Psychology   175207

« earlier    

Aeon Essays -- [Terror, Love and Brainwashing: Attachment in Cults and Totalitarian Systems] by Alexandra Stein
'...For a totalist system to wield complete control, the leader must tap fear – this is the fourth element of totalism. The process of brainwashing that totalist systems engage in is one of psychological, coercive manipulation where the leader or group alternates terror with ‘love’. Bowlby said that when we are frightened, we don’t simply run away from the fear, but run to a safe haven, ‘to someone…’ – and that someone is usually a person to whom we feel attached. But when the supposed safe haven is also the source of the fear, then running to that person is a failing strategy, causing the frightened person to freeze, trapped between approach and avoidance. -- Mary Main, the renowned attachment researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, called this type of fear-based relationship ‘disorganised attachment’. This has a two-fold result: a confused emotional bonding to the source of fear in a failed attempt to seek comfort, and a cognitive dissociation, that is, the inability to think about one’s feelings. Fear or stress without escape – ‘fright without solution’, as attachment researchers refer to it – is a traumatic state that derails a person’s ability to think logically and clearly about the situation and therefore to take action to resolve it. Further, never achieving safety from the threat, they will keep returning to the relationship trying to gain that safety. Having disabled logical thinking about the traumatic relationship, the leader can then introduce even more of the fictitious ideology to explain away and redirect the follower’s terror. -- It’s a positive feedback loop with a biochemical element: physiologically, the victim is engaged in an effort to manage their cortisol or anxiety levels by seeking proximity to a safe haven, but never succeeding in attaining adequate comfort. It is for this reason that we can predict that cultic systems will attempt to interfere with and control any alternative attachment relationships a person might have. To fail to do so would allow the follower to find a safe haven elsewhere and potentially escape the emotional and cognitive control of the group. This is the same thing we see in controlling relationships such as in cases of domestic violence, of the Stockholm Syndrome or, frequently, with pimps and prostitutes, as well as in human trafficking. -- ... Every day in the media we can see the destructive power of this coercive psychological control put in place by pathological leaders. Whether it is parents who neglect or abuse children under a leader’s command, or terrorist fighters who blow themselves up for a fictional liberation, or parishioners impoverished by so-called ‘prosperity’ preachers, getting people to this point requires the conditions and processes I have outlined here. Once this fear-based control is in place, it is quite difficult to break: the follower’s dissociation and disorganised emotional attachment to the leader or group makes it extremely difficult to look clearly at what is happening. In fact, any attempt to do so only creates more fear, causing further disorganised bonding to the group to attempt to ease the stress.' -- It's hard to get enough of something that almost works. ~ Vincent Felitti
psychology  attachment  cults  totalitarianism  brainwashing  doublebind  stockholmsyndrome  addiction 
yesterday by adamcrowe

« earlier    

related tags

addiction  altruism  ancient-history  anthropology  app  art  article  articles  atheism  atheist  attachment  audio  automation  behavior  behavioral-gen  behaviour  belief  bias  biases  big5  biodet  biologist  biology  birkbeck  blogs  books  bpd  brainwashing  brand  business  china  ciberpumbi  climate  cog-psych  cognition  cohesion  collaboration  collapse  color  commentary  company  comparison  compensation  complex-systems  computers  connectivity  cooperation  coordination  course  create  crisis  cults  culture  curiosity  cycling  datascience  depression  descriptive  design  disaster  discovery  doublebind  dystopia  economics  efficiency  ems  engineering  environment  environmental-effects  epistemic  europe  evolution  experience  experiments  facebook  fairy-tales  family  fatlogic  fiction  food  friendship  future  futurism  gamelab  games  ghost-stories  government  grief  group  growth-econ  growthmindset  hackernews  hanson  happiness  health  hierarchy  human-behavior  human-history  human  humanity  humor  hypnosis  ideas  identity  ifttt  imagination  information  installation  internet  interview  intricacy  investigation  issue  italy  knowhow  labor  latered  law  leadership  learning  lesswrong  lgbt  lifehacks  love  lowtech  machinelearning  management  maslow  media  memory  metabuch  metameta  methods  misjudgement  modern-society  money  motivation  mouse  must  myer-briggs  needs  netherlands  network-structure  network  neurons  neuroscience  novels  oatmeal  op-ed  org:nat  org:ngo  organisational-psychology  pareto  pdf  perfectionism  personality  philosophy  podcast  police  politics  postmodernism  posts  power  prediction  productivity  prosocial  psycho-epistemology  psychology  putnam-like  qualitative  rationality  ratty  reference  relationships  religion  reproducible  research  richard-dawkins  ritual  roleplaying  science  scientist  selfdevelopment  slatestarcodex  soccer  social-capital  social-commentary  social-psych  social  socialism  society  socio-economic  sociology  sound  speculation  speech  sports  statistics  stockholmsyndrome  stories  stress  study  team  technology  the-guardian  the-trenches  theory  thinking  totalitarianism  totalitarism  trans  travel  tribalism  trust  ui  uk  usa  usability  ux  vacation  values  variance-components  video  vision  war  warfare  website  white-paper  worldbuilding  writing  xenophobia  youtubechannels  🎩 

Copy this bookmark:



description:


tags: