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Confessions of a Cult Leader's Son

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posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 01:37 AM

I really appreciate that you seem to have your "head on your shoulders".

Someone did something right.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 01:47 AM
You should upload a copy of 'The Works' to the internet. I would like to take a gander and see where he was going with it. Interesting story.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 02:44 AM
This is a thread I would like to run through the deception detector (just for fun)
that was posted here on ats not so long ago, unfortunately
the posts are too long for me to copy & paste with my phone.

Its been a good read and I have no reason to doubt your story OP.
if the results come back normal maybe it would clear the minds of those who
do doubt your story(?)

If anyone would like to try running the OP's story through this
"deception detector" heres the link: D.D. Link
the test hasnt been proven accurate (as far as I know) so dont take the results seriously.
(i realize my post is off topic and expect it to be removed)

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 03:46 AM
There's been some questions about how I am writing this and if its authentic and so on. Well, this is an anonymous board, I chose to put this here because I wanted to protect the privacy of friends families and loved-ones. But the flip side of that is I can't verify or prove anything conclusively to you, so its up to each of you whether or not to believe me. You can see for yourself with google that this is the first time this has ever been posted anywhere on the net, as another member pointed out earlier. I just ran my first post through strafgod's "deception detector" link in the post immediately above this, and it came back "normal." So that thing believes me (although I wouldn't generally trust things like that any farher than I could throw them, but because it believes me I like it now.
). Beyond that its up to you whether to believe me or not and I'm really not going to bother trying to prove it to everyone.

Thanks for those who like my writing. As I said, I grew up reading and writing a lot as a boy and a young man, so I've had lots of practice but no real formal training. I think the more you read, the more you write, like anything else simply doing it builds the right mental muscles. I've been planning on writing this for a long time, jotting down notes and rough outlines, that sort of thing. I'm more or less writing this from scratch as I go along, but I'm taking certain ideas and brief passages I came up with before and weaving them in, too, so it's not completely spontaneous. I know I can't please everyone but I hope this allays some concerns.

Thanks again everyone for your warm and positive thoughts, too.

edit on 3-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 04:54 AM
Always a fascinating subject.
More so this time because of your inside knowledge and posession of your Dad's diaries. Gives us quite a unique perspective.
Just wanted to add a little encouragment, please keep it coming.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 05:00 AM

Originally posted by Never Despise
I'm more or less writing this from scratch as I go along, but I'm taking certain ideas and brief passages I came up with before and weaving them in, too, so it's not completely spontaneous.

This is the impression I got from reading your fascinating account. It's been on your mind for a long time so you've got some bits worked out and other bits are written from scratch.
Thanks for sharing.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 05:29 AM
Cults are the same turds with slight variances in the wrappings. The OP discusses the reasons for them or why people start these cults so cannot say he disagrees with my assessment. I am just going to be honest and just sum it up with one word "P***Y". Certainly a motivating factor while contributing factors are usually manifest in the leaders fantasies, fears and all too often addled brain. The tragedy arises when people actually believe the crap spewed by people who are rather empty and have some serious problems.
edit on 3-1-2012 by Malcher because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 05:31 AM
reply to post by Never Despise

Again, excellent work ND.

This is turning into a real case study about how and why some people control others. In a way, this thread is what this board is all about: Denying Ignorance. People can learn quite a few things from what you have posted so far IMO.

Your dad sounds like he saw things, life in genereal, on a different level than most other people. This would lend itself to him naturally wanting to lead other people since there were other characteristics in place that would make that act natural for him. That, in and of itself, doesn't make him a bad person. You have leaders and followers in life. It's what you do with that control that makes you good or bad. What is your purpose. What is the end result of that control?

Why you control people is important, but it's not as important as the outcome. Who and what is controlled and in what way. Again, for what purpose. Since this is your dad you're talking about, I can understand full well why you want to get to the bottom of this because you yourself don't want to end up controlling people in a negative way. If you don't learn from your past you're doomed to repeat it.

You might do well to keep one thing in mind here. This piece of advice is based on what you have written here about your dad. It seems to me that his meticulous method of trying to understand his "experience" was a natural precurser to control. He was trying to control his own understanding in a way that led to him controlling other people. It's as if he thought that would help him understand himself better. Maybe some people are just predisposed to control, and if they can't control themselves they'll turn to controlling other people.

All in though though, this is turning into a very interesting and thought-provoking thread. If you haven't received applause by staff yet, I think you really should.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 05:59 AM
As I said in the first post, I haven’t talked about this too much with non-members, but when I do, one question I always get is: “Why did they stay?” What was my dad’s hold on this community? I think some people imagine him or other cult leaders shooting beams out their eyes and hypnotizing people into a zombie-like trance, but at least for us it wasn’t like that. The people in the group all had “issues,” sometimes serious issues, and they were under heavy mental manipulation by my dad, reinforced by group dynamics and each other. But they were not zombies, they were real people capable of all the range of emotions, capable of love and tenderness. It was their soft humanity that made them vulnerable, of course.

So why did people stay, then? Why tough it out in a not-really-all-that-comfortable community that was relying more and more on a river of “adult industry” cash and questionable lines of business? I have tried to identify the main reasons, and I list them as follows. I’m sure there are more. Anything powerful seems to involve more than one line of control.

True belief: Don't underestimate it's power.

Actual intimidation and threats: This became more of an issue as time went on. At first it was easier to leave. Later he confiscated ID and would use people’s children as a threat to keep them in line. Punishments such as time in an “isolation chamber” started to be implemented in the early 80s for people who got out of line or tried to leave. But this wasn’t the main way he kept people in line. The community was not a prison and force was not commonly necessary.

Lack of skills and other options: A lot of the people had given their lives to the community, sometimes for over a decade. They had few skills that could translate into a decent living on the outside, and virtually no connections. Some people had forgotten how to do basic stuff like buy groceries, never mind handle bank accounts, taxes, etc. The new wave of adult industry female recruits already had low self-esteem for the most part and didn't think they could succeed at much in life besides what they were already doing. My dad played these feelings up and made the outside seem more intimidating than it really was, encouraging helplessness, dependence, and inferiority.

Us vs. them mentality: This was a bigger and a bigger part of my dad’s message as the 80s went on. “Only those on the inside understand; the outside is of necessity hostile to the inside. Will they not persecute us, did not Christ and other great masters warn us? We must withdraw from the world, fear and arm ourselves. Walls are to be prepared, detachment is our shield and discernment our sharp sword.”(The Works 1488.00001)

Not wanting to admit they were wrong: Nobody wants to admit they made a mistake and wasted the best years of their life following a charlatan. People have a kind of “sunk cost” investment in their belief systems. They’ve put a lot into it, so it’s not so easy to just walk away. So lots of people in various holes double down and keep digging.

The place was not without its charms: this is what made it insidious. It was never a clearcut case of pure good vs. pure evil. The people in community tried to be good people, many were sensitive, they loved each other and there was real camaraderie forged from living a very peculiar life. Living in nature was good, there was much to recommend separation from a world gone mad. There was much good mixed in with the bad.

Inertia: It’s always hard to make a wrenching change if you don’t absolutely have to. Maybe tomorrow, yawn…

Head games: My dad played them. A lot.

Group dynamics: It wasn’t always my dad like the master puppeteer. A lot of what went on was self-enforcing. People competed with each other to seem holier-than-thou, there were the typical problems that set in any community, from gossip and backbiting to low-level bullying and power-tripping below the level of my dad. All this played a role. People are like a bucket of crabs a lot of the time; the crabs in the bottom will pull down any crab trying to climb up. They’ll do this quite spontaneously themselves, and no top-down pressure is needed.

Implicating people in questionable activities: This is an old trick of manipulators everywhere. If a person has done something she herself feel guilty about, or that could get her in trouble with the authorities, she’s going to fear the authorities and, eventually, normalcy in general. If she feels ashamed inside it’s harder to go home and ask mom and dad for help.

edit on 3-1-2012 by Never Despise because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 08:16 AM
excellent thread op!

will be coming back to follow your story

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 08:59 AM
With more detail, you could easily make this into a book and find a publisher. Your insights into the entire phenomenon are remarkably honest. Perhaps you have thought of this (publishing) and are testing the waters here.
Good work.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:02 AM
Very interesting thread here. It had me from beginning to end even though it was a long read, I knew i had to finish it.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:17 AM
Well this has definitely been a fascinating read!
Maybe you could post some passages from the works? I am intrigued by your fathers ideas and reasons for starting his group.

Well done for talking about it, I will definitely be coming back to this thread to hear the rest!
edit on 3-1-2012 by bettytheyeti because: Spelling

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:22 AM
Excellent read... a big warning for anyone that feels rejected by society...
Somehow this got me thinking about the venus project... =)


posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 09:49 AM
Amazing story OP.

I too would be very interested in knowing a little more about what was contained in 'The Works', what the original spiritual experience that the 7 had and what was your dad's general philosophy about life/death/etc. Obviously I totally understand your need to protect your privacy and everyone elses but as one of the previous posters said even a censored version of 'The Works' uploaded would be an amazing document to share.

But please continue the telling of your story first. This truly is one of the most fascinating threads I've read to date on ATS.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:03 AM
You mention, this was during the "Age of Aquarius" and yet the Age of Aquarius does not actually take place for another seven hundred years or so.

Are you referencing that song from the 60's?

Anyways, thanks for sharing. I've always been intrigued by the occult, and the power of manipulation.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:06 AM
reply to post by Never Despise

ND, this is an awesome first-hand account, and it couldn't have come at a better time for me! Thank you for writing it.
I sent you a private message as well. Quick question though......

Did your Dad and Ben's plan ever have a chance of being entirely good? You said you think their intentions were originally good, do you think the corruption and power-tripping was inevitable, or was there a time where he zigged instead of zagging, and do you think it could have remained a nice, open, charitable group that didn't manipulate?

Do you think the walls, and the manipulation are paramount to making this type of group successful, or is there any chance of it being successful without the manipulation?

Also, you seem very grounded and intelligent. Do you think your upbringing was superior or inferior to a more typical public school, suburbanite upbringing?

In my opinion, I've seen some very good kids come from Mormon communities, and home-schooling, and even multi-family households. Do you think there is any benefit to living an unconventional lifestyle, or did you yearn for just a normal life?

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 10:18 AM
reply to post by WhiteDevil013

I suspect he was being rhetorical, but I could be wrong. A lot of people refer to the 60s and the "hippy era" as "the age of aquarius" rhetorically.

There are also (at least according to Wikipedia... grain of salt firmly in hand...) different schools of thought as to when this "age" actually began or begins.

I could be wrong, but I think he meant it in the rhetorical, pop-culture sense.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:01 AM
My god you people, I said I think this is a writing excercise or at the very least it is pre-written. No where did I suggest he was plagiarizing it. Settle down ya'll, so quick to up and defend the internet stranger on a board that is supposed to be skeptical and frequently has people post dishonestly? I mean it IS in gray area, so I am not the only only one that is unsure.

I didn't call him a bad person, or yell at him. I just stated my opinion and the reasons for it. I never even suggested it was "too well written" like someone said I did.

Again my point so everyone can understand it, he is claiming to be writing this for the very first time and is not a professional writer. The story is being cut up into sections and the second post is left off right in the middle of a chapter it seems. The author doesn't say anything about "oh im tired I will finish tomorrow" like he does in the first section, he just stops writing all of a sudden and leaves. As if he already has the whole story written out and is only giving us a section at a time purposely to draw the thread out. Which would be dishonest because we were told this is all original at the time of writing each individual post.

And I said if I am wrong I will be the first to apologize. I am right it won't matter, just proving to myself I am learning something here.

posted on Jan, 3 2012 @ 11:08 AM
reply to post by sputniksteve

I'm writing most of this in a word file piece by piece and then cutting and and pasting it here so the spelling is OK. If all the lines are the way they are, that's the reason. LIke I said in my earlier post above, ultimately I'm unable to prove stuff beyond a certain limit because this is an anonomyous forum.

Thanks to the others for the questions and comments, and U2Us. I'll go through them in a bit. About The Works, It's all typewritten, and maybe someday I'll convert all of it to computer format...but actually I doubt it, because not all of it is worth converting, IMHO. Some of the material is valuable. One of the things I'm trying to do is make an outline of it, and maybe I'll release an edited version on the net at some point.

More to follow later...

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