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Re: Is The Family a cult?

Posted by Perry on July 26, 2004 at 16:47:41

In Reply to: Is The Family a cult? posted by Acheick on July 26, 2004 at 13:05:05:

I'm taking a risk in recommending a book I haven't finished reading yet, but since it is one of the books listed on this website I assume others here have read and recommended it, so I'm probably safe. The book is "Cults in Our Midst" by Margaret Singer, the revised and updated 2003 edition.

In my opinion, this is a must read for all ex-cult members. Because of physical, psychological and legal harassment from various cults, she is very careful about naming specific cults or cult leaders in relation to particular practices and beliefs, though anyone in the know can easily figure out which cult she is referring to in a particular discussion. The result is very effective, at least for me, because it's given me great insights into how all cults work, not just TF. For some reason I've found this to be very helpful in understanding what happened to me those many years ago and the context it happened in.

But to answer your question: Is TF a cult? The first three chapters of the book describe the definitions and characteristics of cults, the 6 conditions needed for thought reform, the 8 psychological themes central to totalistic environments, and the 3 stages of thought reform. Imo, every defintion, characteristic, condition, theme, and stage exactly describes the TF, and how it operates.