So what is a " phobia " ? In Hassan's book " Releasing the Bonds " he states it as , " a persistent, irrational fear of an object or situation. All phobias are triggered by a cue that initiates a closed cycle of fearful images, thoughts, and feelings. " So people project that heir worst fears will happen.
What are some common cult phobia's ? Hassan states that, " Cults do try to keep family members who are still in the cult away from ex-members. " He continues, " Programmed phobias can be so strong that cult members cannot imagine themselves happy, safe, and fulfilled outside of the group. They can generate only negative images of life outside of the cult. When they think of leaving the group, they imagine themselves being destroyed, along with all the other non-believers , by the fiery judgement of Armageddon. " Only fear and dread of the outside world !
Religious cults use this fear to manipulate their minds and thoughts. Members are told they will suffer badly if they leave the group. Die, commit suicide, have orgies, become a drug addict - anything to inspire " false fears " into them. One tactic the leaders of cults use is " anything which is designated as a threat to the cult identity " .
Examples of this : Any thoughts, feelings, or information critical of the cult leader, doctrine, or organization
Former members or critics of the group
Doubts or thoughts about leaving the group
"Once these phobias are in place , the cult member becomes a dependent personality , filled with a sense of helplessness and hopelessness about leaving the group. Cult leaders want their members to be filled with such fear and self-doubt. They want to cultivate low self-esteem and manipulate members to work harder for praise and promotion. " Sound familiar ?
O.K. So how can we assist them to think more real ? Get them to realize what a " phobia " is. Tell them what fearful things just in general life you have overcome and explan how you have positively changed. Then , next step is : Use examples " about other groups that the person considers to be a cult before their own involvement . " Perhaps talk about Scientologists, David Koresh, People's Temple, or Jim Jones . To break the ice you could say youv'e " been thinking about a particular group after reading an article or book, seeing them featured on television , or having been approached by them recently. " Hassan continues , " Talk about how members of these other groups are trained to have only negative images and negative self-talk about the outside world or their past. " And hopefully your JW relative starts putting the connection together.
Some time later in the final step you may ask your JW relative down the road - , " I was wondering if it's possible to leave your group and be happy and fulfilled ? " Or ak them, " If the group never existed, and you were happy and fulfilled in your life, what do you think you would be doing ? " If the person replies : " Oh, I would be a drug addict, or I would commit suicide, " you will know you may have discovered the actual phobia in the person's mind. Then you could come back and ask, " Do you believe anybody outside the group is happy and fulfilled in their life?"
So the bottom line is you are trying to help them see on their own by examining it thaqt a happy life can exist outside " cult mind control". So what do you think of these points ? Have some of you tried this ? Lately I have been trying a few things from this book and it seems to be opening up some cracks in my witness families armor ! Look forward to your comments as always ! Peace out to all, Mr. Flipper