Caution! You CANNOT Resist Implantation of Cult Ideology
Date: June 06, 2010 12:46PM
I am going to describe a common technique that I think is also covered in a lot of the classic cult-mind-control literature. Steve Hassan covered some of this in his work on the NatLFed political cult but it is also common in religious and other types of cult.
Basically, the mind has several layers of attention to the outside world. Some people are strongly inclined to pay attention closely to things, such as to deep reading of a difficult book, while others are strongly inclined to allow material to play around the edges of their attention while they do physical activities. Someone who enjoys listening to books-on-tape while jogging might be an example of this kind of attention. Probably most people fall into the second style than into the first style of paying attention to a subject.
Everyone knows about that common hypnotic state that goes with driving a familiar route. You suddenly discover you have arrived even though you are not aware of the past ten minutes or so of driving that same set of streets.
All I am doing now is calling attention to the fact that there is nothing special about how our minds work, our minds all are very similar and have very similar sets of attention skills that go with our tasks. Some of us work to develop attention skill but most of us go with what we have.
What a cult can do, and what those who are dependent on video media seem to do, is set you up with enough repetitious and slightly confusing or vague material so that while you may start out with the fully-engaged attention similar to the person reading a deep book, you are soon distracted. Small questions start to crop up in your mind but the material flows in such a way that you don't have time to fully ask the question. You attention starts getting scattered. Of course, something has to motivate you to stay with the video or the book or the lecturer at that moment.
If you are physically at a meeting, then there is a strong motivation to stay through the whole thing. If you are listening to a tape or watching a video, then there may be something that is included as a means of keeping you tuned in. An attractive speaker or a calm tone of voice may keep your attention so you are waiting for some reward of something that makes sense while you listen to a droning and rambling speech. Or there may have been a promise made at the beginning that keeps you motivated even while bored.
Professional cultists know just about where the average person will start to drift. Depending on their goal, they will insert little mini-remarks or suggestions at exactly those points, and they will repeat them in different ways through the course of speeches. Because you mostly hear those after your mind has started to shut off, they get in subliminally. They may be references to certain races or groups but they also may be references to certain types of characters.
These references are not developed in the material given to most newbies to a cult. But as the member advances, some of the references will show up in more open detail and the member may be surprised that they suddenly agree with this formerly rejected idea of hating that category of people. They don't remember making a decision to hate, and so the material presented by the cult at the advanced stage might appear to be what is convincing or justifying the hate. Hate is a powerful emotion. If you feel hate and you do not know where it came from, you "own" it as yours, and you tend to agree with others who share that hate.
I hope that my description shows that this method will in fact affect even people who think they are aware of what is going on when they choose to examine cult materials, even from a critical point of view.
It is not a good idea to listen to an entire video or set of videos from some of these groups because you are being affected by them just as surely as you will be affected by eating too much fat no matter how much you thnk healthy veggies will balance the fat.
If you feel compelled to watch cult videos while trying to "fight" a cult, PLEASE make sure you watch them in very short bursts and have some balancing material, some opposing material, handy to read or look at BETWEEN sessions of examining the cult material.