Signs a person has been infected by a meme/virus of the mind
Date: December 11, 2003 11:25AM
I agree with you about the similarities between abusive relatinships and cultic relationships, in fact, even started a thread way back asking if there was any research on this. Before I found Rick Ross's site and this forum, the only info that came close to my experience was on verbal abuse websites. The info about abusive relationships, leaving the abuser, the desire to go back and try to fix things, narcissists, etc. really fit my experience. The problem was in the recovery. The only tune being whistled out in psychology land seems to be the one about the person on the receiving end being codependent. If one goes by the codependency checklist, we're all codependent. While it might be true that there is an element of this, therapy seems to look no further than the codie issue, thus in most cases, putting further blame, for lack of a better word, on the victim.
What's really incredible is that the "experts" whose works are used as main resources at this particular website have no credentials - one is a self-professed narcissist who claims to have a PhD (but it's in philosophy) and a certificate in counselling (from on-line Brainbench.com). He has painted all verbal abusers as narcissists but the traits he applies to them really describe sociopaths. Robert Burney, who self-publised a book on codependncy, John Gray (Women from Mars, Men from Venus), who it turns out has a diploma mill degree but is introduced as "Doctor". And, we can thank (F. Scott?) Peck for taking the alcoholic codependency label and twisting it to apply to everyone.
Since it is very difficult to find therapists and even legal professionals who understand cult experiences, it's not very likely that there is a lot of research comparing the two experiences.