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Offline Awake

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How did they...
« on: July 02, 2008, 01:20:23 AM »
Here's some info that I found to be too similar to be coincidence.

 
Lifton's Thought Reform
Robert Jay Lifton was one of the early psychologists to study brainwashing and mind control. He called the method used thought reform, and offered the following eight methods that are used to change people's minds.

 

Milieu control
All communication with outside world is limited, either being strictly filtered or completely cut off. Whether it is a monastery or a behind-closed-doors cult, isolation from the ideas, examples and distractions of the outside world turns the individuals attention to the only remaining form of stimulation, which is the ideology that is being inculcated in them.

This even works at the intrapersonal level, and individuals are discouraged from thinking incorrect thoughts, which may be termed evil, selfish, immoral and so on.

Mystical manipulation
A part of the teaching is that the group has a higher purpose than others outside the group. This may be altruistic, such as saving the world or helping people in need. It may also be selfish, for example that group members will be saved when others outside the group will perish.

All things are then attributed and linked to this higher purpose. Coincidences (which actually may be deliberately engineered) are portrayed as symbolic events. Attention is given to the problems of out-group people and attributed to their not being in the group. Revelations are attributed to spiritual causes.

This association of events is used as evidence that the group truly is special and exclusive.

Confession
Individuals are encouraged to confess past 'sins' (as defined by the group). This creates a tension between the person's actions and their stated belief that the action is bad, particularly if the statement is made publicly. The consistency principle thus leads the person to fully adopt the belief that the sin is bad and to distance themselves from repeating it.

Discussion of inner fears and anxieties, as well as confessing sins is exposing vulnerabilities and requires the person to place trust in the group and hence bond with them. When we bond with others, they become our friends, and we will tend to adopt their beliefs more easily.

This effect may be exaggerated with intense sessions where deep thoughts and feelings are regularly surfaced. This also has the effect of exhausting people, making them more open to suggestion.

Self-sanctification through purity
Individuals are encouraged to constantly push towards an ultimate and unattainable perfection. This may be rewarded with promotion within the group to higher levels, for example by giving them a new status name (acolyte, traveller, master, etc.) or by giving them new authority within the group.

The unattainability of the ultimate perfection is used to induce guilt and show the person to be sinful and hence sustain the requirement for confession and obedience to those higher than them in the groups order of perfection.

Not being perfect may be seen as deserving of punishment, which may be meted out by the higher members of the group or even by the person themselves, who are taught that such atonement and self-flagellation is a valuable method of reaching higher levels of perfection.

Aura of sacred science
The beliefs and regulations of the group are framed as perfect, absolute and non-negotiable. The dogma of the group is presented as scientifically correct or otherwise unquestionable.

Rules and processes are therefore to be followed without question, and any transgression is a sin and hence requires atonement or other forms of punishment, as does consideration of any alternative viewpoints.

Loaded language
New words and language are created to explain the new and profound meanings that have been discovered. Existing words are also hijacked and given new and different meaning.

This is particularly effective due to the way we think a lot though language. The consequence of this is that the person who controls the meaning of words also controls how people think. In this way, black-and-white thinking is embedded in the language, such that wrong-doers are framed as terrible and evil, whilst those who do right (as defined by the group) are perfect and marvellous.

The meaning of words are kept hidden both from the outside world, giving a sense of exclusivity. The meaning of special words may also be revealed in careful illuminatory rituals, where people who are being elevated within the order are given the power of understanding this new language.

Doctrine over person
The importance of the group is elevated over the importance of the individual in all ways. Along with this comes the importance of the the group's ideas and rules over personal beliefs and values.

Past experiences, beliefs and values can all thus be cast as being invalid if they conflict with group rules. In fact this conflict can be used as a reason for confession of sins. Likewise, the beliefs, values and words of those outside the group are equally invalid.

Dispensed existence
There is a very sharp line between the group and the outside world. Insiders are to be saved and elevated, whilst outsiders are doomed to failure and loss (which may be eternal).

Who is an outsider or insider is chosen by the group. Thus, any person within the group may be damned at any time. There are no rights of membership except, perhaps, for the leader.

People who leave the group are singled out as particularly evil, weak, lost or otherwise to be despised or pitied. Rather than being ignored or hidden, they are used as examples of how anyone who leaves will be looked down upon and publicly denigrated.

People thus have a constant fear of being cast out, and consequently work hard to be accepted and not be ejected from the group. Outsiders who try to persuade the person to leave are doubly feared.

Dispensation also goes into all aspects of living within the group. Any and all aspects of existence within the group is subject to scrutiny and control. There is no privacy and, ultimately, no free will.

Lifton's Brainwashing Processes

Robert Jay Lifton was one of the early psychologists to study brainwashing and mind control. He called the method used thought reform. From an analysis of two French priests who had been subjected to brainwashing, he identified the following processes used on them:

Assault on identity
Aspects of self-identity are systematically attacked. For example the priests were told that they were not real Fathers. This has a serious destabilizing effect as people lose a sense of who they are. Losing the self also leads to weakening of beliefs and values, which are then easier to change.

Guilt
Constant arguments that cast the person as guilty of any kind of wrong-doing leads them to eventually feel shame about most things and even feel that they deserve punishment. This is another piece of the jigsaw puzzle of breakdown.

Self-betrayal
When the person is forced to denounce friends and family, it both destroys their sense of identity and reinforces feelings of guilt. This helps to separates them from their past, building the ground for a new personality to be built.

Breaking point
The constant assault on identity, guilt and self-betrayal eventually leads to them breaking down, much as the manner of the 'nervous breakdown' that people experience for other reasons. They may cry inconsolably, have convulsive fits and fall into deep depression. Psychologically, they may effectively be losing a sense of who they are and hence fearing total annihilation of the self.

Leniency
Just at the point when the person is fearing annihilation of the self, they are offered a small kindness, a brief respite from the assault on their identity, a cigarette or a drink. In those moments of light amongst the darkness, they may well feel a deep sense of gratitude, even though it is their torturer who is offering the 'kindness'. This is another form of Hurt and Rescue, albeit extreme.

The compulsion to confessHaving being pulled back from the edge of breakdown, they are then faced with the contrast of the hurt of potential further identity assault against the rescue of leniency. They may also feel the obligation of exchange in a need to repay the kindness of leniency. There also may be exposed to them the opportunity to assuage themselves of their guilt through confession.

The channeling of guilt
The overwhelming sense of guilty and shame that the person is feeling will be so confused by the multiple accusations and assaults on their identity, that the person will lose the sense of what, specifically, they are guilty of, and just feel the heavy burden of being wrong.

This confusion allows the captors to redirect the guilt towards what ever they please, which will typically be having lived a life of wrong and bad action due to living under an ideology which itself is wrong and bad.

Reeducation: logical dishonoring
The notion that the root cause of their guilt is an externally imposed ideology is a straw at which the confused and exhausted person grasps. If they were taught wrongly, then it is their teachers and the ideology that is more at fault. Thus to assuage their guilt, further confession about all acts under the ideology are brought out. By mentally throwing away these acts (in the act of confession) they also are now completing the act of rejecting the whole ideology.

Progress and harmony
The rejection of the old ideology leaves a vacuum into which the new ideology can be introduced. As the antithesis of the old ideology, it forms a perfect attraction point as the person flees the old in search of a contrasting replacement.

This progress is accelerated as the new ideology is portrayed as harmonious and ideally suited to the person's needs. Collegiality and calm replaces pain and punishment. The captors thus contrast in visible and visceral ways how wonderful the new ideology is as compared to the sins and the pain of the old ideology.

Final confession and rebirth
Faced with the stark contrast of the pain of the past with the rosy glow of the future that the new ideology presents, the person sheds any the final allegiance to the old ideology, confessing any remaining deep secrets, and takes on the full mantle of the new ideology.

This often feels, and has been described by many, as a form of rebirth. It may be accompanied by rites of passage as the person is accepted and cemented into the new order. The rituals will typically include strong statements made by the person about accepting the new ideology fully and completely, swearing allegiance to its leaders. Saluting flags, kissing other artefacts and other symbolic acts, all solemnly performed, all anchor them firmly in the new ground.

Conversion techniques
 

Techniques > Conversion > Conversion techniques

 

Conversion to a different way of thinking and different beliefs appears in many different situations. Although the techniques here are drawn from studies of brainwashing and cult conversion, they are surprisingly common, at least in more acceptable forms, in many other groups and organizations.

Breaking sessions: that pressure a person until they crack.
Changing values: to change what is right and wrong.
Confession: to leave behind the undesirable past.
Entrancement: open the mind and limit rational reflection.
Engagement: that draws a person in.
Exhaustion: so they are less able to resist persuasion.
Guilt: about the past that they can leave behind.
Higher purpose: associate desirability with a higher purpose.
Identity destruction: to make space for the new identity.
Information control: that blocks out dissuading thoughts.
Incremental conversion: shifting the person one step at a time.
Isolation: separating people from dissuasive messages.
Love Bomb: to hook in the lonely and vulnerable.
Persistence: never giving up, wearing you down.
Special language: that offers the allure of power and new meaning.
Thought-stopping: block out distracting or dissuading thoughts.

http://changingminds.org/techniques/con ... niques.htm

***ALL OF THIS WAS PRESENT AT CEDU***
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Awake

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2008, 07:46:39 PM »
I also thought the following was enlightening info. too. In particular it takes the position that SELF ESTEEM is a human NEED which can only come from BELONGING to a group. How many of us were ripped out of our homes and cut off from our pre-CEDU group of friends. The result was that our sense of self esteem was undercut and we had to seek out the need for belonging before we could get back to working on our self esteem. The progression from BELONGING to SELF ESTEEM and finally to SELF ACTUALIZATION was a progression controlled carefully by Cedu as we were indoctrinated.  If Cedu really did get you to the final goal of SELF ACTUALIZATION it would mean they created you in their own image. Those of us that didn't get to that point by the time we left Cedu were right back to the point of needing to fullfill the BELONGING stage again. Howz that for stunting your growth. At least I left worse off than when I went in.

 
Maslow's Hierarchy



In 1943 Abraham Maslow, one of the founding fathers of humanist approaches to management, wrote an influential paper that set out five fundamental human needs needs and their hierarchical nature. They are quoted and taught so widely now that many people perceive this model as the definitive set of needs and do not look further.

The hierarchical effect
A key aspect of the model is the hierarchical nature of the needs. The lower the needs in the hierarchy, the more fundamental they are and the more a person will tend to abandon the higher needs in order to pay attention to sufficiently meeting the lower needs. For example, when we are ill, we care little for what others think about us: all we want is to get better.

The five needs
Physiological needs are to do with the maintenance of the human body. If we are unwell, then little else matters until we recover.

Safety needs are about putting a roof over our heads and keeping us from harm. If we are rich, strong and powerful, or have good friends, we can make ourselves safe.

Belonging needs introduce our tribal nature. If we are helpful and kind to others they will want us as friends.

Esteem needs are for a higher position within a group. If people respect us, we have greater power.

Self-actualization needs are to 'become what we are capable of becoming', which would our greatest achievement.

So what?
Using it
To distract people from higher needs, threaten their lower needs. It is no surprise that poison has been effectively used to bring down kings and princes without necessarily killing them.

Perceive and help people to meet the needs on which they currently focused. Their attention is here and they will thank you for assistance in meeting their present needs.

Encourage them reach up to higher needs. Let them see and reach up to the greater things in life. Create a tension which you can use for your purpose.

Defending
Seek only needs at your current level. Neither retreat too rapidly to lower needs nor reach too quickly for higher needs. When you are ready, only then reach in your own time for higher needs. If other people seek to help you, you may accept their help but are not obliged to repay in any way they demand.


http://changingminds.org/explanations/needs/maslow.htm
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline psy

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2008, 08:01:36 PM »
Aha.  So you stumbled onto Maslow.  Ya.  He was the first guy I know of who used the term "Self Actualization".  This term is also heavily used by the human potential movement and it's adherants (such as Est and LifeSpring) which is probably how the term winded up in CEDU (and Benchmark, as a result of that).  Interestingly enough, Maslow's philosophy is very similar to that of L Ron Hubbard, who wrote in Dianetics (ya.. i read the piece of crap) that the main principle upon which all other human behavior is driven by is survival.  The thing I don't like about this thinking of either Maslow or Hubbard is that it precludes the possibility that a person die to save another life...  (lifeboat exercise anybody)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
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Offline Awake

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2008, 09:49:03 PM »
So you've contemplated this stuff as well! So are you saying that this theory isn't right, or incomplete? Or that the human potential movement, Lifespring, Scientology etc. have taken advantage of that knowledge to manipulate people?  Are people just psychologically prone to believing in these particular pictures of reality?

 (In the last 3 mo. I've read "cults in our midst" and "Help at any cost" as well as searched every nook and cranny of the internet to find out whatever I could, so I'm on kind of an overload of info.... its a long story.)

It seems to ring true to me, at least the heirachal nature of the listed "needs". example the Donner Party converting to cannibalism when traveling through a snowstorm without food. And up to the SELF ESTEEM level where we feel we have a certain place among a group once the preceding NEED is met. Honestly, I can't speak for the SELF ACTUALIZATION level. hmmmm...... as I type I'm questioning that a little. Well.... Check out this site I've been perusing, the one posted on this thread. Its full of "bainwashing facts" and is pretty extensive. You might have an interesting take on it as a whole.

(Synanon, lifespring I know a bit about, but Scientology... Not really.)
How about Robert Liftons theories?
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Offline psy

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2008, 10:30:50 PM »
Quote from: "Awake"
So you've contemplated this stuff as well! So are you saying that this theory isn't right, or incomplete? Or that the human potential movement, Lifespring, Scientology etc. have taken advantage of that knowledge to manipulate people?

Well.  I'll let you come to your own conclusions about that.  Maybe you'll make the same connections and come to the same conclusions I have, after looking into it further... or maybe not.  I've suggested some avenues of research to look into (look into LGATs, the "you can put yourself at cause" philosophy, the human potential movement, est, LifeSpring and it's origins...).  Synanon is a great start, but CEDU was/is a fairly eccentric cult.  There is a lot of stuff in there, IMO.

Quote
Are people just psychologically prone to believing in these particular pictures of reality?

 (In the last 3 mo. I've read "cults in our midst" and "Help at any cost" as well as searched every nook and cranny of the internet to find out whatever I could, so I'm on kind of an overload of info.... its a long story.)

LOL...  You're going through what I did a while ago...  still really.  I want to know what it's made out of so I can kill it more effectively (figuratively speaking).

Quote
It seems to ring true to me, at least the heirachal nature of the listed "needs". example the Donner Party converting to cannibalism when traveling through a snowstorm without food.

Cannibalism of the dead...  They didn't kill anybody to eat them.  Plus...  There are many examples of people giving up their lives so that others might live.  Not everybody becomes an animal (though many do, as program demonstrates so well).  Maslow's theory may apply to many, but IMO, it certainly does not apply to all.  It's a very selfish doctrine, IMO, and not everybody fits that profile.

A case can be made that it's better to help those around you and benefit society as a whole, of which you are a part, than to help yourself directly.  (a selfish justification for altruism!)  What goes around, comes around, rule of reciprocity, and all that jazz...

Quote
And up to the SELF ESTEEM level where we feel we have a certain place among a group once the preceding NEED is met. Honestly, I can't speak for the SELF ACTUALIZATION level. hmmmm...... as I type I'm questioning that a little. Well.... Check out this site I've been perusing, the one posted on this thread. Its full of "bainwashing facts" and is pretty extensive. You might have an interesting take on it as a whole.

(Synanon, lifespring I know a bit about, but Scientology... Not really.)
How about Robert Liftons theories?

Love Lifton...  but what he is describing is only how it was done in one circumstance (brainwashing under communist regimes / cult like dictatorships).  Singer studied it in cults, primarily.  Others have found similarities in abusive relationships (one on one cults).  A similar pattern echoes on different scales, like a fractal.  When you cut out the irrelevant circumstances relating to the individual scales and isolate the similarities, you're left with the core of what brainwashing is made up of.  That's what I'm interested in highlighting and exposing, more than anything else.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Benchmark Young Adult School - bad place [archive.org link]
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"Our services are free; we do not make a profit. Parents of troubled teens ourselves, PURE strives to create a safe haven of truth and reality." - Sue Scheff - August 13th, 2007 (fukkin surreal)

Offline Awake

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2008, 01:39:21 AM »
Very good my friend. I agree on the Donner Party issue..... it DOESN'T apply to everyone. Perfect example of yet another peice of information I took in and regurgitate without thinking. I'll definitely think more before I enguage this topic (truth?) with you again soon. I gather at this point it may be worth tackling from the complete other end of the spectrum. For it seems $apitali$m is an ideology that plays to a heirarchal system. Have you thought about that bfore? (OK this is a little weird. straight trip talk, but true nonetheless.) Well, the topic is broad it seems.

You can lead with all new lines if you believe in what you say
then life can be just as you make it.

believe the lie and it will all come true.

If you believe in every lie you're never free to walk away.
You should be free to go today.

Believe the lie and it will all come true.

-Umphrey's McGee-

(had to edit the lyrics... i screwed em up)
« Last Edit: July 03, 2008, 12:13:57 PM by Awake »

Offline Awake

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2008, 07:55:22 PM »
OK. I'm still ambivalent on Maslow, but feel there are holes in his theory. The only other theory I've found that counters Maslow comes from Manfred Max-Neef. I like it. It seems that it has the ability to fill some of the holes in Maslows theory. I'm not sold but I'll throw it out for conversations sake.

The main contribution that Max-Neef makes to the understanding of needs is the distinction made between needs and satisfiers. Human needs are seen as few, finite and classifiable (as distinct from the conventional notion that "wants" are infinite and insatiable). Not only this, they are constant through all human cultures and across historical time periods. What changes over time and between cultures is the way these needs are satisfied. It is important that human needs are understood as a system - i.e. they are interrelated and interactive. There is no hierarchy of needs (apart from the basic need for subsistence or survival) as postulated by Western psychologists such as Maslow, rather, simultaneity, complementarity and trade-offs are features of the process of needs satisfaction.

Max-Neef classifies the fundamental human needs as: subsistence, protection, affection, understanding, participation, recreation(in the sense of leisure, time to reflect, or idleness), creation, identity and freedom.

(Couldn't get the grid to copy onto here, see at)
http://www.rainforestinfo.org.au/background/maxneef.htm

***It does seem that the BELIEF others have in Maslow's theory is central to western society and it seems that various cults capitalize on it.***
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Offline Awake

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008, 09:42:04 PM »
This should be here. The most comprehensive article on the history of where our school came from. Synanon.

http://www.motherjones.com/news/feature ... ustry.html
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Offline blownawaytheidahoway

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2008, 07:18:26 AM »
Thanks Awake for posting those items at the top of this thread, it will be handy for people to see.

Also, If you haven't read "SNAPPING" yet, I strongly urge you to read this book, it is the perfect bridge to understanding how Cascade and CEDU presented their PR campaign. Also, in my opinion, in conjunction with "Help at Any Cost" and "Cults in our Midst", "Snapping" is the perfect book for an outsider to look at and "get it".
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
Life is a very wonderful thing.\' said Dr. Branom... \'The processes of life, the make- up of the human organism, who can fully understand these miracles?... What is happening to you now is what should happen to any normal healthy human organism...You are being made sane, you are being made healthy.
     \'That I will not have, \' I said, \'nor can understand at all. What you\'ve been doing is to make me feel very very ill.\'
                         -Anthony Burgess
                      A Clockwork Orange

Offline Awake

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2008, 10:48:10 AM »
Quote from: "blownawaytheidahoway"
Thanks Awake for posting those items at the top of this thread, it will be handy for people to see.

Also, If you haven't read "SNAPPING" yet, I strongly urge you to read this book, it is the perfect bridge to understanding how Cascade and CEDU presented their PR campaign. Also, in my opinion, in conjunction with "Help at Any Cost" and "Cults in our Midst", "Snapping" is the perfect book for an outsider to look at and "get it".

I'll definitely put that on my reading list. BTW good to see you back BlownAway... was wonderin when you'd show up. I wasn't expecting the old Thinking = Devil thread to come back so its a little weird with 2. Sorry bout that.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Awake

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Re: How did they...
« Reply #10 on: July 29, 2008, 08:50:09 PM »
Quote:Awake
It seems to ring true to me, at least the heirachal nature of the listed "needs". example the Donner Party converting to cannibalism when traveling through a snowstorm without food.
Quote: Psy
Cannibalism of the dead...  They didn't kill anybody to eat them.  Plus...  There are many examples of people giving up their lives so that others might live.  Not everybody becomes an animal (though many do, as program demonstrates so well).  Maslow's theory may apply to many, but IMO, it certainly does not apply to all.  It's a very selfish doctrine, IMO, and not everybody fits that profile.

A case can be made that it's better to help those around you and benefit society as a whole, of which you are a part, than to help yourself directly.  (a selfish justification for altruism!)  What goes around, comes around, rule of reciprocity, and all that jazz... --end quote

I've been unsettled by this one too long so I have to respond. Cannibalism was a terrible example, I shouldn't have used it. I don't believe the vast majority of people would kill and eat another person even when starved to the point of death. But, dare I say it, I can imagine and/or forgive someone eating of the dead to survive. (Anyone seen the movie ALIVE).
There... that's my only point.... I don't want anyone thinking I'm going to eat them if I don't get dinner.

Strangely though I can't help but think that there is some sort of intuitive heirarchy engrained in people, at the survival level at least. Aren't we willing to do things that we wouldn't normally do for the sake of surviving? At the physiological level, if our needs aren't met we would go to further and further extremes to survive right? Would a vegetarian eat a fish? Or might a carnivore used to eating beef kill a monkey for sustinance?  I guess I'm just questioning how we value life in general. Surely we would value a human life more than an ant. And why? Is it because we value life in terms of that species' ability to reach a higher level of consciousness? If so, then there would be some heirarchal belief that you are worth more than say ... a dog.

But when It comes to people I think the line is drawn. A single starving person would not kill and eat another. But what if you are responsible for the survival of a group of people? Would you go to greater extremes to sustain them than if you were alone? What if you were at odds with another group? Would you sink to their level so your group could benefit? Or maybe you would adopt a belief such as Maslows to ensure your group maximizes its potential? To me this is where the conundrum lies. (psy is this what you mean by "at cause?"). As a group it makes more sense to beleive in Maslow's heirarchal pyramid, but as an individual reaching the top is not likely and requires the view that we value human life in terms of their ability to reach certain levels within the group. It doesn't allow us to value each other equally.  Umm... I hope I made some sort of point here. Anyone?
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