Errant Beliefs

Errant Belief #10: “We Have Lost Hope”

2018-12-16T19:33:48+00:00June 21st, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

Have a Positive Self-Fulfilling Prophecy Not a Negative One In my opinion, giving up hope is a dysfunctional coping mechanism to deal with the pain. Unfortunately, it suggests incorrectly that there is nothing constructive that can be done. If family members and friends no longer believe that the person will reestablish contact (if they have disconnected) or leave the group, then at least they will no longer be angry, frustrated, sad, disappointed and even depressed. Some people have actually told me that they have grieved their loved one as if he had already died. I say, “If the person [...]

Errant Belief #9: “She’ll Walk out on Her Own When She Is Ready”

2018-12-16T19:34:00+00:00May 31st, 2018|Blog|

Is She Really Free to Leave? This attitude presumes that the cult member has the freedom of mind, finances, and the resources to just "leave." The bars are invisible but very real. In my experience, depending on the length of his involvement, the "exit cost" is usually very high to walk out of a high demand group. The indoctrination of the group's beliefs, along with the habits ingrained into behavior, make it difficult to leave without help. If she did have freedom of mind, I can say from my own experience, she would have left the group long ago. [...]

Errant Belief #8: “She’s Better Off Where She Is”

2018-12-16T19:34:15+00:00May 10th, 2018|Blog|

Are They Better Off Being Left in the Group? Sometimes family, friends, and even mental health professionals may think that a person is better off in the cult. This way, the family, and friends may not feel obliged to do anything to help rescue the individual. Sometimes this is because the person has been a member for a really long time. Sometimes this is because people think of how the person was when they first got involved. This is especially true when the cult member gives a convincing argument that they would have committed suicide or overdosed on drugs [...]

Errant Belief #7: “He Must Be Weak, Stupid or Looking for Easy Answers or Someone to Tell Him What to Do”

2018-12-16T20:52:12+00:00April 26th, 2018|Blog|

"Don't Blame the Victim" This is a very commonly held, but fallacious generalization about people involved with destructive relationships and cult groups. People often try to find fault with people who experience tragedy by blaming the victim. Laying blame gives people a false sense of control over their own lives by distancing them from the victim. However, the idea that people knowingly join destructive cults is patently wrong. Most people are recruited at a vulnerable moment, without understanding the forces that are brought to bear on them. Sometimes a cult manipulates a recruit’s strength. For example, by playing to [...]

Errant Belief #5: “He Has the Right to Believe What He Wants to Believe”

2018-12-16T19:34:53+00:00March 15th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

The Right to Believe Anything vs. Reality-Testing Freedom to believe is only a real freedom if you also have the freedom not to believe. Having the right to believe something carries with it a presupposition of the right to not believe it, too. When recruiters deceptively ensnare people into a closed belief system, it violates informed consent. If a person wants to believe that David Koresh is the Christ, that is his right. If people want to believe that Sun Myung Moon and Hak Ja Han are the perfect True Parents, they are entitled. However, my religious freedom was [...]

Errant Belief #2 “Everything is Mind Control”

2018-12-15T20:10:03+00:00February 1st, 2018|Blog|

Errant Belief #2: “Everything is Mind Control” Mind control is everywhere, some people state—in psychotherapy, advertising, education, and the military, for example— so it must be acceptable. When we generalize and say that everything is mind control, all distinctions are lost. No insight is gained. A more productive model is to think in terms of a continuum of influence: at one end, respectful, ethical, growth-enhancing influence that recognizes the value of individuality, human rights, and creativity; at the other end, conformity, dependency, and slavery, where the value lies in the leader and the group. Everything is not mind control, [...]

Errant Belief #1: There’s No Such Thing as Mind Control

2018-12-16T19:35:15+00:00January 26th, 2018|Blog, Resources and Support|

Refuting Errant Beliefs You will need to know how to address other people’s misconceptions and, eventually, you will have to articulate these issues to the cult member as well. To help prepare you, I have identified ten of the most common fallacies about mind control cults.  Today, I will discuss the first one. Errant Belief #1 “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS MIND CONTROL” People who reject out of hand the existence of mind control usually have distorted conceptions about mind control techniques.  “Nobody can erase your personality and turn you into a brainwashed zombie,” is one common belief. Yet, [...]