[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next]

3 - An Article on: The Science of Subtle Mind Control - or - Coercive Persuasion

Nov 13, 2011 06:32 AM
by M. Sufilight

Dear friends

My views are:

### Part 3 of 3. ### (2nd ed.)
Here is a lengthy article I have written about the Science of Subtle Mind Control also called Coercive Persuasion...It is about 22 pages in length.
I found it important to write that much so to at least seek to explain this science sufficiently so it might be at least grasped to a certain degree by the readers and other later readers.

I do hope my English is comparatively easy to read and understand.


*** 3.3 - The subtle manner of establishing the new sectarian identity ***
In a sect which leader(s) either consciously or non-consciously uses Subtle Mind Control techniques might by the relatively new member be regarded as a good Christian, a good Scientologist, a good religious Galactic UFO-Channel and medium, a good Inter-Galactic World-Server or a good "excorcist" etc. etc. The consequence of the relation is that the "victim", which are being indoctrinated, provide much less resistance than if it were tortured. By willingly more or less cooperating with the Mind Control process, the "victim" surrenders little by little, without being aware of it, his or her former personality and assume a new one - which is implanted or superimposed by the sect or cult. You could say that he or she accepts the sects teachings (often a single book or a single author's total publications - or - a leaders religious doctrine, which not seldom is being sold as a book or a set of books). And these are in a sense considered to be a "Bible" or a substitute for the previous worldview used by the "victim". (Here I will ask the readers to keep the so-called Protean Self in mind, which I will mention a bit later in the article.)

The psychologists and Exit-Counsellors talk about three main stages all people go through when they slowly (or suddenly) convert to a new religion or a New Age group or organisation. They are Unfreezing, Changing, and Refreezing. I am here in the below outlining some of the aspects, which can be involved. In some organisations, some of the mentioned elements are not there, in others they are more or less.

1) Unfreezing is shortly stated: 
Desorientation or confusion for the newcomer. There is so much that one does not know about. Sensory deprivation or the opposite overload of sensory input. Physiological manipulation - which are slowly being increased, sleep deprivation and other methods, (more and more work is being demanded or exercises etc.). Special food-programs perhaps with excessive fasting. Hypnosis sometimes masked as Healing, regression theraphy, confession-systems or similar versions. Getting the newcomer to question his or her self-identity. And redefine the his or her past. 
2) Changing is shortly stated: 
Creation of a new "identity" (Perhaps a so-called Protean Self more or less "victimized"). This can happen formally with indoctrination sessions. And sessions on a higher level with more access to new info. Or more informally with members and books. - Use of Behavior Modification Techniques (Often with reward and punishment methods or control of the environment; you might become a residential member inside the "Ashram".) Mystical manipulation is another method. Repetition, monotony, rhythm and other methods. Excessive chanting and praying. - Or not unimportant, - also the use of confessions and testimonials to a Superior or what is merely called a fellow member. And more.
3) Refreezing is shortly stated: 
The new identity is reinforced, and the old identity is abandoned or similar. One say goodbye to the past. This might involve to finally cut the contact with ones family and friends, and even longtime friends. Quitting ones job. One might give up useful possessions and donate assets, and a lot of money. -- Then one become an active member and begin to fundraise or recruit new members for the cause. - One might begin to wear new clothes, with other colors, or expensive "green environment" clothes, change hairstyle, and get a new "family". - And the indoctrination continues and is reinforced - also so to the demand for reaching the next level in the many course and modules which are being offered - not seldom to a huge price.
(The psychologist Kurt Lewin was one of the first to forward this theory in modern times. Kurt Lewin was also involved with Tavistock Institute of Human Relations.)

Even when such a process of conversion more or less occurs, and it can happen in a variety of ways and modes, - the "victim" might be very happy about the new situation, the new social connections, the new religious relationship and belief or assumed knowledge etc. etc. At other times this is in reality in fact only a superficial happiness. Beneath it all looms the real reasons to why the member - actually - originally joined the religious group or organisation, the real psychological motivations behind the decision or decisions.  At other times the "victim" might even be unhappy, but stay in the religious organisation because of social relations and other reasons - or not seldom because Phobia or fear already is working efficiently in the individuals sub-consciousness and are making it effectively impossible to break free from the religious sect or organisation. The "victim" is then a "victim" of Subtle Mind Control, and does in most case not even know about it.

*** 3.4 - More of the same on Subtle Mind Control ***
Subtle Mind Control is the use of more or less persuasive or coercive methods, which for instance psychologically provoke fears or establishes phobias of various kinds in individuals so that they convert to a certain religious mind-set or belief.

Sometimes belief is masquerading as knowledge, - something that happens more often than people in general are aware of. The methods used can be of many kinds. They can also play on peoples greed for getting what they think is important or a religious cause which they find to be important, even if it is a clearly sectarian one. The methods used can also play on the individuals wishes for getting a better life - materialistically, or, the opposite living with less emphasis on materialistic goods, or even the opposite to live as a very poor human being, because the religious cause deem it important. The methods used can also play on the individuals need for being together with other persons - a social need - which is not fulfilled at the moment. The methods used can also play on the individuals (especially young people) for liberating themselves from their family ties so that they feel that they are grown ups or that they are seeking a better course in life, than the previous one. - The conversion to a religious groups can be beneficial or the opposite. It all depends on what happens. There are also other methods employed. The methods are most often employed by leaders in a religious groups or sub-leaders. Sometimes the religious groups ordinary members help the new recruit to be persuaded by their more or less unconscious use of Subtle Mind Control on the new recruit. Subtle Mind Control can also operate through the use of group synergies.

When the religious group or organisation has a leader or a group of leaders who forward a religious doctrine and teaching on behalf of the group or organisation, I call it a sect. And especially if comparative studying is de-emphasized or avoided. And such a religious group or organisation use conditioning methods and thereby Subtle Mind Control more or less, especially of it does not clearly from the beginning seek to make the members of aware of the science of Subtle Mind Control. Such a sects use of Subtle Mind Control can be either beneficial or the opposite. It entirely depends on what is taught and on the individuals situation. So there in fact exists many happy members of religious sects, who have been and are subject to Subtle Mind Control. The same with more or less unhappy "victims" of it in religious sects. So Subtle Mind Control is not always something harmful, - although it most often or always has a snag involved in it, because of the use of conditioning methods.

My problem is: Is it healthy to primarily avoid telling people about that this is what more or less is going on in various ways in the religious organisations and groups on this planet, and that there is a science called Subtle Mind Control - not a belief - about this phenomenon? 
I do not think so. And that is also why I write this article about this issue called Subtle Mind Control.

With other words Subtle Mind Control is a religious teacher or leaders use - either consciously or un-consciously more or less - of teaching-techniques and promotions of a doctrine, for instance of a religious kind, which are forwarded in a manner which more or less either creates social attachments in the individuals receiving the doctrines or teachings - or - which a are conditioning the individuals to a certain mind-set or thought-pattern and in a manner which are blocking its consciousness from thinking out-side the box of the doctrine and the teachings given and other conditioning factors, which often install phobias or fears. The blockages can be of many different kinds and the causes to them as well. The techniques used - among other things - can be to create social attachment, induces Phobia (for instance belief in an eternal Hell or other beliefs), or fear induced blockages by claimed religious truth or beliefs. The activity might in a more or less subtle manner induce assumed knowledge, which is belief and not knowledge. It might also induce an environment of "us" and "them", where "us" is the religious groups and all others or many others are "them", and thereby a kind of enemy or are considered to be members of various groups of ignorants. And the claim is sometimes: They have not seen the real religious light! Not yet. But soon, they will. Etc. etc.

Here follows two versions by authors on the subject, which in various respects are quite similar to what I have written earlier on the subject. I am interested in the mutual elements here. What cannot be scientifically proven, must be forwarded as hypothesises on equal footing with other hypothesises on the subject. And comparative studying and research can take place.

Subtle Mind Control occurs when one or all of the following criteria's occur:
A) Milieu Control - The control of information and communication. (Added by M. Sufilight: within a sect or cult. In some cases also the possible use of the internal dialogue the "victim" has with itself.)
B) Mystical Manipulation - The manipulation of experiences that appear spontaneous but in fact were planned and orchestrated. (Added by M. Sufilight: The use of false supernatural experiences given to the "victims" or members of a sect or a cult.)
C) Demand for Purity - The world is viewed as black and white and the members are constantly exhorted to conform to the ideology of the group and strive for perfection. (Added by M. Sufilight: Sometimes also establishing impossible standards for performance. And thereby creating guilt in the "victim" or members of a sect or a cult.)
D) Confession - Sins, as defined by the group, are to be confessed either to a personal monitor or publicly to the group. (Added by M. Sufilight: Removal of personal boundaries, and the expectation that every thought, feeling, or action - past, present and future - that does not conform to the sect or cults rules be shared or confessed either to a leader or sub-leader, or to a larger group of members. This information is not forgotten or forgiven but, rather, used to control the "victims" with. - This is often seen in Christian groups and in groups related to a Christian use of vocabulary. Such sects or cults or related ones often requires a whole amount of written information from new members about themselves and their background. Some of it quite private information. Some schools who call themselves esoteric or says they have a theosophical origin might even operate like that more or less.)
E) Sacred Science - The group's doctrine or ideology is considered to be the ultimate Truth, beyond all questioning or dispute. (Added by M. Sufilight: The belief that the groups dogma or doctrine is absolutely scientific and morally true, with no room for questions or alternative viewpoints. Such groups often reject putting emphasis ideas like´comparative studying of worldviews, religions, and philosophies.)
F) Loading the Language - The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. (Added by M. Sufilight: The use of vocabulary to restrict the members thinking into absolute, black-and-white, and "thought-terminating-cliches" understood only by insiders. - For instance that when the word "God" is used, one might in fact, when conveniently mean Parabrahm or the Unmanifested sexless Logos when asked, a non-personal God.)
G) Doctrine over person - The member's personal experiences are subordinated to the sacred science and any contrary experiences must be denied or reinterpreted to fit the ideology of the group. (Added by M. Sufilight: The individual experiences, conscience, and integrity - are subordinated to the sacred science or belief in the religious organisation.)
H) Dispensing of existence - The group has the prerogative to decide who has the right to exist and who does not. (Added by M. Sufilight: Also known as Sacred war or Just war. This only happen in extreme cases within religious organisations.)
(Taken from Exit-Counsellor - Robert J. Lifton's writings. I have added a few comments. -

Margareth Singer's Six Conditions for Thought Reform:
A) Control the person's social and/or physical environment; especially control the person's time.  (Added by M. Sufilight: Especially the persons thinking time and amount of rest.)
B) Systematically create a sense of powerlessness in the person.  (Added by M. Sufilight: Especially by getting the persons away - as much as possible - from its normal social support group. Family, job, education schools, friends. The new religions members are the new "family" and new "friends", the nre "job".)
C) Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments and experiences in such a way as to inhibit behavior that reflects the person's former social identity. (Added by M. Sufilight: Your old beliefs and patterns of behavior are defined as irrelevant or evil. Leadership wants these old patterns eliminated, so the member must suppress them. Members get positive feedback for conforming to the group's beliefs and behaviors and negative feedback for old beliefs and behavior. )
D) Manipulate a system of rewards, punishments, and experiences in order to promote learning the group's ideology or belief system and group-approved behaviors. (Added by M. Sufilight:  Beliefs, and compliance are rewarded while questioning, expressing doubts or criticizing are met with disapproval, redress and possible rejection. If one expresses a question, he or she is made to feel that there is something inherently wrong with them to be questioning. )
E) Put forth a closed system of logic and an authoritarian structure that permits no feedback and refuses to be modified except by leadership approval or executive order. (Added by M. Sufilight: The group has a top-down, pyramid structure. The leaders must have verbal ways of never losing. - Members are not allowed to question, criticize or complain -- if they do, the leaders allege that the member is defective -- not the organization or the beliefs. -The individual is always wrong -- the system, its leaders and its belief are always right. )

F) Keep the person unaware of what is going on and how she or he is being changed a step at a time. (Added by M. Sufilight: Potential new members are led, step by step, through a behavioral-change program without being aware of the final agenda or full content of the group. The goal may be to make them deployable agents for the leadership, to get them to buy more courses, or get them to make a deeper commitment, depending on the leader's aim and desires.)
( Dr. Margaret T. Singer's 6 Conditions for Thought Reform. It is known that Margaret T. Singer's views in the above coincides much with the views of Edgar Schein who has written about the same subjects. - )

A few other issues added by me from various authors information and based on their papers:
A) Opposition to criticism of the Sect or Cult doctrines. - All kinds of critical thinking about the sects or cults doctrines are either disallowed or not emphasised or looked-down upon or seen as an attack on the groups members as a whole, and the leader. ---- Often because the leader is regarded as an authority, a high Initiate, a medium, a clairvoyant, or an Inter-Galactic Walk-in etc. etc. And similar if there are more than one leader. 
B) Comparative studying is opposed or not emphasised as important. In most sects and cults there is no aim on comparative studying so to de-condition the "victim" or member of the religious group or organisation. 
The rejection or lack of emphasis on this effectively bars the member from learning about the important aspects of Subtle Mind Control - and - more importantly often hinders the member in understanding whether he or she is member of a sect or a cult, or not. (I emphasise this because, this was and to some stille is one of the main aims within a number of theosophical organisations these days. Other organisations claiming theoosphical origin has abandoned this ethical and philosophical aim as being of primary importance. And because the two models by Singer and Lifton in the above vlearly shows the importance of not rejecting comparative studying or criticism of a religious doctrine, which are being forwarded.)
C) The science of Subtle Mind Control is not emphasised or at all mentioned in the religious group or sect. And if mentioned, it is denied as having any importance. Belief is considered more important than science or the religious groups doctrines are considered obviously superior to this science. Although it most often is not being told why it is obvious that belief is superior to scientific research about the meaning of life and psychological ethics.

D) A "victim" of Subtle Mind Control are sometimes more or less a fanatic without knowing or being able to recognize his or her level of fanaticism. Or especially his or her level of being conditioned. Because it is through conditioning that the individual by subtle techniques are being induced to convert to another religious view. The teacher of a given religious groups are often not aware of to what extend he or she induces Subtle Mind Control in an individual. The teacher or sub-teacher might even also be a "victim" (happy or not) of Subtle Mind Control. It is important to understand these things clearly and not superficially. It is scientifically a reality, that these things do occur.
- A "victim" of Subtle Mind Control most often cannot distinguish between what a sectarian group and a non-sectarian group is.
- A "victim" of Subtle Mind Control most often cannot distinguish between what a political group and a non-political group is.
It is important to understand these issues clearly and not superficially. It is scientifically a reality, that these things do occur.

It is when we understand all the above scientific facts given by me and the Psychologists and Exit-Counsellors in a superficial manner, that I find that we become vulnerable to Subtle Mind Control. The above models by various psychologists and me, are also used with great parallels by other psychologists and Exit-Counsellors these days. All the above are of course just my views, and I might be in error.

*** 3.5 - The Protean Self and Subtle Mind Control ***
The psychologist Robert J. Lifton talk about the Protean Self with regard to Subtle Mind Control or what he calls Coercive Persuasion. The Protean Self is a defense mechanism, a way of coping
with the modern fragmentations of self and society in a quickly changing (both materially and culturally) world. The way in which an individual deals with its presently perceived chaotic social system is a calling forth of an innate fleksibility of human development and behavior.
Here are a few more words on my views about the Protean Self: It is about the average humans own self. A Self which most of us experience is able to adapt it self to various situations in life and about its capability to do so and so on. Most of us know about it, and agree upon that we have such a Self. At work we operate with a self, or a personality. At home and alone with the wife or husband, we use another self - often a more compassionate and cuddling one. And also another self when we are together with our children or others children. And a fourth Self when we meet our neighbor or friends in leisure time. And if we are put under pressure, a new Self sometimes emerges. And when we are at the weekly or monthly meeting in the local New Age group - another more "holy" Self sometimes appears, - even if we have difficulties in admitting it is true, it happens. And so on, and on. - We use this fleksible self to more or less cope with the social situations we engage in.

And the truth is that most humans,  ie. Seekers after Truth and Wisdom, or religious persons in general, - have their very own sectarian view of life. All persons have that. But some persons have their view upon life in a manner where a religious doctrine or teaching - or leader or leaders are conditioning the individuals - very Protean Self - and not only the New Age Self they use at the New Age meetings or religious meetings.
The Protean Self is most often not identical with the members of their chosen sect or claimed non-sectarian religious group or groups, or the religious leaders, unless one is completely under such a leader or leaders control. (Some leaders in fact think due to mental disorder, that they for instance are THE Savior of the planet, or a highranking "Henchman" of such a Savior, and that their telepathic/clairvoyant contact - or similar with the Inter-Galactic Council is unique, and it is allright that they give orders to others and psychologically control them. Well, a real Savior promoting altruism do not act like that, this is obvious. At least in our times.) There are always various deviations. Our own worldviews are often a patchwork of various religious doctrines, more or less fanatical beliefs, assumptions and knowledge, as well as life experience. Seldom we find two persons who think completely alike in a dualistic world.

So when a person as a Seeker after Truth and Wisdom these days has joined a religious organisation or New Age organisation calling itself theosophical or esoterical or something quite different, such a person not seldom (as a Seeker) do it because the group has an outlook on life that appeals to that person (or his or her ego), with regard to the promotion of altruism or a religious doctrine of a certain kind. What, I can suggest is, that this person aught to be aware of whether his or her own reasons for joining such a group (or even a forum) in the past or now has to do with various more or less undetected - factors - in the persons mind and aura, which are effectively blocking him or her in seeing that this spiritual or religious group the person has joined is lacking certain vital ingredients with regard to teachings about the truth about life, - something which you maybe also are missing. (And on top of that this person perhaps completely ignore the science on Subtle Mind Control). And since such events happens on our planet - persons joining various groups in that manner - fear or phobia conditioning are sometimes being established, and sometimes that which is worse. And the tendency is there - even - when we talk about a claimed absolutely non-sectarian and non-political group. Because all and everything might condition an individual human being - psychologically speaking. And of course also esoterically and theosophically speaking. But it is when the conditioning occur without you knowing about it or without the various teacher or leaders of a religious organisation or group make you aware of that its organisational structure operate like that - I think we are having a problem of a certain kind with regard to an honest en open-minded search after the promotion of altruism and psychological change. And the readers could forward these views to the leaders of their own organisation, perhaps in a different formulation and ask them what they think about it.

Any comments?

All the above are of course just my views. And I might be in error about a number it things in the above.
And I do not claim myself infallible. I just have the hope that some of it might be useful to some of the readers of it.

M. Sufilight

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

[Back to Top]

Theosophy World: Dedicated to the Theosophical Philosophy and its Practical Application