Friday, 22 August 2008

Social dynamics of cult or satanic ritual abuse

On this page are some personal observations about experiences of some people involved in ‘satanic’ cults. Some comments may apply to cults or groups more generally. There are other posts on here around this general subject.
If you have followed a link from another site the home page for the Introduction etc. is

A different path

Posted here with the author's permission

I tried to get glimpses of the thinking behind cult ritual abuse and ‘satanism’ as well as other cult-like groups, where these seem to impinge/take over the life of those involved. If one chooses a so-called left-hand-path of development in a selfish way, that is one thing. To cause pain to others, emotional suffering and confusion, ruination and even death, was altogether something else. I looked at sadism and narcissism, Voodoo and anything else, and joined email groups of people proudly calling themselves satanists and joking about their attitude and practices.

For whatever reason, I like to satisfy myself that someone really does have a choice in their decisions and actions. Because, if someone else is calling the shots through bullying, intimidation, violence, seduction, involvement in drug-taking, then something needs doing. That is what our basic legal system and human rights are about, the right to freewill and action, at least in theory.

People who have trouble controlling themselves and their lives, may seek to control others via any means whatever. If they don’t believe in reincarnation, spirits of ancestors, or the concept of returning to our source, they may be out for anything they can get in this lifetime at the expense of other people. They could be robbing people of their worldly goods and living off the proceeds. Or they could be syphoning off their physical time and energies in some way, not so much to obliterate, but more to use.

I hope nothing like this ever happens to you, but if it does, there are also books on how to protect yourself psychically, just as you would put locks on your doors and windows to keep people out of your house, or at least deter them. Just because you don’t believe these things happen, that no-one would do them or it wouldn’t work if they tried, doesn’t mean that other people don’t believe, or would put their intentions or their very souls into giving you a bumpy ride.

Most of us are similar in that once we were children and not so strong as the adults around us, and not having awareness of options for later in our lives. Perhaps this is one reason why children gang together in the playground, or as adults we join things or get drawn into things, either with friends or by seeking out people to be with in a pairing relationship or group. Safety in numbers, no longer small, alone and not being listened to or able to fight back.

Suppose now, if you will, a society or subculture which makes it their business in some way to control their own children, children of others, weaker members, and gain continuity of their beliefs and practices in that way. There’s nothing unusual about this when it happens naturally via families and their practices, culture and belief systems, or on a wider scale in a region or whole country. Writers such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, B.F. Skinner have written about different ways of controlling society in a wider sense.

Suppose you really do think the end of the world is coming, except certain people only will survive such as you and your descendants or fellow-travellers, and you want to ensure your survival over and above any others. Or suppose that you think you are stuck with this world, and will do your damnedest to maintain your position, economically, socially, or in terms of control. Then one might opt for a system of social and mental control, creating an under-class of vulnerable people who would be expendable or transferable.

The possibilities are endless and I don’t have the whole picture. You only have to witness a stage hypnotism act with genuine post-hypnotic suggestion being acted upon by subjects, to see these things are possible, not just with years of conditioning but just a little, acting on the subconscious of those who are susceptible. Increase the length of time and the indoctrination process, and the more of us could become susceptible very easily!

All these things and more, make me suspicious of those detractors who deny, sometimes vehemently, that there ever can be any kind of ‘satanic’ or cult ritual abuse. We all like to think we are discerning and can winkle out the possible from the impossible, the likely from the unlikely, the appropriate from the inappropriate.

I believe the use of the word ‘satanic’ or ‘satanism’ is a bit of a red herring. There are plenty of satanists who are not involved in cult ritual abuse. Quite why they feel bound to insist that, because they don’t do it, no-one else does, I have no idea. Maybe it’s their idea of an in-joke. I would respect them and their beliefs more if they looked into it properly and were not so emphatic.

Other writers whom I admire for their critical thinking and approach sometimes dismiss this whole subject in a brief paragraph in an otherwise excellent book. That is on their conscience not mine, but it seems a pity they even mentioned the subject. We can surely look further than that.

Themes and underlay – Cults and SRA
Posted here with the author's permission

A common theme in fairy tales is for people to be given the chance of a wish, but there may be a price for it. Aesop’s Fables have a ‘moral of the story’ and literary censorship used to require the baddies suffered for their actions. People have always been fascinated by the tale of Faust who gave up his personal autonomy in exchange for rewards and safeguards, the price he paid!

Many of us watch films about the darker side of human nature, reality TV, soaps or self-revelations, without getting involved in committing those acts, perhaps like a release valve. We may both sympathise and distance ourselves, compartmentalising and filing parts away. Dissociation can work for all of us. Some people use it to help their own mental functioning. Some people utilise it in others - in order to get and to maintain control over them.

We are all mortal, feeling physical or emotional pain, fear, or insecurity about losing our home, income or loved ones. Those in supportive families reinforce each other, or there may be a good community spirit. We may believe or not that we live in an ethical universe, making recompense for our actions in this lifetime or a future one.

A modern writer on esoteric subjects, Dr. Douglas Baker, recommends people do the best they can in this lifetime in their dealings with other people, as a route to improving things for this life – or future lives if one believes in them. Caroline Myss writes about contracts we may have made, and there is a current trend in psychotherapy, after examining our hurts, to take an attitude of forgiveness towards those around us or now departed.

Some people work with ‘higher energies’ in clearing up troublesome areas. If you are interested in this area, there is a book entitled ‘Spirit Releasement Therapy’ by William J. Baldwin giving the underlying principles. There are also books by people termed shamanic healers along broadly similar lines of soul rescue and extraction, and some methods have been adapted for Western readers. If these concepts make you uneasy, just learn about what feels all right for you and take time to heal more naturally.

People in a geographical area may join together for psychological and cultural convenience, believing the cult practices would provide business contacts as well as extra powers. Concepts of group minds, thoughtforms and egregores may come in here, how they can form naturally or by design, and can be manipulated by those with knowledge and intent. Whatever we or ‘they’ believe about angels, demons, rituals and special powers, it is what ‘they’ do that has an effect on others. Just because we do not believe something, does not mean it is impossible or it can’t be experienced somehow. We take in situational cues, and people who engage in ritual put themselves into a certain setting and frame of mind, an altered or ‘alter’ state in which anchors or reinforcement play a part.

A disturbing trend is when people group together against someone who stands out through being older or weaker or just on their own. Some people join something to lessen risk as a kind of insurance or guarantee. The group can sink to a low common denominator, doing things ‘because they can’, i.e. they are strong and likely to reap benefits with no risk. As I wrote this, a newspaper reported on a woman with deformed fingers due to Thalidomide, whose co-workers coerced her into a bowls match - then ridiculed her. This is child playground behaviour at its worst, and children often behave better towards their less fortunate peers, accepting them as they are. A business culture of competition and deception does not foster acceptance and co-operation. Many people are bullied in a work setting beyond what can be described as teasing. See Tim Field’s book ‘Bully in Sight’ or check out website

People involved in a cult may think they can make themselves immune to responsibility. I believe there is a social structure in place to maintain control. There is research into situational or social psychology, and into cultural reasons for behaviour. Perhaps someone with relevant interest and expertise can study the phenomenon of cult ritual abuse just like they would undertake other social or anthropological studies, but from the outside rather than from within.

There is also the aspect of denial about these subjects, and the fact that people often use alternative reasons or labels does not mean they are not actually happening or that someone else could be behind them.

Each one of us probably has some degree of dark-side, which is what makes us human and able to understand and empathise with others. Some people have more of the dark and less of the light. We are all different, and people have different individual beliefs and purposes in their lives. Societies and cultures develop their own ways to view or handle this. The margin or dividing line may be put in different places on a continuum, or simply considered differently.

Many people watch films or go to the theatre, and deal with deep or dark issues of human nature in that way. Some people are loners in their lives. Some people collect together and act out some of their dark-side or their fantasies ‘for real’. When that involves other people who get hurt or killed, it becomes a human rights issue. Like everything else, we can chose to ignore it, to listen and learn, or try to do something about it.

If most people do not believe something can happen, whether it actually does or not, how would anything get changed? That is what ‘they’, the people involved in perpetrating cult ritual abuse on those further down their pecking order, hope for. If ‘they’ put out enough denial or dis-information in an attempt to brush it under the carpet of awareness, to make anyone feel foolish for speaking out, threaten them in covert or overt ways, or simply make it impossible for them to change things, then ’they’ will do. It’s as old as time itself.

Cult or ‘satanic’ ritual abuse is merely an extreme form of hierarchy or feudal system – not one of physical ownership, but more psychological. One only has to look at the ‘frat’ system in some US colleges, to see how important belonging to a specific group is, and adhering to their ways above all other, and sometimes secretly and subversively. There are sanctions against transgressors.

It could be that human beings, much as animals do, have a system of psychological survival of the fittest. There are those who will naturally (or unnaturally) take a leadership role, and those who are not suited to that, or are not allowed to by ‘the system‘ – whatever system is prevailing or enforced. It is my belief that cult ritual abuse simply takes what works, to keep people in an ‘us and them’ situation, either being at the top end and commanding those lower down, or in terms of in-groups and out-groups. Somewhere deep down, each one of us has needs to belong, and also to remain separate in some way from the rest of society, even from the rest of their group.

In cult ritual abuse there are no options. That is what has been taken away. But why? Perhaps to create a structured society like ‘Brave New World’, 'Nineteen-Eighty-Four', ‘Beyond Freedom & Dignity’, 'Opening Skinner's Box', or ‘Stepford Wives’. The name of the game seems to be compliance by any means that can be fathomed such as conditioning or force, or large components of drugs and hypnosis, so that people’s wills and lives are not their own any more. Some kind of a territorial or moral take-over bid.

I suggest looking in whatever directions you as an individual find suitable in seeking out some useful explanations, because hopefully we are free enough to do that. I found it useful to think in terms of psychological manipulation and control, including societal or cultic influence, voodoo, or whatever other elements seemed to be present. The rewards would be at the top of the tree and punishments at the bottom, with many, many people playing a witting or unwitting part in between, perhaps caught because of a basic need to feed, clothe and house themselves.

We all have ways of trying to maintain some kind of ‘status quo’ in our lives, some of which we may not be too proud of or even accept. If someone were to offer us sufficient real or imagined benefits in terms of money, security, prestige, power/s, legal immunity or whatever, any one of us may get drawn in via something smaller than the tip of an iceberg. And that can lead to a multitude of issues.

One of the problems with cultic situations, is that people are often not able to leave if they wish, or are not even able to see that perhaps they can or should consider it. It takes a very long time to talk things through with people, so that they can realise for themselves, without forcing or lies, what has been happening, how and why.

Most people have faculties in their brains to help with co-ordinating memories and thinking things through. Someone cunning can obliterate or obfuscate awareness or memory so that the subject is unable to avoid other dangerous or fraught situations. For readers who think mental obliteration strategies to get people to forget or be unaware would not work, try books written by stage hypnotists of any repute or look at confusional techniques of NLP or ‘street hypnosis’. Add the dissociation induced by ‘perpetrators of the game’ so that other alters are effectively in place and operational, and perpetrators really think they have it made and can carry out their will with no backlash.

Professionals involved in a situation may not be part of some cult or cover-up, but might be following what they are told or feel is best for a situation. They might close ranks to save a ‘split’ or manipulation, or else they find what someone tells them too far-fetched and assume they are saying them because they are mentally ill.

I learned that vehicles for ‘rounding’ on cult nights went round the neighbourhood collecting people for meetings. Another word was ‘harvesting’ but that could also be used in a different sense regarding gaining energies etc. from them. Survivors may use phrases about ‘getting hurt’ or ‘getting taken’ which obviously can be used in a more usual sense but can be pointers to someone’s continuing involvement.

There are various spiels of denial which get swallowed by intelligent and otherwise discerning audiences. I have the tee-shirt for sitting through them. It is not enough for people to cite similar allegations from down the ages as proof that people are being duped by those who believe they endured or still endure horrific experiences.

I persisted with trying to find out anything I could about the ideology of cults of a ‘satanic’ nature, and how it is that so many people find it impossible to credit their existence. It is a double con-trick because:

1. People belong to the cults often without knowing it, and without being able to do anything about it;
2. Society in general and academics in particular are led to disbelieve it can or does go on.
3. There must be a reason or a belief system behind putting people through the experiences; a reason or reasons for the denials and denigration of those who speak out; and reason/s why the denials have effect.

Clearly there is some ideology, but why the brutality? Why do cult members usually not recall any of these things? Why do they have no choice? Do people with power in the cult have a choice, or what happens if they refuse to play their role? Where in their spiritual development do people make these decisions and vows, and with what consequences for other people?

Cult rituals can happen around any particular saint’s day or other day, concepts taken from Buddhism, Voodoo, or anything that they, the cult, choose, including angels and white light, channelling and any New Age or spiritual philosophy, and members may attend orthodox churches.

Cult meetings vary in size, timing and purpose. Some may happen in smaller more private settings, Drugs, pornography, rape and sadism seem to be the glue binding much of it together, but some people in the cult surely believe in the cult philosophy and practices. I do not think the main reason is to cover for paedophilic groups but it can be relevant, including filming of the sadism, to sell on and for blackmail and control.

No-one has to believe any of this. Not all of these things happen to people involved in ‘satanic’ or other cult ritual activity. I am trying:

* To de-mystify the otherwise unbelievable
* To show these things can happen
* That they are basically an extension of other aspects of human behaviour, however inhuman, crass, ridiculous, stupid, unnecessary, and unbelievable, it may all seem

In many cultures there are practices and beliefs that people outside those cultures write off as different or irrelevant for themselves. Recent TV programmes have shown how strongly people can believe in ideologies and get drawn into practices that, in another frame of mind, they might consider stupid or damaging. For some reason/s we humans often have an innate need to believe in something, or to carry out various types of ritual, mundane or otherwise. Or there is a need to deny what is strange, incomprehensible or abhorrent. We all have our different mind-sets, and polarisation or splitting can happen easily.

Alongside books and websites dealing with cult-like behaviour, social psychology, anthropology and religion, I looked at profiling of violent and sadistic behaviours. The writings of Lacan and Melanie Klein could be useful. Perhaps we are looking at splitting, idealisation and denigration/demonisation, intertwined with complex behavioural conditioning. It might be worth looking at psychodynamics of the Mafia or of extremists where people can be family-oriented, caring and religious, as well as acting aggressively and destructively.

A book recently coming to my attention is ‘Inner Alchemy’ by Taylor Ellwood (publ. 2007 by Megalithica Books). You might draw other conclusions than my swift appraisal, but it seems relevant to some practices and principles involved – which is not to say he is describing ‘satanic’ ritual abuse. People have their own views on whether magic is feasible at all, but many people find the concept meaningful. If ‘it’ works, Ellwood describes some of the ‘how’, the psychodynamics. If we can do that, there would not be such blanket denial that organised ritual abuse cannot happen and that 'it' must be something else altogether.

You are free to consider anything that may be useful - and to discard the rest

Not falling for the tagline

Posted here with the author's permission

Many cultures and societies place great emphasis on family history, the ancestors, the family values of parent being passed down to their children in myriad ways both seen and unseen. People often take a pride in these things, but like anything else they can be taken to extremes.

I believe that people should have free will and choices as far possible within normal constraints of general life. People who are at the top end of cults think oppositely. Often people at the bottom end have no idea about the purported ideology at the top, or of hidden agendas belying any public face presented. The main problem is double standards, made more dubious when drugs, hypnosis, altered states of consciousness, chanting practices or indoctrination methods, are utilised to render people unaware of basic things in their lives.

Just because people do not believe in a particular theology or they have no experience of it, does not mean other people do not believe sufficiently to carry out practices you personally cannot envisage existing. You only have to read relevant historical or anthropological accounts to know they have been done and, in some places, still are being carried out.

The line gets drawn for me when people draw the lines for other people’s lives, providing ‘answers’ or ‘rules’, reducing choices, extinguishing the ability to see what choices have been made for them, to be adhered to under threat of punishment, ridicule or death.

People may cite examples of attempts to examine some ritual abuse cases and the tagline is usually that ‘there is no evidence’. Cases may be chosen quite selectively, and there are things we may never get to hear about or have a chance of examining for ourselves.

Please, don’t just fall for the tagline. More is at stake than palpable, universally acceptable evidence. What evidence is totally acceptable to both sides in a court of law, plus to everyone else whose lives are touched by the case?

Someone can usually come up with a different tale to account for things, and that could be a person with a vested interest in standing on a public soapbox of denial, or with a personal need not to believe that something as awful as this could happen, which is a perfectly natural reaction.

Most of us like to feel in some control over our own lives, even if that is a feeling rather than actual reality. It’s like driving a car to a destination, where we may take in various places en route, but are heading somewhere in particular. So if we have various parts of our personality not in accord with that destination, the ride may not be so straightforward, or other parts or alters may have to take a back seat for that trip. Another day, one of those alters may be in more of a real or moral position to take the wheel.

With people who tend to dissociate as a way of handling their lives and its different situations, it can become difficult when there is conflict or confusion. An outside person becoming involved may find it hard to work out what is going on. Our own ‘rules’ for behaviour don’t apply. Some people believe in the concept of integration, but many survivors or people who dissociate, find this inappropriate or even harmful.

How can someone control their own life if someone else is blotting out large chunks deliberately, sometimes adding in other parts which are simply not true, manipulating to portray the insidious purpose that fits the bill? How can people thus manipulated manage to explain to police, other authorities or individuals, what has happened so that it is ‘provable’?

. . . .

Note by Cilla
The following is copied in here with the original author's permission because it makes some useful practical points.

. . . .

Regarding what follows

Anonymous reader

Not all of these things happen to all Survivors

Some of the material may be triggering. It is not meant to upset you

The aim is to show how easy it is for some people to manipulate other people

It is not your fault if things happened to you

If it happened to someone you know, it may help to read about it

Search on the Internet and find books or sites that suit you

Be careful when following up on information or help for yourself or someone you know

. .

My friend whom I will call Lindsey, had not had a carefree childhood playing with children her own age. She always seemed to have been looking after someone else, which transferred to her present situation as a mother to two young children.

She was an apparently ordinary and good mother. But her life was far from ordinary. If I had not been around when she needed to talk, I would not have realised the full extent of what she was trying to cope with.

Lindsey felt she did not cope well at all. I think you will see why she felt like that. None of what happened was her fault. She did everything she could to help her children and anyone else who needed help.

When things got too much for Lindsey, a young part of her personality chatted to me, and I call her Maisie. She was a lively and intelligent young person, and I could imagine her stamping in frustration when I could not understand her.

Lindsey did not have many alters. She dissociated into different alters sometimes, or simply withdrew from our chats for a while. Maisie was the alter who fronted for Lindsey when it was too hard to talk, or she was not sure if I would still help.

An older alter often came through, saying she was just an interpreter of Lindsey's feelings, or if Maisie couldn't explain something. I call her Jasmine. She was rather quaint and formal, and said she didn't know what it was like to be 'human', but when she was stressed she did express her needs.

Then there was a Robot alter. He was a complete opposite to Lindsey and we used to get into arguments during which he revealed some of the cult's secrets. So I got him angry deliberately!

Lindsey herself often did not know what was going on in her life. This was a naturally occurring protective mechanism - that she dissociated away from her difficulties. We are all a bit like it, but not so clearly defined.

When I wondered why Lindsey was not around when we'd arranged, or she could not explain something, it helped having input from young Maisie, interpretations from Jasmine, or the Robot who swore at me and made awful jokes. Robot's function was to make me give up trying to support Lindsey. One day he simply vanished, being replaced by others of his type.

Who was putting these Robot types in place? I believe it was cult-related, an attempt to infiltrate Lindsey's small DID system with a control mechanism to report back to the cult. Robots could send emails to the cult or to other people. They handled straightforward tasks, sometimes involving being very devious. When challenged by argument or logic or a new situation, they couldn't handle it and a new updated version would appear.

Apart from Lindsey, young Maisie, Jasmine and some Robots, there would be occasional adult alters who appeared to carry out a specific role almost like a temporary office worker, cook or cleaner.

There were also some teenage and younger alters who filled in gaps about Lindsey's past. Lindsey did not remember whole areas of her past, some of which seemed relevant to the present. It helped when the cult tried to scare Lindsey or to get her to go somewhere, because the teenagers were not a part of that situation and they could carry on chatting so Lindsay was safe.

Sometimes I encouraged Lindsey or Maisie to take an active step to avoid cult meetings and was told 'It's not Lindsey who goes'. Sometimes it seemed to be the Robot who attended as he played a specific role in what took place.

There were times when Lindsey would visit a friend, or she tried to sleep through attempts to get her to attend meetings such as various sounds being played, triggering emails, or direct threats shouted through her door.

On occasion I believe the cult would have let Lindsey leave it, but other factors came into play, other people involved in the drama and lifestyle who said that she couldn't do that.

The Robots were cult alters, the term Robot or Bot coming from computer jargon.

There was another cult-compliant alter who opened the door to go to meetings. Maisie said that person was like a doormat because she did what she was told. 'Doormat' wanted to know what I was offering because in some strange way the cult offered a feeling of security, despite everything.

Lindsey lived in the same general area most of her life. She knew there was a cult and that it involved ritual abuse. She sensed things about some of the people involved or could recall a detail like a ring someone wore. The cult met well away from habitation. Local people told Lindsey they knew there was a cult but that nothing could be done about it.

She knew little about the cult's ideology so we could not discuss it. It seemed she would have nothing to do with them unless coerced or tricked. Sometimes they tricked her that there was a full moon when there wasn't and she began to check it out for herself.

People like Lindsey have no say in their lives. The fly in the ointment is people like you or me. Cult people can't do entirely what they want if we persist; they may have to change some of their ways. They fear exposure.

They blocked my emails and told me that Lindsey was in hospital, and they told Lindsey I was going to live abroad. A constant theme was that no-one would believe Lindsey because she was confused. I was told that some of the people that we both knew were in the cult were merely part of Lindsey's DID system, created by her.

Young Maisie was tricked into spying on Lindsey and manipulating her in some double-game. But Maisie saw through it and changed allegiance. Lindsey herself could often see through the double-binds imposed, and avoided them without my intervention or with just a little back-up.

The cult can only work with what they have. They don't hold all the cards, however much they cheat and deceive. A number of people in the locality were emotionally supportive towards Lindsey, and she to them. Other things can also work in favour of a survivor.

Lindsey had a period of being relatively cult-free and she gained strength and confidence. The cult then 'reclaimed' her as if she had no rights herself. People like Lindsey are told they don't have any rights, and it is hard for them to believe otherwise.

They are told that bad things happen to them 'because they are bad'. Lindsey and those like her are not 'bad' or 'weak'. Support from others is helpful.

These cults are like an outdated feudal system designed to maintain the 'status quo' of their society. Drugs, blackmail and threats go a long way towards helping them maintain control, as well as providing an income and contact with people who are useful to them.

What is described on these pages is an attempt made by many people to control Lindsey and other vulnerable people. Their aim is to get other people to believe they aren't doing any of it, and make it all seem too ridiculous or impossible.

So it will help if it is discussed more openly and people can see it for what it is, a manipulative system.

If you are reading this and doing your best to keep clear of a similar cult or helping someone else, it may help to see how things happen in everyday terms.

The following are some examples:

Lindsey would not know how she ended up at cult meetings. She would be shopping or at an evening class, and not remember further.

Something might frighten Lindsey, and she was conditioned to go to hospital or to the police. The cult arranged for police cars to drive past her house, upsetting and scaring her.

If Lindsey went to hospital some of the staff there contacted someone from the cult, who came and whispered to her, or took her away for hours despite hospital regulations against it, and which she remembered little about.

The employment Lindsey obtained seemed to be arranged via the cult, leaving her free on cult afternoons or evenings. I might assume she was cult-free, only to hear how she was tired out, with bad bruises and torn clothing.

Much of the conditioning on Lindsey was carried out using hypnosis. It was hard to offset that by talking to her normally. That worked eventually but took some time. I did not feel it appropriate to use hypnosis in return.

Lindsey's children spent part of the week with her husband who was not cult-involved, but this was an arrangement that suited the cult. Sometimes custody days were changed and the cult were not always up-to-date and would turn up when the children were there and leave quickly.

The cult relied on keeping each other informed, dovetailing things so that Lindsey was not clear in her mind. Her clocks and computer date were often changed and she missed appointments. People entered her home and changed her medication so she became confused or hyperactive. Credit cards were applied for in her name with limits too high to manage. Other people spent on those cards and withdrew cash from her bank.

If Lindsey took items to a pawnbroker for cash or because they triggered her, they turned up in her home soon after. When she attended school meetings, her car was entered and triggering material was left inside by someone who knew the effect it would have, someone who had known her a very long time.

Lindsey went through periods of anger towards me or would only give one-word answers. I felt the cult had conditioned her into this. Sometimes an alter explained that it was intended to break our contact.

When Lindsey told hospital staff there was a local cult (something which other women said too) she was told her belief was 'psychotic' and she must retract it or she would not be allowed back home. This is a revealing dynamic with the inference that no-one would believe other things she said either.

The cult went from actively discouraging my involvement, to pressuring Lindsey into contacting me again. Lindsey would then make unrealistic demands on my time and what she wanted. I am satisfied it was not Lindsey making the demands but that they were implanted to throw a spanner in the works. Lindsey was neither demanding nor vindictive, no matter what happened. But she did take things literally.

A main factor in control is inducing fear. Cult members were told their lives were due to end, or the world would end but they would be safe if they went along with the cult. These strategies are used in other cults too, not just ritual or 'satanic' ones..

If someone says they will speak about the cult they are told 'You shall not talk about the cult and live'. If they do speak out, someone tries to ensure they are thought psychotic or too flaky to take seriously.

When I suggested to Lindsey that the cult would make an obvious mistake, she replied 'People who make mistakes pay other people to cover up those mistakes'. I find that lucid, not flaky.

The cult works via power and dis-information, with strategies for every occasion, playing things 'ends to the middle' - what we now call 'spin'. Those lower down are not involved in decisions and strategies. When they attend meetings they cannot see people's faces, or they are in an altered state, unaware of any other 'reality' than that.

Perhaps viewed in that light we can understand it more.

Often there are counter-allegations that such ritual abuse does not happen or is only minimal, and that the ideas must have been planted in people's minds, or they came to believe them when feeling vulnerable.

Such denial or dismissal makes it harder to bear; a double-dose of hardship instead of an atmosphere that helps people to heal and move on in their lives. This all upsets the lives of vulnerable people like Lindsey, making them more confused and vulnerable.

Cult-people probably have their reasons for doing what they do, but it takes up a very great deal of their time, and it also holds them in thrall to something or to someone else. How, for instance, would they break away themselves, or tell someone? They don't have much choice either then!

Perhaps some of those people are acting so inhumanly and in-humanely in the hope that they won't end up at the tail-end of a social or power system.
Cults or other groupings can also undertake their 'control' machinations as a form of bullying, which is not to deny its effectiveness, or that other factors may be involved too.
Perhaps they were brought up and conditioned so that they can function in certain ways, while being largely unaware what they do and what sometimes happens to them. Two books which I feel bring this out are:

'Satan's High Priest' by Judith Spencer - based on a true story

'Morning Come Quickly' by Wanda Karriker- a novel which incorporates a number of themes

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Click HERE for 'Further Dynamics' or see articles listed to the top right of each Page.

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