Re: Desteni
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: December 02, 2011 12:11PM

You cannot blame yourself for someone you know being in a cult or sect.
How many people posting here, with quite a bit of knowledge about cults and sects, have friends or colleagues in some cult?
Probably all.

Everyone is different in how they handle it, some indirect, some blunt and direct.
One person in a mild sect was anonymously forwarded information to their email about their sects financial abuses, and they left the sect.

But more serious sects, the people indoctrinating them are expert persuaders, so its hard to compete with.
Its very tricky stuff.
But one can never blame themselves for someone they know getting lured into a cult or sect.

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: vivian111 ()
Date: December 03, 2011 05:37PM

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: vivian111 ()
Date: December 03, 2011 07:12PM

Hi concernedmom83, I replied to your PM, but got this message:


The message could not be sent.
The mail storage space for user 'concernedmom83' is full.

If you can open up some space when you have a moment, I'll resend :)

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: vivian111 ()
Date: December 03, 2011 10:51PM

A good book in my opinion to gain better insight is People of the Lie: The Hope for Healing Human Evil by M. Scott Peck.

He is better known for his other classic though: The Road Less Traveled.

Some reviews on People of the Lie:

[url=]Book Review[/url]
If you have ever experienced or been frustrated by people who seem to have a hidden agenda then you will enjoy and benefit from this book. The author states (some are paraphrased) and explains the following:
1. The evil hide their motives with lies.
2. Evil people want to appear to be good.
3. When confronted by evil, the wisest and most secure adult will usually experience confusion.
4. Evil seeks to discourage others to think for themselves (fosters dependency).
5. To oppose evil we must have an ongoing dedication to reality at all cost.

[url=]Book Review[/url]
I remember picking this book up about 5 years ago and scanning through the first couple of chapters thinking to myself, "What is this guy talking about? I can't even fathom people that act like this." It just didn't ring true because my experience had not seen the likes of what he was trying to explain.

Fast forward 5 years later, and after going through a harrowing job experience with two people who could star in a movie representation of this book (which, come to think of it, has already been done in a film called SWIMMING WITH SHARKS in the character played by Kevin Spacey), I read it through in a single sitting. Peck so accurately diagnoses the "people of the lie" as being so self-absorbed and narcisistic that they continually make excuses about the abuse they heap upon other people, somehow turning every story 180 degrees in the opposite direction and always claiming victimization when the situation so clearly points to them as the perpetrator. It is a sad indictment of what must be a pandemic within institutions, as these folks clamor and cling to power, money and title oblivious to the human carnage left in the wake of their passing.

But even still, where our hearts are naturally inclined toward revenge, Peck cautions us, coaxing us toward pity for these wretched creatures. He suggests that whatever vile hellaciousness we could dream up as pay back should be tempered with the notion that these folks have consigned themselves to live in a hell of their own making (kind of like Annabella Sciorra in the movie, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME). The dark night of the soul sees their hearts scream out, "I hate you, you're nothing" when the worst some of us deal with is, "Ack... dumb mistake... oh well... keep going."

[url=]Book Review[/url]
I was recommended this book by a very smart man when we were discussing co-dependence. However, I found that this book has a lot of relevance to religious cults also, explaining and describing what evil people do to gain power. It is not easy to read, very intellectual and sometimes very painful if you have gone through a situation where you were exploited by someone you loved or trusted. Even if the majority of the book is not your cup of tea, you will pick up a few very powerful and valuable insights and coping tools! One of my favorite was Dr. Peck's discussion of a certain biblical scripture that is repeatedly taken out of context. This is early in the book. Another was his description of evil in the chapter about exorcism (it is boring and predictable when you know what you are looking at). I am in a more powerful position than before I read this book.

[url=]Book Review[/url]
I haven't been drawn into completing a book since last April '06 but I finished this book in a couple days. The main draw for me was my recognition of the behaviors and dynamics that he described. The satisfaction of the book was, as he called it, putting a name to, what up to that point had been, a very confusing aspect of life.

Peck uses the label of "evil" to name behaviors and influences within several case studies. He successfully (IMHO) disclaimed his use of the term knowing full well the weighty connotations yet, literally for lack of a better word, I support his calling his experiences confrontations with evil.

I also agree with his urging for people - all people - to recognize this aspect of life for what it is and face it with the same vigor that we would other facets of life. Acknowledge its existence and then study it thoroughly. By coming to a full understanding of this, we as humanity can address it from a place of power. As it stands, evil can be such a dreadful, confounding, even fatal, experience. Humanity has certainly faced other threats with courage, determination and, essential per Peck, love.

Read it, then talk about it. If you can come up with a better term than "evil" do so, but put some label on what you recognize and confront the issue. Everyone will benefit.

[url=]Book Review[/url]
One of the more perplexing human plagues, evil doesn't seek to be treated. Rather, it's those effected by evil that find themselves in a miasma of self-doubt and indeterminacy that often exhibit evil's effect. Dr Peck uses his considerable experience and keen intellect to explore the problem and bring some structure to those of us that have been effected. What is shocking is the number of people that I know that can relate. The willingness to sacrifice anything to maintain the appearance of a lie, is a surprisingly effective nucleolus from which to understand the problem and its effects.

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: concernedmom83 ()
Date: December 04, 2011 03:14AM

Well I read that we are reallly getting proactive, which is great.

Truthbheard, please let me say to you: Don't beat yourself up. Their is nothing that you could have done to
prevent your friend from becoming a member of destenicult. I can feel the pain that this has caused both
you as a friend, AND your friends family. I would be more than happy to speak to you privately if you so
choose. You are doing the right thing by your friend.

VivianIII, thanks so much for your all the info that you have posted for all to read, it's helped me a great deal.

Something seems to be happening with members' famiiles and friends. I think it's that out of exasperation with the member they research and the first thing one comes to on google is: Rick Ross. So together we seem to be collectively fighting back the lies of destenicult. This is the first website that gave me hope through education of cults, other members posts, links and the sharing bond that destenicult is a cult and it is only a
matter of time before it's members realize this. Apparently others have found the same.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/04/2011 03:16AM by concernedmom83.

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: December 04, 2011 06:13AM

Unfortunately, these cults and sects always target the family to demonize and break it apart.
That makes their target alone, and easier to influence.

But many cult members who are having doubts, privately read forums like this.

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: Natasha ()
Date: December 05, 2011 07:04AM

But even still, where our hearts are naturally inclined toward revenge, Peck cautions us, coaxing us toward pity for these wretched creatures. He suggests that whatever vile hellaciousness we could dream up as pay back should be tempered with the notion that these folks have consigned themselves to live in a hell of their own making (kind of like Annabella Sciorra in the movie, WHAT DREAMS MAY COME). The dark night of the soul sees their hearts scream out, "I hate you, you're nothing" when the worst some of us deal with is, "Ack... dumb mistake... oh well... keep going."

Yes. I think this is so important. This huge hell of self blame is only possible when there is a disproportionately huge sense of self, of ego, going on. As if all mistakes are of massive and universal importance to the world... what is the word that crops up most in the forum writings, the 'self-forgiveness' ?
I, I, I, endlessly focussing on oneself, at the expense of awarensss of what is going on in the immediate surroundings, between people who are actually present, even, never mind what is actually going on out there in the world.

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: vivian111 ()
Date: December 05, 2011 04:01PM

Hi concernedmom83, I responded to your PM, but it tells me your mailbox is full again.

Let me know when you've made some space :)

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: Sandman ()
Date: December 05, 2011 08:02PM

Self-forgiveness in Desteni equates with point 4 in "Eight Criteria for Thought Reform" by Robert Jay Lifton

-- 'Confession: Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. There is no confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and "faults" are discussed and exploited by the leaders.'

Whatever they have confessed creates the illusion that how they view themselves as part of the group can provide them with answers to all their problems and ultimately all the problems of the world.

Not for the first time, one member even goes as far as to say that the Desteni I Process will be the solution for all mental illness...

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Re: Desteni
Posted by: vivian111 ()
Date: December 05, 2011 08:44PM

Not for the first time, one member even goes as far as to say that the Desteni I Process will be the solution for all mental illness...

And this is an example of the simplistic black and white thinking which is so characteristic of cult members. Their "reasoning" is often peppered with absolute words like: all/nothing always/never black/white etc.

They can't see nuances and shades of grey.

Here's a good article from an ex-Scientologist about black and white thinking:

Leaving Scientology: Black and White Thinking

It's basically an extremist worldview.

Let's see how high Desteni scores here: 21 traits of an extremist


Laird Wilcox on Extremist Traits

Robert F. Kennedy wrote:

"What is objectionable, what is dangerous about extremists is not that they are extreme, but that they are intolerant. The evil is not what they say about their cause, but what they say about their opponents."

In analyzing the rhetoric and propaganda of several hundred militant "fringe" political and social groups across the political spectrum, I have identified a number of specific traits or behaviors that tend to represent the extremist "style"...


Extremists often attack the character of an opponent rather than deal with the facts or issues raised. They will question motives, qualifications, past associations, alleged values, personality, looks, mental health, and so on as a diversion from the issues under consideration. Some of these matters are not entirely irrelevant , but they should not serve to avoid the real issues.

Extremists object strenuously when this is done to them, of course!


Extremists are quick to resort to epithets (racist, subversive, pervert, hate monger, nut, crackpot, degenerate, un-American, anti-semite, red, commie, nazi, kook, fink, liar, bigot, and so on) to label and condemn opponents in order to divert attention from their arguments and to discourage others from hearing them out. These epithets don't have to be proved to be effective; the mere fact that they have been said is often enough.


Extremists tend to make sweeping claims or judgments on little or no evidence, and they have a tendency to confuse similarity with sameness. That is, they assume that because two (or more) things, events, or persons are alike in some respects, they must be alike in most respects. The sloppy use of analogy is a treacherous form of logic and has a high potential for false conclusions.


Extremists tend to be very fuzzy about what constitutes proof, and they also tend to get caught up in logical fallacies, such as post hoc ergo propter hoc (assuming that a prior event explains a subsequent occurrence simply because of their before and after relationship). They tend to project wished-for conclusions and to exaggerate the significance of information that confirms their beliefs while derogating or ignoring information that contradicts them. They tend to be motivated by feelings more than facts, by what they want to exist rather than what actually does exist. Extremists do a lot of wishful and fearful thinking.


Extremists generally tend to judge themselves or their interest group in terms of their intentions, which they tend to view very generously, and others by their acts, which they tend to view very critically. They would like you to accept their assertions on faith, but they demand proof for yours. They tend to engage in special pleading on behalf of themselves or their interests, usually because of some alleged special status, past circumstances, or present disadvantage.


To the extremist, opponents hold opposing positions because they are bad people, immoral, dishonest, unscrupulous, mean-spirited, hateful, cruel, or whatever, not merely because they simply disagree, see the matter differently, have competing interests, or are perhaps even mistaken.


Extremists have a tendency to see the world in terms of absolutes of good and evil, for them or against them, with no middle ground or intermediate positions. All issues are ultimately moral issues of right and wrong, with the "right" position coinciding with their interests. Their slogan is often "those who are not with me are against me."


This may include a very active campaign to keep opponents from media access and a public hearing, as in the case of blacklisting, banning or "quarantining" dissident spokespersons. They may actually lobby for legislation against speaking, writing, teaching, or instructing "subversive" or forbidden information or opinions. They may even attempt to keep offending books out of stores or off of library shelves, discourage advertising with threats of reprisals, and keep spokespersons for "offensive" views off the airwaves or certain columnists out of newspapers. In each case the goal is some kind of information control. Extremists would prefer that you listen only to them. They feel threatened when someone talks back or challenges their views.


Accordingly, extremists may become emotionally bound to their opponents, who are often competing extremists themselves. Because they tend to view their enemies as evil and powerful, they tend, perhaps subconsciously, to emulate them, adopting the same tactics to a certain degree. For example, anti-Communist and anti-Nazi groups often behave surprisingly like their opponents. Anti-Klan rallies often take on much of the character of the stereotype of Klan rallies themselves, including the orgy of emotion, bullying, screaming epithets, and even acts of violence. To behave the opposite of someone is to actually surrender your will to them, and "opposites" are often more like mirror images that, although they have "left" and "right" reversed, look and behave amazingly alike.


Extremists tend to frame their arguments in such a way as to intimidate others into accepting their premises and conclusions. To disagree with them is to "ally oneself with the devil," or to give aid and comfort to the enemy. They use a lot of moralizing and pontificating, and tend to be very judgmental. This shrill, harsh rhetorical style allows them to keep their opponents and critics on the defensive, cuts off troublesome lines of argument, and allows them to define the perimeters of debate.


For many extremists shortcuts in thinking and in reasoning matters out seem to be necessary in order to avoid or evade awareness of troublesome facts and compelling counter-arguments. Extremists generally behave in ways that reinforce their prejudices and alter their own consciousness in a manner that bolsters their false confidence and sense of self-righteousness.


Most obvious would be claims of general racial or ethnic superiority--a master race, for example. Less obvious are claims of ennoblement because of alleged victimhood, a special relationship with God, membership in a special "elite" or "class," and a kind of aloof "highminded" snobbishness that accrues because of the weightiness of their preoccupations, their altruism, and their willingness to sacrifice themselves (and others) to their cause. After all, who can bear to deal with common people when one is trying to save the world! Extremists can show great indignation when one is "insensitive" enough to challenge these claims.


Extremists often predict dire or catastrophic consequences from a situation or from failure to follow a specific course, and they tend to exhibit a kind of "crisis-mindedness." It can be a Communist takeover, a Nazi revival, nuclear war, earthquakes, floods, or the wrath of God. Whatever it is, it's just around the corner unless we follow their program and listen to the special insight and wisdom, to which only the truly enlightened have access. For extremists, any setback or defeat is the "beginning of the end!"


Extremists may deliberately lie, distort, misquote, slander, defame, or libel their opponents and/or critics, engage in censorship or repression , or undertake violence in "special cases." This is done with little or no remorse as long as it's in the service of defeating the Communists or Fascists or whomever. Defeating an "enemy" becomes an all-encompassing goal to which other values are subordinate. With extremists, the end justifies the means.


Extremists have an unspoken reverence for propaganda, which they may call "education" or "consciousness-raising." Symbolism plays an exaggerated role in their thinking, and they tend to think imprecisely and metamorphically. Harold D. Lasswell, in his book, *Psychopathology and Politics*, says, "The essential mark of the agitator is the high value he places on the emotional response of the public." Effective extremists tend to be effective propagandists. Propaganda differs from education in that the former teaches one what to think, and the latter teaches one how to think.


Extremists perceive hostile innuendo in even casual comments; imagine rejection and antagonism concealed in honest disagreement and dissent; see "latent" subversion, anti-semitism, perversion, racism, disloyalty, and so on in innocent gestures and ambiguous behaviors. Although few extremists are clinically paranoid, many of them adopt a paranoid style with its attendant hostility and distrust.


Some extremists, particularly those involved in "cults" or extreme religious movements, such as fundamentalist Christians, militant Zionist extremists, and members of mystical and metaphysical organizations, claim some kind of supernatural rationale for their beliefs and actions, and that their movement or cause is ordained by God. In this case, stark extremism may become reframed in a "religious" context, which can have a legitimizing effect for some people. It's surprising how many people are reluctant to challenge religiously motivated extremism because it represents "religious belief" or because of the sacred-cow status of some religions in our culture.


Indeed, the ideologies and belief systems to which extremists tend to attach themselves often represent grasping for certainty in an uncertain world, or an attempt to achieve absolute security in an environment that is naturally unpredictable or perhaps populated by people with interests opposed to their own. Extremists exhibit a kind of risk-aversiveness that compels them to engage in controlling and manipulative behavior, both on a personal level and in a political context, to protect themselves from the unforeseen and unknown. The more laws or "rules" there are that regulate the behavior of others--particular their "enemies"--the more secure extremists feel.


Extremists, their organizations , and their subcultures are prone to a kind of inward-looking group cohesiveness that leads to what Irving Janis discussed in his excellent book Victims of Groupthink. "Groupthink" involves a tendency to conform to group norms and to preserve solidarity and concurrence at the expense of distorting members' observations of facts, conflicting evidence, and disquieting observations that would call into question the shared assumptions and beliefs of the group.

Right-wingers (or left-wingers), for example, talk only with one another, read material that reflects their own views, and can be almost phobic about the "propaganda" of the "other side." The result is a deterioration of reality-testing, rationality, and moral judgment. With groupthink, shared illusions of righteousness, superior morality, persecution, and so on remain intact, and those who challenge them are viewed with skepticism and hostility.


Extremists often wish for the personal bad fortune of their "enemies," and celebrate when it occurs. When a critic or an adversary dies or has a serious illness, a bad accident, or personal legal problems, extremists often rejoice and chortle about how they "deserved" it. I recall seeing right-wing extremists celebrate the assassination of Martin Luther King and leftists agonizing because George Wallace survived an assassination attempt. In each instance their hatred was not only directed against ideas, but also against individual human beings.


For example, if they lose an election, then it was "rigged." If public opinion turns against them, it was because of "brainwashing." If their followers become disillusioned, it's because of "sabotage." The test of the rightness or wrongness of the system is how it impacts upon them...

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