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Author Topic: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"  (Read 9580 times)

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June 22, 2014, 06:53:03 PM
Reply #15

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #15 on: June 22, 2014, 06:53:03 PM »
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.
Getting back to the "is Yoo the leader?" question. His wife was arrested yesterday and charged with embezzling church funds. She's accused of handing over money from the church marked for missionary work to her husband and son. The only people who receive money milked from cult members are the leaders. If the allegations are true, and I can see no reason to believe they aren't, then that's a pretty clear indication that Yoo and his family are at the top of the food chain.

June 23, 2014, 08:27:30 AM
Reply #16

Offline Edgar

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criminal deception by cult leaders (for example Mr. Yoo's conviction)
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2014, 08:27:30 AM »
Peter,

I think there is an intentional mixup here between

-how cults recruit new members on the one hand, and
-what happens once people are inside the cult.

Of course the Moonies do not kidnap people from the street and bring them to a brainwashing camp.

In the beginning, it all seems to be about Jesus, world peace and all very nice and understanding people.

That's the facade.

Behind that are the Master's bank accounts, his sex life and his love of power, and the brutality he uses to get what he wants.
Inside the cult, people are variously made to believe that they will go to hell if they don't give lots of money to the Master, have sex with him and obey his orders.

You only need to look at the cheap tricks played in this forum to see how this works.

Mixing up 1.) what happens at the "face-to-the-customer" end of a cult with what 2.) happens inside a cult is one of these cheap tricks.

Keep up the good work,

Edgar.

June 23, 2014, 08:51:09 AM
Reply #17

Offline Edgar

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rich cult leaders
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2014, 08:51:09 AM »
... and that's how it looks like when cult members present their Master:

"I have nothing"
...
"his biggest self-indulgence was a helicopter. "

According to The Times the Maharishi attracted scepticism because of his involvement with wealthy celebrities, his business acumen, and his love of luxury, including touring in a Rolls-Royce.[94] A reporter for The Economist calls this a "misconception" saying: "He did not use his money for sinister ends. He neither drank, nor smoked, nor took drugs. ... He did not accumulate scores of Rolls-Royces, like Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh; his biggest self-indulgence was a helicopter. "[260][261] When some observers questioned how his organisation's money was being used, the Maharishi said, "It goes to support the centres, it does not go on me. I have nothing."[262]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maharishi_Mahesh_Yogi#Characterizations


June 23, 2014, 09:19:38 AM
Reply #18

Offline Edgar

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brainwashed cult members
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2014, 09:19:38 AM »
Or, to put it in other terms: Why do cults like the Moonies not try to force their opinion on prospects initially?

Because it simply does not work, and the clever leaders know that. They may not know much, but they know how to manipulate people, that's their full-time job.


Why is there a brainwashed cultist in this forum trying to defend the Jim-Jones cult?

Because he is not intelligent enough to understand that this line of reasoning does not work.

If he had a bit more education, he would see many things very differently.

June 23, 2014, 06:23:18 PM
Reply #19

Offline Chocobo

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2014, 06:23:18 PM »
Dear Peter,

So at least we have some confirmation from your friend about how controversial the concept of "brainwashing" is in the case of NRMs. My point is: It is dangerous when you solely rely on the brainwashing theory to explain the conversions into NRMs or the existence of these groups. The fact is in the last centuries, NRMs have been flourishing. Why is that? Are people nowadays more stupid or mentally vulnerable to deception? Why do many keep coming to the NRMs instead of traditional and mainstream religions? One day you thrilled the world with the destructive aspect of the Odaeyang or the People Temple, the next day there are ten more NRM groups appeared in the country. What happen to the people of this world? Either they are so stupid and ignorant or the deceptive technique of those religious leaders are god-like. Yet the statistics show that they are not stupid but their majority come from middle and upper classes with good education, and the deception is not that good because only very few percentages stay while the majority leave after some contacts.

But there is another fact that there are so many interested in these NRMs and come to their meetings. It is obvious that they are seeking for something in the NRMs, something which their current religious traditions and relationships cannot provide them. In the documentary of the People Temple, some of the former members confessed about that: they joined because they found there a lively community, a miracle, a self-less way of life, etc. So it seems to me that many people come to the NRMs as active seekers, most of them do not find what they are searching for and leave, but some find (or think so) and stay.

Now, for the few who stay, of course there are un-clear things, but deception and brainwashing are different things. You fall for deception with your free will, and it is very common in life, like advertisements (about a product, a job, a partner, etc.) and reality are usually different. But brainwashing assumes that you can control people's will and thought by external influences. As your friend said, the concept came from the treatment of POWs, many from the Korean War, which included confinement and strict control of total environment. In a larger scale, it requires some total control and closed environment as in the case of North Korea. By this, I do not mean North Korea government successfully brainwashed their people, I just means that the condition for brainwashing is that strict according to its original theory. Such condition is impossible for NRMs, even though they may try to mimic it, especially in the point that people are free to express their different ideas and to leave. That is why the application of the concept of "brainwashing" into cult studies is controversial.

While the argument is still going on whether the "brainwashing" theory is applicable to the few who stay, not the majority who go through the same experience and leave, the imprint of it in common understanding by the work of mass media does have a dangerous aspect: Governments and people stop to ask questions about why those NRMs exist and appear more and more, and why people keep going for them, why not the traditional religions, etc. All these questions are finished with one answer: brainwashing, then no more. And so after they have solved a cultic case only with this approach, more others appear and keep attracting people. The mainstream churches stay hesitant with their conservative traditions, while the NRMs are more sensitive and keep offering people with many attractive things that they are hunger for in today modern life: syncretism between spirituality and science, community of trust, magic and miracle, LGBT, environment pollution, internet, etc. Many NRMs are abused for personal gain, but the reason for their existence and successful conversions and also the lessons we can learn from them are much more than just "brainwashing."

So as long as we take the brainwashing theory as only one approach and aspect beside other approaches and perspectives, and that brainwashing is not the total representation of what NRMs and cults nor their conversions are, I am willing to discuss about it.

PS. About the charge on Mrs. Yoo, if the prosecutors can prove it, then the EBC cannot avoid the question of their relationship with Mr. Yoo anymore. If they deny the connection, then it means they accept that Mr. Yoo and his family illegally used the EBC's money and the image of an innocent, honored Mr. Yoo together with many leaders of the church will collapse. If they admit the connection, then they will either have to face the questions and anger from within or accept that business investments and even frauds are their nature. Or they will have to find someone else to blame, a scapegoat, which I think is almost impossible.

June 23, 2014, 09:39:56 PM
Reply #20

Offline Peter

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Re: Split Discussion About "Brainwashing"
« Reply #20 on: June 23, 2014, 09:39:56 PM »
The fact is in the last centuries, NRMs have been flourishing. Why is that? Are people nowadays more stupid or mentally vulnerable to deception? Why do many keep coming to the NRMs instead of traditional and mainstream religions? One day you thrilled the world with the destructive aspect of the Odaeyang or the People Temple, the next day there are ten more NRM groups appeared in the country. What happen to the people of this world? Either they are so stupid and ignorant or the deceptive technique of those religious leaders are god-like.

Thanks for all that. I know you're on vacation and that must have taken some time to write. I've got a presentation to prepare, so I'll just offer a brief response to the above, and then I really need to back out of this conversation for at least a couple of weeks.

No, I don't think stupidity as anything at all to do with it, and I realize you weren't suggesting that anyway.
Mentally vulnerable? Well some people become involved when they are at vulnerable points in their lives.  More importantly, vulnerable people are more often targeted because of that vulnerability. The indoctrination techniques used by cults aren't god-like or magical, but they are sophisticated and effective under the right conditions. No one joins these groups knowing exactly what they are getting into, and that's by design.

Again, I'm speaking from experience with a particular kind of ruthless criminal organisation. The reason they have some success when recruiting is because they use front groups and keep the crazier/more disturbing aspects until the member has been cemented to the group through the plethora of indoctrination tools and psychological tricks at the cult's disposal. It's a gradual and sometimes long process.

The word "recruit" is key. People don't join a cult led by a convicted serial rapist; they join the fiction the group presents, and they "join" after being led down a well-planned and well-implemented garden path. Recruitment into JMS and SCJ is not random. Targets are identified (in JMS's case mostly young beautiful women). Reports are written, plans and strategies are hatched behind the scenes for each specific target. Plans and strategies the target is unaware of.

Sure, some people are looking for bonds and a cause to believe in. Love bombing, when done properly and isn't obviously over the top, is effective. Who doesn't like to be complemented and be the focus of positive attention?

None of the thing these seekers you mention are really provided by cults. The friendships are mostly conditional, and the true cause is never the stated cause.  People are recruited because none of these groups at the beginning looks like a destructive cult to someone who hasn't experienced one before and isn't aware of all the cunning tricks being used.  They are skilled at deception.