Nov 10, 2018
Working with Patients from High Control Groups, Part 1
What Therapists Should KnowEkaterina Musok, LCSWPsych CentralNovember 8, 2018Mental health practitioners need to be aware of the harmful psychological issues current and ex-cult members continue to show even after they leave such an organization. Individuals who have become part of these restrictive religious groups generally suffer from rigid thinking patterns, feelings of guilt, shame, and a sense of abandonment.Mental illness and substance abuse are also commonly observed. Suicidal tendencies, PTSD, anxiety and depression are just some of the consequences that these patients endure. Psychologists, LCSWs, LMFTs and LMHCs can utilize a variety of approaches when working with this population. Most researchers agree that educating patients on the cult’s history and destructive practices is the building block and lays the foundation of their recovery.
Religious cults, also known as new religious movements (NRM), have had a consistent presence over the past 100 years. Generally, when the word cult is mentioned, people envision scenes of the Jonestown massacre, mass weddings, polygamy marriages or individuals living in segregated communities.
Cult Members Often Cut Off Contact With Loved Ones
But not all destructive cults are so dramatic. The loss of free will, commonly called brainwashing, is generally used to explain why members choose to remain in such high control groups. Destructive cults often require their rank-and-file members to donate the majority, if not all of their time, effort, and money to the group’s purpose.
It is not unheard of for cult members to slowly or abruptly discontinue association with their family and friends.Cult leaders use a number of deceptive practices in order to convince their audience that the mission and vision of the group is paramount and that everyone not showing adherence to it is an opposer. A member’s previous social circle is viewed as a threat because family and friends could potentially persuade their loved one to stop attending the cult’s activities.It is therefore not surprising that rank-and-file members are encouraged to minimize their interactions and lines of communication with any non-cult members.The more time an individual spends with cult members, the more indoctrinated he or she becomes and the stronger the belief that the cult’s leadership has answers to all life’s questions.By cutting ties with former friends and family, the social support that a member now has is exclusively formed by other cult members. Together, members of high control religious groups consistently reinforce the cult-like mentality amongst one another. Often, cult leadership expects the rank-and-file members to report any “suspicious,” unpermitted activities by other members.
Learning about cults, their methods, tactics and internal practices is of relevance today more than ever. About three years ago, a documentary aired by the Oscar winning producer Alex Gibney made all the headlines both on social media and major TV networks.
Cults cause harm and suffering .Cause unwarranted stress and anxiety. And aid all kind of family dysfunction.
Which makes you wonder
Why the hell would our Governments still award them with charity status
Are they even awake, to this level of harm, of what they are allowing to occur ,under their own watch?
Are they acting responsibly ?
Here is another recent study, of what poses this following question
Could High Levels Of Stress Shrink Your Brain?
When we experience heightened levels of stress, our body produces the stress hormone cortisol in excess. This, in turn, produces symptoms such as poor sleep quality, weight gain, reduced skin healing, high blood pressure, etc.
Researchers, in a new study, explored how excess cortisol may be tied to changes in our thinking ability as well. The paper titled “Circulating cortisol and cognitive and structural brain measures” was published in the journal Neurology on Oct. 24.
The study involved more than 2,200 people — at an average age of 48 — who were all participants in the Framingham Heart Study. In addition to providing blood samples and MRI scans, they were instructed to take part in a test which measured their memory power, attention, visual perception, and more.
The tests were performed at the start of the study and once again eight years later. The findings revealed an association where the people who had the highest levels of cortisol also showed signs of smaller brain volume and performed worse on their thinking ability tests.
In other words, negative changes were observed in the brain scans as well as the tests measuring thinking ability. Furthermore, high cortisol levels were also linked to changes in the brain which are known to be precursors of Alzheimer’s disease.
“An important message to myself and others is that when challenges come our way, getting frustrated is very counterproductive — not just to achieving our aims but perhaps to our capacity to be productive,” says lead researcher Sudha Seshadri, a professor of neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Since the study was observational, this remains more of a correlation than a causation for now. But it did seem concerning to the researchers that physical changes in the brain were occurring in a group of people who were under the age of 50.
Our Governments don’t like to be responsible, themselves, for cults and the high level of harm they are able to cause to people
They will even wilfully award cults with charity status .
How unthoughtful is that then?
More or less in effect wilfully abandoning the care of the people whom are being harmed.
First of all
- the cult family abandon the excommunicated ex cult member
- then, nek minnit, governments then also wilfully abandon their own responsibility of harm being caused to excommunicated ex cult members, as well too
Kind of like a double whammy of abandonment
Then when the excommunicated ex cult member become disabled to think and function properly. Many times fail to support themselves
What happens ?
The government still doesn’t want to accept any of their own responsibility.
Their only goal usually still remain exactly the same as usual . Do what ever possible to try and force the excommunicated person, back into work. And even if it might also need to mean pressurizing and punishing them for, sometimes, not being mentally well enough to cope
What further entrenches these problems, even more, is the fact that faithful people wont step forward, and ask, for governments to begin to apply more regulation against elements of harm caused through cults (its normal that human should/would regulate against “elements of harm” within society)
In fact faithful folk are far “more apt“ to step forward to ask that government wont apply more regulation, in regard of harm being caused by cults
They are more apt to choose to act in this way
Which of course then naturally also help to seal the fate of harm constantly caused through cults
And sadly faithful folk are not always the sharpest tools in the shed (not so smart).Are they? (you can even go check out the scientific studies, if you feel like i’m wrong). Because so few of them will even bother to stop and contemplate this kind of problem themselves .They simply wont bother to. As it tends to feel far more cosy & nice, for them,to contemplate the idea of seeding more new churches ,or to think about helping to feed the poor (they seed more and more churches, without paying any attention to first putting more regulations in place, so as to prevent extreme harm being caused)
As contemplation on how they might in fact be helping to entrench extreme harm . Isn’t a fun cosy nice thought, for them faithful folk, to need to stop and think about or face up to
Is it ?
Perhaps they figure that governments cannot act to regulate peoples religious liberty (this is a mantra that has been promoted within church groups )
But the fact is this
- Government do in fact already regulate certain elements of religious liberty anyway. So that thought is moot point (IE: an irrelevant question, a matter of no importance). As we know how people already cannot claim its their religious liberty, to choose to deny their children the right to medical help. Or cannot choose to kill people in acts of sacrifice to God either (like what had once sometimes been able to occurred, in times long past).Meaning that religious liberty is in fact already regulated to a certain degree.So then why deny it?
- Religious liberty doesn’t necessarily equal religious liberty, in reality. Does it?. Look at the tyranny, that the cults are able to force upon members whom become entrapped within the cult groups
So the idea that COMPLETE religious liberty would BE ABLE TO exist, is a pipe dream (its no more than a misleading argument, of what thoughtless uncaring theist have constantly moulded their use of sophistry around. In turn entrenching the harm caused to too many people)
Pipe dream what serve to soothe the believers conscience, in regard of ongoing problem of cult harm
Its a pipe dream of what , for now, is foundered on elements of luck (IE: rely on luck of birth right, of who’s been born into a cult or who isn’t been born into one = pure luck)
Faithful folk far prefer to faithfully believe in religious liberty. Because it suits them better, to feel able to do so
Meanwhile their own faithfulness is in fact helping to further entrench elements of EXTREME harm
John 2: 13-22
Shame on those irresponsible people .For they do not follow in the footsteps of Jesus