Chapter 2: Cultic Mind Control, Thought Reform & Coercive Persuasion Definitions
The following glossary of terms is the second installment of a series of posts humbly offered as an aid to Scientologists who may be struggling to leap over the language barriers between the various different camps who find fault with the Church of Scientology.
This post will also be used as supplemental material for supporting upcoming entries on this micro blog that explore the subject matter further, and as such the blogger felt the topic deserved a introductory preamble beforehand.
Proceed with cautionJust like the word "cult" can be a tough nut to crack for members of a destructive group that are heading down the path of becoming informed, the words "mind control" and "brainwashing" and the forms of abuse in which they manifest can be a frighten hurdle to own up to.
The reason being is horror stories of POW ordeals and MKULTRA fiascos has attached a certain stigma to the words "mind control" and "brainwashing" that infers something being done under physical restraint and with much force.
However, in terms of established academic standards of cultic studies and research into abusive groups "mind control" and "brainwashing" is seen a synonymous with "coercive persuasion" and "thought reform," which infers a more subliminal form of abuse being done subconsciously and over time. Therefore, when approaching this type of subject matter from an educational perspective former victims of destructive cults are encourage to see "mind control" and think "coercion" as an intermediate step of digesting the material without the shock and awe impact the more flamboyant buzzwords can induce.
This approach allows for a better dissection of the definitions for this area of formal study where a distinction can be made between the general definition of "mind control" and the more targeted definition of "cultic mind control". Therefore, as shown in the glossary document at the bottom of this post, cultic mind control is the more contextually accurate term for understanding the forms of psychological abuse the Church of Scientology is inflicting on its members.
For further insights into the specifics of this distinction, check out the information from Spiritwatch Ministries featured on the backlink of this post that eloquently answers the question: What Is Cultic Mind Control?
Come preparedAnother important aspect to keep in mind when trying conquer the acceptance factor of what was done to you while under the influence of coercive persuasion is that it basically boils down to one thing: devious and subversive forms of abuse.
It is not necessarily torture, nor is it in your face force to do something you adamantly refuse to be apart of. Rather, coercive persuasion (and its many synonyms) is simply mental conditioning secretly done over time to inflict abuse on members without them even realizing its happening.
Thus, a basic understanding of abusive relationships and the ways in which abuse surfaces in escalating fashion to violent behavior when a deeply personal relationship feeds it, can almost be considered a prerequisite area of the learning curve in regards to building a better understanding of the abuses inflicted on members by destructive cults.
The Power & Control Wheel is a particularly helpful tool in understanding the overall pattern of abusive and violent behaviors, which are used by an abuser to establish and maintain power and control over his/her victim. One of the most blatant or obvious ways is through physical or sexual violence. However, there are many other ways one can exert power (such as emotional, financial, verbal abuse). These are the tactics that can be harder to see can be used independently or in combination with the physical violence.
The power and control wheel diagram shown below is a condensed version of this widely respected model, excerpted from the Friends of Abused Families website and originally developed by the Domestic Abuse Intervention Project. Although the emphasis is towards identifying domestic abuse, there are many other variations of this wheels for other applications and it still holds a great deal of relevance for a general understanding of abusive relationships. For more information, see the full document mirrored in Exit Zone Dox collection of resources.
|Power and Control Wheel|
Brace for impactOnce the prerequisite need for a basic understanding of abusive relationships and forms of abuse is surpassed, the next step on the road to cult recovery via educational means is to become knowledgeable on the subject of cultic mind control, coercive persuasion, brainwashing, thought reform...
Lions and tigers and bears OH MY!
Yeah we know - scary stuff to confront at the onset, but there is decades of research and scholarship on these subjects that have been proven to aid the healing process with minimal study. Hopefully, the following addition to the Exit Zone's Wog Word Glossary will help make the journey down this road of discovery an easy series of steps to a greater awareness of the coerced influences a destructive group exerts on its members.
Stay tuned for upcoming posts that will attempt to map out a guideline of recommended reading and additional resources for aiding folks on the self-education road to cult recovery.
"The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off."
For more definitions commonly used on this blog, check out the related Glossary label readily available on the sidebar. Also, see the Exit Zone Glossary Classifications post for further explanation on how these definitions are categorized.
Click the title of this post or ob any other entries on this micro blog to visit the related link for a given announcement.