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Cults: Definitions, Patterns, Behaviors

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  • #16
    Originally posted by DjMichiZ

    There is also a phenomenon, doc you might know the clinical term for it, that describes how we follow orders of a person in power against our better judgement.
    One suggestion: the Stockholm syndrome.


    And, as I've made clear before, it is typical of cult behavior. But people don't want to believe that.
    Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

    "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

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    • #17
      uhm, no not the stockholm syndrome, that's when you sympathize with your kidnappers and such... close but not exactly.
      I will research this... aspect of human behavior that also aids in cult following...

      Kids, you must think for yourself.


      • #18
        I know what Stockholm syndrome is. That's why I used it.

        Three comments from the definition of cults that I used in the first post:
        Rapid-fire teaching techniques that do not allow members to think critically about what is being said, coupled with an environment wherein open discussion of relevant issues and the expression of contrary opinions is discouraged.

        Total, unquestioning allegiance to a central leader or elite core of leaders.

        An inordinate emphasis on submission and obedience to the group authority, which effectively "guilts" a person into submission.
        Not sure what syndrome you're thinking of, if there is one at all. But you might be referring to the concept of "submission". Of interest, the word for submission in Arabic is Islam.

        One reason why it is difficult to discuss this matter with people from certain schools, is the next line, from the same cult definition:

        An elitist attitude that is drilled into members, which states that those outside the group are spiritually lukewarm, comprising, or entirely lost.
        Doesn't have to be "spritually". It's a matter of thinking "superiority"

        The definition of cults that I published is truly very encompassing. And relevant in the world of martial arts.
        Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

        "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

        (more comments in my User Profile)


        • #19
          The Stanley Milgram tests

          I found the experiment I was thinking about, the "Stanley Milgram tests."
          I still need to read all the articles (I have some tight deadlines to cover until this Friday), but I think I'm going to share the sources in the meantime with the community. Because as I remember the tests , we should always be cautious with our own reactions faced with" authority".


          This was an experiment (or, more technically, a series of experiments)
          devised by Stanley Milgram and performed during the early 1960s when
          Milgram was at Yale.

          Milgram described the experiment in Obedience to Authority (1974),
          which was apparently adapted into the following article in Harper's

          "The Perils of Obedience, by Stanley Milgram"
          think-truth/wisdom unabashed

          Here is a little background on Milgram and a brief summary of
          Obedience to Authority:

          "Milgram's Obedience to Authority"
          A Student Handbook for Chuck Huff's Introduction to psychology
          St. Olaf College

          Another page reproduces a chart from Obedience to Authority on the
          maximum shocks administered during the first four experiments:

          "The Milgram Experiment: Maximum Shocks Administered in Experiments
          1,2,3, and 4"
          Mt. Holyoke College

          If you would like further background on Milgram, additional
          description of the experiments and their significance, and other
          sources of information in print, the following web sites and web page
          should be helpful:

 (hosted by Thomas Blass, Ph.D)

          Milgram Reenactment

          "Stanley Milgram", complied by Heather Miller
          Muskingum College: Department of Psychology


          • #20
            Mmm yes I've heard of this test of electric shock... I guess what it all means is that the reason for actions are relative to the environment and situation. Like how we justify killing the innocent during wars. I think the scary thing is finding out that the scientist really isn't a scientist at all. And to parallel this, what the scary thing is with these cult organizations is that the "masters" that we believe in are really not masters, monks, spiritually enlightened person at all. So even if the so called environment made it alright to do something, we find that the environment is falsified to begin with. Kind of like the Iraq war....Hmmm oh the relativity of life....

            Originally posted by DjMichiZ
            One of the problems of the masters is, that they have no counterweight, someone a friend a fellow master, their own master that they respect as equal and from whom they will accept criticism. If criticism is never offered it is easy to fall into an illusion of omnipotence.
            Well if Shaolin monks are to practice Buddhism, I would think that they would learn from the teachings and scriptures as points of comparison. This is why monks, spend hours and hours reading scripture.. there are reasons.... other monks.. just spend time drinking beer.... tsk tsk tsk....I guess this is where you see the difference between teacher and Cult Leader. A teacher tells his followers to put Buddha/God/Jesus as a person of warship, Cult Leader takes that divine position and tell his followers to warship him. I would think the only reason why a Shaolin master would believe he has no counterweight is because he believes he is at the forefront and no longer has to abide by rules constructed by his religion.

            And to just respond to Iron Cross, now that I left a Shaolin school, I will warn everyone not to go there. Unless they want to unhealthily work out there body and break their joints..... I think the hardest thing is really to try to warn students who are in there now of what they are getting into.. they never want to listen even though they see evidence of the corruption.... When bringing it up, they rationalize how this evidence is acceptable, even though they believe in their mind it's wrong... Scary.......... sometimes I think they are down the road to the Kool-Aid man.. except the Kool-Aid man is carrying a syringe of cynide....


            • #21
              A fascinating news article that demonstrates some key concepts of cult behavior:

              BALTIMORE — A former religious cult member pleaded guilty Monday to starving her 1-year-old son to death after making an unusual deal with prosecutors: If the child is resurrected, her plea will be withdrawn.

              Ria Ramkissoon, 22, also agreed to testify against four other members of the now-defunct religious group known as 1 Mind Ministries. All four are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Javon Thompson.

              According to a statement of facts, the cult members stopped feeding the boy when he refused to say "Amen" after a meal. After Javon died, Ramkissoon sat next to his decomposing body and prayed for his resurrection.

              Ramkissoon's attorney, Steven D. Silverman, said Ramkissoon believes the resurrection will occur. She agreed to plead guilty only after prosecutors said they would drop the charges if the child comes back to life, Silverman said.

              "This is something that she absolutely insisted upon, and this is indicative of the fact that she is still brainwashed, still a victim of this cult," he said. "Until she's deprogrammed, she's not going to think any differently."

              Baltimore Circuit Judge Timothy J. Doory assured Ramkissoon that the plea would indeed be withdrawn if the child is resurrected.

              Ramkissoon pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse resulting in death. She will remain in custody until she testifies against her co-defendants and will receive a suspended 20-year sentence and serve five years probation. Sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 11. By then, Ramkissoon would have spent about a year behind bars.

              As part of her probation, Ramkissoon must submit to treatment, including sessions with an expert on cult behavior.

              The maximum sentence for child abuse resulting in death is 30 years, and defendants typically receive between 12 and 20 years, according to Maryland sentencing guidelines.

              Ramkissoon will fare much better under the plea deal than if she had pursued an insanity defense, Silverman said. A court psychiatrist found that she was both competent to stand trial and could have been held criminally responsible for Javon's death because she knew the difference between right and wrong.

              Silverman could have challenged that finding, and he said prosecutors told him they wouldn't have stood in his way. In a letter to Silverman that outlined the terms of the plea deal, prosecutors said the finding of criminal responsibility was "somewhat surprising."

              If Ramkissoon had been found not criminally responsible in court, she would have been committed indefinitely to a state mental hospital. By pleading guilty, she will serve little jail time and still get the treatment she needs, Silverman said.

              Ramkissoon's mother and stepfather and Javon's paternal grandmother wept in court as prosecutors described the boy's death. The petite Ramkissoon, a native of Trinidad, was calm, answering the judge's questions in a barely audible voice.

              When asked her address, she gave the location of the city jail. Asked later whether she had any other place she called home, she said, "No."

              Ramkissoon's mother, Seeta Khadan-Newton, said the cult manipulated her daughter into disowning her family.

              "We are behind her now. We are in the past," Khadan-Newton said.

              Geraldine Ridgley, Javon's paternal grandmother, said Ramkissoon deserves a stiffer punishment.

              The boy's father, Robert Thompson, was not in court Monday. Ridgley said he was ill. Thompson was in jail when Javon was born.

              After the boy died, the cult members left his body inside the apartment where they lived until it began to decompose, according to police documents and the statement of facts. In early 2007, they stuffed the body inside a suitcase and filled it with mothballs and fabric softener sheets to mask the odor.

              The cult members relocated to Philadelphia, where they befriended an elderly man and stored the suitcase in a shed behind his home. It remained there for more than a year before police found it, the documents say.

              The judge also ordered the four co-defendants to appear before another judge Tuesday to receive a new trial date. Alleged cult leader Queen Antoinette and ex-members Trevia Williams and Marcus A. Cobbs are being held without bail. Steven L. Bynum is free on his own recognizance.

              Fox News
              Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

              "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

              (more comments in my User Profile)


              • #22
                I wonder on what basis a psychanalist says somebody knows the difference between right or wrong. Does it mean he has reached absolute non violence himself? Does he think Kissinger and Pinochet could make difference between right and wrong and were not mad?

                What do u think doc, how one knows if somebody can make difference between right and wrong?

                Peace and love
                Namo Guan Yin Pusa / Dont create suffering / Dont harm animals!


                • #23
                  Interesting point. Makes you wonder if this woman who starved her child really knows the difference between right and wrong.

                  I'm sure Pinochet and Kissinger did.

                  I guess it's a society decision. What the society thinks is right for that moment in time, and what the society thinks is wrong, again, for that moment in time. The point being, right and wrong, can change, depending upon society's mores and needs.
                  Experienced Community organizer. Yeah, let's choose him to run the free world. It will be historic. What could possibly go wrong...

                  "You're just a jaded cynical mother****er...." Jeffpeg

                  (more comments in my User Profile)


                  • #24
                    That is disgusting. I would bust a rorschach and take a meat cleaver to their heads.
                    "Life is a run. In attack we run, in defense we run. When you can no longer run, time to die" - Shichiroji "Seven samurai"


                    • #25
                      That would be disgusting =O
                      Last edited by dogchow108; 04-02-2009, 02:25 PM.


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