By James Lindsay, anti-revolutionary
Before I got involved in studying Critical Social Justice like I do now, I mostly studied the psychology of religion.
One thing I learned was that most religious and cult conversions outside of childhood occur by using doctrine to resolve emotional vulnerability.
Sometimes, that emotional vulnerability is there for personal reasons, or as a result of life events. It is often manufactured for the purpose, however, especially in the case of cults. Would-be indoctrinators ask manipulative questions and try to catch people on the spot.
With religion, obviously, many of these manipulations involve asking about one’s fears of death. They also can center on making one feel morally deficient, however.
“Did you know you’re a sinner?” … “Did you know you’re complicit in racist systems?”
Once this vulnerability has been successfully manufactured (or identified, if already present), doctrine is given as the solution to the problem.
“Christ died for your sins, so you can be forgiven.” … “Be an anti-racist. Help us dismantle the system and build a better world.”
The next step once the doctrine is initially accepted is to make the person feel morally welcome, like they’re now doing the right thing where they were doing the wrong thing before.
“You can be one of the saved and repent for your sin.” … “You’re on the right side of history.”
Once the person feels morally welcome, the indoctrinator will start to increase the depth of the doctrine (teaching the quieter parts) while informing the new recruit that they’ll be surrounded by temptation, especially from former friends and family who don’t understand.
This is a willful move to bring the person further into the cult and to separate them from other emotional and personal ties that might cause them to doubt their new faith position while it is still shaky.
The person hasn’t devoted enough to the cause to be fully committed yet.
To get people more fully committed, the usual methods are public pronouncements of faith to the in-group and requests to make costly personal sacrifices to be considered a full part. This can be money, cutting ties with relations, making pledges, doing “the work,” etc.
When people like Robin DiAngelo tell us that “antiracism is a lifelong commitment to an ongoing process of self-reflection, self-critique, and social activism,” she is providing a mid-level cult indoctrination path.
Change yourself to be in the cult, endless process, do the work.
This process progresses over time, demanding more costly sacrifices, costly signals, doing work for the cult. These are meant to increase emotional investment and commitment. Meanwhile, the mark is to consume more doctrine and cut more ties with outside voices of reason.
Depending on the degree of vulnerability generated at the outset, this process can go quite quickly, taking only weeks, though months is more common.
Take a step further in, rationalize why it was good.
Every step in means more investment in the cult and a harder path back out.Before long, the cultist will convince the mark that every voice that disagrees with the cult is somehow “demonic” and out to pull the mark away from the cult.
This is relatively hard at first, with sunk cost keep marks in, but then they “see it,” and lose all trust in outsiders. Once the cultists start to turn on outsiders as though they are bad influences only trying to pull people out of the cult, it is *extremely* difficult to get them to change course.
They’re more or less indoctrinated completely and very stuck. Then the project changes completely.
Once the mark is properly indoctrinated (that’s step 2, vulnerability/doctrine is step 1, initiation), the objective becomes to reprogram the mark to get them to think in line with the cult doctrine, to see it for themselves everywhere in the world.
Getting people to engage in ritual behaviors and other communal/group behaviors like group singing, prayer, etc., is very important in Step 2, indoctrination.
It dramatically increases groupishness and commitment to the group as a new family.
In the case of Woke programming, there is a more formal name for it, which is having a “critical consciousness.”
This entry in ‘Translations from the Wokish’ is an explanation of the term “Critical Consciousness.”https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-critical-consciousness/)
A critical consciousness is being able to see the “problematics” in everything.
It is the cult mentality of Marx’s conflict theory. It’s very important to stress just how difficult it is to break someone free once they have adopted the cult consciousness.
They will perceive all attempts as ones to drag them back to the bad place that they associate with that awful vulnerability that was used in Step 1.
In this sense, anyone trying to talk sense to them or pull them out of the cult is, in some sense, interpreted as trying to do harm to them by taking them back to that awful vulnerability.
More than that, it will be framed in terms of “not understanding” and rejected both ways. This is obviously the case, though.
The point of cult programming is to make it so one’s inner pain and pathology can ONLY be understood in terms of the cult doctrine.
The doctrine is the resolution to the vulnerability and has always been established as such. The only ways I know of to effect a deprogramming of this are to introduce a severe shock (death of a family member) or to find an emotionally intolerable contradiction INSIDE the cult doctrine, though this is usually very difficult as highly evolved doctrines have fixed these.
One that sometimes works within Wokeness is that the abysmal treatment of women and homosexuals under fundamentalist Islam is both intolerable and absolutely defended, though this only works on a small fraction.
Ways the doctrine harms its charges in general can work. If someone begins to deprogram from a cult, it is very important that they are welcomed and NOT SHAMED for their participation in it, no matter how bad it was.
They have very low trust for outsiders due to their indoctrination and will still see the world largely as programmed.
Wokeness is a cult.
It might even be a proper religion at this point.
AntiracismThis entry in ‘Translations from the Wokish’ is an explanation of the term “Antiracism.”https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-antiracism/), in particular, under its auspices is explicitly framed religiously and with clear patterns of cult initiation written all over it.
This is what we’re up against.
Doctrines within the cult are often designed to maintain and amplify the state of vulnerability used in the initiation. This is what “white fragility” is about.
Every possible doubt is more confirmation of one’s sin, explicitly explained as a moral failing. It keeps them in.
When dealing with cults, it’s important to realize how much of the doctrine is set up in this nasty double-binding way (damned if you do or don’t).
This keeps that vulnerability strong while positioning the doctrine as the means of its resolution (though it is the actual source).
You can learn more about white fragility the concept here:
White Fragility This entry in ‘Translations from the Wokish’ is an explanation of the term “White Fragility.”https://newdiscourses.com/tftw-white-fragility/
You can learn more about White Fragility the book and the racket built upon this concept here.
The Problem with White Fragility
In 2018, the “whiteness educator” Robin DiAngelo published a bestselling book called White Fragility. This book is intended to teach white people about their own racism.
You can learn more about how manipulative white fragility, as a concept (and book) is here, by reading this slightly modified real chapter from the book. It just turns the manipulation up a little to make it more visible.