cult recovery 101


Chapter 22: Ideological Totalism

Thought reform has a psychological momentum of its own, a self-perpetuating energy not always bound by the interests of the program’s directors. When we inquire into the sources of this momentum, we come upon a complex set of psychological themes, which may be grouped under the general heading of ideological totalism. By this ungainly phrase I mean to suggest the coming together of immoderate ideology with equally immoderate individual character traits — an extremist meeting ground between people and ideas.