Totalitarianism & Cults: a video reading list

for concern over cult-related damage, institutional abuse & psychological problems.
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captporridge
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Totalitarianism & Cults: a video reading list

Post by captporridge » 23 Apr 2007

Here are my favorite books on the subject ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcP1XmyzpL0 - link no longer working

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Re: Totalitarianism & Cults: A Video Reading List

Post by tete » 20 May 2008

Three sisters talk to CNN's Paula Hancocks about growing up in a religious cult and a childhood of abuse and violence. religious cult and a childhood of abuse and violence.

The Children of God (COG), later known as the Family of Love, the Family, and now the Family International (TFI), has a basic theology within the historical Christian tradition, although they have numerous unorthodox beliefs. To some extent, they identify with and are seen as fundamentalist Christians, though some of their more radical beliefs and practices are regarded as non-traditional, even heretical, by many conservative and liberal Christians.



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Re: Totalitarianism & Cults: A Video Reading List

Post by fluffy bunny » 22 May 2008

I am not so sure of the relevance of the above nor how it correlates to the BK experience.

The Family (Children of God) are said to have cleaned up their act and banned open sexual relationships in the 80s. What are we saying here? Is not a bit of a "horse that has already long bolted the stable"? At the very least these video should be dated.

In comparison to the totalitarian Roman Catholic Church ... e.g. $12 million to Diocese of Charleston settlement in 2007, the $660 million 2007 pay out of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the 2003 Archdiocese of Boston pay out of $85 million, the 1997 Diocese of Dallas $31 million settlement, the 2003 Archdiocese of Louisville $25.7 million settlement, the 2005 Diocese of Orange settlement of $100 million, the Christian Brothers paid out of approximately $35 million (Canadian), the 2002 Irish government take over of €128 million in church property and investments and in return for pay compensation to all church abuse victims as part of a deal estimated to cost over €1 billion to Irish taxpayers of all religions each over hundreds of case of sexual and physical child abuse etc etc etc ... to be quite frank, so-called "cults" look utterly benign and underachieving in their "Satanic" ambitions.

I mean, are these videos just some kind of titillation for straight repressed middle Americans who children are currently being abused by priests, teachers, therapists ... and mostly ... trusted family members?

According to the John Jay Report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, accusations were made against 4,392 priests in the USA, equalling about 4% of all U.S. priests, between 1950 and 2002. Almost all the priests who abuse children are homosexuals. In another survey, regarding pornography and sexual addiction, a national survey disclosed that about 20 percent of all Protestant ministers are involved in the behavior.

But why is the Church the only institution under the microscope? 2002 Department of Education report estimated that from 6 percent to 10 percent of all students in public schools would be victims of abuse before graduation. The American Association of University Women Educational Foundation in 2000 estimated roughly 290,000 students experienced some sort of physical sexual abuse by a school employee from a single decade ... 1991-2000. That compares with about five decades of cases of abusive priests. Such figures lead to contending that "the physical sexual abuse of students in schools is likely more than 100 times the abuse by priests". In Washington state alone, 159 coaches of girls sports have been fired or reprimanded over the last decade for sexual misconduct.

And who to turn to for help? It is said that between 3 and 12 percent of American psychologists have had sexual contact with their client while virtually every US state considers sexual contact with a client as worthy of revoking a psychologist’s license.

Just out of interest, does the BKWSO consider sexual contact with a client (student) grounds for revoking the license of a BKWSU Raja Yoga center-in-charge yet, or is it still living in the 1930s when money, position and caste could do what it liked?

I do not know that whole story. We read that the "The Family" crossed the line of public decency. What I found interesting in the emotional video was one boy responding in what seemed a very mature and strident tone, "that is not sex, that is just kissing and cuddling, (i.e. affection)". Correlate that to a recent USA case where as teacher was found guilty of having sex with a 14 year old boy. General opinion was that the boy "was a stud" for sleeping with his attractive teacher, and I am sure that all he classmates was envious of him ... whereas the conservative view attempted to replay it as "sex abuse". Personally, knowing 14 year boys, I would not be so sure. To an extent, I would be equally upset as the girl because the sensationalistic media is certainly not the place to expect discussion and to handle such issues, especially if and where there has been abuse.

This takes us all back to an uncomfortable grey area that was raised sometime ago on this forum, that of child sexuality and child sexual maturation bearing in mind traditional societies, of which India is still one, where children are routinely married off. On one hand, a link to an ex-members site shows a video of Margaret Stringer commenting on their material which included mothers kissing children's genitals and on another Rabbi and priest in Jewish and African communities routinely take razor blades to children's genitals. Which is worse? So ... having said all that, and for all my criticisms of the BKWSU, I would agree that they are proportionately MUCH safer in this aspect than most to all other religions.

The question of whether "child indoctrination" of dubious beliefs is "child abuse" is a whole new topic ... and which brave person is going to stand up and say what is and is not "dubious".

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Re: Totalitarianism & Cults: a video reading list

Post by tete » 22 May 2008

The point was that the Children of God "may" appear as having changed but still protects the abusers. They changed their name and are now saying they have reforms within the care of children out of fear of prosecution. The last video shows a young teenage girl that would appear to have been told that the practice was a "secret" and becomes very upset when realizing that the "outsider"/public has gained access to the "secret". The signs were there ...

I will address FMG else where.

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Re: Totalitarianism & Cults: a video reading list

Post by fluffy bunny » 23 May 2008

Let's include male infant circumcision too.
tete wrote:The point was that the Children of God "may" appear as having changed but still protects the abusers.
My question of relevance is how relevant is all this, an American Judeo-Christian evangelist movement born of the "free love" movement in the late 60s and early 70s, to a forum about a Sindhi/Hindu-based movement, the Brahma Kumaris? The mode suggest almost zero. Its a very commonly used. In my opinion, both 'Scientology' and 'The Family' (and, of course, Jonestown) were more exaggerated expressions of the new American psyche than 'new religious movements' as a whole and all three have been further used, misused and exaggerated by the anti-cult movement - and exploited for its prurient sensationalism by the media - so as to make rational investigation and discussion impossible, e.g.;
  • Scientology - weird beliefs and aggressively defending itself
    The Family - "love bombing"
    Jonestown - mass suicide
Can we add the Brahma Kumaris to this list for equal "crimes" against society 'by association' or by just screaming "abuse ... abuse"? I don't think we can yet. Especially without documentation and individuals coming forward.

So far, I would still have to agree that the numbers of individuals abused within the BK system ... and the extent of their abuse ... is miniscule in comparison to that other famous Jewish new religious movement such as "Christianity" (I am being deliberate in my terminology here) and society in general. I also think that it will never reach anywhere near those extents, simply because it is too tough a religion to follow to attract significant followers (and they are kept too busy and set too high standards to get up to serious mischief).

My only caveat on that is at that point where it is proven beyond any reasonable doubt that the teaching are false and Destruction does not happen within a reasonable period (again), every individual that has given a Dollar or an hour or had their minds plugged into BapDada, has been ripped off. The problem then is who is held responsible; the 'holy ghost' source, the leadership who acting knowingly that the teachings were falsified or individual members acting in "good faith" promoting them?

I think I reject the equation because it is too cheap and easy, and likely to backfire on any attempt at serious critique, e.g. The Family are a cult + cults do sex abuse ÷ Brahma Kumaris are a cult + isolated abuse incidents happened = all cults sex abuse children therefore "all Cults are evil" and hysteria being used to create an atmosphere of indiscriminate and irrational fear. Personally, I would rather states the obvious; that cultic sects are the reflections ... and natural developments ... of the greater societies that they arose from either "illnesses" or "antidotes" to those societies ... and both.

In 2003, the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Department of Criminal Justice noted 123 incidents of serious sexual assault by Policemen in the state of Nebraska alone. Those are only clearly REPORTED cases (and I guess they don't have so many black people in Nebraska ...). By the same logic above, one would FAR LESS send one's child to a public school, leave them with a relative to look after, trust a Police officer (true ...) or attend a Catholic Church than join a new religious movement. So where does that leave us?

The Family were a product of their time and place in which sexual mores were being re-examined and conservative American Christian attitudes towards sexuality and the body challenged. "Sex is not a sin" (The Devil hates sex but God loves it - he made it!) was a maxim from that time.

By the look of that video, I would guess it is mid-80s and at the peak of hysteria in the anti-cult movement and, yes, that specific religion has changed and moved on claiming "approximately 10,000 full-time and associate adult volunteer members, working out of over 1,100 centers or communities, situated in over 100 countries". You cant make specific claims without documented evidence and I would say non-specific claims are damaging of one's self and this site. I would say AIDs had more of an impact in policy change but, probably, so did group and individual maturation.

Was it "mere" abuse? No, it was not. It was something more complicated intermeshed with religion, Judeo-Christian theistic tradition and the uncomfortable zone in our society of the very real and unresolved sexuality of children. That two of your recent video include girls/young women in highly-emotional states and crying would perhaps also suggest to me a personal element of your own behalf that you are attempting to voice?

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