Chapter 22: Ideological Totalism

As published in the Washington Post’s report on cults (now offline) Below is a reprint of Chapter 22 of Robert Jay Lifton’s book,“Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of ‘Brainwashing’ in China.” Lifton, a psychiatrist and distinguished professor at the City University of New York, has studied the psychology of extremism for decades. ...

Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups – Revised

Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. & Janja Lalich, Ph.D. Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused. The following list of social-structural, social-psychological, and ...

Definition of CULT

cult noun, often attributive \ˈkəlt\ formal religious veneration : worship a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator a: great devotion to ...

Maharishi International University Research Update

From TM-EX Newsletter, spring 1991 As the methodology of MIU researchers has improved, some of theirstudies report observations that challenge the validity of the TMmovement’s doctrinal stance; for example, a Ph.D. thesis (D, MIU,1989, T735.494, in the MIU library) called The Transcendental Meditationtechnique: A new direction for smoking cessation programs. In thisstudy, 60 percent of ...

MEDITATION, DELUSION AND DECEPTION

by David J. Bardin, Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & KahnWashington Counsel for American Family Foundation (AFF) and Cult Awareness Network (CAN) He’s really not so transcendental A true master of mental manipulation has targeted Washington, D.C. Hecalls himself Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. His devotees adore him, simply, as“Maharishi.” He sells Transcendental Meditation, with a capital “M.”It differs ...

A Simple, Natural, Relaxation Technique?

TranceNet: Joe Kellet I’d like to relate a few of my adventures from my years as a TM meditator and teacher. PART I: SOMETHING GOOD IS HAPPENING! At TM introductory lectures no mention is made that there could be any unpleasant experiences associated with TM. True to it’s nature as an “esoteric” teaching (a teaching ...

It’s Too Perfect

The following is a quote from Jeanne Mills, a defector from Jim Jones’ Peoples temple. She was murdered a year subsequent to the Nov. 18, 1978 Jonestown suicides/murders of 911 children, woman and men. She wrote this shortly before being murdered. Listen to what she is telling the world: “When you meet the friendliest people ...