book by cult expert Rick Ross – CULTS INSIDE OUT

—> Home – CULTS INSIDE OUT

Haven’t read his book yet. He just emailed me of it today in response to an email I sent him. I met Rick Ross in Texas many years ago on a case he worked on involving a family’s loved one in ACMTC. He came with a literal trunk load of books, of research—obviously prior to the advent of laptops! He may be more knowledgable than anyone on the subject of cults. I’m purchasing his book on my Kindle.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.27.25 AMget it from Amazon

Rick’s website: http://culteducation.com

15 Narcissistic Religious Abuse Tactics | The Exhausted Woman

Here’s an excellent read from Psych Central. SPOT ON! Thank you Christine Hammond.

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Cult basics: Characteristics of cults.

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Following is a list of social, psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns that are common within cult settings. This list was developed by  Michael Landgone, Ph.D., a counseling psychologist, and ICSA’s Executive Director. Thank you Dr. Landgone.

1. The cultic group displays an excessive, zealous, unquestioning commitment to its leader, and regards his or her beliefs and practices to be the truth, the law, the way.

2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged, and sometimes punished.

3. Mind-altering practices (e.g., meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

4. The leader(s) dictate, sometimes to great detail, what and how members should think, act and feel.

5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, superior, or exalted status. They’re on a mission to save something, the world maybe.

6. Cultic groups have an “us-vs-them” mentality.

7. The leader is accountable to no one, to no human, to no governing authority.

8. The leaders teach—or imply by their actions—that the “noble end” justifies the means—whatever it takes for their truth to prevail (e.g. falsifying, lying, deceit).

9. The leadership creates feelings of shame and guilt in its members in order to manipulate and control them.

10. Subservience to the leader(s) often leads to cutting family ties, ties with friends, teachers, and to putting personal dreams or goals aside to become one of them, one of the elite.

11. The group is preoccupied with recruiting new members, or making more money.

12. Members give inordinate amounts of time to serving the group, the group’s god, or attending group-activities.

13. Members are encouraged or required to live with or to socialize with only group members. A lot of group members believe that there is no other way, there is no life outside the group. Mostly they’re afraid for themselves or for others on the inside if they should leave, or even think of leaving.

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Leaving the Fold

An outstanding book for anyone questioning or leaving their faith.

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This book by psychologist Marlene Winell provides valuable insights into the dangers of religious indoctrination and outlines what therapists and victims can do to reclaim a healthier human spirit…. Both former believers searching for a new beginning and those just starting to subject their faith to the requirements of simple common sense, if not analytical reason, may find valuable assistance in these pages.”

Steve Allen, author and entertainer

regarding narcissism

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It’s amusing to me how this woman, Lila, AKA Deborah Green, self-proclaimed “Prophet of God,” and “General of His end-day army,” calls ME a narcissist.

To understand Narcissism, let’s look up NPD, or Narcissistic Personality Disorder. The Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD, 301.81) is described as a mental disorder with a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, a need for admiration or adulation, and a lack of empathy for others.

Five or more of the following criteria must be met for diagnosis. Quotes are from Dr. Sam Vaknin’s, Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited.

1. Feels grandiose and self-important.

The narcissist is prone to magical thinking. He thinks about himself in terms of ‘being chosen’… . He believes that his life is of such momentous importance, that it is micro-managed by God. Narcissism and religion go well together, because religion allows the narcissist to feel unique. God is everything the narcissist ever wants to be: omniscient, omnipresent, admired… .

2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance.

The narcissist is haunted by the feeling that he is possessed of a mission, of a destiny, that he is a part of fate, of history. He is convinced that his uniqueness is purposeful, that he is meant to lead, chart new ways, to reform… . He feels part of a grand design, a world plan and the fame of affiliation, the group of which he is a member [or leader], must be commensurate grand.

3. Is firmly convinced that he or she is special, and can only be understood by, or associate with, other special or high status people.

4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation.

A common error is to think that ‘narcissistic supply’ consists only of admiration, adulation and positive feedback. Actually, being feared, or derided is also supply. The main element is ATTENTION.

He feeds off other people, who hurl back at him the image that he projects to them. This is their [ the other people’s] sole function in his world: to reflect, to admire, to applaud, to detest… .” In short, the group must magnify the narcissist, echo and amplify his life, his views, his history… .”

5. Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment.

“He considers his very existence as sufficiently nourishing and sustaining [of others]. He feels entitled to the best others can offer without investing in maintaining relationships or in catering to the well-being of his “suppliers.”

6. Is interpersonally exploitative; uses others to achieve his or her own ends;

He will not hesitate to put other people’s lives at risk. He will preserve his sense of infallibility in the face of his mistakes and misjudgments by distorting the facts, by evoking mitigating or attenuating circumstances, by repressing memories, or simply lying.”

7. Is devoid of empathy.

“… the narcissist does not care. Unable to empathize, he does not fully experience the outcome of his deeds and decisions. For him humans are dispensable, rechargeable, reusable. They are there to fulfill a function: to supply him with Narcissistic Supply (adoration, admiration, approval, affirmation, etc.). They [other people] have no existence apart from carrying out their duty.

8. Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her.

9. Have arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.

That which has cosmic implications calls for cosmic reactions. A person with an inflated sense of self-importance, reacts in an exaggerated manner to threats, greatly inflated by his imagination and by the application of his personal myth. Narcissists live in a state of constant rage, repressed aggression, envy and hatred. As a result, they are paranoid, suspicious, scared and erratic.”

NPD is a pernicious, vile and tortuous disease, which affects not only the narcissist. It affects and forever changes people who are in daily contact with the narcissist.”

“Sooner, or later, everyone around the narcissist is bound to become his victim. People are sucked, voluntarily or involuntarily, into the turbulence that constitutes his life, into the black hole that is his personality, into the whirlwind which makes up his interpersonal relationships. Different people are hurt by different aspects of the narcissist’s life and psychological make-up. Some trust him and rely on him, only to be bitterly disappointed. Others love him and discover that he cannot reciprocate. Yet others are forced to live vicariously, through him.”

Sources: (click on links below to learn more)

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Malignant Self Love: the narcissist bible. 

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Freedom of Mind: book

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Another book by Steven HassanAvailable through Amazon Prime:

Screen Shot 2014-12-12 at 11.24.07 AMJust now purchased this on my kindle (along with a lot of other books). If it’s anything like another book of Hassan’s I’ve read, Releasing the Bonds, then it’s going to be good.

 

isolation and disconnection from family

Many cults expressly forbid its members from being in contact with friends and family outside the fold. The most widely-known example is the Church of Scientology’s Disconnection Policy where members are forced to sever ties with anyone the church deems antagonistic or an enemy.  This is enforced to reduce the threat of its members encountering dissenting opinions against their faith and the organization.

WCG (Worldwide Church of God) had similar policies during the height of its power. Church members who left the fold were seen as “doomed to the Lake of Fire” for “knowing the truth but rejecting it.” Ex-members were seen as irredeemable and therefore their friends and family in the church were instructed to shun them.

PCG (Philadelphia Church of God) has an active “no contact” policy, where any friends, family members and especially those in other COG cults are seen as interlopers and bad influences. The followers of Gerald Flurry are infamous for falling silent after joining PCG and often are not heard from again for years.

This is a sword that cuts two ways, as PCG’s intolerance of “Satanic influences,” meaning outsiders, often leads to witch hunts against perceived dissenters.

These policies cause cults to remain small, isolated and intolerant communities with members disconnected from their external support networks.”

http://silenced.co/2012/01/cultspotting-6-is-your-church-isolationist/

 

understanding mind control

I got a lot out of this book—Releasing the Bonds: Empowering People to Think for Themselves, by a leading cult counselor, Steve Hassan.

Below are Hassen’s outlines delineating his BITE model which evolved out of Leon Festinger’s theory of  cognitive dissonance. As an ex-cult member, I whole-heartedly appreciate Hassan for his research, his publications, his talks—-all his work that helps us to understand how mind control works. We’d do well to teach our kids about this subject—to give them this tool of awareness. Someday they may need it.

IMG_5141IMG_5149 IMG_5157 IMG_5163 IMG_5165Yes, I mark my books up a lot. It’s how I learn. And yes, EVERY category of this model–behavior Control, Information Control, Thought Control and Emotional Control—are true of the cult I came out of, true of ACMTC, and what’s highlighted with red pencil is particularly spot on!

Thank you Steven Hassan for this great tool for understanding!

a typical day in ACMTC (1980’s)

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The alarm sounds at 4:50 AM, which leaves me 10 minutes to use the bathroom, wake up Nate, don my khaki uniform, and run a brush through my tangled hair before tightening it into a bun. I rebuke the voice in my head that curses the early rising, because I know where it comes from.

“Get behind me Satan, in the name of Jesus Christ!”

Everyone in the camp is inside the sanctuary by 5 AM. No one’s ever late, and we meet seven days a week. This morning we stand at ease with our legs apart and our hands folded behind our backs. The air feels heavy. General Lila’s behind the pulpit.

“God’s bringing us into a new dispensation, and there’s going to be so much for us to do that we’ll have no time for sleep… .”

The sanctuary’s quiet. God’s word is in the air, we can all feel it in our bones.

“I say unto thee this day my children that I the Lord thy God am thy Father. I say unto thee this day that it is I the Lord God who bore thee unto myself, and I say that I bore thee to be a great people unto me… .”

Her prophecies are often long and redundant and I lose her sometimes, and I struggle to grab ahold of the usual flurry of their wrath. Even God’s exhortations sometimes sound mad.

 “I say unto this day my children, weary not, for I the Lord thy God shall sustain thee, I say that I the Lord god shall give thee rest, that ye shall find thy rest in Me… .”  

The meeting’s over at 6:15 and we all return to our respective barracks to get ready for our day. I hardly ever see Steve anymore. He’s always over at the Citadel with the Greens. At 7 AM everyone goes to mess hall for breakfast. Steve doesn’t even eat with me and the children anymore. He sits with the Generals.

On Mondays I watch the camp children, ages 6 and under, mine and everyone else’s. Today’s Tuesday and I travel up HWY 50 to where I single-handedly man our one-man Art Shop in the beautiful little mountain town of Placerville. It’s a lovely scenic drive up there, about 45 minutes from Sacramento, and I love it. It’s like a get-away.

Sometimes Nate’s allowed to go with me and we hang out together in the shop working. I love it when that happens. Today he goes with me, and at lunch time we put a sign on the door saying, “back in a few minutes,” and we sneak off and we get a frozen yogurt across the street, and then we come right back, eating our yogurt along the way. Nobody will see us. This is Placerville.

Driving home we practice our multiplication tables. I’m teaching him, and he’s reminding me.

Steve and I pulled our children out of public schools when the Greens said we had to, and now they’re schooled for about 3 hours a day, about 3 or 4 days a week by Alberto who dropped out of University his sophomore year to come join us at Fort Freedom. The kids spend more time working at the Art Shops than they do in classroom.

Quite honestly, General Deborah intimidates me. I avoid getting too near her, especially if it’s just me and her. I honor her, but only because I’m afraid not to, if that makes any sense. She’s never shown any liking for me, not as she does for some of the younger women, the ones who don’t question, the ones with more zeal. But Steve is mesmerized by her.

Honestly, it feels awfully sick, this relationship between her and him. He’s enamored by General Lila, and it doesn’t settle well with me.  To me it’s obvious, not only that he’s attracted to her, but that she really likes his attention.

“I rebuke my thoughts in the name of Christ. Get behind me Satan!”

Right now my head’s buried in the sand. It has been for some time. I feel no joy in life anymore, and I don’t see happy faces on my children. I rarely do parenting right, according to General Lila and Steve. I’m too “sympathetic, I’m not spanking them hard enough,  we’re raising soldiers here, not sissies, and God’s not a God of emotion and sentimentality!”

I’m ordered to pull Simon’s pants down and beat him with a leather belt if he misbehaves in a meeting, i.e. if he shuffles around in his chair too much. Children are to be seen, not heard. They sit for hours a day in cold metal chairs, no books, no paper or pencil or color crayons to occupy their minds. They are supposed to be little soldiers.

Before Lilly and Simon were potty trained, Steve made me beat them on their bare butts with one of his leather belts whenever they pooped their pants. General Lila claims her two kids were both potty trained by age 6 months.

I’m so sorry God’s like this. He’s a God of love, but His love is so far above our own understanding of love. As mere mortals we can’t understand the depth of God’s love. A verse from Psalms resounds over and over in my head, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

I’ve no one to talk to about this, about my fears, my doubts. Not even Iantha. Dear, sweet Iantha—given away in marriage at age 17, and afterwards sent off with her husband Mike to Malawi Africa.

When we first moved to Sacramento to join with the Greens, Iantha and I stood up together against a decision Steve and Jim made regarding her. We held hands, and we walked up to Steve who stood next to Jim, and I said, “no, you’re not going to do this my daughter.” But they did anyway.

I can’t just pick up one of the phones around here and call someone. Who could I call? My mom? I was ordered to have nothing to do with her or my dad years ago, in the beginning, even before I was made to throw my wedding ring down the gutter.

Honestly, I’m miserable inside. If only I hadn’t answered all those letters we received from Jim and Lila years back, the one’s that came in envelopes with teepees and buffaloes drawn on them. Steve never picked up pen nor pencil to reply to Jim or Lila. I’m the one who responded. I’m the one who kept the communication open.

I’m not me anymore. My children are not themselves either, and they’re not mine. We’ve control over nothing. Everything we do, we do by command of Generals Jim or Lila Green.

I try really hard to believe, but doubt is an evil stronghold in my life, that’s what Steve says. It’s hard to believe things that don’t feel right to me, things that make no common sense, or go against my mother’s heart. I feel helpless to protect my own children.

We listen to no radio, no television, and we read no newspapers. Everything we hear comes from within Fort Freedom. The world is evil, and we renounce it. Everything we do we do together. We eat together, work together, worship together, fight demons together. We talk alike, we look alike, we wear the same clothes, we eat the same foods, and we don’t even choose what it is that we eat. We’ve no friends, no family outside of ACMTC. Our old family, our old friends—they’re not elected by God. We are. We’re his chosen. It’s supposed to be a blessing, but it feels like a curse.

Nate and I are  home from Placerville at 5:30, and our evening meeting starts at 6:00 PM. I’ve just enough time to greet my younger children, take a shower, and throw a load of clothes in the wash.

Tonight’s meeting only lasts an hour. Sometimes it can go on for two or more. I’ve time to throw clothes in the dryer and tidy things up a bit before mess hall at 7:30.

After mess hall General Jim asks me to answer some camp mail, and I do so, but he doesn’t like the way I address the envelopes, and he tells me to do it over again. “Too close to the bottom.” he says. “The address should go straight dead in the center.” I feel stupid. I’ve addressed envelopes all my life.

It’s 9:30PM, my children are tucked in bed, but I can’t go to bed yet. Who am I to go to bed before my husband, before Captain Schmierer? I fold laundry, I iron our uniforms—our khakis, our camouflages, our greens, our red T shirts, our black and white art shop attire.

By eleven o’clock Steve’s back from the Citadel and he climbs into our sleeping bag on the floor. We don’t have beds, because we’re missionaries. We all sleep in sleeping bags on hardwood floors. Steve doesn’t even notice I’ve stayed awake for him. He doesn’t even acknowledge that I am here.

The alarm sounds at 1 AM. It’s our barrack’s hour to get up for an hour for prayer and guard duty. I rebuke the first thought about needing sleep, and I wake up Nate, and we all head over to the sanctuary in the quiet of the early morning to pray. Sometimes we walk around outside rebuking evil spirits just to stay awake.

After an hour the alarm sounds again, and we return back to our barracks and into our hard beds, and I reset the alarm again for 5 AM so we can start all over again—in three more hours.

primary control mechanisms of cults

Sensory deprivation (especially sleep); the severing of all familiar social support systems (old friends, family, former church ties); removal to a highly structured environment where all aspects of one’s life are controlled; indoctrination by a exclusivistic group possessing “the truth;” limited access to outside stimulation; diminished ability to think for oneself; the use of fear and intimidation—these are the ties that bind the spirit and cripple the mind.

The lure of the Cults, by Ronald Enroth

Generals Jim and Deborah Green employ all of these methods!