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Cults- Dangerous Devotions

  1. 1. Cults- Dangerous Devotions Exploring Human Trafficking Aspects of Cults
  2. 2. Introduction • The term cult usually refers to a social group defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. • The term itself is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia. • Groups said to be cults range in size from local groups with a few members to international organizations with millions.
  3. 3. Cult
  4. 4. Introduction • Beginning in the 1930s, cults became the object of sociological study in the context of the study of religious behaviour. • From the 1940s the Christian counter cult movement has opposed some sects and new religious movements, and it labelled them as cults for their "un- Christian" unorthodox beliefs. • The secular anti-cult movement began in the 1970s and it opposed certain groups, often charging them with mind control and partly motivated in reaction to acts of violence committed by some of their members.
  5. 5. Cults
  6. 6. Introduction • The term "new religious movement" refers to religions which have appeared since the mid-1800s. • Many, but not all of them, have been considered to be cults.
  7. 7. New Religious Movements
  8. 8. Introduction • Sub-categories of cults include: Doomsday cults, personality cults, political cults, destructive cults, racist cults, polygamist cults, and terrorist cults. Various national governments have reacted to cult-related issues in different ways, and this has sometimes led to controversy.
  9. 9. Cults
  10. 10. New Religious Movements • A new religious movement (NRM) is a religious community or spiritual group of modern origins (since the mid-1800s), which has a peripheral place within its society's dominant religious culture.
  11. 11. Sub-Categories Destructive Cults • "Destructive cult" generally refers to groups whose members have, through deliberate action, physically injured or killed other members of their own group or other people. • Psychologist Michael Langone, executive director of the anti-cult group International Cultic Studies Association, defines a destructive cult as "a highly manipulative group which exploits and sometimes physically and/or psychologically damages members and recruits"
  12. 12. Destructive Cults
  13. 13. Sub-Categories • Doomsday Cults • "Doomsday Cult" is an expression which is used to describe groups that believe in Apocalypticism and Millenarianism, and it can also be used to refer both to groups that predict disaster, and to groups that attempt to bring it about.
  14. 14. Doomsday Cults
  15. 15. Sub-Categories • In the late 1980s doomsday cults were a major topic of news reports, with some reporters and commentators considering them to be a serious threat to society. The Family Cult
  16. 16. Sub-Categories • Political Cults • A political cult is a cult with a primary interest in political action and ideology. • In their 2000 book On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left, Dennis Tourish and Tim Wohlforth discuss about a dozen organizations in the United States and Great Britain that they characterize as cults.
  17. 17. Political Cults
  18. 18. Polygamist Cults • Cults that teach and practice polygamy, marriage between more than two people, most often polygyny, one man having multiple wives, have long been noted, although they are a minority. • It has been estimated that there are around 50,000 members of polygamist cults in North America. • Often, polygamist cults are viewed negatively by both legal authorities and society, and this view sometimes includes negative perceptions of related mainstream denominations, because of their perceived links to possible domestic violence and child abuse.
  19. 19. Polygamist Cults
  20. 20. Racist Cults • Racist Cults • Sociologist and historian Orlando Patterson has described the Ku Klux Klan, which arose in the American South after the Civil War, as a heretical Christian cult, and he has described its persecution of African Americans and others as a form of human sacrifice.
  21. 21. Racist Cults
  22. 22. Racist Cults • Secret Aryan cults in Germany and Austria in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries had a strong influence on the rise of Nazism.
  23. 23. Terrorist Cults • Terrorist Cults • In the book Jihad and Sacred Vengeance: Psychological Undercurrents of History, Psychiatrist Peter A. Olsson compares • Osama bin Laden to certain cult leaders including Jim Jones, David Koresh, Shoko Asahara, Marshall Applewhite, Luc Jouret and Joseph Di Mambro, and he says that each of these individuals fit at least eight of the nine criteria for people with narcissistic personality disorders
  24. 24. Terrorist Cults • At a 2002 meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA), anti-cultist Steven Hassan said that Al-Qaida fulfills the characteristics of a destructive cult. • He added: "We need to apply what we know about destructive mind-control cults, and this should be a priority with the war on terrorism. • We need to understand the psychological aspects of how people are recruited and indoctrinated so we can slow down recruitment. • We need to help counsel former cult members and possibly use some of them in the war against terrorism."
  25. 25. Terrorist Cults
  26. 26. Destructive Cult • A destructive cult is a cult or other religious movement which has caused harm to its members or other people, or which will likely do so. • There is a discussion of what harm really means in this context. • For most researchers, it includes physical harm, so organisations who injure or kill their members qualify
  27. 27. Destructive Cult
  28. 28. Destructive Cult • Some researchers also include mental abuse in this notion of harm, for example: • "A destructive cult is a pyramid-shaped authoritarian regime with a person or group of people that have dictatorial control. • It uses deception in recruiting new members (e.g. people are NOT told up front what the group is, what the group actually believes and what will be expected of them if they become members
  29. 29. Destructive Cult
  30. 30. Destructive Cult • Psychologist Michael Langone defines a destructive cult as "a highly manipulative group which exploits and sometimes physically and/or psychologically damages members and recruits". • Lifton's "Eight criteria for thought reform" are criteria to identify a destructive cult
  31. 31. Psychologist Michael Langone
  32. 32. Warning Signs of Destructive Cults • Potentially unsafe groups or leaders "come off very nice at first, they go for vulnerable people who are looking for answers, lonely, what you'd call 'normal people.' They're very good at what they do and can get people to believe anything. You might think you'd never get taken in, but don't bet on it. " -- Margaret Singer, Ph.D
  33. 33. Warning Signs of Destructive Cults
  34. 34. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Based on the insightful work of Deikman and other researchers, as well as long-time investigation of spiritual movements old and new, here is a lengthy list of warning signs about cults, interspersed with remarks about signs of healthy spiritual groups. An absence of these warning signs characterizes healthy spiritual groups.
  35. 35. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Craving for followers; • seductive recruiting strategies or tactics of conversion (including “love bombing,” that is, showering prospective recruits with friendly, but strategic, attention). • If the spiritual movement is pure and its members are radiant with virtuous qualities and deep spiritual realization, new people will be attracted to the movement intuitively, spontaneously, and naturally.
  36. 36. love bombing, cults
  37. 37. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Intimidating indoctrination procedures that psychologically break a person down so that s/he can be rebuilt according to the group’s ideal of a docile, unquestioning, compliant member.
  38. 38. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Expensive entry fees or initiations. • In fact, the less the group has to do with money, the better. • The greatest spiritual masters charge no money whatsoever for sharing their love and guidance. • Their work is supported via voluntary donations from those who can easily afford it or are inspired to give without being asked. Beware groups that demand from members much or all of their assets.
  39. 39. Expensive entry fees or initiations
  40. 40. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • A hidden agenda that becomes known to a group member only after s/he is heavily invested in the cult membership. • In a healthy spiritual group, completely informed consent is standard policy.
  41. 41. A hidden agenda that becomes known to a group member
  42. 42. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Excessive demands on the time and energy of the group members. • Slave labor, overwork, or sleep/food deprivation demanded on behalf of the group as proof of loyalty. • Obsessive scheduling, such that every moment of one’s waking life is controlled by the group. • In a healthy group, members’ donation of their time and energy are a voluntary gift, not compelled.
  43. 43. Excessive demands on the time and energy of the group members
  44. 44. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Trapping or holding onto members. • People should be able to leave the group at any time for any reason without fear of damnation, reprisal, scorn, or being pursued or shunned by cult members.
  45. 45. Trapping Or Holding Onto Members
  46. 46. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Cultivation in members any attitude of childish dependency upon exploitative, authoritarian leaders who require absolute, exclusive devotion. • Jesus enjoined us to be “child-like,” not childish. Surrender to God is fine, and even some forms of hierarchical relationship are healthy and empowering (e.g., student-teacher, apprentice- master, and disciple-guru). • But let us beware any disempowerment strategies that leave members feeling inadequate, without autonomy or inner locus of control, and no real hope of ever reaching the same
  47. 47. Cultivation in members any attitude of childish dependency upon exploitative, authoritarian leaders
  48. 48. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Chronic group feeling of righteous anger, revenge, turmoil, anxiety, shame, guilt, self-pity, fear, despair, mindless euphoria, ego-excitement, adrenaline rushes, self-inflated fervor or futuristic anticipation. • Authentic spiritual movements are permeated by a deep feeling of genuine love, kindness, peace, freedom, bliss, ease of being, spontaneity, focus on the present situation and trust in Spirit or God.
  49. 49. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults
  50. 50. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Flat affect (zombie-like absence of emotions). • Excessively automatic, robot-like behaviour. (produced via sleep deprivation or sensory overload) that breaks down normal, responsible functioning.
  51. 51. Flat affect (zombie-like absence of emotions)
  52. 52. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Crusading agenda to save the world or convert all souls to “the true way.” • For a healthy spiritual group, service and giving are defined primarily as charitable assistance and generosity toward one’s community, family, friends, and the world at large, not slavish service toward the narrow, voracious cult.
  53. 53. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Proud feeling of being the chosen people, of possessing the exclusive truth or means of salvation, or being superior to those outside the group. • Heavily polarized “us-them,” adversarial thinking, projection of one’s own shadow qualities onto others, seeing outsiders as homogeneously negative, devoid of positive qualities (“they” are “bad” and “we” are “good”).
  54. 54. Proud feeling of being the chosen people
  55. 55. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • A chronic need to find and persistently maintain enemies inside or outside the group. Targeting or isolating of anyone inside or outside the group as a source of evil or contamination or “bad energy.” Negative thought-forms aimed at others. • By contrast, in healthy spirituality, the leader and group promote empathy, compassion, respect, and seeing the Divine in all beings:
  56. 56. A chronic need to find and persistently maintain enemies inside or outside the group
  57. 57. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Paranoia—either delusions of grandeur by the leader or group, or self-pitying feelings of being persecuted and misunderstood by outsiders. • Healthy, continuing contact and discussion with people and institutions outside the group will usually prevent or obviate any persecution and misunderstanding that might arise
  58. 58. Paranoia
  59. 59. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Turning cult members into watched objects who have no privacy in their solitary behaviour or relationships with others. • Manipulative system of rewards and punishments. • Totalitarian structure of permission and non- permission regarding basic behaviors including personal hygiene, interpersonal communication, etc.
  60. 60. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults
  61. 61. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Ganging up on individual members to criticize or humiliate or coerce them; “working on them” to violate their own sense of conscience or autonomy. • Brainwashing or mind-control techniques or high- pressure group dynamics coercing members to conform to a worldview, agenda, or code of conduct. • Physical or psychological violence. Giving and withholding of love or praise as a manipulation technique. • Frequent testing of members for loyalty, commitment, or obedience.
  62. 62. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults
  63. 63. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Preventing contact with outsiders, ex-members, and even certain fellow members of the dysfunctional cult. • Breaking up couples and families to gain power over individuals and prevent coalitions that could more effectively criticize unsound, corrupt leadership. • Rigid isolating of cult members in an exclusive "family" away from their relatives and friends outside the cult so that the cult becomes the sole source for support, self-esteem and interpersonal connection.
  64. 64. Preventing contact with outsiders
  65. 65. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Blind obedience to harmful or unwise directives from on high. Abusive, domineering top-dog leadership. • In healthy groups, the leader(s) functions more as an advisor and inspirer rather than as “control freak” dictating how members should think and act. • Members are never threatened or subordinated in ruthless, bullying manner.
  66. 66. Blind Obedience
  67. 67. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Hoarding of money, power or prestige by anyone— corruption and intrigue are not far behind. Beware lavish accommodations and lifestyle for leader and close assistants, while everyone else is reduced to inferior living standards.
  68. 68. Hoarding Of Money, Power Or Prestige By Anyone
  69. 69. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Double standard of behaviour for leader(s) and members. • Spiritual leaders should maintain high moral standards and exemplary virtuous behaviour. Beware any rationalizations given to excuse the leader’s un-virtuous behaviour as well as self- aggrandizing, vanity and excessive self- referencing by the leader (e.g., “I am the World Teacher,” “I am the greatest incarnation of God to appear on this planet,” “think always and only of me,” etc.).
  70. 70. Double standard of behaviour for leader(s) and members.
  71. 71. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Reinforcing or excusing unethical behaviors (killing, injuring, lying, stealing, plagiarism, bribing, gossiping, sexual misconduct).
  72. 72. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Suppression of dissent, doubt, critical thinking, sincere questions, discussion or independent judgment. Regarding of leader’s or sacred text’s teachings as infallible. Attachment to doctrinal certainty.
  73. 73. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Anti-scientific thinking. • Healthy persons and groups can constructively express criticism of reductionist scientism and limitations in the current scientific paradigm. • But the danger with dysfunctional cults is their frequent emphasis on pre-scientific, mythical thinking and on bizarre, unverifiable claims that can’t be consensually validated by rational persons.
  74. 74. Anti-scientific thinking
  75. 75. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Isolation from other worldviews; censorship or control of what people read; prevention of studying sacred texts from other traditions or visiting other genuine spiritual masters. • A healthy spiritual group is open to spiritual truth from whatever source, and knows how to distinguish wise from unwise teachings
  76. 76. Isolation from other worldviews; censorship or control
  77. 77. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Orwellian double-speak • “manipulating language to suggest a meaning and value opposite to the real situation”). Code-words or buzzwords. • Reinvention of language—e.g., excessive amount of jargon—to widen gulf between insiders and outsiders and exert mind- control.
  78. 78. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Excessive fascination with altered states of consciousness.
  79. 79. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Over-use of junk food or adherence to unhealthy diets. • Beware any use of mind-altering drugs
  80. 80. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Beware exploitation of sex in any form. Sometimes this may be rationalized as “good” for the group member. • But every person has the right to refrain from sexual activity as s/he sees fit, without any kind of pressure.
  81. 81. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults
  82. 82. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Legalistic obsession with myriad rules. Enslavement to authoritarian, military-style organization and procedure.
  83. 83. Warning Signs of Dysfunctional Cults • Obsession with invisible or other-worldly entities or forces other than God.
  84. 84. Cults & Mass Suicides • Mass suicide is a form of suicide, occurring when a group of people simultaneously kill themselves. • Mass suicide sometimes occurs in religious settings.
  85. 85. Cults & Mass Suicides • Defeated groups may resort to mass suicide rather than being captured. • Suicide pacts are a form of mass suicide that are sometimes planned or carried out by small groups of depressed or hopeless people. • Mass suicides have been used as a form of political protest, which shows that they can also be used as a statement making tool.
  86. 86. Cults & Mass Suicides
  87. 87. Religiously Motivated Suicides • Peoples Temple (1978) • On November 18, 1978, 918 Americans died in Peoples Temple–related incidents, including 909 members of the Temple, led by Jim Jones, in Jonestown, Guyana. • The dead included 276 children. A tape of the Temple's final meeting in a Jonestown pavilion contains repeated discussions of the group committing "revolutionary suicide", including reference to people taking the poison and the vats to be used.
  88. 88. Peoples Temple (1978) On November 18, 1978, 918 Americans died in Peoples Temple–related incidents
  89. 89. Religiously Motivated Suicides • The people in Jonestown died of an apparent cyanide poisoning, except for Jones (injury consistent with self-inflicted gunshot wound) and his personal nurse.
  90. 90. Solar Temple (1994–97) • From 1994 to 1997, the Order of the Solar Temple's members began a series of mass suicides, which led to roughly 74 deaths. • Farewell letters were left by members, stating that they believed their deaths would be an escape from the "hypocrisies and oppression of this world.”
  91. 91. Solar Temple (1994–97)
  92. 92. Heaven's Gate (1997) • From March 24th to the 27th, 1997, 39 followers of Heaven's Gate died in a mass suicide in Rancho Santa Fe, California, which borders San Diego to the north. • These people believed, according to the teachings of their group, that through their suicides they were "exiting their human vessels" so that their souls could go on a journey aboard a spaceship they believed to be following comet Hale–Bopp.
  93. 93. Heaven's Gate (1997)
  94. 94. Adam House • In 2007, in Mymensingh, Bangladesh, a family of 9, all members of a novel "Adam's cult" committed mass suicide by hurling themselves onto a train. • Although the Daily Mail initially reported that they were victimized for converting to Christianity, diaries recovered from the victims' home, "Adam House" related they wanted a pure life as lived by Adam and Eve, freeing themselves from bondage to any religion and refused contact with any outsiders.
  95. 95. Adam House
  96. 96. Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God (2000) • On March 17, 2000, 778 members of the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God died in Uganda. • The theory that all of the members died in a mass suicide was changed to mass murder when decomposing bodies were discovered in pits with signs of strangulation while others had stab wounds.
  97. 97. Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God (2000)
  98. 98. Training centre for release of the Atma- Energy • This sect was originally a splinter group of the Brahma Kumaris and is known for a police and media scare in which an alleged attempt to commit ritual suicide took place in Teide National Park in Tenerife in 1998.
  99. 99. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming) • The first thing to realise is that people in cults are not crazy but are the same intelligent, creative and interesting individuals they were before. • As with falling in love they are just crazy about the group, its amazing leader and its great potential to change the world and them with it.
  100. 100. Cult Deprogramming
  101. 101. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming) • The most important piece of advice is to not criticise, condemn or judge, even if you have serious concerns. Instead, focus on why this person identifies with the group so much, and what they believe they are getting from it.
  102. 102. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming) • It may feel cheesy, but the point of this approach is to draw on the psychological technique of motivational interviewing, so that these positive statements, similar to those the person has made themselves, will eventually lead them to question whether they are really true – we call this the “strategic and personal oriented dialogue” approach.
  103. 103. Cult Deprogramming
  104. 104. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming) • Often members are made to feel unworthy and are humiliated. They can never measure up to the ideals and perfection of the leader, and bit by bit their hopes for what the group offers start to crumble. • Remind them, supportively, that it’s great they’re moving forward with their life so positively in the group, and the penny will suddenly drop.
  105. 105. How to take someone out of a damaging cult
  106. 106. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming) • Sure, it is a crazy destructive group, but I understand why you got involved. • We all fall for con artists and swindlers once in a while – you still have a lot to offer and I can help you move on with your life.
  107. 107. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming)
  108. 108. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming) • After the cult, the world can seem a bleak and less exciting place. • But, with the help of family and friends, the former member can build a new and more authentic life and purpose. • Hang in there and you’ll be what they really do need at the end of the rainbow.
  109. 109. How to take someone out of a damaging cult (Cult Deprogramming)
  110. 110. Case Study Destructive Cult • Mass suicide? • 11 of family found dead in Delhi home
  111. 111. Mass suicide? 11 of family found dead in Delhi home
  112. 112. Automatic Writing A cause of Death • The police so far believe that the deaths were a result of an occult ritual gone wrong. • Automatic writing or psychography is a claimed psychic ability allowing a person to produce written words without consciously writing. • The words purportedly arise from a subconscious, spiritual or supernatural source. Scientists and skeptics consider automatic writing to be the result of the ideomotor effect
  113. 113. Automatic Writing A cause of Death
  114. 114. Delhi mass killing: Diary reveals 'dead father' instructed family through son • According to police, Narayan Devi's youngest son Lalit, masterminded the "mass suicide" and made notes "planning" the deaths on someone's "direction“ • "It appears that Lalit had been hallucinating that his father was giving instructions to the family through him,“ an officer who studied the diaries, as saying.
  115. 115. Automatic Writing A cause of Death
  116. 116. Possible Explanation • Ideomotor effect • Actions of an individual can be in influenced by suggestion and expectations without that they are themselves consciously aware of it.
  117. 117. Possible Explanation • This is known as the ideomotor effect. In motor behavior, there are two parts to the brain activity. The first is the activity that results in the motor activity; the second is the registration of that activity in the conscious mind. • The ideomotor effect happens when the second part, the conscious registration, is circumvented.
  118. 118. Ideomotor effect
  119. 119. Ideomotor effect • The ideomotor effect has been well documented; however, it still remains an effect that is largely unknown to most people, including scientists.
  120. 120. Ideomotor effect • The effect was first observed by William Benjamin Carpenter in 1852, in his investigation of dowsing. He proposed the ideomotor effect as a third class of unconscious behavior, along with excitomotor (such as breathing and swallowing) and sensorimotor (reflex actions).
  121. 121. Ideomotor effect
  122. 122. Other References • Seth Material • The Seth Material is a collection of writing dictated by Jane Roberts to her husband from late 1963 until her death in 1984. • Roberts claimed the words were spoken by a discarnate entity named Seth.
  123. 123. Seth Material
  124. 124. Seth Material • According to Roberts, Seth described himself as an "energy personality essence no longer focused in physical matter" who was independent of Roberts' subconscious, although Roberts expressed skepticism as to Seth's origins, frequently referring to Seth's statements as "theories".
  125. 125. Seth Material
  126. 126. Seth Material • Roberts claimed that Seth indicated he had completed his earthly reincarnations and was speaking from an adjacent plane of existence. The Seth personality described himself as a "teacher", and said: "this material has been given by himself and others in other times and places, but that it is given again, in new ways, for each succeeding generation through the centuries."
  127. 127. Seth Material
  128. 128. Case Study Cults & Human Trafficking • Human trafficking is a form of undue influence and a serious global issue. • Pimps and traffickers control the environment, access to information, relationships – every aspect of a person’s life – using techniques that manipulate how a person thinks, feels and acts. • Using the lens of undue influence, activists, social workers, law enforcement, and mental health professionals can better learn how pimps and traffickers recruit, how to spot current victims, how to ethically intervene in a trafficking case, and how to help trafficking survivors recover from their experience.
  129. 129. Cults & Human Trafficking
  130. 130. Pimps and traffickers use tactics listed in the BITE Model of cult mind control • They use gifts, flattery, the promise of love, violent rape, modeling jobs, other employment offers, threats to harm family, and threats to expose in order to recruit and maintain control over their victims. • Often, pimps and traffickers are much older than their potential victims.
  131. 131. Cults & Human Trafficking
  132. 132. Human Trafficking BITE Model Behavior Control • Regulate individual’s physical reality • Dictate where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates/isolates • Manipulation, exploitation, and control of sexuality • Control types of clothing that are permissible, colors, hairstyles worn by the person • Regulate diet, withhold food/drink as a form of punishment • Take away passports or other vital documents; abduction; physical imprisonment, torture • Sleep manipulation and deprivation • Use of drugs (which are administered at times without informed consent) • Financial exploitation, manipulation, and dependency; use of “quota” system to control
  133. 133. Human Trafficking BITE Model
  134. 134. Human Trafficking BITE Model • Rewards and punishments (thus modify behaviors, both positive and negative) – beating, torture, burning, cutting, rape, tattooing as branding • Discourage individualism Impose rigid rules and regulations • Threats of harm to family/friends • Little or no medical treatment and/or mental health • Instill obedience and dependency
  135. 135. Human Trafficking BITE Model
  136. 136. Human Trafficking BITE Model • Information Control • Deception (No Informed Consent) • Deliberately withhold information • Distort information to make it more acceptable Systematically lie • Minimize or discourage access to competing sources of information, including: • Internet, TV, radio, books, articles, newspapers, magazines, other media • Critical information including service providers Trafficking survivors Keep them so busy they don’t have time to think and investigate
  137. 137. Human Trafficking BITE Model
  138. 138. Human Trafficking BITE Model • Control through cell phones with texting, calls, internet tracking • Compartmentalize information into Outsider vs. Insider doctrines • Ensure the information is not freely accessible Control information at different levels • Only trafficker decides who needs to know what and when Encourage spying on others
  139. 139. Human Trafficking BITE Model • Thought Control • Member required to internalize the trafficker’s doctrine as truth • Adopting the trafficker’s “map of reality” as reality Instill black and white thinking • Decide between good vs. Evil • Organize people into us vs. them • Change person’s name and identity Dissociation
  140. 140. Human Trafficking BITE Model
  141. 141. Human Trafficking BITE Model • Memories are manipulated and false memories are created • Thought-stopping techniques, which shut down reality testing by stopping negative and allow only so-called good thoughts, are used • Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism • No critical questions about trafficker, doctrine, or “rules” allowed Alternative belief systems viewed as illegitimate, evil, or not useful
  142. 142. Human Trafficking BITE Model
  143. 143. Human Trafficking BITE Model • Emotional Control • Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings – healthy emotional impulses such as desire for love or a work opportunity are exploited • Emotional numbing Emotion-stopping (like thought- stopping, but blocking feelings of homesickness, anger, doubts) • Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault – never the trafficker’s fault • Excessive use of guilt Identity guilt You are not living up to your potential Your family is deficient Your past is suspect Your affiliations are unwise Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant/selfish Social guilt
  144. 144. Human Trafficking BITE Model • Extremes of emotional highs and lows – love bombing and praise, then you are horrible, unworthy, etc. • Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about leaving or questioning the trafficker’s authority • Threats Harm to self and/or others • Public sharing (telling one’s family or others in order to embarrass/dishonor) • Turning over to law enforcement; incarceration Death
  145. 145. References https://freedomofmind.com/ Steven Hassan American mental health counselor
  146. 146. References • About Steven Hassan https://freedomofmind.com/steven-hassan-4/ • Cult Awareness Network https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_Awareness_Network • Destructive Cult Warning Signs | Universe Spirit https://universespirit.org/destructive-cult-warning-signs • History of Cult Deprogramming - Cult Education Institute https://culteducation.com/group/888-cult-deprogramming/26563-america-s-epidemic-of-sudden- personality.html • List of Groups, Cults and Controversial individuals - NEIRR https://neirr.org/ncultlst.html • The Cult Awareness Network https://culteducation.com/group/1284-scientology/23201-the-cult-awareness-network.html • Warning Signs https://culteducation.com/warningsigns.html
  147. 147. Thanks…
  148. 148. Cults- Dangerous Devotions