"An Object Relations Approach to Cult Membership" - American Journal of Psychotherapy

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by Anonymous, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Anonymous Member
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  2. Anonymous Member

    Not sure I agree with the premise being put forward here, but will reserve judgement until I see how they try substantiating it in the paper proper. Anyone able to get it?
  3. anonanchovie Member

    I don't completely disagree, subjectively I was certainly suffering from depression, and I witnessed many manifestations of what can best be described as aberrant behaviours within the cult. I would not buy the premise out hand though, I think it needs a number of longitudinal studies. Anecdotaly, yes, plenty of mentally damaged people join cults, plenty are brought up in cults too however. Miscavige for one.
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  4. No. A lot of big words that I don't understand. I get the feeling it may explain the behaviour of some of the really weird people I met in the cult though. Wouldn't mind seeing the rest.
  5. Anonymous Member

    I would certainly accept the claim that the pressures of cultic environment can make existing mental conditions worse.
    I was asking if anyone was able to get the paper, as in obtain it, rather than ‘get it’ in this sense…

    I suppose the biggest thing that makes me skeptical of the paper is that, when you consider that cults generally involve re-programming and a personality change, proposing any sort of object relations-level regression seems odd. To my mind this type of experience would be part of what gets severed from the psyche in cultic programming. Having said that, the regression to children as a means of establishing cultic control may be what the authors are getting at since such might overlap with object-relations theory, but to me this would be temporary at best as the new replacement personality develops. Would need to see the paper proper and how they argue this though.
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  6. Yeah that dawned on me after I posted but I thought I would leave it as is since it seemed valid also.
  7. Anonymous Member

    I'm not versed in psychology terms, can anyone translate this to plain english?
  8. Random guy Member

    As I read the summary, it says:

    People in cults aren't really crazy per se, but the groupthink make them appear so to the outsider. Also, the typical cultthink make them react to critique in a very primitive way, similar to reactions seen in people who really are crazy.

    tl;dr: Not crazy, just brainwashed
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  9. Anonymous Member

    I’ll try.

    ‘Object relations’ is a branch of psychology that essentially tries to explain how we relate to the people we meet, and how we relate to our environment, by considering how our childhood interactions, and specifically our interactions with our parents, have shaped our personal development.

    The authors seems to be suggesting that the ‘activation of primitive defensive operations’ may be due to psychological regression within the scope of object relations, and that this may explain the behaviours of some cult members.
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  10. Sort of what I thought.

    I'm just glad there is more and more attention put on the subject.
  11. telomere Member

    These two are not mutually exclusive.
    People with existing illness (psychological, physiological) may see some benefit from Scientology therapies,
    or their conditions may deteriorate. * DM sought treatment in part, because of his existing asthma / related disability.
    The profound self-validation he received while squirming and clawing his way to the top probably offset the continuing misery from preexisting disability, and he may actually consider himself "cured".

    Despite that he's not cured, and is probably in much worse shape than before.

    Some people who join Scientology may be more-or-less healthy when they first arrive.
    I believe the article is arguing that those persons may remain more-or-less "sane",
    despite appearing increasingly insane to outsiders.

    I would contrast the Miscaviges with the Gaimans. (Ron/David from David/Neil) Where RM shrunk and cowered, DM learned from his dad. Where DG slunk and slithered, NG the same. This article is probably more representative of the Gaiman experience, than the Miscavige one.

    * theoretically, Scientology treatment could benefit people. If Jason Beghe wants to see one M-F Clear, I'd like to see one M-F clinical trial.
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  12. I am probably over my head in this discussion but I can't resist this.

    I think the "benefits" come early and some of them stay with you. In my case I seem to be the person that I was when I was 5 years old. The thought of this is a little scary because for all I know I may have very well regressed. At the same time this fits in with the belief that children are just adults in small bodies. I would hate to think of myself as childish since I don't seem to have the self-centered view of a child but this might just be the effect of having been out of the cult for so long. Being out of the cult has done more for me than Scientology. I do seem to have some of the self-confidence that I had as a child though which may be nice but when you know the real truth of the cult and Hubbard, it doesn't seem so important. Anyone who looks for self-improvement runs the risk of running into an L. Ron Hubbard it seems to me.

    I can't get too much into the detail of what I mean. It would bore you anyway. If I sound confused in this post it is because I am. The whole thing is a big subject and maybe telling people it is a con is the fastest and easiest way to warn people about this cult. It is certainly the truth. But for the people who were in the cult; there is a lot more to it that is piled on to their backs.

    Since leaving the cult, I actually think I am growing up somewhat. The process is slow but what do you expect?
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  13. AnonLover Member

    oh my this looks interesting too! thks OP!!
  14. Anonymous Member

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  15. telomere Member

  16. Anonymous Member

    I just want to know if they name Scientology in this paper.
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  17. Anonymous Member

  18. AnonLover Member

    Sounds like their saying cult members, regress into degraded beings, to me. Imagine that.
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  19. Anonymous Member

    Have we ever seen Scientologists do that?
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  20. AnonLover Member

    Yes. and altho i'm much more of a closet sociology touchy-feely is good so lets dissect the fuzzy grey areas nerd and not a psychfag...

    I find the adoption of the Object Relations methodology a fascinating twist to put on the subject.

    All the TR conditioning & maoist mentality building exercises, combined with the subversion tactic of not realizing whats being done to you from the time sink of doing double duty to get up "The Bridge" (training and processing). Then topped off with the habitual endorphin release of "spiritual experience" from blowing engrams during inductive hypnosis exercises (auditing)... fk yeah there is gonna be some ingrained (implanted?) knee-jerk reactions to the world around them that gets put there in a very thorough and systematic way.

    could be bloody brilliant if the data backs up the premise and the arguments are thorough. if i wasnt broke from Christmas splurging we'd have a copy of this bitch.
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  21. Random guy Member

    Quoted for truth.

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