persecution complex and isolation

Persecution complex is a term given to an array of psychologically-complex behaviors that specifically deal with the perception of being persecuted, for various possible reasons, imagined or real. Its common for unhinged abusive cult leaders to instill a persecution complex in the minds of their followers. They train them to think that the world misunderstands them, even hates them. They cultivate a a sense of us vs them, which pushes them to isolate from the world.

The founder of the Worldwide Church of God (WCG), Herbert W. Armstrong, preached coming persecution to his followers, frightening them with visions of an impending crackdown on their church, like what happened to the Branch Davidians. Lila and Jim Green preached this too, way before David Koresh. The day’s coming! They will persecute us! The government will raid us with guns! I remember how scared I was.

“Incidents such as these and the constant drumbeat that ‘secular, godless liberals’ are destroying society creates a cohesion of fear where members band together and tend to socialize internally to the exclusion of the outside world. Members are taught to believe everything that happens in the world they disagree with is an affront to their beliefs and values, and thus a direct threat to their community.”

This also takes the form of ‘mean world syndrome,‘ coined by communications professor George Gerber to describe the ways people believe the world is more dangerous than it actually is, based on mass media portrayals. Cults tend to feed upon this phenomenon by convincing their members the world is a harsh and dangerous place that will erode their values. People outside the cult are viewed as ‘sinners,’ bad influences who will drag them down and threaten their salvation or enlightenment. This paranoia only fuels cult isolationism.”

Silenced. Cult Spottingthe International Cult Studies Association

“…there is a sense, spoken and unspoken, that others will not understand what we’re all about. There’s an assumption that (1) what we say, know or do is a result of being more enlightened (special, among the elite, chosen by god ), (2) others will not understand unless they become one of us (other people don’t know God); (3) others will respond negatively (they’ll criticize us, try to hold us accountable).

In a place where authority is legislated, persecution sensitivity builds a case for keeping everything within the system. Why? Because of the evil, dangerous, or unspiritual people outside the system who are trying to weaken or destroy us. This mentality builds a strong wall or bunker around the abusive system, isolates the abusers from scrutiny and accountability, and makes it more difficult for people to leave.”

—David Johnson, Jeff VanVonderen, The Subtle Power of Spiritual Abuse

Deborah Green on cults

Even as far back as the mid eighties Jim and Deborah scared us with talks of “persecution,” and future armed government raids. This is the world she created. Jim too, he fed into it, but Deborah, or Lila as I knew her in the 70’s and 80’s, is the darkly crazy one, the one who thinks she gets her prophesies of gloom and doom from God.

TED-Ed – Why do people join cults?


Great little 6 minute clip written by Dr. Janja Lalich who was in a political cult. She shared her story on Investigation Discovery’s Dangerous Persuasions, Season 2 (Revolution Isn’t a Tea Party). She’s now a researcher focused on cult groups, specializing in charismatic authority, power relations, ideology, and social control.

Religious Cult Leaders and Disciples: Who Leads and Who Joins as Paralleled to Fight Club

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 9.16.17 PMOutstanding article here—written by Carla Dechant Behr, brother of deceased ACMTC member Chris Dechant, AKA Joab Evans

—>Religious Cult Leaders and Disciples: Who Leads and Who Joins as Paralleled to Fight Club.

SPOT ON: How to spot a sociopath – 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job – NaturalNews.com

—>How to spot a sociopath – 10 red flags that could save you from being swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job – NaturalNews.com.

Sociopaths are masters at weaving elaborate fictional explanations to justify their actions. When caught red-handed, they respond with anger and threats, then weave new fabrications to explain away whatever they were caught doing” 

“A valuable red flag to recognize when trying to spot a sociopath is to see how they deal with attacks on their own integrity. If a sociopath is presented with a collection of facts, documents and evidence showing that he lied or deceived, he will refuse to address the evidence and, instead, attack the messenger!

If you really try to nail a sociopath down to answering a documented allegation, they will quickly turn on you, denounce you, and declare that you too are secretly plotting against them. Anyone who does not fall for the brainwashing of the sociopath is sooner or later kicked out of the circle and then wildly disparaged by the remaining members of the cult group.”   Mike Adams

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.