How can intelligent people get caught up in cults? Particularly when those cults can be abusive? Modern psychology has a good deal to say about how this happens
The following content has been tagged "Trauma Bond & Attachment Theory":
Submitted on 6th Feb 2023
This is an account that was written in a private 'in-house' Triratna forum in 2017 by an Order member recounting sexual abuse by his teacher, Sangharakshita.
The author's name has been omitted to respect his privacy and because the author was not consulted about making this story public. However, I believe that it is in the public interest to hear this story. This personal testimony offers a very clear, straightforward personal account of Sangharakshita’s predatory sexual behaviour; a pattern that this Buddhist teacher repeated with numerous other young male disciples over a period of at least three decades. It also offers a striking account of how Sangharakshita responded without understanding, remorse or compassion when this young man explained the lasting harmful and confusing effects that his behaviour had had on him. By numerous accounts this was consistent with Sangharakshita's typical attitude or response to all those whom he had sexually abused.
Submitted on 14th Apr 2020
There needn’t be a contradiction to hold in the first place if you see Triratna as a New Religious Movement, and a personality cult based on Sangharakshita’s ‘particular presentation’ rather than the actual Dharma.
Submitted on 19th Apr 2020
A fascinating in-depth conversation between Alexandra Stein and Chris Shelton on the subject of Steins academic paper, 'Love, Terror and Brainwashing'. Drawing on their personal experiences in different political or religious cults, they discuss the particular dynamics of what attracts, hoodwinks and binds people to high demand groups (or 'cults') and what can help people recover.
Submitted on 13th Apr 2020
"But beware—it may not be what it appears. An isolating group led by a charismatic authoritarian leader . . . can cause most of us to lose our minds."
Submitted on 7th Apr 2020
Article by Matthew Remski explaining how and why all cult members are abuse victims to varying degrees
Submitted on 7th Apr 2020
Attachment theory provides a key to understanding the emotional damage from growing up in a cult, explain Alexandra Stein and Mary Russell
There are various definitions of cults. We use one grounded in the work of psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton3 and Hannah Arendt:4 ‘A cultic system is formed and controlled by a charismatic authoritarian leader or leadership body. It is a rigidly bounded, steeply hierarchical, isolating social system, supported and represented by a total, exclusive ideology. The leader sets in motion processes of coercive persuasion (also known as “brainwashing”), designed to isolate and control followers.