To be blunt, I just find it curious that someone who claims to be an "outsider", watching from the fringes, would use that particular work, "rascal", when it is so rarely heard among the general populace and seems to me to be so specifically used by Bhaktivedanta and the J.G. teachers.
I'd like to post this excerpt from a post by Corboy. It seems to me to fit in well with my experiences with the J.G. Group:
In a healthy, group or relationship people are upfront about their hopes, dreams and values. In relation to such a group or relationship a decision to leave can be sad and quite painful, but you can leave without feeling damaged, not feel afraid and depart with your dignity intact. And...(very important) you can still remain friends with those who choose to stay in the group.
The sign of a bad group or harmful relationship (eg Roach Motel) is when dissent or departure are considered betrayal, not a choice that is regrettable yet worthy of respect.
Departure is treated as a sign that you're a failure or a traitor and those who stay with the group are ordered to forget you/vilify you and forbidden to communicate with you. Anyone who is ejected or leaves is suddenly pathetic, weak or a villain, no matter how many years they were members or how much support they gave. They may once have been considered model members. If you leave all your past loyalty and achievments suddenly mean nothing.
And in a healthy group, you can apply your questioning mind to any and all topics--including the group and its internal affairs.
[b:bcde09b16b] Cultic groups are quite different. The questing mind that brought you to a cult is, after you join the cult, no longer praised. Instead you're gradually trained to replace your questing mind with an indoctrinated mind. [/b:bcde09b16b]
Just as domestic dogs are taught not to piss or drop turds indoors, smarter cults teach you not to apply critical thinking to the group--the equivlent of not whizzing in the house.
However, you're allowed, sometimes even encouraged, to apply that same skepticism and intellectual sophistication to topics outside the group--especially in relation anything or anyone the group considers a threat.
[b:bcde09b16b] Or you're taught to apply your sarcasm and skepticism to bash members whom the group designates as scapegoats.[/b:bcde09b16b]
You think you're free, you feel free, you may have all kinds of breakthroughs or bliss experiences, but your horizons have actually shrunk--in a process Janja Lalich has termed 'Bounded Choice'--(see her book of the same title).
In bounded choice, you learn not to test the limits, much the same way people with angry partners unconsciously become skilled at avoiding topics that make the person angry. The limits get more confining, you constrict your behavior further and further, avoiding any open ruptures.
[b:bcde09b16b] Some groups enforce the the limits by using strategic rejection.[/b:bcde09b16b] They are skilled at brutally identifying members who have misgivings but whose misgivings are still unconscious. In strategic rejection, these persons are brutually ejected before their misgivings become conscious.
A group or leader that can skillfully apply strategic rejection of selected victims whose skepticism has not yet become conscious delivers a powerful message to stay in line. Thg victims may be haunted, feeling they 'did something' to provoke their ejection, but may never guess that what they did was come dangerously close to waking up on their own that it was time to leave. Instead they got kicked out before they could do it themselves, robbing them of any sense of conscious mastery.
[b:bcde09b16b] Instead of having doubts about the group or its guru, you're taught to have doubts about anyone who disagrees or shows less than total enthusiasm. [/b:bcde09b16b]
After skepticism has become housebroken to serve the group and never question the group there are fewer things you can talk about--and you experience this constriction as normal. It may be balanced by intense experiences, by the delights of group gossip and intrigue. All this pseudo intensity distracts from what you've given up as the price of staying in good standing.
You learn to avoid applying your questing mind to the cult, its background, its leader's pretensions, where he got his training, who taught him, or whether he had a criminal record or if he or his group changed names.
You learn not to apply your questing mind to where the money goes or why some people suddenly stop coming to meetings and everyone pretends they never existed--or suddenly badmouths them.
In some cases, people may be subtly taught to profess some sophisticated skepticism about the group and guru, make it seem they're not as over the edge as more extreme devotees, making it seem one can follow the guru, but not become a blissed out zombie.[b:bcde09b16b] But--if any really effective challenge is made to the guru or group, these 'housebroken skeptics' will suddenly get quite defensive of the group and turn vicious. [/b:bcde09b16b]
[b:bcde09b16b]These 'not-quite devotees' are valuable because they make it seem one can be a devotee and stay respectable and functional in society.[/b:bcde09b16b]
The fact is, their social and intellectual sophistication have been domesticated--house broken--to serve the group's agenda. More damaged members may be kept out of sight, or may be abused as members of the guru's inner circle.
If you were expertly trained by a group to have your intellect and skepticism housebroken, you'll feel free and very sophisticated-- but [b:bcde09b16b]you're still on a leash--the leash is quite a long one, a modern extendable leash that lengthens when you pull on it.
But it is still a leash.
The minute someone uses their intellect and skepticism and actually does the equivalent of pissing in the house--they'll get the equivalent (or worse) of a biff on the snout with a rolled up newspaper.[/b:bcde09b16b]
The entire post can be found under Housebreaking the mind- Domesticated scepticism, (Cults, sects, and New religious movements).
I have chosen to emphasize certain sections of the essay that I found particularly pertinent.
[b:bcde09b16b]This is not to say that I am convinced that this is necessarily true of Butler's followers. From my experience with them, and their reactions to questions raised on this forum, it certainly seems to be a possibility.[/b:bcde09b16b]