Re: Help - social isolation after leaving a cult
Date: March 13, 2011 09:47PM
Starting to see just how similar all these groups really are was a TURNING POINT for me. When I saw this, I began to see through SGI's manipulations.
Cults really do a lot of the same things -- whether they are Buddhist, Islamic, Christian, New-Age, Pagan, or even secular psychotherapy cults. Isolating members from friends and family is very common. Sometimes it's very blatant -- members living together in an isolated compound. Other times, it's more subtle. The leaders keep you so busy with group activities -- after awhile most of your friends are group members. They're the only ones you have time to see regularly.
This video "How to Become a Cult Leader," is a good satire, funny but true. (Thanks to Mark Rogow, on www.fraughtwithperil.com, the kempon hokke blog for posting the link.)
--A charismatic leader who has some special truth that other religious leaders don't.
--The group has some special mission that sets it apart from other relgious groups.
--If you leave the group, your life is going to be a mess.
--Doubts about the group are always signs of weakness, arrogance, lack of faith -- some fault in you, rather than legitimate questions about the group's actions or teachings. If you disagree with anything that the group does or says, you are always wrong.
--You can heal illnesses, anxiety and depression by just being more devoted to the group and its teachings.
--Members are encouraged to reinterpret things that happened to them...to look at their lives before the group as all negative, and to look at their lives in the group as wonderful.
--Members are encouraged to think that anything good that has happened to you since you joined the group is because of the group -- and you should be very grateful to the group!
Read about different groups on this website, and you will see -- it's just so predictable what these groups say and do. It's like the group leaders all took the same course! On the "Cults, Sects and New Religious Movements" board on this website, I've found the threads on Ole Nydahl's Diamond Way Buddhism and Byron Katie, who does these groups to get people to distort their thinking -- she calls it therapy but it's anything but--- interesting. The dynamics are very similar to my old group.
Starting to see just how similar all these groups really are was a turning point for me. When I saw this, I began to see through SGI's manipulations.