In Reply to: Another factor posted by some thoughts on June 20, 2005 at 19:42:55:
What a lot of the apologist academics fail to recognize is just how much the typical Family member lies to him or herself and denies the basic facts of his or her existence. If I believe my own lies and denials, it isn't difficult to convince someone else that I'm sincerely telling the truth as I know it.
I can remember a certain point in my Family experience where I asked myself how long I would be able to keep up the happy-face facade. As soon as I realized the conflict between what was happening on the inside and what I was expected to show on the outside, I had one foot out the door. Problem is, people who stay with the group are convinced that if something they're experiencing on the inside conflicts with what other people say is happening around them, they attribute their internal reality to "the devil" or some type of weakness like doubt.
Berg & Zerby's evil genius has been to convince their followers that the label on the public face someone wears is more trustworthy and real than the face they see in the mirror of their own conscience. Zerby is humble because Berg said she's humble. If she behaves in a self-centered manner, the Family member who observes this behavior can't possibly trust his or her negative perception of the face that has been labeled "humble." If I perceive her behavior as vain & prideful, I am listening to Satan. This is the problem of mis-attribution. It's also the problem of denial: I deny my own interpretation of reality if it conflicts with my expectations and desires.
Cult apologists never think about the problems of denial and attribution when they ask Family members to describe their social realities. This is another reason why they do bad social science.