way to do this, these people are also victims in some sense and not acting from a place of true freedom.

    Thanks to those posting information about what is happening in Europe - wish you all the best.
  • Tony August 2011
    Posts: 172
    I cannot resist referencing this post by @Shivashakti:


    We should share these tips more.
  • Mercury August 2011
    Posts: 13
    Hi everyone! I really don't know where and how to start...I was allways fond of eastern philosophy expecially from India. I starterd sudying them since I was thirteen and I allways thought with my own head, red a lot of books and talked with a lot of people from different religions and spiritual paths. My sister joined yindl cca 4 years ago (I have to mention that we had such a strong bond), after she met XXXXX she fell in love with him, she was mesmerized by him she was talking only about him; "he is the only God on earth, you can not save your soul and get enlightment without him".Of course she went to India without her money ; my parents borrowed cca 5.000 €uros for her to go there and I was going crazy...I saw where this was leading..To make a long story short, after this "magic" trip to India she get lost even more...she saw the light, she feels God and we are all poor people living in illusion..She started making pressure over me and my parents to join Yoga classes, seminars and so on...she is following XXXXX everywhere from India, Edinburgh, Vienna, Strilky....with my parents money and when I say something they say I am jelaous and evil. She took sown my parents too, my mother took mantra and all three together made a crucade against me like I was their worst enemy because I was telling them the organisation is taking so much money from them...money they didn't even have. Then I found Cici's leaving the organisation and then I had finally found the prooves of all what I was thinking...I gave all those statements of all the people leaving the yidl to my parents to see and they were laughing at me, my sister was attacking me that this are lies against the great master, that I am evil and so on, you can imagine...Fire was coming out of her eyes, she is so afraid that I don't talk with my parents but I see it allready too late...their minds are so poisoned now. I called Cici to give me some advice how I can help my sinking family what I can do (because I am sure there are very strong evil forces involved too) but he said he can't help me and he whishes me luck.
    I also spoke to people who left the organisation and they seem to be afraid to talk too much about this, they ask me if I dream something Black(?)..that I have to be very cautious cause he is very strong.
    Now I am wondering if there is any hope anymore, I will be gratefull if someone could help me or give me some advice.Sorry for my English I am Croatian..best regards to you all fighting for truth...This guy-"God" has to go to jail!!!
  • mangal August 2011
    Posts: 489
    Thank you for your post. First-black dreams: I had a lot of black dreams before my final examination, but I am sure that my teachers didnt have siddhi......therefore black dreams are in our heads.......nothing connected with XXX. Just imagination. About family, it is hard......maybe you are too quick-it takes long time-when you tell them all in short time-they are not able to manage it. try to be more patient-try to ask, not give them your prepared results......just ask what they think about it and so on. But easy to advise.........such story shows how yidl desires for money, it needs more and more-and buildings will grows more and more-In to the sky-as tower of Babel......and result..everyone knows
  • elisabeth August 2011
    Posts: 112
    Mercury, I have spoken out against SM since Christmas 2009, on the Internet, made a website, but I'm still alive. He either can't harm me, or he doesn't want to. Actually, he even said in Australia this year that I am welcome back, and he gave me a gift, which I haven't picked up yet. So, he is taking my criticism very well. I joked once and said that a bottle of wine keeps the devil away, who knows. (Or if he does come, you are too p..ss..d to see him). I just don't feel danger coming from him now, I just don't. My advice: Don't worry. And listen to Steve Hassan http://freedomofmind.com/, it'll teach you how to deal with the family situation. Just love them, basically.
  • Mercury August 2011
    Posts: 13
    Thank you all for precious advices! First two years I was allways fighting with them (argueing) because I saw my parents going deeply into debts and other things I couldn't just sit and whatch. My friends told me; leave them alone it is their choice, your sister is doing yoga so well (she is having classes), we feel so good too (because they were attending those classes) and I replied; yoga is one thing and following xxxx arround the world with no money is another..My parents never red any yoga or philosophy book they just follow my sister's rules; you must do this, great xxxx say you must do that and so on, like Hitler style...there is no love, no complassion, I can not recognize her anymore she is like a robot following onlyy xxxx's rules, she became emotionless, it's like in the horror movie when somebodi take your soul. But know that I realised they are really brainwashed and maybe something even more than that. I am not afraid of him,not at all..I saw him 3 times and he never persuaded me (before the problem)..I never liked him. If he would be a good man and since he see everything what is in your heart and soul than he would never let my sister use my parents like that..so this is a proof that he is PURE EVIL...I don't know why his ex followers don't speak loud, does not want to fight against him..I think it is their karmic obligation to prevent even more destruction and pain..
  • mangal August 2011
    Posts: 489
    Reply to @Mercury: I think our advices cannot help you, sometime, when something is imposible, than it is simply imposible....to explain: my dear, you are brainwashed.....simple, but teams and teams of educated psychiatrists try to help to the brainashed people, but the succes is very small.....
    I dont think he is evil(but I can understand that for people who lost their intimate person in cult it can be...) He has good and bad sides. But I spoke with my 3 collegues at work-they were interested in yoga and they came to satsang with XXX. When I told them about what is happening in yidl now, they had told me-yes, we didnt want to disappoint you then but if our talk comes in this thema we must say you that that man (XXX) didnt seem us......We had not good impression from that man.......And I realized why just a few new people come in yoga path nowadays. And why a lot of young people gone disappointed.... For normal people he is not trustable person, just his foloowers take him as God, but new souls dont come........how strange-maybe kaliyuga is here and just a few people can recognize such God in form.......who loves girls and meals
  • NoviSadCalling August 2011
    Posts: 175
  • Chava August 2011
    Posts: 45
    Reply to @Mercury: Dear Mercury, we are trying according our possibilities speak loud, but our words are going against wall without ears = yidl and xxxxx.
    There are many things you can try to do for your family, but first thing is you have to take care about yourself, find somebody with whom you can share your difficult situation - it can be your friend as well some specialist. And you have to be prepared that you can lose.
    If I can give you any suggestion, than:
    1. don't use any kind of agression - even any kind of emocional pressure -
    especially on the beginning cult offers new member very kind treatment, when you are "negative" you make their bond to the cult more strong
    It is generally known that if member of the cult has to fight for the right to be in cult, if he has somehow suffer from surrounding, if he has to brings some sacrifices, if he things he is hauted from people out of the cult - the bond toward the cult is much more strong
    2. don't use any negative argumentation about cult - even you have 100% sure argument, your relatives are not in condition, that can hear it, logical arguments means for them nothing
    3. try to find out, what is the motivation for them to be in cult - in general it is some kind of a need or relief of a fear (there is always something good on the cult, maybe only on the surface, but still it can be very deep reason for your relatives to fall in - etc. need to be good, need to live safely their relationships, fear from death, ilness, living whole life without sense)
    4. show them your respect (not benevolence) as between adults, give them freedom
    5. try to stay in connection, make your relationship towards them stronger, show them unconditional love (your relationship is maybe the only weapon you have, because now they see that in cult is everything the best)
    6. ask other family member to try to be with them in contact
    7. show them your interest in their believe, don't refuse the literature of the group - your interest has to be honest... at least you will see, what the teaching looks like, what you are facing to
    8. prize some qualities of some cult members - if you can do it sincerly - it can give you chance to speak with them about etical themes, spiritual experiences, daily life in group - themes like leader and his authority and dogmas are not recommended :-)

    So you can try to prepare them place where they can go if they decide to leave the cult. As it is said, it is not so hard to leave the cult but to find a place where to go and fullfill the gap after a cult.
    And this place can be loving, strong Mercury with no accusations, just acceptance.
    And it can happend you will do everything and even though they will stay in cult. Then it is up to you to live your life. It is not you who have responsibilty for their lives.
    I wish you the best. And a lot of patience.
    And do what ever you want - what I wrote are just words.
    Take care.
  • Mercury August 2011
    Posts: 13
    What is the story with theese black dreams, I don't have them. How are they? It is incredible how my sister and my mother talk to people all the time about yoga and try to persuade them to come..It is a crime how he (SM) uses such a beautiful philosophy (Yoga) to seduce people and then manipulate them..It is hard to tell somebody that feels so divine that he is in fact hypnotised, acting like his (SM) slaves. I think is our duty to protect those lost souls because they are weak and helpless..
  • truthseeker August 2011
    Posts: 541
    An ex-YiDL-follower told me about another ex-YiDL follower who had had nightmares about swAmi trying to break into his mind trying to get information. The first ex-YiDL-follower saw this as an indication that swAmi has occult powers. I had just left YiDL at that time and this story caused some fear in me and as a result I also had nightmares that night about swAmi attacking me. I also believed he had some siddhis, but not anymore now. I realised that I was making myself afraid with my own mind and I haven't had nightmares ever since. It's all in the mind, as Mangal says.

    Although I was in YiDL for a relatively short time and I wasn't too fanatical, swAmi had some control over my mind, because I believed in him and in most of his philosophies, I often listened to his speeches on the webcast and attended satsangs sometimes. I see the nightmares and the emotions of the first weeks after leaving as withdrawal symptoms, like you have when you stop with some kind of destructive behaviour. I had to refocus my mind and I have pretty well succeeded in that, also thanks to this forum. And I'm doing fine, I don't really miss YiDL, accept for the friends I had there.
  • someonefromhungary August 2011
    Posts: 334
    for years, I haven't had bad dreams, maybe once or twice a year. during the past months I only had one some time in may or june. and I knew it was related to something I read on the forum which got me down before going to sleep.
    in the dream, it was as if something/someone wanted to bite off my throat (to me, a very clear allegory for silencing, muting). then it became kind of a conscious dream and I realised having a nightmare and succeded to crawl out of it with the "usual" help of the switch of the lamp beside my bed and then "struggled" on the verge of the dream state to stay awake and not to fall back into that nightmare and I managed not to...
    still the next day, I had this feeling of being down a bit and I thought thanks god these dreams ultimately don't make me afraid at all, even if swAmi or anyone else can have such powers as to send such a dream on me which I otherwise doubt.

    1 or 2 years ago when in a dream and seeing all walls of a room moving towards me and threatening to squeeze me to death and again realising having a nightmare, I shouted "swAmi" and the whole thing was gone. already back then, I knew it wasn't him helping me in that moment, he was just something I had enough trust to grab in my dream and to pull myself out...

    and when I say even the lamp beside one's bed can pull one out of a nightmare I am not joking at all. some exercises that can increase the chance for conscious/lucid dreams (that is, when one knows s/he is dreaming) include doing "reality checks" during the day, meaning checking if we are awake or dreaming. and lamp switches tend not to work during dreams so they are mostly reliable checking tools. and if one makes it his/her habit to check if awake or dreaming during the day, this habit may also work during the dreams. that is, it may spontaneously occur to him/her during a dream that maybe s/he is dreaming and to check it out.
    I remember having this "lamp trick" to pull myself out of nightmares already in my childhood... when I wanted to come out, I tried to switch the lamp and I knew that as long as I the switch wasn't working, I was in the nightmare and I would only be out when the lamp was on...

    an interesting movie about this: Waking Life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waking_Life, http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7583894250854515095)
  • NoviSadCalling August 2011
    Posts: 175
    Reply to @Mercury:

    "I don't know why his ex followers don't speak loud, does not want to fight against him.."

    It takes time for ex-followers to clear up their minds, to get standing on their feet, and to overcome fear of XXX. It depends on type of person, as well as how "deep" one has been in Y**L cult. For some people it is short time, for other it could be months and years.

    In my opinion, it is of utmost importance to realize that XXX is not 'living god' nor person with some extraordinary possibilities. He is a man who has dedicated his whole life to psychologic manipulation with people, and of course, when someone has been doing this for 40 years - he has to be very, very good in that!
  • speakup August 2011
    Posts: 57
    Thanks Roman for new discussion thread :)
  • Roman August 2011
    Posts: 347
    Reply to @speakup:
    Good idea. Thank you.
  • Roman August 2011
    Posts: 347

    Your story sounds terrifyingly familiar. I and lots of other people who were involved in YIDL know exactly what you are talking about. Now we know it from your side but we also know it from your sister’s and parents side because we’ve experienced it before. I remember very well how I wasn’t listening to people who loved me telling me things like you are telling them. Why wasn’t I listening? Simply because I didn’t want to. I remember very well how I wasn’t listening to that tiny voice inside of me for many years when it was telling me that something was wrong. I did everything trying to suppress it – stopping those thoughts with mantra, practice, whatever. I thought I was growing spiritually, becoming stronger and more special and actually I was changing myself from bright intelligent person into a “Yes Sir idiot follower” with suppressed critical thinking and soft brain. There was discussion here about yidl being a soft cult. I respectfully disagree. It is a cult. Of course they mostly don’t beat up or kill people but they beat up and kill the healthy mind. It is very dangerous. It would be dangerous even without money or sex abuse and/or physical violence. We lose our healthy defense mechanism of survival given to us by Mother Nature to so called “higher meaning of our existence”, to dreams and self programmed visions and experiences. As somebody said, the master has been doing it for last forty years and possibly it was done to him to some degree too and therefore he is very skilful in this. But he cannot do anything to anybody if they don’t play his games. There are no powers, no “dark and black” dreams and abyss of non-realization and screwed up past lives. These things we are injecting into our minds for whatever reasons. So once person starts believing in him/herself again he (the guru) becomes just pitiful and pathetic caricature of something what went wrong. Having said all that I do recognize the almost impossible task of somebody like you trying to convince your loved ones that they should not stop thinking and they should beware of brainwashing because they are not listening and they are trying to protect their dream. It is very complicated. Just recently I spoke to a person I know quite well but who hasn’t ever been part of any organization like that. Somehow we’ve touched this subject during our discussion but I could clearly see how my friend could not understand why an intelligent adult would do certain things without gun forced to his/her head. And we all did it to some degree without realizing it at the time. As somebody said, give them your love and support based on your love to them. The convincing part will take some time. If you will be too aggressive in persuasion you will loose them. But on the other hand hold your ground and keep your head up high. Show them your strength and power. Once they see it, they will eventually realize that you are special and you are there for them to help. You have to be incredibly strong to do that but you sound like you are willing to give it a try. Show them the real strength standing right next to them loving them in comparison to far away illusory orange caricature with a voice of a goat on some video. I wish you all the best and let us know how things are going. Take care,

  • speakup August 2011
    Posts: 57
    @ Mercury
    Your situation sounds extremely stressful for you, I agree with what Roman and Chava has suggested. Some other suggestions, and also things that have helped me:

    1. If you are very distressed - very anxious, crying all the time, not sleeping or eating - please get help, go talk to your doctor immediately
    2. Find a support person, close friend or other relative who is on your side that you can talk with about these issues
    3. Try to find out what cult support services might be available in your local area or country, they may be able to suggest a cult counselor or psychologist who has experience with these issues
    4. Read as much as you can about cults to help you understand what is going on and why your family are behaving this way
    5. Keep talking with your family if possible - try not to argue with them
    6. Bad dreams - keep a journal and write down stuff that is bothering you, this can help us to process worrying thoughts and dreams
    7. Eat well, get some exercise - feeling healthy will help you cope with stress
    8. Be patient with yourself and your family - this will probably take some time to resolve
  • mangal August 2011
    Posts: 489
    Reply to @speakup: Or you can give some donation or doing karmayoga.....best treatment in yidl:) Sorry for my awfull joke:)
  • NoviSadCalling August 2011
    Posts: 175
    Reply to @mangal:
  • Mercury August 2011
    Posts: 13
    Thank you all very much! You are the only ones who can understand what I am talking about..In the beginning as I sayed it was very stressful because I couldn't imagine that yidl is actually a cult..I took yoga classes, saw xxx few times but the only thing I was impressed about were the blind followers like my sister...they were all chanting, singing in Indian language and worst off all they all have the look of bliss when they were looking at him..My husband told me. " they became strange and acting crazy" but I sayed; "ok this is the beginning, they found something new, something nice"...but with time it turns into a nightmare. I found God at 21 year old and I know I don't need no human to tell me what God is..I am not trying to be arrogant, I don't fly like my sister but I sure feel something strong that allways allways helped me when I needed...someone uggested I need to find some help but fortunately I have my loving dubble Taurus husband, my lovely dog, "my"nature, "my" sea, "my"dolphins and my christals..I try allways to be in tune with nature, she allways gives me answers but is so nice to talk with all of you..you are a part of HIM, this great Energy full of LOVE, like the love you are sharing with me. I know this is also my journey, my karma and if I could not save them from themselves, I for sure let them live their lives...time will tell. The important thing is that now I realised the truth I didn't want to see eather, now I am much more understanding and compassionate towards them..before I was eatten by anger, having migranes...now I am migrane free for 3 months (before it was twice a week for all those 2 years)..
  • eyeopener August 2011
    Posts: 17
    Reply to @Mercury: I wish you much happiness and good people around :) Take care !
  • Mercury August 2011
    Posts: 13
    Reply to @eyeopener:

    Thank you ;-)
  • Mercury August 2011
    Posts: 13
    Reply to Mangal: I am making donations for rescuing animals...I know I can do better of course but whenewer I can help somebody I surely do
  • elisabeth September 2011
    Posts: 112
    Hi Mercury, have you been following this forum for a while?
  • Mercury September 2011
    Posts: 13
    Reply to @elisabeth:

    I discovered this forum only cca 3 weeks ago...before I was looking to find something about xxx but I couldn't, why you ask me that?
  • angela September 2011
    Posts: 13
    Hi Mercury, you are from Croatia, incase you are near Zagreb, please contact me, I am here now and I can meet you and put you in contact with ex yidl people to talk, which may could be helpful for you.
  • elisabeth September 2011
    Posts: 112
    Mercury: Because I'm a skeptical, cynical and mistrusting old bag :-). I found it strange that the moment Roman created a new topic/thread, a "new" person posted an anti-Swami comment. That's all. Nothing personal. And no offense intended. You're probably real and truthful, and I'm just overly cautious.
    In my defense I must say that I've been checking out the forums since day 1, and people haven't always been truthful, and there was a bit of deception going on, the Esoteric Austrian Forum comes to mind.
    But, please don't feel offended, I'm only trying to make sense of it all.
    Didn't you feel right about posting in the last 3 weeks? I also find it strange that before 3 weeks you couldn't find anything on SM? We all come up immediately if you google his name. I'm on the first page, in second place (falseguru), and the Abuse Site is Nr 4 on the first page.
  • Mercury September 2011
    Posts: 13
    Reply to @elisabeth:
    Hm, what can I tell you? I did what I did when it feels right to do...I think I don't need to defend myself and if someone don't trust what I wrote this is not my problem..When I was writting here I was also cautious that someone close to my sisiter don't recognize who I am (Ivan knows who this is)..Croatia is small and as I say I think there are some evil powers involved too in this story of YIDL and it is better not to blow everything before (and if) I will acomplish something at least with my parents..I hope you understood what I mean. There have been some changes in the house since I talked to them but someone from YIDL also took action, I can't write it right now but if this nightmare will end I will write the whole story with my signature
  • Shivashakti September 2011
    Posts: 75
    Psychopathy and the Characteristics of a Cult Leader
  • NoviSadCalling September 2011
    Posts: 175
    Sorry for long post ...



    THE PSYCHOPATH - The Mask of Sanity

    Special Research Project of the Quantum Future School


    Yet surprisingly, many people know nothing about this disorder, or if they do, they think only in terms of violent psychopathy - murderers, serial killers, mass murderers - people who have conspicuously broken the law many times over, and who, if caught, will be imprisoned, maybe even put to death by our legal system.

    We are not commonly aware of, nor do we usually identify, the larger number of nonviolent sociopaths among us, people who often are not blatant lawbreakers, and against whom our formal legal system provides little defense.

    Most of us would not imagine any correspondence between conceiving an ethnic genocide and, say, guiltlessly lying to one's boss about a coworker. But the psychological correspondence is not only there; it is chilling. Simple and profound, the link is the absence of the inner mechanism that beats up on us, emotionally speaking, when we make a choice we view as immoral, unethical, neglectful, or selfish.


    Let us assume that in a dispute, one side is innocent, honest, and tells the truth. It is obvious that lying does an innocent person no good; what lie can he tell? If he is innocent, the only lie he can tell is to falsely confess "I did it." But lying is nothing but good for the liar. He can declare that "I didn't do it," and accuse another of doing it, all the while the innocent person he has accused is saying "I didn't do it," and is actually telling the truth.

    The truth - when twisted by good liars, can always make an innocent person look bad - especially if the innocent person is honest and admits his mistakes.

    The basic assumption that the truth lies between the testimony of the two sides always shifts the advantage to the lying side and away from the side telling the truth. Under most circumstances, this shift put together with the fact that the truth is going to also be twisted in such a way as to bring detriment to the innocent person, results in the advantage always resting in the hands of liars - psychopaths. Even the simple act of giving testimony under oath is useless. If a person is a liar, swearing an oath means nothing to that person. However, swearing an oath acts strongly on a serious, truthful witness. Again, the advantage is placed on the side of the liar. [Robert Canup]


    It should be emphasized that psychopaths are interesting as all get out - even exciting! They exude a captivating energy that keeps their listeners on the edge of their seats. Even if some part of the normal person is shocked or repelled by what the psychopath says, they are like the mouse hypnotized by the torturing cat. Even if they have the chance to run away, they don't. Many Psychopaths "make their living" by using charm, deceit, and manipulation to gain the confidence of their victims. Many of them can be found in white collar professions where they are aided in their evil by the fact that most people expect certain classes of people to be trustworthy because of their social or professional credentials. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, politicians, psychiatrists and psychologists, generally do not have to earn our trust because they have it by virtue of their positions. But the fact is: psychopaths are found in such lofty spheres also!

    At the same time, psychopaths are good imposters. They have absolutely no hesitation about forging and brazenly using impressive credentials to adopt professional roles that bring prestige and power. They pick professions in which the requisite skills are easy to fake, the jargon is easy to learn, and the credentials are unlikely to be thoroughly checked. Psychopaths find it extremely easy to pose as financial consultants, ministers, psychological counselors and psychologists. And that's a scary thought.


    What kind of psychological weaknesses drive people to prefer lies over truth?

    This may have something to do with what is called Cognitive Dissonance. Leon Festinger developed the theory of Cognitive Dissonance in the 50's (...) Festinger observed:

    " A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.

    We have all experienced the futility of trying to change a strong conviction, especially if the convinced person has some investment in his belief. We are familiar with the variety of ingenious defenses with which people protect their convictions, managing to keep them unscathed through the most devastating attacks.

    But man's resourcefulness goes beyond simply protecting a belief. Suppose an individual believes something with his whole heart; suppose further that he has a commitment to this belief, that he has taken irrevocable actions because of it; finally, suppose that he is presented with evidence, unequivocal and undeniable evidence, that his belief is wrong: what will happen? The individual will frequently emerge, not only unshaken, but even more convinced of the truth of his beliefs than ever before. Indeed, he may even show a new fervor about convincing and converting other people to his view.


    But this raises, again, the question: if their speech is so odd, how come smart people get taken in by them? Why do we fail to pick up the inconsistencies?

    Part of the answer is that the oddities are subtle so that our general listening mode will not normally pick them up. But my own experience is that some of the "skipped" or oddly arranged words, or misused words are automatically reinterpreted by OUR brains in the same way we automatically "fill in the blank" space on a neon sign when one of the letters has gone out. We can be driving down the road at night, and ahead we see M_tel, and we mentally put the "o" in place and read "Motel." Something like this happens between the psychopath and the victim. We fill in the "missing humanness" by filling in the blanks with our own assumptions, based on what WE think and feel and mean. And, in this way, because there are these "blank" spots, we fill them in with what is inside us, and thus we are easily convinced that the psychopath is a great guy - because he is just like us! We have been conditioned to operate on trust, and we always try to give the "benefit of the doubt." So, there are blanks, we "give the benefit of the doubt," and we are thereby hoisted on our own petard.


    The callous use of the old, the lonely, the vulnerable, the disenfranchised, the marginalized, is a trademark of the psychopath. And when any of them wake up to what is happening, they are generally too embarrassed to complain.


    Sadly, as we see, psychopaths have no lack of victims because so many people are ready and willing to play the role. And in many, many cases, the victim simply refuses to believe the evidence that they are being victimized. Psychological denial screens out knowledge that is painful, and persons with large investments in their fantasies are often unable to acknowledge that they are being deceived because it it too painful. Most often, these are women who rigidly adhere to the traditional role of the female with a strong sense of duty to be a "good wife." She will believe that if she tries harder or simply waits it out, her husband will reform. When he ignores her, abuses her, cheats on her, or uses her, she can simply just decide to "try harder, put more energy into the relationship, and take better care of him." She believes that if she does this, eventually he will notice and will see how valuable she is, and then he will fall on his knees in gratitude and treat her like a queen.

    Dream on.

  • truthseeker September 2011
    Posts: 541
    Reply to @NoviSadCalling:

    Some conclusions:

    * If swami is a psychopath and he has no conscience, it explains a lot of his charisma and why he is so good in playing with human emotions and sympathies and manipulating them. Therefore we musn't be too hard on ourselves and blame ourselves for our naivety that we believed him. We do want to learn from it though, of course.

    * If he is a psychopath, his lying and cheating must be pathological. He would have been a liar and cheater even if he had remained a car mechanic. He wouldn't have 'achieved' as much though, cause it's much easier to cheat in the 'spiritual business'. When someone's car is not repaired properly the problem will mostly display itself soon and that person will simply go back to the garage and demand a better repair or getting his money back.

    * It's very hard to get people like Baremuenze and Connex out of their victim role. They have invested a lot in their relationship with swAmi and YiDL and are constantly repeating their behaviour, which may date back to their childhood, hoping to get some gratification.

    * We cannot change the minds of the fanatical believers like Peter. The more we try, the harder they will stick to their believes.
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