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Topic : 06/08 Mind Control?

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Created on : Friday, October 31, 2008, 04:13:15 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 11/05/08) It’s hard to believe, but in America alone, there may be as many as 5,000 religious groups preying upon the weak and vulnerable, and all in the name of God. Dr. Phil’s guests have warnings for you and your children. Seeta says when her 18-year-old daughter joined a religious group called 1 Mind Ministries, she left home with her 7-month-old son and never returned. Soon afterward, Seeta received the horrifying news that her grandson was found dead and her daughter was being charged with murder. Learn the disturbing details of this case and why Seeta says her daughter is innocent. Then, meet Norman, a college-educated husband and father who moved his family hundreds of miles to join a religious group that came with a price he says he never expected. Norman says he was enticed to join the House of Yahweh because of his strong desire to be part of a group. The House of Yahweh is a mysterious organization out of Abilene, Texas, led by Yisrayl Hawkins, a man who some say has more than 30 wives. As Norman and his family prepared for the end of the world, as Yisrayl Hawkins preached, Norman says he eventually realized why they were selected to join the group. You won’t believe the reason he gives! Then, meet a former wife of Yisrayl Hawkins, and learn the warning signs of mind control. Talk about the show here.

Find out what happened on the show.

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November 11, 2008, 6:22 am CST

This is the way I see it.

Quote From: fahlbrs

Research has yet to show that there is any flaw in people who are recruited into cults. People do not just go and join cults. Usually they join or become affiliated with front groups that look normal. I was recruited in this way to a group called the National Labor Federation (Natlfed)/ Provisional Communist Party when I was 18. It is a left-political cult, not a religious cult.

 

In 1979, after high school, I decided to volunteered full-time with a group that said they tried to provide health care for migrant farm workers on Long Island, the Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals (CCMP). It turned out to be a front group. Natlfed has numerous organizations claiming to provide services and organize low income workers around the country. They actually do work in the community and this is how most people become affiliated with them. They had a very deliberate, manipulative, and deceptive recruitment process for members. I ended up working 7 days a week, 16 hours a day, with very little sleep for the next 14 ½ years.

 

When someone volunteered with CCMP or any of the Natlfed front groups, information about their background, interests, political views, arrests, etc. is solicited from them. Some of this is formal while filling out whats called a Volunteer Information Sheet (VIS), and some is informal their team member on a neighborhood canvass to reach out to low income workers may initiate a conversation. All of this information is reported back to the person in charge of recruitment and the volunteers next encounter is planned. If the volunteer has a disagreement with the groups political position, a conversation on why theyre right is planned. It may be formal, it may be informal. For instance, in the field of equal justice for the poor, if you think that legal service organizations are the best way to address the lack of affordable legal services, they will have someone talk about the failures of legal service organizations in the past and why what their group is supposedly doing is better.

 

The process has a deliberate progression. It is called TVTV for tab volunteer, viable volunteer, tab cadre, viable cadre. First they want to get your agreement that there is a problem and that you will be part of the solution by making a scheduled time commitment. Then they work on getting you to agree that all other efforts are doomed to failure and that the only way to solve inequalities in the country is through a revolution. At that point they tell you that that is their real goal and ask you to expand your schedule to learn more about this. Then they start teaching you their doctrine that in a nutshell is that socialist revolution is the answer. The way to make this revolution is to organize unrecognized workers in the US into mutual benefit associations. That a revolutionary situation will eventually arise in the US (like during the Vietnam War) and the communities will turn to them for leadership and they will take power. Eventually they ask you to cut all ties with everyone else to commit your whole life to making the revolution as the only solution to all the worlds problems.

 

Most people if presented this at the beginning would not voluntarily give their life up to the movement. But, when done as a process, with each encounter planned, with each objection worked on whenever they see you, some do. Most people are responding to emotional and social influences not the rational basis for the group. People are befriended, they are told theyre special, there is an easy black and white answer for all the worlds problem, there is an us and them, there is a promise that theyll end up someone important running the country. Then when you add in that their whole existence becomes centered in the group as well as their entire support system, the rational basis for the work doesnt matter that much. The full-time organizers seem like dedicated sincere people, and for the most part they are.

 

Granted most people wont become full-time. It is more a matter of where someone is in their life, rather than who they are or having backbone. What statistics there are seem to indicate that if anything, members of high demand groups like this are more intelligent than the average population. If someone begins going through a transition period, like finishing school and having to get a job, a divorce, or losing a job, they are much more vulnerable to groups like this. They are not grounded and having a support system and easy answers becomes very appealing. I saw part-time people who went through divorce, befriended by the organizers and recruited within a couple of weeks as full-time people.

 

Once a person is full-time they commit to a military discipline because they think this is necessary to build a revolution. The group is highly centralized and subordinates must follow orders of ordinates. People are regularly screamed at and demeaned and they feel they must take it to maintain discipline. At times there has been physical abuse and sexual abuse as well. The people are cut-off from any other support system and increased abuse becomes more and more possible and probable.

 

You can google this group and there is a lot more information on line. There is a wikipedia article on National Labor Federation and an essay at:
http://www.internet-encyclopedia.org/index.php/Criticism_of_NATLFED.

 

I think that most cults work like this, religious and non-religious. Perhaps this example will shed some light on how intelligent people with no "flaw" are recruited into cults.

 

From everything I have read the typical recruit for a cult is someone of average intelligence, believes in some sort of divinity, has emotional problems, and is easily manipulated, in other words flaws. We live in a no fault culture in which I do not believe. Sometimes people are stupid, and it is their fault. That does not make them bad but pitiable. It does not matter if the cult is specifically religious or not they all want you to sublimate your will. I think there is no difference between cult and religion. Indoctrination begins at birth that is why it is so easy to gain recruits to something new because the wording or ritual may change, but it is all the same in the end. Find me a happy well-adjusted atheist well above average intelligence in a “cult,” and maybe your argument would make better sense to me. We cannot keep patting people on the head and telling them they have no responsibility in what happens to them. It leaves people with no direction, protection or tools to deal with anything. Compassion must be tempered with truth. What happens the next time they are offered candy from a stranger? These people need help, understanding, and skills so they do not fall into traps again.
 
November 11, 2008, 7:36 am CST

11/05 Mind Control?

Quote From: efffy_

From everything I have read the typical recruit for a cult is someone of average intelligence, believes in some sort of divinity, has emotional problems, and is easily manipulated, in other words flaws. We live in a no fault culture in which I do not believe. Sometimes people are stupid, and it is their fault. That does not make them bad but pitiable. It does not matter if the cult is specifically religious or not they all want you to sublimate your will. I think there is no difference between cult and religion. Indoctrination begins at birth that is why it is so easy to gain recruits to something new because the wording or ritual may change, but it is all the same in the end. Find me a happy well-adjusted atheist well above average intelligence in a cult, and maybe your argument would make better sense to me. We cannot keep patting people on the head and telling them they have no responsibility in what happens to them. It leaves people with no direction, protection or tools to deal with anything. Compassion must be tempered with truth. What happens the next time they are offered candy from a stranger? These people need help, understanding, and skills so they do not fall into traps again.

It doesn't sound like what your reading is well supported. There are intelligent, well-adjusted, atheists who get recruited into cults. I won't name the people I know as they are entitled to their privacy, but if you do some research you can find them. You may want to read the research that has been done by Milgram and others for starters. Books by Margaret Singer, Steve Hassan, and Janja Lalich are also quite good. There are many misconceptions about cults, starting with that people join them willingly and with full information. They don't. Of course people need to take responsibility for their actions, or inactions. But, understanding how cults work and use the human weaknesses (or strengths in another context) to recruit can arm someone against them. Cults do not want recruits who are emotionally or mentally unstable. They work to recruit the people who they think do have a higher than average intelligence and have resources. Those are the people they want because they will bring the cult more people and more money. It doesn't sound like you have done much serious reading on cults and what methods they use.

 
November 11, 2008, 9:02 am CST

11/05 Mind Control?

Quote From: fahlbrs

It doesn't sound like what your reading is well supported. There are intelligent, well-adjusted, atheists who get recruited into cults. I won't name the people I know as they are entitled to their privacy, but if you do some research you can find them. You may want to read the research that has been done by Milgram and others for starters. Books by Margaret Singer, Steve Hassan, and Janja Lalich are also quite good. There are many misconceptions about cults, starting with that people join them willingly and with full information. They don't. Of course people need to take responsibility for their actions, or inactions. But, understanding how cults work and use the human weaknesses (or strengths in another context) to recruit can arm someone against them. Cults do not want recruits who are emotionally or mentally unstable. They work to recruit the people who they think do have a higher than average intelligence and have resources. Those are the people they want because they will bring the cult more people and more money. It doesn't sound like you have done much serious reading on cults and what methods they use.

I stand by what I said. Have a nice day.
 
November 11, 2008, 10:15 am CST

11/05 Mind Control?

Quote From: efffy_

I stand by what I said. Have a nice day.

I hope I didn't sound condescending - looking at my post I probably did. There is alot of anecdotal and misinformation on the Internet and in other sources about cults. There is also a large collection of scientific research and sociological studies done over the past 50 years. One of the first major books on mind control is Robert Lifton's "Thought Reform and Political Totalism?. This was a study done of people coming into Hong Kong immediately after their release from Chinese re-education prisons. Janja Lalich just wrote a book after studying the "Heaven's Gate" cult and a left-political cult and interviewing past members. Steve Hassan's books are a result of over 30 years studying cults. They are a good read. The results of many experiements done (these are hard to do now because of the ethics involved) are many times counter-intuitive and can help explain what most find irrational behavior of people in cults. I think they're worth a read. I hope you also have a nice day.

 
November 11, 2008, 11:03 am CST

11/05 Mind Control?

Quote From: fahlbrs

I hope I didn't sound condescending - looking at my post I probably did. There is alot of anecdotal and misinformation on the Internet and in other sources about cults. There is also a large collection of scientific research and sociological studies done over the past 50 years. One of the first major books on mind control is Robert Lifton's "Thought Reform and Political Totalism?. This was a study done of people coming into Hong Kong immediately after their release from Chinese re-education prisons. Janja Lalich just wrote a book after studying the "Heaven's Gate" cult and a left-political cult and interviewing past members. Steve Hassan's books are a result of over 30 years studying cults. They are a good read. The results of many experiements done (these are hard to do now because of the ethics involved) are many times counter-intuitive and can help explain what most find irrational behavior of people in cults. I think they're worth a read. I hope you also have a nice day.

The kind of drug induced ongoing physical torture method of breaking someone employed by governments is a completely different ball game then most cults. There are people able to resist even that. You were condescending, but don't worry about it I'm immune.  We believe differently about cause, effect, and consequences, but I think we both agree that people in danger need to be helped and kept safe. I prefer actual books for research then the net. It feels more honest and organic.
 
November 11, 2008, 12:00 pm CST

11/05 Mind Control?

Quote From: efffy_

The kind of drug induced ongoing physical torture method of breaking someone employed by governments is a completely different ball game then most cults. There are people able to resist even that. You were condescending, but don't worry about it I'm immune.  We believe differently about cause, effect, and consequences, but I think we both agree that people in danger need to be helped and kept safe. I prefer actual books for research then the net. It feels more honest and organic.
Actually, it is a very similar ballgame. In the Chinese re-education camps studied by Lifton, drugs were not used. The level of physical torture was higher than any of the most destructive cults I've read about and the one I was in. However, all the 21 points that Lifton lays out in the last chapter were present in the cult I was in and I suspect are present in other cults as well. Certainly the type of torture, interrogation, and drugs that are currently used are different. The cult I was in did use physical abuse. People were beaten, somre regularly. Sleep deprivation, drugs, and diet were also used as means of control. None of the subjects Lifton studied had been able to compeltely resist. I'm sure there are degrees to this as there are with cults. In addition in the cult I was in there were theatrics that without going into detail convinced all I know who left that there was a distinct possibility we would be assasinated at some point in our life for leaving. I have heard that religious cults do a similar thing in convincing members that deaths and unhappiness in people who left were due to them leaving. We were also convinced that if the cult we left did not kill us, the government would. Again, I could list the specific theatrics. I respect your opinion, but my analysis of the research and facts is 180 degrees. I apologize for being condescending but I am a highly intelligent person with a professional degree who functions well in my job and in my family now that I am out of the cult. Most ex-cult members I know are the same. So, the inference that I am not so can be insulting.
 
November 11, 2008, 12:40 pm CST

Wow...

Quote From: gramipam

Being raised in the World Wide Church of God cult headqtrs., in Pasadena, CA, founded and corrupted by its leader herbert w. armstrong, I am thrilled to see that there is more and more attention and education being shared about this very private and secret way of life. Hopefully this show will help spread more awareness about the damage, long term affects, and suffering that mind-control has on its victims...its survivors. There are many reasons for mind control....these individuals seek complete and unquestionable power in order to act upon and entice other pervs. such as themselves.  More often than not, there is child abuse-both physically verbally, and sexually, spousal abuse-same as prior, financial abuse, etc. Good ole herbert molested, at least, one of his daughters for around 10 yrs. Sadly, many ordained "ministers", church leaders, male brethren, etc., not only followed suit, but over-looked, covered-up, ignored these sick trangressions. There used to be two "ministers" at a time that would come to our home, unannounced and while my father was at work.  One would occupy my mother in the living room with scripture reading and "counsel", while the other one would lead me hand in hand back to my bdrm..."to look after me", so that my mom could get the full impact and spiritual message the other one was controling her through.  This went on from about  the ages of 3-6 by the "ministers" and again when I was 8 or 10, by an employee. My mother never came back there, the door never even had to be shut.  She "knew" that I was in the "best" of hands and that I was blessed to have such a devout man of God working with me so diligently one on one. And she would never, ever even think to interrupt either man, a woman did not do that back then.  I never called out for my mom or discouraged this in any way, because, for one how young I was when it started, and two, we were taught from the onset, from the pulpit by hwa that any form of  sexual abuse was brought on by us loathesome, sinful, decietful daughters of Eve...the ultimate liar, the reason for all of the worlds sins, for the fall of man, etc. Plus, I was soooo confused, how could this man sent from God be doing this?...I was a chosen one, a special child of God, so, I was supposedly being blessed for being such a special little girl to God and His chosen servants!!!!!!!  It was always the females fault due to us seducing the males with our natural, birth biven "waunton", (sp), eyes and seductive ways that satan manifested through us.  According to hwa, a female coud easily sexually  over power even the strongest of men....Sampson and Delilah. Not only were men given an out, but they were excused, over-looked for their foul behavior. Never were the police brought in, because we were not allowed to go outside of our group. hwa taught us that there was no such thing as rape in a marriage, it was the wifes fault for not submitting, therefore, the woman needed and deserved that form of take charge force by strength in order for her to better understand her place and stay there.  It would also teach her how to better herself as a wife, a member, a satisfying bed partner, a submissive female, etc., while at the same time benefiting their marriage by showing her who was in charge at all times, of everything, and every"body".  Females were 2nd class citizens under hwas teachings.  When a female teenage member of our YOU youth group was raped  and she actually reported it to the youth director, she would recieve the same punishment, sometimes more punishment, sometimes the only punishment than her attacker. This has changed in most of the wwcg and break-off locations I believe after hwas death ...not all tho'.  The suicide rate, infant deaths, and child deaths were extemely high...go figure.  Alcoholism also dominated many members lives, esp. males, thus making for more violence and crimes. Several web-sites actually refer to those of us who grew up and somehow escaped wwcg, after years and years of abuse, "child survivors".  After three failed suicide attempts, years of on again off again drug addiction, abusive relationships, and many years of therapy, (with many still to go), I am definately proud to call myself a child survivor. I was born into this way of life  and it took over 30 yrs before I was finally strong enough to break away for the very last time...for good.  When your family is still involved, it is extremely difficult to break such a debilitating strangle hold.  Finally, after almost loosing me, not too many yrs ago, to another suicide attempt, my family made an about face and have turned into such amazing, unconditional, forgiving, caring, non-judgemental, examples to and for me.  I do not blame my folks, my dad was a high up at hdqtrs, so he and my mom were just as much, if not more, controlled than us kids were.  I love my family, but the child-rearing that goes on in such a destructive atmosphere is far from normal, acceptable, and often times far from legal, too.  I just pray that your show and this mini-novel (lol)  helps encourage those who are enslaved and explain to those who are confused, uneducated, or in denial that this does exist.

I never heard anyone talk about this church before. My paternal grandmother was swept up by this organization YEARS ago in the 70's and really stopped being a part of OUR family. No birthdays, no holidays. She took my aunt with her. My grandmother at one point was a bad alcoholic and was very needy.  I never really got to know them as I was just a small child when they joined. I think at some point she finally stopped associating with them but I never knew as a child why grandma didn't celebrate Christmas anymore. It was really confusing. My sister was alone in Louisiana, a young mother who's husband was away a lot in the military, and was approached by a very LARGE cult organization and my mom FLIPPED OUT. All we had back then was simple household phone communication. At one point she was ready to hop a flight and go get my sister and bring her home away from them but my sister did come back to reality. It proves that they prey on the lonely, the outcasts, the people we shun in society who just want a place to belong or need help. Very sad. My sister was a beautiful outspoken person, and to think that even she could be woo'd out of loneliness is very scary. I sympathize with you and all you endured. I am sure you are a much stronger person and you must realize that they took from you your inocence, but they cannot take your will to survive and tell your story and live a full life now. I am proud of you!
 
November 11, 2008, 11:39 pm CST

lost son

Quote From: jewelsf

I'm really sorry to hear about your son. I can't imagine what it would be like to not know what has happened to a loved one, especially a child. My husband and I lost a son, my stepson, in a horrible car accident when he was 20. No one that has never gone through something such as this can ever really understand just how truly painful it is. I wish you my best.

Jewels

Thankyou jewels for responding yes it is extremely difficult not to know what has happened to your child. There truly are no words to describe how you feel I can only say it feels you have lost part of yourself. I am sorry for the loss of your stepson. They leave such a large hole inside. I try now to celebrate my sons spirit and enjoy my fond memories of him and I always have hope that one day I will find him. Thanks again and my warmest regards jemella
 
November 12, 2008, 10:47 am CST

11/05 Mind Control?

Quote From: jemella

Thankyou jewels for responding yes it is extremely difficult not to know what has happened to your child. There truly are no words to describe how you feel I can only say it feels you have lost part of yourself. I am sorry for the loss of your stepson. They leave such a large hole inside. I try now to celebrate my sons spirit and enjoy my fond memories of him and I always have hope that one day I will find him. Thanks again and my warmest regards jemella

Dear Jemella,

  Yes, you have been able to put the feelings into words very well. It's been almost 20 years for us and I still feel like I get punched in the chest every time I think about it. It just knocks the air out of me. He was my stepson, I can't begin to imagine how my husband feels. I know a huge part of himself was lost that night, and to this day he has never once talked about the accident. But we have managed to get to a point where we are able to smile and even laugh when we talk about him. There is a chance that someday you will find your son, I'll say a special prayer for you.

With my best,

Jewels

 
November 12, 2008, 8:16 pm CST

thankyou

Quote From: jewelsf

Dear Jemella,

  Yes, you have been able to put the feelings into words very well. It's been almost 20 years for us and I still feel like I get punched in the chest every time I think about it. It just knocks the air out of me. He was my stepson, I can't begin to imagine how my husband feels. I know a huge part of himself was lost that night, and to this day he has never once talked about the accident. But we have managed to get to a point where we are able to smile and even laugh when we talk about him. There is a chance that someday you will find your son, I'll say a special prayer for you.

With my best,

Jewels

Hi jewels thankyou for responding and thankyou for your support and encouragement I really appreciate it. It helps to have other people besides your own family to talk to and to hear that yes there are others out there that have faced tragedy as I have. I could have accepted if my son had died in the car accident, I have a strong faith in God and at least I would know he is safe. The issue that bothers me the most as his mother is that I couldnt prevent what happened to him even though i did everything legally within my power to keep him safe. The insurance corporation just dictates what is going to take place and I was not included in any way even though I made my prescence known. It is so frustrating at this point we are still waiting for the insurance company to transfer the estate and then a presumption of death certificate will be issued in case my son returns. I have been battling this situation for 14 years and it has destroyed our family. We will never be the same. My  family has been misinformed, bullied, and basically treated as frauds by the insurance corporation. I am making lots of noise and talking to everyone I can that may have the power to end this and give my family our lives back. Thanks again jewels

warm regards jemella

 
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