Has anyone tried literally confronting their friend/relative in UM (in a relatively non aggressive way) with the material on this forum and perhaps on some of the blogs scattered around? I'm becoming very tempted to try this on my parents, but at the same time given how aggressive past discussions turned out, I'm worried that I could basically lose them permanently
Hi trackandfield, I have tried a few approaches, from my own experience the more proactive and non-aggressive ways have had the most success - i.e. Providing information from a range of sources on the negatives of not just this group but of any group like this; I don't tend to go after the parts that will generate an immediate defense response, such as Serge himself, I try not to use the word cult if I can avoid it, and I don't argue with parts that I think aren't harmful in their own right (massage for example, or the drinking aspect) which to an extent as isolated things I think are ok until they start isolating and impacting the individual and their freedoms, i.e. fixation on breasts, or the abolition of the person's free choice to have one or two drinks.
The individual or in your case the individuals involved is one thing and the level of obsession on their part is another that will dictate how easy or difficult the discussions and devolvement from the group will become. I try to approach each chat like a therapy session, I organise a time to discuss it, I come prepared with the specific parts I want to discuss, I make sure I have access to the supporting detail I need, and I set a goal for each talk - not to get the person all the way out at once, but for example, one session I will start with the aim of getting him to understand in his own terms why following any individual has the potential to be dangerous and give examples, if he is open to it I'll proceed further and hopefully by the end he will come away with a bit more of an open mind about the types of risks being involved in this type of group. Then I let Serge do the rest - and when he starts spouting off with his manipulative discourses the individual will hopefully start to recognise the warning signs.
I also set limits for the chats, say half an hour to one hour maximum, and if I can get my point across, or the person starts to react with hostility, or we go over the time limit whichever occurs first, I stop the talk. My aim being that they see it as an open forum, but that they aren't forced to be there. I'm not going to sugarcoat it it's extremely difficult, but by setting boundaries about what you talk about enables you to break it into chunks which is the last thing Serge wants you to do as in chunks is where his ideals fall apart and are revealed to be the manipulative, illogical objects that they are.
Also be selfish, when I'm on here chatting with the wider community, my purpose is to receive and give information, to help increase awareness and to take part in something for the greater good; when I'm talking to my brother about this my only concern is for him, to get him back, so I concentrate only on him, who he is, what he needs, and the harm done to others in relation to him.
That's my piece mate and I hope it helps, but again I don't have any qualifications other than my own experience.