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Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs Paperback – June 14, 2012
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Beyond this, this book provides insight into many everyday forms of mental and emotional oddities and puzzles. Why did the whole German nation succumb to the Nazi sickness. What about political blindness in our own age. Read this book.
This book is, in a way, an updated version of "Releasing the Bonds," which I have also reviewed. It presents a new protocol, the Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA), for assisting those who wish to help their loved ones gain understanding and potentially an exit strategy from the people, groups and beliefs, which have enslaved them. It is developed in response to the BITE model of a dangerous cult (B= Behavioral Control, I=Information Control, T=Thought Control and E=Emotional Control). In the cult which I was in for twenty-six years and have, by now, written extensively about, Behavioral Control was implemented by binding every moment of time with reading, occult exercises, sleeping postures, diet, lodge meetings and meditation type practices; Information Control by subtle prohibitions against outside reading or research (typical cult restrictions); Thought Control was accomplished by projecting an elitist spiritual authority onto the cult through a fraudulent portrayal of its history and Emotional Control by creating extreme subservience to the head of the cult, whose title is the Latin Term for Emperor, and extreme fear to leave the cult which basically defined you as a member of the only real spiritual organization in the Universe. While there is little time here to describe the SIA approach, I should say that it involves creating a collaborative atmosphere and strategy with the family or friends of the cult member, an essentially friendly approach that results in developing the kind of rapport necessary to talk rationally with the cult member. Hassan gives an example of Jim, a member of a pseudo-Buddhist cult, for which a camping trip is developed in which various friends approach him with different angles. One of those friends was an ex-member of the cult in question who lost his girlfriend to the cult leader, who preyed on female members of the cult. The interaction with his friends brought him to a conference with Steven Hassan, who showed him tangibly how some of the "miraculous" light he had seen `emanating' from the cult leader was the result of hypnotic suggestion. In my case, I wish some kind of strategic interaction had occurred like this- but aside from a few sessions of counseling, I had to handle my deprogramming myself, a hit-or-miss proposition that might have been aided significantly by this type of approach. I think this book could be a real asset for a family or group of friends afraid for their loved ones participation in a dangerous cult.
Mind Slaves of the Rosikrucian Collectorum - Part 1- Mayhem on the Astral Highway Illustrated
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Very practical and sympathetically written.
One word of caution though. I bought it because it was referenced in another book I had been reading about Scientology. I assumed it would be a slightly more general description of this topic. It actually seems to be written more of a "how to" manual, so it's of less interest to a general reader. If therefore you are a general reader it may be too specific for your interest (it was for me). If however you believe you know someone who you worry may be in a cult, it is a very sound and sympathetic book.
Some religious cults have “An elite group that claims to know the real meaning of Scripture” (Page 4)
They rail on about how all the other Churches are dead and unscriptural (Page 7)
Threatening Prophecies (Page 12)
“Love” depends on meeting expectations and goals (Page 13)
Demand for purity: Establishing impossible standards for performance, thereby creating an environment of guilt and shame. No matter how hard a person tries, he always falls short, feels bad and works even harder. (Page 17)
Sacred Science: The belief that the groups dogma is absolutely scientifically and morally true, with no room for questions or alternative viewpoints (Page 17)
Dispensing of existence: The belief that people in group have the right to exist and all ex-members and critics or dissidents do not (Page 17)
Cult control is a social process that encourages obedience and conformity. It discourages autonomy and individuality. The groups dogma becomes the persons only concern (Page 19)
Thought Reform: Create a tightly controlled system with a closed system of logic, wherein dissenters feel their questioning indicates something inherently wrong with them (Page 20)
Behavior Control (Page 22)
- Dictate with whom the member lives and associates
- Restrict leisure and entertainment
- Encourage group-think (not stumbling others)
- Impose rigid rules & regulations
Information Control (Page 23)
- Discourage access to non-cult sources of information - Internet, Critical Information, Former Members
- Keep members busy so the don't think and investigate
- Outsider versus insider doctrines
- Encourage spying on other members
- Extensive use of cult-generated information, including magazines and other media
- Misquotations, statements from non-cult sources taken out of context
- Unethical use of confession
Thought Control (Page 24)
- Members required to internalize the groups doctrine as “the truth”
- Instill Black and White thinking
- Good versus Evil; Us versus Them
- No critical questions about leaders, doctrine or policy allowed
- Alternative belief systems viewed as evil
Emotional Control (Page 25)
- Make the person feel that problems are their own fault – never the leader or group
- Excessive use of guilt – You are not living up to your potential
- Excessive use of fear
- Fear of the outside world
- Fear of losing one’s salvation
- Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by the group
- No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
- Terrible consequences if you leave
- Shunning of those who leave, fear of being rejected by friends and family
- Never a legitimate reason to leave; Those who leave are weak, unspiritual, worldly or seduced by sex
Les sectes sont réelles, la sujétion psychologique (influence indue) également, et il faut les combattre avec beaucoup d'intelligence, de passion, et de patience.
Merci Steven Hassan. Ce livre, ainsi que "Combating Cult Mind Control", est un monument.