If you know of a cult leader who has many of these traits there is a high probability that they are hurting those around them emotionally, psychologically, physically, spiritually, or financially. And of course this does not take into account the hurt that their loved ones will also experience.
Here are the typical traits of the pathological cult leader (from Dangerous Personalities) that you should watch for:
He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.
Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance.
Demands blind, unquestioned obedience.
Requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders.
Has a sense of entitlement—expecting to be treated as special at all times.
Is exploitative of others by asking for their money or that of relatives, putting others at financial risk.
Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.
Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws.
Takes sexual advantage of members of his sect or cult. [Or forbids sex]
Sex is a requirement [or outlawd] with adults and sub adults as part of a ritual or rite.
Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others.
Publicly devalues others as being inferior, incapable, or not worthy.
Makes members confess their sins or faults, publicly subjecting them to ridicule or humiliation while revealing exploitable weaknesses of the penitent.
Has ignored the needs of others, including: biological, physical, emotional, and financial needs.
Is frequently boastful of accomplishments.
Needs to be the center of attention and does things to distract others to ensure that he or she is being noticed, e.g., by arriving late, using exotic clothing, overdramatic speech, or by making theatrical entrances.
Has insisted on always having the best of anything (house, car, jewelry, clothes) even when others are relegated to lesser facilities, amenities, or clothing.
Doesn’t seem to listen well to needs of others; communication is usually one-way, in the form of dictates.
Haughtiness, grandiosity, and the need to be controlling is part of his personality.
Behaves as though people are objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for personal gain.
When criticized he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.
Anyone who criticizes or questions him is called an “enemy.” [karmis]
Refers to non-members or non-believers as “the enemy.”[karmis]
Acts imperious at times, not wishing to know what others think or desire.
Believes himself to be omnipotent.
Has “magical” answers or solutions to problems.
Is superficially charming.
Habitually puts down others as inferior; only he is superior.
Has a certain coldness or aloofness about him that makes others worry about who this person really is and or whether they really know him.
Is deeply offended when there are perceived signs of boredom, being ignored or of being slighted.
Treats others with contempt and arrogance.
Is constantly assessing people to determine those who are a threat or those who revere him.
The word “I” dominates his conversations. He is oblivious to how often he references himself.
Hates to be embarrassed or fail publicly; when he does he acts out with rage.
Doesn’t seem to feel guilty for anything he has done wrong nor does he apologize for his actions.
Believes he possesses the answers and solutions to world problems.
Believes himself to be a deity or a chosen representative of a deity.
"Rigid," "unbending," or "insensitive" describes how this person thinks.
Tries to control others in what they do, read, view, or think.
Has isolated members of his sect from contact with family or the outside world.
Monitors and/or restricts contact with family or outsiders.
Works the least but demands the most.
Has stated that he is “destined for greatness” or that he will be “martyred.”
Seems to be highly dependent on tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.
Uses enforcers or sycophants to ensure compliance from members or believers.
Sees self as “unstoppable” and perhaps has even said so.
Conceals background or family, which would disclose how plain or ordinary he is.
Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with himself and in fact sees himself as perfection or “blessed.”
Has taken away followers' freedom to leave, to travel, to pursue life and liberty.
Has isolated the group physically (moved to a remote area) so as to not be observed.
They no longer have anyone to turn to for support other than the group it-self, which is in fact the source of the fear and stress.
This double-bind is known as a situation of “fright without solution” and is also seen in control-ling domestic violence, in hostage situations, and some forms of child abuse.When leaders or other dominant persons employ a strategy of combining isolation, terror, and“love,” persons subjected to this may experience this “fright without solution,” with consequent impairments in cognitive and emotional functioning. I remember well the feeling of pushing back critical thoughts about my group, “There was no-one to share them with,and I was bound to get punished in some way if I expressed them.
It was almost a physical feeling of pushing the thoughts from the front of my head to the back, much as one pushes a hot pan to the back burner. My emotional life, too, was largely sup-pressed during my tenure in the group.
If you’ve been involved in mystery schools, freemasonry, a healing modality, and / or other related groups and subjects (chakras, hell and heaven, angels, ascended masters, caste system) you will no doubt have been exposed to the many “levels” that must be traversed in order to be respected within the circles and / or simply succeed within yourself and society as a whole.
Each level of attainment will likely cost money, and more importantly it will cost you your mind.
Hierarchy thinking involves ensuring that you, the seeker, is fully programmed with a system of thinking that sounds pretty much like this: higher and lower.
There are lower realms of attainment (in whatever form) and higher realms of attainment, with higher being more desirable even when it is openly posited that lower is just as good anyway, the stigma of “lower” remains.
You will find the same model in most computer games that you may have played, which gives you, the player, a false sense of achievement simply because the game has been designed that way, with the people behind the game knowing and never revealing the system.
Hierarchy thinking model is flawed in its use for self growth for one simple reason: it requires a higher and a lower sense of self and others, a higher superior (superiority over others) meaning that an inferior must exist for the higher superior to survive. This will be the lower inferior (inferiority under others).
Any one of us brothers and sisters sharing the Earth will know that each are equal, yet individually free (autonomous) to choose as we wish. There is no need for superior and inferior mindsets when it comes to respecting each other as fellow human beings.
We each have to deal with life’s ups and downs making the best of what we have access to, which doesn’t make anyone better or less than worthy as humans.
If you’re ready and it is your choice, you can feel free to put hierarchy thinking in the bin.
Hope you’l enjoy a nice Saturday !
Do you think it was a conscious effort on Keith Raniere's part to recruit celebrities into NXIVM?
Benscoter: I know it was. People like Allison Mack—they really tried to pull them in and then really gave them lots of attention and lots of special perks.
Benscoter: They get more access to the leader, and the leader tells them how important their role is and how they can use their fame to make a difference in the world. So now their fame has a higher purpose. It's one thing to be famous and get good roles in movies; it's another thing to be able to use that to really make a difference in the world. And that's really appealing to people who have more depth than just the desire to be rich and famous.
But what about after the initial recruitment phase? You'd think that as soon as things started getting weird, and abusive, and you watched NXIVM bleed your bank account dry, you'd see that you had been duped and want to leave.
Ross: When you come in, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, and then you go into the training with no advanced understanding of what you're submitting yourself to. You have to understand that they went through unbelievable amounts of training. You're eating, sleeping, breathing NXIVM, 24/7. You're in a hotel room with NXIVM people, you're sleeping with them, you're constantly talking about NXIVM, NXIVM, NXIVM—day after day after day after day, for 14 days. In my experience, you can break people in 14 days and you can change them and you can lock them in. And NXIVM was very good at breaking people.... most of the people that made it through it became devoted and ready to sell NXIVM to every friend and family member they knew.
You see, one has to have divine sight to witness the effulgence of the spiritual master.
The methods of creating idols were visible in the group. They are still visible today. It is not logical. For if a "pure devotee" is rare, then isolationism is unnecessary because being "self-effulgent" will automatically stand out and attract spiritually interested people to him.
> The concept of "only one pure devotee" also contradicts the words of A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, who wrote and emphasized in letters i.e. to Tusta Krishna das, that each of his disciples could be "pure devotee".
Like most groups, 95% of the followers do not read their scripture. It is social group with some divinely ordained mandate. There is also a lot of fear to motivate people to stick around just in case they miss out.
The senior disciples would talk about how Mr. Butler would float on his feet, that he had a radiant glow, each story progressively getting more detached from reality. You see, one has to have divine sight to witness the effulgence of the spiritual master.
A white canvas awning, straining and flapping in the wind, was strung in front of the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives. Beneath it sat a huddle of senior monks in burgundy robes, aristocrats in grey chuba robes, and the Indian Superintendant of Police from Kotwali Bazaar.
I joined a crowd gathered on a large terrance below and waited for the proceedings to begin. The Dalai Lama, a spry man of thirty-eight, strodue onto the impromptu stage. The audience spontaneously prostrated itself as one onto the muddy ground. He read a speech, which was barely audible, above the wind,
delivered in rapid fire Tibetan, a language I did not yet understand, at a velocity that I would never master. Every now and then, a drop of rain would descent from the lowering sky.
A white robe, trimmed in red, was slung carelessly across his left shoulder. When he wasn't blowing his horn, he would mutter what seemed like imprecations at the grumbling clouds, his right hand extended in the threatening mudra, a ritual gesture used to ward off danger. From time to time,
he would put down his thighbone (trumpet) and fling an arc of mustard seeds against the ominous clouds.
Then there was an almighty crash. Rain hammered down...the noise went on for several minutes. The lama on the hillside stamped his feet, blew his thighbone,
and rang his bell with increased urgency. The heavy drops of rain that had started falling on the dignitaries and the crowd abruptly stopped.
After the Dalai Lama left and the crowd dispersed,I joined a small group of fellow Injis. In reverential tones, we discussed how the lama on the hill--whose name was Yeshe Dorje--had prevented the storm from soaking us.
I heard himself say: "And you could hear the rain still falling all around us:
over there by the Library and on those government buildings behind us as well."
The others nodded and smiled in awed agreement.
"Even as I was speaking, I knew I was not telling the truth. I had heard no rain on the roofs behind me. Not a drop. Yet to be convinced that hte lama had prevented the rain with his ritual and spells, I had to believe he had created a magical umbrella to shield the crowd from the storm. Otherwise,
what had happened would not have been that remarkable.
"Who has not witnessed rain falling a short distance away from where one is standing on dry ground? Perhaps it was nothing more than a brief mountain shower on the nearby hillside.
"None of us would have dared to admit this possibility. This would have brought us perilously close to questioning the lama's prowess and, by implication,
the whole elaborate belief system of Tibetan Buddhism.
"For several years, I continued to peddle this lie. It was my favorite (and only example) of my firsthand experience of the supernatural powers of Tibetan lamas. But, strangely, whenever I told it, it didn't feel like a lie. I had taken the lay Buddhist precepts and would soon take monastic vows.
I took the moral injunction against lying very seriously. In other circumstances, I would scrupulously, even neurotically, avoid telling the slightest falsehood.
Yet somehow, this one did not count.
"At times, I tried to persuade myself that perhaps it was true: the rain had fallen behind me, but I had not noticed. The others -- albeit at my prompting--had confirmed what I said. But such logical gymnastics failed to convince me for very long.
Date: September 22, 2020 07:50PM
Finally I have found somewhere safe to talk about the 'Butler' and his gang. I am in Australia and got out a couple of years ago. I have had to adjust to real life again but still look over my shoulder. In Australia is is all run through ASMY - Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, and all the sub groups that belong to them.
Like everyone else has said, you start by wandering into a yoga and meditation center. Its decorated really beautifully and everyone is really calm and nice. You either do a yoga class, a kirtan chant, a cooking class, or all of the above. You feel great. You think you have found a new home and lovely healthy friends who don't like to party and you feel relieved. You start wanting more peace and you ask questions and then they see how enthusiastic you are and they start funneling you through.
You notice some things that are a bit off and they just distract and redirect you and tell you that you need to chant more as your confusion is caused by impurity and living in the mode of ignorance. skip forward and you are mopping their floors and cooking and building websites and doing photography and helping at retreats all because apparently you are serving a pure devotee or a disciple of a pure devotee. None of them have any contact with him by the way. But they will put his toe nail and salt spray on all the food they serve to people. Yes you read that right. Some of them don't even know that's what they are spraying on the food.
They have you going to their private houses for kirtan and dinner but before you know it they have you listening to and watching these old tapes. I was very attracted to all the gorgeous young girls and yet they were mostly married to really creepy assholes who treat people like crap. They refer to people as cows and that they must heard them and its like evil tupperware pyramid scheme, how many cows and calf's can you get.
They give you books to read, photo's to worship, food to eat, chanting to sing, cd's to listen too. You are not allowed to listen to anything but chanting, read anything but vedic texts and speak of any other god other than the vedic gods but yet they swear they are not Hare Krishna's. They make you renounce your family if they are not supportive. I lost my wife over it and thought it was a good thing at the time. I was so deluded. at first I thought I would find a new Krishna wife and be happy. but then all of the women only ever do two things and talk about two things, their weight and what dosha they are and what ayurvedic thing they ate, or fake preaching where they close their eyes, sway and make their voice weird. They are all obsessed with their bodies!!
They are still home schooling children, shunning and judging. I have another friend who just got out as a lot of people did when COVID 19 meant people had a break away from the place and had real world issues to deal with and found that they had been brain washed.
once you spend alot of time with them and they think you are ready, they have you renounce more and more of your ordinary life through passive aggressive guilt trips. They make all the women become Yoga teachers and married couples sleep in separate bedrooms and what they don't tell you at that very first yoga class is that the trajectory is that you will renounce your love of anything or anyone and they dress it up as enlightenment by not being attached to material things or two family members. They say things like why lament over the living or the dead.
They are very sophisticated and have great musicians and food and you think it is all above board. Just observe their language and try to talk about normal things and watch as they find a way to make it a preachable moment. but see if they can preach without swaying, closing their eyes and making their voice different. Watch your own behavior change as they force more teachings and 'service work' on you.
ASMY Australian School of Meditation and Yoga is in most capital cities with one main center and sub group gatherings like in yoga studios and town hall's and where ever else they can infiltrate. My friend in Queensland said at their main center they had an american tourist living in a storage room working day and night for no pay. Hope she got away.
They are very defensive when you ask about their 'guru'. Defensive and vague. They discourage your own endevours and ideas unless it is vedic related. But they don't come out and say that at first. It took me 3 years to click and then have been in contact with a couple of other escapees that reached out once they clicked as well. In Australia there is nothing about it being a complete cult. They do not tell you all the stuff about Chris Butler. They worship him like a god but yet none of them seem to have alot of contact if any with him. They do their trance voice when they talk about him. Some of them have been doing it all for decades and have all their kids involved. The kids were sent to the school in the philipines. Alot of them worked over in the philipines about a decade ago and further back. They only do a selected amount of chants and they fire any yoga teacher who doesn't do kirtan at the end of their classes. The men at first you think its so great they are not talking about macho stuff, but then they compete with you in other ways. The women all become obsessive basket cases.
You become very cut off from the real world and they always have some deluded answer for everything. It's just not safe. If they kept it just as simple yoga and chanting, that is relaxing and good for people. But if you are herded through to be one of them, then expect the first few years to be good and you will think you are doing such great things for humanity. then you will realise you are speaking like them and behaving like them and you don't actually know what you are taking about as you try to force it on your friends and family as instructed. Start them with the food and kirtan, then get them to read the scriptures, they shouldn't read anything else...... and so on and so on. They will get you constantly promoting their Wai Lana products and retreats and all sorts of crappy things to lure people in.
The kicker is when they tell husbands and wifes not to have love or attachment to each other or their children or they are behaving in the mode of ignorance. This is such a damaging community. I'm glad you are all free of them all over the world. take care, from melbourne australia.