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What is a cult? "Holy Hell" - a documentary

Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

What is a cult?  "Holy Hell" - a documentary Empty What is a cult? "Holy Hell" - a documentary

Post by felicity on 9/21/2016, 8:35 am

Last night, I watched a documentary called "Holy Hell". At first, I was reluctant, because it was about a "cult". I expected to see horrors of ritual abuse and mind-control - torture, etc. as is so often 'believed' to be the cornerstone of cult activity. This 'belief' has caused the public to disbelieve that cults even exist today. In fact, cults are everywhere in our culture - now, even within internet groups. This film gives a realistic look at how cults work, how people become controlled, and remain - even when they become aware that they have become controlled beyond their ability to leave.

Some of the key aspects of cult activities that were brought forward in this film were:

1) The time that these people followed one man - 22 years.
2) The reason that they became involved - they 'wanted' something more out of life - and, needed a 'guru' or teacher who could guide them.
3) They found the love and caring within the group - which kept them there. They couldn't leave 'each other'.
4) They were 'isolated' from each other and the outside world. If they 'talked' to others, they were 'demonized' by the group and leader.
5) They were unable to 'hear' anything, except the 'leaders'' instructions. They followed without thought.
6) They were told over and over to 'give themselves over' - to 'let go' of their own thoughts and will.
7) There were rituals and mind-control, but covertly - using manipulation, lies, and promises of 'enlightenment'.
8) The members of the group were highly intelligent - with normal jobs, houses, etc.
9) The man who they followed was narcissistic - feeding off of those who were dependent and needy. He needed love and adoration - they needed someone to love, adore, and trust. They saw nothing more than that they could trust.
10) The members' needs 'were' fulfilled - always. They totally believed that they were benefiting in every way.
11) As time went by, they 'wanted' to service this man - glorify him - for all that he had done for them.
12) When they began to learn the truth - he was a conman - they didn't want to believe. They protected him and stood for him.
13) When they found out that he had actually hurt many of their peers in the group, some became angry and left - but, some still remained unable to walk away.
14) When the cult dispersed, he simply started it somewhere else - now having more people following him.
15) Those who left, now know that what they were looking for can be found independently without looking to a 'leader' to follow.
16) He used their past trauma to influence them to follow and serve him.
17) Many said that they would actually do 'anything' for this person - even kill or hurt others.

The theme of the movie was pretty much that even though you can hear their story as a warning, those who are 'following' a leader won't hear or want to hear. Once you are indicted into a group, even for a short time and as innocent as it seems, you can remain controlled for decades. No one can tell you anything - except the leader of the group. And, it 'feels' wonderful to be a part of something - and, lonely and difficult to seek 'independent' knowledge and awareness.

This documentary is interviews with the survivors of this cult - from the time they joined, why they joined, and why they stayed. It begins in 1986 and goes through the activities until the present. Very informative and realistic - as I have experienced cults to be - without all of the 'sensationalism' of what is put out there about cults. Yes, this cult is dangerous, leaving scars on its members for life, but not a triggering look at what so many survivors want us to believe, and may have, gone through. All cults have the same aspects of control and narcissistic leaders - many covertly -

You can find excerpts, etc. here - http://www.cnn.com/shows/cnn-films-holy-hell

We can discuss this here - if anyone would like to.

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Post by TeamMe on 9/21/2016, 9:13 am

I just have one question about your wording.  I know some about your childhood.
In the last paragraph you say, "at what so many survivors want us to believe, and may have, gone through.

Why do you use the word may?  It kind of makes me wonder if you are in some denial that this stuff does happen.  Just curious.  Not trying to attack you.  
I care about you!

Felicity Lee
Felicity Lee

What is a cult?  "Holy Hell" - a documentary Empty Re: What is a cult? "Holy Hell" - a documentary

Post by felicity on 9/21/2016, 10:49 am

Oh, I should re-word that - I had just woke up - but, I was saying that many survivors went through some horrible experiences  - while others may have been through 'this' sort of cult - where they may not even be aware that they were in a cult - did that make more sense?  Regardless, all victims - have similar scars - from mind-control and ritual abuse.  

And, I guess I should add that these folks were all adults (consenting adults) - which kept this guy free to continue doing as he pleases.  And, these survivors are clearly hurt by what they went through - though, it might just seem 'less than' other types of abuse.  I have difficulty with the 'age' thing - just because they were young adults does not dismiss what he did.  

I guess, the movie helped me to realize just how many cults there are out there openly operating - because, the public has the 'wrong' belief of what cults actually 'are' and how they operate.  I hope this documentary helps give more of a realistic view to those who argue that ritual abuse and mind-control don't exist. They do - all different - some more covert - but, still actively operating everywhere around the world. And, because of their complete control and the secrecy, only the victims and survivors can say what goes on - no one can 'judge', unless they were there.

Did that make more sense?

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Post by krathyn on 9/21/2016, 12:55 pm

i found some cult groups organized as part of organized religions, and this is not to say all organized religion is cults. Most are not. But when there is control, secrecy, leaders who insist they are the one and only way ("to god") the same dynamic happens as was just described.
sometimes "types of healing" are inside cult formats-same thing, control and secrecy and someone who is considered "all powerful" and we read about them on the internet, and in papers and sometimes we even talk to people who have been brainwashed by this type of thing
on the other hand it is important to recognize that there are many groups, styles of T, religious practices, that are not cults, but may have some pretty strict rules as part of what they do. The difference comes with statements like "you can only think of this the  way i am telling you" and "do not tell ANYONE what we are doing here--" hallmarks of cult statements which are mind control and secrecy.

wishing you well-
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