The Cellar  

Go Back   The Cellar > Cellar-related > Archives > Juju's Place

Juju's Place Introspection, Lucidity, and Epiphanies

 
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-28-2003, 02:33 AM   #1
juju
no one of consequence
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,839
04/28/03: The Cult-like Mindset

In this thread, I want to enumerate all the various characteristics of cult-like behavior.

There's a certain mindset that people often fall into, and it seems to be a very common and dangerous thing. Often people who fall into this way of thinking have a reality and logic all their own. The process by which people are converted to this mindset often equates to mind control. I feel like I have a certain insight into this process because I've experienced it for myself. I've never written it all down before though, so I don't have all the points in my head right now. I always find myself recognizing certain ways of thinking whenever I see them, but I usually forget the point a short time afterward.

So, this thread will be a work in progress, and I'll add to it whenever I come across something that I recognize from my past.


Point #1: You have all the answers.

Many cults have a leader that seems to know everything. The all-inspiring divine entity. He's a prophet, blessed by God with eternal knowledge. Maybe he actually is Jesus himself. Maybe he or she has just had a near-death experience whereby they "crossed over to the other side", and that experience granted them great insight and a newfound zest for life. Or maybe they've just figured some really cool shit out, and noone else will admit that they have the answer. Yeah, that's it! It's a conspiracy! Those naysayers will eventually realize that we were right, when that 10-mile wide asteroid smacks them in the face!!

My point is that in all cults, there's a sense that they have all the answers on a certain topic. In many cases, this feeling is so strong that there is an actual person who is actually purported to possess irrefutable knowledge.

It's comforting to know that someone in an organization or group that you've just joined has all the answers. If someone's just becoming interested in a certain philosophy or way of thinking, they'll no doubt have a lot of questions. Most likely the very reason they sought out the group is because they had unanswered questions on a certain topic.

Curiosity seems to be one of the driving forces of humankind. It's almost as strong as hunger in some cases. We want to know what's going on, how things work. It kills us not to know. I think that's why we've come so far as race. The industrial revolution, the microchip revolution, science, religion. Or how about the search for a shorter route to India? Hell, even the mass migration out of Africa is an example of this. Who knows why Man decided to leave his home 2 million years ago? 4 million years ago, our ancestors developed the ability to walk upright. But then it took them 2 million years before they just up and decided to leave Africa. What, suddenly your home's not good enough? Did something happen in our brain? Was some sort of curious drive spawned just then? What was there 4 million years ago that wasn't there 2 million years ago?

I guess they were probably just chasing after food, but I like to think there was also certain sense of adventure and curiosity about the whole thing, too. Maybe they wanted to see what was out there?

Getting back to the hypothetical person joining the group, they're seeking answers. In some people's cases, it's not so much a quest for the truth as it is an attempt to get rid of that annoying feeling of doubt and uncertainty. Then, they pop their new friends all the big questions, and the answer comes back, "It's this way. No question about it. I know for sure".

This indoctrination process takes some time, as the student has to become convinced that their new friends' philosophy really is irrefutable. There's a certain euphoria that comes with being content in your knowledge. It's just like eating a big steak -- you don't have that terrible, aching hunger anymore, and it's so wonderful. Can't everyone have this feeling? But was what I just learned right? Stop asking questions! You don't want that aching feeling to come back, do you? Besides, we have all the answers, because it's ordained by God/I spoke to Jesus personally/the other scientists won't admit it/the bible isn't open to interpretation.

Undertoad and I both have a high regard for the philosophy of "sometimes I'm wrong". It's a very important thing to remember, because sometimes you are wrong, even when you're sure you're right. But this philosophy is important for more than just avoiding mistakes. Believing that there is an irrefutable source of knowledge somewhere can be very dangerous. It will suck you up, and encompass you in a world all your own. You'll live in the same world everyone else lives in, but you'll interpret everything you see through a thick reality filter. You'll only see your own reality, and it will reach the point where you'll develop blind spots around the truth just to protect your imaginary truth. The brain reaches this desperate state where it'll do anything to maintain the illusion of the world it's built up around itself. Drugs pale by comparison, because you can get so far gone that the brains' defense mechanisms are like second nature. It becomes more than a philosophy -- it's a way of constructing your thoughts. Once you're that far gone, the only way out of it is to completely re-do the skeletal architecture of your brain and re-think how to interpret reality. And that is a difficult task indeed.

Last edited by juju; 04-28-2003 at 02:36 AM.
juju is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 03:18 AM   #2
Whit
Umm ... yeah.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 949
     What about "The Enemy"? It just seems that every cult has it's devil, so to speak. Some big bad that only it's members can protect people from or be safe from. For instance, for the Manson 'Family' it was the 'political piggies'.
     It just seems like every cult I've ever read about had some kind of Evil thing opposing it.
__________________
A friend will help you move. A true friend will help you move a body.
Whit is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 03:32 AM   #3
juju
no one of consequence
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,839
Yeah, that's true! Although in some cases it's not an actual person, but some horrible event that's going to happen. Like the end of the world, or whatever. I guess any movement needs a reason to exist.

There's also the concept of "The Other", which is usually some group of people that's not of your group, and probably imposes an imaginary (or real) threat of some kind. Like Russians, or Arabs, or Blacks, or Indians. You get the idea. Any group of people has some other group of people that they imagine is not like them and is therefore a threat. They don't know who they are, but by God, they're different.

It seems like "The Other" is often used as an excuse for all kinds of things, usually propagation of someone's political or religious philosophy.

I also read in relation to that concept that people often define themselves in relation to people who are not them. For example, there was a study that asked Canadians what it meant to be Canadian, and an overwhelming majority of them said "Not American". It's sort of like the English saying, "Well, at least I'm not French".
juju is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 11:33 AM   #4
Whit
Umm ... yeah.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 949
     I think 'family' is another one. The idea that 'we' are all in this together. That they can rely on one another. This sounds great, until it's time to drink the kool-aid.
__________________
A friend will help you move. A true friend will help you move a body.
Whit is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 12:18 PM   #5
elSicomoro
Dirty bro getting low with his ho
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, MO USA
Posts: 12,486
Radar could be a member of a cult, but he's not very good at getting new victims--er, recruits. He's too much of a sac fungus to others...at least on Cellar.
__________________
Have you found Jesus? I have...he does a great job on my lawn.

FB (politics-free) | Politics and current events page | Twitter
elSicomoro is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 12:50 PM   #6
Griff
still says videotape
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 26,182
I'm thinking he's an ex-Libertarian deprogrammer sweeping the web spreading the seeds of discontent among libertarian leaning folks, helping them drop out of politics all together or herding them back into the two majors. say... is that grape flavored? yah pass me a big ole glass of that
__________________
If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.
- Louis D. Brandeis
Griff is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 02:11 PM   #7
juju
no one of consequence
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 2,839
I'm don't think Radar's a member of a cult. I do see signs of a cult-like mindset in him, though. Perhaps it's a poorly chosen name, because I don't think you have to be a member of a cult to have the mindset. It's like, there are certain techniques and characteristics of thinking that are common across a whole range of groups and people.
juju is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 02:29 PM   #8
Undertoad
Radical Centrist
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Cottage of Prussia
Posts: 31,135
The challenge of this thread will be to describe cults without describing Catholicism.

(No disrespect intended, one could say that about a lot of groups and I just chose the easiest target)
Undertoad is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 02:31 PM   #9
elSicomoro
Dirty bro getting low with his ho
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, MO USA
Posts: 12,486
I'd say almost all religions are cult-like. But Catholicism might be the worst.
__________________
Have you found Jesus? I have...he does a great job on my lawn.

FB (politics-free) | Politics and current events page | Twitter
elSicomoro is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 04:17 PM   #10
xoxoxoBruce
The future is unwritten
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 70,291
Being a loner is not natural. Never underestimate the peace of mind that comes from "belonging". You go to work, come home, watch TV and sleep. Rinse..repeat. That sucks. Then a group comes along that will accept you. You suddenly have something to do, a purpose and direction. Serve the master, spread the truth and show the world you're part of a group. Of course there's the other end of the spectrum. Underground groups with secret shit. I know the answers but I ain't telling you, so I'm cooler than you are. Either way, the important thing is being part of a group....like the cellar.
__________________
The four horsemen ~ Hahn, Azar, Redfield, & Trump.
xoxoxoBruce is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 04:27 PM   #11
elSicomoro
Dirty bro getting low with his ho
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Kansas City, MO USA
Posts: 12,486
So, in a way, Shepps is a cult leader.
__________________
Have you found Jesus? I have...he does a great job on my lawn.

FB (politics-free) | Politics and current events page | Twitter
elSicomoro is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 04:33 PM   #12
Undertoad
Radical Centrist
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Cottage of Prussia
Posts: 31,135
Shaddap, you. Punishment later.
Undertoad is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 04:48 PM   #13
xoxoxoBruce
The future is unwritten
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 70,291
Yes massah.
__________________
The four horsemen ~ Hahn, Azar, Redfield, & Trump.
xoxoxoBruce is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 06:30 PM   #14
Whit
Umm ... yeah.
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Arkansas, USA
Posts: 949
Quote:
Being a loner is not natural.
     At what point is one a loner? I used to joke that if I died my body wouldn't be found 'till the smell bothered a neighbor. I was happy at that point as well. I will admit that humans tend to be social creatures. However, I think this goes to far.
     Some people, particularly people with low self esteem, need the assurance from others. Cults can provide that.
     Of course I have it on good authority from friends that grew up Catholic that the Catholic church is better about providing guilt than acceptance. So there's one difference.
     As far as the Cellar goes, I don't think it qualifies as my social outlet or as a cult. After all, I don't like you people. ;-D
__________________
A friend will help you move. A true friend will help you move a body.
Whit is offline  
Old 04-28-2003, 06:48 PM   #15
Griff
still says videotape
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 26,182
Speaking of cults. ;)

"The Eagles will go 16-0 and win the Super Bowl"
__________________
If you would only recognize that life is hard, things would be so much easier for you.
- Louis D. Brandeis
Griff is offline  
 


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:48 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.