Monday, January 26, 2009

Monica Pignotti - Releasing the Bonds of the "Cult Mind Control" Narrative

Very good, albeit long, article from Monica, questioning some of the anti-cult dogma and methods.

As far as I am concerned, the anti-cult approach is itself a cultic belief system, mostly because it is based on an us-vs-them explanation.

Not that the anti-cult approach is fundamentally false, but like with anything, a partial view is presented as the whole view, and there lies the problem. Viewed in its own perspective it can be very useful, but when you turn it into a belief system through which you interpret everything, you just fall in yet another trap.

I think that this is part of what Monica describes here.

In my opinion, you don't need to "recover" from a "cult" anymore than you need to "recover" from a marriage turned sour unless you have been seriously beaten in the process, which is a tiny minority. It isn't a sickness, it just is part of life.

We make choices and some of these may be wrong, we learn from them and move on. That's really all there is to it. It all is part of spiritual learning, exploring, experimenting, like a child learns to explore his environment. You don't "recover" from being a child, this is silly. You learn and grow up.

Monica Pignotti, MSW: Releasing the Bonds of the "Cult Mind Control" Narrative:

I happened upon Steve Hassan’s book, CCMC, one day in the bookstore and was so fascinated, I could not put it down. It seemed to explain everything I had gone through, 12 years before in Scientology. [...]

The problem with these kinds of checklists is that the symptoms could have many alternative explanations, yet when someone is caught up in the cult mind control and post-cult syndrome narrative, that person uses it to explain any trouble they are having. [...]

That is what needs to be challenged and questioned. The studies showing high rates of post-cult symptoms were done with samples of people who had been exposed to anti-cult narratives or people who were having difficulties and sought professional help. Not included in these samples are people who left these groups and did not have such difficulties.

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