2/02/2010                                                                                       View Comments

Deprogramming the Deprogrammer

By Dealdoctor

What We Call a Sinny Sinny SinImage by Chicago Man via Flickr
As you read the material below which I found at some website that probably has a Christian bias and defines a “cult” as something other than Christianity. As an Ex-Christian you might find something enlightening in the fact that Christianity is obviously a “cult” itself and there is a bit of humor in those in a “cult” seeking to deprogram someone who is entrapped in a “cult”. The de-conversion process is nothing other than being deprogrammed from the Christian “cult” in the same way that Christians want their “wayward members” who have fallen into the clutches of an evil “cult” to be deprogrammed. It might be interesting as you go through the process of de-conversion out of Christianity or as you reflect on your own de-conversion out of Christianity think about what that that adventure has in common with the instruction given at ehow.com to those who want to learn how to deprogram a religious “cult” member. I will put a few comments of my own in CAPS and you might think what comments you might have made to this article.



How to Deprogram a Religious Cult Member

Deprogramming of religious cult members is a controversial topic, primarily because it is often done without the consent of the cult member. Families of cult members often resort to kidnapping them to get them away from the group. If you feel you have no choice but to deprogram a loved one who has joined a cult, be sure to use the help of a professional exit counselor.

Step 1
Isolate the cult member from the group and bring them to a safe and secure place.

DID YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THE CHURCH TO HELP YOU HAVE A CLEAR PERSPECTIVE THAT WOULD BE DIFFICULT IF YOU WERE THERE EVERY WEEK?

Step 2
Use a professional counselor to conduct exit The counselor will spend the entire first day trying to get the cult member to think through the reasons he joined the religious cult.

DID YOU NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE WITH A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE THAT CHANLLENGED THE STANDARD CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW ENTER YOUR LIFE?

Step 3
View video tapes with the cult member about other religious or political mind controlling groups. Discuss these groups and the reasons the members followed them.

DID YOU BEGIN TO SEE THAT CHRISTIANITY HAD MUCH IN COMMON WITH OTHER GROUPS UNDER THE SPELL OF DOGMA AND SUPERSITION?

Step 4
Show the cult member evidence, such as newspaper articles, of her organization being a cult. Allow the member to challenge the evidence. Discuss the subject until it is somewhat resolved.

DID READING MATERIAL THAT CHALLENGED THE CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW HAVE A PART IN YOUR COURGE TO SAY GOOD-BYE?

Step 5
Discuss what the member feels is right and wrong about his organization. Read passages from the Bible that contradict what the cult leaders have said. Talk about how the leaders lied to and misled the members.

I FIND FUNNY HERE THAT THE BIBLE IS TO BE CONSULTED TO PROVE THAT THE CULT IS NOT SO GOOD FOR SOMONE. WHAT ABOUT THE ATHIEST PRINCES VOLTAIRE AND INGERSOLL?

Step 6
Ask the cult member if he is ready to make a decision regarding future involvement with the religious cult on the third or fourth day of deprogramming. Often by now he is ready to choose not to return to the cult.

WAS THERE A DAY OF DECISION FOR YOU WHEN YOU LEFT THE ADULT SANTA JESUS IN THE SAME WAY YOU LEFT THE CHILDHOOD SANTA? DID A DAY OF RECONING COME FOR YOU IN WHICH YOU MADE A CHOICE TO LET GO?

Step 7
Provide a safe place for the ex-cult member to stay. Follow up contact with the exit counselor is an important step in the deprogramming to help her to stay strong in her conviction not to return to the organization.

HAVE YOU FOUND A SAFE PLACE TO BE A NON-BELIEVER?


How to Identify Cults

Instructions

Step 1
Watch for changes in the individual's personality and a growing estrangement from or even hostility towards family and friends. Cult members are discouraged from remaining in contact with former associates who might cause them to doubt the teachings and practices of the cult. Members are indoctrinated to distrust anyone who criticizes the cult or leader(s).

DO YOU MEAN HOW THOSE BORN AGAIN ARE IN CHURCH EVERY TIME THE DOORS ARE OPEN AND NO LONGER HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THEIR OLD SECULAR FRIENDS?

Step 2
Be aware. Cult members are often convinced to contribute all of their money and goods to the cult as a sign of their commitment. There is a strong emphasis on collecting money, which is often made by selling goods to the public and then donating it to the cult as part of their ministry. They spend much time recruiting other members, which they do by preying on their emotions.

DO YOU MEAN LIKE THE EARLY CHRISTIANS TOOK ALL THEIR POSESSIONS AND LAID THEM AT THE FEET OF THE APOSTLES OR HOW MODERN CHRISTIANS TITHE? OR ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT THE CHURCH BAKE SALES AND RUMMAGE SALES. COULD YOU POSSIBLY MEAN HOW CHRISTIANS TRY TO EVANGELIZE EVERYTHING THAT BREATHES? BUT OF COURSE NOT THAT WOULD BE “CULT”.

Step 3
Recognize the lack of control over the member's private life. Cult leaders monopolize the member's time and relationships, cultivating complete dependence on themselves and the cult. Members are taught to distrust anyone outside the cult and are discouraged from reading any material except what is provided or approved by the cult. Marriges and living arrangements (usually communal living) are dictated by cult leaders.

DO YOU MEAN HOW CHRISTIANS ARE ALWAYS TALKING ABOUT HOW COOL THEIR PASTOR IS OR HOW THEY SPEND ALL THEIR SPARE TIME AT THE CHURCH, WORKING TO EVANGELIZE FOR THE CHURCH OR HOW EVEN THEIR MARRIAGES HAVE TO BE CONFIRMED AT THE CHURCH?

Step 4
Note that cult members are discouraged from thinking for themselves. They are given little or no time alone and are constantly engaged in physical or group activities. They are engaged in mind altering behaviors, such as chanting, denunciation of selves and others and encouraged to report suspicious behaviors of other cult members, including their own families. Shame and fear of alienation cements their dependence on the cult.

DISCOURAGED FROM THINKING FOR THEMSEVES? WELL “CULTS” SURE BUT THE CHURCH REALLY IS ALL ABOUT FREE THINKING, RIGHT? (GRIN). SHEESH!

Step 5
Notice the unquestioning dedication which cult followers exhibit towards their leader. They learn to rationalize his behaviors even if these contradict previously held beliefs or common sense. They believe happiness and redemption comes solely from their leader(s) and they will sacrifice nearly everything for the benefit of the cult.

DO YOU MEAN HOW CHRISTIANS IDOLIZE JESUS? OR HOW THEY IDOLIZE THEIR PASTORS? I AM UNSURE JUST WHAT CONNECTION I SHOULD MAKE HERE?

Step 6
Keep in mind that forcing or coercing a member to leave a cult can cause psychological and emotional damage. They have been programmed to believe God will punish them if they leave, and threats are used to force them to maintain silence about cult activities. It is necessary to get help from a professional deprogrammer and assure that they are kept away from other active cult members.

OH, YOU MEAN HOW CHRISTIANS ARE MADE TO FEAR HELL IF THEY LEAVE THE CHURCH OR HOW THEIR OWN FAMILIES GIVE THEM HELL IF THEY QUESTION CHRISTIANITY? NO? WELL OF COURSE NOT THAT WOJLD MAKE CHRISTIANITY ITSELF JUST ONE MORE CULT!

Gosh, we better get serious about getting folks out of those horrible “cults” and back in the church pews where they belong. Is that why they call it Christian CULTure? I think there needs to be someone who is out there to deprogram the deprogrammer. How about you?


35 comments:

webmdave said...

Christianity sure fits the definition of a cult for me:

"Among the observances in the cult of a deity are ritual, which may involve spoken or sung prayers or hymns, and often sacrifice, or substitutes for sacrifice. Other manifestations of the cult of a deity are the preservation of relics or the creation of images, such as icons (usually connoting a flat painted image) or idols (usually connoting three-dimensional objects), and the identification of sacred places, hilltops and mountains, fissures and caves, springs and pools, or groves, which may be the seat of an oracle. The sacred places may be elaborated by construction of shrines and temples, on which are centered public attention at religious festivals (called "Feasts" in some Christian communities) and which may become the center for pilgrimages."

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Cult_%28religion%29

webmdave said...

Yes, I do believe you hit it right on the mark, Dealdoctor, because what you said is all quite true.

webmdave said...

maybe they need to prephrase that, something like.... cults which do not have the same proper interpretation as we do, are very evil indeed. ALL other doctrines which differ in nature or understanding such as ours are places of most damnedable spiritaul treachery.

Dig the dramtacic language there. I mean these people do have the memes to honestly believe that everything else is a perversion of their own view. See god has his pure view and shares that particular vision with them out of all people, um besides his chosen races.
And besides what freaks these people out are the obvious abuses of power in "them" cults, not the deeply subtle and engeneious, er i mean most holy intricasies of their own abuses.. er god.

What kind of god wants true introspection in a cult member anyway?

webmdave said...

SOOOOOO TRUE!!! How can one NOT see the inconsistency in reasoning. The inconsistent reasoning among xtianity/xtians is what led me away from xtianity. The LACK of consistent reasoning sends up red flags all over the place for me. What does one have to hide using inconsistent reasoning?

When xtianity starts using, on a full time basis, intellectual honesty, full disclosure, probabilistic reasoning one uses all day every day to function in the world, and consistent reasoning from issue to issue, they will have my UNDIVIDED attention. Until then, they can sell their mythology and snake oil to someone who is buying!!!

webmdave said...

Just finished reading: Cults in our Midst by Margaret T Singer. Great read, but it didn't view Xinsanity as a cult. Which, of course it is with the possible exception of the Unitarians & very liberal 'main line' protestant churches. The Southern Baptist churches are every bit as bad as the cults analysed in her book. And quite a few ExXians here were members who escaped- mostly on their own, more credit to them.

webmdave said...

Christians deprogramming cult members.... isn't that just the pot calling the kettle black?

webmdave said...

I remember thinking of my first examination of christianity as a reprogramming mainly because I decided that I had to separate myself from it to be able to look at it objectively. Much like scientific examination, you can't be objective about a thing if you're part of it. You have to remove yourself from it. I figured if christianity was right that I would find that out by looking at it objectively and could go back to it if I wanted. I found, like you said, that christianity is much like a cult. Whether or not christianity actually is a cult depends on different churches and their ways of practicing their religion.

I think people who are born into and/or grow up in a certain religion need the deprogramming much more than a person that chose to enter a religion as an adult. When you are reared as a child in a religion it tends to pervade your entire life and all of your memories. It is hard to understand a life that is not filled with that religion. Every choice you have made, every guidance you have needed, every reasoning has been colored with the religious viewpoint.

webmdave said...

I'm just glad I left it all behind.

webmdave said...

My 86-year-old friend (whose 91-year-old sister was complaining about some cult) said, "Well, all religions are cults, really."

This surprised and delighted me to hear her say that.

Of course, she continues to attend church. But she does not care if others do or don't.

webmdave said...

yeah, Have you ever noticed thaty once you are not christian the things christians say during worship are absolutely CRAZY! "Iam saved in the blood of Christ", or "Make my heart thy lowly seat". That stuf is NUTTY! please someone stop them before they take a trip to the looney bin. Christian CULTure...lol..sooo true.

webmdave said...

Those in charge of my indoctrination (my family, priests and such) into this cult did such a piss poor job of it that i did not buy it from the beginning that I have no need of any deprogramming. I was SO lucky in that.

But I so admire this effort at saving these souls (yeah I said it) that I just wanted to ring in and wish everyone on this site the very best!

I think that a lot of people are scared stupid by the notion of death - I for one am much happier believing that eternal burning and eternal boredom are off the table!

Cheers!!!

webmdave said...

Those in charge of my indoctrination (my family, priests and such) into this cult did such a piss poor job of it that i did not buy it from the beginning that I have no need of any deprogramming. I was SO lucky in that.

But I so admire this effort at saving these souls (yeah I said it) that I just wanted to ring in and wish everyone on this site the very best!

I think that a lot of people are scared stupid by the notion of death - I for one am much happier believing that eternal burning and eternal boredom are off the table!

Cheers!!!

webmdave said...

The whole concept of *Christianity is to lay down your life and die to self,just like Jeay--sus! You become a slave to your leaders through the hijacking of your intellect,time and money.

*It's the biggest cult/con on earth.

webmdave said...

Step 2:

Tithing would have been an excellent example!

webmdave said...

Hey! I was told Harlin was my uncle. Although, I couldn't stand the smell of his cooking and my grandfather said it was a greasy spoon. According to my grandfather, Uncle Harlin couldn't cook chicken right.

webmdave said...

Excellent post!Its creepy how some cults are so accepted by millions. I remember I had this book when I was a christian and it talked about '''fighting the devil''and helping people that came out of cults.Then of course it explained that once they come out of the cult of the infulence of saten you can tell them to give their lives to Jesus so he wont have to send them to hell.No..that not a cult at all!If you spend half your time talking about a man making a blood sacrifice,I think your in a cult!

webmdave said...

Kind of like having Colonel Sanders babysit your chickens for you.

webmdave said...

Thanks for the post DealDoctor. Excellent ideas, and spot on.

As for step 5 in the "how to identify a cult" section it said: "They learn to rationalize his behaviors even if these contradict previously held beliefs or common sense."

You said "DO YOU MEAN HOW CHRISTIANS IDOLIZE JESUS? OR HOW THEY IDOLIZE THEIR PASTORS? I AM UNSURE JUST WHAT CONNECTION I SHOULD MAKE HERE?"

I'd add that they rationalize the conflicting and downright evil behaviors of the bible god with stuff like "God works in mysterious ways." and "You can't question God."

That seems like a match to me.

webmdave said...

One of the things which I've noticed about the religious is that they are experts in seeing the problems in other religions while being oblivious to the problems in their own. Jesus is an excellent example of this, "don't be a judgemental hypocrite like those dirty Pharisees."

webmdave said...

The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you! lol I'm sorry, that is another one that I can't help laughing about and they have said it in many horror movies that deal with the Catholic Church.

webmdave said...

It is more like REprogramming than DEprogramming.

webmdave said...

An excellent post, reminded me of a favorite movie, Holy Smoke, about a de-programmer, the family who hires him, and their intended target -- who turns out to be the most sane and mature one of the bunch. It's both hilarious and touching in it's expose of hypocrisy (though definitely not family viewing) and stars Kate Winslet and Harvey Keitel.

webmdave said...

One small correction: Voltaire was a deist, not an atheist.

webmdave said...

Religion in general is just a well respected cult. In a thousand years one-third of the earth's population may be Scientologists. It may be nearly inconceivable that anyone would live with out an E-meter.

That would not change the fact that it is a crazy cult!

It is exactly the same with other religions. They are just cults who have been able to attain a level of respect that they should not have.

webmdave said...

Dealdoctor....A very "spot-on" post. I particularly cracked up on step # 3.
Talk about the pot calling the kettle black ! As a deprogrammer relates info. to the "cultist" about how cults monopolize members time, thoughts, relationships, etc. and what to read, what NOT to read..and so on...
Shouldn't a siren go off in that deprogrammer's head..." Hey, wait a minute, gee, I just described my own church ! !"...............ah, duh

webmdave said...

yeah, Have you ever noticed thaty once you are not christian the things christians say during worship are absolutely CRAZY! "Iam saved in the blood of Christ", or "Make my heart thy lowly seat". That stuf is NUTTY! please someone stop them before they take a trip to the looney bin. Christian CULTure...lol..sooo true.

webmdave said...

My 86-year-old friend (whose 91-year-old sister was complaining about some cult) said, "Well, all religions are cults, really."

This surprised and delighted me to hear her say that.

Of course, she continues to attend church. But she does not care if others do or don't.

webmdave said...

I remember thinking of my first examination of christianity as a reprogramming mainly because I decided that I had to separate myself from it to be able to look at it objectively. Much like scientific examination, you can't be objective about a thing if you're part of it. You have to remove yourself from it. I figured if christianity was right that I would find that out by looking at it objectively and could go back to it if I wanted. I found, like you said, that christianity is much like a cult. Whether or not christianity actually is a cult depends on different churches and their ways of practicing their religion.

I think people who are born into and/or grow up in a certain religion need the deprogramming much more than a person that chose to enter a religion as an adult. When you are reared as a child in a religion it tends to pervade your entire life and all of your memories. It is hard to understand a life that is not filled with that religion. Every choice you have made, every guidance you have needed, every reasoning has been colored with the religious viewpoint.

webmdave said...

I'm just glad I left it all behind.

webmdave said...

Christians deprogramming cult members.... isn't that just the pot calling the kettle black?

webmdave said...

Just finished reading: Cults in our Midst by Margaret T Singer. Great read, but it didn't view Xinsanity as a cult. Which, of course it is with the possible exception of the Unitarians & very liberal 'main line' protestant churches. The Southern Baptist churches are every bit as bad as the cults analysed in her book. And quite a few ExXians here were members who escaped- mostly on their own, more credit to them.

webmdave said...

SOOOOOO TRUE!!! How can one NOT see the inconsistency in reasoning. The inconsistent reasoning among xtianity/xtians is what led me away from xtianity. The LACK of consistent reasoning sends up red flags all over the place for me. What does one have to hide using inconsistent reasoning?

When xtianity starts using, on a full time basis, intellectual honesty, full disclosure, probabilistic reasoning one uses all day every day to function in the world, and consistent reasoning from issue to issue, they will have my UNDIVIDED attention. Until then, they can sell their mythology and snake oil to someone who is buying!!!

webmdave said...

maybe they need to prephrase that, something like.... cults which do not have the same proper interpretation as we do, are very evil indeed. ALL other doctrines which differ in nature or understanding such as ours are places of most damnedable spiritaul treachery.

Dig the dramtacic language there. I mean these people do have the memes to honestly believe that everything else is a perversion of their own view. See god has his pure view and shares that particular vision with them out of all people, um besides his chosen races.
And besides what freaks these people out are the obvious abuses of power in "them" cults, not the deeply subtle and engeneious, er i mean most holy intricasies of their own abuses.. er god.

What kind of god wants true introspection in a cult member anyway?

webmdave said...

Yes, I do believe you hit it right on the mark, Dealdoctor, because what you said is all quite true.

webmdave said...

Christianity sure fits the definition of a cult for me:

"Among the observances in the cult of a deity are ritual, which may involve spoken or sung prayers or hymns, and often sacrifice, or substitutes for sacrifice. Other manifestations of the cult of a deity are the preservation of relics or the creation of images, such as icons (usually connoting a flat painted image) or idols (usually connoting three-dimensional objects), and the identification of sacred places, hilltops and mountains, fissures and caves, springs and pools, or groves, which may be the seat of an oracle. The sacred places may be elaborated by construction of shrines and temples, on which are centered public attention at religious festivals (called "Feasts" in some Christian communities) and which may become the center for pilgrimages."

http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Cult_%28religion%29