More Research on Cult Behaviour.

by fulltimestudent 2 Replies latest jw friends

  • fulltimestudent

    Came across this research today, on why cult leaders can induce so much conformity among the cult's membership. It may be of interest to some here.


    "Several pieces of literature suggest that most individuals who are successfully integrated into cults do not typically manifest symptoms of mental illness. However, the public is often taken aback by the lack of autonomy displayed by cult members and is bewildered by the ability of the cult leader and other cult members to transform fundamental personality functioning in an individual. Within the framework of an object relations model of personality structure and functioning as delineated by Otto Kernberg and using existing data concerning the cult experience, the authors engage in a theoretical exploration of cult membership. The authors propose that some behaviors exhibited by cult members may be a function of an object relations-level regression, which is exemplified by the activation of primitive defensive operations that are usually relegated to those suffering with severe personality disorders."


  • jwleaks


    Splitting is most often referred to in the context of an individual changing his perception of and reaction to an external object from that of an “all good” classification to an “all bad” classification, or vice versa. However, splitting also may be a function of how an individual views the group he or she is part of, and that group’s relationship to the outside world. Thus, by virtue of being part of the “good” group, one is made “all good” and is thereby in serious conflict with the outside world, which is, of course, “all bad.” Robinson, Frye, and Bradley (1997) alluded to this phenomenon in their discussion of cult affiliation and disaffiliation, “critical thinking is compromised and individuals are encouraged to view their families of origin and the non-cult world as bad or evil, whereas the cult beliefs and activities are all seen as good” (p. 167).

  • Half banana
    Half banana

    Good quote JWL, and FTS thanks, you got me to learn about "object relations" and how new cult members regress to their earlier states of determining what is good and bad.

    Here is a not so very challenging introduction to cult psychology

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