Author Topic: Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?  (Read 1826 times)

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Offline AuntieEm2

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?
« on: January 30, 2008, 06:11:15 PM »
Good post, Liam, thanks.

Auntie Em
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Tough love is a hate group.
"I have sworn...eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." -Thomas Jefferson.

Offline TheWho

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2008, 06:25:44 PM »
Interesting  post… this should be used as a reference in determining if a specific program is a cult or not.  I think over time the word “Cult” has been over used here on fornits.  Many of the TBS’s that I am aware of do not fall within the category of Cult although it seems many of the schools which grew out of the 1970’ and 80’s take on many of the cult attributes.  It appears that the program models are moving away from this type of reform over time.



...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline dishdutyfugitive

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2008, 07:56:15 PM »
CULT  (American Heritage Dictionary - http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/cult )

A usually nonscientific method or regimen claimed by its originator to have exclusive or exceptional power in curing a particular disease.

A usually nonscientific method or regimen. = TBS
Long term studies and Control groups have NEVER BEEN USED within the industry.

its originator   = Mel Wasserman

exceptional power in curing  = "Without my program I'd be dead".


a particular disease = Teens reacting to being raised in a dysfunctional household.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Che Gookin

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2008, 08:33:06 PM »
I'm a bigger fan of Steve Hassan's cult identification methodology, but same results in the end for the most part.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult? - some resources
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2008, 01:56:15 AM »
Okay... Here's that link mentioned above:
http://www.freedomofmind.com/

Looks interesting, will have a good read, and give them a call too.

On that topic, a short but disturbing article called...

Prophet Motive
The stories behind the most sinister cults in Bay Area history.
http://www.thewavemag.com/pagegen.php?p ... leid=25268
By Todd Dever

[Among the many listed... we find...]

SYNANON www.synanon.net Founder: Charles Dederich
History: After Synanon purchased land in Marin County in 1967 to build a drug rehabilitation center, the group received large donations from Fortune 500 companies and much political support for their work in turning around troubled lives. But the dream morphed into a nightmare once Dederich became intoxicated with power. The rehab center quickly became little more than a front for a Synanon cult where violence and emotional abuse were rampant. As word leaked about the troubles within Synanon and concerned relatives and Marin neighbors started snooping around, Dederich declared a “holy war” against anyone who confronted his group. One local rancher was attacked by a Synanon mob for helping Synanon runaways. A man who tried to retrieve his child from Synanon was beaten with croquet mallets on his own front lawn. And a lawyer who sued Synanon was bitten by a rattlesnake planted in his mailbox – doctors had to use 11 vials of anti-venom to save his life.

Sex scandal: In 1976, Dederich decided that children were a nuisance, so he ordered all of his male members to undergo vasectomies, sans himself. And when his wife died of cancer in ’77, he chose a new wife and ordered all married couples to break up and take new partners so they could share in their master’s experience.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline LS

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2008, 02:09:37 AM »
Another measuring tape... I like this one, too.

Quoted entirely from: http://www.factnet.org/rancho1.htm

THE PURPOSES AND TACTICS OF COERCIVE PERSUASION

Coercive persuasion or thought reform as it is sometimes known, is best understood as a coordinated system of graduated coercive influence and behavior control designed to deceptively and surreptitiously manipulate and influence individuals, usually in a group setting, in order for the originators of the program to profit in some way, normally financially or politically.

The essential strategy used by those operating such programs is to systematically select, sequence and coordinate numerous coercive persuasion tactics over CONTINUOUS PERIODS OF TIME. There are seven main tactic types found in various combinations in a coercive persuasion program. A coercive persuasion program can still be quite effective without the presence of ALL seven of these tactic types.

TACTIC 1. The individual is prepared for thought reform through increased suggestibility and/or "softening up," specifically through hypnotic or other suggestibility-increasing techniques such as: A. Extended audio, visual, verbal, or tactile fixation drills; B. Excessive exact repetition of routine activities; C. Decreased sleep; D. Nutritional restriction.

TACTIC 2. Using rewards and punishments, efforts are made to establish considerable control over a person's social environment, time, and sources of social support. Social isolation is promoted. Contact with family and friends is abridged, as is contact with persons who do not share group-approved attitudes. Economic and other dependence on the group is fostered. (In the forerunner to coercive persuasion, brainwashing, this was rather easy to achieve through simple imprisonment.)

TACTIC 3. Disconfirming information and nonsupporting opinions are prohibited in group communication. Rules exist about permissible topics to discuss with outsiders. Communication is highly controlled. An "in-group" language is usually constructed.

TACTIC 4. Frequent and intense attempts are made to cause a person to re-evaluate the most central aspects of his or her experience of self and prior conduct in negative ways. Efforts are designed to destabilize and undermine the subject's basic consciousness, reality awareness, world view, emotional control, and defense mechanisms as well as getting them to reinterpret their life's history, and adopt a new version of causality.

TACTIC 5. Intense and frequent attempts are made to undermine a person's confidence in himself and his judgment, creating a sense of powerlessness.

TACTIC 6. Nonphysical punishments are used such as intense humiliation, loss of privilege, social isolation, social status changes, intense guilt, anxiety, manipulation and other techniques for creating strong aversive emotional arousals, etc.

TACTIC 7.
Certain secular psychological threats [force] are used or are present: That failure to adopt the approved attitude, belief, or consequent behavior will lead to severe punishment or dire consequence, (e.g. physical or mental illness, the reappearance of a prior physical illness, drug dependence, economic collapse, social failure, divorce, disintegration, failure to find a mate, etc.).

Another set of criteria has to do with defining other common elements of mind control systems. If most of Robert Jay Lifton's eight point model of thought reform is being used in a cultic organization, it is most likely a dangerous and destructive cult. These eight points follow:

    Robert Jay Lifton's Eight Point Model of Thought Reform

    1. ENVIRONMENT CONTROL. Limitation of many/all forms of communication with those outside the group. Books, magazines, letters and visits with friends and family are taboo. "Come out and be separate!"

    2. MYSTICAL MANIPULATION. The potential convert to the group becomes convinced of the higher purpose and special calling of the
    group through a profound encounter / experience, for example, through an alleged miracle or prophetic word of those in the group.

    3. DEMAND FOR PURITY. An explicit goal of the group is to bring about some kind of change, whether it be on a global, social, or
    personal level. "Perfection is possible if one stays with the group and is committed."

    4. CULT OF CONFESSION. The unhealthy practice of self disclosure to members in the group. Often in the context of a public gathering in the group, admitting past sins and imperfections, even doubts about the group and critical thoughts about the integrity of the leaders.

    5. SACRED SCIENCE. The group's perspective is absolutely true and completely adequate to explain EVERYTHING. The doctrine is not subject to amendments or question. ABSOLUTE conformity to the doctrine is required.

    6. LOADED LANGUAGE. A new vocabulary emerges within the context of the group. Group members "think" within the very abstract
    and narrow parameters of the group's doctrine. The terminology sufficiently stops members from thinking critically by reinforcing a "black and white" mentality. Loaded terms and clichés prejudice thinking.

    7. DOCTRINE OVER PERSON. Pre-group experience and group experience are narrowly and decisively interpreted through the absolute doctrine, even when experience contradicts the doctrine.

    8. DISPENSING OF EXISTENCE. Salvation is possible only in the group. Those who leave the group are doomed.

COERCIVE PERSUASION IS NOT PEACEFUL PERSUASION

Programs identified with the above-listed seven tactics have in common the elements of attempting to greatly modify a person's self-concept, perceptions of reality, and interpersonal relations. When successful in inducing these changes, coercive thought reform programs also, among other things, create the potential forces necessary for exercising undue influence over a person's independent decision-making ability, and even for turning the individual into a deployable agent for the organization's benefit without the individual's meaningful knowledge or consent.

Coercive persuasion programs are effective because individuals experiencing the deliberately planned severe stresses they generate can only reduce the pressures by accepting the system or adopting the behaviors being promulgated by the purveyors of the coercion program. The relationship between the person and the coercive persuasion tactics are DYNAMIC in that while the force of the pressures, rewards, and punishments brought to bear on the person are considerable, they do not lead to a stable, meaningfully SELF-CHOSEN reorganization of beliefs or attitudes. Rather, they lead to a sort of coerced compliance and a situationally required elaborate rationalization, for the new conduct.

Once again, in order to maintain the new attitudes or "decisions," sustain the rationalization, and continue to unduly influence a person's behavior over time, coercive tactics must be more or less CONTINUOUSLY applied. A fiery, "hell and damnation" guilt-ridden sermon from the pulpit or several hours with a high-pressure salesman or other single instances of the so-called peaceful persuasions do not constitute the "necessary chords and orchestration" of a SEQUENCED, continuous, COORDINATED, and carefully selected PROGRAM of surreptitious coercion, as found in a comprehensive program of "coercive persuasion."
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline seamus

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2008, 12:33:09 PM »
WELCOME TO STRAIGHT INC
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
It\'d be sad if it wernt so funny,It\'d be funny if it wernt so sad

Offline Che Gookin

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Re: Is Your School/Organization A Cult?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2008, 05:10:07 AM »
This is my favored method of cult detection. I personally like the simplicity of it and the fact that it doesn't weigh itself down with a bunch of loaded terms that I need a big assed dictionary to decipher.

Quote
Mind Control - The BITE Model
From chapter two of Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves*

*© 2000 by Steven Hassan; published by Freedom of Mind Press, Somerville MA

Destructive mind control can be understood in terms of four basic components, which form the acronym BITE:

I.
 Behavior Control
 
II.
 Information Control
 
III.
 Thought Control
 
IV.
 Emotional Control
 

It is important to understand that destructive mind control can be determined when the overall effect of these four components promotes dependency and obedience to some leader or cause. It is not necessary for every single item on the list to be present. Mind controlled cult members can live in their own apartments, have nine-to-five jobs, be married with children, and still be unable to think for themselves and act independently.

 

I. Behavior Control
1. Regulation of individual's physical reality

a. Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with
b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
c. What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
d. How much sleep the person is able to have
e. Financial dependence
f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations

2. Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals

3. Need to ask permission for major decisions

4. Need to report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors

5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative).

6. Individualism discouraged; group think prevails

7. Rigid rules and regulations

8. Need for obedience and dependency

II. Information Control
1. Use of deception

a. Deliberately holding back information
b. Distorting information to make it acceptable
c. Outright lying

2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged

a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
b. Critical information
c. Former members
d. Keep members so busy they don't have time to think

3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines

a. Information is not freely accessible
b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid
c. Leadership decides who "needs to know" what

4. Spying on other members is encouraged

a. Pairing up with "buddy" system to monitor and control
b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership

5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda

a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc.
b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources

6. Unethical use of confession

a. Information about "sins" used to abolish identity boundaries
b. Past "sins" used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution

III. Thought Control
1. Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"

a. Map = Reality
b. Black and White thinking
c. Good vs. evil
d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)

2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".

3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.

4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.

a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
b. Chanting
c. Meditating
d. Praying
e. Speaking in "tongues"
f. Singing or humming

5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate

6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful

IV. Emotional Control
1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.

2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader's or the group's.

3. Excessive use of guilt

a. Identity guilt

1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
2. Your family
3. Your past
4. Your affiliations
5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions

b. Social guilt
c. Historical guilt

4. Excessive use of fear

a. Fear of thinking independently
b. Fear of the "outside" world
c. Fear of enemies
d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
f. Fear of disapproval

5. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.

6. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".

7. Phobia indoctrination : programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.

a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside"of the group
b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations"; etc.
c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak;" "undisciplined;" "unspiritual;" "worldly;" "brainwashed by family, counselors;" seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »