As you read this brief summary of the classical traits of cultic mind control / thought reform, can you think of specific instance in which you've seen it in your journey through Remnant?
This is an old article I did years ago, and long before I ever heard of Gwen Shamblin. This will help you come to understand what you were subjected to as the Remnant vision began to spread through the WDW .. and even before ..
Psychologist Robert J. Lifton's classic book entitled "Thought Reform And The Psychology Of Totalism" set forth eight major criteria that identified the basic principles of mind control many years ago. To Lifton, the context of this thought reform typically takes place within the dynamic of human relationships and group dynamics working in tandem in a manner so potent that it transforms men and women in the most profound manner possible, changing their thoughts and emotional responses and hence their behavior. We want to briefly share concise descriptions of each of these eight criteria to help you see how mind control works:
1. Milieu Control - the "milieu" spoke of is understood as the cultural environment and settings around people which can vary from person to person. For example, the milieu of a Mexican teenage girl is going to be obviously different from that of a retired New York investment banker. For cults to control one's thoughts, they must first begin to isolate and remove any external influences from the lives of their recruits that conflict with the cult's unique social setting, substituting the values, taboos, and morals of the group as the most valuable (indeed, exclusive) way to act and live.
2. Demand For Purity - a subtle (or explicit) pressure placed upon members by the group to engage in a continual process of radical self-purification by critical examination of their lives. They are compelled to purge themselves of all that is deemed by the group as unholy, impure, and to replace it with what the group defines as holy, pure and good. This pressure for conformity to the "purity" of group ideals is strongly reinforced by the social circles within the group which members are expected to frequent on a regular basis.
3. The Cult Of Confession - the "cult" aspect refers to specific times of communal self-criticism in which the drive for group "purity" is pursued in small groups or mentoring relationships aimed at the transformation of members. Within these highly influential times of confession of weaknesses, personal failings, and sins, members are often subjected to stern disciplinary practices that freely use fear, guilt and shaming to change thought and behavior among them. These confessionals take many forms but the intent is the same: submission to a confessor figure that is complete.
4. Mystical Manipulation - an intentional exaltation of the group's or group leader's authority by a carefully planned display of spiritual power or philosophical insight staged to seem to have happened spontaneously. An example of this is when a group member may give a vibrant testimony of experiencing some supernatural wonder during a group gathering and explain it as the result of their involvement with the group - when in fact, they may have given such a "testimony" before many impressionable new recruits in other settings in the past.
5. The Sacred Science - the acceptance of a group's unique claims, authority and wisdom as supported by or at least being perfectly compatible with established scientific, historical, or psychological truths. This "new truth" is a profound revelation coming from the group and cannot be understood anywhere else but by membership in it. Group insights and teachings are presented as a perfect harmony of cutting edge scientific, spiritual or philosophical achievement that has never been achieved before by any other human endeavor, except, of course, by its' own visionary leadership!
6. Loading The Language - a "loaded language" is used as a source of directive control: it consists of a terminology conveying specific meanings and instructions unique to the group's belief system. This vocabulary is meant to define various personal encounters, experiences and thoughts as the group wants the member to see and respond to them in as concise a manner as possible. Once defined by the word, the group's conditioned responses will take over. For example, calling one a "seeker" in a group setting evokes a vastly different response than to call them an "apostate."
7. Doctrine Over Person - Lifton's description is most direct: it is "when there is a conflict between what one feels oneself experiencing and what the doctrine or dogma says one should experience". This struggle arises when one's personal desires and needs are shown to be in direct conflict with the group's expectations for them, with the obvious conclusion that they must "toe the line" and to readily and joyously accept whatever they are told to receive, regardless of the personal cost. The tension is "resolved" when the group truth is upheld above one's wishes and well being.
8. Dispensing Of Existence - when members' independent thinking has been secured, the "dispensing" is actually the bitter fruit of the mind control process. It is the programmed conviction that the purity and supremacy of the group's authority is so great that it can determine both figuratively and literally the right of people and institutions to exist or not exist. A group's judgment that "pagans" (or "born agains") are evildoers best seen "six feet under" and swept out of existence establishes an elitist mindset convincing members that they are the truly righteous who should rule the world.
This occurs in any and every abusive mass movement, religious sect, dysfunctional relationship, authoritarian government, etc. under the sun. Remnant Fellowship is no different. Take a look around, Remnant.