As we end another year and decade, we may find ourselves pondering the deeper questions of life.
I certainly, have had plenty to contemplate, after a life changing year.
Are we any closer to our goals and dreams? Are we on the right path? Are we achieving the happiness we sought?
We may, as well, ponder on the more intricate politics of life, such as our engagement in societal functions, such as, careers, family, relationships, groups, community activities, etc.
Whatever our situation, it is likely, we’d like to make some improvements and the new year is a time for making renewed commitments towards attaining ones chosen (in most cases), objectives and desires. Though the peaked gym sign ups and weight watching fads, may not last more than a few weeks or so, the notion of making things better, is inherent, to at least some degree, in us all.
In the weird and wonderful world of cults, the turn of the decade could mean many different things. A doomsday style cult, for example, may be desperately frightening the bejeezers out of its followers, frantically affirming their doctrine and warning people, to prepare for the fast approaching Armageddon, whereas scientologists, on the other hand, may be busy collecting donations and making renewed group postulates for a cleared planet, ,coming soon, if only, you would pay up, just one more time!
Fortunately, we can see progress being made towards a better understanding of cults and coercive manipulation, reaching outside of the specialist field. Thanks to the bravery of the leavers and cult experts, who have often risked potentially devastating consequences, in their efforts to bring truth and justice.
Work is being done on many fronts, court cases, films, tv series, educational talks, books, websites, YouTube channels, etc, are worked on diligently by dedicated activists, therapists, journalists, bloggers, film makers, etc.
Despite the ongoing work, we still see more and more people, falling for coercive mind control techniques, all around us, in political parties, NRMs, MLM schemes, etc. Just this morning, I was approached and given a card, by two young ladies who wanted to talk to me about Jesus! Whether they are glorifying a leader or spacing out to Kayne West’s Sunday Service, we can witness them falling by the millions!
At the same time as we can pay homage to the tremendous work done and being done, in this field, the reported increase in new cults being formed and followed and the heightened use of cult methods by mainstream channels, are worrying and I personally feel that our current efforts will fall short, if our objective is to, open up peoples minds enough that they can protect themselves from coercive influences and/or falling into cult mind control groups.
There seem to be endlessly multi-dimensional reasons, why it appears a losing battle, some factors to consider are;
The likelihood that the majority of people interested in this vital subject, are those who have already realised that they had been hoodwinked into some form of cult life, so we may mainly be talking to each other, already ‘in the know’.
Lack of an organised and co-ordinated approach to outreach activities.
The potentially huge, inactive field of ex-cult members, at different levels of deprogramming, some of which may not even be aware that they were part a cult group, others who may fear retaliation or other unwanted consequences of speaking out and yet others, who haven’t yet fully understood the mechanisms of what they endured and how these same mechanisms can influence us all.
Cult followers tend to become fanatical, they are often seen to give much more time and effort to their cause than is natural, outside of cult mind control groups.
The multitudes of varying opinions, beliefs, experiences and conclusions, that are evident amongst the ex-cult communities, is also an obvious barrier to any unified approach to deprogramming the planet, so to speak.
Hopefully talking about these and other issues, will help us develop solutions which can progressively be implemented in some co-ordinated fashion.
Might a grass roots, peaceful and educational movement, possibly, still be able to turn the tide or is it too little too late? Could we possibly kick start a ‘me too’ culture amongst the ex-cult members out there and start to get everyone diagnosing their beliefs?
Hindsight is always 2020, they say and we can always hope the forecast is not as bad as it appears or hopefully we’ll get more effective and co-ordinated at educating the public, so that, with some support and education, they can stand a much better chance of avoiding the pitfalls of coercive manipulation and cults, in 2020 and beyond.
Thank you, to all the my friends and family, old and new, who have all helped me along their way, in some manner.
Next year and the following decade are bound to be, full of opportunities and pit falls, as usual. Wish you all success, in steering your way to real happiness and success in 2020 and beyond. Happy New 2020!