What is Destructive Mind Control ? Points from "Releasing the Bonds "

by flipper 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • flipper

    In getting out of the Jehovah's Witnesses cult - are we all aware of what was totally involved in the mind control they used ? In Steve Hassan's " Releasing the Bonds " he gets into some variables of mind control in detail. I thought you would enjoy a few of these main points.

    In the 2nd chapter Hassan states, " As employed by the most destructive cults, mind control seeks nothing less than to disrupt an individual's authentic identity - behavior, thoughts, emotions, - and reconstruct it in the image of the cult leader. "

    INFORMATION CONTROL - Hassan continues , " A common form of information control involves blocking out any critical or negative points of view. Some cults simply forbid members to have access to any non-cult material - such as newspapers , magazines, television, radio, and the Internet - while others have more subtle ways of controlling information. "

    " Control of information also includes the supervision of members interactions with all other people. People are expected to spy on one another and report improper activities or comments, such as criticism of the leader, doctrine, or organization. " Sound familiar ?

    THOUGHT CONTROL- Hassan mentions , " Many cults have their own " loaded language " or coded symbols and expressions , including buzz words, cliches, and trite platitudes that are used to shut down the thought process. "

    " Cult members are taught that the leader or ( leaders ) are always correct, and are not allowed to doubt or question him or her. Thoughts that go along with the leader are good. Any other thoughts need to be pushed down by chanting, praying, or speaking in tongues. Any negative feelings are always blamed on the individual. "

    " From the point of view of a mind control cult, there is never a legitimate reason to leave. The only people who leave are weak, selfish, or cannot control their need for sex, drugs, or other addictive substances. "

    EMOTIONAL CONTROL- Hassan states, " Although a group's message starts out with love and idealism, once a person gets indoctrinated into the inner levels, his world becomes one of fear - fear that the planet is going to explode, fear that he will lose his spiritual connection, fear that he will be possessed by the devil. Cults instill fear to bind members to the group, to such an extent that members may become paranoid or phobic. A phobia is an irrational fear reaction to someone or something . "

    He continues, " In the Jehovah's Witnesses, a person can have a severe phobia against merely walking into a church building. I remember hearing about an incident involving a young Jehovah's Witness who refused to participate in an emergency evacuation from a public school into a church. The 10 year old boy absolutely would not enter the church building, and had to be carried in crying and screaming because he thought the church was filled with " devils ". " How sad ! And we used to be in this cult ? Jeez !

    CREATION OF THE CULT IDENTITY- Finally Hassan states, " Cult mind control dissociates a person from his authentic identity, and makes his new cult identity dependent on the group. From a mental health perspective , cult mind control splits elements of an individual's psyche into another distinct personality. " So that my friends is why " cult mind control" is so scary that it totally turns you into another person. Your own relatives will not even recognize you as you lose your original , authentic personality you had before joining a cult. So- What ideas or thoughts do you folks have on helping people escape this fate ? Have you had experiences seeing many if not some of these traits in your Jehovah's Witness relatives ? I lok forward to your interesting comments ! Let's put our heads together and see what we can discuss her ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • Warlock

    It's not just the "cults" who use mind control.


  • Hope4Others

    Supervision of members so true, to the point of telling you how many people you can have over for a get together that is a control-able size..

    Always not wanting to tell people your plans for the weekend keeping a distance for fear of someone saying or counseling you for things there

    really is nothing wrong with doing. You learn not to have fun.....

    Then it reminds me not so much of being unrecognizable to witness relatives but rather worldly relatives..they see the changes in our lives that

    we do not see. They see our personalities change to the point we no longer accept them for who they are. We no longer associate with them on

    a regular basis if at all..And then you are encouraged not to "Bad associations spoil useful habits". We miss out on these extended families we

    use to have, its just a part of life. Life is too short to be in a cocoon so too say.


  • Reefton Jack
    Reefton Jack

    Further to Warlock's remarks about mind control, "Cults" are not limited to just religion:

    - some of the more extreme political groups show all the signs of cult behaviour,too.

    Allied prisoners of war taken in Korea were subjected to mind control - including the destruction of the individual's identity, and its replacement with one of the cult's (in this case, Communism)choosing.

  • Hope4Others

    Thats true there are other types of Cults....Steve mentions this in Combatting Cult mind control..

    He describes 4 main type of cults.
    A.) Religious cults
    B.) Political Cults
    C.) psychotherapy/educational cults
    D.) commercial cults

    A. Religious cults some use the bible, some use Eastern religious base, others draw on the occult, or just made up inventions
    of its leaders.

    B.) Political cults these are the news makers fringe and extreme...not into this so in one ear and out the other for me....

    C.) psychotherapy/ educational cults these entail workshop, seminars things that keep you paying to get further up the ladder...
    and then you suck all your friends and family in to joining. Once you commit you bring them in or cut them off. These are the types
    that cause nervous breakdowns, marriage problems or breakage, failing at a business, suicide's and death.

    D.) commercial cults the pyramid or multi level schemes, you must recruit others to gain success. You know the news papers add that
    promise making lots of money, come to room so & so at this hotel...it always costs you money to be trained but promises big returns

    This is always an excellent topic Flipper to help people see how we were controlled or are and how to recognize these signs and move on in life.


  • flipper

    WARLOCK- Very true . Even individuals use mind control as well ! Good point .

    HOPE 4 OTHERS- Very true what you say Hope ! The elders and governing body of the JW's would try to control the size of our get togethers as witnesses so they could control us ! And many of us lost out on good relationships with our non-witness relatives by following bad advice from the Watchtower society to shun our relatives. We missed out on so much. Good points you make about the other cults as well. Mind control is used in politics, commerce, education, and religion. Even individually by some people !

    REFFTON JACK- Very true what you say . Political groups use mind control as well. Good example you give in the allied prisoners during the Korean war . Very sad

  • Finally-Free

    I've seen it in subtle forms, in some jobs I've had, a charity I was involved with, politics, and even some circles of friends where one or two strong personalities may become too dominant. If you voice a differing opinion you can find yourself outside the circle. Sometimes I think peer pressure and mind control have some things in common.


  • Mrs. Fiorini
    Mrs. Fiorini

    I think one of the best things we can do is encourage public discourse on the subject. The more people can become familiar with the issue, the techniques these groups use, etc., the more difficult it will be for groups like the WT to find successful converts, or to keep the ones they have. I e-mailed my local newspaper asking them to do a feature article on the subject, but so far they haven't done anything.

  • flipper

    FINALLY FREE- I agree that peer pressure and mind control are very similar ! Either way- somebody is cutting others out of the conversations and authentic interaction ! I've gone through what you described as well.

    Mrs. FIORINI- I agree that making this information known is the most important thing, not only to the public but our families on the inside of the witnesses ! Peace out, Mr. Flipper

  • sooner7nc

    This is very interesting flipper. I haven't read this book, but plan on it in the future, as I have a wife whom I love very much and want to get out of the WT. Here's the deal. I see, from what's in the book, how a person is entrapped by one of these groups, but how could you approach someone, especially if you have a strong emotional bond with the person, without making the person feel pressured? I find myself wanting to say things to my wife, but the fear of damaging our relationship prevents me. This, in itself, makes me feel still entrapped and angry.

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