The Problem of Cults and a Probable Solution

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.

What I Learned about Digital Communications at Syracuse.

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? 😃

 

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Story Time: Reading aloud Mesmeric Revelation from Edgar Alan Poe.

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Story Time: Reading Aloud Mesmeric Revelation From Edgar Allan Poe.

Book:

The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe with Selections from His Critical Writings.

With an Introduction and Explanatory Notes by Arthur Hobson Quinn.

Texts Established with Bibliographical Notes by Edward H. O’neill.

Barnes & Noble | Books | New York | 1992. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

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