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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: September 14, 2003 07:42AM

The popular reasons given by psychologists about why people stay in abusive or controlling relationships are denial, fear of being alone, financial, religious views on divorce, unresolved childhood issues and codependency. While these may all be valid reasons, is there not some element of mind control?

Folks like Oprah and Dr. Phil seem to have their favorite question that starts with "Why do you choose to...? Another board I visit always asks newcomers, who are so confused and torn about what to do, why do you choose, and then do the codependency lecture. Several women I've corresponded with have been in therapy, looked at all those issues, but cannot articulate the reasons they stay.

When I was looking for therapists familiar with cults, a NJ team validated my gut feelings when they wrote about how one must look at the dynamics of the cult-like relationship and THEN look at any childhood issues - that childhood issues are only a part of it all. My therapy post LGAT and ND failed to really help resolve things I couldn't even explain, but I found out much later on that the ND had used LGAT technology for a long time. Most therapists know little about cult-like relationships and techniques.

Isn't a controlling relationship similar to being in a cult?

Anyone have any references or info on the above? Thanks.

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: LET31257 ()
Date: September 19, 2003 12:41PM

Here's a good article about how a controlling person thinks.
[www.earley.org]

Hope you find it interesting
Larry

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: September 22, 2003 06:25AM

Hi Larry,

That's a great article. I'm also looking for info on how the person being controlled thinks. Much of what is discussed in therapy and on support forums is "what was the "victim's" responsibility," and the conversation generally focuses on analyzing the victim's childhood. While some interest is directed at the abuser's past, it is minimal at best.

I've come to realize that not only are feelings stuffed out of fear, but other feelings like grief are put aside because there is no opportunity to grieve. This happened in my abusive therapist-client relationship, and I'm sure it happens in intimate relatinships. Two years after my doc left the country, I'm beginning to grieve the three deaths that happened while under his care. This was starting to come out in recovery therapy, but was viewed as depression over the loss of the relationship.

Any resources on this would be appreciated.

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: LET31257 ()
Date: September 23, 2003 04:49AM

Hi Hope
I got this off of a web site. It's short, but to the point.

"There are three main reasons why people join cults. The first reason is that they are having problems at home and feel if they seek a new family that understands them they will be happy. The second reason is that some people have no where to go in life and need someone to guide them .The third reason why people join cults is that they have low self-esteem. They have no confidence within themselves."

I don't know if this answers your question, but all three reasons apply to me and yes there was a lot of mind control. I guess reason #2 (from the article) is what attracted me to the cult to begin with. I didn't have to think for myself, that others would look out and care for me. My former pastor (cult leader) was self assured and very persuasive. Even though a Christian relies on Christ for the answers to life's questions, I looked to the pastor as my role model who would think for me and guide me along the way. It's the easy way out as far as I'm concerned. The fear of being cast out into the world that the cult condemned and also being deprived of my social safety net kept me in the cult as long as it did. It was when I started to think for myself and take control of my life that I made progress.

Larry

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: LET31257 ()
Date: September 23, 2003 11:15AM

Hello Hope
Here's a good link (on this web site) pertaining to all the problems ex-cult members can encounter during recovery. I'm still in the process of recovery and sorting things out. I went through the whole range of emotions from grief, anger, depression, emptyness, etc. It felt like a divorce to me.
[www.culteducation.com]

Hope that helps
Larry

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: September 23, 2003 11:31PM

My apologies for not being clear. I'm trying to find info on personal relationships, i.e. abusive spouses or significant others. Do these relationships have the same mind control issues that cults have? Most info out there pertains to the "victim" being codependent, but I think that by stating that, it stops any further thought or conversation about other issues that might be missed.

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: LET31257 ()
Date: October 09, 2003 11:07AM

Here's a quote I got from something I picked up at a ex-cult site relating a cult experience to a bad personnal relationship.

"Another way to look at this is through the eyes of a long suffering, battered woman—she got that way most likely because her expectation of love in a marriage was confused by attempting to perform for a husband who can be charming, but has an anger disorder. Battered women remain in abusive relationships due to confused dependence. Confused people have difficulties making clear decisions. Once a compliant subject has merged into the manipulative field of influence, it is difficult for the subject to exit on out-group terms—he or she no longer has psychological, and perhaps physical, control over the terms of exit, and exit could mean hell, more abuse, insanity or death."

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: Professing ()
Date: October 13, 2003 01:51AM


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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: Raina ()
Date: July 11, 2004 05:31PM

Quote
Hope
My apologies for not being clear. I'm trying to find info on personal relationships, i.e. abusive spouses or significant others. Do these relationships have the same mind control issues that cults have? Most info out there pertains to the "victim" being codependent, but I think that by stating that, it stops any further thought or conversation about other issues that might be missed.

Because of the way I was reared, I was completely set up to marry an abusive spouse. In my childhood home, I was not allowed to express or to even have thoughts that were either different from or displeasing to my parents. Even to express a need was met with a back-hand across the mouth from Mother, and to be in any way in variance with her, whether real or in her imagination, was met with a belt which left bloody welts upon my back and buttocks. She was completely devoid of the ability to show genuine affection, and any affection demonstrated, which happened rarely, was with an agenda. We children were also not allowed to have personal property: my dolls were burned while she laughed, my clothes given away without my input, my belongings were abused by her in her many temper tantrums, and my bikes sold upon her whim with her taking the money.

Women from such homes rarely have healthy relationships, expecially because the are rarely healthy when coming out of such homes. While I married a wonderful man, my first husband soon learned that I could not express opinions; rather, they remained pent up. I would smile and go on about my business while inside, I seethed with anger. I also could not express needs until I had gotten to the point at which I was a weeping pile upon the floor, because I needed a certain clothing item. Whenever anyone was nice, I was suspicious and unable to return their affection. I had no appreciation of ownership and did not recognize, understand, or appreciate ownership of anything. The house we bought was never mine: I saw it as his and I was just living there.

After he was killed, I realized, to a point, that I had major deficits as a human being and determined not to marry again until I felt like these things were solved or not to remarry at all. Over the next ten years, remaining single, I worked on them. I did very well, except that in learning to have opinions, I became aggressive instead of assertive. Also negatively, I began to see my personal value in ownership -- in things -- oddly, not in large items but in stuff I bought at used goods stores, because I did not feel worthy of new things. I still have trouble with friendships, not allowing people to get close enough that the relationship may make demands upon me. However, I was so much better than I used to be that I did remarry.

After that, I would sabbotage my husband, everytime he talked of buying a house: I just could not handle it. Three years ago, I finally quit the fight, we bought the house, and I am just now starting to think of it as mine.

Abusive parents seem oblivious to the far-reaching damages of abuse and how they effect the child for life. We live in a continuous fight against those effects, with constant reminders, until we die. While neither husband has been abusive, we tend to marry men who are very narcissistic. My first husband died before this developed into a full-blown problem, and my present husband is working on it. Fortunately for us, he is a Christian and has read the idea in the Bible that a husband will lay down his life for his wife, taking it seriously. If he did not, we would have divorced long ago, because of the narcissistic tendencies that remain. (When a man is working that hard on keeping me happy, a woman can take some of these things, let them go, and move on -- especially when I know my own prevailing imperfections.)

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Mind Control and Abusive Relationships
Posted by: bonnie ()
Date: July 20, 2005 12:27PM

There's a really interesting, (albeit esoteric and controversial), book that I like to refer to called [b:e2f4be0442]"People of the Lie"[/b:e2f4be0442], by M. Scott (?) Peck, the guy who also wrote "The Road Less Traveled". [b:e2f4be0442]It's about evil[/b:e2f4be0442].

There are a number of points in it I will relate here:

1. People who are raised by "evil", or narcissistic, parents may lose the natural ability to recognize it in others when they encounter it outside of their family.

2. "Evil", or narcissistic, people often gravitate towards, immerse themselves in, and hide behind religious groups and organizations in order to preserve their self-image of perfection.

I will take it one step further; I think evil people use the facade of religion to disarm potential victims. This is not a novel idea, and I don't claim to have invented it.

It's not true that I went looking for a new family when I encountered my particular cults. But when I did become involved with them, they felt very comfortable. I was Home. Boy, was I wrong!

Sound familiar?

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