Recently a friend and I were talking about how minds/hearts/spirits can be damaged. Esoteric human traits — thoughts, perceptions, emotions, the meaning we assign to experiences — can be broken, or infected – just like any other limb, or organ. Cults inflict such damage: they are a societal and psychological cancer. Unchecked, they spread.
My cult-ic misadventure, i.e. “school”, spotlighted my psychological/social fragility. Author/clinician Daniel Shaw sums it up succinctly with this formula: Vulnerability + Bad Luck = Cult Recruitment
The more purpose, guidance, meaning, community, a potential recruit seeks, the more vulnerable you are. My chance encounter, at a particular moment, with an ambitious cult recruiter (Lisa), led to a five-year tenure, with $20,000 price tag.
This month, I’m five years “school” free. My crusade has moved beyond the little cult called “school”. (I’ve heard that “school” is doing itself in, anyway). All the writing, and research, and talking I’ve done since departing the hallowed halls has literally freed me to focus on the bigger picture:
- Educating through my presentation – cultic red flags, should be common knowledge. We should teach them in schools & churches & community centers & temples, etc. etc. etc. Everyone should be familiar with recruitment tactics and cult practices; knowledge empowers – if you recognize a predatory group, you’re less likely to fall into the trap.
- Advocating, nurturing and supporting, through my clinical healing arts practice — The Gentle Souls’ Revolution — critical aspects of emotional and psychological health that — if neglected — make people vulnerable to spiritual predators:
Confidence/Self Esteem – Robert is fond of saying, “Confidence is a myth; it isn’t real … doesn’t exist.” (how convenient) He would chastise minions for “being in self love” … (yes, folks, “self love”, how sinful) Without confidence — self worth — you’ve got nothing. Confidence & self worth are inner soldiers; they protect from manipulators and con artists. Confidence would have ended my tenure far sooner, or blocked my entrance into the hallowed halls in the first place.
Community – humans are wired to be social, we thus need some type of community; sociopaths are happy manipulate & engineer this wiring for selfish gain. I once interviewed a lawyer who fights litigious cults, who said, ” …cult leaders believe that they are really on the side of the angels”. When angels endorse your delusions, it’s easy to justify heinous and selfish acts. I’m lucky. I left before the parasite sucked up my life savings, broke up my family, ruined my “un-schooled” friendships. But many are not so lucky. The ripple effect from cults, or shock waves, infect communities, inflict exponential waves of damage.
Identity – after the awful Orlando shooting last spring, I wrote a post titled Cultic Identity Theft. Cults squeeze out identity. You can’t be a cult member and an individual, that’s inconvenient for the group. As a member of a unit of profit-generation and propaganda propagation, you must be mold-able . People with healthy identities tire of shoving their lives off to the side for the “higher cause” — they reject required group think that must supersede personal thoughts, feelings and perceptions.
The rejection of fundamental identity — skin color, or sexual identity, orientation, or family origin — is the root cause of so many societal problems. Myriads of isms are rooted and justified by such rejection — hateful, vile and violent acts grow from such rejection and cultural infections. They go way beyond the cult phenomenon; but cults grab hold and ride the wave and I must do my part to advocate for civil rights — fundamental American values of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, freedom of speech, of religion … because, as we say, ALL men and women are created equal.
Only after leaving, could I recognize “school’s” goal, and violation of basic human rights. Like all cults, it exists purely to shape its membership into cult cogs in the machine that exists to proliferate profits and prop up one woman (whom I’d met briefly, in bizarre and orchestrated visits to my “class”).
Sinister, yes? But this is typical cult fare. And fighting against cult fare is today, my raison d’etre and the reason why I’m crowdfunding for Cult Confessions: The CD!!!
Today, I have 6 days left to raise $1825 more to make the $6000 goal — so I appreciate any contribution that you can make!!!
Thanks for reading!