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How Cults Evangelize By Dr. Mel Whittington Licensed Professional Counselor In Private Practice, Tulsa, OK Minister of Equipping Ministries Will Rogers United Methodist Church, Tulsa, OK

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How Cults Evangelize. By Dr. Mel Whittington Licensed Professional Counselor In Private Practice, Tulsa, OK Minister of Equipping Ministries Will Rogers United Methodist Church, Tulsa, OK. How Cults Evangelize. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  • How Cults EvangelizeBy

    Dr. Mel WhittingtonLicensed Professional CounselorIn Private Practice, Tulsa, OKMinister of Equipping MinistriesWill Rogers United Methodist Church, Tulsa, OK

  • How Cults EvangelizeA cult is a group or movement that exhibits great devotion to some person, idea, or thing. The group uses a thought-reform program to persuade, control, and socialize members.Systematically induces dependency in members Exploits members to advance the leaderships goalsCauses harm to members, their families, the community

  • Destructive GroupsDestructive organizations exhibit many of these common traits: - Totalitarian in structure: strict top-down centralized control with a "we-they," "us versus them" attitude. Groups become totalistic islands in the midst of society, which reinforces an adversarial relationship with outside groups.

  • Destructive Groups- Creating enemies: the government, other races, other religious groups, other communities, other nation states, other ideologies. - Attempts to control all communication into and out of the group as well as the individual's inner thought processes.

  • Destructive Groups- Leaders' ideas, politics, mission and agenda are "sacred," or "inspired," beyond reproach. This could result in an presumed superiority over all others who do not hold the same views.

  • Destructive Groups- Frequent use of public confession or testimonials to entrap members/citizens

    Attempts to dominate the social lives of members

  • Destructive Groups- A special language, beyond what would be considered normal jargon.

    -Radical separation of pure and impure:

    - Exclusiveness

  • The Power of InfluenceTHE POWER OF INFLUENCE

  • The Power of InfluencePerceptual Contrast- But, they seemed so different

    Reciprocation- The old give and take .and take and take

    Commitment & Consistency- Hobgoblins of the mind

    Social Proof- Truth R Us

  • The Porwer of InfluenceLiking- The Friendly Thief

    Authority- Directed Deference

    Scarcity- The Rule of the Few

  • The Psychology of CultsStrategies for ResistancePerceiving Discontinuities Normal AppearancesAssumed SimilaritiesApparent CompetenceCognitive ConfusionEmotional Confusion

  • The Psychology of CultsStrategies for Resistance (continued)Plays on ChoiceImpersonal Structures

  • Taking Every Thought Captive20 Ways to Resist Unwanted Social InfluencePractice being deviant sometimes.Practice saying I made a mistake.Be aware of others frame of referenceBe willing to suffer short-term lossesAssess the interpersonal perspective to determine if it has gained more significance than it merits.Resist taking actions that you are uncertain of.

  • 20 Ways to Resist Unwanted Social InfluenceInsist on an understandable explanationBe sensitive to the situational demandsEspecially note the guest-host relationship established that compromise your freedom to choose and act.Dont believe in simple solutions [if it sounds to good to be true ]

  • Taking Every Thought Captive20 Ways to Resist Unwanted Social InfluenceRemember there is no such thing as instant, unconditional love from strangers.Maintain/establish healthy boundaries between you and the agent of influence.Immediately test the limits of your autonomyPractice detached concern. Disengage your emotions during confrontation.Be the most honest, self-assured person you can be.

  • 20 Ways to Resist Unwanted Social InfluenceRecognize Guilt and guilt-inducing actions of others.Resist reacting or making decisions on impulse or habit.It is not necessary to maintain consistency. You may change your mind.Illegitimate authority must be rejected, disobeyed & exposedBe willing to openly defy, disobey, & challenge

  • RecoveryMYTHS: Things NOT to sayWhy didnt you leave that group?You are the last person I would have expected to join a cult.Why see a psychologist? You know you were deceived in your own spiritual walk. You need to repent of your sins so the deceiver can not tempt you again.Its been my experience that people who join these groups are troubled or come from dysfunctional families. I didnt know you had problems. I guess I was wrong.

  • RecoveryStages of RecoveryStage One: Developing a Conceptual FrameworkStage Two: Grieving, Reconciliation and Reaching OutStage Three: Reintegration into Society

  • RecoveryStage One: Developing a Conceptual FrameworkFocus: Education & self-acceptanceExit Counseling - gives a framework for post-cultic problemsRecognize the importance of relationships

  • RecoveryStage One: Developing a Conceptual FrameworkEvaluate the GroupRecovery of Fellowship and RecognitionFloatingTrauma

  • RecoveryStage One: Developing a Conceptual Framework Thought reform

  • RecoveryStage Two: Grieving, Reconciliation, and reaching outRegaining purposeA need for ReconciliationRequest for InformationNeed for SupportRediscover the Gospel

  • RecoveryStage Two: Grieving, Reconciliation, and reaching outRescue othersContact by the CultRetribution of the CultReemergence of the Past

  • RecoveryStage Three: Reintegration into SocietyIdentify the positives of the Cult ExperienceRecovery of the whole self The Self & Religious CommitmentImpossibility of Reconciliation to God by works

  • RecoveryStage Three: Reintegration into SocietyAffirming Acceptance of SelfRecover of the PracticalRecognition of Sexuality & intimate relationsLonging for the friends in the cult

    *****Camus observed: "I practice the profession of penitence, to be able to end up as judge," and "the more I accuse myself, the more I have a right to judge you." Public testimonials, confession and sharings to reinforce the collective viewpoint, make it extremely difficult for anyone to disagree.

    - Attempts to dominate the social lives of members. There may be endless meetings, events, seminars, lectures, group encounters. Gradually group activities take over one's life leaving little or no time for outside activities. Not attending such meetings indicates a lack of dedication(a stigma of being somehow inferior and selfish, of letting down one's fellow members. *- A special language, beyond what would be considered normal jargonThey "load" members' language with buzz words, cliches, slogans, chants, prayers and doctrinal phrases that keep people saturated and mesmerized with one viewpoint-another way they attempt to control members' internal environment.

    - Radical separation of pure and impure: The notion of "purification" becomes an obsession that is always just out of reach-an eternal carrot. Purity equates to being in the group, impurity equates to those outside the group, who must be "saved," defeated economically, or converted.

    Belief that their system, mission or ideology is the solution for the world's problems. They embody an absolutist (totalistic) vision of truth: they have it, and outsiders or non-believers do not have it. Noted psychologist, Robert Lifton observed that "...those who have not seen the light-have not embraced that truth, are in some way in the shadows-are bound up with evil, tainted, and do not have the right to exist."(8) For example, third world countries are by definition "inferior."

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