Thursday, October 20, 2016

Window of Tolerance and the Leftist Cult

This phrase is a thing, especially in what I'm going to call neuropsychology, which gets into a fairly granular level as far as what parts of the brain are activated in various psychological conditions.  You'll hear a lot about things like the medial prefrontal cortex, the anterior Cingulate, the limbic system, the brain stem, etc.

Practically, though, it uses a poorer version of Kum Nye--which seems smarter to me the more I learn, especially since it's been around since the mid-1970's-- to help people get in touch with their bodies, and learn to sense and regulate their arousal.

The ideas is that you have a relatively wide window of arousal which does not activate your fight or flight or freeze.  The problem with many traumatized people particularly, is that they are easily overwhelmed.  Any number of stimuli can send them into hyperarousal, which is an activation of the fight, flight, freeze.  They will also get numb, and not react at all, which is hypoarousal.  Without looking too long, here are some slides from Pat Ogden (who apparently has a great book I haven't read yet):

You can see some slides on the Window of Tolerance about 6 down.

People with very small windows are prone to bouts of fear and rage and emotional numbness.  Normal coping skills are greatly reduced or absent, depending on the level of trauma.  Healing of course consists in gradually learning to tolerate more and more feelings, which I have compared to thawing.

Ideal behavior is flexible, adaptable, coherent, energized, and stable. (This idea and the FACES acronym I pulled from Dan Siegel.)

Here is the thing: no one who interacts regularly with hard core Leftists--which in the current climate is pretty much anyone who is planning to vote for Hillary--can have failed to notice the INSTANTANEOUS hyperarousal which springs up when you contradict them in any way.  They become infuriated. They insult and belittle you.

This is not emotional health.

In his book, Dan Siegel talked about a married couple who fought all the time.  He helped them understand that both of them were going reactive on each other all the time, which is to say they would very quickly go into fight or flight, which is a primitive part of our nervous system suited for survival in conditions of physical danger, but the last thing you want when you want nuance, empathy and understanding.

He taught them first to NOTICE when they were going reactive, then to ask the other person to stop talking for a moment so they could calm themselves down with conscious breathing and a body scan, so that they could remain emotionally present.

Who does this in the political world?  The Left uses methods of personal assault, and most conservatives have been attacked so many times that they have no interest in listening.  In my own experience it is pointless anyway.  Even when I have done my very, very best to be emotionally open, to trust that we could reach some sort of understanding, I have failed completely.  The very best cases are where they conclude I am just stupid, but they are not angry.  Their ideas are not amenable to questioning.  Me, self evidently, I have developed my ideas to an extraordinary extent, and spent far too much time exposing them to critical scrutiny.

But I was thinking today: even if Trump wins, we still have millions of people who will need deprogramming.  They literally act like members of a cult.  Then I got to thinking: well, what are the psychosocial characteristics of a cult.  Here they are:

  1. Submission:
    1. Complete, almost unquestioned trust in the leadership. 
    2. Leaders are often seen as prophets, apostles, or special individuals with unusual connections to God. This helps a person give themselves over psychologically to trusting someone else for their spiritual welfare.
    3. Increased submission to the leadership is rewarded with additional responsibilities and/or roles, and/or praises, increasing the importance of the person within the group.
  2. Exclusivity
    1. Their group is the only true religious system, or one of the few true remnants of God's people.
  3. Persecution complex
    1. Us against them mentality. Therefore, when someone (inside or outside of the group) corrects the group in doctrine and/or behavior, it is interpreted as persecution, which then is interpreted as validation.  
  4. Control
    1. Control of members' actions and thinking through repeated indoctrination and/or threats of loss of salvation, or a place to live, or receiving curses from God, etc.
  5. Isolation
    1. Minimizing contact of church members with those outside the group. This facilitates a further control over the thinking and practices of the members by the leadership.
  6. Love Bombing
    1. Showing great attention and love to a person in the group by others in the group, to help transfer emotional dependence to the group.
  7. Special Knowledge
    1. Instructions and/or knowledge are sometimes said to be received by a leader(s) from God. This leader then informs the members.
    2. The Special Knowledge can be received through visions, dreams, or new interpretations of sacred scriptures such as the Bible.
  8. Indoctrination
    1. The teachings of the group are repeatedly drilled into the members, but the indoctrination usually occurs around Special Knowledge.
  9. Salvation
    1. Salvation from the judgment of God is maintained through association and/or submission with the group, its authority, and/or its Special Knowledge.
  10. Group Think
    1. The group's coherence is maintained by the observance to policies handed down from those in authority.
    2. There is an internal enforcement of policies by members who reward "proper" behavior, and those who perform properly are rewarded with further inclusion and acceptance by the group.
  11. Cognitive Dissonance
    1. Avoidance of critical thinking and/or maintaining logically impossible beliefs and/or beliefs that are inconsistent with other beliefs held by the group.
    2. Avoidance of and/or denial of any facts that might contradict the group's belief system.
  12. Shunning
    1. Those who do not keep in step with group policies are shunned and/or expelled.
  13. Gender Roles
    1. Control of gender roles and definitions.
    2. Severe control of gender roles sometimes leads to sexual exploitation.
  14. Appearance Standards
    1. Often a common appearance is required and maintained. For instance, women might wear prairie dresses, and/or their hair in buns, and/or no makeup, and/or the men might all wear white short-sleeved shirts, and/or without beards, or all wear beards.
I am not going to address each point in turn, but my God by an orthodox standard, Leftism truly IS a cult.  This is not hyperbole.  The leaders are both the current political leader, and the media.  It is distributed, but the ideas are uniform and regularly reinforced.

I don't want to take too much time on this, but it seems to me one deprogramming method the government or large groups could possibly be involved in is the development of Mindfulness training in schools, in businesses, and the like.  Mindfulness comes with a Left wing stamp of approval, but actual mindfulness could only result in diminished symptoms.  Mindfulness is a way of integrating disparate parts, which are torn asunder by the amoral lunatics running our country.

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