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Topics - SEKTO

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Open Free for All / Share International's claimed messiah?
« on: March 22, 2010, 08:26:35 PM » ... amin-creme

"I'm not the messiah, says food activist - but his many worshipers do
not believe him: Members of religious group [Share International]
believe London-born author has come to save the world"
Patel was inundated by questions, messages of support and even threats.
The influx was so heavy, in fact, that he put up a statement on his
website referencing Monty Python's Life of Brian and categorically
stating that he was not Maitreya ... Instead of settling the issue,
however, his denial merely fanned the flames for some believers. In a
twist ripped straight from the script of the comedy classic, they said
that this disavowal, too, had been prophesied. It seemed like there was
nothing to convince them.

« on: March 18, 2010, 04:19:22 PM »
At this time, I am calling for a vote.  I say that Bennison deserves to be placed under some kind of restriction or else banned altogether from these forums.  How much rope are we supposed to give the guy?  My appeal is to do something before any more trouble gets stirred up.  He's out to confound conversation, and is working against all parties, simply for his own amusement.  HE'S A TROLL AND CONTRIBUTES NOTHING AT ALL EXCEPT ANNOYANCE AND FRUSTRATION.

So I say we ban him and get it over with already.  If you are in agreement, fellow fornits, then please indicate so with an "Aye."

Open Free for All / Replicating Milgram/Game of Death
« on: March 18, 2010, 11:20:51 AM » ... 121708.php

Replicating Milgram: Researcher finds most will administer shocks when prodded by 'authority figure'
Obedience rates essentially unchanged in more than 40 years; No differences between men and women

WASHINGTON – Nearly 50 years after one of the most controversial behavioral experiments in history, a social psychologist has found that people are still just as willing to administer what they believe are painful electric shocks to others when urged on by an authority figure.

Jerry M. Burger, PhD, replicated one of the famous obedience experiments of the late Stanley Milgram, PhD, and found that compliance rates in the replication were only slightly lower than those found by Milgram. And, like Milgram, he found no difference in the rates of obedience between men and women.

Burger's findings are reported in the January issue of American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association. The issue includes a special section reflecting on Milgram's work 24 years after his death on Dec. 20, 1984, and analyzing Burger's study.

"People learning about Milgram's work often wonder whether results would be any different today," said Burger, a professor at Santa Clara University. "Many point to the lessons of the Holocaust and argue that there is greater societal awareness of the dangers of blind obedience. But what I found is the same situational factors that affected obedience in Milgram's experiments still operate today."

Stanley Milgram was an assistant professor at Yale University in 1961 when he conducted the first in a series of experiments in which subjects – thinking they were testing the effect of punishment on learning – administered what they believed were increasingly powerful electric shocks to another person in a separate room. An authority figure conducting the experiment prodded the first person, who was assigned the role of "teacher" to continue shocking the other person, who was playing the role of "learner." In reality, both the authority figure and the learner were in on the real intent of the experiment, and the imposing-looking shock generator machine was a fake.

Milgram found that, after hearing the learner's first cries of pain at 150 volts, 82.5 percent of participants continued administering shocks; of those, 79 percent continued to the shock generator's end, at 450 volts. In Burger's replication, 70 percent of the participants had to be stopped as they continued past 150 volts – a difference that was not statistically significant.

"Nearly four out of five of Milgram's participants who continued after 150 volts went all the way to the end of the shock generator," Burger said. "Because of this pattern, knowing how participants react at the 150-volt juncture allows us to make a reasonable guess about what they would have done if we had continued with the complete procedure."

Milgram's techniques have been debated ever since his research was first published. As a result, there is now an ethics codes for psychologists and other controls have been placed on experimental research that have effectively prevented any precise replications of Milgram's work. "No study using procedures similar to Milgram's has been published in more than three decades," according to Burger.

Burger implemented a number of safeguards that enabled him to win approval for the work from his university's institutional review board. First, he determined that while Milgram allowed his subjects to administer "shocks" of up to 450 volts in 15-volt increments, 150 volts appeared to be the critical point where nearly every participant paused and indicated reluctance to continue. Thus, 150 volts was the top range in Burger's study.

In addition, Burger screened out any potential subjects who had taken more than two psychology courses in college or who indicated familiarity with Milgram's research. A clinical psychologist also interviewed potential subjects and eliminated anyone who might have a negative reaction to the study procedure.

In Burger's study, participants were told at least three times that they could withdraw from the study at any time and still receive the $50 payment. Also, these participants were given a lower-voltage sample shock to show the generator was real – 15 volts, as compared to 45 volts administered by Milgram.

Several of the psychologists writing in the same issue of American Psychologist questioned whether Burger's study is truly comparable to Milgram's, although they acknowledge its usefulness.

"…there are simply too many differences between this study and the earlier obedience research to permit conceptually precise and useful comparisons," wrote Arthur G. Miller, PhD, of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

"Though direct comparisons of absolute levels of obedience cannot be made between the 150-volt maximum of Burger's research design and Milgram's 450-volt maximum, Burger's 'obedience lite' procedures can be used to explore further some of the situational variables studied by Milgram, as well as look at additional variables," wrote Alan C. Elms, PhD, of the University of California, Davis. Elms assisted Milgram in the summer of 1961.

Open Free for All / The Game of Death
« on: March 18, 2010, 10:15:14 AM » ... 81,00.html

Is a crusading French documentary maker striking a blow at the abusive powers of television — or simply taking reality TV to a new low of cynicism and bad taste? That's the question viewers across France are asking in light of Christophe Nick's new film Game of Death, which aired on French television Wednesday night. The documentary has generated a massive amount of attention — and naturally, courted controversy — because of the dilemma that faced contestants on a fake game show in the film: Would they allow themselves to be cajoled into delivering near-lethal electrical charges to fellow players, or rather follow their better instincts and refuse?

Game of Death is an adaptation of an infamous experiment conducted by a team led by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. In order to test people's obedience to authority figures, the scientists demanded that subjects administer increasingly strong electric shocks to other participants if they answered questions incorrectly. The people delivering the shocks, however, didn't know that the charges were fake — the volunteers on the other end of the room were actors pretending to suffer agonizing pain. The point was to see how many people would continue following orders to mete out torture. (See the world's most popular TV shows.)

Milgram found that 62.5% of his subjects could be encouraged, browbeaten or intimidated into seeing the test through to its conclusion by delivering scores of shocks of increasing intensity to the maximum of 450 volts. In Game of Death, 81% of contestants went all the way by administering more than 20 shocks up to a maximum of 460 volts. Only 16 of the 80 subjects recruited for the fake game show refused the verbal prodding from the host — and pressure from the audience to keep dishing out the torture like a good sport — though most expressed misgivings or tried to pull out before being convinced otherwise.

Nick says he got the idea for the project after stumbling across an episode of the French version of The Weakest Link. The willingness of the adult contestants to allow the hostess to belittle them — and their own eagerness to backstab fellow participants for their own gain — convinced him that Milgram's findings about the human submission to authority figures were particularly applicable to TV. "Television is a power — we know that, but it remained theoretical," Nick told the daily le Parisien Wednesday. "I asked myself, 'Is it so strong that it can turn us into potential torturers?'" (See the best TV shows of all time.)

The results of Nick's documentary indicate the answer to that is yes — a conclusion reinforced by the program's editors and his sobering voice-overs. Indeed, while most critics have applauded Nick's effort to reveal the manipulative powers of television, some commentators suggest he nonetheless errs by leaving no room to contest the documentary's conclusions. "Its excessive dramatization and commentary that's too often willing to cut corners and blur issues can be irritating," writes Hélène Marzolf, a television critic for the culture magazine Télérama.

Despite that, Marzolf and others also say the documentary demonstrates how a television studio setting — with cameras, a pushy host and an audience that erupts at times with shouts of "Punishment!" — may be ideal for robbing individuals of their will. "For the past 10 years, most commercial channels have used humiliation, violence and cruelty to create increasingly extreme programs," Nick says in one of his voice-overs. "[Future] television can — without possible opposition — organize the death of a person as entertainment, and eight out of 10 people will submit to that." (Read: "Reality TV at 10: How It's Changed Television — and Us.")

Perhaps, but some could argue that Nick's documentary relies on the same reality TV techniques it is denouncing. Though staged, the game show features unsuspecting volunteers whose reactions and emotions are scrutinized. Although the voice-overs and cuts to sociologists involved in the project make it obvious the show is a behavioral study, viewers are still required to buy into the "reality" that participants have been lured there in order to be horrified when they continue applying the electric shocks.

But media critic Daniel Schneidermann says it would be wrong to limit any conclusions drawn from the show to the impact of television alone. "The Milgram experiment showed that people will submit to authority no matter what its form: military, political, medical, a boss — or now a television host," Schneidermann says, while noting that he has not yet seen the documentary. "The suggestion that television is the unique or most powerful offender in this manner is just wrong."

Read more: ... z0iXdE3Nx1

Sea ORG Refuge / Australian Scientology story
« on: March 11, 2010, 06:43:33 AM » ... ientology/

Folks, watch this Australian Broadcasting Corporation program on Scientology, which was broadcast a few days ago.

Most of this stuff you are familiar with, but some of it may be new to you.

My purpose in posting and re-posting this kind of information on what has to be the most despicable cult around is to keep this issue front and center.

For one thing, some of you have been accosted by a Scientologist claiming to be interested in interfaith dialogue.

When it comes to Scientology, there is no such thing. It would be akin to having interfaith dialogue with the mafia.

Whenever you meet a Scientologist beware that the person in question is brainwashed. Be familiar with ways and methods to try and reach
that person without getting sucked in yourself.

The interview with Hana Eltringham Whitfield is(at the link above), in my opinion, especially impressive. This is truly a must-watch.

Above all: speak out. Use your websites and networks to address Scientology --- from its nutty religious claims to its abusive behavior.


The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a membership–based, IRS–approved 501 (c) (3) nonprofit research and educational organization. Our mission is 1) to treat conditions for which conventional medicines provide limited relief—such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain, drug dependence, anxiety and depression associated with end-of-life issues—by developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines; 2) to cure many thousands of people by building a network of clinics where treatments can be provided; and 3) to educate the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.

News Items / Jailing Kids For Cash
« on: February 15, 2009, 08:20:00 PM »

In one of the most shocking cases of courtroom graft on record, two Pennsylvania judges have been charged with taking millions of dollars in kickbacks to send teenagers to two privately run youth detention centers.

Daytop Village / DAYTOP Did Me Great Harm in the Long Run
« on: December 01, 2008, 07:54:12 PM »
My name is B and I graduated from a DAYTOP outpatient facility (located in what was called the "Dresser building") in Dallas TX in 1993.  

Back when I was a senior in High School, my parents caught me smoking grass and tripping on acid and put me in DAYTOP on the advice of my guidance counselor.

Fifteen years later, I am just now starting to see that DAYTOP is nothing but an abusive cult disguised as a drug treatment program.

And it blows my mind to start to realize what happened to me there.

I am beginning to consider myself a victim (yes, a VICTIM) of the early-90s Troubled-Teen Industry hysteria.

The DAYTOP program in general is certainly a thought-reform environment, whether at the outpatient or residential level.  

In retrospect, knowing and understanding what I now know and understand about abusive groups, it was definitely very cult-like.

The way they broke down my boundaries, controlled my thoughts, emotions, and behavior, shamed and humiliated me before my peers and re-defined my personal identity amounts to psychological torture that was inflicted on me; in some groups/cults, they'll call the confession sessions "Hot Seats," but in DAYTOP, they are called "Encounter Groups" or "Marathon Groups," which were run by a bunch of thuggish fools with no training in psychology whatsoever.

It has taken me years to even understand what happened to me there, to even begin to recover from my experience in DAYTOP.  

That place was as traumatic as the eleven months that I later spent in Iraq in '05.

Their approach is very confrontational, very emotionally traumatizing to a kid:  "WE'LL SCREAM AT AND HUMILIATE YOU UNTIL YOUR WILL IS BROKEN AND YOU'LL WANT BE SOBER FOREVER!!!"

Their goal is to make you dependent on DAYTOP (or by extension, on groups in general) by reinforcing your identity as an addict and generally "broken" person.  

They'll make it so you are dependant on DAYTOP, or else some other group.

Later on in life, I spent time in a religious group/cult in an unconscious attempt to re-create the "therapeutic community"/groupthink environment to which I was accustomed in DAYTOP, and which I mistakenly began to see as a good and healthy way of living life.

After I got out of that place (it took me a year and a half to graduate) me and all of my Daytopian buddies all fell off the wagon together big-time.  I never partied so much or so hard in my life as I did with other Daytopians.

So I am a DAYTOP graduate, an ex-member of an abusive religious group (DAYTOP is abusive and cultic, but not so overtly religious to my recollection) and an Army veteran.  That's three groups.  

DAYTOP got me started in the unhealthy groupthink mentality.

I am a little angry with my parents for putting me in that place, but they didn't know.  We thought that it was a good thing at the time.

It all started with DAYTOP.  I can pinpoint it to them now.  I am starting to understand how profoundly detrimental an effect that place has on my life.  And it grieves me.

What are your thoughts, readers?  I am in intensive psychotherapy now for trauma and PTSD-related issues and am only just now beginning to come to terms with all of this.

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