Were you Abused? Part 2
Cult-like organizations increase compliance
by installing beliefs and
behaviors that separate people from their families and communities.
Continued from Therapist
Damage & Spiritual Abuse Part 1
Many clients have tried other sources of help -
and taught us some of the consequences of psychological
techniques, philosophical theories and 'New Age' psycho-theologies.
Communities & Cults
Healthy relationships require maturity. Immature people often seek substitutes
for parents, and join cult-like organizations as substitutes for a
healthy community. Immature people may accept authorities
as substitute family members who will tell them what they should want and
how they should live their lives.
Joining a cult is often followed by life
changes. Adults may find themselves subservient to cult leaders,
and may alienate themselves from their families, friends and social
connections. (Cult-like organizations include many multi-level marketing
organizations, educational facilities, military groups and professional associations).
Affiliation to a cult-like organizations seems to follow predictable
- first contact - you find the organization interesting
- acceptance - you like the organization's philosophy
- superiority - you perceive the organization's beliefs
as better than other beliefs
- re-bonding - you perceive the organization's members
as family and friends
- identification - you emotionally identify
with the organization ("I am a xxx")
Many people join cult-like organizations hoping to to fulfill their need to
feel accepted, to be a member of a community and to enjoy a sense of purpose.
They usually want to feel connected to a human community
and to share important life or social goals.
Friendship & Elicitation
Swindlers and manipulative salespeople push their schemes and scams with
misdirection and lies. To do this, they need information about the people
they intend to defraud or manipulate. While many con artists rely on
people's greed, some tap into people's desire to help others - for
example charity frauds.
Many salespeople disdain their
customers and even their colleagues. Some are compulsive liars - if they cannot control
people they feel that they have failed. Their lives are characterized
by lies, shallow relationships and selfish distractions.
If you can fake sincerity - you've got it
An American idiom?
Such salespeople may pretend friendship to gain information from
you - to better manipulate you. Cult members, politicians, multi-level marketers and
other people will also try to influence or control your decisions. Their
favorite saying might be, "It's for
your own good!"
Authority Abuse & Relationship Bonds
Children defer to their parents. Students defer to their teachers.
Employees defer to their managers. Devotees worship their gurus.
As relationship bonds so strongly affect human lives, we often help motivated people
recognize and change their bonds.
Many people will try to control your income, your
vote, your sexuality or your behavior. Others may want your respect, or your recognition
that they have power over you. Some may want to use your body for their own
gratification. Some few demand your love or devotion ... or at least
your good acting.
I spent years trying to be numb,
trying to delete terrible memories of growing up
in a Christian orphanage. You helped me heal myself ... many
authority abuse those for whom they are supposed to care. London
If you try to control people who are not your children,
students or employees; if you want to become an authority in their
lives; or if you depend on the dependence of others, you may watch
a cult forming ... a cult of you.
Mentor & Spiritual Abuse
While you may not consider yourself to be a cult-leader or a cult
follower - many intelligent, caring people are trapped in nets of good
Just accept other people's ideas and decisions as truth without
checking the facts. Just do as you're told, and ignore the
consequences of your compliance.
Spiritual abuse is simple. Be prejudiced, criticize people,
persuade them that your way is better, quote dogma and make important
decisions for them. Promote empty abstractions as essential truths (e.g.
"love is all you need"), over-simplify complex situations,
treat adults like children and promote your own obsessions. It's common.
You can justify your obsessions by convincing yourself that you are
somehow special or spiritual or chosen. As American
president George W Bush said, "If I didn't believe that God speaks
through me, I couldn't do my job". People who believe that they
are divinely inspired may be unable to imagine that they
might be abusing people.
||You blame others for your errors.
You want people to pay for your mistakes.
||You are preoccupied with anger and judging.
You need to prove yourself right. You cannot
forgive yourself - or others.
||You want to hide your mistakes.
You want people to validate your life by following your
||You only attempt what you are good at
You will not admit mistakes
You live a "double life", hiding much of yourself
||You want people to believe what you
believe - and you believe that you should teach them the right
||You prefer philosophy to integrity
You avoid individual responsibility
You define happiness as following instructions
||You want to reduce your conflict.
You want people to deny thoughts
or opinions that differ to yours.
||You ignore your feelings and emotions
You feel threatened by different opinions
You are suspicious of people generally
||You want to look good. Your facade is
more important than your reality. You want to pretend to have integrity.
||You manage your image to gain recognition, respect
and perhaps money, but you lose contact with your sense of life -
||You want people to support
your authority. You try to minimize their relationships outside your system.
||You obsess about other people's behavior, how their
behavior reflects your authority,
and how things look to people more powerful than you.
||You want to own or control
other people's assets or possessions.
||You know what everything costs, except joy,
happiness and integrity. You may be a thief.
It is unlikely that one person or role model can provide all your
mentorship needs. Instead, seek mentors with specific skills and competencies.
Decide what you want to learn - and what you want to reject.
Why not choose how you want to learn?
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© Martyn Carruthers 2005-2018
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