Sadly, pinkunicorn, your friends have become 'true believers' and cannot see the truth in front of them to escape their mental prison. NXIVM is a very abusive LGAT as is clearly documented in the Rick Ross Archives. The best defense is open and complete knowledge of any questionable group which is the reason most of these LGATs are so secretive.
I am happy you are free and completely immune from this nasty group. Knowledge is power...and freedom...
Thanks, but you bring up an interesting point.
The thing that concerns me is how do you know that you're at the point where "thought reform" has started to take over? Like you said, these people really believe that they are doing the "right thing". If they've been in the group/cult for a while, how can you convince them that what they are doing really is "destructive" using their language, or that these thoughts aren't simply of their own free will, but have actually been slowly indoctrinated, seed by seed, in an environment that isn't conducive to their mental health? The "external" message of this group has a universal appeal, although I see nothing really profound in it. Is there a way to disassociate yourself from the "secretive" nature of the organization and only believe in this public message?
This is what concerns me the most. I know a few people in it, one in particular I care about, that I don't want them to get emotionally abused or scarred. To me, it seems that this universal appeal is the hook, only to reel you into more and more detrimental aspects of the organization where you spend more of your time and money in it without you even knowing it, thinking you're doing the "right thing". It's like a pyramid scheme, where the higher in rank you go by essentially paying more money for more "courses", the more secretive it becomes, the more you get to "know", the less outsiders get to know about what goes on who then start becoming "the others" who just "don't get it", and thus, the more potential for abuse can occur. Soon, you only trust those who are in the group, while others outside of it, hold less and less weight in your eyes. But, this trust isn't based on something superior in the beliefs they hold, something that can be publicly defended, but just the fact that they are all part of the same group.
To me, there are few things worse than those who abuse others by an attempt at feigned sincerity, i.e. those who act like angels, but are nothing but devils.