Author Topic: thought reform  (Read 2893 times)

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Offline GregFL

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thought reform
« on: May 16, 2002, 09:55:00 AM »
Thought reform is not a new idea, and has been praticed on prisoners of war and by various cults thru out the world including the church of unification, the hari krishna
movement, Al queda, the church of scientology, and, of course, the seed.  Check this out below and post your comments;

Eight Conditions of Thought Reform
*as presented in "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism" by Robert Jay Lifton, W.W. Norton & Co., Inc., 1963.

Milieu Control -
Purposeful limitation of all forms of communication with outside world. Environment control and the control of human communication. Not just communication between people but communication within people's minds to themselves.  

Mystical Manipulation
Potential convert is convinced of the higher purpose within the special group. Everyone is manipulating everyone, under the belief that it advances the "ultimate purpose." Experiences are engineered to appear to be spontaneous, when, in fact, they are contrived to have a deliberate effect. People mistakenly attribute their experiences to spiritual causes when, in fact, they are concocted by human beings.  
Confession  Only by pushing toward perfection, as the group views goodness, will the recruit be able to contribute. The environment demands that personal boundaries are destroyed and that every thought, feeling, or action that does not conform with the group's rules be confessed; little or no privacy.  

Self-sanctification-
through Purity  Public confessional periods used to get members to verbalize and discuss their innermost fears & anxieties as well as past imperfections. The creation of a guilt and shame milieu by holding up standards of perfection that no human being can accomplish. People are punished and learn to punish themselves for not living up to the group's ideals.  

Aura of Sacred Science-  Idea that the cult's laws, rules and regulations are absolute and, therefore, to be followed automatically. The group's belief is that their dogma is absolutely scientific and morally true. No alternative viewpoint is allowed. No questions of the dogma are permitted.  

Loaded Language-  The invention of a new vocabulary, confusing well-known words with their own meanings, trite clichÈs. Controlling words help to control people's thoughts. A totalist group uses totalist language to make reality compressed into black or white using thought-terminating cliches.Non-members cannot simply comprehend what cult members are talking about. The words constrict rather than expand human understanding.  

Doctrine over Person-
Past experience and values invalid to new cult morality--value of individual insignificant compared to value of group. No matter what a person experiences, it is the belief of the dogma which is important. Group belief supersedes conscience and integrity.  

Dispensed Existence-
Elitist world view--sharp line drawn by cult between those who have been saved, chosen, etc. (cult members) and those who are lost, in the dark, etc., (the rest of the world). The group decides who has a right to exist and does not. Former members are seen as "weak, " "lost," and "the enemy". There is no other legitimate alternative to the group.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline kaydeejaded

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thought reform
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2002, 12:35:00 PM »
That about covers it Greg let me go and vomit now. Straight and the Seed and Kids and AARC and and ...... and parents still think they saved us. Please. any more help and I'd be dead.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
or those who understand, no explanation is necessary; for those who don\'t, none will do

Offline marshall

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thought reform
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2005, 03:47:00 PM »
These links expand upon your thought-reform conditions and touch upon the use of cognitive dissonance that wally mentioned:
(Caution: may cause readers to analyze & get into their head! :skull:)

http://www.spiritualabuse.org/articles/totalism.html

http://www.rickross.com/reference/brain ... hing8.html

http://www.uwm.edu/People/hynan/205/205PRESS.html
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. You must climb towards the Truth. It cannot be \'stepped down\'

Offline cleveland

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thought reform
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2005, 05:19:00 PM »
OK, I will take on the first couple of the cultic standards Greg set down:

Milieu Control

[Purposeful limitation of all forms of communication with outside world.]

Seed version: Newcomers spend the first three days by 'taking the cotton out of your ears and putting it into your mouth,' 'What's heard at the Seed stays at the Seed,' 'No talking to newspaper reporters or people from other drug rehabs,' 'No newcomers talking to other newcomers'(no talking); 'No reading newspapers, magazines or books, or listening to the radio, or watching TV until you're an oldcomer...' (no outside media)...

[Environment control and the control of human communication.]

Seed: No going to the bathroom by yourself, or walking anywhere by yourself, raising your hand for permission to do anything (no freedom of movement)...

[Not just communication between people but communication within people's minds to themselves.]

Seed: No 'getting into your head' (no thinking); 'Get your head out of the gutter!' (supress fantasy and sexuality, inspire shame); 'That's not important' in response to almost any question (don't challenge).
 
Mystical Manipulation

[Potential convert is convinced of the higher purpose within the special group.]

Seed: 'My higher power is Art or the group...'

[Everyone is manipulating everyone, under the belief that it advances the "ultimate purpose."]

Seed: Everyone is encouraged to confess in a group setting, anyone's behaviour is subject to comment in a rap, at home, or by staff. Everyone has to ask permission from a shifting hierarchy of staff, jr. staff and senior oldcomers for everything. People are encouraged to report anything and everything to a senior member, staff or to Art.

[Experiences are engineered to appear to be spontaneous, when, in fact, they are contrived to have a deliberate effect.]

Seed: a rap is a carefully orchestrated, well-rehearsed one-way conversation. People's stories are so consistent because anything but the party line ("I was an asshole before; now, I'm saved, becasue of the Seed") is disapproved of and supressed.

Anyone else? I'll add more later...
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Offline Antigen

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thought reform
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2005, 05:55:00 PM »
Quote
On 2005-02-02 14:19:00, cleveland wrote:


Anyone else? I'll add more later...

[Potential convert is convinced of the higher purpose within the special group.]



Awareness!  :nworthy: Gimme some of that telepathic, empathic (not empathetic, that was a made up word; and one that will sometimes give away your linguistic heritage in Synanon) simple answer to all of life's complexities, Awareness! To this day, I have a hard time writing that word out in this context w/o capitalization. And I generally avoid it's use in other context. It's a ruined word for me; one that my kids might not hear often enough to pass on to the next generation.

I know people who, 10, 15 or 20 years later still confuse the ability to make snap judgements based on Program dogma and to fully convince themselves of their profound, God given merit w/ an actual ability to read people really well.

I cannot see how a man of any large degree of humorous perception can ever be religious -- unless he purposely shut the eyes of his mind and keep them shut by force.
--Samuel Clemens "Mark Twain", American author and humorist



_________________
Ginger Warbis ~ Antigen
Seed sibling `71 - `80
Straight South (Sarasota, FL)
   10/80 - 10/82
Anonymity Anonymous
Some days, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps.
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"Don\'t let the past remind us of what we are not now."
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Offline Jimmy Cusick

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thought reform
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2005, 10:09:00 AM »
Gregg, I'm sorry to disappoint you but we werent prisoners of war. We were selfish little bastards that needed a serious attitude adjustment. That required disciplinary action that confronted us head-on. Gimme a break and stop pretending that you were in Red China.
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Offline GregFL

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« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2005, 10:55:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-02-03 07:09:00, Jimmy Cusick wrote:

"Gregg, I'm sorry to disappoint you but we werent prisoners of war. We were selfish little bastards that needed a serious attitude adjustment. That required disciplinary action that confronted us head-on. Gimme a break and stop pretending that you were in Red China."


I wasn't in red china, I was in red St Pete.

 :grin:

Jimmy, with all due respect, your opinions on this subject have waivered and buckled.

Pick a position and stick with it... it gives you more credibility.
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Offline GregFL

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thought reform
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2005, 11:56:00 AM »
Quote
On 2005-02-03 07:09:00, Jimmy Cusick wrote:

We were selfish little bastards


Speak for yourself...I kinda think I was a pretty cool little fourteen year old, if not a little sad over my family situation.  Not selfish at all...not then and not now.
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Offline Anonymous

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thought reform
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2005, 12:40:00 PM »
How dare you slander the noble motives of the People's Republic by comparing it to a twisted little cult! Our party also determined that the citizens of China were selfish little bastards that needed a serious attitude adjustment. Many insisted upon earning extra money, clinging to private property, holding their own selfish opinions, insisted upon determing for themselves the number of children they would have and where they worked.  Why, the common people do not even realize that exercise is important for their well-being,  so we had to make group exercise a social requirement. Their attitudes retained obvious bourgious overtones. Given the inherent selfish, deviant nature of the common person, disagreement with the party line can not be tolerated.  It was out of the purest motives to help our citizens and bring them into line with true unselfish communist ideology that we undertook our cultural revolution. This pervasive self-centered capitalist ideology required the use of disciplinary action to confront it head-on. While this remedy may have involved the use of what you westerners call brainwashing, this was for the citizen's own good. Just look at what world communism offers: One world government where everyone shares with everyone else, no private property, a classless utopia where there is no more poverty, hunger or war.  Doesn't the realization of this vision justify the use of any means of persuasion? We are the chosen nation to spread the truth. No sacrifice is too large, even selfish individual freedom.  In our great march to one-world communism we will refuse to even speak to capitalist assholes.
Love ya,
Chairman Mao



But chairman sir, what about all of the people who suffered and died in achieving your vision? What about the families torn apart because of your re-education camps? What about the absence of personal freedom? What about the reports we've heard of your own, selfish, oppulent lifestyle?
Sincerely,
A questioning mind


"That's not important."
Love ya,
Chairman Mao
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Offline GregFL

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« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2005, 01:18:00 PM »
hehe..


purrrrfect!
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Offline cleveland

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« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2005, 03:07:00 PM »
Laugh out loud, Chairman!
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Offline marshall

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« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2005, 05:33:00 PM »
<"I know people who, 10, 15 or 20 years later still confuse the ability to make snap judgements based on Program dogma and to fully convince themselves of their profound, God given merit w/ an actual ability to read people really well.">

I agree. This is exactly what I meant by the assertion that we developed a relative or warped sort of awareness.  If we saw someone starring thoughtfully, we were 'aware' that they were into their head. If someone used non-approved lingo, we were 'aware' that they were trying to be cool. If someone listened to non approved music, read non-approved books or wore non-approved clothing, we were 'aware' that they were hanging on to old images. If they rejected the fundamental worldview of the seed, we were 'aware' that they were obviously full of shit. Again, it was all seed-defined. I've seen this same type of awareness in many other, especially religious  groups. They can become incredibly 'aware' when a member begins to deviate from the ideology.

After I graduated the seed, a former girlfriend came to see me. She had married and just wanted to talk and visit like you would with any old friend you hadn't seen in some time. I was nearly oblivious to anything that she was saying or thinking. The only thing in my mind was that we had smoked pot together several times....along with all of the images and ideas the seed had carefully cultivated in my young mind. 'Druggie asshole, gamey chicks, tying to be cool, crabs in a bucket.' I rudely told her I was straight & didn't want anything to do with her. She was puzzled by my words and explained that she hadn't used any drugs in months.  I remember her eyes filled with tears as she walked away.

My reaction didn't spring from any strength or inner conviction...rather a combination of fear (If you talk to your old druggie friends, they will drag you back down, etc.) and pure programmed response. At the time,  I felt I had 'passed' some important seed test, that I'd stood up to her. Looking back on this now, I see that I actually had a lower level of awareness and sensitivity than is exhibited by the average person. I couldn't see or understand the actual person in front of me because my mind was clogged with all sorts of conditioning and ideology from the seed. At that moment, I really was an asshole.  

Real awareness, empathy and sensitivity imo require a truly honest openness. This openness isn't possible if I am constantly judging & labeling other people based upon some ideological standard.  Oddly, I recall raps about 'not bagging people'. Presumably, this only applied to other seedlings and not 'selfish bastards or druggie assholes.'

I wonder...can real honesty, integrity, compassion or awareness ever be the result of coercion or any sort of mind-control or behaviour manipulation? The seed staff often asserted that we were actually brainwashed by our peer group...our druggie friends. The implication being that the seed itself was a form of deprogramming seeking to free us from a druggie cult. Even if this were true (which is absurd) can you achieve true freedom via substituting one form of conditioning for another? Can any amount of programming or counterprogramming ever result in genuine freedom or the ability to think for oneself?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or to coerce people along any particular path. You must climb towards the Truth. It cannot be \'stepped down\'

Offline GregFL

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« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2005, 05:56:00 PM »
Damn, you just absolutely and completely nailed that!

 :nworthy:


As to your question..my opinion is no. You cannot acheive any real sense of awareness of the world by following a group dogma. You must be able to be intuitive, responsive, emotional and analytical...all things that we were forced to restrict thru the filter of the program dogma.

It is funny how exlusive groups twist definitions...
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2005, 10:20:00 AM »
You're tellimg ME? A man that used to be Mike Franzese's right-hand man didn't need thought reform? Oh guy, you've gone to a different level of mind-fucking. I needed it. :wstupid:
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2005, 10:38:00 AM »
Yeah....you free-mason clown who thinks he's IT, why don't you go out and buy"Blood Covenant" by Mike Franzese and read about him and you might even find some dirt on me too. You don't know how many people wished that they had my chair. :smokin:
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