The Deprogrammer

“The cultists have been told not to talk, that conversing with “Satan” will allow “Satan” to get to them. They are advised to close their ears, not to listen, to shut “Satan” out. Often the cultists try to block themselves off from those around them with chanting or trances. They believe their new life is at stake.

The deprogrammer knows the recruits have been warned and trained to resist the outside world. He must somehow outwit the cultists. His ultimate goal is to restore the individual’s thinking and decision-making capacities. He wants the cultist to make a decision against the cult. He believes that this will happen when the cultist clearly and thoroughly understands the motives of those who recruited him, the methods they used and their effect on the cultist’s freedom and thinking abilities.

A turning point occurs when the recruit willingly or unwillingly begins to listen. At this point, the process becomes less confrontational and more conversational, even if the cultist is still arguing his cause. Perhaps now the cultist will begin to question, begin to see connections, and begin to see that he has been manipulated.

When that happens, the final stage of “identification and transference” begins. The cultist sees he has been duped. The person who has accomplished this revelation is the deprogrammer. They two are on the same side. The cultist identifies with the deprogrammer. Together they become opponents of the cult.

According to Dr. John G. Clark, Jr…. deprogramming should be called “repersonalization.” He says the process restores the cultist’s ability to make personal choices, to employ old language skills, and to bring back memories and old relationships. The process has given back the recruit’s rightful personality, and the recruit is now in control again.”1

  1. Johnson, Joan. The Cult Movement. Watts, 1984. 92. []
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