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Re: THE BRIGHT PATH
Posted by: ephesus37 ()
Date: February 28, 2011 05:30AM

to all the people worried about this group,
I have been using this meditation technique for the past 7 years. I have found that it has had a huge improvement on my health. I suffer from mental health issues(schizophrenia) and have found that this particular meditation has been extremely useful in aiding me in lowering my symptoms and hence the amount of meds i need to take. As a result i experience more joy and peace in my life. As far as all their rituals are concerned just take it with a grain of salt. Dont take it to seriously when they all get new names and decide to wear red, white or black. They dont push this stuff onto you, and if they did you can always just say no. The technique is more important than the bells and whistles(as krishnanandas ex wife said to me a few years ago). The only thing is though, they know what they are selling, and they sell the technique at market rate, which is not really fair as those that need it most are quite poor. I have recently discovered a breathing technique by the art of living, which no doubt has critics on this 'cult' site. This is cheaper and in some ways more effective in ridding the body of emotional turmoil. The most common thing I see on these sites is that the group has taken my mind away. I feel that as a person who believes in Jesus Christ, the son of God that this simply isnt true. Sure the experience of stillness affects and changes my perception of the world but so does reading a book. Most of the people I have met at the retreats were middle class europeans, and my guess as to their beliefs is that most were a mix of buddism, new age, reincarnation etc. Beliefs were never really talked about, because the meditation technique focusses on tapping into silencing the mind. All in all I really love these types of retreats and will be going on more once I get some money. They are by far the best holidays i have ever had. Very relaxed. You could go off the grounds and enjoy the surroundings etc and you could have a cup of tea and smoke a delicious cigarette. Well thats it.
ciao
Steven

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Re: the bright path
Posted by: rezjrxkx ()
Date: October 02, 2011 07:40AM

I attended quite a few of the Ishaya courses in the late 90's, and have vaguely kept up to date with events in the movement the last few years. I can absolutely say without a doubt the Ishaya / Bright Path is not a cult.

The actual Ishaya teaching is just meditation, based on repeating yoga sutras (translated correctly into English). The idea is to let the mind release the constant thousand thoughts that keep running every minute of the day, with a single pure thought. The aim is to relax and achieve a de-stress of the body, I found it very effective.

There is no brainwashing; there is no teaching about anything philosophically. And it most definitely is not religious. These meditation techniques were practiced in monasteries for thousands of years in the sub-continent, and the founder of the Ishaya's just happened to be the first to bring these particular techniques to the western world. Every teacher I met was a fun loving, well balanced, and humorous person, the exact opposite of the type who is in a brainwashed cult.

Yes you do pay to learn the techniques, about $400 for a weekend course. This money is used to fund more courses. The idea that these teachers are paid very well is a laugh, they get provided with bed and board. But the reward is getting to travel around the world teaching meditation courses for fun.

There also is a 6 month residence course, which is just 6 months of meditating, living in a beautiful environment, eating organic food, and hanging out with other people who want to detox from the rat race for a while. Some do it to become a teacher of the Ishaya's techniques, and others just for self fulfilment. You can do either and there is absolutely no pressure to join some mystical group.

The part that does look weird and kind of cultish is the taking of a color and Sanskrit name. This is just symbolic and does not mean you are giving up your personality, and it is not required to be a teacher. It may be hard for most here to understand, but the taking of a Sanskrit name is common to almost every yoga teacher teaching discipline in every city around the world. I only realised how common it was when I started doing IT work for some of my local Yoga centres, and they all had these secondary Sanskrit names, just like the Ishaya's. It is very, very common, not cult behaviour at all, just hippie behaviour.

I should mention again.... there is no belief structure or philosophy of the Ishaya. The sutras are purely mechanical meditation techniques to de-stress the mind and body. No beliefs or faith required. They work so well that some people cannot get enough and want to do it all day, so they become teachers.

From my understanding of its history, by 1997 the Ishaya organization was only a few years old, running courses in 20 countries around the world, with a single live-in residence in the US. When the founder MSI died, a small minority of the members (who presumably were looking for a guru/saviour to replace MSI) caused some trouble and the organization collapsed with most of the teachers leaving and going their separate ways. Since then a lot of these people set up their own centres, and do their own courses. A decentralised group of teachers, doing their own thing, running meditation weekends, is not a cult, and hardly cult like behaviour.

The fact that Byzantium2's relation committed suicide is a tragedy. I have no idea of the unique situation here, but I will say that from the evidence of this group I have seen, the Ishaya teachings would have nothing to do with it.

I have done many self-help/growth courses over the years of all types, and you always find a few lost souls who are depressed and desperate, searching for something that can help them heal whatever is their issue. That is why they go to these things. I would say that statistically this group of people would have a higher suicide rate than normal people in society. So what is the solution? Have the State mandate laws requiring people to get a psychologist report before doing any self-help course? Unless you want to live in Orwell's 1984, I say we have to get real, and realise that the ultimate responsibility for one's life comes from oneself.

Ishaya, Bright Path, Nowspace or whatever brand it is taught under....... is harmless and actually great stuff.

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Re: the bright path
Posted by: jim ()
Date: November 25, 2011 07:21AM

BP Mom, I know I'm responding to you over 2 years from your original postings and you've probably already got your answer about the Bright Path, but for those that haven't I'll give you my experience of them and the meditation technique of ascending.
I'd been interested in meditation for a while but had a very wandering mind and came across Sandy Newbigging at a Mind Body and Spirit festival. He was talking about Mind Detox, and if you've ever had the pleasure of hearing him speak or meeting him you couldn't possibly think he's anything other than thoroughly decent, amusing, kind hearted and engaging person.
Mind Detox was a technique that Sandy Personally came up with by accident, but basically what it says is that the illnesses we suffer can usually be traced back to an event approx 12-18 months before the illness manifested, and by tracing back to that event, the circumstances can be reframed with the result being an improvement in the symptoms. You can YOUTUBE numerous videos of Sandy and his Mind Detox results, and I think you'll come to the conclusion he's genuinely in this to help people.
After having seen a talk by Sandy, I went on a full day mind detox course and at the end he talked about a simple meditation technique and then taught the whole group how to do it. What surprised me was that it could be done fully awake, and it was almost like being super alert whilst being totally at peace.
I instantly committed to taking the First Sphere and was very pleased that I did.
Ascension is a religious free practice (open to anyone whatever their own personal beliefs are) which basically teaches you how to be 'present'. I had no idea why I would want this but in simple terms, by being present you eliminate all the baggage from your past, and the chatter the brain goes through (scientists say we have somewhere between 90-120,000 thoughts a day). Also by being present your not looking for something in the future to be that something that finally brings you happiness. As they say tomorrow never comes. By being present therefore you've eliminated the baggage keeping you down, and aren't needing something in the future to bring you peace and happiness, because when you are present you experience this peace and happiness/ sense of bliss.

Now I'm not a religious person, in that I don't see how one persons religion can be right, and the 70/80/90% of the rest of the population is therefore wrong, but if you strip down all the doctrine from these religions, you'll find amazing similarities between religions, and most people whatever their beliefs know the difference between right and wrong with all advocating peace, love etc. So from an non religious standpoint I reference a quote from Jesus which goes something like this 'the kingdom of heaven can be found from within' and I'm sure Buddha, Krsna, Mohammed etc have probably said something very similar in their teachings. In my humble opinion, going 'within' and being present is what he was talking about.

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Re: the bright path
Posted by: CJM ()
Date: August 03, 2012 10:32AM

My wife and I spent more than a decade involved with several different Ishaya organizations as teachers (SFA, ISA, and The Bright Path) and have since relinquished any involvement with any and all Ishaya groups as of a few years ago. Rather than labeling the groups/organizations as either cults or not cults it seems more important to point out a few important things to be aware of within these particlar types of organizations. It is common for an Ishaya group to emphasize innocence as a key teaching, and yet it would be wise to avoid being overly naive when considering serious involvement. This is best accomplished by being properly educated. There are resources available that would be best explored before making what may be quite a serious life-altering decision.

We have seen individuals who are very careful in all other areas of their lives throw all caution to the wind and dive head first into a seriously committed Ishaya group and with a 'Teacher' without hesitation and with little understanding of what they are getting into. Typically this lack of foresight is seen as noble within the organizations. I heard many who had taken a vow to their Ishaya "Teacher" and mention that they didn't know what they were really getting themselves into. After following a considerable trail of many self-styled "Teachers", we no longer agree with the binding vows that have become central to many Ishaya groups. It is our view that guidance must be non-binding and non-controlling to be truly integrous. An eternally binding vow taken to a presumed "totally free" Teacher exists within a context of control. The very nature of that which is binding is control.

David Hawkins MD PHD offers the following council -

"it is important to remember the high teaching 'Swear not nor take any oaths, nor make any pledges or binding commitments, nor commit any other bondage, for there are within them hidden, unseen consequences and karmic entrapments.' Remember that one's allegiance is due only to God, to one's relationship to God, and to purity and holiness. No organization has any special favor with God, and all organizations as such are based on ego premises and illusions. To bind oneself to illusion can have unseen karmic consequences. These are detainments and pitfalls to be avoided by the wise. It is obvious on the face of it that the purpose of an oath is to bind. The ego is already laden down with a multitude of illusions and does not need to be impaired by another one.

"Groups that require oaths of fealty or the swearing by oaths (some of which include description of demonic consequences if the oath is broken), promise a specialness and an exclusiveness, such as secrets or an inside track to God or special favors. It is important to realize that there are no special secrets or favors to be granted. All that needs to be known is already available. God has nothing to hide nor does the Avatar. The enlightened sages, the advanced spiritual teachers, and the saints have nothing to hide. The pure in heart and the honest have nothing to conceal."

We remained with the above mentioned Ishaya groups for as long as we did because the techniques are indeed effective in enhancing well-being and do connect one with an awareness of Silence beneath the flow of thoughts. But we also noticed that within the ranks of teachers that debt was prevalent for many except for the leadership, who always seemed to justify a high cash flow, even if those bending over backwards for them received hardly anything. Also there were some questionable aspects of the teaching thrown in amongst the valid aspects. The naive assume that if part of it is true then everything else must be too.

Our biggest lesson was in pledging blind allegiance to the 'man in charge'. Posturing and lip service may be incredibly convincing. Even so, one cannot be too careful. No matter how convincing and charismatic the leader may be, the student really has no way of knowing how truly free the one they are entrusting their heart, mind, body and soul to really is. The best one can do is assume. And sure, the organizations we were involved with resulted in enough trial and error that the awareness of Silence became apparent. But this is just the beginning. To be stable in the midst of 'ordinary' life, facing taxes, family, bills, mortgage is not less-than but a wonderful way to embrace all aspects of life and to see the spiritual and everyday life are not different.

We could say much more here, but it is best left to you to do your homework. The following are highly recommended resources. It is best to arm yourself by realizing that others have walked a similar path. Their words are valuable.

The teachings of David Hawkins Md Phd can be found at www.veritaspub.com and www.consciousnessproject.org and are second to none in outlining the clear and pure spiritual pathways.

The book "After the Ecstasty the Laundry" by Jack Kornfield is highly recommended as the author shares his wisdom from several decades of involvement with groups as a meditation teacher

"The Guru Papers" by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad has some valuable information on how power can be misused in a spiritual context.

Since we have abandoned involvement with we have spoken with many others - many who have taken a new direction like us and many who remain involved with an Ishaya organization. Our intention is not to be anti-Ishaya groups, but merely to share what we have observed through our experience, the good and the bad.

We are open to speaking with anyone.

My name is Chad and was formerly known as 'Bhrigu Ishaya' my email is chadmillemon@gmail.com
My wife Carolyn was known as 'Soma' and her email is ccmillemon@gmail.com

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Re: the bright path
Posted by: CJM ()
Date: September 09, 2012 04:55AM

Identification and Characteristics of Spiritual Truth, Integrous Teachers and Teachings

By David R. Hawkins, MD, PHD

1. Universality: Truth is true at all times and places, independent of culture, personalities, or circumstances.

2. Nonexclusionary: Truth is all-inclusive, nonsecretive, and nonsectarian.

3. Availability: It is open to all, non-exclusive. There are no secrets to be revealed, hidden, or sold, and no magical formulas or “mysteries.”

4. Integrity of purpose: There is nothing to gain or lose.

5. Nonsectarian: Truth is not the exposition of limitation.

6. Independent of opinion: Truth is nonlinear and not subject to the limitations of intellect or form.

7. Devoid of Positionality: Truth is not “anti” anything. Falsehood and ignorance are not its enemies but merely represent its absence.

8. No requirements or demands: There are no required memberships, dues, regulations, oaths, rules, or conditions.

9. Noncontrolling: Spiritual purity has no interest in the personal lives of aspirants, or in clothing, dress, style, sex lives, economics, family patterns, lifestyles, or dietary habits.

10. Free of force or intimidation: There is no brainwashing, adulation of leaders, training rituals, indoctrinations, or intrusions into private life.

11. Nonbinding: There are no regulations, laws, edicts, contracts, or pledges.

12. Freedom: Participants are free to come and go without persuasion, coercion, intimidation, or consequences. There is no hierarchy; instead, there is voluntary fulfillment of practical necessities and duties.

13. Commonality: Recognition is a consequence of what one has become rather than as a result of ascribed titles, adjectives, or trappings.

14. Inspirational: Truth eschews and avoids glamorization, seduction, and theatrics.

15. Nonmaterialistic: Truth is devoid of neediness of worldly wealth, prestige, pomp, or edifices.

16. Self-fulfilling: Truth is already total and complete and has no need to proselytize or gain adherents, followers, or “sign up members.”

17. Detached: There is noninvolvement in world affairs.

18. Benign: Truth is identifiable along a progressive gradient. It has no “opposite” and therefore no “enemies” to castigate or oppose.

19. Nonintentional: Truth does not intervene or have an agenda to propose, inflict, or promulgate.

20. Nondualistic: All transpires by virture of intrinsic (karmic) propensity within the field by which potentiality manifests as actuality rather than by “cause” and effect.

21. Tranquility and Peace: There are no “issues” or partialities. There is no desire to change others or impose on society. The effect of higher energies is innate and not dependent on propagation or effort. God does not need help anymore than gravity needs the “help” of an apple’s falling off the tree.

22. Equality: This is expressed in reverence for all of life in all its expressions and merely avoids that which is deleterious rather than opposing it.

23. Nontemporality: Life is realized to be eternal and physicality to be a temporality. Life is not subject to death.

24. Beyond Proof: That which is “provable” is linear, limited, and a product of intellectualization and mentation. Reality needs no agreement. Reality is not an acquisition but instead is a purely spontaneous, subjective realization when the positionalities of the dualistic ego are surrendered.

25. Mystical: The origination of truth is a spontaneous effulgence, radiance, and illumination, which is the Revelation that replaces the illusion of a separate individual self, the ego, and its mentation.

26. Ineffable: Not capable of definition. Radical subjectivity is experiential. It is a condition that replaces the former. With this event, context replaces content, devoid of temporality and beyond time. Reality does not exist in time, or of it, or beyond it, or outside of it, and it has no relationship to that which is an artifice of mentation. It is therefore beyond all nouns, adjectives, or verbs, transitive or intransitive.

27. Simplistic: One sees the intrinsic beauty and perfection of all that exists beyond appearance and form.

28. Affirmative: Truth is beyond opinion and provability. Confirmation is purely by its subjective awareness; however, it is identifiable by consciousness calibration techniques.

29. Nonoperative: Truth does not “do” anything or “cause” anything; it is everything.

30. Invitational: As contrasted with promotional or persuasive.

31. Nonpredictive: Because Reality is nonlinear, it cannot be localized or encoded in restriction of form such as a secret messages, codes, numbers, and inscription, or hidden in runes, stones, the dimensions of the pyramids, the DNA, or the nostril hairs of the camel. Truth has no secrets. The Reality of God is omnipresent and beyond codification or exclusivity. Codes are indicative of man’s imagination and not the capriciousness of Divinity.

32. Nonsentimental: Emotionality is based on perception. Compassion results from the discernment of truth.

33. Nonauthoritarian: There are no rules or dictates to be followed.

34. Nonegoistic: Teachers are respected but reject personal adulation or specialness.

35. Educational: Provides information in a variety of formats and ensures availability.

36. Self-supporting: Neither mercenary nor materialistic.

37. Freestanding: Complete without dependence on external or historical authorities.

38. Natural: Devoid of induced, altered status of consciousness or manipulations of energies by artificial means (i.e., nonreligance on form).

39. Complete: Devoid of exploitation or gain.

40. Nonviolent: Not coercive; benign; nonthreatening.

The above is an excerpt (with permission) from Truth versus Falsehood: How to Tell the Difference (2005) by Dr. David R. Hawkins, pages 379-382.

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Re: the bright path
Posted by: monkey ()
Date: November 30, 2012 10:07AM

Your information is partially correct. I am his son. I have not read all the posts, so i am curious as to how and why you know of him?

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Re: the bright path
Posted by: CJM ()
Date: January 27, 2013 02:56AM

Anyone considering deep commitment to any Ishaya teacher or organization should listen to the following information first - [www.amazon.com]

This link should take you to an audio set of CD's titled 'The Discovery' by David Hawkins

It is well worth the time and money for the clarity it offers.

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Re: the bright path
Posted by: Lct ()
Date: June 30, 2018 12:19AM

Mind Control Techniques In Cults

For ex-members of cults, understanding the mind control techniques used to recruit them and keep them in the group is an important part of their recuperation.

Remember people do not deliberately join cults. They are recruited!

It takes time

The recruitment process is exactly that, a process, new members are recruited step-by-step. Cult membership has been likened to a marriage, with the initial seduction, increasing commitment, falling in love, and fully committing.

Smooth Talkers

Many people believe that cults use harassment and arguments to pressure people into joining. Nothing could be further from the truth. The mind control techniques used by cults nowadays have evolved and frequently soft talk, charm and appealing topics are used to flatter, entice and even seduce people into making commitments.

But the combination of mind control techniques means that the seduction can cause bonds and commitments that are even more powerful than normal relationships.

Mind Control Methods Used To Change The Personality: A new personality

The mind control methods used in cults are designed to create a pseudo-personality in the members, a clone of the leader, that thinks and makes decisions in the same way, based off of the taught doctrine which acts like a master code.

Unfreezing

People can arrive in a cult 'unfrozen'. When people have a major trauma in their life, a move away from home, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, a change from school to university, their reality has changed significantly. They may be questioning their lives, they may be wondering how God can allow such things to happen, they may distrust the system, and in some cases the things they've depended on up to now, are no longer trustworthy. They may distrust themselves and they may distrust the world. They are looking for answers, reassurance or help to relieve their misery.
This puts them in a very vulnerable position. Remember, people do not join cults. They are recruited using mind control methods!
Cults are actively looking for people at vulnerable times in their lives because it makes their task so much easier. A person whose world has just fallen apart is very susceptible to compliments, offers of help and the possibility of easy solutions to their enormous problems. Cult members are trained to be on the lookout for people in such situations because they are easy targets.

The Process

Those who are conned or deceived into joining a cult will be put through an unfreezing process. Every group has their own manner and particular tools for doing this but there are many common mind control methods to achieve it.

The basic idea is to distance people from their past, to make their past bad, or the source of all their problems.


Some mind control methods

It's very common to take new members to seminars and courses in remote areas. In their time off, there's no place to go and so they literally spend 24 hours a day in the cult environment. This gives the leadership strict control over the person's environment. Some more modern cults choose remote, beautiful locations that give the false perception of freedom.
A seminar running late at night mean’s there is little time for sleep, and a tired person is a more compliant person, less able to think critically. Control of mealtimes and control of the food is another way to alter somebody's physiology.

Hypnosis and hypnotic mind control methods are particularly effective tools for limiting a person's ability to think critically.

For faster mind control hypnosis works a treat!

What is hypnosis?

It's useful to think of hypnosis in terms of states of consciousness. Everybody has a waking state, a state when they know they're awake, they're alert, alive and in the world. And we have different states of consciousness throughout the day. For example, if you are lying in a warm bath you feel a little bit sleepy; your mind might begin to wander, drifting lazily from one idea to another. This is an altered state of consciousness, or a trance state. Another example is staring at the movements of fish in a big fish tank. What happens is your attention becomes more and more focused and your awareness, as your surroundings diminishes.
This is typical of hypnotic trance states, more and more of your attention becomes focused on what's happening inside and less on what's happening outside. So you become much more aware of your own thoughts, internal images and feelings, and less aware of things going on in your environment. Normally, it is very pleasant for most people, very relaxing and enjoyable.

Effects

One important factor here is that in trance states people's ability to think logically and critically, diminishes. They tend to simply accept any information that is given to them, without thinking if it is rational and reasonable or not. This means that people in hypnotic trance are suggestible; they accept uncritically any suggestions given to them. This means that even strong willed people can be hypnotized and made to do things that they would not normally do.


What the manipulators say...

It's interesting that many cult leaders will often claim that people cannot be made to do things against their will, even using mind control hypnosis. There are two important issues here:

First of all, the members of the group are programmed to accept whatever the leader says. Therefore they will tend to accept this idea.

Secondly, implicit in the idea is that if the person does something, they are doing it of their own volition; it is their own decision to do so.
When we make our own decisions, we believe more firmly, and are more committed to the result. The actions and effects of our decisions last longer.

This is a very subtle but potent idea.

Another thing to keep in mind is that hypnosis is not always a closed eye process. It is not necessary to have your eyes closed to be in a trance. For example, have you ever driven somewhere and when you reach your destination you don't remember much of the journey? You were in a trance!

So the important things to remember are that:

Hypnosis is simply an altered state.

We naturally enter lots of altered states or trances ourselves every day.

It's not necessary to have your eyes closed.

Hypnosis can be induced without words and most importantly it reduces critical faculties and the ability to evaluate information.

Meditation what can you say? Instant trance!

Covert destructive manipulation

Destructive groups and individuals will use hypnotic mind control in a variety of little known ways too.
Long seminars and lengthy speeches, especially if they go on late at night, are a way to induce trance, sometimes because of boredom, sometimes because of tiredness, or both! Again, cult leaders may not know they are doing hypnosis but they are smart enough to recognize the benefits of such techniques for themselves.

So after unfreezing, the next bit…

Changing

Remember that mind control is a process. It takes time.

There will be overlap between unfreezing, changing and freezing. Some of the same mind control methods used for unfreezing will also be used for changing. Hypnosis is an obvious example.
Repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, is very important in indoctrination. It's the same message over and over and over again. In some groups they may sound like different stories, different teachings, but it's always the same basic idea and stories. The cult leaders are basically 'one trick ponies'.

We have THE WAY...

The old values, old ideas, old beliefs and old mindsets are criticized and blamed for life's problems, but now new solutions are offered. The message is: Accept the group’s ideas, take on the new beliefs and values and everything will be okay, it’ll be a miracle from one day to the next. It will all work out the way you want.

Time to refreeze

The new pseudo-identity is forming. More and more it represses and dominates the pre-cult identity. (It never fully destroys the pre-cult identity, and very often the conflicts and contradictions in the member are due to an ongoing struggle between the two identities).
There is an age old method that is used here as part of the mind control methods. Reward good behavior and punish bad behavior! A reward can be something as simple as spending time with the leader, a kind word or a compliment from him, especially in public. Or it can be something more powerful, like permission to leave the group to go and visit family, or to make a phone call to friends or family.

Re-indoctrination: Keeping the egg boiled

A favorite mind control method used in cults to maintain the pseudo-personality in place, is to put the members through the indoctrination process again and again. Some do it every few months, or every few years but certainly within five years because they've realized that after five years the pre-cult personality begins to appear again.
Some groups, for example, insist that the members attend a workshop once a year to 'keep up to date' with the group ideas and/or to maintain the 'qualifications' awarded by the group. This simply means the leader gets to indoctrinate them again.

Keeping members in awe of the leader. A wonderful person, clever, enlightened, caring, charming etc. etc.

Once this is complete you will feel ready to take on your important mission again: Fill in the blank!

Some points to conclude

Recognize conditions in which you are vulnerable. Major life events, loss, grief, depression, after failing exams, losing a job and so on.

Don't be pushed into making a decision. Reserve the right to defer a decision or say no.

You should hear warning bells and see flashing lights when someone emphasizes your freedom of choice to the alternatives they have offered.

Be very careful if you seem to be making a lot of very good friends very quickly in a new group. If everybody makes you feel special, intelligent and repeatedly tells you that you will do well with them, or that you have potential, you need to reassess what's actually happening if you are to stop mind control early in the process.

If you are being offered simple, complete answers to complex problems it should be treated as a warning sign. "Just do this thing and your life will be different!"

If you're told that you need to get out of your mind, or that your problems are based on your thinking, be careful that it’s not simply a way of creating a state of passive acceptance.

The leader doesn't want adoration! At least that's what he or she says. In reality, they are cultivating an environment in which they are all powerful and anyone who does not demonstrate adoration may be punished. Or more commonly, they are not given benefits or rewards. And a reward may simply be getting to spend time with the leader!

Very often in destructive groups they teach that family, friends and loved ones will not understand, are not evolved enough, and will try to hamper the person's attempts to better themselves. Consequently when the family does try to intervene, the leader's warnings are confirmed and the pseudo-identity feels a need to protect itself.

Fortunately, with expert care, these effects of cult psychology can usually be undone.

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