In 1961 robert j lifton published a book, 'Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism', some see it as a definitive study on the subject of mind control.. that is, the situation where the leaders of a group use certain techniques to establish and maintain control over membership. these techniques are better than barbed wire and prison bars, as the manipulated membership will still think that they are free.
some religions like, the exclusive brethren and jehovah's witnesses, carry these techniques to an extreme and will seek to isolate percieved offenders from their friends and family by shunning and ex-communication. but to some extent all religions use these techniques to maintain control and keep the 'flock' from straying.
here are some of the factors that can help you establish whether you have been manipulated by mind-control techniques. the affects can be very destructive to your well-being.
1) Milieu Control
"Milieu" is a French word meaning "surroundings; environment." Cults are able to control the environment around their recruits in a number of ways, but almost always using a form of isolation.
Recruits can be physically separated from society, or they can be warned under threat of punishment to stay away from the world's educational media, especially when it might provoke critical thinking. Any books, movies or testimonies of ex-members of the group, or even anyone critical of the group in any way are to be avoided.
Information is carefully kept on each recruit by the mother organization. All are watched, lest they fall behind or get too far ahead of the thinking of the organization. Because it appears that the organization knows so much about everything and everyone, they appear omniscient in the eyes of the recruits.
this is a technique often used by 'ex-gay' groups. ostensibly it's to 'protect' their new recruit from 'harmful influences'.
(Yuki's note: Edmund Smith, RLM, has been well known to ask homosexuals in Malaysia not to go to Singapore, a more tolerant country in terms of homosexuals.)
2) Mystical Manipulation
this is so common in religious circles - the constant claim that god is at work when things occur. your first interest will be atributed to god "opening your eyes/ears" or, "god brought you to us today" or, simply, "your talking to me today shows that god loves you".
If a person leaves for any reason, accidents or ill-will that may befall them are always attributed to God's punishment on them.
For the faithful, the angels are always said to be working, and stories circulate about how God is truly doing marvelous things among them, because they are "the truth."
The organization is therefore given a certain "mystique" that is quite alluring to the new recruit.
3) Demand for Purity
The world is depicted as black and white, with little room for making personal decisions based on a trained conscience. One's conduct is modeled after the ideology of the group, as taught in its literature. People and organizations are pictured as either good or evil, depending on their relationship to the cult.note that last sentence - to be pure you must follow the cult's program. and if you show signs of leaving, you will be reminded and reminded that you must stick to the program to be clean and pure, and every psychological trick they know will be used to make you feel ashamed.
Universal tendencies of guilt and shame are used to control individuals, even after they leave. There is great difficulty in understanding the complexities of human morality, since everything is polarized and oversimplified. All things classified as evil are to be avoided, and purity is attainable through immersion into the cult's ideology.
4) The Cult of Confession
Serious sins (as defined by the organization) are to be confessed immediately. The members are to be reported if found walking contrary to the rules.read back a little and see how 'shame' becomes a weapon !!
There is often a tendency to derive pleasure from self-degradation through confession. This occurs when all must confess their sins before each other regularly, creating an intense kind of "oneness" within the group. It also allows leaders from within to exercise authority over the weaker ones, using their "sins" as a whip to lead them on.
5) The "Sacred Science"
The cult's ideology becomes the ultimate moral vision for the ordering of human existence. The ideology is too "sacred" to call into question, and a reverence is demanded for the leadership. The cult's ideology makes an exaggerated claim for possessing airtight logic, making it appear as absolute truth with no contradictions. Such an attractive system offers security.we note in regard to a certain pastor's postings (Edmund Smith, RLM) that he claimed he had 'the truth' about the cause of homosexuality.
it did not matter to him that the majority of professionals in the field of human sexuality discarded that particular view long ago.
the witness of at least one person who attended his 'cult', showed that if you disagreed with this cult's leader's views, there would be a disavowal of the person - absolutely no contradictions allowed.
6) Loading the Language
Lifton explains the prolific use of "thought-terminating cliches," expressions or words that are designed to end the conversation or controversy. We are all familiar with the use of the cliches "capitalist" and "imperialist," as used by antiwar demonstrators in the 60's.In cult religions you'll find 'loaded words' that the leadership use.. they are assigned meanings inside the cult - when that word is used a lot of other implications are connected into your thought. many of these loded words carry with them a judgment on outsiders, leaving them unworthy of further consideration.
Such cliches are easily memorized and readily expressed. They are called the "language of non-thought," since the discussion is terminated, not allowing further consideration.
(Yuki's note: It is also worth mentioning here that Edmund Smith, RLM, had repeatedly used the word 'gender confused' to address homosexuals and 'self issues with gender' to address transsexuals.)
7) Doctrine Over Person
Human experience is subordinated to doctrine, no matter how profound or contradictory such experiences seem. The history of the cult is altered to fit their doctrinal logic. The person is only valuable insomuch as they conform to the role models of the cult.so in the cult of a certain pop-star parson (Edmund Smith, RLM), the commonsense knowledge developing in science regarding the origins of same-sex desire, are disregarded because it does not suit the pop-star's dogma, and a scientifically discarded theory is substituted because it bolsters what HE wants in his own life and his own desperate desire.
Commonsense perceptions are disregarded if they are hostile to the cult's ideology.
8) Dispensing of Existence
The cult decides who has the "right" to exist and who does not. They decide who will perish in the final battle of good over evil.in cultish religions, offend the leaders and you will be disciplined, others will be told that you are not fit to talk to.
The leaders decide which history books are accurate and which are biased.
Families can be cut off and outsiders can be deceived, for they are not fit to exist!
all psychological ways of 'controlling' you.