Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Ted Talk: How cults rewire the brain


Byker Bob said...

The essence of this lecture seems to be that cults convert their followers into binary thinkers. Everything is seen through I-O filters, leading right up to the ultimate “us and them” separation.

No mid ranges, or percentages, no safety between opposing poles. There is only positive and negative, with the cult representing the positive pole. In the case of the ACOg splinters (and with apologies to Clayton Moore) splinter group members are the ones who have learned to say “I-O Sliver! Away!”

It gets worse, of course, for the children of cult members. These children are raised by salvation-nacissists, who, rather than adminstering to their childrens’ emotional needs, are caught up in the extremely legalistic practices of their cult, punish the children most severely when the childrens’ activities interfere with this, and the result is that in most cases, there is not a normal bonding between parent and child. The children are either put into a position of fearfully and eternally seeking their parents’ approval ( which will only come if the children remain in the cult) or rejecting it all and walking away. Either way, the children don’t have real parents. (This can be a good thing in the case of independent types who overcompensate with a drive for success, but often, it perpetuates the cycle of emotionally unavailable parents into following generations).

Cults are like illicit street pharmaceuticals. They are addictive, destroy lives, and turn all who are close to the cult members into co-dependents. And, guess what that does? In the cult member’s mind, it exascerbates the “us and them” syndrome.


Anonymous said...

Exactly. In the COG's it's "us vs them."

To them, "US" is three things:

1. Sabbath Keepers
2. Holy Day Keepers
3. Church Members.

That's it. Everyone else is "them":

1. Christmas Keepers
2. Easter Keepers
3. Sunday Keepers
4. Nothing Keepers
5. Worldly People

And that's it.

Everyone who keeps the Sabbath, Holy Days, and are members of the church are Good, even though they may be bad. They're not sinners and are the elect and chosen even though the hearts of some may be corrupt, wicked, sinful, cold, cunning, deceitful, liars - and loveless.

Everyone who keeps Christmas, Easter, Sunday, does nothing, or are just in the world are, to them, bad - even though they may be good. They're the worst of sinners even though many of them help the homeless, feed the poor, visit the jailed, serve the broken, and care for the hopeless.

Byker Bob said...

Correct. Apparently, all you need to do to appear worldy (making you “them”) is to get caught failing to button the second button of your shirt and forgetting your socks when appearing in public at the Giant Eagle or Piggly Wiggly supermarket in your community.