Tag Archives | Social Science on ‘Cults’

social science on cultsThere is a kind of war between psychology and social science on how to define, approach, and think about ‘cults’. Social science is that branch of science which studies the relationship between groups and individuals.

The subject of religion, especially other peoples’ religions, has always been a somewhat hysterical area for human beings, to say the least. Social science uses quantitative scientific techniques to attempt to objectively find out what’s going on with minority religions, to delete the hysteria, and to provide perspective on ‘cults’ vs. religions and the truth of their effects.

My main criticism of psychology with respect to cults is that practitioners have been extremely exploitative of the process of re-enculturalization of Exes. Psychologists since before Margaret Singer have used Ex-members in their own practice-building and marketing and, I believe, made up non-existent maladies that most Exes would not suffer from if they had not been convinced they had these maladies by psychologists.

Social scientists just write papers and books. They don’t really have a financial incentive to blow up the hysteria around other peoples’ religious beliefs like psychologists do, or to make up mental problems that they can charge to fix. This is only one reason I believe you get a much better perspective on the phenomena of ‘cults’ from social scientists.

There are many others.

‘Cults’ are primarily a social phenomenon, and not a psychological one. Where there has been abuse, just like anywhere else there has been abuse, then psychology has a role to play to help heal from that abuse. But being a member in a cult is not inherently abusive and having been a member of a cult is not some kind of a disease. The diseasification and catastrophication of cult membership by psychologists in the anti-cult movement is the most damaging thing that they have done to Ex-members. In most cases, the damage psychologists have done to Exes by far exceeds the damage any cult membership has caused them.

Whether you agree with social science on cults or not, I think it is vital that any Ex studies their work, and takes some time to think with their ideas after Scientology.

mainstream culture

Adjusting to Mainstream Society After Scientology is Not “Recovery”

The cult recovery paradigm of Ex-Scientology sets up a whole bunch of things you think you need to “recover” from because you were in Scientology. This is a dysfunctional view. Paradigms are insidious things. They can hide all the assumptions and viewpoints and framing you are using to “understand” something. It’s always a good critical […]

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Leah Remini Scientology and the Aftermath

Why Leah Remini Will Never Get Her Federal Investigation

Social scientists who study minority religions have observed that the main activity of the anti-cult movement is to create a moral panic around a targeted minority religion strong enough to make governments react. Members of the anti-cult movement accomplished this in Waco in the 1990’s, and the resulting catastrophe woke up people in government to their responsibility […]

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Scientology Religion

Is Scientology a Religion? Leah Remini Now Says It’s Not

After calling it her religion for 34 years, Leah Remini now claims that Scientology is not a religion. Many anti-Scientologists promote the fact that the Church of Scientology went through a very intentional and detailed overhaul of all its missions and orgs to make Scientology look like more of what people expect a religion to […]

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Anti Cult Movement

Is The Anti Cult Movement True?

If there’s one reason that I’m doing these videos, it’s because these ideas from the anti cult movement are destructive to an Ex-Scientologist, or an Ex-member of any minority religion that they call “cult”. And they’re just beliefs – they’re not facts.

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Ted Patrick Anti-Cult Movement

The Anti-Cult Movement

The “Father of Deprogramming” Ted Patrick was a devoted Christian who believed he was doing God’s work by kidnapping people & holding them in a room & browbeating them until they denounced their faith. In 1980, he served 1 year in prison and paid a $5000 fine for kidnapping and false imprisonment.

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Cult mind control

If Anti-Scientologists Love Science So Much, Why Don’t They Use It?

One of the most hysterical and unscientific beliefs of the Anti-Cult movement is that “brainwashing” and “Mind Control” is at work whenever anyone becomes a member of a “cult”. These ideas are assumed and unquestioned by members of the anti-Cult Movement. They’re the basis of their anti-cult beliefs. But when asked for any study that […]

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anti-cult movement

What Are AntiScientologists & the AntiCult Movement Trying to Achieve?

A valued contributor to this blog, Richard, said something that made me realize a whole bunch of things about Tony Ortega and his Underground Bunker, ESMB, and all the other outlets of the Anti-Scientology Mafia Network (ASMN) Richard wrote: “Classifying all people participating on the Underground Bunker as cultists seemed to have a shock effect, […]

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download

Stephen Hassan Misrepresents the Science on “Brainwashing”

In a recent article about ideological influences on wikipedia, Hassan writes: “The Unification Church page then disparages critics, such as myself, as incorrectly stating that the group brainwashes members. Yet, I was a member and experienced this firsthand. Sociologist Eileen Barker is a cult apologist and made her career stating the Moonies do not do […]

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6360139435793044861461393096_Donald-Trump-prune-face

Information Disease

When the President of the United States gets most of his news and information from Brietbart and Fox, and not from the information gathering services that the US has to inform the president and other leaders in our government, then you have skewed and pitched ideas filling the heads of people who need the best […]

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Life After Scientology

A Study List for Life After Scientology

Your assumptions can be quite insidious. You must study the actual subjects that Hubbard “spun” for you – from sources completely independent from L Ron Hubbard – so as to challenge your own assumptions, separate out Hubbard’s installed ones, and inspect them for their weaknesses.

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Consonance & Dissonance in Scientology

Consonance & Dissonance in Thinking About Scientology

The human mind wants to think about things – especially important things – as either ALL GOOD, or ALL BAD. Not both. A mixture of good and bad in the mind gives you a feeling of dissonance – disharmony, conflict, chaos. Thinking about things as ALL GOOD, or ALL BAD, gives you a feeling of […]

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In Defense of J Gordon Melton

In Defense of J Gordon Melton

I believe if an Ex-cultist is to fully graduate from his former cultic thinking and keep evolving and growing in a constructive manner after the cult, he should teach himself to listen to criticism, and carefully determine if there might be something true in it.

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When Prophecy Fails

Cognitive Dissonance – More About

Jeff Hawkins wrote a post a few years ago detailing much of the basics behind Cognitive Dissonance Theory, and I am very grateful that he did, as this theory is fundamental to understanding not only how cult dynamics work, but how human beings work. I’m currently listening to free online lectures from a Social Psychology […]

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