Date: March 09, 2014 08:43PM
That assumption that we, yes we should and would be able to recognize a
liar or user...or cult recruiter.
Perhaps many people hear about cheaters, love pirates, straying partners or spouses, and yes, cult recruitment/lovebombing and form cartoonish images
in their imaginations.
We imagine that a cheater would look like a gargoyle. Someone with a perpetual smirk.
That love pirate types would be cartoonishly easy to spot (think of the stereotypes from the 1970s -- the guy with the gold chain, shirt open, and the
line, "Come here often?"
I'd read about cult love bombing and imagine a horde of zombies with blank eyes
all running up, squealing "I love you, I love you...!"
And unconsciously think to myself, That looks obvious. I'd spot it in a second.
No. It isnt like this at all.
I read bits of a book at a store the other day.
Secrets and Lies: Surviving the Truths That Change Our Lives: Jane ...Jane Isay is a gifted story teller with the soul of a poet and the wisdom of a master
teacher. Secrets and Lies is not only about betrayal, it is about courage, the ...
www.amazon.com/Secrets-Lies-Surviving-Truths.../0385534140 - 308k - Cached - Similar pages
Isay states that trust actually brings blind spots. Once we trust someone, that gives a context in which we arrange our perceptions and skew them in a particular way - benefit of the doubt.
Think how we react differently when someone we love is ill with a stomach virus and throws up. We may feel disgusted but we clean up after them.
Very different if a drunken party guest were to do the same thing and in the same place in our house.
And, humans adjust. We may rationalize bad behavior as a foible. And..exploitative types will often con us to distrust our own perceptions.
(That could be a tip off. If some constantly finds ways to get you to distrust your own perceptions, that alone can signal something is rotten in Denmark.)
And what most of us cannot understand is that cult recruiters have practice at this sort of thing.
Or they may be low level members of the group, feeling the early happy high. And have zero knowledge of the actual history and patterns of abuse and exploitation in the group.
So persons in that early glow of belonging, who are lower level and not privy to freaky secrets can be the best recruiters--they are sincere.
And they may be our dearest and best loved friends.
We see a friend doing well and glowing. We are happy for the person.
That friend may describe how her therapist handled a recent session and you
may realize you wish your therapist were that good--and then ask your friend for a referral.
And the therapist turns out to be a high level functionary in a cult.
One would have to be utterly paranoid to have suspicions.
As Bugs Bunny put it, 'Ya gotta trust someone.'
And the general population cant see that some persons are willing to put a lot of work into maintaining facades.
We think this stuff happens only in espionage, organized crime, horror movies, crime novels.
We are fascinated by those stories because they describe the betrayals and facades that do exist in real, human life.
We cant stand to face this consciously.
So we segregate this subject into a specific entertainment genres, where we think we can contemplate it at a safe distance, thinking it will never be done to us and that we would be smart enough to recognize it.
Am going to tell you something.
I grew up in a family that lied a lot. Learned about it byaccident. Had 7 months
of insomnia that nearly drove me mad. Had to get medical assistance so I could sleep.
Made contact with the son of my mother's best friend who had kept our family lie going and had thrown me off the track with disinformation. Turned out her life and family were full of lies.
I said to her son, "With all the lying that went on in our families, its a miracle neither of us ended up in organized crime."
"Gotta tell you something. Forty years ago I was in organized crime. I was a drugs dealer."
I paused. "Wait. So was I. I was in different sort of organized crime. Only it was non violent crime. I joined the peace movement. We protested US policy in Central America.
"We had planning meetings on exactly how to cross police lines so as to ensure we would get arrested. Then plead guilty and invoke the principle of nonviolent civil disobedience to use our crime against local ordinances to draw attention to the larger crimes perpetrated by US policy in foreign contries.
"I got arrested and pled guilty and went to jail. I did it for penance. I thought it was to do penance for the sins of my country. I was really acting out the unconscious shame that seeped in by growing up in my shame ridden, lie ridden family."
The worst thing was in my family I learned to keep secrets and cover for people without anyone even telling me to do so.
I learned this before I was old enough to talk or think self reflectively.
So I early on learned to make allowances.
People with this kind of background will have a quite difficult time picking up warning signs and doing so early on.
And..very many of us grow up in such backgrounds.
Can tell you that when I attended a geneology/family history workshop, the teacher asked the class how many had discovered family skeletons in the course of their research.
About seventy five to eighty percent raised their hands.
I dont know if this reflects how commonplace it is for families to lie and hide secrets, or if persons from such families are more likely to get involved with geneology workshops.
I can offer another thing I learned the hard way.
We treated my father as if he were a guru. He wasnt a religious figure. But we mythologised my father as a genius, as a Renaissance man, ignoring that he had become rather off kilter.
Dad had been rigorously trained from childhood to be a classical musician, so he was used to having a lot of people see to his needs.
When he faltered at work, a musician friend covered for him.
So this set me up to cover for people and also get entangled with people who
were guru type figures and needed enablers in thier lives.
And, even if one has grown up in a good family, as humans we are highly adaptable to our social surroundings.
Heroes are celebrated precisely because they are rare.