Most of us are similar in that once we were children and not so strong as the adults around us, and not having awareness of options for later in our lives. Perhaps this is one reason why children gang together in the playground, or as adults we join things or get drawn into things, either with friends or by seeking out people to be with in a pairing relationship or group. Safety in numbers, no longer small, alone and not being listened to or able to fight back.
Suppose now, if you will, a society or subculture which makes it their business in some way to control their own children, children of others, weaker members, and gain continuity of their beliefs and practices in that way. There's nothing unusual about this when it happens naturally via families and their practices, culture and belief systems, or on a wider scale in a region or whole country. Writers such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, B.F. Skinner have written about different ways of controlling society in a wider sense.
Suppose you really do think the end of the world is coming, except certain people only will survive such as you and your descendants or fellow-travellers, and you want to ensure your survival over and above any others. Or suppose that you think you are stuck with this world, and will do your damnedest to maintain your position, economically, socially, or in terms of control. Then one might opt for a system of social and mental control, creating an under-class of vulnerable people who would be expendable or transferable.
The possibilities are endless and I don't have the whole picture. You only have to witness a stage hypnotism act with genuine post-hypnotic suggestion being acted upon by subjects, to see these things are possible, not just with years of conditioning but just a little, acting on the subconscious of those who are susceptible. Increase the length of time and the indoctrination process, and the more of us could become susceptible very easily.
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A common theme in fairy tales is for people to be given the chance of a wish, but there may be a price for it. Aesop's Fables have a 'moral of the story' and literary censorship used to require the baddies suffered for their actions. People have always been fascinated by the tale of Faust who gave up his personal autonomy in exchange for rewards and safeguards, the price he paid!
Many of us watch films about the darker side of human nature, reality TV, soaps or self-revelations, without getting involved in committing those acts, perhaps like a release valve. We may both sympathise and distance ourselves, compartmentalising and filing parts away. Dissociation can work for all of us. Some people use it to help their own mental functioning. Some people utilise it in others - in order to get and to maintain control over them.
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People in a geographical area may join together for psychological and cultural convenience, believing the cult practices would provide business contacts as well as extra powers. Concepts of group minds, thoughtforms and egregores may come in here, how they can form naturally or by design, and can be manipulated by those with knowledge and intent. Whatever we or 'they' believe about angels, demons, rituals and special powers, it is what 'they' do that has an effect on others. Just because we do not believe something, does not mean it is impossible or it can't be experienced somehow. We take in situational cues, and people who engage in ritual put themselves into a certain setting and frame of mind, an altered or 'alter' state in which anchors or reinforcement play a part.
A disturbing trend is when people group together against someone who stands out through being older or weaker or just on their own. Some people join something to lessen risk as a kind of insurance or guarantee. The group can sink to a low common denominator, doing things 'because they can', i.e. they are strong and likely to reap benefits with no risk. As I wrote this, a newspaper reported on a woman with deformed fingers due to Thalidomide, whose co-workers coerced her into a bowls match - then ridiculed her. This is child playground behaviour at its worst, and children often behave better towards their less fortunate peers, accepting them as they are. A business culture of competition and deception does not foster acceptance and co-operation. Many people are bullied in a work setting beyond what can be described as teasing. See Tim Field's book 'Bully in Sight' or check out website www.bullyoffline.org
People involved in a cult may think they can make themselves immune to responsibility. I believe there is a social structure in place to maintain control.
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If most people do not believe something can happen, whether it actually does or not, how would anything get changed? That is what 'they', the people involved in perpetrating cult abuse on those further down their pecking order, hope for. If 'they' put out enough denial or dis-information in an attempt to brush it under the carpet of awareness, to make anyone feel foolish for speaking out, threaten them in covert or overt ways, or simply make it impossible for them to change things, then 'they' will do. It's as old as time itself.
Cult abuse is merely an extreme form of hierarchy or feudal system - not one of physical ownership, but more psychological. One only has to look at the 'frat' system in some US colleges, to see how important belonging to a specific group is, and adhering to their ways above all other, and sometimes secretly and subversively. There are sanctions against transgressors.
It could be that human beings, much as animals do, have a system of psychological survival of the fittest. There are those who will naturally (or unnaturally) take a leadership role, and those who are not suited to that, or are not allowed to by 'the system' - whatever system is prevailing or enforced. It is my belief that cult abuse simply takes what works, to keep people in an 'us and them' situation, either being at the top end and commanding those lower down, or in terms of in-groups and out-groups. Somewhere deep down, each one of us has needs to belong, and also to remain separate in some way from the rest of society, even from the rest of their group.
Perhaps there is a need to create a structured society like 'Brave New World', 'Nineteen-Eighty-Four' or 'Beyond Freedom & Dignity'. The name of the game seems to be compliance by any means that can be fathomed such as conditioning or force, or large components of drugs and hypnosis, so that people's wills and lives are not their own any more. Some kind of a territorial or moral take-over bid.
I found it useful to think in terms of psychological manipulation and control, including societal or cultic influence, voodoo, or whatever other elements seemed to be present. The rewards would be at the top of the tree and punishments at the bottom, with many, many people playing a witting or unwitting part in between, perhaps caught because of a basic need to feed, clothe and house themselves.
We all have ways of trying to maintain some kind of 'status quo' in our lives, some of which we may not be too proud of or even accept. If someone were to offer us sufficient real or imagined benefits in terms of money, security, prestige, power/s, legal immunity or whatever, any one of us may get drawn in via something smaller than the tip of an iceberg. And that can lead to a multitude of issues.
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Most people have faculties in their brains to help with co-ordinating memories and thinking things through. Someone cunning can obliterate or obfuscate awareness or memory so that the subject is unable to avoid other dangerous or fraught situations. For readers who think mental obliteration strategies to get people to forget or be unaware would not work, try books written by stage hypnotists of any repute or look at confusional techniques of NLP or 'street hypnosis'.
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I am trying:
* To de-mystify the otherwise unbelievable
* To show these things can happen
* That they are basically an extension of other aspects of human behaviour, however inhuman, crass, ridiculous, stupid, unnecessary, and unbelievable, it may all seem
In many cultures there are practices and beliefs that people outside those cultures write off as different or irrelevant for themselves. Recent TV programmes have shown how strongly people can believe in ideologies and get drawn into practices that, in another frame of mind, they might consider stupid or damaging. For some reason/s we humans often have an innate need to believe in something, or to carry out various types of ritual, mundane or otherwise. Or there is a need to deny what is strange, incomprehensible or abhorrent. We all have our different mind-sets, and polarisation or splitting can happen easily.
Alongside books and websites dealing with cult-like behaviour, social psychology, anthropology and religion, I looked at profiling of violent and sadistic behaviours. The writings of Lacan and Melanie Klein could be useful. Perhaps we are looking at splitting, idealisation and denigration/demonisation, intertwined with complex behavioural conditioning. It might be worth looking at psychodynamics of the Mafia or of extremists where people can be family-oriented, caring and religious, as well as acting aggressively and destructively.
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You are free to consider anything that may be useful - and to discard the rest.
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- ABOUT CULTWISE
- THE STEPFORD WIVES
- GROUP MINDS & EGREGORS
- TRANCE and TRANSFORMATION
- DOC MATRIX - CULTS & GROUPS
- SOCIAL ENGINEERING
- COGNITIVE BIAS
- BELIEFS, THOUGHTS and BEHAVIOUR
- SOCIAL DYNAMICS of CULTS
- EXTERNAL SOURCES
- PARANOIA or USEFUL TO KNOW
- ON a SIMILAR THEME
- PERSONALITY and BEHAVIOUR
- SADISTIC BEHAVIOUR, SCAPEGOATING, ABUSE
- EXERCISE in SOCIAL CONTROL?
- BELIEFS and PONZI SCHEMES
- POLYVAGAL THEORY of EMOTION
- to be uploaded
- Rogue Traders, Consumers, Whistleblowing, Hazards
- Hustles, Scams, Con-Tricks, Vulnerability
- The Wisdom of Therapy
- ▼ October (36)