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No More Shame

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No More Shame:

A very common thought manipulation technique used in religious cults is "shaming". Cult leaders who use this technique against their victims are quickly lifted into power by fostering a sense of guilt and inadequacy in those subjected to their abuse. By lowering the self-confidence of their victims, cult leaders are instantly seen as more confident and ultimately superior to those in the group.

"Shaming" techniques include a wide variety of speech patterns and facial expressions intended to increase fear and self-doubt within those listening. Using sarcasm and underhanded comments, fierce stares with lowered eyebrows, angry or unpleasant tones and screaming, cult leaders can make even the most positive people turn negative. Victims become afraid to challenge or even question the cult leader and his motives. Their most intimate thoughts and feelings are turned against them, creating an emotional wall of fear and guilt. This emotional wall, works as a mental barrier that separates cult followers from the outside world. Even when the cult leader is not present, the wall still stands firm.

Those who escape religious cults that practice "shaming" often struggle as their personality adjusts from negative to positive. The change is so drastic that some former members shift from one personality type to another. This creates an unusual separation anxiety; the former cult self they remember is a different personality than the now freed non-cult self. The change is so noticeable, friends and family sometimes say things like, "I don't recognize you anymore" or "you don't seem like yourself".

Memories of "shaming' are very difficult for former members. Like escaping from a physically abusive parent, those who escape emotional abuse often struggle when they remember being verbally beaten. They associate the pain to any memory of the central figure, and are very aggressive in blocking that pain. They will no longer be shamed and abused.