Lessons from history: Charles Manson

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Ian McKay
Posts: 1464
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2013 8:04 am

Lessons from history: Charles Manson

Post by Ian McKay » Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:29 am

Lou Manza, a professor of Psychology, has written an article for the Daily Mail, attempting to explain why people are attracted to cults, even extreme and harmful cults like that surrounding the recently deceased and notorious Charles Manson.

He writes,
Emotional comfort is central to the allure of cults.

California Institute of Technology psychologist Jon-Patrik Pedersen, in attempting to explain why people are drawn to cults, has argued that the human longing for comfort leads us to seek out people or things that can soothe our fears and anxieties.

In and of itself, the urge to quiet internal demons is not a negative trait. I'd argue that, to the contrary, it's an effective adaptation that allows us to cope with the stressors, big and small, that bombard us on a regular basis.

However, cult leaders meet this need by making promises that are virtually unattainable – and not typically found anywhere else in society. This, according Pedersen, could include 'complete financial security, constant peace of mind, perfect health, and eternal life.'

Beyond exploiting human desire for emotional comfort, cult leaders don't always have the best intentions when it comes to the mental health of their followers.

Psychiatrist Mark Banschick has pointed out that cult leaders employ mind and behavioral control techniques that are focused on severing followers' connections to the outside world.

These methods can actually deepen members' existing emotional insecurities, while encouraging them to become completely reliant on their cult for all their physical and emotional needs.

Physical and psychological isolation can result, which actually exacerbate many of the problems, like anxiety and depression, that attract people to the cult in the first place.

The anxiety and depression can become so overwhelming and feel so insurmountable that the followers feel trapped.
There is an important legal precedent set by the case of the notorious Charles Manson “family”. It is that Charles Manson was not present at any of the gruesome murders, and yet he was convicted of murder because the people who carried out the crimes were under his total slavish control. The Court found that they were so controlled by him and obedient to him that they would not have committed these murders without his approval, so he was responsible for his followers’ deeds.

That is a scary thought for other cults that require total, unquestioning obedience to a universal leader. The leader can be held responsible for what his followers do.

The Questioner
Posts: 953
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:23 am

Re: Lessons from history: Charles Manson

Post by The Questioner » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:58 pm

Yes, Ian, that occurred to me.

The EB have often, when challenged about some behaviour, claimed that it was the individual who was responsible and nothing to do with them. Of course we cannot avoid individual responsibility but neither can leaders avoid their responsibilities. And the law acknowledges this.
Last edited by The Questioner on Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

fisherman
Posts: 2829
Joined: Sun May 12, 2013 3:22 pm

Re: Lessons from history: Charles Manson

Post by fisherman » Wed Nov 22, 2017 3:54 pm

BDH goes even farther,when a NZ man was convicted of sexual assault,he said they 'shared the communities revulsion' and would 'work with the authorities'....Of course,that was before it came out that they made an agreement to pay nearly $1 million to Tony McCorkil to keep quiet...

The EB are masters at duplicity, they always claim 'individual excercise'-when asked about political involvment,they claimed it was 'nothing to do with the church,never mentioned in church'( except those darn tapes showed it WAS,must have been 'doctored') ...but it 'might' have been an 'individual exercise' by few concerned businessmen' ( yah,right)...and when WHOLE LOCALITIES upstakes and moved thousands of miles away ,dispersed all across the country they said it was an 'individual excercise'...amazing those 'individual excercises',they must be clairvoyant

While these simplistic 'explanations' are unbelievable to any reasonable person as they are so obviously incomprehensible in the face of facts they are ACCEPTED by the brethren because they don't WANT to think there could possibly be wrong,so ANY story will do( I base this conclusion on how I myself dealt with it)..easier that way,they don't have to do anything

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