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Cults, And Why Do They Work

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posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 02:07 AM
Been watching some recent docs and somewhat older docs, that just go along with what I already know.

Cults are bad.

The Vow on HBO was very good showing how this non-religious cult actually got poor souls to get branded next to their vagina. Held down and forced into this.

Then there's Scientology, which is seemingly invincible and get's the status of a church yet not being one.

Thing is, I can't, for the life of me, understand how people get roped into this. I've never been one searching for a meaning to life so I've never been down this road. It's really hard for me to understand how one starts on in this direction, how one continues down this path even if they know it's wrong.

I remember this cover when I was a kid.

They were murdered, even if at their own hands. They were forced into Jones madness, willingly, seemingly. They didn't know what they were in for. Poor souls.

I knew Scientology was crap when I was a kid even though I knew nothing about them. Just this curious building in a crappy part of town looking like a cult, and I didn't know what a cult was at the time. I'm just immune to that kinda stuff, I guess, but others are not. NXIVM , Keith Raniere got women to brand themselves. How messed up is that? And all he talked was bullsnip, really. This nonsense "self help" crap that was full of hate for women and just bull. Yet, people fell for it.

Think of how many we don't know about and their intentions. The Heaven's Gate peoples all killed themselves. What's next?

posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 02:37 AM
People are isolated and lonely, it’s a very insular culture
Normal people want to belong to an organisation or social group.
Look at Masons, scouts, social clubs and sport teams to a degree as well, a common goal and camaraderie.
Politics is almost a cult

As a Christian it is almost a command to be a part of a church even though I don’t really like churches or christians
Not all of course

posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 02:38 AM
a reply to: TheSpanishArcher

I think some people are just drawn to the sense of "belonging" to something. Anything...

posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 02:38 AM
If you have never been so lost as to look for meaning in a pointless life, you likely wouldn't understand. Unfortunately it happens with women more so then men, then the women attract more men, and more women.

What it comes down to in my opinion, is a realization that "normal" life, such as a family, kids, and working for somebody else for a couple dimes seems pointless.

A lot of people don't have the confidence in themselves to make something from scratch...

So they begin to look for alternative ways of living, looking for a life that they think is right...

The idea of a small group of people, who are all on the same page, essentially living off the land sounds good. . . Bring in topics of free love, enlightenment, "Us vs Them" and you got yourself set up for a pretty decent camp of manipulation.

Really you just need one guy with enough knowledge of history, spiritualism, psychology, and perhaps selfish/evil intent.

BAM, you got yourself the grounds to start a cult.

But my question is, do you think it is possible to truly live in a community off grid, where you can be "free" without someone stepping up to take advantage of others.

It sounds wonderful, especially if you're younger, but the dangers are certainly real.
edit on 2-11-2020 by AnnihilateThis because: (no reason given)

edit on 2-11-2020 by AnnihilateThis because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 05:41 AM
a reply to: TheSpanishArcher

Manipulative narcissists learn over years and years of testing people how to run a cult. All cult leaders use tools to indoctrinate people who show a bit of immaturity, naiveté, or a longing for belonging.

Generally, they decieve, isolate, create dependency, then enstill either a sense of dread, or a sense of power that's dependent of pleasing the cult leader.

There are lots of little steps in those big steps, but those are the general rules of cult building. And this stuff works. Even things that technically aren't cults ("lifestyles", advertising for corporations, workplaces) use these tactics on a different scale to create loyalty. It works.

posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 07:30 AM

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.
Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
The group/leader is always right.
The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.
Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.
Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.
Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".
Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.
Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.
Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supercede any personal goals or individual interests.
A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.
Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.
Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.

10 Warning signs of cult behavior/cult leaders/groups

They isolate you and immerse you in the group. They get you to cut yourself off from those in your life who don't think like they do, even to brand them as evil. They create a cocoon so tight both around you and inside your own mind that you are incapable of seeing out without extreme effort.

posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 12:12 PM
a reply to: TheSpanishArcher

I watched ''The Vow''. I found it very good.
I was in a cult back in the early 70s. The Moonies. Much of the stuff in ''The Vow'' rang very familiar to me.
I particularly paid attention to those people who had gotten out and their reflections on not so much the cult leader or the cult itself, rather their reflections on themselves.

At one point in the documentary, that one guy, the tall guy says something like ''No body joins a cult. Nobody''. This is very true. If you watch that doc with a critical ear you can notice that one of the major motivations for those people was a desire to help. A desire to help the world emerge from this morass we now find ourselves in.

I agree with this, more so than just ''people wanting to belong'' or lonely people who need to have others around them. It's much more than that. Were it not for that desire to add their energies to ''saving the world'' the rigors and weirdness of cult life would hardly be appealing to anyone, especially people like we find in that documentary.

Most of those people came from a more wealthy segment of society. Most of the women were very attractive as well and neither of those qualities are qualities that are readily eager to submit to the restrictive life of a cult. There has to be something more to it. I see it as their desire to help ''right'' the course of human history.

As someone else in this thread has already mentioned, cults need a cult leader who has more knowledge and a wider breath of human endeavors who can schmooz people into believing that he has a grasp on things that has evaded their own personal knowledge base. In this case, the cult leader was VERY intelligent and could take all the up to date scientific studies and quote them and show a very deep comprehension of human existence. For someone who doesn't have any interest in these existential question, there is no threat, but for those who do, that threat is everywhere.

I look to our current political situation. What I see is two sides. Two sides preaching that if the other side wins it will be doom. How much more existential can that get? US or DOOM. I also see that to one degree or another, both sides attract people who want to take matters into their own hands, to become active to make things better. Really, isn't that Trump's pledge in a nutshell? Isn't that Biden's?????

And just because we think that those who support the other side are stupid and in a cult does not mean that even as we consider ourselves ''smarter than them'' or '' more aware than them'' does not mean that we ourselves are not in a cult and under the thrall of a different cult leader.

posted on Nov, 2 2020 @ 02:58 PM
a reply to: AnnihilateThis
If you want an answer, what your looking for is a Kibbutz.

posted on Nov, 4 2020 @ 11:04 PM
Sorry it took me so long to respond. I tried to do a multiple post thing, it got all frakked up. So I'm just going to respond to yours.

As one who has experience with a cult I think you nailed it better than everyone else.

At one point in the documentary, that one guy, the tall guy says something like ''No body joins a cult. Nobody''. This is very true. If you watch that doc with a critical ear you can notice that one of the major motivations for those people was a desire to help. A desire to help the world emerge from this morass we now find ourselves in.

That seems to be the qualifier, that "need" to help. But the morass of doublespeak these "leaders" speak is such nonsense that I just can't still understand how people follow these farces. Selling snake oil, they are.

Like any one person could fix the morass we have right now, a douche bag vs. a turd sandwich, as South Park very well documented the 2016 election.

Love the word morass, btw. Fits quite well.

And just because we think that those who support the other side are stupid and in a cult does not mean that even as we consider ourselves ''smarter than them'' or '' more aware than them'' does not mean that we ourselves are not in a cult and under the thrall of a different cult leader.

Beautifully said.
edit on 11/4/2020 by TheSpanishArcher because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 4 2020 @ 11:39 PM
So is this a thread to bring up the subject because we are witnessing in the Trump Administration one of the biggest cults ever!! Trump is a Cultist leader.....Period..... MAGA folks have drank the koolaid

posted on Nov, 4 2020 @ 11:42 PM
a reply to: Starwise
Are you lost? Fitting you would get lost and end up in a thread about cults. Want to join mine? We make some good guacamole.

posted on Nov, 5 2020 @ 12:10 AM
I worked at an ER in downtown St Louis for a decade in the ER. Parents brought in their son through the ER for a direct admit. He was back home after some time with a "cult" in Missouri called Church of Israel. This guy was in his early 20's and had no "self" it didnt seem. No matter what you asked him he would look to someone else for the answer. I was intrigued by this whole situation so I asked about it.. it was a white christian identity sort of cult. This guy... when stripped of the power he felt amongst his brothers and sisters in the church... was an emasculated shell melting into a hospital bed.

I think that in order for a cult to be successful as far as membership.. the leader has to determine the weakness or key to the person or group that hes targeting. The key for this group of folks was feeling weak and without power. Some cults want wealth, property, political associations, community control, and some of them like the church I mentioned was action. People who were not necessarily wealthy at all or prone to violence or evil... but could be manipulated into doing some heinous crap in the name of religion and loyalty to the group.

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