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I Didn't Think About That

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I Didn't Think About That:

As former members recover from being manipulated under the control of a destructive cult, they are surprised that they could be so fully convinced of the outrageous claims by the central figure. Having been exposed to information critical to the cult's claims, they realize that under normal circumstances, most people could never be convinced to believe what they had accepted as fundamental truth. Still in recovery, they sometimes overlook the fact that cult leaders have concealed critical information. At the same time, most escapees do not understand the power of manipulation.

Manipulation of thought is a practice common among all destructive cults. Cult leaders rely upon the trust of good people, and misuse that trust for their own agenda. There are many methods of manipulation that can be used, but they all share the same components: deception, combined with distraction, and a stirring up of emotion in order to overwhelm reason. When a cult leader has gained the trust of their victims, he or she can appeal to their good nature while bypassing critical thought. Using distractions to mask the underlying agenda, the cult leader can deceive the people and solidify their trust in his or her supernatural power. At the same time, cult leaders manipulate their victims to believe that they, too, can someday achieve that same supernatural power.

Those who escape from thought manipulation often struggle with after effects from a long series of thought adjustment over time. Even after leaving, former cult members say things like, "it feels like they are still in my head" or "I can't control my own thoughts". They feel as though they have lost control of their mental faculties, amplifying their fear. It isn't until they realize that these are effects of their mind's initial rejection of being manipulated that they overcome those feelings. They now have the power to control their own thoughts, and fear is replaced with freedom of thought.