I wanted to bring this topic BTTT because of yesterday's show that highlighted people getting scammed by psychics. Some of the things Dr. Phil said could also be related to JWs and other cult groups. This segment, in particular, made me pay close attention:
The woman told Trina that she could help her, but it would cost $1,900. Trina didn't have the money. "And then she brought up, 'Well your daughter is going to grow up bad and she's going to get into drugs.' She told me my grandmother was going to get sick. Those are the two special people in my life," she says.
The woman convinced Trina to apply for a line of credit at a jewelry store, and then she proceeded to use Trina's credit to buy $600 worth of jewelry. "She told me that I would have to pay for it. She said the spirits said it would have to be that way. I gave the psychic jewelry, clothes, electronics, gift cards and cash out of my pocket." The psychic even convinced Trina to buy her a new car. "The car cost
Trina hasn't told her grandmother about the psychic and the bills. "She still doesn't know to this day. I'm very scared of the psychic. I'm very scared if she sees this. She's probably brewing up something right now honestly. Dr. Phil, I need your help. I let a psychic ruin my life and I'm in debt $30,000."
"Isn't it true that still, as you sit here today, you believe that a psychic has the power to put a curse or a hex on you and you're afraid of that?" Dr. Phil asks.
"I'm very afraid," Trina admits.
"If all of that happened, doesn't that tell you that she is a complete total con and fraud?"
"Yes, but there was just things that she knew about me that nobody knows besides my grandmother."
"Would you describe yourself at that time in your life as being gullible? I mean, somebody stops you in the mall and you don't know how many people she's gone up to until she got a hit. Is it possible that she just read you, made some guesses and started telling you things that you wanted to hear?" Dr. Phil asks.
"She said that my grandmother's going to get sick, my daughter wasn't going to get work, she was going to grow up bad, into drugs, into police problems. She really scared me," says Trina.
"She played upon your insecurities and your fears and your love for your daughter and you grandmother. And that is exploitative, that is criminal and she ought to be in jail," says Dr. Phil, and the audience applauds.
"I don't know. That's how scared I am," says Trina reluctantly.
Dr. Phil turns to Trina's grandmother sitting in the audience, who only recently learned of the psychic. "Am I telling her the truth here?"
"Yes, you are. Yes," she says.
Trina begins to cry.
"Let me tell you something that people who exploit other people do," Dr. Phil tells her. "The first thing they do, Trina, is that they have to isolate you. The best defense that you can have against something like this is don't ever let yourself be isolated. If somebody is telling you that something that they're talking about is super secret, you need to run ? not walk ? away."
Dr. Phil continues: "And if that woman approaches you, or anyone like her approaches you, I want you to promise me that you will reach out to the people in your life and tell them what's going on. Reach out to your grandmother. She won't judge you. She will help you. You were scared to death that if she found out about this that she was going to kick you out. You told her last night, didn't you? And did she judge you and kick you out or did she stand by you?"
"She stood by me," says Trina.
"Of course she did. But you owe her as well. She stands by you, but you owe it to her to include her if someone tries to carve you out and isolate you," says Dr. Phil.
Isolation is a key tool that is used by JWs to bring people in, and prevent those inside from leaving. The WTS also exploits peoples' fears by painting a bleak picture of promiscuity, STDs, unwanted pregnancies, drug addiction, etc. for those who leave the group.
DFing and DAing is another isolation technique - and it plays on a person's genuine fears of losing contact with loved ones.
My bet is that this is the road Dr. Phil will take when he deals with the cult issue.