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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Friday, September 26, 2008

From General Literature about the Subject

2. Application or threat of powerful non-physical punishments. Commonly, one witnesses the manipulation techniques of humiliation, loss of status or privilege, professional or social isolation, abrupt professional or social status changes, the induction of doubt, fear, anxiety, guilt and/or shame. Whether used or threatened – directly or by implication – these techniques can create intense negative emotional reactions.

This technique is usually discovered with a manipulating ‘leverage’ being maximized through alternating harshness and leniency. In special cases, lavish rewards may be used. In most instances the threat-reward system is limited to acceptance-approval, acknowledgment, admiration and/or other ‘low overhead’ means. The associated tactics are often to be found in calculated feasts or famines, as needed to achieve the ‘conversion.’

3. Social or professional isolation. Various means are employed to limit or stop an individual’s contact with colleagues, peers, family, friends or associates. That isolation serves as a punishment for those who do not share the "approved" thoughts, beliefs, attitudes or ideology. In the ‘reward cycle,’ financial devices, social and professional status and other ‘levers’ are utilized to create a dependence on the "new group."

5. Intense and frequent efforts to undermine self-confidence and judgment; creation of a sense of helplessness and/or powerlessness. Any criticism or complaints will usually result in the controlling entity demonstrating to the targeted individual, that he or she is possessed of a major flaw, as opposed to any flaw within the group or the particular propaganda/ideology being pandered. The targeted individual is passionately induced to believe that the ‘system’ knows what’s best and should always be assumed to be correct; the targeted individual is "guilt-tripped" into believing that they are wrong. The targeted individual is pressured into abandoning previous convictions, in favor of assuming that only the ‘system’ can be the true authority for judgments and decisions. The underlying assumption – often quite false – is that the ‘system’ can be trusted.

6. Manipulation of information and language. Any input which results in a mental-emotional conflict, any upsetting, or non-supporting information is blocked, denied, censored, reinterpreted or its access is prohibited whenever possible; particularly as it relates to group communication and indoctrination. Any controversial issues are typically poisoned via direct deception or the clever blockage of pertinent facts, the mixing of truth and lies. A confidence game strategy also may be utilized to manipulate any adverse information or inhibit the discovery of any presented falsehoods.

There will often be rules concerning permissible topics for discussion with ‘outsiders.’ Typically, communication is strictly controlled. In cult scenarios, a "group language" is often found. Those "into" the group are identified by their speech patterns. Those who remember the "valley-speak" of California ["for sure; for sure"] can readily recognize this trait.

To reinforce the preferred belief system, commonly used words are often substituted or redefined; possibly, new words are created; "proactive" is one such case. The ‘approved language’ is often loaded, creating a value-perspective in the ‘we-against-they’ scenario; often dividing the world into "the good, informed, aware and wonderful US," versus "the ignorant, bad, evil, and unenlightened THEM."

7. Application or presence of psychological threat. Any such ‘closed system’ typically presents the conviction that anyone who fails to adopt the approved thought process, attitude, belief, or prescribed behavior are either directly threatened, or they are led to the certainty that severe punishment or dire consequences – of some sort - will eventually meet them. In many cases, methodologies are designed to produce such high stress levels as to induce physical or mental illness, drug dependence (including prescribed psychoactive drugs), economic collapse, professional or social failure and divorce are a few examples of these threats.

These techniques of Coercive Persuasion combine the most effective and traditional psychological and sociological coercive methodologies of influence and deception techniques with the most powerful techniques of ‘behavior modification,’ and other psychological technologies such as hypnosis or Neuro-Linguistic Programming. The resulting synthesis is often found to be wrapped in a slick soft-sell veneer, of the Madison Avenue PR variety.

8. Structure and control. The element of "compartmentalization" is a common trait of institutionalized Coercive Persuasion. While such structure has a certain production-control benefit, the barriers created also effect tremendous influence over the subject population. Such environments are typically identifiable by having some form of "Human Resources" department, with a powerful supervisory hierarchy. For example, the corporate policy may prohibit a departmental – or branch – transfer, without a ‘compartment’ supervisor’s approval/recommendation. The effect of such structure and control is to implant a general sense of powerlessness in the individual. In a time of crisis, the affected individual doesn’t have the ability to reach out to a friend, as the friend will be informed, "That’s not your department."