‘Deprogramming’ a relative in a cult.

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  #1  
Old 08-20-2019, 07:24 PM
ColdNoMore ColdNoMore is offline
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Default ‘Deprogramming’ a relative in a cult.

A very old friend of mine, is at his wit’s end with his 27 year old granddaughter (her parents are deceased)...who has apparently become deeply involved in a cult.

Since I feel very fortunate that I’ve never personally had this particular problem, all I can do for my friend is to lend a sympathetic ear…and try to do research to see if I can forward any helpful advice to him.

He has said that the most confusing part for him, is that she’s not a drug/alcohol abuser, acts normal and kind in a lot of other ways…but is absolutely closed off and becomes irate to ANY criticism (even factual ones) of her group.

Anyone ever go through this, or know someone who did, and if so how did you/they handle it…and was it successful?

This particular link seems to cover a lot of the same issues and problems...that he’s described to me.

Cults (Poke Here)

Quote:

How Cults Manipulate People

Many people now agree that cults frequently psychologically manipulate their membership to ensure conformity and control. Steve Hassan's excellent book "Combating Cult Mind-Control" is a great starting point. The following points come from numerous sources. Not all of these are found in every cult but enough of them are found in most cults to make them very frightening places that inflict deep psychological damage on their membership.

1. Submission to Leadership - Leaders tend to be absolute, prophets of God, God Himself, specially anointed apostle, or just a strong, controlling, manipulative person who demands submission even if changes or conflicts occur in ideology or behavior.

2. Polarized World View - The group is all that is good; everything outside is bad.

3. Feeling Over Thought - Emotions, intuitions, mystical insights are promoted as more important than rational conclusions.

4. Manipulation of Feelings - Techniques designed to stimulate emotions, usually employing group dynamics to influence responses.

5. Denigration of Critical Thinking - Can go so far as to characterize any independent thought as selfish, and rational use of intellect as evil.

6. Salvation or Fulfillment can only be realized in the group.

7. End Justifies the Means - Any action or behavior is justifiable as long as it furthers the group's goals. The group (leader) becomes absolute truth and is above all man-made laws.

8. Group Over Individual - The group's concerns supersede an individual's goals, needs, aspirations, and concerns. Conformity is the key.
  #2  
Old 08-20-2019, 07:30 PM
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There are folks who specialize in deprogramming, or there used to be. Some research may locate one. Sometimes the deprogrammers are former cult members. It is an extremely difficult procedure. Care must be taken about legal issues. It is tricky and does not always work.
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2019, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColdNoMore View Post
A very old friend of mine, is at his wit’s end with his 27 year old granddaughter (her parents are deceased)...who has apparently become deeply involved in a cult.

Since I feel very fortunate that I’ve never personally had this particular problem, all I can do for my friend is to lend a sympathetic ear…and try to do research to see if I can forward any helpful advice to him.

He has said that the most confusing part for him, is that she’s not a drug/alcohol abuser, acts normal and kind in a lot of other ways…but is absolutely closed off and becomes irate to ANY criticism (even factual ones) of her group.

Anyone ever go through this, or know someone who did, and if so how did you/they handle it…and was it successful?

This particular link seems to cover a lot of the same issues and problems...that he’s described to me.

Cults (Poke Here)
I had a professor that seemed to specialize in the study of cults. This was while I was at the University of Nevada, Reno.

One thing. They are not all the same. What might help your friend's granddaughter might vary from the kind of cult involved.

Content Pages of the Encyclopedia of Religion and Social Science

Last edited by Taltarzac725; 08-21-2019 at 03:37 PM.
  #4  
Old 08-20-2019, 10:38 PM
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Does the granddaughter live with your friend, her grandfather?
In what type of cult is she involved?
I'm not knowledgable regarding any type of cult, however, I would think for her to be reprogrammed, she would have to be somewhat receptive.
If the cult is "dangerous" could it be reported to authorities?
Is she so far gone that he could have her Baker Acted?

That situation is really so sad. Your friend really needs to speak with a professional.
Is there some kind of mental health facility or hospital near him where he could go speak with someone for advice?
  #5  
Old 08-21-2019, 02:39 AM
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Very difficult question. First at 27 she is going to have to be receptive to the idea of deprogramming and I expect that is not going to be easy.

Second is the question of what is the "cult"... not everyone would agree on that I am sure.

In the case of a minor it would be easier, but still have legal issues.
  #6  
Old 08-21-2019, 07:09 AM
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Last edited by graciegirl; 08-21-2019 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:49 AM
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Before we go too far down the road of "Baker Act" lets not forget that the person is a 27 year old, an adult, and has the right to her own beliefs.

Quote:
Many people look on Christianity as a cult.
Exactly, I am an atheist and my brother has a ThD and is a retired Southern Baptist minister (we have some interesting conversations). I disagree with those who say Christianity is a cult. However, there are cults who claim to be Christians.

I do think that a disinterested and qualified 3rd party would have to make a determination if a person is a threat to themselves or others before considering actions taken against their will.

Let's not forget the Parents and pastor of the teen that beat him to death trying to get him to denounce the devil, just a few years ago.
  #8  
Old 08-21-2019, 07:52 AM
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2019, 07:53 AM
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For those offering what appears as heart-felt suggestions, to a very disconcerting problem for my buddy...I thank you.

For the usual suspects, looking to get yet another thread they don't like closed...
  #10  
Old 08-21-2019, 08:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ColdNoMore View Post
For those offering what appears as heart-felt suggestions, to a very disconcerting problem for my buddy...I thank you.

For the usual suspects, looking to get yet another thread they don't like closed...
Hope you hang in there. I had met an attractive black man hanging out outside the Humanities Building on the University of Nevada, Reno. He was very friendly and I was about 22 or so. Or even younger. We got to talking and he told me about a group of his friends who had an apartment near by who liked to talk about Philosophy.

So I went that afternoon to check it out. He had handed me a card that said Unification Church or something like that with the address.

Turned out they were the Moonies and he was the Chapter Head for Northern Nevada.

Some man at the apartment laid out the Moonies plan of uniting the races by interracial-marriages. Arranged marriages with the aim of procreation primarily and not romance.

I poked holes through the plan the best I could but still got invites from the black man for the Weekend Retreat and they had started phoning my parents with very insulting phone calls about my parents corrupting the youth. I finally picked up one of these calls and used language a sailor would be proud of.

These weekend retreats were where the Unification church brain washes people. A lot involved separating the target from his or her care givings or parents and friends.

I did talk in private through an essay about these experiences with that Sociology of Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. He had wanted me to give a speech about it in front of the class but I said no feeling very uncomfortable about the whole experience. It only lasted about ten days if that. And just a couple of visits by me to this apartment near UNR as there was a very cute girl I was attracted to and the black man also played on that as much as he could. "She is going to be there...."

These "cults" do seem to target those they see as vulnerable. All the lonely people.... Jerome (the black man/Northern Nevada Unification Church Chapter head ) could tell that I was a man with few friends and he played on that for all it was worth.

Last edited by Taltarzac725; 08-21-2019 at 08:50 AM.
  #11  
Old 08-21-2019, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ColdNoMore View Post
There's no question about that, as bullies and nasty people...have never bothered me.
Does look the Unification Church is more established in certain countries like South Korea. Probably would not be a "cult" there.

I did look up that man-- Jerome-- on Facebook and he got out of that world which was good for him.

There are different cults though and some can be extremely dangerous to get involved with in any way.

Last edited by Taltarzac725; 08-21-2019 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:42 AM
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Not sure how the topic got switched to or at least zeroed in on religion.

This topic is discussed more and more every day in this country as folks try to hide from reality. Religion sometimes is used as a phoney crutch but further investigation would reveal it is a sham. NO religion condones much of any cult action. It has been used as an attraction but certainly not limited to that aspect of life.

I read a book on the Jonestown debacle and all the criteria listed fit.
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Old 08-21-2019, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bucco View Post
Not sure how the topic got switched to or at least zeroed in on religion.

This topic is discussed more and more every day in this country as folks try to hide from reality. Religion sometimes is used as a phoney crutch but further investigation would reveal it is a sham. NO religion condones much of any cult action. It has been used as an attraction but certainly not limited to that aspect of life.

I read a book on the Jonestown debacle and all the criteria listed fit.

Exactly.

I've purposely avoided speaking of specifics as to what type of cult she is in...as there are many, many types.

What almost ALL cults have in common however, are most of the items listed in the first post, so reviewing them...might be a good thing.

Combined with the fact that anyone in any type of cult are most likely to both deny any facts and vigorously defend it, until such time (as someone mentioned previously)...THEY have chosen to recognize/listen to the truth and want to change.

This is more of a quest of HOW to convince someone who has, in essence, become brainwashed...finally admit that to themselves.

When facts, proof, similar examples and the truth don't seem to make much difference, because it's primarily a 'gut' feeling (and/or bias) of the affected...where does one go from there?

After all, the willingness and courage to stand up and admit one is/was wrong, is a trait that is rarer than it should be...and only the strongest among us seem to be able to do.

My buddy is primarily looking for that opening, regardless of how small...that will begin to get through to his beloved granddaughter.

  #14  
Old 08-21-2019, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ColdNoMore View Post

Exactly.

I've purposely avoided speaking of specifics as to what type of cult she is in...as there are many, many types.

What almost ALL cults have in common however, are most of the items listed in the first post, so reviewing them...might be a good thing.

Combined with the fact that anyone in any type of cult are most likely to both deny any facts and vigorously defend it, until such time (as someone mentioned previously)...THEY have chosen to recognize/listen to the truth and want to change.

This is more of a quest of HOW to convince someone who has, in essence, become brainwashed...finally admit that to themselves.

When facts, proof, similar examples and the truth don't seem to make much difference, because it's primarily a 'gut' feeling (and/or bias) of the affected...where does one go from there?

After all, the willingness and courage to stand up and admit one is/was wrong, is a trait that is rarer than it should be...and only the strongest among us seem to be able to do.

My buddy is primarily looking for that opening, regardless of how small...that will begin to get through to his beloved granddaughter.

Is there a boyfriend or girlfriend involved? This may be key to changing your friend's granddaughter's mind. If the BF or GF pulled her into the cult that might be a lot harder if she has a BF GF that can pull her out of it.

They used a lot of sexual politics those two afternoons to try to get me to commit more.

It is often the social misfits who get pulled into some of these cults. Depends though at what stage the cult is at. Some get very established and sophisticated.
  #15  
Old 08-21-2019, 12:35 PM
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Emily St. John Mandel's novel Station Eleven goes a lot into cult like thinking. It is set partially in the US after a flu wipes out most people in the world and leaves some towns to cults that develop because of the lack of law and order. There is a travelling group of actors and musicians who travel through some of these towns. They are a big part of the novel.

It might be a good read for this friend's granddaughter. It was a National Book Award finalist around 2014.


Also very well written and thoughtful about just about everything. Is one of the really deep books you find once in a great while.

Last edited by Taltarzac725; 08-21-2019 at 12:50 PM.
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