'Since we people are naturally social creatures I sometimes wonder if some form of cultism (hopefully not destructive in nature) is a natural state.'
I think, in the early years after cult involvement, it is only too easy to see malign cult activity around every corner--since we are still raw from being caught by it and sensitised to be suspicious of being caught again.
It is a process of regaining confidence in your own ability to discriminate, which was previously undermined, and that takes time and a lot of personal examination and sorting out--a good counsellor who understands specific cult issues can be a great help.
That sounds about right to me!
Most therapists who deal with cult survivors agree that the personal cult involvement needs to be addressed first, before getting into the wider social implications and family of origin dynamics that may have contributed to the persons vulnerabilities to cult recruitment.
I think that is a sensible course, as the problems arising are personal and current and those are the one's that you might have some control over and options to change.
I haven't had the benefit of ANY personal counseling along these lines Stoic, but still agree with you that this is a sensible course.
I ponder the same general questions but I know that if I get too involved in the cultic aspects of North Korea or other peoples problems--over which I have no control--it is usually a sign that whatever is bugging me about those things I can't control is really more to do with a personal lack of understanding of something going on in my own life.
I can't do much about North Korea or the many injustices of the world but sometimes the pondering throws some light on my own situation in a way that allows me make some progress.
Finding someone knowlegeable about cult issues to discuss these things with makes the pondering a lot easier as that person can be a bit more directive at keeping the focus on yourself (holding your feet to the fire in the kindest possible way) rather than letting the subject get so wide as to encompass world problems that none of us can have a hope of individually influencing.
As in our other brief exchange this does happen to apply to folks that I have talked to and probably will again sometime. I don't think I will get into any specifics this time.
But it does seem to me that these issues may be over considered without producing much of any good fruit in our own life or others' if it is simply an academic consideration; if we get in over our head so-to-speak.
Of course, for an "academic" getting all "academic" about it might just be right up their alley, so-to-speak. :D
Of course, once you have back your confidence in your own discrimination and a willingness to back that up with critical arguments, you can let rip and be the scourge of North Korea or anything else in the world that you disagree with.
Freedom of thought and speech can be exhilarating, but you really do need to sort the personal stuff first as otherwise it is all too easy to be drawn into the next plausible idealistic idea that presents itself--to your personal detriment once again.
Freedom IS exhilarating!, but it's probably best tempered IMO when it does our self or others some good perhaps.