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Feeling Overwhelmed

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Feeling Overwhelmed:

Cult leaders who are charismatic speakers have one goal in mind: to overwhelm the reason of their listeners. Many people are skeptics by nature, and objective reasoning prevents thought control. To remove mental defenses, cult leaders must engage his or her listeners to the point of subjective reasoning, and then gradually adjust their beliefs and convictions that reasoning is based upon. This is no easy task; listeners who are strongly focused on logical thinking rarely move from objective to subjective.

By overwhelming reasoning in those listening, cult leaders are able to use those mental defenses to their advantage. Like overwhelming sensory receptors to cause a struggle processing signals of sight, hearing, smell, taste or touch, they submit their listeners to over-stimulation of information to process. Adding several unnecessary details, side stories, confusing points, and unexplainable situations, those who use this technique bombard listeners with more information than they can reason through. The victims' minds are so overwhelmed that they cannot fully process their thoughts.

Former cult members who obtain transcripts of speeches in which this technique was used are often surprised by the number of details they missed. They often say things like, "I must have tuned that part out" or "it's like my mind's eye glazed over". In many cases, they would have strongly disagreed to specific details -- sometimes even the subject matter itself -- had they been aware of what was being said. Instead, some or all of those statements have been planted into their subconscious mind.

Removing this planted information is no easy task. Unaware that it was being planted, former cult members cannot recall each belief, conviction, or opinion the planted thoughts were associated with. As it surfaces, the planted information is unwelcome and intrusive, sometimes painful. Once processed, however, former members experience clarity and focus.