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“Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters.

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Presentation on theme: "“Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters."— Presentation transcript:



3 “Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused. The following list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group or relationship”. “This list may help you determine if there is cause for concern. Bear in mind that this list is not meant to be a “cult scale” or a definitive checklist to determine if a specific group is a cult. This is not so much a diagnostic instrument as it is an analytical tool.” - Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.

4 Catholicism Jesus Christ, as God incarnate is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Questioning is encouraged as it leads to Truth. Leadership since Jesus Christ (popes) do not impose their own ideologies. People’s Temple “Die with dignity” Based in partial truth – Jones based much of his teachings on Jesus’ command to sell everything and follow Him Adulterous relationships with Jones Spreading Jones’ message of socialism, world peace, integrated lifestyle – Claire Janaro, PT member Scientology L. Ron Hubbard’s writings form the basis for all of Scientology’s practices Hubbard is dead and current leader David Miscavige is quite removed from most members

5 Catholicism Questioning is encouraged and doubt is a natural human experience – both should lead one to fuller understanding. Dissent should lead also to discussion and sharing. Ie – Rev. Clay People’s Temple To keep people from thinking for themselves - “We were never really allowed to speak with one other”, “Learned not to say anything to anyone”. – Grace Stoen, PT member Discipline was handled internally – people were embarrassed, beaten, etc in front of the whole congregation Scientology Defection and criticism result in one being labelled a “suppressive person” (SP) – those who impede Scientology’s progress. SP’s are subject to the “fair game” doctrine* which allows for punishment and harassment using whatever means necessary (1960’s – Hubbard)

6 Catholicism Prayer is part of the Christian life, but nothing is “used in excess to suppress doubts”. Prayer is encouraged to take the form where one most readily encounters God, with that being the end in mind. People’s Temple Song - “Never heard a man speak like this man before” – Hue Fortson Jr., PT member Full-time Temple work was 20 hours per day – Neva Sly Hargrave, PT member Up 6 days without sleep – Joyce Shaw- Houston, PT member Discipline was handled internally – people were embarrassed, beaten, etc in front of the whole congregation Scientology Uses “Dianetics” to rid people of “engrams”. See video clip.engrams Rumors that practices like “silent birth” are forced upon people. Scientology insists all its practices are voluntary.

7 Catholicism The Church provides guidelines for living morally, and making decisions, but stresses the accountability of each person to their own conscience for their decisions. People’s Temple People unquestioningly followed Jones to Ukiah, CA, and Jonestown, Guyana. Eugene Cordell’s relative Edith followed Jones even though he told her she was crazy to do it. Jones got a psychiatrist’s assessment of her. “I did allow Jones to think for me because I figured that he had the better plan.” – Hue Fortson Jr., PT member When working for the city of SF, people would come to the meetings and stand, clap, etc on cue for Jones Scientology ???

8 Catholicism Jesus Christ is considered to be the Messiah and saviour of humanity. The group is not the saviour of humanity. Catholics are not above anyone else in society. People’s Temple Jim Jones – “Some people see a great deal of God in my body. They see Christ in me. The hope of glory”. Jim Jones says that he will be whoever the people want him to be – friend, father, saviour, God A progressive socialist group who were inter- racial, inter-cultural and were going to bring about renewal to the world – integration, helping people. Scientology The purpose of life is to free oneself of “engrams” and achieve the 8 th dynamic – “the urge to exist as infinity or God”engrams One is responsible for his/her own “salvation”.

9 Catholicism Catholics are to follow the example of Christ and be servants of all humanity. They are not against the world, though they often live a lifestyle that is counter-cultural. People’s Temple Jim Jones presented PT as a progressive movement that was threatened by outside forces. There were people (ie – gov’t – infiltrating, wire- tapping) who didn’t want PT doing what they were doing – Vernon Gosney, PT member A fire in the SF temple was used as “proof” that people were out to get them. Scientology Consider themselves to be in an “epic battle against specific dark forces”. Label many groups as working specifically against them (ie – psychiatric profession, humanity in general).

10 Catholicism All leaders – laypersons or ordained – are accountable to the authority structures of the Church and wider society. People’s Temple Jim Jones says that he will be whoever the people want him to be – friend, father, God Moved people to Jonestown in order to sever any sort of accountability to families or authorities  in response to a news article release and an impending gov’t investigation into his apparent cures for cancer, heart disease and arthritis Scientology ????

11 Catholicism No such activity takes place. Catholicism strives for a high ethical standard. People’s Temple He preached the imminent end of the world due to nuclear war Passed out a drink to all, said it was poison, then told them it wasn’t – said it was a test of how committed they were to the cause Congressman Ryan’s visit resulted in his death and four other’s by PT security guards Mass murder-suicide “Die with dignity” – Jones “If we cannot live in peace, then we’ll die in peace” – Jones Scientology “Generally not willing to kill for their religion” Not known for dictating who lives and dies Most common accusations are fraud, extortion, and harassment, although other accusations such as kidnapping and negligent homicide have been made. Some convictions – theft of government documents.

12 Catholicism Shame and guilt are never to be used for manipulation or control. People may feel shame or guilt of their own consciences at times (because of choices) but they are encouraged to seek reconciliation with their neighbor and God. People’s Temple Made to feel guilty if you take to many luxuries, like sleeping – Hue Fortson Jr., PT member Members were called up to the front of the church and publically called out on their deeds that week. Jones’ voice was going over the speaker system in Jonestown 24/7 – Deborah Layton, PT member Scientology Some former members have indicated financial pressures as the reason for leaving or having feelings of suicide. Anyone critical of Scientology is quick to be labeled a “suppressive person”.

13 Catholicism Personal goals and activities are always under a person’s control. Ties with family and friends are encouraged to be strengthened not severed. Changes to a person’s lifestyle are always at their discretion. God accepts us where we are at. Change happens when we desire it. People’s Temple Following Jones to Ukiah leaving family behind. Moving to Jonestown on a whim – 6 hours before an expose was going to hit newsstands People left without any explanation to family members - Neva Sly Hargrave Scientology Can freely interact with non- Scientologists, but not with “suppressive persons” (SP’s) – those who impede Scientology’s progress (may be family and friends). May be banned from church activities if cont’d contact with SP’s SP’s make up 2.5% of population.

14 Catholicism Sharing the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ is a priority – but it is not the sole preoccupation, and is not concerned with “membership” as its goal. People’s Temple During summers when living in Ukiah they went on bus trips with the main purpose of seeking out new members for the People’s Temple – Claire Janaro, PT member Scientology ????

15 Catholicism Any money given to the Church is used for needs of the Church and community. Ie – building; Friendship Inn; missions; hospital chaplaincy; ministry for marriage, separated, divorced; and on and on People’s Temple Convinced people to sell their homes and give the money to the church – Deborah Layton, PT member “Remember Jesus’ words to sell all” – Jones Scientology One achieves the goals of Scientology by making use of various services. Services cost hundreds up to thousands of dollars. Pressure applied to use services is debated.

16 Catholicism A person has the freedom to be as involved in their church community as they desire. People’s Temple Temple workers worked 20 hours a day 6 days in a row People’s Temple became activists for hire. 20 minutes to any protest and they were excited about it. (San Francisco) – Vernon Gosney, PT member Couldn’t leave Jonestown if you wanted – shunned Scientology Working through the courses and services offered can take up significant time. Ie - One may spend hundreds of hours in “auditing” sessions.

17 Catholicism While fellowship with other Christians is important, being a witness and living life in the real world is just as important. Living only with other Christians (ie – monastic life) is entirely voluntary. People’s Temple Moving from Indiana to Ukiah following Jones. Moving to “Jonestown” in Guyana – great difficulty leaving “Going to the promised land.” Scientology Some live among regular population, others live in communal arrangements. Many accusations by former members about isolation from communal arrangements.

18 Catholicism Christians are to live “in the world”, but not be “of the world”. Catholics and other Christians are free to leave their church community or the faith altogether if they feel so inclined. People’s Temple After receiving a beating, her co-workers told her she needed to leave PT and she couldn’t even tell her husband and son because they would have reported her – Neva Sly Hargrave Jones told people that they couldn’t leave – the outside world would treat them badly People killed on the airstrip trying to leave Mass suicide rather than live on in the face of apparent oppression. Scientology Leaving leads one to be labeled as a “suppressive person”.

19 Let’s play…

20 Is Catholicism a Cult? Is People’s Temple a cult? Is Scientology a cult? Let’s play… “Can You Spot The Cults?”

21 “Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups – Revised” – Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. “Is Scientology a Cult? Evaluating Dangerous Cults” – Catherine Beyer “Jonestown: The Life and Death of People’s Temple” – PBS documentary “The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power” - Time Magazine May 6, 1991 page 50. “The People's Temple, led by James Warren (Jim) Jones” – Religious

22 a mental image picture which is a recording of an experience containing pain, unconsciousness and a real or fancied threat to survival. It is a recording in the reactive mind of something which actually happened to an individual in the past and which contained pain and unconsciousness, both of which are recorded in the mental image picture called an engram. It must, by definition, have impact or injury as part of its content. These engrams are a complete recording, down to the last accurate detail, of every perception present in a moment of partial or full unconsciousness BACKBACK

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