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February 18, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

Cult Leaders

Another factor is the influence of others to respond to a situation as they do. If someone first tastes a particular food and then tells me how wonderful it tastes, I am more likely to think of it positively. This form of biasing a person’s perceptions can apply to group situations. It can be manifest when someone first encounters a group meeting. If the person looks around the room and everyone else is really happy and enthusiastic, he is much less likely to react negatively. If he does not react positively, then the verbal prompting by the seasoned member can begin to help him reinterpret his reaction.

A controlling person might thus redefine your emotions according to his interpretation. This may include reinterpretation of your conscience.

Reinterpretation of one’s conscience is a major theme of brainwashing or thought reform, not only creating guilt for normal enjoyments, but also reinterpreting one’s conscience and feelings about legitimate concerns in regard to what the controller is doing and teaching, and in regard to happenings in the group.

So listening to your gut feelings, your conscience, may be labeled as “self” and “worldly” since it is contrary to the “more important” and ultimate mission of the group.


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