Cults and romance.

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Cults and romance.

Post by Biscotti on Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:46 pm

Cults and romance have some things in common. Does anyone else think that way? If not, I advise checking out a book to learn more cults (I've read "Cults in our midst" which was decent).

This thread is for exploring parallels in the ways cults and "romantic" partners attempt to control each other.
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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by Biscotti on Thu Aug 10, 2017 2:46 pm

There are lots of aspects about cults to talk about. But one that I've found intriguing lately is how they use shame. More specifically, humiliation. Putting someone in a state of humiliation causes them to think ""emotionally"" and be open to manipulation. Cults will perform group "activities" that force members out of their comfort zone, breaking their boundaries and thus compromising themselves when they might not even be aware of it. 

So, humiliating bonding sessions aimed to compromise someones identity. It's is an assure fact, that sex is used in relationships in the same way. The question is, how prevalent is it? When I said it was "an assure fact" I mean I'm 100% sure it happens somewhere, and have seen examples of it (on the internet). However the big question is, is it intrinsic to sex?

my answer:

I dont think so. I think this is falling into the sexual trap of sensationalizing the importance of sex (or ""good"" sex). If someone is raped for example, this makes it sound like they're irreparable.
However, I think this IS true, subjectively and emotionally to a lot of people. So IN PRACTICE it is true to a lot of peoples experiences.
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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by Biscotti on Wed Aug 16, 2017 2:00 am

Cults and romance has a lot of similarities. But one thing I find hard to describe is the how's and why's. Both of these relationships are mainly defined by emotion. It's not like I can describe them in simple con-artist terms.

People in these relationships are unable to see them as a con, because (especially with romantic relationships) there is likely to be actual emotional entanglement in them. Just an unhealthy emotional entanglement. Something that if you tried to call a "con" won't be heard right by the people involved.

Both cults and romance seem to describe unhealthy relationships. Cults are an unhealthy brand of group relationships. And the romance I describe here is an unhealthy brand of...couples(?) relationships.

And in both cases, being involved makes it hard to see the big picture. Perhaps a reason why I think anti-romantics are often smarter about romantic relationships then romantics. (Hence why they are anti-romantic)

Anyways another similarity is how cults and romantic partners like to control their partners social life. But one thing I want to bring up about this "tactic" that's particularly interesting, is a tactic that can slip under the radar because it's not actually inherently a bad thing. A method cults use is to have their members do something that will daily remind them of their relationship with the cult. Or perhaps on the flipside, the cult will do something daily to remind the member of them (For example, call them on the phone.). The goal is to keep the member/partner thinking about them.

Heck I think most smartphone games use this tactic as well :p
What does anyone else think?
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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by xenosimiana on Wed Aug 16, 2017 10:25 am

I'll add more to this (when I don't know) later, but I think you made some good points. I think another similarity is the doctrine, the beliefs that entice people to join it.

I've noticed that previously you mentioned a couple of times how you don't view sex as intrinsically evil or that certain behaviors attached to it isn't intrinsic, and with this about how seeing humiliation as such would sensationalize sex. So, to me it seems you see it as mainly empty with no inherent meaning because to add even certain negative views about it would give sexuals some leeway. Idk, more than likely I'm misunderstanding where you're coming from, but I don't want to get off topic.

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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by Biscotti on Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:10 pm

I view sex as intrinsically negative. But for me it's more sex-positive attitudes that are negative (I.e having sex (sex-positive) or giving up on not having sex (Not standing by sex-negativity)). MORESO then the act itself. The reason for this clause is to protect rape victims from feeling unnecessarily destroyed or damaged. That's it, no other real reason.
If something like rape were to happen, someones anger and disgust should be on the perpetrator rather then themselves.
And just to be clear (This goes into disturbing fetish's so I'll spoiler. 
Spoiler:

This is not meant to glorify rape in the ****ing least by saying it's the only "ok sex". I swear there are retarded sexuals who think this. They fetishize victimhood, they don't want to seem "perverted" (Maybe because of purity culture?) so they seek people to pervert them to avoid blame.
I've googled this phenomenon (Just to fact check) and apparently it's not a common mentality. But it's still a mentality to shoot down so as not to be mis-understood by sexuals.
It's nothing less then a toxic disease that infects discourse, attitudes and behaviour around this. Sexuals are toxic in that they rarely say what they mean, largely because I don't think they even understand themselves. Bunch of ****ing depraved idiots. I'm angry now. There are so many problems that simply don't need to exist, Hell I'm having trouble believing it. My radar of "assuming the worst of strangers" is rising again dagnabbit.
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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by SCH0206 on Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:03 pm

@Biscotti wrote:I view sex as intrinsically negative. But for me it's more sex-positive attitudes that are negative (I.e having sex (sex-positive) or giving up on not having sex (Not standing by sex-negativity)). MORESO then the act itself.

I share those sentiments, too. Sex wouldn't bother me so much if many people stopped treating it like a deity exempt from questioning. Statements like "You're immature." or "What's wrong with you?" or "Come on, try it. You don't know what you're missing." remind me of "cool" kids in K-12 institutions who use peer pressure with other students.

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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 17, 2017 8:21 pm

Another similarity between romantic relationships, and seeking a cult, are a person wanting to be a part of something greater than themselves.

Being part of a movement also makes a person feel like a part of something greater than themselves, but the difference I see with cults and typical romance is the loss of individuality through a person reducing the perception of themselves as little more than the partner/spouse of another person, or member of a cult. It's ironic that some societies emphasize individualism all the time, but then push the idea on everyone that life revolves around sex and romance, expecting people to make their romantic relationship the the main, or only part of their identity. It's demeaning to be seen that way, but instead it's usually seen as a couple being truly in love and committed to each other.

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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by xenosimiana on Tue Aug 22, 2017 3:58 am

I identify with all of what you guys said with sexuals rarely saying what they mean and not understanding themselves, treating sex and romance like a religion and being above questioning and scrutiny, also loss of individuality.

To add, it's the excessive pride many of them have or want to attain is for me, kind of like - idk if it's a good analogy - being proud of the fact that one can urinate and defecate. Given our physiology, yeah it shows you're healthy to a certain extent and it's one of the ways our body gets rid of waste but it's not highlighted and esteemed (at least for most people I think, because it seems everything can be fetishized) it's just routine so to speak. The act and the attitudes tend to come off synonymous for me, so many times I tend to interpret it as intrinsic. But I think I have a better understanding of what you're saying now Biscotti.

Side Note: I heard a few times of people wondering about the fact that genitalia and the release of bowels share the same organ, while the other half happens in close proximity to it and how ironic it is.


Last edited by xenosimiana on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:32 am; edited 6 times in total

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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by xenosimiana on Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:02 am

But, I'm still a little confused as to what romance is because people express it in conventional and unconventional ways. Such as strawberries dipped in chocolate and white wine to giving someone a goat, or whatever.

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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by Biscotti on Sun May 13, 2018 6:10 pm

@Xenosimiana wrote:But, I'm still a little confused as to what romance is because people express it in conventional and unconventional ways. Such as strawberries dipped in chocolate and white wine to giving someone a goat, or whatever.



The white wine sounds like some cultural thing. If you want to find the meaning behind it then I guess looking at the origin would help. (Though I can imagine what wine has to do with ""romance"")
Strawberries dipped in chocolate I'm not sure. I guess it could just be a commericalism thing. This is a phenomenon that's happened before. In Japan, KFC is regarded as a big Christmas tradition because of an ad campaign.
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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:24 am

Interesting topic. I'm interesting in psychology, so this is a fascinating thing to think about. It might also offer a quick solution for people that wish to exit a sexual lifestyle and have yet no idea how; they'd simply have to peruse the already existing material that describes methods of leaving cults in general. Or buddhism, whatever works.

@Biscotti wrote:There are lots of aspects about cults to talk about. But one that I've found intriguing lately is how they use shame. More specifically, humiliation. Putting someone in a state of humiliation causes them to think ""emotionally"" and be open to manipulation. Cults will perform group "activities" that force members out of their comfort zone, breaking their boundaries and thus compromising themselves when they might not even be aware of it. 

So, humiliating bonding sessions aimed to compromise someones identity. It's is an assure fact, that sex is used in relationships in the same way. The question is, how prevalent is it? When I said it was "an assure fact" I mean I'm 100% sure it happens somewhere, and have seen examples of it (on the internet). However the big question is, is it intrinsic to sex?

my answer:

I dont think so. I think this is falling into the sexual trap of sensationalizing the importance of sex (or ""good"" sex). If someone is raped for example, this makes it sound like they're irreparable.
However, I think this IS true, subjectively and emotionally to a lot of people. So IN PRACTICE it is true to a lot of peoples experiences.

Indeed, I'd say shame is intrinsic to sex itself. Shame is the painful memory of having acted against one's free will and better judgement, and the fear it might happen again. People feel trauma-bonded to those they have sex with due to the shame of losing their dignity by having their sexual urges overwrite their free will. Like someone knowing your secret, and you now forever being at their back and call. Just that you also know that person's secret, so you can both manipulate each other. That's one of the ways in which it's not like a cult. The power dynamic always shifts, but it still is a power dynamic.

@Admin wrote:Another similarity between romantic relationships, and seeking a cult, are a person wanting to be a part of something greater than themselves.

Being part of a movement also makes a person feel like a part of something greater than themselves, but the difference I see with cults and typical romance is the loss of individuality through a person reducing the perception of themselves as little more than the partner/spouse of another person, or member of a cult. It's ironic that some societies emphasize individualism all the time, but then push the idea on everyone that life revolves around sex and romance, expecting people to make their romantic relationship the the main, or only part of their identity. It's demeaning to be seen that way, but instead it's usually seen as a couple being truly in love and committed to each other.

Another good point. Most individualists seek out something greater than themselves, whereas people stuck in groups and forced to act accordingly usually wish to be more individualistic, or hold more power within the group, which probably amounts to the same thing. It's about compensation and finding balance.

And it is that need for balance which is exploited by people who wish to control others through their sexual urges. In more conventional societes that value fitting in, sex promises (but of course never delivers) freedom and rebellion against the status quo. The 1968 movement for example. In more individualistic societies, like western society today, it promises something "greater" than themselves, by pulling a 180 on everything they said before and suddenly thinking it offers them "belonging", "lasting relationships", and "bonding". They might even attach spiritual meaning to it if they're desperate enough.

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Re: Cults and romance.

Post by SlagToccata on Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:47 pm

@Stars.of.Tears wrote:Indeed, I'd say shame is intrinsic to sex itself. Shame is the painful memory of having acted against one's free will and better judgement, and the fear it might happen again. People feel trauma-bonded to those they have sex with due to the shame of losing their dignity by having their sexual urges overwrite their free will. Like someone knowing your secret, and you now forever being at their back and call. Just that you also know that person's secret, so you can both manipulate each other. That's one of the ways in which it's not like a cult. The power dynamic always shifts, but it still is a power dynamic.
Hot damn, I don't mean any offense to anyone else, but you have quickly become my favorite member here. Also...are both of our usernames from video game music?

Great thread. Don't personally have anything to add right now.
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