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Hold Fast To What Is Good

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Hold Fast To What Is Good:

Understanding the characteristics of the cult identity and how they differ from the characteristics of their authentic self is a critical part of healing. Having been manipulated for years into forming opinions and beliefs that lean strongly towards the agenda of the central figure, it is difficult to separate forced convictions from those that would have naturally formed. Those who awaken must be careful not to reject everything the cult promoted simply because they formed their opinions during captivity.

As cult members conform to the central figure's agenda while suppressing their own critical thought, they develop a new identity strongly in favor of cult opinion. Some aspects of cult opinion are favorable, while others are unfavorable. Having accepted the central figure as an authority on scripture, doctrine, opinion and more, cult members are gradually persuaded to accept unfavorable opinion as positive -- simply because the central figure supported that opinion. Without undue influence, many of those same opinions would have been rejected.

The opinions formed within the cult identity contain what feels like both simple and complex constructs. Those that seem simple feel so only because the cult member did not fight to accept them. They were opinions that came from the heart. Those that seem complex feel so because the cult member struggled to accept them, internally trying to reconcile being influenced into opinions or beliefs they normally would have disagreed with. They were opinions forced against their will.

Though it may feel more comfortable to reject all convictions contained within the cult identity in the short term, it is far more painful in the long run. Those opinions that came naturally will continue to form, only to be rejected and suppressed. Former members who reject everything find themselves inventing complex reasons why they cannot accept real convictions because their rejection did not come from the heart.