Oct 9, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 10/8/2020

Cult Psychology, NXIVM, Jehovah's Witnesses, Legal, Russia, MGTOW

Refinery29: Why Did NXIVM Members Stay? An Expert On The Psychology Of Cults
" ... Rachel Bernstein, a therapist who has been working with victims of cults and emotional abusers for 27 years, to explain to me how people find themselves attracted by, then ensnared by, destructive cults. The process is surprisingly similar from cult to cult — and while it may look bizarre and extreme from the outside, it's based on some pretty powerful psychological principles. She called out a few common themes that play a role in the indoctrination process.
Targeting vulnerable "recruits"
Someone who's going through a difficult or questioning period in life is "going to be much more open to someone saying, 'We can give you happiness. We can give you a community. We can give you immortality,'" says Bernstein, who hosts IndoctriNation, a podcast about cults and manipulators."

Vice: Heiress Who Bankrolled 'Sex Cult' Leader's 'Legal Attacks' Gets Nearly 7 Years in Jail
"A woman who used her family's enormous wealth to fund the legal battles of a now-convicted sex trafficker is officially going to prison.
Bronfman, heir to the Seagram liquor fortune, was sentenced to 81 months of prison time for her role in immigration and identity fraud schemes on Wednesday—more than double the recommended sentence. She pleaded guilty to harbouring a migrant for financial gain and fraudulent use of identification in April 2019.
Bronfman is the first person to be sentenced in the criminal case against NXIVM, a disgraced self-help company founded by Keith Raniere. Raniere was known to his followers as "Vanguard" and was convicted of sex trafficking, racketeering, wire fraud conspiracy, and other crimes last year. He'll be sentenced in Brooklyn next month.

Raniere's company NXIVM, pronounced Neks-ee-um, started selling expensive weekslong leadership training in 1998. The classes used group pressure, conditioning, boundary testing, and military-style exercises to foster a culture of conformity and loyalty to its founder. The company's business model relied on constant multi-level marketing style recruitment and its members spread outlandish claims about Raniere's genius and talents. Experts have called it a system of indoctrination with all the hallmarks of a personality-driven cult.

Bronfman joined NXIVM in 2003 because she wanted to use her family's money to make the world a better place. "I never believed I was supporting anything bad or wrong," she wrote in a letter to the judge last month.

But in a federal courtroom on Wednesday [September 30, 2020] victims said she was a callous abuser who used her wealth and connections as weapons. She spent as much as $50 million on legal battles against perceived enemies, according to a civil lawsuit filed in January. She also financed spying and intimidation, witnesses alleged at Raniere's trial."

CESNUR: The Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia: An International Human Rights Concern
"On July 13, 2020, armed officers raided 110 homes of Jehovah's Witnesses in the Voronezh Region. This was the largest number of coordinated raids on Jehovah's Witnesses in modern Russia. Unfortunately, this action marks an escalation in the persecution of the Witness community following the April 20, 2017, ban imposed by the Russian Supreme Court on the Witnesses' national organization and its 395 regional divisions on grounds of "extremism."
Russian officials have repeatedly claimed that the ban does not violate the right of 175,000 Witnesses to choose their religion and engage in religious worship. Yet, as of August 13, 2020, 379 Jehovah's Witnesses were under criminal investigation in Russia; 186 had served time in pretrial detention; 44 were in jail and 29 under house arrest; 1,107 homes had been raided since 2017; more than 310 were raided in 2020. Confirmed reports include the periodic use of abuse and torture. The COVID-19 pandemic has not stopped the police.

Even discussing the situation of Jehovah's Witnesses is prohibited. On June 15, 2020, the editor-in-chief of Religion and Law was sentenced for having published an article on Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia that failed to mention that the Witnesses' organization is "forbidden in the territory of Russia as extremist." On May 1, 2020, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention condemned the raids, arrests, detention, and trials of Jehovah's Witnesses in Russia, stating that they are "charged with criminal activity on the basis of mere exercise of freedom of religion." Unfortunately, the Voronezh raids confirm that Russia intends to ignore the conclusions of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. It also ignored the June 10, 2010, verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Jehovah's Witnesses of Moscow and Others v. Russia (Application no. 302/02),which ruled unanimously that Russia's ban and dissolution of the Witness community violated Articles 6, 9, and 11 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
As institutions and individuals concerned with religious freedom, we have followed the events in Russia."

MGTOW: The men of the Men Going Their Own Way movement aim to live their lives without any contact with women, who in their decidedly extremist view are the enemy  

"It is not a particularly well-known thing ... but all over the world there are heterosexual men who have made the conscious conscious decision to stay away and have nothing, who almost, with the women. And, beware, this is not a somewhat metaphorical decision, no: these men are literally cutting women out of their lives, inviting, with videos on YouTube, forums and so on, other males to do the same. It is not a spiritual choice, like being ordained a Catholic priest, it is more an ideological celibacy, which goes beyond national borders and religious divisions, and those who choose it do not feel, as one might hypothesize, a sort of envy for the recent conquests of women, on the contrary, he feels fear, or at worst disgust. This movement, which has very specific dogmatic characteristics that brings it closer but does not quite share it with that of the Incel, is called Men Going Their Own Wa y (or MGTOW, pronounced "mig-tow") and obviously has a serious problem with feminism and in particular with #MeToo. For them, the chain of complaints that first unmasked Weinstein, but then many other sexual predators, has ruined our society, and consequently, again according to the MGTOW vision, it makes no sense to participate having anything to do with female sex. , because women have been, as we read in some passages of their reference site (which if you want to hurt yourself is mgtow.com)programmed to ruin a man's life . Around every corner, these males who if they do not hate at least disgust women, seem to see one-dimensional beings, with the sole objective of taking their money, "cheating them with children who are not ours", or, and back to MeToo, ruining them life with false rape charges. Indeed, the latter has become the real, huge obsession of MGTOW."

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