Message Cult Mind Control - Unfreezing, Changing, and Refreezing Part 3:
Before one can free their mind from the long-lasting effects of mind control, one must first understand how they lost control to begin with. According to many who study the process, it appears to be quite simple from the surface. We are studying the three step model (unfreezing, changing, and refreezing) for gaining control of the mind as it relates to William Branham's mind control cult called the "Message," and this is the third part of the study: refreezing.
After having been implanted with a cult identity, the victim of mind control must be refrozen to solidify the new identity. They must become a "new man" or a "new woman," leaving behind most traces of their past life that might threaten the cult identity. Cult leaders must ensure this "refreezing" is strong enough to protect the identity when the new recruit finds themselves in challenging situations outside of the cult environment.
"During this phase, an individual's memory becomes distorted, minimizing the good things in the past and maximizing their sins, failings, hurts and guilt. Special talents, interests, hobbies, friends, and family usually must be abandoned— preferably in dramatic public actions— if they compete with commitment to the cause. Confession becomes another way to purge the person's past and embed them in the cult."
- Steven Hassan. Combating Cult Mind Control
There are multiple strategies to refreeze a new cult identity ranging from paring new recruits with strong cult identities to elimination of privacy and even new names. But as it relates to William Branham's mind control cult called the "Message," separation and patterning appear to be the most widely used techniques.
As with most Pentecostal-style cults, separation is part of the religion itself. Women must look different from other women. Men must also look different, though it may vary from clothing style to hair style and more. But without further isolation from society, this alone is not enough to refreeze. "Message" cult members must also pattern their personalities after key figures in the cult. Rather than allow their authentic self to make decisions, their decisions and opinions must be based on those feeding the cult identity. Instead of thinking how they should act and feel as an individual, they must ask themselves, "What would William Branham do?" and search the recordings. Those not as strongly influenced by Branham's recordings must ask themselves what their pastor would do, and glean this understanding from sermons or private conversations. Over time, their opinions must become lower priority than that of the cult identity's opinions.
This is increasingly critical to the "Message" since it presents itself as a Bible-based religious group. Since many of the doctrinal teachings are either non-existent or in conflict with Bible passages of text, the cult identity must base their religious beliefs solely upon Branham's opinion of that text. They must believe that the Bible is their absolute authority while placing the actual authority into the beliefs and opinions of William Branham. It is because of this that many outside the cult do not believe the group to be a Christian-based following. On the surface they may appear to be, however when one fully examines the structure, they are a Branham-based following.
To those who have fled the mind control of the "Message" cult, it may seem impossible to reverse this three step process of indoctrination. Having been subjected to Dissociative Identity Disorder, they may feel that their authentic self can never reject the cult identity that was created. But this process can be reversed, if one is willing to work hard at re-establishing themselves. Like any physical disease, the cure can sometimes be painful or take time. Rehabilitation my be a lot of work. Mental disease is no different, although the rehab may require mental exercise instead of physical.
Many who have gone through this process agree that the "Message" produces a mental disorder that will require a great deal of effort to reverse. But those who are in the process of reversing it will tell you that the reward is worth the effort.
Stay tuned for more!
Combating Cult Mind Control (Second Edition): http://amzn.to/1NCnN45
Profile of "The Message" on Freedom Of Mind Resource Center: https://freedomofmind.com/Info/infoDet.php?id=883&title=The_Message