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June 21, 2014, 12:15:40 PM
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Offline Edgar

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Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« on: June 21, 2014, 12:15:40 PM »
Dear Chocobo,

the groups under the control of Mr. Yoo have launched a broad disinformation campaign since it was found that Mr. Yoo's family and a high number of Guwonpa believers were directing Chonghaejin Marine.

Cheonghaejin employed a disproportinate number of Guwonpa members.


The factual owners of Cheonghaejin are responsible for the rebuilding of the ship after it was bought from Japan and for the lack of security measures on board.

The factual owners of Cheonghaejin are responsible for the death of almost 300 people, many schoolchildren.

I do not know if you have any children, but if you can remotely imagine how the families feel,
you should be careful not to defend those responsible for this.


You write:

I am a student of religion

May I ask what this means?
Are you enrolled in a program for religious studies?
Do you have an academic degree in religious studies or do you aim at writing a thesis?



I am asking these questions, because I am impressed by the questions you do not ask about Mr. Yoo:


- Has Mr. Yoo received funds from the Odaeyang group, or what was his business relation to the Odaeyang group?
- What was the religious significance of Mr. Yoo for the Odaeyang group?

- Has Mr. Yoo received money from his religious followers, and if so, how much?
- Where did the funds that the Semo group was built on come from?


- Have religious followers of Mr. Yoo ever worked in one of the companies owned by Mr. Yoo for a sub-standard salary?


- In 1992, Mr. Yoo was convicted of fraud in connection with his religious function. What crimes was he found guilty of, and what is the Gowonpa's position regarding this conviction?


- Did Gowonpa members invest money in the Semo group, and did they lose money when the Semo group filed for bankrupcy, selling its ships to Chonhaejin marine, a company owned by Mr. Yoo's family?


- Odaeyang is often described as a "doomsday cult". Does the Guwonpa propagate an immanent mass destruction of humanity, which probably only faithful Guwonpa members will survive?


An academic researcher in religion would like to know these things.


Mr. Yoo is certainly good at setting up a web of deception. This has always been the backbone of his career.

As long as you do not ask the above questions, you may be subject to the suspicion that you are part of this web of deception.


There is, fortunately a lot of information about cults available on the internet.
I may recommend that you take some time to look at some of these videos.

http://youtu.be/1k4P5mRK_hE

http://youtu.be/aU3_DkpWDak

http://youtu.be/TNKmhv9uoiQ

http://youtu.be/M9w7jHYriFo

http://youtu.be/OTVWMY8EZCA

http://youtu.be/QlfMsZwr8rc


You can expect that most of the members of this forum will meet you with honesty, and this honesty should be mutual.











June 21, 2014, 04:10:37 PM
Reply #1

Offline Chocobo

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 04:10:37 PM »
Dear Edgar,

Thank you for your suggestions. I can assure you that I have a degree on religious studies, and I am doing some simple research on this, however from different perspective to you. And I can assure you that I was there putting flowers on the memorial site of Sewol victims and prayed for them at City Hall.

If you read carefully my last post, you would see that I am also aware of those questions that you asked. But there are already you and Peter here and the whole media out there keep asking and investigating into those issues. As I said, I am at this moment focusing on the EBC rather than Mr. Yoo. I am impressed that no one tried to make clear the official relationship between Mr. Yoo and the EBC, even the EBC themselves. Is he the leader of EBC? I think the EBC members have the first right to make an official claim about that.

Let's assume that the government can charge Mr. Yoo guilty in the Sewol tragedy. Can they prosecute the EBC as a destructive cult if the EBC say that Mr. Yoo is not their leader? We both know that it was Pastor Kwon that found the church, not Mr. Yoo. Can you prosecute them as a destructive cult because they understand the Bible differently? Then please go prosecute the Islam because they also understand it different from the Christians. Can you prosecute them as a destructive cult because they invested their money in Semo and other companies of Mr. Yoo's family? People have freedom to invest their money and if it fails, it is their personal matter and responsibility. Catholic and Protestant Church also invest in the establishment of their confessional universities and organizations (which are not purely charity I am sure), and the Vatican's scandal in managing its money and business is not new to the world. My university is a Catholic one, students pay money to come here, the chairman and many professors are Christians, even priests, and my friends are suffering in the labs working until midnight. Should I conclude that those problems are of the responsibility of the Christian Church?

If Mr. Yoo is guilty, he should pay for it. If some members of EBC help him to hide, they should pay for it. But these are all personal responsibility. Legally speaking, if Mr. Yoo is not the leader of the EBC, then the church itself have not much to do with the problem of Mr. Yoo and some of its members. In this case, if you want to prosecute the EBC as a destructive cult, prove to me two things:
- Their teachings and activities are dangerous to the society: The Sewol crews abandoned the ferry because they were taught by EBC that they must save themselves first because outsiders are unworthy of being saved and because they received that order from the EBC leaders (there are some phone calls under investigation).
- Their organization is evil and corrupted: Majority of the EBC leaders are involved with Mr. Yoo and his wrong doings (if the EBC officially has a hierarchy system with official leader class). Or they have done other harmful things to the society.
That is why I think it is important to ask those questions in my previous post.

On the academic aspect, the brainwashing theory of Margaret Singer on the case of the Unification Church has been invalidated for quite sometime already. I would like to suggest more recent studies about new religious movements like The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements (2004) where they look at these phenomena from a diversity of perspectives (insider and outsider, psychology, psychopathology, sociology, history, etc.). Let me remind you that every great religions started as a small new religious movements. At first, Christianity was also prosecuted, its teaching was seen a threat, its leader was crucified, and it had to struggle for a few hundreds of years until it gained an official recognition.

I am being honest here, and I suggest one more thing: freedom from bias.

June 21, 2014, 07:23:32 PM
Reply #2

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2014, 07:23:32 PM »
I'll jump in with a few thoughts if that's OK...

I am impressed that no one tried to make clear the official relationship between Mr. Yoo and the EBC, even the EBC themselves. Is he the leader of EBC? I think the EBC members have the first right to make an official claim about that.
I imagine the reason that hasn't been made clear by the EBC is that Yoo is the leader and they are not willing to admit that. Like the fact that Yoo is the real chairman of the various companies associated with the church. I think the suicide threats and promises of hundreds of members to go to jail for Yoo are pretty clear indications that he's a step above regular members. Also note that Oscar referred to Kevin Ham as a private individual when he is in fact a member, and, given his wealth, I imagine quite an important one. As such responses to sensitive questions may not receive entirely honest answers.

Can you prosecute them as a destructive cult because they understand the Bible differently? Then please go prosecute the Islam because they also understand it different from the Christians.

Yes, I believe persecution, or criticism as I prefer, for Biblical interpretations are justified. That might not be a sign of a cult. That depends on the intention behind that interpretation. Take JMS, for instance. The sin Adam and Eve committed was sexual intercourse. Now that's an interpretation that results in Jeong teaching that Original Sin can be cleansed through sex with the messiah, and that leads directly to the rapes he was convicted of. If the intention behind Kwon's interpretation was to help him bind followers to the group so that they could be manipulated into giving control of their lives and finances to his church, well then we have a cult. And besides that, the teachings in his audio sermons demand criticism. He talks about casting out demons by subjecting the "victim" to up to a week of sleep deprivation. That is torture. Kwon advocates the torturing of the mentally ill. Such primitive and dangerous superstitious nonsense demands criticism, cult or no cult.

Go persecute Islam.... Well, I realize you weren't talking to me, but I'll offer my own thoughts anyway.. I prefer to focus on lesser known cults, primarily Korean. Such groups are within my sphere of influence. Islam, not so much. Actually there was a long thread here once about a controversial Islamic cleric, but the original poster asked it be removed. And I have my hands full with the cults already on my site.
Can you prosecute them as a destructive cult because they invested their money in Semo and other companies of Mr. Yoo's family? People have freedom to invest their money and if it fails, it is their personal matter and responsibility.

It depends how they came to decide to invest. Is there transparency? Where the group's teachings of exclusivity and the end of the world used to "persuade" members to donate? Scams exist outside the world of cults. The fact someone handed over money is no indication they weren't deceived and lied to.

If Mr. Yoo is guilty, he should pay for it. If some members of EBC help him to hide, they should pay for it. But these are all personal responsibility. Legally speaking, if Mr. Yoo is not the leader of the EBC, then the church itself have not much to do with the problem of Mr. Yoo and some of its members.

Agreed on your first two points, and I don't think anyone would disagree with those. If Mr Yoo is not the leader then the actions of all those members threatening suicide and proving their desire to go to jail are.. well... curious... and to be honest, inexplicable.

In this case, if you want to prosecute the EBC as a destructive cult, prove to me two things:
- Their teachings and activities are dangerous to the society: The Sewol crews abandoned the ferry because they were taught by EBC that they must save themselves first because outsiders are unworthy of being saved and because they received that order from the EBC leaders (there are some phone calls under investigation).

I don't think such a scenario is needed in order to declare the EBC a cult. There are already allegations of financial exploitation by former members. Those allegations show the cult is a danger to society. The abandonment of the ferry by the crew, well I'm not sure that their beliefs, assuming most were members, would have played a role. They were poorly trained and some were inexperienced. The phone calls might have resulted in an order to evacuate, that's what has been alleged. Perhaps such an order was issued in a state of confusion and panic as the realization dawned on whoever gave that order that the criminal activities of the company were about to come under the microscope. Hopefully, the trial will reveal more.

On the academic aspect, the brainwashing theory of Margaret Singer on the case of the Unification Church has been invalidated for quite sometime already. I would like to suggest more recent studies about new religious movements like The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements (2004) where they look at these phenomena from a diversity of perspectives (insider and outsider, psychology, psychopathology, sociology, history, etc.).

I'd be interested in learning more. I did just have dinner with a former member and a current member (a kind of mole) of another group, and what they told me fitted in exactly with my understanding of Singer's model for thought reform. Granted I haven't read her work in a while, but her book left me with the impression she was an expert on the subject. Her description of a cult sure matched the goings on I witnessed in the JMS cult.

Let me remind you that every great religions started as a small new religious movements.

Cults also start out as "new religious movements". And since the number of small cultic groups far exceeds mainstream religions like Christianity and Islam, I think the odds are against the EBC becoming one of the world's largest religions. And certainly some Korean "new religious movements" are really just shields and tools of organised crime. Again, JMS, Jungshim, and well.. most of them.

I am being honest here, and I suggest one more thing: freedom from bias.

I'm all for freedom from bias too, but I'm also all for not dismissing the rather obvious.

June 22, 2014, 12:31:58 AM
Reply #3

Offline Chocobo

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2014, 12:31:58 AM »
You are welcome, Peter! :)

I imagine the reason that hasn't been made clear by the EBC is that Yoo is the leader and they are not willing to admit that. Like the fact that Yoo is the real chairman of the various companies associated with the church. I think the suicide threats and promises of hundreds of members to go to jail for Yoo are pretty clear indications that he's a step above regular members. Also note that Oscar referred to Kevin Ham as a private individual when he is in fact a member, and, given his wealth, I imagine quite an important one. As such responses to sensitive questions may not receive entirely honest answers.
Yes I have the same impression as yours. But while we have to "think" and "imagine", why don't we ask the EBC for a straight answer? It is strange for me that the media didn't ask that and the EBC didn't clarify that. So I ask. And if EBC cannot answer this question, then I have to classify them as an underground organization. Only underground organizations hide their memberships and leaderships from the law enforcers. And 'underground' means illegal in this case.

The rest of your persecutions depend on the above question. You said that EBC is a cult because it commits business deception to its members. Well it is, assuming that Mr. Yoo = EBC. There is a huge difference between Mr. Yoo deceiving and exploiting the EBC members as a leader and he doing so as an outsider.

It is worth to mention that, at this moment, the Korean government treats the scandal as personal responsibilities of Mr. Yoo and others. It is the media and the EBC themselves bringing in the problem of 'destructive cult'-'religious persecution' for different purposes. It is fine to have our own judgments and assumptions, but apart from the media, I wish to hear more from the government and the EBC about this matter with an open attitude that we may have wrong impressions, make wrong judgments or make them without sufficient information.  Their answers may not be the truth, so are our impressions,  but a necessary source of information for us to make better judgments. And I think that is why we are here, openly seeking for a conversation with Mr. Oscar.

About the brainwashing theory, there is a book by Eileen Braker named The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Branwashing? (1984) which is a direct challenge to Singer's study on the same 'cult' - the Unification Church. I quote this from the internet about the main argument of the book:
Quote
Barker could find no evidence that Moonie recruits were ever kidnapped, confined, or coerced. Participants at Moonie retreats were not deprived of sleep; the lectures were not “trance-inducing”; and there was not much chanting, no drugs or alcohol, and little that could be termed “frenzy” or “ecstatic” experience. People were free to leave, and leave they did. Barker’s extensive enumerations showed that among the recruits who went so far as to attend two-day retreats (claimed to be Moonie’s most effective means of “brainwashing”), fewer than 25% joined the group for more than a week and only 5% remained full-time members one year later. And, of course, most contacts dropped out before attending a retreat. Of all those who visited a Moonie centre at least once, not one in two-hundred remained in the movement two years later. With failure rates exceeding 99.5%, it comes as no surprise that full-time Moonie membership in the U.S. never exceeded a few thousand.
Recent studies on NRMs and religion in general tend to see religious conversion as an intrinsic process rather than extrinsic. Like the numbers shown above in Barker's study, coming into a religious group is a matter of choice rather than brainwashing. People who stay have their reasons. Most of the people who join NRMs are active seekers, many of them have good education, and many of them after leaving an NRM continue to seek for the spiritual fulfillment and join another NRM in a short amount time. Don't you say that they are so stupid and mentally disable that they keep falling to the same trick over and over? The medias ignore those facts because they are mostly interested in the scandalous and thrilling aspects of things. If we accept the brainwashing theory, many war criminals would say that they were brainwashed. Human mind is not that easy to be controlled. And people should be responsible with their choices, even under the propaganda of a government or a religion.

June 22, 2014, 07:46:47 AM
Reply #4

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2014, 07:46:47 AM »
Quote
Barker could find no evidence that Moonie recruits were ever kidnapped, confined, or coerced.
Thanks for that. A little later today, I'll split this thread from after your initial questions and perhaps we can discuss this further without getting in the way of all the questions Oscar has already been asked. (Done). I agree that having Oscar here answering what he can, is preferable to having no contact with him and the church.

Regarding the above quote, I don't recall ever reading that allegations of kidnapping and forced confinement had been made. Certainly no cult I have encountered and posted about here uses such blunt tactics. There maybe confinement in extreme circumstances, JMS has tried to confine women who made rape allegations, but it isn't a recruiting tactic. So right off the bat, that quote struck me as coming from someone a little less knowledgeable than Dr. Singer. But I'll check out that book when I have a chance and try hold off forming an opinion until I read more. I'll show that quote to some former members and ask for opinions. And I don't see dropout rates as a sign that the concept of brainwashing (I prefer the words indoctrination and persuasion) is flawed. Dr Cialdini's Science of Persuasion is still valid, and those are the tricks most cults use. I'm sure the Moonies were aware of dropout rates and cast their net widely accordingly. Barker seems more concerned about the dropout rates than the conversions. High drop out rates help to keep members busy as well with those short-term members and those that replace them, so even drop out rates have their uses to such groups.

I can tell you with certainty a lot of ex members who stayed in for years would not have joined if the Moonies had been honest with them about the existence of sex rituals, the enormous wealth generated and what was done with it, Moon's illegitimate children, etc etc. Such people were certainly lied to and deliberately kept in the dark. Once you have someone believe you are the Messiah, a certain amount of control beyond any other relationship is instantly available. I just read that she interviewed lots of members. I'd be curious to know if former members were part of her studies. Looking forward to exploring her work further. 

Argh I think I have heard of her before. The criticisms part of her wikipedia page is interesting.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eileen_Barker

Quote
Participants at Moonie retreats were not deprived of sleep
I'm not as familiar with the Moonies as I am with other newer Korean groups, but certainly sleep deprivation plays a role in the retention techniques of newer Korean cults. JMS members, to use one example, get up around 3 and earlier for pre-dawn services. Shinchonji, to use another: I've heard from a former member that deadlines are often set that require members staying up all night. And then the next day, the project, which was of vital "saving the world" importance, is likely to be cancelled and a new "saving the world" project initiated that really does need to be finished by tomorrow morning. World peace depends upon it.

June 22, 2014, 08:48:50 AM
Reply #5

Offline Edgar

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2014, 08:48:50 AM »
Dear Chocobo,

I can assure you that I have a degree on religious studies,

having read your contributions, I am not inclined to believe that you have a degree IN religious studies.

Actually, I have never read anything by an academic who does not know that degrees are acquired IN a certain field and not ON a certain field.


If you read carefully my last post, you would see that I am also aware of those questions that you asked.

I have read your last post carefully, and I can assure you that you want to divert attention from these questions. 



why don't we ask the EBC for a straight answer?
This is just what we have been doing here -- until you intercepted in order to divert attention.


Legally speaking, if Mr. Yoo is not the leader of the EBC,
We all know this, and that he was legally not the boss of Chonghaejin or Odaeyang.

You are spreading Mr. Yoo's propaganda here.

June 22, 2014, 09:14:30 AM
Reply #6

Offline Edgar

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Mr. Yoo's 1992 conviction and the death of 32 Odaeyang members
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2014, 09:14:30 AM »
PS.  Chocobo

I am not giving you the benefit of the doubt and believe you that you are a academic researcher and not a cult member or a hired PR professional.

But in the unlikely case that you do in fact know as little about Mr. Yoo's cult and the Moonies as you pretend to know,
I suggest that you find yourself a secular university with a good reputation and pursue your studies there with the utmost enthusiasm.

June 22, 2014, 09:29:40 AM
Reply #7

Offline Chocobo

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 09:29:40 AM »
To Peter: Separating this discussion is good, I think. I don't want our discussion affect the answers of Oscar.
I am on vacation so I cannot access my materials and the library. But this one may be helpful as reference: http://www.prem-rawat-bio.org/library/dawson/richardson_critique.html

To Edgar: Aw, that's hurt. Sorry if I am not that good at English. :(

And I think you ignored certain parts in my posts. I did say that my focus is different from you. I did not 'divert' the attention, it is simply that I have different 'attention' to yours. Why do I have to have the same 'attention' with you or the media? Or is the topic limited to questions about Mr. Yoo's evil doings and EBC's destructive nature from a prosecutor perspective and I am not allowed to ask about other aspects of them from other perspectives? If so, I will leave the topic immediately. I came here because I think that the topic is not a trial and we are not here to interrogate Mr. Oscar but to dialogue for information that we need and for mutual understanding.

I did not say that your questions are wrong or worthless. My questions are important to me as yours to you. And Oscar have his right to answer what he finds important and possible to him. And I hope that he will answer all.

June 22, 2014, 09:35:49 AM
Reply #8

Offline Edgar

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Mr. Yoo's 1992 conviction and the death of 32 Odeayang members
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2014, 09:35:49 AM »
if so, I will leave the topic immediately.

that might be a good idea.

Oscar came to this forum in order to unveil the truth about Mr. Yoo, and we have been asking him about the truth.

Your assumptions are based on cult propaganda which you reproduce here.

June 22, 2014, 09:47:53 AM
Reply #9

Offline Edgar

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PS. Mr. Yoo's prison term
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2014, 09:47:53 AM »
Please be assured that this forum, as far as I understand, is always open to followers of Mr. Yoo who want to share their views and discuss them honestly.

June 22, 2014, 11:04:42 AM
Reply #10

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2014, 11:04:42 AM »
To Peter: Separating this discussion is good, I think. I don't want our discussion affect the answers of Oscar.
I am on vacation so I cannot access my materials and the library. But this one may be helpful as reference: http://www.prem-rawat-bio.org/library/dawson/richardson_critique.html

Thanks for that. I gave it a quick read. I found parts of it curious again. And again, his ideas are inconsistent with what I have observed in these more extreme (and quite ruthless) Korean groups, which again, are nothing but criminal organisations in disguise.

June 22, 2014, 11:08:06 AM
Reply #11

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #11 on: June 22, 2014, 11:08:06 AM »
Or is the topic limited to questions about Mr. Yoo's evil doings and EBC's destructive nature from a prosecutor perspective and I am not allowed to ask about other aspects of them from other perspectives? If so, I will leave the topic immediately.

Well I'm certainly happy for anything and everything to be discussed here. I'm the only person with access to the delete button, and I'm not at all likely to use it.

June 22, 2014, 11:16:51 AM
Reply #12

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #12 on: June 22, 2014, 11:16:51 AM »
Most of the people who join NRMs are active seekers, many of them have good education, and many of them after leaving an NRM continue to seek for the spiritual fulfillment and join another NRM in a short amount time.

The term "seeker" breaks down if you apply that to the smaller scale of an abusive relationship. Do women involved in abusive relationships actively seek them out? Granted some people are looking for a cause to believe in etc. That is why cults cloak themselves in such causes, like Shinchonji's many peace front groups, and JMS had a "peace" front group as well. But these groups are so small and secretive, almost nobody seeks them out to become a member. Those cults, and others, actively seek new members. I doubt any current members walked into Wolmyong Dong (the home of the JMS cult) and asked to join up. Most people encounter those two groups through the activities of various front groups. The love bombing and deception begins from that moment. None of the former members and current members I've spoken to were seekers. Some where born into the cult - one of the purposes of Moonie's and JMS's arranged mass weddings is to produce the next generation of followers, others, as I said, began their involvement through secular-looking front groups. As Elizabeth said in SBS Australia's JMS expose, "I didn't think I was joining anything."

Of course many such people are educated. Did anyone say otherwise? An education is not a shield against indoctrination, unless of course, that education concerned how cults recruit ;)

June 22, 2014, 06:17:27 PM
Reply #13

Offline Chocobo

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #13 on: June 22, 2014, 06:17:27 PM »
Well I'm certainly happy for anything and everything to be discussed here. I'm the only person with access to the delete button, and I'm not at all likely to use it.
Thank you. I will not waste more time to argue with a closed mind.

I recall a very good documentary about the People Temple and Jonestown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NQ5KBzD8w0
It has almost every cultic elements that you asked for: brainwashing, sexual abuse, mass suicide/murder, totalitarian leader, former members' reflections, etc.). While the destructive aspects of the cult (mostly because of Jim Jones) are obvious, the reflections and comments of its former members, especially at the end of the documentary, are really interesting. Even for a cult like the People Temple, there are much more than just deception and brainwashing.

June 22, 2014, 06:28:11 PM
Reply #14

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #14 on: June 22, 2014, 06:28:11 PM »
Even for a cult like the People Temple, there are much more than just deception and brainwashing.

Thanks for that. I don't recall saying there aren't more to these groups than deception and brainwashing, so I'm not quite sure of your point. Your earlier quotes suggested there wasn't so much deception and brainwashing, I responded that I had seen a lot and heard from members who have described plenty of deceptions and indoctrination techniques. The quotes I'm hearing at the end, and I haven't listened to them all yet, but they're all the things I would have expected to hear and do hear from people in some of these current Korean groups.

Certainly one similarity is the physical isolation of members. Jones took them off to the jungle. Most of the Korean groups, with perhaps the exception of SCJ, have very isolated rural retreats. And of course that physical separation aids the indoctrination process. I don't think it's a coincidence that Yoo's group has its own secluded compound.

And that quote at the end from the documentary, "At least we tried,"  Wow, I think it would have been better if they hadn't.

And I got a response from a very good friend of mine who was a former member of the Moonies and is well versed in how cults operate:
Quote
Everything in the quotation is accurate. The reason it starts off pointing out that potential Moonie converts were never "kidnapped, confined, or coerced" is that the allegation of brainwashing was ubiquitous, but the meaning of "brainwashing" previous to applying it to religious cults in the 70s required forced confinement in order to apply physical coercion. Broadening the meaning so greatly to include cult recruitment techniques is something any scientist (all of whom presumably value precision) would have to question. Whether the label "brainwashing" is the most appropriate one to apply to cult recruitment techniques is still controversial.

 I read the book, and I was impressed at how objective Barker was able to be, inspite of, on the one hand, no interest in "messiahs who want to save us from ourselves" and perhaps some distaste for the group, and on the other hand some colleagues who thought it was appropriate to be far more critical of the "cults."