Thought Adjusters w/ Maria Peregolise, IndoctriNation with Rachel Bernstein

https://soundcloud.com/indoctrinationshow/unseen-friends-w-maria-peregolise

https://www.patreon.com/posts/thought-w-maria-40364743?utm_medium=post_notification_email&utm_source=post_link&utm_campaign=patron_engagement

Thought Adjusters w/ Maria Peregolise

Author and Educator Maria Peregolise grew up as the daughter of a “spiritual prophet”. A follower of The Urantia Book, her father used the theology of that religious text to justify his narcissistic abuse. Maria’s father claimed to have channeled the voice of Jesus and acted as God’s Prophet in order to exercise control over her.

Rachel and Maria discuss the signs and symptoms of being raised in a cult or narcissistic environment, as well as the fantastical and outlandish content of the controversial book and the effects it has on its followers. You can find more information about Maria’s upcoming book “Culted Child” at her website https://cultedchild.com which archives the resources used in her book.

Before You Go: Rachel discusses the sensationalistic terms and damaging language used in The Urantria Book and what’s left when the smoke and mirrors of these manipulative teachings clear.

Thank you to our newest Patron Hollie Hire and to Ken Bernstein, a Patron for a few months now and counting! cults, storytelling, urantria

Healthy VS. Unhealthy Relationships

University of Washington, Hall Health Center Mental Health Clinic staff. January 2014.

http://depts.washington.edu/hhpccweb/health-resource/healthy-vs-unhealthy-relationships/

What makes a healthy relationship?

A healthy relationship is when two people develop a connection based on:

  • Mutual respect
  • Trust
  • Honesty
  • Support
  • Fairness/equality
  • Separate identities
  • Good communication
  • A sense of playfulness/fondness

University of Washington, Hall Health Center Mental Health Clinic staff. January 2014.

Dan Neuharth Ph.D. MFT

14 Ways Narcissists Can Be Like Cult Leaders

By Dan Neuharth, Ph.D., MFT
Last updated: 27 Apr 2019

The tactics some narcissists use to get their way in personal relationships can be strikingly similar to the coercive tactics used by destructive cult leaders.If you have a spouse, family member, friend, or boss who is narcissistic, ask yourself whether any of the following 14 characteristics of destructive cults parallel your relationship with the narcissist.

  1. Cult leaders act larger than life. They are viewed as innately good, possessing special wisdom, answerable to no one, with no one above them.
  2. Cult members’ rights are subjugated for the “good” of the group, leader, or cause. Members are told that what the cult wants them to do is for their own good, even if it is self-destructive.
  3. An “Us vs. Them” attitude prevails. Outsiders are viewed as dangerous or enemies. This turns members’ focus outward, reducing the chances they will spot problems within the cult. In addition, viewing others as enemies is used to justify extreme actions because of the “dangers” outsiders pose.
  4. The leader or cause becomes all-important. Members devote inordinate amounts of time to the leader and group, leaving little time for self-care or reflection.
  5. Feelings are devalued, minimized, or manipulated. Shame, guilt, coercion, and appeals to fear keep members in line. Members are led to discount their instincts and intuition and told to seek answers from the leader or cult’s teachings. Over time, members can lose touch with their previous habits and values.
  6. Questioning and dissent are not tolerated. Having doubts about the leader or cult is considered shameful or sinful. Members are told that doubts or dissent indicate something wrong with the member.
  7. The ends justify the means. The “rightness” of the leader and cult justifies behavior that violates most people’s standards for ethics and honesty. In the zealotry of the cult, anything goes.
  8. Closeness to the cult and leader is rewarded while distance is punished. Temporary ostracism is used to punish behavior that doesn’t conform to group rules. Members fear being estranged from the group and losing their identities and the benefits of group membership.
  9. Cult members are on an endless treadmill of “becoming.” Only the cult leader is considered perfect. All other members must strive to emulate the leader. Most cults are set up so that members can never achieve this perfection, which keeps them dependent.
  10. Lies are repeated so often they seem true. The cult leader cannot be wrong and never needs to apologize.
  11. Cult leaders enrich themselves at members’ expense. Members are encouraged or coerced into gratifying the leader’s needs by giving up time, money, and more.
  12. Communication is coercive or deceptive. Things are not always what they seem. This fosters confusion, leaving members vulnerable. When confused, they seek solace from the aura of certainty the leader seems to possess.
  13. Sameness is encouraged. Certain kinds of appearance, behavior, and  cult terms and language become the norm for members. Over time, members come to identify themselves as part of an entity rather than as individuals.
  14. Doing what the leader wants is presented as the path to enlightenment or happiness. In time, this leads members to give up their old habits and norms. They live in a bubble, filtering out information that might weaken their resolve.

If you notice similarities between such techniques and your relationship with a narcissistic person, keep in mind:

  • Cults and narcissists use powerful forms of manipulation but there is nothing magical about what they do. Understanding their methods can allow you to avoid being taken in.
  • If someone is narcissistic, be mindful of sharing personal information with that person, as it may be used against you.
  • In any adult relationship you have the right to confront, prevent, or remove yourself from manipulation or coercive control at any time. You do not need to give a reason and you do not need the other person’s permission.
  • In any adult relationship you have the right to ask questions, make your own decisions and honor your own values and goals.
  • Nobody has the right to tell you what to think or how to feel.

Additional readings on destructive cults and narcissism:

Characteristics of cults
Traits of dangerous cult leaders
Psychology of the cult experience
Telltale signs of cults
What cults don’t want you to know
Techniques of thought reform
Brainwashing techniques
How narcissistic leaders manipulate group dynamics
Cults of personality
Sociopathic cult leaders

Copyright © 2017 by Dan Neuharth, PhD MFT

Seth Meyers Psy.D.

Dr. Seth Meyers, Los Angeles psychologist and relationship expert, offers expert commentary on TV and to various media outlets on relationships and mental health issues. He is a writer for Psychology Today and eharmony, and is the author of Overcome Relationship Repeititon Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve (Simon and Schuster). 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/insight-is-2020/201405/narcissistic-parents-psychological-effect-their-children

Narcissistic Parents’ Psychological Effect on Their Children

Narcissistic parents will never understand the breadth of their impact on kids.

Posted May 01, 2014

THE BASICS

The topic of narcissism begs the following question flashing in neon lights: Why would a narcissist want a child to begin with? Aren’t they so focused on themselves that they wouldn’t have the slightest interest in paying attention to others, much less attending to a needy young child who craves constant attention and praise?

Alas, the question presumes a type of normalcy and natural order of the parent-child relationship that betrays the root of narcissism. The truth is, narcissistic parents don’t have children because they want to nurture and guide their offspring through life; they have children so that they have an automatic, built-in relationship in which they have power, one in which the narcissist

…can write the rules without any checks and balances.

Understand this: Control over someone else is the ultimate jackpot every narcissist works so hard to win. The reality of narcissistic parenting couldn’t be sadder: The child of the narcissist realizes early on that he exists to provide a reflection for the parent and to serve the parent – not the other way around.

If you comb through online relationship forums and chat rooms devoted to the subject of adult children of narcissists, you’ll find that all of the posters of comments have suffered similar bruises at the hands of a narcissistic parent. To read some of the comments is heartbreaking, and they call into question how strange and illogical it is to create such rigorous adoption laws when an ill-fit individual can procreate whenever they want – and mess up the life of a child without suffering a consequence. The real tragedy occurs behind closed doors at home, much like the process of physical abuse.

The problem with being a child of a narcissist is that it takes these children so many years of frustration and anguish to figure out that Mom or Dad isn’t quite right; until that point, these children are merely dancing as fast as they can, trying to please the impossible-to-please…

…narcissistic parent. It takes years to finally see that the type of parenting they’ve been receiving is wrong – if not emotionally abusive.

Young children of narcissists learn early in life that everything they do is a reflection on the parent to the point that the child must fit into the personality and behavioral mold intended for them. These children bear tremendous anxiety from a young age as they must continually push aside their own personality in order to please the parent and provide the mirror image the parent so desperately needs. If these children fail to comply with the narcissist’s wishes or try to set their own goals for their life – God, forbid – the children will be overtly punished, frozen out or avoided for a period of time – hours, days or even weeks depending on the perceived transgression in the eyes of the narcissistic parent.

With young children, the narcissistic parent is experienced as unpredictable and confusing. After all, narcissists are awfully difficult to understand for adults, so just imagine how confusing the capricious narcissist is in the eyes of a young child! Because young kids can’t make accurate sense of the narcissist’s interpersonal tricks and stunts, these children internalize intense shame (‘I keep failing my Mom’) which leads to anger that the child turns on himself (‘I’m so stupid,’ ‘Something’s wrong with me’). The overall quality and strength of the bond between the narcissistic parent and young child are poor and weak. Deep down, the child doesn’t feel consistently loved, as the child is taught the metaphoric Narcissistic Parenting Program: You’re only as good as I say you are, and you’ll be loved only if you’re fully compliant with my wishes. Simply put, it’s truly heartbreaking for the child – although the narcissistic parent is sinfully oblivious.

It’s not until many years later that the life experiences of the child of the narcissist start to make a little more sense. Friends often catch glimpses of the kind of ‘crazy’ parenting these individuals received, so he or she starts to get a healthy reality check like this: “Your mom is insane,” or “Your Dad is seriously messed up.”

How Narcissistic Parenting Impacts the Adult Relationships of Children of Narcissists

Because the narcissistic parent-child bond was so distorted and corrupt, the offspring as adults tend to gravitate toward drama-laden, roller-coaster relationships – especially with romantic partners. Because they didn’t grow up with the belief that they were intrinsically okay and good, it makes perfect sense that these individuals would gravitate toward stormy romantic partners later. These adults would feel like a fish out of water in a relationship with someone who loved them consistently, and the experience would be so unfamiliar that it would cause major anxiety. Accordingly, these individuals tend to seek out partners who are emotionally unavailable, critical or withholding – just like Mommy and/or Daddy was in the past. In short, the only kind of relationship the adult child of a narcissist really fits in with is one with a highly skewed dynamic: The child of the narcissist must cater to and keep their partner happy, even when that involves squashing her own needs and feelings.

It’s not until the adult children of a narcissist get (a lot of) psychotherapy or have a life-changing experience that pulls them away them from the disturbed parent that these adult children can truly begin to heal – and then create better, more normal relationships that offer the give-and-take reciprocity most of us have and value in our relationships.

What’s interesting to note is the narcissistic parent’s reaction to witnessing healthy psychological change in their child. Once the child or adult child of the narcissist starts to get psychologically healthier and begins to distance himself a bit from the parent, the narcissistic parent experiences a sort of existential panic. Often, it’s a psychotherapist, colleague, or friend who plants the seeds of change, declaring to the child that the parent is toxic and emotionally abusive. Thrust into fight mode, the narcissistic parent feels furious and works to ostracize the individual suspected of inducing the change and pulling the child away from the parent’s tight grip. Though it can initially be confusing to the adult child why the narcissistic parent verbally tears apart his closest confidants, the parent’s reaction ultimately shows the adult child what matters most to the narcissistic parent: his or her own emotional needs – not those of the adult child.

If you happen to be someone who has suffered at the hands of a narcissistic parent, talk to your friends and other family members about your experience, and consider talking to a mental health professional. After years of dealing with the inconsistency of a narcissistic parent, it can be extremely healing to have a therapist help you make sense of the craziness.

Seth Meyers is the author of Overcome Relationship Repetition Syndrome and Find the Love You Deserve.