Making Your Own Decisions - Not!

by Paul

After reading some things here something clicked with me about how a cult leader tricked me into thinking I was making my own decisions. And then how he used my supposed commitment against me. I had the misfortune of being caught by a self development cult for a few years and now that I am out I see things in a very different light.

I checked over emails I had exchanged with this evil manipulator and now it is very clear what was going on. At the start he used to write things like 'I would like to do… if you will allow me' and 'If it's ok with you let me know…' and 'drop me a line and we can make our decisions'.

I understand now that the 'doctrine' becomes the master program for how the cult adepts think and act. So this trickster knew before he wrote what my responses would be and to me it seemed that I was making the decisions, but the program was simply running and I was being the faithful slave.

Later, he was never slow in reminding me that I had said this or that and I wasn't living up to my side of the bargain. He constantly reminded me about my 'commitments'. He was just creating one guilt trip after another to manipulate.

On top of all this, he teaches people how to make their own decisions. What a joke that is! The whole idea teaches people to make decisions like a psychopath! It is totally self centered, egotistical, other people just have to learn to tolerate you, doing what the hell you like in any moment, including changing your mind despite any commitments you might have made to anyone else, and this is EXACTLY how he makes decisions himself. Constantly changing his mind to suit himself and the students just have to accept it because 'that's the way he is'. I understand now that they are manipulated and this is why they justify his awful treatment. (I know because it's what I did too!)

But if I changed my mind and it did not suit him, wow! There was hell to pay. Any normal person would pick up the phone to chat about why and if there was any way to resolve it. Not him. First of all there was the l-o-o-ong emails, again reminding me of my 'commitments', telling me that I owe him, (I understand now that this is a very common thing for cult leaders), and mild threats about our continued relationship. The emails themselves were a roller coaster of guilt, fear, shame, guilt, fear and more guilt. Oh, and they were all about him and his difficulties and hardships. Nothing about me and why I might want to change my mind.

Then there were the phone calls, with shouting, more threats and more fear and guilt. In the end it was easier to change my mind again and stick with my original decision and I felt bad for having used the system of decision making he was teaching. What a great double bind! Damned if I do use it, damned if I don't. Apparently it's good to make your own decisions… as long as he agrees with them. What kind of personal development is that?!?

There were the usual things in a cult, too. There was the warning about 'you're going to lose friends with these new ideas' and at the same time we were going to change the world, but it was a very small group and practically no-one knew about it. It was all about gathering new recruits and earning him money and he was offering independence and making people very dependent on him, to the point that many students discussed their decisions with him before deciding anything! You're supposed to be able to live your own life after the courses but everyone ends up with the same ideas, the same language, the desire to be like him etc.

Hope this is useful for someone who is having doubts about a group or who has left and is recovering. Good luck!

Comments for Making Your Own Decisions - Not!

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Very nice explanation.
by: David

Thanks for writing. It continues to amaze me how mind control works, how people have such contradictory ideas in their heads and are not able to see it.

I am pleased you have such insight into what happened to you. I'm sure this will make you a more astute observer of people from now on!

More careful
by: Paul

I am definitely more wary and careful. And I do notice a lot of stuff about people that I didn't before. The world looks different now that I know what psychopaths really are!

realization I may be in a cult
by: Anonymous

I want to remain anonymous but yet talk about in relation to what I have read. I'm 9 years sober in AA... I have heard so many bad things about the AA group I have been involved with.

I bypassed a lot for years until my life started taking sudden life threatening avenues. I was lured into what I get is a deep sense of being in a cult. Not only from relaying 100% to everything I have read from detail to detail of experiences. Either I have been in a lot of denial for many years. All I can say is I have been slowly mind controlled away from my family, friends loved ones, jobs, etc... as I was listening for years to things I began to slowly see my life disintegrate to the point of suicide from threats and bullying, being prostituted out, loss of money, memories with family, a leader/sponsor had no heart toward the fact of anyone dying in my family including my own health.

I was berated, manipulated and the list goes on...

I once was a hard working, fun-loving, upstanding woman and person. I am at the point of being nothing, being shredded of everything, lied to... I feel like I lost my heart and soul... I became angry, became something I didn't even or could'nt even make sense of... everything I adapted to through the group has become foreign.

I feel like I just exist on the planet. I'm watching things happen to me and to others that have left me breathless, speechless and hopeless. If someone could write how I would ever get out of this...

Learning about what went on will help you...
by: David

Hi there,

AA was set up by a person who fits the profile of a psychopath, and your story resonates with what many people in AA experience.

The way to make sense of all this is to learn about mind control, cults and psychopaths.
It is a process of education whereby you learn how these work, what specific techniques were used against you, why they were used and what effects they had on you.

In this manner, the effects of the mind control disappear and you get to take control of your life again and start to make your own decisions.

A big part of this is the undoing of the pseudo personality.
You can read more about pseudo personalities here:

If you would like to know more you can write directly to me through the contact page.

If you have any other questions, please ask.


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