Sometimes Joy Happens …

From Philly, the City of Brotherly Love!

Hey, I know this is an anti-cult blog and not really supposed to be political. It just so happens that cults and politics have intersected. RIP, GOP. You’ve become the tRUmp cult & lost legitimacy.

Want to get rid of cults? Dance to the polls, vote for Biden & evict the cult leader out of OUR White House.

Sometimes, Justice Happens

Keith Raniere, Leader of Nxivm Sex Cult, Is Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison
Of course, like a typical, entitled, cult-leader, narcissist …

“When the authorities finally arrested Mr. Raniere in 2018, he was at a luxury villa near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, hiding in a closet. He was living with several women from Nxivm.”

He has complained that the judge overseeing the case is “crazy.” In a prison phone call in April, Mr. Raniere told one of his supporters that the judge “needs to know he’s being watched,” according to prosecutors.”

“Still, Mr. Raniere carries no remorse and will not be seeking forgiveness, his lawyers said. He has accused the judge of corruption and demanded a new trial.

“In recent months, Mr. Raniere has spearheaded a campaign to overturn his conviction, directing his supporters to create a podcast about his case and set up a contest to find errors in his prosecution in exchange for a $25,000 cash prize.”

Speaking of Cults, learn about this QAnon Escapee …

Hi Everyone,
I hope that you’re managing to stay sane, healthy and safe. I feel lucky that I can say two of those three items are true for me … my sanity, I’m not so sure about.

I just read this CNN article and thought it worth pointing out: He went down the QAnon rabbit hole for two years. Here’s how he got out.

I boiled down what I feel all ex-members can relate to:

* Jadeja said he was in the midst of a 15 year struggle to finish his degree. He’d pulled away from friends and become socially isolated. “I just felt completely overwhelmed… I was probably in a deep depression I think when I found Q,” he says.

*Jadeja perused websites that aggregated posts supposedly from Q, … then he’d read the interpretations of from other believers. These interpretations are popular among the QAnon community because posts from “Q” are often so vague that they can be read in any number of ways. The tactic tends to lure in supporters the way fraudulent psychics can — there’s little solid information given, so almost anything can be taken as confirmation of a pronouncement by “Q.”

*QAnon was all he wanted to talk about. That made life offline increasingly difficult for him, and he pulled away from friends.

*”I think superficially it did seem like [QAnon] gave me comfort,” Jadeja said. “I didn’t realize the nefarious kind of impact it was having on me because it was very insidious how it slowly disconnected me from reality.”

*Travis View, a conspiracy theory researcher, said QAnon preys on vulnerable people.”I think it’s a mistake to say that QAnon is a conspiracy theory, because this kind of makes it sound like Area 51 or Big Foot,” he said. “It’s a community of people that radicalizes them into a world view, that just essentially detaches them from reality.”

*After two years in the world of QAnon, Jadeja said, cracks began to form in his conviction. He said, he was noticing more logical inconsistencies in QAnon’s theories.

*As his doubts mounted, he decided to research and saw that that information he’d once seen as irrefutable, was simply coincidence. That was a turning point for him.“It was the worst feeling I had in my life,” Jadeja said. 

*Looking back, Jadeja said, he doesn’t think there is a single relationship in his life that wasn’t affected by his time believing in QAnon. “It’s destroyed some of them to this day. It’s strained a lot of them to this day.” But there’s one thing in particular that he regrets the most: sharing QAnon with his father. CNN reached out to Jadeja’s father multiple times for a comment but he did not respond.

The takeaway – if you’re reading this post, you probably know how this happens. So don’t let friends fall down the batshit crazy QAnon rabbit hole.

The Vow – the HBO DocuSeries about Nxivm

At times, I have referred to “School” as Cult Lite. This docu-series depicts Cult Heavy, i.e. NXIVM, a group that pulled out all the stops when it comes to the worst abuses. But what makes this show worth watching is that the filmmakers wanted to get beyond the salacious details.

You see, Cult Heavy and Cult Lite used exactly the same emotional and social manipulation. And the most important thing to understand about cults is how these parasitic groups leverage our natural social and emotional wiring for selfish gain.

Cult Heavy generated a lot of attention when the New York Times broke the NXIVM story — a cult leader that touted women’s empowerment while simultaneously trafficking some of the members and, in the most sensational cases, branding some of them. Last June a court convicted Keith Raniere of multiple crimes and his sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 27th.

Yet The Vow’s producers recognized that, while salacious details garner attention, they obscure the most important message: how impressionable and vulnerable we are.

Humans are hardwired to seek acceptance and community. Con-artist over the centuries, those with well-honed radars for vulnerabilities, have used this wiring for selfish gain. We need to both understand those vulnerabilities and recognize when to say no, or run away, or tell a manipulator to fuck off.

So, for what it’s worth, if you want to understand how cults work, if you want to protect yourself and those that you love from selfish and abusive people, I recommend watching The Vow.

More Cohen on the tRump cult

Cults dress up in various bells and whistles, customized to attract a target audience. But when boiled down to fundamental social dynamics, they are all the same: group manifestations of the top malignant narcissist’s delusions, irony, hypocrisy, & gaslighting.

The difference between “sChool” & the tRump cult is:
* sChool pretended to offer benevolence, promoting better-ness through ideas.
*In contrast, although when his lips are flapping donny is lying, what you see is what you get: a sociopathic, 2-bit conman & scumbag, as the world witnessed at this week’s “debate”.

If you admire him for conning his way to the top, and are living for the moment’s that daddy is “sticking it to the ‘libtards’ “, remember that Mr. Cohen wound up in prison, taking one for the team & the team didn’t care. With daddy denying Covid19, you could end up dead & daddy wouldn’t care. So, as a cautionary tale, I present more Cohen quotes about the tRump cult:

P.153-4: ” … think about it like being under the spell of a cult leader … How did Jim Jones get his followers in Guyana to drink the poisoned Kool-Aid … Jones took control of the minds of those drawn to him, not all at once but gradually, over time, by luring them into his mind. ‘Stop drinking the Kool Aid,’ we would say to each other at the tRump Organization all the time.”

” …tRump would say so many things that were illogical or just plain bullshit, as we consciously would know, but we would stay on his message, even though we knew it was nonsense. We would repeat what he said, as if it were true, and then we’d repeat the message to one another so often that we would actually begin to believe the distortion ourselves.”

“This mind meld is what I see every day as I sit in prison watching the nightly news from the White House. … Think of all the responsible and conservative and moral, even devoutly religious tRump supporters not just rationalizing or explaining away his transparent dishonesty, but actually turning it upside down and saying it’s perfectly normal.

“There was also a fever-pitched desire to please that made me sycophantic.

“…tRump is a master at getting otherwise seemingly sensible people to enter into his fantasy land because of the fear that failure to do so means banishment. This explains the behavior of so many members of Congress and the Cabinet… Once the small lies and delusions pass, then it became easier and easier to swallow bigger and bigger lies.

Yep. That’s how it works. Looks and quacks like a cult.