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Cult Notes

I don't really have time for a thoughtful post about this but I do want to get my notes off of this ripped up envelope and into digital legible form.

Lisa Kendall speaking at FFRF June 30 2015 at O'Connor's
"Lord of the Flies meets Animal Farm"
She was in one called the move of God
Apparently Sarah Palin has ties to this cult
SGA = Second generation adult, that's what she is
She emphasizes the importance of talking to people in cults, and wants to teach us How To. Folks in these situations may really need outside contact and may want to escape but not know how to. By simply having a conversation with them you open the door to their liberation, or at least for sanity to hold on. This completely paraphrased and not at all what she said, but it is what I got out of it.

Jehovah's Witness
Jewish orthodox
New Age
Native American
FLDS, Mormon
Religious cults dominate dt the ease of 501C3 status
Cave Junction survivalists:
Rural, "don't tread on me", "mind your own bizness"

information war -- maintain ignorance
no philosophical freeom, no authenticity
dissent is discouraged
"a high demand group"
the joiners get something out of it: structure, community
vulnerable and get sucked in: foster children, abused women, history of abuse, authoritarian family
*need to monitor views/practices of foster families with a mind to preventing brainwashing / exploitation
exploit children, teens, women, SGA's
child labor, slavery
denunciation sessions
elitist, wealthy
dictatorial; no introspection
polarized social view: us vs. them
leader not accountable to police, outside authorities
end justifies the means
no one on the inside calls it a cult
a family can be cult-like
sexual abuse common; boys not taught about consent

Oregon is a "hotbed" dt tolerance plus rural
Alaska and Canada


Kent Bergner, cult expert who was present at the meeting, director of the PDX cult resource center. Former Catholic priest has helped many people who have escaped from cults.

Steve Hassen BITE Model; belief, information, thought, emotion

Lawrence Wright book on Scientology
Will has read the first couple of chapters and wants to do nothing but read it
Title: Going Clear

Terry Gross divorced somebody who was a tad too authoritarian?

Rita Swan, ex-scientologist, got a law passed making Healthcare for Children a Legal Duty

Voices from the Edge had a podcast with Ken and Lisa talking about Cults, was on KBOO

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 8th, 2015 03:25 pm (UTC)
Jehovah's Witnesses?? Maybe they were a cult 100 years ago, but they long ago outgrew that status. Just how does she define "cult" anyway?
Jul. 8th, 2015 04:10 pm (UTC)
LOL I knew at least ONE Of those would get a reaction. Pretty much any religion could be used in a cult if the leader was authoritarian and escape was difficult. She didn't define cult, but she pointed us toward several places where definitions could be found. Many of those things in the "how cults win" section are part of somebody's definition of cult.

She was speaking as an escapee, that is to say, she is sensitive to it. My impression was that she sees cults everywhere, and that she may be disposed to believe that any strict moral code enforced by family/church is cult-like.

My personal take is that there is a huge gray area between religion/community/groupthink/cult and freethinking/authenticity/notCult. Most humans reside somewhere in that gray area. It is our nature to want to believe in something, even if what we believe in makes little sense.
Jul. 8th, 2015 04:42 pm (UTC)
But most of the "freethinkers" i know think like other freethinkers. And what one person would call slavery another might call commitment. The important thing, it seems to me, is not whether a group is or is not a cult, but whether it is or is not destructive of choice, individual integrity, human dignity, and human equality. Group dynamics has the potential to turn any leader (religious, political, economic, educational, etc.) into a monster.
Jul. 9th, 2015 02:42 am (UTC)
Sure. I think if you were to ask she would say that cults by definition are destructive of choice, individual integrity, human dignity, and human equality. In fact, that pretty much sums it up for me too. A community supports individual development. A cult harnesses the individual's life force for other aims.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )



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