"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Responding To Peter Michaud On The Cycle of Abuse

What we’re talking about here is essentially brainwashing. The basic steps of brainwashing are:

  1. Assault on identity. “You were born with sin, and you’re a sinner unworthy of His love”
  2. Guilt. “Jesus died on the Cross for you. You owe him!”
  3. Self-Betrayal. “Admit that you’re unworthy of his love!”
  4. Breaking Point. “Who am I? Maybe I am going to Hell.”
  5. Leniency. “But it’s ok… We can help you walk with Christ and have a place in Heaven.”
  6. Compulsion to Confess. “I’ve lived a life of sin…”
  7. Channeling of Guilt. “It’s not you, it’s Satan’s grip that led you to a life of sin.”
  8. Releasing of Guilt. “Maybe it is Satan who encourages my sin… maybe Jesus will set me free”
  9. Progress and Harmony. “Let us show you how you can be born again and enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”
  10. Final Confession and Rebirth. “I invite Jesus into my heart!” Link

This is actually part of the problem with trying to create peace in the middle east, every time you create a moderate group they get out bred or killed by the fundamentalists. On the Israeli side, the hard-right orthodox Jews have a fertility rate of 8.9, they devote themselves to religious studies instead of getting a regular education that includes math or science. They always vote on extremely hawkish policies. There is less data that can be found on the other side, but it’s likely similar.

Another technique they like to do is create an Us v. Them dynamic, they line up all the angels on one side and the demons on the other. People who are older and more mature, or have better critical thinking skills, are suspicious of this approach and want more nuance. But it’s particularly effective for those who haven’t developed strong critical thinking skills.

Ideally these social mores of ours form the foundation of identity, not social control. It’s a way of helping us connect rather than clumping us through fear. It’s a fallacy to think most people want to stand-alone, they care about their survival and the survival of their in-group (most philosophies leave out the second part).

In order to play off of our natural fears, they look for risks that we overestimate (think of the children):

How do you fix this? You must shut up the the small minority that is leading everyone astray, take over the dialogue and give them something constructive to work with. In my experience the majority of the world is constructive, they are just being misled by a loud and vocal minority. Nihilism doesn’t help at all.

Keep in mind that people who are afraid are rarely “constructive”. You can’t think very well under the influence of anger or fear, so this drastically limits what kind of options you have compared to someone operating on a system with more clarity. Too much fear, and stress, will lock you into repetitive loops of thought. Lateral thinking is taken away. Look at what they have done to see how weak Fear is as a uniting force versus other powers.

Most of these fear-based ideologies work partially off of the BITE model, Behavior-Information-Thought-Emotion control, and usually use Biderman’s chart of coercion.


Go through each point and challenge it. Get familiar with the ideology. Point out the logical inconsistencies of a God who would create you with original sin. Give them a support group. If they are the type that preys on poor young men, give them some self-confidence (boxing, martial arts, ect) and a skill that they can use to better themselves economically (some female street gangs can be fixed like this). If it’s a female oriented cult, you have to change the “feminine social matrix”, see following link:

You’ll have to cut off access to the charismatic leader if possible. In many cases you end up replacing them, if only for awhile. Many of these types are simply looking for someone to lead them, and will take anyone that “matches” regardless of morality.

Furthermore, many abusive relationships have at least some cooperation from the victims, see the drama triangle for more information:

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