In Reply to: Re: Youth, Love and Violence posted by free from brainwashing on July 30, 2005 at 23:01:16:
There is a huge amount of difference between those who are born/raised within an enclosed system and those who enter it from outside. Plus between different members of both groups of people; born in, joined.
I think of the old research [seems very cruel to me] done on kittens who were 'raised' in an environment where there were no corners i.e. every surface they met was rounded. When they were exposed to an environment which had angles and walls that weren't rounded they couldn't function in that world.
I know it sounds extreme to compare this, but their brains had not learnt to recognise this way of being.
It's only analagous, but I think this is something like what happens to those raised in an alternative culture. And cults are alternative cultures; any basic [first degree] anthropological text book demonstrates this.
Those who have experiences outside before joining know alternatives and MAY have [not have] been taught to question and challange. If we accept that an entirely controlling culture can shape ones reality in a way that is different to the dominant culture, then should this also apply to those raised in the alternative culture of an abusive family too? One where children are taught to obey on fact of, not threat of, physical, emotional, sexual abuse or neglect.
If this is the case [and I would suggest it's likely; sorry psychologist speaking here; it's not yet 'proven']. Then this supports the notion that there are different mechanismisms at work within such groups, with different members i.e. those from abusive families v's those who come from more 'normal' families [go on define normal for me!] :-).
It's often too easy and not very effective to view all experiences as having the same cause if they have the same effect. Thus, there may be a danger in saying 'we were all brainwashed' of diminishing the experiences of some by over simplification to all.