Cults. Opinions? Any experiences with them?

Jun 13, 2018
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#1
Guys, I don't know if this thread belongs in the political section. If it doesn't, please move it to off topic.

I know some cults are political in nature and the story I'm going to describe deals with one of them. But a cult can be of any kind (religious, political, a kind of community, etc).

Here's the deal, I had this friend. I met him in 1995. We were best friends for almost 20 years. About 4 years ago, he started radicalizing his opinions and voicing them on the internet (we were estranged due to work, I moved to another city, things like that) and I just thought it was a phase. We have radically different opinions about politics and stuff like that. I am more right leaning, but I'm not one to voice opinions on social networks. All I do is post my daughter and my dog and their shenanigans... I just like to have a good time, I don't like to argue, I'm a person that avoids combat at any cost (be it verbal or physical) even if my opinions are strong, I prefer to maintain a good friendship and bond over things we have in common.

I am white, my former friend is black. None of it mattered for all of our lives. We always treated each other with respect. My family considered him like family. This year, he joined a black movement group that I won't say the name here (a small group in Brazil) with a very charistmatic leader. They have truly radical speeches and they only allow black members. Even though I don't voice my opinions, one day, I found out he deleted me and my wife from his social network. I was one of his best friends and now he pretends I don't even exist.

I confronted him by sending a message and he copied and pasted a whole discourse about how blacks should unite, and I only said "ok, I understand, you want to find your place, you want to be a militant. But do you have to delete your old friends from your life?" and he said "I did it because I didn't want to hurt or offend you" and I replied "I don't believe in getting offended. This is bullshit" and then I only finished with "Way to go. Threw away a 23 year friendship because of a stupid ideology. My doors will remain open. Bye".

I felt bad for him. We don't really have much in common nowadays, it's true. But it sickens me to see how a weak individual can fall prey to a charistmatic leader and base his whole life on a group, on this leader, and throw away his old friends (mind you, he kept the old friends that like his posts about this kind of shit) and he says blatantly racist things all the time disguised as a way to "fight" and people applaud him. I would go to jail if I reversed some of the things he says with white instead of black in the texts.

Anyway. This group he joined is a cult, a political cult. Cults fascinate me and disgust me at the same time. I also know other individuals who threw away their music cds because they weren't christian. One of them burned his old CD's because they were "worldly" and "worldly" stuff is wrong.

I'm not sad, I don't really miss this friendship, but I'm astounded by what happened. And I want to know if any of you have experiences with close people joining cults or if any of you were part of a cult once and were able to get out. Please enlighten me.
 
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Jun 22, 2018
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#2
I love reading up on cults. Seeing how they can manipulate and brainwash people into doing all manner of things is scary yet somehow fascinating.
Your story is sad though. Friends for so long then he tries to fit into a group and in the process fucks off one of his best mates. What brings people to go so far into the rabbit hole to change their whole lives? They leave families. They leave friends. They completely change who they are... And for what?
You see it a fair bit with newly recruited Scientologists. We had it with a fairly close friend. She was quite happy in life. Born and raised Catholic but not really following the religion at all. She meets this guy who is a born again Christian. He starts preaching to me things like coming to his church so the church goers can pray over me to heal my sore back (sciatica),,, I thanked him for his kind thoughts but politely declined.
We got invited to their wedding and it was fine. Pleasantly fine ceremony and all was looking good in their lives. About 6 months later they ended up moving to Sydney (we are in Melbourne) and we have not heard from her since. That was almost 10 years ago. She has started a new life completely devoted to her religious beliefs. And look, from what I gather, she is happy. But her family and friends are all here and she barely keeps contact with anyone. For the life of me I cannot fathom how someone so close to her friends and family can change so drastically, so fast!
 
Likes: lock2k

cr0w

Old Member
Aug 31, 2015
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#3
I was born and raised about 3 miles from where the Branch Davidians lived and eventually burned, my uncle is a cop that was involved in the siege and my family knew a few members of the sect. I actually own Koresh's pocket knife and Iron Maiden pendant. There's a lot of misinformation out there in regards to what they were actually up to in their compound, but for the most part they were a peaceful group that legitimately believed in what Koresh was teaching. Problem was, he liked women and girls of all ages and that just doesn't fly. The ATF trumped up a lot of the weapons charges and pretty much created the entire conflict because they had little brother syndrome with the FBI, but outside of all that there were legitimate reasons for wanting Koresh in jail.

Of course, they couldn't pull him over and arrest him during one of his repeated, predictable visits to a local cafe or anything, they had to go in and shoot anything that moved on live television.
 
Sep 4, 2018
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#5
cults largely get a bad name bc of Satanic Panic. there really aren't any Satanist religions based on killing babies or sacrificing deer or whatever they do on tv shows. that is all a myth.

there have been some famous US cults in the 20th century that went wrong. the Heavens Gate cult is pretty wild. the leader had himself castrated, he was that committed to the cause, of catching a ride on the Haley Bop comet.

my favorite is the Unarius movement, which is focused around some California New Wave people who claim to have channeled advanced beings from other galaxies. they made a lot of incredible low budget videos in the 80s that are on youtube. this is my favorite stuff to watch when high lol:

 
Likes: wondermega
Jan 14, 2018
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#7
"jesus camps" like hell houses (learned about these recently from a thread post)


disturbing...I feel sorry for anyone involved, really ... it's just a weird thing to witness.
 
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Dec 7, 2018
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#11
I don't have experience with Cults, but i would say YouTube (youtubers) has a large collection of vocal, and charismatic individuals who have a cult like following.

I've been on very extreme parts of YouTube where i want to try to understand different views. Like the Dr. Umar Johnsons of the world, or Alt right sides or people in between, people like Syringe, or Vegan gains etc. Like there followers come across very cancerous. There's so much information being thrown around that i feel even the most stable individual can be lost at times. I was lost when i defended MS's anti consumer policies but i was a kid i didn't know any better!

Your friend should get off the computer, realize that most of this , is really just a distraction at the end of the day. One thing i realized when i was younger was people online regurgitating information they haven't researched. Once you try to push them and even dismantle what they BELIEVE IS TRUE IN THE MOMENT , they lash out. A lot of followers don't question the person they follow, it's unfortunate how it ends up.

more people should think for themselves and not lose themselves to nonsense. At least the nonsense that will tear friend ships apart.


OFF TOPIC- Maybe

Once you turn off the television, the computer, and your phone. You realize how quiet YOUR world is. You also realize that some of the stuff you learn on these media platforms doesn't truly effect your daily life, common sense is restored (HOPEFULLY) and you try to find more constructive things to do. At least that's how it was for me.

Just to note you don't need to hear this but your friend does
 
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Jan 27, 2018
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#12
If you read the supportive comments on Filip Miucin's videos since his plagiarism became public knowledge, you might think there's a bit of cultism going on there. Heavy reality denial going on.
 
Apr 19, 2018
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#13
At work I'm surrounded by Jehovahs Witnesses, Mormons and Young Living Essential Oils sales people..
They all suck but the Oil sales people are the worst cult of the bunch.
 
Likes: iconmasterX
Aug 15, 2018
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#14
I'm a bit curious as to how one gets duped into a cult. What kind of psychological manipulation is needed to make someone completely abandon their former lives and follow a wackjob organization?

Do cults only really work on the weak minded and downtrodden (perhaps insecure and alone), or can rational educated individuals also fall for them? Do they wear down individuals or is it an overnight thing?

I feel like cults psychology can probably give some interesting details about how the human mind works and behaves.



P.S. This t.v. ad isn't really a cult thing, but I think it clearly manipulates superstitous people like a cult. It is an ad for "miracle water" and I can't believe that a clearly fraudlent product was allowed to air a television advertisement just a couple of months ago in the United States.

 
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Likes: lock2k
Jul 22, 2018
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#15
I'm a bit curious as to how one gets duped into a cult. What kind of psychological manipulation is needed to make someone completely abandon their former lives and follow a wackjob organization?

Do cults only really work on the weak minded and downtrodden (perhaps insecure and alone), or can rational educated individuals also fall for them? Do they wear down individuals or is it an overnight thing?

I feel like cults psychology can probably give some interesting details about how the human mind works and behaves.



P.S. This t.v. ad isn't really a cult thing, but I think it clearly manipulates superstitous people like a cult. It is an ad for "miracle water" and I can't believe that a clearly fraudlent product was allowed to air a television advertisement just a couple of months ago in the United States.

They slip a little something into your juice. Then your mind is open to their message: that you are Peter from the Bible, and that just like him who denied Christ 3 times, they tell you, the man they got to confess he was sent by the Jesuits into the cult to save another, they tell you that they made you see the light and have come to profess and deny no longer that they are the one true church.

The one student was saved from the cult. My belief in religious institutions and that other institutions operate in good faith, destroyed.
 
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Jul 26, 2018
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#16
By far the worst cult I have come across recently is the "Cult of Machine Learning". That is, people who want to throw ML approaches to every problem they encounter, in order to produce a shitty paper where they basically say: "We applied Tensorflow to this problem and this is what came out". Can't have reasonable discussions with most of them...
 
Jun 13, 2018
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Brazil
#17
By far the worst cult I have come across recently is the "Cult of Machine Learning". That is, people who want to throw ML approaches to every problem they encounter, in order to produce a shitty paper where they basically say: "We applied Tensorflow to this problem and this is what came out". Can't have reasonable discussions with most of them...
Don't forget Crossfit and the modern companies like Google, Facebook, Riot. All cults.
 
Likes: Hudo
Oct 27, 2017
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#19
Inexplicably hating Donald Trump is a worldwide cult at the moment because 99/100 people can’t explain why they hate him when you ask them. Very much exhibiting brainwashed, cult-like behaviour.

I find it very interesting and I’m not a Trump cheerleader. It’s a disturbing example of how easy social engineering is and how weak-minded the majority of the human population is.

If you voice an opinion, you should be able to explain your reasons for it.
 
Feb 14, 2018
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#21
Inexplicably hating Donald Trump is a worldwide cult at the moment because 99/100 people can’t explain why they hate him when you ask them. Very much exhibiting brainwashed, cult-like behaviour.

I find it very interesting and I’m not a Trump cheerleader. It’s a disturbing example of how easy social engineering is and how weak-minded the majority of the human population is.

If you voice an opinion, you should be able to explain your reasons for it.
I recall the vape shop employee screaming like the devil girl in the movie The Excorcist when he had to serve the guy wearing the Trump hat and shirt.
 
Nov 14, 2009
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#23
I'm coming to abandoning the word cult as I find it can be all too easy to place groups we don't like and understand under that name and sweep them away.

As to how quickly people can leave their old lives behind and change. My guess is that it's not so quick.

Edit: more to come, accidentally posted.

The rest:

Or perhaps it just depends on the individual and the sales pitch presented.

...

I just lost ambition to post, premature post-postulation is not a good thing.
 
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wondermega

Junior Member
Jun 27, 2009
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www.headcaseGames.com
#24
Humans are social animals, we crave connection, meaning in our lives. We also really really appreciate it when that seeks us out/seduces us rather than the other way around (we have a tendancy to be lazy, self centered, insecure). It's not at all surprising that a certain percentage of people can be swayed toward a single type of thought, committee, etc. Abandoning one's preexisting life and such for it, well that is obviously going into a lesser percentage, but still not very difficult to imagine for many who are still in their formative years. I mean, look at all the tribes. Religion, NBA teams, star wars, console fanboys..
 
Feb 22, 2009
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#25
Inexplicably hating Donald Trump is a worldwide cult at the moment because 99/100 people can’t explain why they hate him when you ask them. Very much exhibiting brainwashed, cult-like behaviour.

I find it very interesting and I’m not a Trump cheerleader. It’s a disturbing example of how easy social engineering is and how weak-minded the majority of the human population is.

If you voice an opinion, you should be able to explain your reasons for it.
Really? Have evidence that they can't articulate why they hate him? I'm pretty sure that "99/100" can cite at least one reason why. He's overtly corrupt, making it clear that he intends to enrich himself from the administration. He's incompetent, making basic policy mistakes that others avoided, and choosing cabinet members based on loyalty rather than ability (and firing them when they think for themselves). He lies about virtually everything and can never be trusted. He suppresses science to please fossil fuel companies. And of course, he's the embodiment of xenophobia and bigotry.

If anything, the cultish behavior comes on the part of Trump and his supporters. Think about it: he relies on mindless jingoism and visual identification like a cult leader (see: red "MAGA" caps), conducts endless rallies, tells supporters that "I alone can fix it," and insists on absolute obedience. To support him means checking your critical thinking at the door, because you're not allowed to question his claims if you're a 'true' follower, no matter how obvious the lie.