'Do sociopaths know what they are doing?' is a common question asked by people coming out of abusive situations such as cults or intimate relationships. In order to answer the question we have to check out what the sociopaths are actually doing.
Let's examine what happens in a cult here and you can read about what happens in intimate relationships in this article.
You will find details about what a destructive cult is here. Basically we have an authoritarian leader who offers some product or service to members to attract them to him or her. The leader then uses a process of thought reform to change the beliefs, attitude, thinking, decision making, emotions and behaviors of the members so that they are aligned with those of the leader. The members become devoted followers of the leader, believing that he or she is helping them tremendously.
In such a setup, all the new people are put through the recruitment process, which is basically a brainwashing program or a mind control program. This recruitment process has been created (or copied or plagiarized!), adjusted and honed by the leader. Things that don't work are taken out and things that do work are refined to improve the process.
Initially the leader leads the new people through the process and later the leader teaches the older members how to run the system for the novices.
This process is designed to introduce the ideas of the group to the newbie in such a way that the newbie accepts them. It is designed to deal with and overcome common objections. It leads the new member (victim) in a step by step fashion to change their beliefs and perceptions of the world to those of the group.
The ideas, beliefs and tenets of the group, the doctrine, is basically that of the leader. It has been thought out and refined by the leader and added to over time as necessary. It offers solutions to all of life's problems, it contains answers for any questions or doubts that the members may have and it is typically self referencing.
This doctrine is imposed on each member in such a way that it is never questioned. It means that all the group members think and act in very similar ways. They use the same jargon. They use the same ideas and reasoning to introduce the group to outsiders. They 'parrot' the leaders words and phrases. They may even dress similarly.
Just think about the time and effort it takes to co-ordinate something like that. It certainly is not random and wouldn't happen by accident.
It is commonly known that cult members are often isolated from their friends and family, that they sometimes give large amounts of money to the cult and that they frequently work long hours for little or no financial compensation.
It is also recognized that cults 'change' people. Family say that their loved one acts strangely, they are preoccupied with the groups ideas and that they are very heavily influenced by the leader, with the group or the leader making their decisions for them. Nowadays we talk about the cult personality, or pseudopersonality, that the group imposes on the member to explain these things.
So overall, the cult changes the members personalities such that the old ideas and interests of the person are ignored or forgotten, the member distances themselves from their families and their past, and they blindly follow the leader irrespective of how crazy the ideas of the leaders may seem. The members will often also have a very distorted memory of their past.
What does it take to wipe somebodies memories or redefine what previous memories mean? How do you get someone to give up their previous values and criteria and adopt new ones, which in some cases can be completely opposite to the old ones? What do you have to do to someone so that they happily hand over large chunks of their money and assets to you?
It's not actually easy for people to change. If it was, everyone would be healthy, happy, the ideal weight, rich and issue free! These changes in personality are not deliberately done by the victims, nor do they happen randomly. There is considerable psychological force applied in a very particular way to the individual to get them to change. The sociopathic cult leaders are forcing these changes.
And then when these things happen in a group, to 50 or 100 people, or a 1000 people, at the same time and in a similar fashion, it becomes evident that there is a system in place to create these changes. Such a system cannot possibly be spontaneously generated or accidental. It has to be deliberately created with these very outcomes in mind.
Who is behind it? The sociopathic cult leaders, of course. So, in cases like this, do sociopaths know what they are doing? Absolutely!
What about in other situations? Do sociopaths know what they are doing in intimate relationships? Find out here...
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