The Problem of Cults and a Probable Solution

Advertisements
Stock Photo of Spiritual Gathering.

June 09, 2020

A belief is an affirmation of one’s existence. It gives humanity a reason to suffer, a reason to do good, and a reason not to kill someone just because they accidentally stepped on your brand new blue suede shoes. But, how do we know when these beliefs, that we learn from others, are genuine or if they have hidden agendas? Religion is a major source of our beliefs in civilization; so much that we based our laws on governing bodies on the teachings of the Bible. Even our dollar bill has, “In God We Trust”. In this essay, I will be exploiting the issue‘s of organizations that exploit peoples beliefs for personal gain; in specific, a cult.


In the documentary Holy Hell, by Will Allen, it shares a true account of a “spiritual leader” who had devoted followers that gave everything to feel “closer to god”. Closer to god as in the freedom to feel safe with who one is, what one has, where they are in life, and who they associate with. This cult started in California in the 80’s, and was led by a man named Michel. Michel was an aspiring actor who had become certified in hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a form of therapy that uses language to control the recipient during a relaxed state of mind. It is meant to bypass the critical thinking part of the brain and transmit directly to the minds processing system; short and long-term memory.


Michel used this as a tool to manipulate his follower by increasing the chemicals in the brain, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin, oxytocin, etc., with the use of language and attached those feelings to the experiences they shared with him. This in turn created an association of happiness with spending time with Michel. Tolhuizen’s specifies certain techniques for intensifying relationships that Michel took advantage of. Increased contact; Michel would have sexual relations with his followers during “counseling sessions”, verbal expressions of affection; the key theme was love for life, love for brethren, and love for Michel, and behavioral adaptation; Michel convinced his followers to donate a majority of their earnings from employment to supporting the cult (Guerrero et al., p. 121).


This support could be as small as buying groceries, to as big as paying for the construction of a theatre for live play’s. The best way to prevent this materialistic, psychological/emotional, and physical exploitation of a person is to understand the source. The source is the communication the Michel used to convince his followers that he was more than human. This intensifying of relationships through sexual relations; often in secret, and manipulation of beliefs; often through the use of hypnotherapy. In the Bible it states that there should be only one God that is true, and the mistake that these people made was believing in idols or other forms of worship; in this case it was Michel.


To prevent people from losing sense of self during these times is to be able to separate or avoid oneself physically from the source (Guerrero et al., p. 125). Michel, or the Master, made it a point to have his followers live every single moment with him. They moved in, and some even quit their jobs to spend more time with the Master. Another way to combat this from happening is to remember, or to be able to reflect on one’s past and apply it to the present. If someone feels like they need other’s to be normal it is a warning sign of dependence. Once we become dependent on others we give them power over us.


Therefore, in this essay I defined the issue of manipulation, and exploitation of beliefs. Relationships can be detrimental to one’s health and status when they become overdependent on others. In order to prevent this from happening it is necessary to avoid, and separate oneself from those they are attached to in order to be able to reflect on oneself. It is not selfish to care for oneself, but a necessity.

Hip Hop Video Prototype.

Advertisements

I made a music video! well, I “directed a music video!” is probably more accurate. I didn’t rap, I didn’t make the beats; but, I did shoot, edit, and add effects to it. I learned a lot while editing this video so I posted it on YouTube:

The artist who raps goes by Da Grizzly if you dig his music and would like to search for more of his songs. If you would like to know who all the people in the video are I posted their info at the end of the video in the credits.

I used Adobe Premiere Pro as my non-linear editing system. I used YouTube and LinkedIn Learning to teach myself how to do the effects, and for guidance on what “hip hop” videos are supposed to look like.

The camera I used to shoot the video was a Sony A7III and I shot at 4k 24p and 1080 120p. If you would like to know more information about how I shot or what I shot the video let me know in the comments or contact me page.

Other than that, what are you doing still reading? Watch the video! Subscribe. Share. Create.

Advertisements

Join 39 other subscribers

Journal Ten: A Free-write

Advertisements

Journal Ten: Unfiltered Free-write

I recommend everyone have a journal or diary that they can write their emotions and feelings in. Freewriting is just one style that allows one to write their emotions without being too critical of oneself. I find that when I over analyze myself I end up not writing anything worth remembering.

It helps to release inhibition and let thoughts flow. It helps to be mindful.

Bed pull the thrills legs come and chill red blood and guts don’t forget love remember love butt anal people create trauma to the soul as insanity flows pen mold creation of life sold to the world government owned cereal flake piece of cake Marilyn Monroe Charles Manson bill Kennedy Freddy Krueger spit a lugar at boot camp drill instructor recruiter tranced in boot her pants come foot her dudes bleed red in the head Afghanistan saves the den leg deadhead lost in dread space time continuum bed closing eyes cloud nine rhyming lines freestyle mind communication prime mental diamonds cut lungs trying to quit lying to my shits dying coughing brian crying lying dying from sighing writing till dying. dead.

Reynaldo Rivera Jr. (2009)

I wrote this free-write in 2009 when I was in the Marine Corps. I have a bunch of journals that I have been trying to write into a book, but I’ve been hypercritical in how I want it to look in the end, which in turn has made me put off completing all the entries. This is a little snippet of one journal entry; journal ten.

🧙

Social Media for Communicators Blog for Week One

Advertisements

What I learned after Week one in Social Media for Communicators is that blog stands for . . . uhh. OMG I forgot! (a quick Google search later). It stands for “Web Log“. Cool huh?! Well, I think it’s cool. I love Google. Anyway …

  • How you first used social media, and how you use it now.

When I first used social media it was in the form of instant messaging. It was called AOL Instant Messenger and my friends and I would text each other at home after school on it. This was around the time DSL internet became the new Dial Up; the way of accessing the internet. When dial up was popular we would just call people to say hi. We didn’t text. Three way phone calls was the cool new technology. What’s a three way phone call you ask? It’s when you call a friend, put that friend on hold and listen for a ringtone, call another friend, and return to the call on hold to have all friends connected at one time. That was our social media!

Right. Soo, we had instant messenger and would text each other once in a while, and try to find new ways to text strangers. When ICQ came out I learned we could talk to random people. IM and ICQ where messaging platforms that were used to talk to friends, colleagues, and strangers. If I remember correctly they had a roulette feature where you could click a button and have a random person show up in the text. I tried it once in a while, but even back then I knew to be aware of fake profiles and fake people. I was a teenager after all.

  • Any positive and/or negative aspects of social media use that you have noticed arise in your personal or professional life.

There is one negative experience I remember from using social media that arose in my personal life and it relates to my posts on Yahoo Answers. Back in 2010 Yahoo Answers was super cool to me, because I could talk to people through questions or answers and find categories that matched my interests. I had just got out of the military and had a falling out when it came to sustaining relationships; basically, I had literally no friends, and so Yahoo Answers was my way of communicating with people.

I don’t remember what the post was entirely about, but I think it was related to flatulence. Any guy knows fart jokes are a classic conversation piece. Well, I posted about the amount of times I would use the restroom in a day; about 2 or 3. Oh, I forgot to mention that every answer that was posted could have a thumbs up or a thumbs down. The post with the most thumbs up would be highlighted next to the question as the best answer.

My post had the most thumbs down, and to this day I don’t know why it was so hated. Maybe I had a sarcastic/cynical undertone that was making people thumbs down my post? Looking back in hindsight 2 or 3 times a day to use the pooper is a lot. Ultimately, I don’t know what created the community to hate on my answer so much. Yahoo Answers still exists today as well as ICQ messenger. Here are the links if you wish to check them out:

ICQ Chat https://icq.com/icqchat/

Yahoo Answers https://answers.yahoo.com/

  • Anything that surprised/excited/alarmed you from the data included in the Pew Research and Internet Trends reports.

What surprised me about the data included in the Internet Trends report: https://www.bondcap.com/pdf/Internet_Trends_2019.pdf

Is that America has the freest, as in least restricted, internet access in the world. It makes sense now, but it was a surprise. It makes sense now, because I know America is all about transparency, truth, and freedom! Like I always say, “America is the land of the free, home of the Whopper.” 🙂

  • What aspects of social media you are interested in exploring further after consuming the Week One content.

I’m not sure what aspects of social media im interested in exploring further. I kind of want to get my certification in Google Analytics. I think it’s free to learn and get certified, but don’t quote me. I know Google Analytics is super expensive to use, but to become certified may be free. Someone fact check that and post it in the comments. What else . . . Oh yea! I want to learn more about gaming and how that platform is playing a pivotal role in social medias expansion.

🧙

Thoughts About WordPress Ease of Use.

Advertisements

1) Based on your experience with WordPress, what are your impressions with working with WordPress—the pros and cons? It started as a blogging platform but has evolved—should it still be relegated for small blogs, or do you see enterprise use?

Advertisements

This is apart of my class assignment. I feel I have to mention that, because I will mention some negative, some good, but some negative things.

  • Pros- It is very popular among many people I have grown to love and follow like Techcrunch and Phoblographer. It has a vast user base that gives it a nice community feeling; almost like a social media platform. It has an easy way to customize the feel and look of the website for people who don’t know how to code or are just curious about blogging. It saves me time.
  • Cons- Some of you might have noticed but my layout changed. I was browsing themes and clicked activate on a random theme and all my organized tabs and pillars and posts got arranged in a manner that I have not yet fixed. So, all the posts are in a kind of limbo at the moment while I figure out what I need to do to fix my old posts back on to the new layout. It was a whoopsie on my part.
Advertisements

It can definitely be used to build a business and make a name for oneself, as well as be used to just write about ones thoughts on their favorite stick of butter. Either way, WordPress has their back.

Bomber’s Basketball Hype Video.

Advertisements

Bomber’s Basketball Hype Video.

The coach of this team was the host to a bible study group I attended and when I mentioned that I was shooting videos for a college course he offered me the opportunity to shoot this hype video. Thanks brother. Anyway, Lets watch it shall we?

On a somewhat related note, but completely different focus …

Advertisements

I used to play basketball when I was a little kid; about the same age as some of these girls, but a little younger. However, I was not nearly as good as them. I was the kid who joined a team way more experienced than I was, but the coach let me in because my nephew was really good at basketball and we carpooled together anyway.

Long story short, it was the first time, not the last lol, that I was laughed at by an entire crowd during a live game. I had huge anxiety growing up so instead of blocking, or guarding my opponent, I chose to hide behind and pretend to block. I kind of ran around in circles and tried to pretend they werent laughing at my lack of skills. Needless to say, that was the last time I played as a kid.

Advertisements

When I was in middle school I ended playing everyday since it was the only fun thing to do while I waited for my parents to get off of work. I got pretty good and its the only sport game I truly enjoy playing for fun other than skateboarding. I don’t skateboard anymore though because I lost so much teeth from the falling and the speeding down hills.

🧙

FTC Endorsement Guide Link

Advertisements

I thought this was important, and wanted to remember it, so I linked it to my blog. If it will help me, it might help you. I learned of this from my Media Law course at Communications@Syracuse.

Basically, it’s a link that sends you to the Federal Trade Commission website with a bunch of common questions that are answered about accepting endorsements, products, and all kinds of free stuff and the necessary disclosure procedures that need to be disclosed when accepting such goods and services.

I thought this was important, and wanted to remember it, so I linked it to my blog. If it will help me, it might help you. I learned of this from my Media Law course at Communications@Syracuse.

Advertisements

So … here it is:

https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking

Basically, it’s a link that sends you to the Federal Trade Commission website with a bunch of common questions that are answered about accepting endorsements, products, and all kinds of free stuff and the necessary disclosure procedures that need to be disclosed when accepting such goods and services.

🧙

Mother Superior Shot the Gun.

Advertisements

Mother Superior Shot the Gun.

She pulled the trigger and let it run. In the veins it ran its course.

What can I do?

Pain has no remorse. Death is selfish, I can’t just go.

My family loves me, that I know. Doctor’s can’t help me, Medical or Medicare.

Advertisements

I have given up hope; Not a care, not a care.

Despair, despair, this isn’t fair. I can’t cope, I send a prayer.

I pray to the Holy Trinity

All is One and One is All.

Should I live, should I die, who am I?

My mind plays trickery, it fed me lies.

Advertisements

Where’s my mind, I cannot find the tranquility I had in memories past.

I know I can, I know I can, I know I can.

I can, indeed. I repeat, I can indeed.

For by my side you ought not, deep inside the stars at night, and in sunrise, you are all light.

With Love,

Hypodermic Mom mn Mother Nature

🌎

🧙‍♂️

What I Learned about Digital Communications at Syracuse.

Advertisements

What I Learned about Digital Communications at Syracuse.

First, never trust emails regardless where they come from! I opened an email from my Syracuse University email address that I never use, and therefore assumed was a legit email, and after reading the email I learned it was a proposition for an at home job. Yada, yada, yada and a few weeks later I lost $250.00. It was an email scam! I fell for it, but after filing my police report I learned people fall for the same scam often, and have lost much worse.

I have yet to get my money back, and likely never will. Oh, and I now hate Citibank. As a communications major the inability to have good communication with a customer representative (Citibank that’s you!) makes it even more difficult to handle problems when they arise… And that’s what I learned at Syracuse.

(Microphone drop. Looks around, smiles awkwardly and picks up imaginary microphone).

Testing, testing, can you read me? Good. I learned that with internet comes great responsibility, and great risk. Always be aware no matter where you are getting your information. Even if you find the president talking on your favorite news channel about how the world is ending, check other sources, because it could be a deep fake. See Deep Fake Kind of Like Lean Cake; It Ain’t.

Information we can find online is endless, and that goes for everyone and everything in between. Data analytics is the gathering of information that is found online and when organized correctly can predict behaviors, and in some cases even prevent illness. See What is Psychometrics?

I recommend all my readers begin learning about these technologies, because they are tools that can protect you, and help you survive in the warfare that is the internet. Think of data analytics, deep fakes, internet scams, technology, etc. as nuclear weapons, and the only way to prevent others from using said nukes against you, you have to have even stronger nukes on the ready, for the counter-attack.

If any of you have a good source on how to learn data analytics, like data analytics for dummies book; do they have those? Then, comment below with the sources so I, and anyone else, can read/watch/listen to the information and learn. Knowledge is power, power is control, control is security, security is peace of mind, and peace of mind is happiness. Don’t you want to be happy? 😃

 

🧙‍♂️

Exit mobile version