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Cult-school comparison

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  • Robert Swanson
    From: Robert Swanson Steve Hassan does not speak about schools that I know of, but his description of cults is useful in
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2000
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      From: Robert Swanson <robertswanson@...>

      Steve Hassan does not speak about schools that I know of, but his
      description of cults is useful in discerning the intent and utility of
      schooling.

      http://www.freedomofmind.com/faq.htm
      Steve Hassan, cult expert and counselor, answers questions about cults and
      mind control

      Let's do a comparison. We will ask what is a cult, what are the two kinds of
      cults, and what does this mean to education? Some of what is below is direct
      from Steve's web page.

      A Cult is any group of people who have a set of beliefs and rituals which
      are not mainstream. A cult may be religious, political, therapeutic,
      entrepreneurial, (or educational).

      There are two kinds of cults, either selfeffacing or self-enhancing. A
      selfeffacing cult is a pyramid-shaped authoritarian regime with a person or
      group of people that have dictatorial control. It uses deception in
      recruiting new members (e.g. people are NOT told up front what the group is,
      what the group actually believes and what will be expected of them if they
      become members). It also uses mind control techniques to keep people
      dependent and obedient. Destructive cults try to "clone" people to become
      small versions of the cult leader, rather than respect people's
      individuality, creativity and self-will.

      In a self-enhancing cult people are freely able to choose to join with full
      disclosure of the group's doctrine and practices and can choose to
      disaffiliate without fear or harassment. Any mind control techniques used
      will keep the locus of control within the individual and there is no hidden
      agenda to have people submit and turn over their power to some other human
      being. Being in control of your own mind includes being in touch with your
      feelings, having the ability to think analytically, question, look at issues
      from multiple perspectives, having control of your behavior to take periodic
      "timeouts" in order to reflect and be able to have access to information
      which may be "negative" to the group leadership.

      When would a school be a cult? When its practices do not fit mainstream. Is
      it mainstream to ring a bell every hour, to have highly structured "free
      time", to function socially as a dictatorship, to have one's interests
      dictated, to have one's time dictated, to have your media rewritten for your
      consumption, to perform for others without compensation, to be secluded from
      other age groups, to have either competitive or aloof relationships
      emphasized rather than cooperation and friendship and love, to have one's
      behavior controlled by threat of shaming or by threat of imprisoning one's
      parents? In some cases normal work relationships may be competitive and
      one's time is dictated, but when is it normal for young children to be
      working, and are they getting paid?

      Is mind control as used by schools self-enhancing? Not when there is no free
      choice as to what the mind is doing. Not when the use of the mind is an
      abstracted benefit not understood by the individual. Not when the mind's use
      is for the benefit or scrutiny of another -- the teacher's job approval and
      grading system. Not when the result is anxiety, aggression, depression,
      sadness and withdrawn behavior.

      Are public schools cults? They do not inform children of their motives,
      practices, intent or conditions up front (what six year old can explain the
      education process; even I can't, except as a cult). Their control techniques
      demean the individual politically, socially, emotionally and creatively, and
      are structured to remove self-will and individuality. One is not trusted to
      one's self. There is little or no freedom to quit the school or to join
      another school. Being out of line five minutes is met with a shaming
      protocol. A functional agenda specifically benefiting the individual is
      rarely if ever considered in over ten years of incarceration. Specifically
      deterred are: being in touch with your feelings, having the ability to think
      analytically, questioning, looking at issues from multiple perspectives,
      having control of one's behavior so to take periodic timeouts in order to
      reflect and be able to have access to information which may be "negative" to
      the group leadership. Schools may claim to promote analytical thinking and
      multiple perspectives, but this is not true when the materials available
      have been selected for them as well as the issue looked at, the time allowed
      to research, to whom the material is presented and who's approval determines
      meaning.

      Robert Swanson



      Who is Steve Hassan:
      [I am a human rights activist who very much values my spirituality as the
      core of my existence. I pray and meditate daily. My work has received
      endorsements from virtually every major religious denomination. I definitely
      believe in a God who created us with freewill and wants us to use our minds
      to live lives of love, peace, beauty, and goodness. My work has grown out of
      my own desire to grow in understanding and to help people to realize that
      they need not be psychologically constricted.

      I am a licensed mental health counselor. I got my Master's degree from
      Cambridge College in 1985, and have taken the time and undertaken the
      expense to receive counseling training from some of the top people in
      America and the world. I have experience doing individual, couple and family
      counseling. I teach communications techniques and strategies and encourage a
      legal approach which I call "strategic interaction therapy".]
    • Robert Swanson
      A paradigm-cult for school--counseling: A cult is people using beliefs and rituals that are not mainstream. So, what would a self-enhancing cult be (one that
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 11, 2000
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        A paradigm-cult for school--counseling:

        A cult is people using beliefs and rituals that are not mainstream. So, what
        would a self-enhancing cult be (one that improves the individual)?

        How about counseling? The beliefs and rituals of counseling are not
        mainstream. It is an arena where it is okay to openly, honestly express
        feelings. It is okay to dig deep within for the truth. Chit chat, denial,
        and projection are considered a waste of time if not overt lack of wellness.
        Counseling, by the measures in the last message below, is a great cult.
        People are informed of the terms of their relationship up front. No one is
        harassed for making decisions in behalf of themselves. Kindness and equality
        are landmark virtues. People are to be respected and heard if not obeyed.
        Specifically supported are: being in touch with your feelings, having the
        ability to think analytically, questioning, looking at issues from multiple
        perspectives, and having control of one's behavior.

        Gosh, I wish everyone would sign up with a counselor. In contrast, most
        everything about our lives is selfeffacing.

        Mysticism is a reference to the spiritual or to the mysterious. What was it
        Einstein said, either one must believe everything is an accident or that
        everything is a miracle. Spirituality is the possibility that the eyes do
        not see everything. Only the religion of arrogance would reject this. And
        science, science delves into the mystery. Mystery stirs us to the core. How
        wonderful is the mysterious! Here is a mystery for us all, the scientific
        statistical odds are trillions to one in favor of the idea that our space
        program has governed the timing of its rocket science according to the
        position of stars and planets -- I'm talking about astrology, not astronomy!
        (See enterprisemission.com, 11/8/99)
        I wouldn't throw out the baby with the bath water just yet.

        http://www.angelfire.com/ca3/citystars/
        INVESTIGATION INTO THE ENTERPRISE MISSION'S PROPOSITION THAT THE 19.5 AND
        33.0 DEGREE STAR ALIGNMENTS CONSTITUTE A PATTERN €

        robert



        on 12/6/00 4:48 AM, David Rovner at rovners@... wrote:

        > There is no self-enhancing cult. Cults are Mysticism thus selfeffacing.
        > Self-enhancing behavior doesn't fall under the cult category.
        > Besides that, "can you be in control of your own mind,
        > be in touch with your feelings, develop the ability to think
        > analytically, question, look at issues from multiple perspectives, have
        > control of your behavior to take periodic "timeouts" in order to reflect and
        > be able to have access to information which may be "negative" to the group
        > leadership" -- at the academy?
        > "Psychologists and psychiatrists ("I am a licensed mental health counselor. I
        > got my Master's degree in counseling psychology from Cambridge College
        > in 1985 -- M.Ed., LMHC") see the human wreckage, but remain silent and do
        > not protest -- declare that philosophical and moral issues do not concern
        > them, that science cannot pronounce value judgments -- shrug off their
        > professional obligations with the assertion that a rational code of morality
        > is
        > impossible, and, by their silence, lend their sanction to spiritual murder."
        > I wonder why you directed us to Steve Hassan's activity.
        >
        > David.
        >
        >
        >
        > ---------------------------------
        > Here is the difference:
        > Inborn processes recreate institutions to meet the developing
        > needs of the individual. As things now stand, the institutions
        > are remaking individuals to meet the needs of the developing
        > institutions.
        > ------------------------
        > PROCLAMATION
        > FOR THE SEPARATION OF SCHOOL AND STATE
        >
        > I proclaim publicly that I favor ending
        > government involvement in education.
        >
        > Add this to all your mail
        > (and suggest to your friends to do the same)
        > ------------------------
        > ==========================================================
        > RELEASE SOCIETY FROM
        > SCHOOL CONTROL
        > IVAN ILLICH
        > ==========================================================
        > *
        > =====================================================
        > FREE EDUCATION FROM STATE
        > CONTROL
        > =====================================================
        > *
        >
        ============================================================================
        ==> =
        > RELEASE KNOWLEDGE FROM
        > THE CONTROL [THE
        > MONOPOLY] OF UNIVERSITIES
        > (ACADEMY AS A "MAFIA")
        > ==============================================================================
        > ==
        > *
        > ============================================================
        > End Government Involvement in
        > Education.
        >
        > Separate School from State
        >
        > SEPARATE SCHOOL Alliance for the Separation of School and State
        > separate@...,
        >
        > webmaster@...
        >
        > http://www.sepschool.org
        > 21 Ways "Public Schools" Harm Your Children
        > http://www.sepschool.org/edlib/v3n2/21ways.html
        >
        > Add this to all your mail
        > (and suggest to your friends to do the same)
        > ============================================================
        >
        >
        > ---------- Original Message ----------
        >
        > I remember Paul Harvey quoting the richest man in Japan. When asked to what
        > does he attribute his success, he replied, "When someone gives me an offer I
        > chew it up and swallow it, and if it sits well in my stomach I accept it. If
        > not I spit it out." (approx. quote)
        >
        > So many of those quotes I see attributed to Einstein indicate he was quite
        > spiritual, moral and philosophical.
        >
        > What if schools were held to the integrity of their reason? Aside from
        > reading and writing, everything I hold dear to my way of life comes from
        > outside of public school. Aside from making me an anxious, fearful,
        > emotionally inept individual, school did almost nothing for me. By the
        > standards below I'd have to rate schools as insane, grossly insane. Their
        > standards of education are mystifying.
        >
        > robert
        >
        >
        > on 12/3/00 11:51 PM, David Rovner at rovners@... wrote:
        > Mental Health versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice "The standard of mental
        > health -- of biologically appropriate mental functioning -- is the same as
        > that of physical health: man's survival and wellbeing. A mind is healthy to
        > the extent that its method of functioning is such as to provide man with the
        > control over reality that the support and furtherance of his life require.
        > The hallmark of this control is self- esteem. Self-esteem is the
        > consequence, expression and reward of a mind fully committed to reason.
        > Reason, the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by
        > the senses, is man's basic tool of survival. . . . . .
        >
        > (1) The maintenance of his life and the achievement of self-esteem require
        > of man the fullest exercise of his reason -- but morality, men are taught,
        > rests on and requires faith. . .
        > (2) Man's need of self-esteem entails the need for a sense of control over
        > reality -- but no control is possible in a universe which, by one's own
        > concession, contains the supernatural, the miraculous and the causeless. . .
        > (3) His life and self-esteem require that the object and concern of man's
        > consciousness be reality and this earth -- but morality, men are taught,
        > consists of scorning this earth and the world to sensory perceptions, and
        > contemplating, instead a "different" and "higher" reality, a realm
        > inaccessible to reason and incommunicable in language, but attainable by
        > revelation, . . .
        > (4) His life and self-esteem require that man take pride in his power to
        > live -- but morality, men are taught, holds pride, and specifically
        > intellectual pride, as the gravest of sins. Virtue begins, men are taught,
        > with humility: with the recognition of the helplessness, the smallness, the
        > impotence of one's mind. . .
        > (5) His life and self-esteem require of man loyalty to his values, loyalty
        > to his mind and its judgements, loyalty to his life -- but the essence of
        > morality, men are taught, consists of self-sacrifice: the sacrifice of one's
        > minds to some higher authority, and the sacrifice of one's values to whoever
        > may claim to require it. . . . . .
        >
        > If the advocates of these doctrines bear a grave moral responsibility, there
        > is a group who, perhaps, bears a graver responsibility still: the
        > psychologists and psychiatrists who see the human wreckage of these
        > doctrines, but who remain silent and do not protest -- who declare that
        > philosophical and moral issues do not concern them, that science cannot
        > pronounce value judgments -- who shrug off their professional obligations
        > with the assertion that a rational code of morality is impossible, and, by
        > their silence, lend their sanction to spiritual murder." [Mental Health
        > versus Mysticism and Self-Sacrifice by Nathaniel Branden, Ayn Rand - The
        > Virtue of Selfishness, p. 36. (march 1963) (excerpts)] David Rovner
        >
        >
        > ---------- Original Message ----------
        > Steve Hassan does not speak about schools that I know of, but his
        > description of cults is useful in discerning the intent and utility of
        > schooling. http://www.freedomofmind.com/faq.htm Steve Hassan, cult expert
        > and counselor, answers questions about cults and mind control
        >
        > Let's do a comparison. We will ask what is a cult, what are the two kinds of
        > cults, and what does this mean to education? Some of what is below is direct
        > from Steve's web page.
        >
        > A Cult is any group of people who have a set of beliefs and rituals which
        > are not mainstream. A cult may be religious, political, therapeutic,
        > entrepreneurial, (or educational).
        >
        > There are two kinds of cults, either selfeffacing or self-enhancing. A
        > selfeffacing cult is a pyramid-shaped authoritarian regime with a person or
        > group of people that have dictatorial control. It uses deception in
        > recruiting new members (e.g. people are NOT told up front what the group is,
        > what the group actually believes and what will be expected of them if they
        > become members). It also uses mind control techniques to keep people
        > dependent and obedient. Destructive cults try to "clone" people to become
        > small versions of the cult leader, rather than respect people's
        > individuality, creativity and self-will. In a self-enhancing cult people are
        > freely able to choose to join with full disclosure of the group's doctrine
        > and practices and can choose to disaffiliate without fear or harassment. Any
        > mind control techniques used will keep the locus of control within the
        > individual and there is no hidden agenda to have people submit and turn over
        > their power to some other human being. Being in control of your own mind
        > includes being in touch with your feelings, having the ability to think
        > analytically, question, look at issues from multiple perspectives, having
        > control of your behavior to take periodic "timeouts" in order to reflect and
        > be able to have access to information which may be "negative" to the group
        > leadership.
        >
        > When would a school be a cult? When its practices do not fit mainstream. Is
        > it mainstream to ring a bell every hour, to have highly structured "free
        > time", to function socially as a dictatorship, to have one's interests
        > dictated, to have one's time dictated, to have your media rewritten for your
        > consumption, to perform for others without compensation, to be secluded from
        > other age groups, to have either competitive or aloof relationships
        > emphasized rather than cooperation and friendship and love, to have one's
        > behavior controlled by threat of shaming or by threat of imprisoning one's
        > parents? In some cases normal work relationships may be competitive and
        > one's time is dictated, but when is it normal for young children to be
        > working, and are they getting paid?
        >
        > Is mind control as used by schools self-enhancing? Not when there is no free
        > choice as to what the mind is doing. Not when the use of the mind is an
        > abstracted benefit not understood by the individual. Not when the mind's use
        > is for the benefit or scrutiny of another -- the teacher's job approval and
        > grading system. Not when the result is anxiety, aggression, depression,
        > sadness and withdrawn behavior.
        >
        > Are public schools cults? They do not inform children of their motives,
        > practices, intent or conditions up front (what six year old can explain the
        > education process; even I can't, except as a cult). Their control techniques
        > demean the individual politically, socially, emotionally and creatively, and
        > are structured to remove self-will and individuality. One is not trusted to
        > one's self. There is little or no freedom to quit the school or to join
        > another school. Being out of line five minutes is met with a shaming
        > protocol. A functional agenda specifically benefiting the individual is
        > rarely if ever considered in over ten years of incarceration. Specifically
        > deterred are: being in touch with your feelings, having the ability to think
        > analytically, questioning, looking at issues from multiple perspectives,
        > having control of one's behavior so to take periodic timeouts in order to
        > reflect and be able to have access to information which may be "negative" to
        > the group leadership. Schools may claim to promote analytical thinking and
        > multiple perspectives, but this is not true when the materials available
        > have been selected for them as well as the issue looked at, the time allowed
        > to research, to whom the material is presented and who's approval determines
        > meaning.
        >
        > Robert Swanson
        >
        >
        > Who is Steve Hassan: [I am a human rights activist who very much values my
        > spirituality as the core of my existence. I pray and meditate daily. My work
        > has received endorsements from virtually every major religious denomination.
        > I definitely believe in a God who created us with freewill and wants us to
        > use our minds to live lives of love, peace, beauty, and goodness. My work
        > has grown out of my own desire to grow in understanding and to help people
        > to realize that they need not be psychologically constricted. I am a
        > licensed mental health counselor. I got my Master's degree from Cambridge
        > College in 1985, and have taken the time and undertaken the expense to
        > receive counseling training from some of the top people in America and the
        > world. I have experience doing individual, couple and family counseling. I
        > teach communications techniques and strategies and encourage a legal
        > approach which I call "strategic interaction therapy".]
        >
        >
        >
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