Saturday, February 9, 2008

Persinger's "First Order Protections" for Resisting Cultic Influence PART III of III

PART III: First Order Protections
Resisting Manipulation
Cultic Influence

SEE PART I and Part II

Things to Come

…Since the cause of [group] mania lies within the processes associated with parental dependency and the seductive pitfalls of emotional language, the potential for another epidemic is always very real. No doubt the precise details may change, but their themes and personal promises will remain.

Conditions of anxiety and global apprehension—no matter how large the persons world – breed an odd composite of fantasy and fear. [Groups] that promise perfect prediction, cosmic order and the complete relief of uncertainty are always there with an answer. Sometimes they are called TMers, Jones’ cultists or radical Christians. Sill other times, they may start innocently but then transform from a mute conglomerate of pantheism and world brotherhood {such as the Bahai} into frantic [group] conversion.

The present forms of [group-think] will soon habituate. [Blog host note: This was written/published in 1980….] Those that are based upon novelty-jags and the stimulation associated with simple change must become more and more bizarre. Like TM, they must promise their followers more potent sources of irrational power. At some point, the credibility will be extended and the movement, except for the hard-core members, will collapse….

Movements such as the Jehovah’s Witnesses and many similar cults that venerate the distant past will become reinforcing. The simplicity of the past and the dependence upon a benevolent force will be the essential themes of control. Like the atheist who prays during an airplane crisis, no one will dare take the chance….

As before, these odd events will be sources of anxiety and potential terror. People will report them as if they are singular prodromes to the ends to the occurrence of some great alteration in man’s future. These events will be seen as signs of an uncertain future, because of man’s ignorance of the same occurrences from times past.

from Pgs 172 - 176
TM and Cult Mania"
by Persinger, Carrey and Seuss
(what a great couple of names for co-authors!)

[Note: The following terms were substituted in the passage:
"Group think" for "cult mania"
"Group" for "cult"
"Group follower" for "cultist"]