How the BLEEP did that happen?! - Episode 3

[I recommend going in numerical order with the Episodes. They build on each other.]

Episode 30 contains the full resource list.


Having now read about 'Gaslighting' and 'Word Salad', you might notice that these processes have been done to you again and again and again. The strategies really are quite remarkable. They throw you intellectually off balance and you end up feeling like everything you are concerned with is really all your fault and your creation. So tail between your legs you hunker down and try to strip away more and more of your 'arrogant ego'. Unfortunately what you really strip away is critical thinking and any genuine sense of self.

Next on the list is understanding the nature of High Control Groups as explored by ICSA. Below is an excerpt. (My suggestion is to complete reading the Articles from Episode - 2 before starting this)


Checklist of Characteristics:

Deception lies at the core of mind-manipulating and high-demand groups and programs. Many members and supporters of these groups/movements are not fully aware of the extent to which they have been abused and exploited. This checklist of characteristics helps to define such groups. Comparing the descriptions on this checklist to aspects of the group with which you or a family member or loved one is involved may help determine if this involvement is cause for concern. If you check any of these items as characteristic of the group, and particularly if you check most of them, you might want to consider reexamining the group and its relationship to you. Keep in mind that this checklist is meant to stimulate thought. It is not a scientific method of "diagnosing" a group.

We suggest that you check all characteristics that apply to your or your loved one's group. You may find that your assessment changes over time, with further reading and research.

  • The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.
  • The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  • The group is preoccupied with making money.
  • Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  • Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
  • The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  • The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).
  • The group has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.
  • The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).
  • The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).
  • The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.
  • Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining the group.
  • Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group.
  • Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

How many of these items seem familiar?

Click here for more resources on High Demand Groups

Art: Rome-based artist Micaela Lattanzio’s project “Fragmenta” centres on the fragmentation of female identity.

To be continued.....

Mark Vicente ©2017