PSI Seminars: The Cult of Cults?
Date: December 28, 2008 12:16AM
I was trolling the other sites and found this written on a blog by a teenager. Seems she's a lot smarter than most of the adults who attend PSI.
The Cult of Cult
Break a rule. Preferably, break an unwritten rule. Stand at the back of the elevator, face three inches from the wrong wall. Nobody ever says you have to face the doors, it’s not written anywhere, and yet, it’s a rule. Now pay careful attention to yourself, how your feel physically and mentally as people get on and off around you, as they notice your strange behavior. How do you feel?
When you are alone, it’s totally cool, no worries. As more an more people get in, especially as more people NOTICE you, you will feel uneasy. Embarrassed. You will feel a strong compulsion to turn around, face the front like everyone else. The disapproval of complete strangers will hurt you, almost at a physical level. It will be both uncomfortable, and hopefully enlightening.
Disapproval is the basic engine behind almost all human social groups. Religions, cults, sports teams, protest rallies, anywhere that large groups of people gather, they will control one another with nonviolent disapproval. Sure, there will be positive reinforcement too, but that’s less effective as a means of control. It’s much more difficult to hold your hand in the fire for a second than to resist the temptation for a sweet for a minute.
Last night I went to my first “grown up” party. There were all sorts of “around 30″ aged people drinking terrible white wine and telling even more terrible stories in loud, obnoxious voices. It was actually getting fun for a while, and then things turned… interesting.
It turns out that pretty much all of these people are in the the same brainwashing cult called “PSI”. Oh, it’s not as bad as most, it’s basically a series of progressively more expensive “leadership seminars” where you pay a few thousand dollars and visit convention centers and wilderness camps filled with all sorts of tribal bonding rituals and simple mind control. They were all huge fans.
For me, it was very uncomfortable, of course, as I was an outsider, but that was the point. There was a very mildly disapproving vibe that I didn’t understand their magic speech filled with redefined words that bound them together. It wasn’t hostile, of course, because that’s part of the process. I am to feel cautiously uncomfortable, yet slightly invited… then I guess I would be asked to join one of their seminars where I would be given less hostility and more approval as I went up the chain. I’m sure it would feel grand…
As much as I personally have a distaste for this kind of thing, I watched these people, and began to wonder just how wrong it really was. I mean, sure it was a “waste” of money, but they seemed to enjoy themselves. I “waste” money all the time on toys and games, right? If they are having fun, what is the harm? They were meeting people, forming friendships and marriages with each other, and basically having little adventures with their lives. In fact, if they didn’t take it so seriously, I would absolutely have no problem with it whatsoever.
…but that’s the problem, I guess. They really did take it seriously. They don’t really understand what’s going on. They don’t see how they are being manipulated and controlled by each other. I’m not convinced that this “PSI” group was intentionally a money cult like some other, similar groups I can think of. It could very well have started as a sincere attempt at motivational speaking and “leadership” development, and just “naturally” slid into a kind of hierarchical pseudo-religion. Still, even if it’s roots were sincere, it had fully blossomed into a very Scientology-like cult.
Now that I’ve discovered them, and discovered that a friend of mine is mixed up with them, I wonder what I should do about it. I don’t think I could just go to her directly and tell her what she’s gotten into, at least not without knowing more about how strongly the cult has defended it’s little nest of ideas in her mind. And I also have to ask myself, is it right to illuminate other people without their permission? If she really understood how it all worked, maybe she wouldn’t have as much fun going to the seminars anymore. I will have taken something magical away from her… Is it right to shatter people’s illusions?
I guess it all depends on how detrimental it is to her life. The seminars are expensive for her, anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, but if it’s just once or twice a year, then it’s no different than taking a vacation to Europe. Needless to say, I personally believe that a Roman Holiday would be more eye opening and enlightening for her than a week of totems and taboos, but that’s just my opinion… Even though my opinion is right, and even though she’s not very deep in the group yet, I think, I still wonder if it’s worth the cost of taking away a source of pleasure for her. I guess I will just have to run the numbers and see if it’s more a benefit or a detriment to the entire world, that’s usually the best way to choose actions, right? :)
Anyways, if anyone from the PSI cult reads this and wishes to email me and discuss any of this with me, I offer a series of progressively more advanced deprogramming seminars. Get in on the action early, you won’t want your friends to be deprogrammed before you and leave you behind!