Book Excerpt from "Captive Hearts, Captive Minds"
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: June 20, 2002 02:40AM

"Cults may be large or small. What defines them is not their size but their behavior. The one-on-one cult is a deliberately manipulative and exploitative intimate relationship between two persons, often involving physical abuse of the subordinate partner. In the one-on-one cult, which we call a cultic relationship, there is a significant power imbalance between the two participants. The stronger uses his (of her) influence to control, manipulate, abuse, and exploit the other. In essence the cultic relationship is a one-on-one version of the larger group. It may even be more intense than participation in a group cult since all the attention and abuse is focused on one person, often with more damaging consequences.

The similarities between cultic devotion and the traumatic bonding that occurs between battered individuals and their abusers are striking. An abused partner is generally made to submit to the following types of behaviors:

early verbal and/or physical dominance,
fear arousal and maintenance
guilt induction
contingent expressions of "love"
enforced loyalty to the aggressor and self-denunciation
promotion of powerlessness and helplessness
pathological expressions of jealousy
hope-instilling behaviors
required secrecy (13)

When psychological coercion and manipulative exploitation have been used in a one-on-one cultic relationship, the person leaving such a relationship faces issues similar to those encountered by someone leaving a cultic group."

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Book Excerpt from "Captive Hearts, Captive Minds"
Posted by: worrywart ()
Date: January 25, 2003 11:51AM

Has anyone else had a spouse or lover who was manipulated in this way? I do/did and find so few people, including the spouse, to understand that these techniques are cultic, not seductive. i.e., even cult counselors cannot really grasp that you can get hooked on a person who does not even really attract you or use overt techniques. Yet it can and does happen. I'm wondering how to know when a person is over it. If guilt does get manipulated and emotions are stifled in such a relationship, shouldn't there be signs that that aspect has reversed? i.e. the spouse is almost indifferent to the pain of first an affair and then the slavish devotion and protectiveness of a victim of a cultic relationship.

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Book Excerpt from "Captive Hearts, Captive Minds"
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: January 25, 2003 11:43PM


It takes a VERY long time to get over these relationships. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to find a therapist for this kind of recovery.

My cult-like relationship was with my therapist, a naturopath (written about in other threads here). The last time I saw him was 10/01 to say goodbye to him when he left for Europe, but he kept in contact with me via phone and email through 6/02. Most of the contact was gut-wrenching because the lies he told me were beginning to be revealed.

It's now 1/03 and I have weeks where I miss what I thought was a true friendship. I had therapy, a lot of which focused on how codependent I was, the therapist's opinion of why I got suckered. However, the more I study and research, and as I get my sense of "old self but even better" back, it had very little to do with codependency.

There is a lot written about responsibility these days, which, if not explained well, can lead "victims" to feel even more guilt for the pain they have caused their spouses and others. Usually, there is a good amount of blame-shifting by the one doing the manipulating, so it's very difficult for the one being controlled.

There is a thread on Tony Robbins here, also. That has some good info. Just keep reading - both of you. Here's a good read


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