"Recognizing an error in judgement"?
No. Recognizing that deception and manipulation through coercive persuasion is used to essentially eliminate the ability to make an informed choice and effectively utilize critical thinking, which enables people to make good judgements.
That's how groups like "The Walk" and leaders like Stevens have tricked and trapped people for years.
Each group, whether its making religious or pseudo-scientific claims, has some bright shining thing dangling, a teaching, a prophecy a supposed cure, to entice victims. It's the classic "bait and switch" con.
"As with both romance or religion, the buyer is responsible for the ultimate decision to purchase the product."
No. Not when there is deception, coercion and manipulation. Cult leaders are like con artists. Except they run the same con on the same people endlessly, rather than simply taking the money and running away.
"Unless of course the choice was made while facing a shotgun."
Yes. Coercive persuasion is insidious and it can paralyze people through unreasonable fears about the future, about supposed eternal consequences, etc. It is like "facing a shotgun."
Cult leaders set people up and then take them down.
The research previously linked can help anyone reading this thread see that there is an identified and repeated pattern, a methodology of manipulation used by destructive cults.
It's not about what the group claims to believe, but rather about how it behaves, its dynamics and structure.
Never blame victims. Doing so is just dead wrong and doesn't reflect the facts established repeatedly through research.
In my experience former cult members frequently say, "If I had known from the beginning what the leader really wanted and expected, what this group was really all about and what demands it would eventually make concerning my life, I would have never become involved."
"Willingness to be sold"?
"Initial error in judgement"?
No. Tricked by deception and therefore recruited without informed consent and then held trapped by continuing manipulation and fear.
No one needs "to recognize the error."
What needs to be recognized is the structure and dynamics of destructive authoritarian groups. By recognizing this such groups can be avoided in the future.
]Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.
1.Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
7.There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
9. The group/leader is always right.
10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
"If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck."
That is, if "the same foundational characteristics," which define a destructive authoritarian group or "cult" can be identified, then what you have is a destructive cult.
Edited 5 time(s). Last edit at 09/15/2018 05:27AM by rrmoderator.