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Friday, January 7, 2011

Self Awareness anyone???

I saw this post on FDR and had to ask the question about self awareness.  This is where  members of destructive cults of all types always end up.  They evolve into a state of blissful ignorance of their involvement in a cult.  This is an exact copy paste (including the misspelling and non-words, and awkward phrasing) from an FDR member posting on the board there: 
This fits well with my experience. I've been spending more and more time with FDR people and less and less with unphilosophical people over the course of the past year. At this point, it's almost exclusively philosophical types. I've noticed since then that my personal growth has accelerted tremendously and I credit this environment to a large degree.
Who am I to judge?  Maybe it is better to live in an insular group and cut yourself off from all family, friends and even new relationships outside this group.  Oh yeah..... and pay for the privilege of being in this group where personal growth is enhanced.  In other words, the poster here is in a cult.  He is a full fledged molypod*.  For $50 a month he can become a Philosopher King.  Maybe he can start at Silver donator status. 
Every devoted member of every other cult through history feels the same as the person who made this post.  FDR is no different.  Many people read the book, Dianetics but don't become scientologists.  Lots of people visit the FDR site and don't become molypods*.  But many do become full fledged scientologists and too many FDR members do decide to go 'all in' and defoo their past and isolate themselves into the FDR cult.   That is what I don't get.  Why deny it?  Why delude yourself into thinking it is anything other than a cult?  It is your choice (sort of...mostly).  Go ahead and be a cult member.  Be proud of it.
I am a member in good standing of the Philadelphia Eagles diehard fan cult.  This is a bit of a problem for me.  The Eagles quarterback is a dog killer.  If I am to maintain my status as a member of this cult I have to look past that.  I have to rationalize it.  "He has paid his debt.  He has reformed. blah blah" I was lamenting this bit of cognitive dissonance to a fellow cult member.  He put me straight right away.  He said, "I would cheer Hitler if he could get the Eagles a super bowl victory."  After being put in my place, I stopped my heresy.  And so I remain devoted to the objectively silly idea of a professional sports team as being important.  On the other hand, it doesn't affect my work.  I have lots of friends who don't particularly care for the Eagles.  One of them is even a Giants fan.  My wife indulges me.  She even joins in a little during the playoffs.  Or so she says :)  In the end, it is harmless fun.  
I think one way to tell the difference between a cult that is destructive and one that is NON-destructive is the simple self awareness of its members.  As an Eagles fan, I am glad to confess my devotion.  I am even willing to be proud of it on occasion.  It is fun and I enjoy it.  On the other hand, the member of a destructive cult will go to any lengths to remain willfully blind to their reality. 

*molypod - def: You are a person who exhibits all the following traits (If you have some, but not all of these traits, you are not yet a molypod, but you may want to revisit your relationship with FDR and examine if you are giving over a little too much of your own capacity for independent thought and critical thinking.):
1.  You listen endlessly to podcasts and youtubes offered by Stefan Molyneux and his wife.
2.  You followed Moly's advice and have defoo'ed all family and friends and now that all your former relationships are gone, your only meaningful relationships of are inside the FDR community and, like the poster referenced above, you believe this is emotionally healthy and it is helping you to grow as a person. 
3.  You are long past being amazed at the raw intellect and brilliance of Stefan Molyneux.  It is well documented that Moly does not credit the original philospher or thinker who created the concepts he takes as his own (only two examples are the DRO's and the Meco System).  You know this on some level, but you still don't question his assertions on any subject.   You accept that Moly has personally invented every concept he has ever brought forth and is always right on practically any subject he cares to discuss. 
4.  You believe that you have found the one true path to freedom by way of the words of Stefan Molyneux and his wife Christina Molyneux aka: Christina Papadopoulos.
5.  You believe that any criticism of Stefan Molyneux is nothing more than persecution of a great man that is solely motivated by evil intent.
6.  You are self aware enough to realize that the above is true about yourself, but you still get defensive and angry if someone calls FDR a cult.

1 comment:

  1. Former Cult MemberJune 21, 2011 at 8:50 PM

    Hello. I was a member of a political-psychology cult for about two or three years. (Here is a link to a 2005 NY1 five-part expose of the cult I was a member of: ) I "resigned" from the cult in 1991/92. I came upon the cult through their therapy; but, it was my boyfriend -- who, unbeknownst to me, was a member -- recruited me to join their hidden/internal organization.

    Have you ever read any of Steven Hassan's books? His book, "Combatting Cult Mind Control" helped me. Here is link to his website: Freedom of Mind Although, I didn't need his book to help me leave; it did enlighten me to what I had been involved in, which helped me to overcome the guilt I felt for leaving.

    Having been severely burned once: consequently, I do not join any group(s). Someone posted a link to your website as a comment in a post (about the ten most influential alternative news makers, which listed Molyneux) at the blog Activist Post. I clicked on the link, because I have been watching his YouTube videos and listening to the podcasts in his archives -- most of which I have found to be thought-provoking and educational. I did try listening to his Sunday call-in show, but I found it to be unlistenable: Many of the callers sound unsure of themselves and immature; and it seems weird to me -- uncomfortable, even -- that so many call in to a, supposedly, philosophical show, wherein they discuss what are [their] psychological problems. Yes, one can link philosophy and psychology, but something did not "smell right" about how that show is conducted, and that is why, even with all that I am learning from Molyneux, I was motivated to click on the link to your site to see if, indeed, something needed to be revealed about Molyneux.