[Found a great article today on the Stockholm Syndrome. Thought I'd share some highlights and relate it to the Cult of Butler.
I have posted in blue brackets how the text relates to the Cult of Butler. It is a broad topic and while reading, one can generalize and relate specific patterns to the Cult of Butler. If you check the link, there is an excellent section on how friends and family can relate to and help the victim/cult member. ]
Quotes from:Love and Stockholm Syndrome: The Mystery of Loving an Abuser
Written by Joseph M. Carver, PhD
Tuesday, 03 February 2009 01:23 - Last Updated Tuesday, 13 April 2010 06:01
People are often amazed at their own psychological conditions and reactions. Those with depression are stunned when they remember they've thought of killing themselves. Patients recovering from severe psychiatric disturbances are often shocked as they remember their symptoms and behavior during the episode. A patient with Bipolar Disorder recently told me "I can't believe I thought I could change the weather through mental telepathy!" A common reaction is "I can't believe I did that!" [Today I got a phone call from an ex Butler follower who told me “I can’t believe I ever followed that idiot!”]
In clinical practice, some of the most surprised and shocked individuals are those who have been involved in controlling and abusive relationships. When the relationship ends, they offer comments such as "I know what he's done to me, but I still love him", "I don't know why, but I want him back", or "I know it sounds crazy, but I miss her"… Friends and relatives are even more amazed and shocked when they hear these comments or witness their loved one returning to an abusive relationship. While the situation doesn't make sense from a social standpoint, does it make sense from a psychological viewpoint? The answer is - Yes!
On August 23rd, 1973 two machine-gun carrying criminals entered a bank in Stockholm, Sweden. Blasting their guns, one prison escapee named Jan-Erik Olsson announced to the terrified bank employees "The party has just begun!" The two bank robbers held four hostages, three women and one man, for the next 131 hours. The hostages were strapped with dynamite and held in a bank vault until finally rescued on August 28th. After their rescue, the hostages exhibited a shocking attitude considering they were threatened, abused, and feared for their lives for over five days. In their media interviews, it was clear that they supported their captors and actually feared law enforcement personnel who came to their rescue. The hostages had begun to feel the captors were actually protecting them from the police. One woman later became engaged to one of the criminals and another developed a legal defense fund to aid in their criminal defense fees. Clearly, the hostages had "bonded" emotionally with their captors. While the psychological condition in hostage situations became known as "Stockholm Syndrome" due to the publicity – the emotional "bonding" with captors was a familiar story in psychology. It had been recognized many years before and was found in studies of other hostage, prisoner, or abusive situations such as:
- Abused Children
- Battered/Abused Women
- Prisoners of War- Cult Members
- Incest Victims
- Criminal Hostage Situations
- Concentration Camp Prisoners
- Controlling/Intimidating Relationships
In the final analysis, emotionally bonding with an abuser is actually a strategy for survival for victims of abuse and intimidation. The "Stockholm Syndrome" reaction in hostage and/or abuse situations is so well recognized at this time that police hostage negotiators no longer view it as unusual…
…Stockholm Syndrome (SS) can also be found in family, romantic, and interpersonal relationships. The abuser may be a husband or wife, boyfriend or girlfriend, father or mother, [cult leader]
or any other role in which the abuser is in a position of control or authority [or anyone claiming to be infallible, possess spiritual and ultimate truths].
It's important to understand the components of Stockholm Syndrome as they relate to abusive and controlling relationships. Once the syndrome is understood, it's easier to understand why
victims support, love, and even defend their abusers and controllers. Every syndrome has symptoms or behaviors and Stockholm Syndrome is no exception…. several of these features will be present:
- Positive feelings by the victim toward the abuser/controller
- Negative feelings by the victim toward family, friends, or authorities trying to rescue/support them or win their release
- Support of the abuser's reasons and behaviors
- Positive feelings by the abuser toward the victim
- Supportive behaviors by the victim, at times helping the abuser
- Inability to engage in behaviors that may assist in their release or detachment
It has been found that four situations or conditions are present that serve as a foundation for the development of Stockholm Syndrome…
1- The presence of a perceived threat to one's physical or psychological [or spiritual]
survival and the belief that the abuser [cult leader, teachings]
would carry out the threat [harassment by loyal followers, spiritual death, entrenchment in maya, taking birth as a fly in a piece of stool, etc.]
2 - The presence of a perceived small kindness from the abuser to the victim [Initially the victim is given free advice, psychological support, gatherings with music and food, recruitment friendships…once in full service in the cult the guru may send a message through the recruiters. In the past people had more direct contact with Butler who is very charismatic and charming].
3 - Isolation from perspectives other than those of the abuser [the world is maya – illusion = bad. Keep the “shelter” of devotees.]
4 - The perceived inability to escape the situation [or suffer a spiritual decline]
By considering each situation we can understand how Stockholm Syndrome develops in romantic relationships as well as criminal/hostage situations [or cults by promising freedom from the wheel of birth or death],
Criminal or antisocial partners can directly threaten your life or the life of friends and family. Their history of violence leads us to believe that the captor/controller will carry out the threat in a direct manner if we fail to comply with their demands. The abuser assures us that only our cooperation keeps our loved ones safe.
Indirect threats also come from the stories told by the abuser or controller – how they obtained revenge on those who have crossed them in the past. These stories of revenge are told to remind the victim that revenge is possible if they leave.[In the case of Butler, violence is not needed to control people, but verbal abuse does predominate. It is enough that there is the implication that you will be spiritually dead if you blaspheme the guru or obstain from group practices and regulations. One is told that you have the freedom to be under maya’s spell– illusion—if you leave the flock. But you are doomed and the only way to gain enlightenment is through service to the guru and in pleasing him]
Witnessing violence or aggression [or verbal abuse]
is also a perceived threat. Witnessing a violent temper directed at a television set, others on the highway, or a third party clearly sends us the message that we could be the next target for violence [verbal abuse or chastisement].
Witnessing the thoughts and attitudes of the abuser/controller is threatening and intimidating, knowing that we will be the target of those thoughts in the future [Ex Butlerites have stated that they tried to operate "under the radar" to avoid getting chastised. They did what they were told and even then got blasted. Followers also witness Butler’s tirades against homosexuals and will take on his attitude, even if it conflicts with their own beliefs.]
In threatening and survival situations, we look for evidence of hope – a small sign that the situation may improve. When an abuser/controller shows the victim some small kindness, even though it is to the abusers benefit as well, the victim interprets that small kindness as a positive trait of the captor. [In the Cult of Butler, who is considered g0d’s representative, perfect and pure, all of his verbal abuse and small kindnesses are considered benefits. Followers are addicted to looking for any sign of pleasing him. Getting a Chris Butler charismatic smile, a garland, some small recognition of service rendered, even a chiding or sarcastic joke could make the Butler follower loyal for life.]
In relationships with abusers, a birthday card, a gift (usually provided after a period of abuse), or a special treat are interpreted as not only positive, but evidence that the abuser is not "all bad" and may at some time correct his/her behavior [Since Butler is viewed as infallible, nothing he does is considered bad. In fact, they believe that he suffers only for the benefit of his followers. He would often threaten to “leave the planet” if he was not happy with them and thus maintain control.]
Abusers and controllers are often given positive credit for not abusing their partner [since Butler followers are taught that they are worthless pieces of crap unless serving guru],
when the partner would have normally been subjected to verbal or physical abuse in a certain situation [since Butler followers are taught that the world is a place of misery and their life prior to jagad guru is worthless, any chastisement is perceived as a painfully necessary way to improve or save them from maya].
Similar to the small kindness perception is the perception of a "soft side". During the relationship, the abuser/controller [cult leader]
may share information about their past – how they were mistreated, abused, neglected, or wronged. The victim begins to feel the abuser/controller may be capable of fixing their behavior or worse yet, that they (abuser) may also be a "victim" [Butler told stories of how ISKCON followers abused him or how Larry Mehau was out to get him – so much that he built a secret escape tunnel in his closet! He claims to be attacked by all the “demons” who do not accept and challenge his “authority”. He also plays the victim with all of his illnesses due to taking on the sins of his followers and yet still clings to the planet out of his great “mercy”.]
Isolation from Perspectives Other than those of the Captor [cult leader]
In abusive and controlling relationships, the victim has the sense they are always "walking on eggshells" – fearful of saying or doing anything that might prompt a violent/intimidating outburst [Just ask any person who has done direct, personal service for Butler, or read the memos posted on this forum!].
For their survival, they begin to see the world through the abuser's perspective [“He suffers so much for all of us. He is sick because he is taking on our sins so we don’t have to suffer. He puts up with so many things”, etc].
They begin to fix things that might prompt an outburst, act in ways they know makes the abuser happy, or avoid aspects of their own life that may prompt a problem.
If our partner is an abuser or controller, then the majority of our decisions are based on our perception of the abuser's potential reaction. We become preoccupied with the needs, desires, and habits of the abuser/controller. Taking the abuser's perspective as a survival technique can become so intense that the victim actually develops anger toward those trying to help them. The abuser is already angry and resentful toward anyone who would provide the victim support, typically using multiple methods and manipulations to isolate the victim from others. Any contact the victim has with supportive people in the community is met with accusations, threats, and/or violent outbursts [claims that you will go to hell or die a horrible spiritual death].
Victims then turn on their family – fearing family contact will cause additional violence and abuse in the home. At this point, victims curse their parents and friends, tell them not to call and stop interfering, and break off communication with others. Agreeing with the abuser/controller, supportive others are now viewed as "causing trouble" and must be avoided.
As a hostage in a bank robbery, threatened by criminals with guns, it's easy to understand the perceived inability to escape. In romantic [or cult]n relationships, the belief that one can't escape is also very common. Many abusive/controlling relationships feel like till-death-do-us-part relationships – locked together by mutual financial issues/assets, mutual intimate knowledge, or legal situations [or belief that one’s spiritual life is at stake].
Here are some common situations:
- Controlling partners have increased the financial obligations/debt in the relationship to the point that neither partner can financially survive on their own. [Many businesses were started by Butler. He also groomed followers in many areas to serve him financially and in other ways through these businesses and initiatives. They are indebted. Senator Mike Gabbard would not enjoy his position without Butler’s stewardship.]
Controllers who sense their partner may be leaving will [manipulate followers in a variety of ways].
- The legal ending of a relationship, especially a martial relationship, often creates significant problems. A Controller who has an income that is "under the table" or maintained through legally questionable situations runs the risk of those sources of income being investigated or made public by the divorce/separation. The Controller then becomes more agitated about the possible public exposure of their business arrangements than the loss of the relationship.
- In relationships with an abuser or controller [or cult leader],
the victim has also experienced a loss of self-esteem, self-confidence, and psychological energy. The victim may feel "burned out" and too depressed to leave. Additionally, abusers and controllers often create a type of dependency by controlling the finances…eliminating any assets or resources the victim may use to leave.
- In teens and young adults, victims may be attracted to a controlling individual when they feel inexperienced, insecure, and overwhelmed by a change in their life situation. When parents are going through a divorce, a teen may attach to a controlling individual, feeling the controller may stabilize their life. [A high percentage of people who joined Butler’s group as young adults were in similar life transitions].
In unhealthy relationships and definitely in Stockholm Syndrome there is a daily preoccupation with "trouble". Trouble is any individual, group, situation, comment, casual glance, or cold meal that may produce a temper tantrum or verbal abuse from the controller or abuser. [see documents posted regarding Butler’s personal care].
To survive, "trouble" is to be avoided at all costs. The victim must control situations that produce trouble. That may include avoiding family, friends, co-workers, and anyone who may create "trouble" in the abusive relationship. The victim does not hate family and friends; they are only avoiding "trouble"! … Loved ones and friends are sources of "trouble" for the victim who is attempting to avoid verbal or physical aggression. [With Butler there is a fear of verbal aggression and chastisement and social demotion, but also a fear of falling into maya --- similar to sects who instill fear of hell fire.]
Stockholm Syndrome in relationships is not uncommon. Law enforcement professionals are painfully aware of the situation – making a domestic dispute one of the high-risk calls during the work hours. Called by neighbors during a spousal abuse incident, the abuser is passive upon arrival of the police, only to find the abused spouse upset and threatening the officers if their abusive partner is arrested for domestic violence. In truth, the victim knows the abuser/controller will retaliate against him/her if 1) they encourage an arrest, 2) they offer statements about the abuse/fight that are deemed disloyal by the abuser, 3) they don't bail them out of jail as quickly as possible, and 4) they don't personally apologize for the situation – as though it was their fault. [Butler has no shortage of apologists who would take a bullet for him].Stockholm Syndrome produces an unhealthy bond with the controller and abuser. It is the reason many victims continue to support an abuser after the relationship is over. It's also the reason they continue to see "the good side" of an abusive individual and appear sympathetic to someone who has mentally and sometimes physically abused them.Dedicated to those of you still in the cult who do not even know you are being used.