Table of Contents
Are You in a Cult…..
To be explicit, a layman’s version of Narcissism is vanity, for instance a body builder obsessed at his own reflection in the mirror. But for a cult the members can fall in love with an ideal or ambition that the member aspires towards. In itself this is not necessarily a bad thing, but when this is twisted to satisfy the the whims of the leader, then things can go awry.
The point I am making in the title is that as humans we already start on a slanted stage. We are born and we learn behaviours from other humans (usually!). We develop language, behaviours and so forth from those around us and we move forward.
Culture – ‘the ideas, customs, and social behaviour of a particular people or society’
Cult – ‘a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs and rituals’
When looking at this it was rather confounding because often it was so double edged sometimes you have to make some commitment or push to progress and it is only when this is abused that things become poisoned.
- They are coersive (e.g. The British Army)
- They are Machiavellian – The means justify the ends.
- They make you do things you don’t feel right about. The act of doing this can create dissonance in your state which can help to paralyse your usual mental processes. The trouble is that you may want to explore that non-rational side of yourself so it can be very seductive.
- They use ‘word salad’ This was the term used in the podcast ‘A little bit culty’. It is a type of expression related to b*****t that seems plausible but tends to be circular and is designed to create uncertainty/cognitive dissonance rather than a meaning. Eg. ‘Raise the walls and shout its flaws’. I put some word salad in my titles just for ironic fun because I found it helps my SEO, makes me wonder how culty the web has become now.
‘there is an undisputed leader…’
- There is an undisputed leader and no dissent is tolerated. Often a member who criticises will be approached indirectly by someone else, so the leader can keep face
- Sleep Deprivation. They keep you on the go all the time so you do not have any time to reflect and think for yourself.
- Collateral – They ask you for private and personal information under a variety of guises. This can be used to enforce compliance.
- They lock you in, directly or indirectly. All your ‘freinds’ might be there, or you will lose your means of support if you leave.
what is your hook point ?
- They try and find your hook point. What’s yours ? Beautiful women, money, freedom, power, spiritual liberation ?
- Grandiose control – the kind of power that nation states attempt to wield.
- Secrecy that is badly justified. I make this caveat because sometimes secrecy can be neceassary and therin lies the rub.
- They exploit your weaknesses for their own gain.
Do good cults exist ?
I would argue that just because an organisation does not follow the mores of their society it does not necessarily make them bad. It may be ‘deemed’ bad if it breaks the law or breaks the taboos of that society but throughout history and across the world the ways of people can be very diverse and what is Ok in one place is not Ok in another. If you feel that the way you have been brought up in society is the only right way then your country has succeeded in exercising grandiose control over you. So…….are YOU in a cult ?