Jul 15, 2021

CultNEWS101 Articles: 7/15/2021

Podcasts, Children of God, Stockholm Syndrome, Haredi, Lev Tahor, Legal Guatemala

" ... IndoctriNation host Rachel Bernstein is a licensed marriage family therapist (LMFT), and has worked with victims of cults and emotional abusers for over 25 years. Because of her professional background, Rachel brings an expertise to the table that many of these other podcasts about cults just don't have. This is especially true when examining the psychology behind members and leaders.

But don't worry, despite her vast professional knowledge on cults, IndoctriNation is totally accessible to everyone. And it is meant to be, as one intent of the podcast is to teach people about systems of control so that they can avoid them.

Many episodes impart practical steps and advice, such as the episode on QAnon where she gives advice on speaking to and coping with friends and family 'lost' to QAnon. In other episodes, Rachel interviews other cult experts and former members in order to give the full picture of why people join cults, and the emotional fallout for those who get out."

Former Children of God member says a simple question put to her by Walter Schwarz was life-changing.

"It was a simple question to a child, one routinely asked by adults: what do you want to be when you grow up? But for 11-year-old Bexy Cameron, who had never known anything but the strict religious cult she was born into, it was life-changing.

Her brief encounter with the Guardian journalist Walter Schwarz in the 1990s led to her escaping the Children of God cult at the age of 15, leaving behind her parents and siblings. Now she has written a memoir, Cult Following, about growing up in a movement founded by a controlling sexual predator. The last line of her acknowledgments reads: "Eternal gratitude to Walter Schwarz (RIP). Who knows what would have happened without that 'one simple question'?"

Cameron, 38, and her 11 siblings knew only a life dominated by Bible readings, exorcisms, physical and psychological punishments when Schwarz became the first journalist to be permitted access to the cult. Children of God had been founded in California in 1968 by the self-proclaimed prophet David Berg, who was known as Moses."
Why do kidnap victims stay with their captors? The reasons are varied and the psychology is complex.

"Abducted while hitchhiking in 1977 and imprisoned for seven years, Colleen Stan's story drops jaws even nearly 45 years later. 

"Snapped Notorious: The Girl In The Box," a two-hour special airing Saturday, July 17 at 9/8c on Oxygen, dives into the case, featuring a remarkable interview with survivor Stan, now 64 and a grandmother, about her ordeal and the question she constantly confronts. 

"People always say, 'Well, why didn't you run away?'" Stan told producers. "I just felt that it wasn't an option at that time .... I really felt that I'd be hurt, and other people would be hurt if I went against them." 

Stan's captors, Cameron and Janice Hooker, had convinced her of that. Obedience was key to survival for Stan, who was shackled by "invisible chains," criminal behavioral analyst Laura Richards told "Snapped Notorious." "Oftentimes victims will do anything to survive, and the threat of someone else being harmed that they care about can keep them controlled." 

Stan's case of long-term captivity and survival is a uniquely brutal one, but it brings to mind other cases in which victims stayed with abductors. One possible reason often cited is Stockholm syndrome. The term reportedly came up during court proceedings for the Stan case, although it doesn't seem to fit with why Stan didn't leave her imprisonment earlier.

Stockholm syndrome describes a psychological phenomena in which hostages bond with their captors and develop feelings of trust or closeness. The syndrome has also been associated with victims of abuse as well as cults."

" ... Based on local reports, the operation started last week when an FBI agent, along with two PNC or National Civil Police agents, infiltrated the compound of the cult on a farm. The said compound was located in the village of El Amatillo, in Oratorio, Santa Rosa.

The raid included 100 police officers and 40 police cars. The authorities deployed the large troop out of fears that the cult members would riot to open an escape route for the suspects.

Meanwhile, the cult's spokesman shared to the local media that the raid was illegal and that the detainees were Guatemalan citizens. The senior official whose name was not mentioned stated that the FBI has no authority to operate in Guatemala.

Kikar Hashabbat stated that there were also unconfirmed reports of an exchange of gunfire between members of the cult and law enforcement."

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