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Discussion » Questions » Human Behavior » Cults do it; ads & con-men do it; some politicians & legit businesses do it. - Do you fall for it, call them on it or walk the other way?

Cults do it; ads & con-men do it; some politicians & legit businesses do it. - Do you fall for it, call them on it or walk the other way?

To "mind****" means to systematically lie with intent to profit, often involving creating the impression that the deceived one will gain some good from it.
The deception is not discovered till its way too late. Some people even die having never realised the lie (eg the Red Barn cult.)

The process of recovery from a mind**** may require professional help, and typically involves intense and disturbing emotion, such as shock, confusion, or fear.
Researchers now say that any ordinary person can be conned in this way; one does not have to be especially gullible or naive because the perpetrators are highly skilled at what they do.

Have you ever had an experience like this? If so, how did you recover?

If you have avoided one or more - how did you recognise the signs?

Did you tell the person (or group) what you honestly thought?

Did you blow the whistle?

Posted - October 20, 2018


  • 5740
    Dear I have had a chance to read your comment and you are writing more about a particular thing where I am thinking more generally.  Though I do share your concern to a point I don't think it wise or even  feasible to police people the ways you are suggesting.  What after all is a "sane and mature" person?  Are we to keep people enslaved until they are able to match our ideals for what those are?   In so doing you deny them their freedom.  Always with freedom we have the choice to enslave ourselves by letting go of that freedom. And it can be to many things besides the kind of groups you suggest.  Can be to our profession, relationships, ideals, our appetites or even our habits.  And people do this all the time.  If you have read my posts on here you know how much I object to the notion that if everybody gets the same information then they will all think the same things and act in the same ways.  Which is what totalitarianism is pure and simple.  At least to my feeling. 

    We naturally seek others to play with, commune with, have fellowship with.  Now we can find even one person we can become friends with and hang with and automatically we can become a unit with our own rules and beliefs and seek to further those by who we choose to allow as friends, what behaviors we approve of in them or disapprove of.  And we may choose to exclude or discipline for any so-called "infractions". So the same process in microcosm.  This is natural.  It is also the way urban street gangs are firmed. 

    We naturally seek to feel good about ourselves and to belong with others who are accepting of us.  And I might add to feel we have some power  to make a difference in our lives. So of course we are going to make choices to such ends.  We will always want and need those things in our lives so they will always be important for us.  And what are we willing to do to get them. 

     I left home after I turned 17 and really never returned for good.  I became a kind of groupie with a band cleaning their house and cooking for them and I guess you could say sexually servicing them. Now that could be seen as a cult but to me it was almost complete freedom!  Because I was brought up to marry some bright young men who was obviously going places and I was despaired of because I was not beautiful. So not being smart or popular either I could only fail in that environment so I sought something else.  And yes I took drugs and alcohol for a number of years.  To what extent is our home environment a "cult" involving the same devices?   While I was not involved with any of the higher profile groups you have listed I was part of communal living situations involving rigid leaders , I was in a relationship with a man much older than myself, and I did become part of a questionable  Christian community.  No doubt much of what I engaged in was harmful but also I was able to learn much from these experiences about people ad what they wanted and expected as well as make a place for myself in them by being generally useful. 

    As soon as we start labeling everyone "victims" then what we are doing is saying they cannot exist successfully without our help.  Thus we are making ourselves, or whatever we deem fitting and proper, necessary for their lives.  Which is the same things your cults are doing.  Being victimized is a part of life but we learn to deal with it and get past it and move on having learned from it.  Because if we are only able to think of ourselves as a "victim" then we are just waiting to be victimized.  So much better psychologically to see ourselves as free agents because then we know we have other options than just being victimized whether that in fact is true or not. As long as we can see we would have had choices then we are able to think of what we could have done to avoid being victimized. 

    I became a Christian and I view God as the source of any freedom we have. Now many people, even on this site and some who correspond with you, do view Christianity as a kind of "cult" as well and other religions the same. Despite the fact they give us hope and help us to be responsible to others.  When we lose our religious faith we tend to put our faith in secular beliefs like "political correctness" which was mostly initially simply good etiquette.  Or we follow a "leader" or cause we think can do it for us, or , worse,  we make ourselves the center of the universe, or simply descend into nothingness. 

    Which is why I believe in personal responsibility - it must all come down to us as individuals how we live out lives and the choices we make.  Otherwise we can be subjugated and decided for without our consent. Is one thing for us to choose slavery, quite another to have it chosen for us. 

      October 22, 2018 7:08 AM MDT

  • 22385
    walk the other way
      October 21, 2018 8:46 AM MDT

  • 2475
    As always, such a sensible response. :)
      October 22, 2018 12:24 AM MDT

  • I would follow my father's philosophy of "audi, vedi, taci", which can be translated as "keep your ears open, your eyes open, and your mouth shut."
    Wise words indeed. 
      February 9, 2019 8:04 PM MST