Re: Group dynamics of ex-cult members after leaving a cult?
Date: August 24, 2010 02:31AM
I'll give it a try Stoic. Saturday I had my bored seven-year-old hanging on me.
The small cult I represents a very intense period of time in my life. I'll just talk about some of the next younger generation from mine for right now.
My entire time in my little cult was marked by me being labeled as some kind of monster by my former cult leader. ("jeffsjo" and a "google search" is all anyone needs to find my profile and "my story" at the aforementioned web-site)
Since I've been out I've come to realize better how deeply what most folks consider brainwashing can run because of my attempts to talk to people. Even though my former cult leader was outed as a sexual predator after I got kicked out I am still considered the bad guy, or nonspiritual, or called bitter, or just ignored like the proverbial hot potato by my former acquaintances.
The younger generation is for the most part being led buy this guy's oldest son. He controls their opinions, and lobbies support and consensus from them in almost exactly the same manner he saw his dad play them. (I actually believe that his sociopath dad TAUGHT HIM how to do it.)And while we talked it was eerie to me how he used EXACTLY the same words his dad used to keep me in line, playing upon the facts that I have no goal of running any such group (like they do) and generally desire to help, with a heavy dose of the same scoffing his dad used to manipulate everybody's opinions when we considered him the apostle, and some still do consider him to be.
I feel for these kids because even though this guy's son directs them as his dad did he seems outwardly to be leading them to an entirely different place. And I believe because they have never, ever know another kind of authority than the kind this kid offers them that the chances of them seeing through this con-job is pretty minuscule.
It seems to me that as long as these kids and my peers remain uncommunicative and believe the things about me that they have been led to believe ( ie..anti-Christ, false prophet, pervert, bitter, nonspiritual, outdated, dinosaur: just to name a few) that my chances of helping them are at best virtually nonexistent.
I hope that maybe someday that they may just say, "Remember what Jeff said? I guess he was right about how badly we were conned and lied to by the bastards!" But in the mean time it appears that they have been successfully programmed (socialized) into rejecting me and that wall at present seems insurmountable for me to get through......sigh.
And otherwise, I do believe that after a long period of time being taught how to exist in a cult it may be that when culties get together they may be vulnerable to another cult leader, especially if he/she knows the verbal cues and mannerism that had them snookered in the first place. Just as a victim of domestic abuse may tend to get into one abusive relationship after another. Except in my experience a group think that several families have in common can be even tough to break and/or redirect than one person prone to picking the wrong mate.
And even if they happen to not be prone to another cult leader IMO it may well be that the cliques they develop will often resemble some of their cult lifestyle when it comes to how they organize and function among themselves. But this is not the worst case scenario that getting into another cult is, but can be plenty annoying to hear them respond to the same group prodding and probably stifling to their personal development IMO.
I'll be back later.