CULTS: A Practical Guide (Foreword by Founder of Samaritans)

Discussion of cults generally - not specifically related to the SES or its related organisations.
Justice
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

CULTS: A Practical Guide (Foreword by Founder of Samaritans)

Postby Justice » Fri Feb 03, 2006 1:08 pm

Members of the School of Economic Science and Families with loved ones who are members will benefit from reading this booklet which is published by the Cult Information Centre (UK). I have found it very useful, and a source of further practical help. http://www.cultinformation.org.uk/

CULTS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE

By Ian Haworth Cult Information Centre (UK)

Foreword by Chad Varah: Founder of the Samaritans

As founder of the Samaritans and of Befrienders International, I encountered every depressing situation which could lead to despair and even suicide. It wasn?t long before the devastating effects of the activities of Cults had to be added to other horrors, and ignorance about their nature and methods was almost universal. Since 1977 the deaths they have caused have been widely reported in the media, and since 1993 hardly a year has passed without its newsworthy horror.

Anyone touched by this insidious phenomenon needs information and guidance, and I know of no more reliable book than Cults: A Practical Guide by Ian Haworth. I am proud to have been a Patron since the Cult Information Centre started.

Prebendary Dr. Chad Varah, CH, CBE, MA, DSc.
FOUNDER OF THE SAMARITANS


CHAPTER 1

EXPLODING THE MYTHS

?An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?

WHY WE NEED THIS BOOKLET

Cults. For most of us, our only contact with them is the occasional brush in the street, with a member, or else a tragedy reported on the news. Most people assume that the problem is small, isolated, and on the decrease. Contrary to what many imagine, however, cults are alive and well in the UK and on the increase: and both the membership and numbers of cult groups are growing. It is safe to say that there are well over 500 different cults operating in the UK today.

At least one of these groups has over 700 different corporate names which some people describe as ?Front Names?. Consequently, this makes the problem of discernment a major one.

Unless people understand the methodology of a typical cult, it is only too easy to be drawn into their sphere of influence. In addition, if counsellors, educators and others in positions in responsibility in the UK are not aware of what constitutes a cult and how cults operate, then they will be ill-equipped to help people confronted by cult-related issues.

The purpose of the booklet is to provide an easy to read, condensed overview of the key issues surrounding cults. It will focus on giving sound, practical help to those personally affected by cults as well as to those who wish to get a clearer picture, for research purposes, of how cults operate.

WHO IS IT FOR?

The booklet is written for a wide variety of readers as follows:

? For students and staff in schools: a. To warn them of the dangers of cults. b. To assist them in their research of the general cult phenomenon.

? For families and friends of cult members to enable them to understand quickly the basics of cultism to: a. Help them avoid making unnecessary mistakes in their communications with the cult member. b. Help them to take the initiative in trying to neutralise the influence of the cult.

? For families and friends of ex-cult members to help them understand: a. What they are likely to encounter in their own emotions. b. What the ex-cult member will be experiencing so that they can better assist in his/her recovery.

? For ex-cult members to help them understand what has happened to them and to understand and accelerate the recovery period.

? For counsellors, clergy, medical and mental health professionals to assist them in understanding the sometimes complex issues surrounding cult involvement so they are better equipped to: a. Warn those with whom they are in touch. b. Offer better help to grieving families that have lost a loved one to a cult. c. Offer better support for ex-cult members experiencing withdrawal after leaving a cult.

? For executives and personnel managers in the corporate world to assist in warning their staff or in assisting those already damaged by cults.

WARNING!

With the best of intentions, some people try to infiltrate a cult in order to learn more about it for academic or other personal reasons. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS COURSE OF ACTION.

Nobody is immune to the influence of the mind-control techniques used by cults. These techniques of psychological coercion can work, whether or not an individual is forewarned of the use of such methods. Since cult mind control practices result in an impairment of one?s ability to think and critically evaluate, the last person to recognise that harm is being done to him or her is the victim.

It is with this in mind that we give this warning and in the interests of public health and safety. Hopefully, if this warning is not fully appreciated by the reader at this stage, it will be, once you have read what follows.

EXPLODING THE MYTHS

In this booklet we have tried to suggest that cults represent a serious threat to the mental health and welfare of the individual and the family. Unfortunately, in Britain there is a great deal of confusion and misinformation surrounding this issue and myths abound. Many of these myths are the result of cult propaganda. Some are a result of the work of pro-cult activists. Others exist merely because the average person prefers to be in denial and say, ?it could never happen to me.?

It is hoped that by reading this booklet most of the myths surrounding the cult issue will be exploded. We would like to underline the following:

1. People don?t join cults. They are recruited.
2. People are recruited by a method not a message.
3. People do not stay in cults because they have nothing better to do with their lives, but because psychological coercion holds them there.
4. Cults intend to retain a hold on people for life, or for as long as they are valuable to the cult. It is not a fad or a phase.
5. Normal people from normal families are recruited into cults.
6. Cults should be blamed for the problems caused, not the individual members, ex-members or their families (blame the victim syndrome). IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE.
7. Cult members are sincere. (Sincere victims, but sincere.)
8. Cult members are victims and need to be treated with love. They are people who need help, not hostility.
9. Cults recruit people of all ages. Not just young people.
10. Cult recruiters are rarely visually identifiable. They usually look like quite normal people who appear to be very friendly.
11. Anyone can become a victim of cult techniques of psychological coercion. However, the safest people are those who know how to recognise a cult.
12. Accurate information on cults is not best obtained by trying to infiltrate a cult. THIS IS FAR TOO DANGEROUS.

CHAPTER 2 AND FOLLOWING CHAPTERS WILL FOLLOW IN DUE COURSE. I WOULD BE INTERESTED TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS ON THE ABOVE.

THE CULT INFORMATION CENTRE CAN BE CONTACTED AT:
CULT INFORMATION CENTRE
BCM CULTS
LONDON WC1N 3XX
TEL: 0870 777 3800

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

CULTS: A Practical Guide (Foreword by Founder of Samaritans)

Postby Justice » Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:51 pm

Its encouraging to see that people are taking an interest in this.

ARE YOU A FORMER MEMBER OF A DESTRUCTIVE GROUP SEEKING HELP?

ARE YOU SEEKING HELP FOR A LOVED ONE INVOLVED IN A DESTRUCTIVE GROUP?

THERE ARE VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS THAT YOU CAN APPROACH TO SEEK ADVICE INCLUDING THE FOLLOWING:

CULT INFORMATION CENTRE
BCM CULTS
LONDON WC1N 3XX
TEL: 0870 777 3800
http://www.cultinformation.org.uk


FAIR
FAMILY ACTION INFORMATION & RESOURCE
Tel: 01642 898 412
Fax: 01642 643 707
http://www.fair-cult-concern.co.uk


FREEDOM OF MIND RESOURCE CENTER
P.O. BOX 45233
SOMERVILLE, MA 02145
USA
PHONE: 001 (617) 628 9918
FAX: 001 (617) 628 8153
EMAIL: center@freedomofmind.com
WEB: http://www.freedomofmind.com

Daffy
Moderator
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Postby Daffy » Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:27 pm

Justice,

This site should not be used to reproduce entire books, especially ones still available for sale new. I have therefore deleted your separate threads that set out in their entirety chapters 2 and 3 of this publication. Please refrain from posting any more threads with further chapters.

You have posted a link to the organisation that publishes it, and the first chapter, and that should be sufficient to whet people's appetite.

Daffy

ross nolan
Posts: 184
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Location: Melbourne Australia

cult busting

Postby ross nolan » Sat Feb 04, 2006 10:25 pm

Justice! -- good to see some useful generalized information on cult behaviour that can be reflected upon by present, ex and prospective SES members . I hope to add something to this at the end of this post.

Whilst the experiences of individuals in cults and cult schools and family members of cult devotees are traumatic and disturbing and worthy of retelling in their details ,possibly also cathartic in doing so, it is neccesary to take an analytic approach to the whole phenomenon to understand and effectively counter it -- empathy is essential but so is a disspassionate approach that can give a clearer picture through the emotional fog.

The cult analyzing book you are 'serializing' is an important step in this direction and no doubt many people affected by the SES will be able to place many of their experiences and co ercive dealings with the cult within the framework provided.


I recognize these cult attributes, and many others, from my late mother's lifetime involvement with the Jehovah's Witnesses -- a lot of their technique is devoted to 'countering' efforts of family members and others to refuting the great "TRUTHS" that they claim to have and which ,by their amazing importance, justify the devoting of such vast amounts of their time and attention to the cult to the exclusion of all else (in the case of the JWs predicting the end of the world and 'preparing' for it )

The children of SES, or other cult , members are really not in a position to "get out" and yet are more likely to 'smell a rat' in the teachings if only because they are not 'converted' but more like 'conscripted' without any choice or emotional attachment to the beliefs -- I was lucky in that my father did not subscribe to the JW cult (having been brought up by the catholic christian brothers who have had their own share of unfavourable publicity and revelations ) My brother was sucked in by the radio 'evangelist' Herbert W Armstrong and the "worldwide church of god" (very big in the UK because of their doctrine of the 'special place ' of the royal family and the British people in bible prophecy)-- they 'tithe' their members 10% of their pre tax income and expect (and get) much more as well as expecting 'study courses' to be completed that demand a lot of time.

In 'examining' the SES schools it seems Townend failed to take into account the fundamental effect of the "Philosophical" underpinnings and Hinduish dogma of the parent organization and focussed very narrowly only on the 'justifiable' level of physical 'discipline' that might be permitted to be used on 'recalcitrant' children.( who instinctively realize that they are being deceived and fight back or fail to co operate --in effect the first stages of coming out of a cult )

Why Townend did not make it his business to analyze what the students were being exposed to and what the driving credo of the school (SES) was , rather than merely the techniques and degree of punishing and by whom it was administered, is worrying and perplexing to say the least.

It could be said that Townend "praised with faint damning" in the case of the SES -- he looked for a few 'bad apples' and 'overzealous' behaviour but failed to see the whole rotten barrel and the very real possibility that violence and physical abuse are INHERENT in the basic teachings of the SES .

This puts an entirely different light on the conduct of teachers and the real reasons for physical abuse -- notably no teacher seems to have used the "Nuremberg defence" -- ie "I was only carrying out orders" in their defence (except perhaps in the secret private report ) -- the only explanation being sought for is personal culpability of the individual teachERS themselves.

The teachINGS have been excused any critical examination as a cause for the mistreatments .

This approach has the effect of letting the SES itself "off the hook" since it was not 'aware' of the physical abuse of it's employees and ,the presumption is , would not have condoned this psychopathic behaviour if it had .

What if this entire assumption is in fact wrong ?

What if the SES expected and instructed it's teachers to behave in exactly this fashion ? (ie physical abuse, whippings, humiliation and breaking of the spirit of 'rebellious' children etc )

What if this can be shown to be policy rather than aberration and in fact the SES sanctioned it's teachers to carry out this child abuse ?

OK ",What if" if proven, must mean that individual teachers are no longer the proper target of any legal action or responsible for their actions , their personal finances or present status become irrelevant in seeking compensation as do their 'apologies' -- the SES organization bears full responsibility and liability in contrast.

Can the case be made that it is INHERENT in the teachings of the SES that this sort of treatment of children is in fact approved and sanctioned by the cult itself ?

Consider the implications (and check off the list of other cult characteristics on Justice's posting) then go to the new thread "Origins of the SES schools abuses ?"

Ross.
Skeptic

ross nolan
Posts: 184
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Location: Melbourne Australia

protest at removal

Postby ross nolan » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:01 pm

Daffy, I have just posted my reply to Justice's first instalment of the anti cult book when your advisory( that the two following sections have been removed from the forum by you) arrived.

As I understand it you are concerned with the copyright implications (?)

I can appreciate this concern but before I deal with it let me say how much I consider Justice's contribution in posting this information to be both relevant and valuable and potentially of great benefit to all the users of the forum (and cult victims)

You have yourself"overidden' the somewhat explicit intentions of the publishers of the Townend report not to have it reproducible for which I commmend you and consider that to have been also of great benefit and value.

"Publish and be damned" I can relate to from personal experience and I detest the concept of censorship based on fear alone --- it would be very difficult for anybody to get hold of the documents Justice is making available in Australia or for many of the other viewers and in all likelyhood no sales would be lost to the author by posting here, rather it might bring to the attention of many who would not otherwise become aware of it .

It seems quite possible that the writer might in fact approve of the dissemination of his booklet on this site ,given it's nature and intent , and it might even have "copyleft" (ie an invitation to copy and distribute freely for the common good) -- I do not know if you have PM'd or otherwise discussed this with Justice or the author (could we know if you have been instructed to ?)

A "fair amount" of copying for research and scholarly uses does not have to be limited to just a 'teaser' or cover blurb to be justifiable and I would have thought this 'defence' would apply here .

Anyway I just want to convey my misgivings at what borders on censorship (for reasons clearly other than obscenity, irrelevance or defamation etc ) -- the current debate about the simple cartoon portrayal of Mohammed and the imposed censorship lest someone should torch your embassy,kill your citizens or threaten your liberty in 'just outrage' at your blasphemy or heresy , is somewhat Germaine. cf Salman Rushdie etc .

The uncensored nature of the internet is a precious if fragile liberty and should only be compromised for the strongest reasons -- no doubt you (Daffy) have the best intentions in taking this action -- I would only ask you to reverse the action and at least consult the author to ascertain his or her view. (on both the enactment of copyright and the lawful posting for purposes and amounts permitted by law for research and scholarship)

Thanks and hoping you do not take this as personal criticism ,

Ross.
Skeptic

Daffy
Moderator
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Re: protest at removal

Postby Daffy » Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:44 pm

Ross,

Your questions are legitimate, and yes, it is partly to do with the copyright implications.

I reproduced the Townend Report despite the copyright implications because the Governors deliberately chose to make it difficult for former pupils to comment on it. This was despite the Report having been explicitly commissioned for the benefit of former pupils and made freely available to them.

The book 'Cults: A Practical Guide' is for sale elsewhere and we should respect their copyright.

I'm not saying we'll interpret the law strictly in every case. There are some concerns that are more important than copyright. But unless the author of this book wants to contact us and give us permission, we shouldn't wait until we get a 'cease and desist' letter from their lawyers.

ross nolan wrote:Daffy, I have just posted my reply to Justice's first instalment of the anti cult book when your advisory( that the two following sections have been removed from the forum by you) arrived.

As I understand it you are concerned with the copyright implications (?)

...

You have yourself"overidden' the somewhat explicit intentions of the publishers of the Townend report not to have it reproducible for which I commmend you and consider that to have been also of great benefit and value.

Daffy
Moderator
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Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 3:32 am

Postby Daffy » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:01 am

Since posting the above I have received a PM from 'Justice!' saying that he has permission to reproduce the book.

Justice!, we only have your word for it at the moment but if you can produce confirmation from the author then you are welcome to reproduce it. Please email what you have received to mgormez@chello.nl, with the author's own email address, so that we can verify it. At the moment I am a little sceptical, because the publishing organisation has their own web site and could easily have published the whole book on their site if they had wanted to do so. We'll see.

Also, if you are going to post extracts it would be better to put them in one thread than cluttering the board with a separate thread for every chapter.

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

CULTS: A Practical Guide

Postby Justice » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:21 am

Dear Daffy,

I have emailed Ian Haworth at the Cult Information Centre and have asked him to contact mgormez to confirm that he has given me permission to publish this material.

I have no doubt that he will reply early next week.

Best wishes,

Justice!

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

CULTS: A Practical Guide

Postby Justice » Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:58 pm

Once the Moderator has received confiration from the publisher that they have already granted me approval to publish the whole booklet, I will be posting it on the Bulletin Board.

Most cults use broadly similar methods to indoctrinate and control their victims, and everyone needs to be aware of the dangers, and what signs to look for.

Watch this space!

Justice
Posts: 223
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 11:13 pm

CULTS: A Practical Guide (Foreword by Founder of Samaritans)

Postby Justice » Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:03 pm

Anyone interested in buying 'CULTS: A Practical Guide' (Foreword by Founder of Samaritans) before it is posted in full on the internet is advised to contact the publishers directly.

Their web address is:

http://www.cultinformation.org.uk

Snowman
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Location: London

Postby Snowman » Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:56 pm

I think that Ross has summarised the nature of the SES-to-St James relationship very well and has identified what I have always believed to be the root of all the mistreatment.

Firstly, I feel that in defence of Mr Townend it should be made clear that the TOR for the inquiry did not allow him scope to include an assessment of the relationship to the SES. Whilst it was touched upon as part of the history and framework of St James it was not identified as DIRECTLY relevant to the inquiry into discipline policy. In late 2004 and early 2005 I (and others) were pressing for that link to be an integral part of the inquiry TOR but in any situation like this there are compromises that must be reached.

I was disappointed that the SES control over the schools for children was not going to be investigated by the inquiry chairman; however I am pleased that the inquiry went ahead in the form that it did. All those who complained are vindicated. In spite of this I am determined that the unanswered questions about the level of control that the SES has over St James are addressed fully.

I should emphasise that St James is under the CONTROL of the SES and is not merely influenced by it. This is a fact that even the schools and governors do not deny and openly have refused to change.

There have been several people on this BB, and many more whom I have spoken to in person, who have witnessed in the SES degrading treatment of its members through a range of methods. The common theme is that they are all justified in some way by the TEACHING of the SES and as such there is no protection for the victim - Classic cult behaviour!

What I witnessed and experienced in my 20 year relationship with both the SES and St James was discipline policy of the St James schools as a direct echo of the discipline policy of the SES. Obviously there were no canings and beatings within the SES (well, not to my knowledge) but they shared the same attitude to the psychological and emotional aspects of each individual.

Humiliation and "breaking the will" is surely a most effective way to take control of an individual?s mind.

The gentle trickle of 'philosophy' that is administered to pupils at St James from the age of 5 or 6 becomes a more free-flowing stream by the time they are invited to join the SES Foundation group at the age of 16. There is pressure from staff and a certain amount of peer-pressure that most children inevitably feel wherever they are at school and whatever the activity. Those who do not join the foundation group or take up meditation are treated differently from those who do.

When adult SES students leave they are ostracised by their former group and tutors are known to have actively encouraged students to cease communication with those who have left. There have been cases where 'rebellious' students have been bullied and humiliated in front of their peers in an attempt to control their questioning. We have read numerous accounts of instances at St James boys and girls schools where similar tactics have been used. The reason why: teachers are given this example by their SES tutors; The crucial difference: adults are free to leave the SES but children at St James are a) not equipped to know when they should stand up for themselves and b) not able to simply walk away from the institution and c) are easily led to believe that this is normal in any school.

So the philosophy administered to children and adults alike, full of 'truth certainties' that are never questioned or offered for debate, primes the students, young and old, for total surrender to the SES. Time, money and free labour are all given freely and the student is lured into commitment to the SES life. No time is left for independent thought outside of the scope of the teaching that is offered. Families and friends outside of the organisation are pushed to a distance and every step in their life revolves around their commitment to SES.

As an SES student you expect to be treated in such a way if you stray from the proscribed teaching and its principles for behaviour. As a pupil of St James you come to expect to be treated in this way - knowing no different.

I speak from experience when I say that it is far easier to submit to the pressure to join the foundation group than to try and hold out. After a few years on the inside I began to realise that this organisation I had become a part of (officially) at the age of 4 was rife with hypocrisy and subjugation of the individual. All my years at St James had primed me to accept on trust the 'truths' that I was being fed. Only when a very personal attack on a member of my family came to my attention did I wake up from my cosy dream state and realise that the foundations were rotten.

If the measure of a cult is its ability to castrate individual freedom and foster dependency then the SES is one very successful cult. St James, the bastard son of the SES, learns from his father by example and it is no surprise that there are strong parallels between the treatment of people in both institutions.

Like Father, like Son.

Has the SES and St James changed the nature and mechanics of its relationship?
No, it hasn't.

Do I believe that change will be brought from any internal SES or St James initiative?
No, I do not.

Has St James shown any willingness to dissociate itself from the SES and institute a change in its governance policy; i.e. allowing non-SES governors, implementing a PTA etc..?
No, it hasn't.

Is St James still a recruiting ground for the SES?
Yes, very much so.

In light of this does external pressure need to be applied to St James to bring about genuine change in these respects?
Yes, it does.

Is there anyone prepared to take on this task?
Yes, there is.

NYC
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Postby NYC » Wed Feb 08, 2006 9:32 pm

Snowman wrote:[the children?s schools] teachers are given this example [coercion] by their SES tutors; The crucial difference: adults are free to leave the SES but children at St James are [not]


This goes right to the heart of the matter. Whether the SES calls itself a religion or not, parents are legally within their rights to educate, perhaps even indoctrinate their children to a particular worldview in a privately funded school. The heartbeaking thing to me is that, assuming parents want to do the best they can for their children, why do the SES & affiliated schools settle for indoctrination rather than education?

Snowman, I?m posting an anecdote this post reminded me of on a different thread, where it fits better ? ?Attending the Adult Schools?

Is there anyone prepared to take on this task?
Yes, there is.

but not, as yet, a particularly well-organized group.

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ET
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Postby ET » Thu Feb 09, 2006 10:12 am

Snowman wrote:All those who complained are vindicated.

Those who do not join the foundation group or take up meditation are treated differently from those who do.



I'm afraid I have to disagree with the first statement I have quoted, Snowman.

I think many of those who complained will feel vindicated in part (I think you have covered the other aspects in your post very well, though). Where I have a problem with your statement is that I think it's mostly the male ex-pupils who can feel vindicated. The offhand dismissal of what happened at the girl's school has hurt me and many other female ex-pupils that I've spoken to. The physical abuse we suffered may not have been as bad (although I would dispute that in some cases) but the emotional and mental abuse was every bit as bad. I hope that my talking to Channel 4 about my experiences I can try to redress this balance a little.

However, I would wholeheartedly agree with the second quoted statement - I remember being treated very badly by teachers and fellow pupils because I didn't meditate, and a friend was seriously bullied (by adults, not kids) when she refused to join the Foundation group.

Planet
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Postby Planet » Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:02 pm

I remember being treated very badly by teachers and fellow pupils because I didn't meditate

You had a choice ? I don't remember the word "choice" came into it in the 70's-80's. Kids went to the adult philosophy groups as well in the evening assuming parents had signed upto it. Incidently when the meditation "checks" came along somehow I couldn't remember the "Mantra". I'm not saying its right for children to meditate but its not specific item that just the SES practices.

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ET
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Postby ET » Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:01 am

Planet wrote:You had a choice ?


Not exactly, but they couldn't force us! I was allowed to read an "improving" book (usually the Bible) whilst my class meditated.


quoting error fixed - mike


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