There was an interaction between the defense, the judge and the prosecutor in the Keith Raniere trial which can be described as highly Torquemadian.
While being questioned by the prosecution, Lauren Salzman began describing how she now views certain experiences as being “groomed” by Keith Raniere. The defense objected, saying that the witness neither had the experience or expertise to assign motives to someone else, or that any action taken was part of “grooming”.
Instead of sustaining or overruling the objection, the judge asked the prosecution to clarify. Below is what the prosecution told the judge.
The judge overruled the objection and Lauren Salzman’s testimony that she was being “groomed” was accepted – presumably because she had now been deprogrammed and so knew what she was talking about.
Since when do eyewitnesses need to undergo deprogramming to radically re-interpret their experiences in order for them to testify properly?
Over and over, you’ll find the deprogrammed witnesses in the Raniere trial all repeating the same anti-cult tropes – usually a 180 degree opposite interpretation from when they had their ‘cult’ experience.
This study of 154 adults who were former members of minority religions shows that anticult movement deprogramming severely effects the ways in which an ex member views and interprets their own past experience. What used to be therapeutic and inspiring while in the ‘cult’, after anticult deprogramming, becomes toxic, diseased and even criminal in their minds.
So maybe the anticult deprograming that the government put their witnesses through made their testimony understandable to a jury, but did that deprogramming make their witness’s testimony true?
After all, it’s not perjury if the prosecutor wants you to say it.
Reconstructing the “Cult” Experience: Post-Involvement Attitudes as a Function of Mode of Exit and Post-Involvement Socialization
The presentation of the brainwashing ideology appears to be one of the most essential components of the deprogramming process; e.g., one of the deprogrammed respondents related that, “After three days of dialogue I had a basic understanding of thought reform and how it had been applied to me.” The attractiveness of this ideology was reflected in yet another deprogrammee’s response: “It still makes me cringe to think of the ‘witnessing’ I did to co-workers during free times. But my deprogrammer made sure I knew it wasn’t my fault.” This last statement clearly indicates how anti-cult ideology’s provision for a face-saving “absolution from blame” induces ex-members to adopt it.