The Mahikari They Don't Want You To Know

Friday, June 16, 2006

Today I am going to post some information for those of you who may be thinking about leaving Mahikari, or those who have left.

I am posting this list because I am positive there are members who are feeling these things even though the have not left yet. Frankly, I have experienced most of this list at one time or another. I really wanted to post some other things here regarding Mahikari and Christianity, Mahikari and Medical neglect, and any number of the thoughts that have popped in my head by the grace of GOD, but there is just so much, and frankly I have been spending too much of my time re-living the experiences and hell as I write. There are better ways to serve God and live life. I do know though that it has helped greatly as well, for as the fog lifts, the Truth is revealed...and I owe much to the former members who bravely stepped before me...

you will note the references to "fear of evil spirits" and "excessive rigidity about rules of minor importance" For all of you dojo obsessed, hand washing, and sonen examining members, here is your wake up call as to why you are miserable... and the doctor here isn't even talking specifically about mahikari! So if you think you are right and all the others are wrong, lose your denial and realize if it makes you feel this way, there must be a reason, and it is not your nervous dead uncle.... if it quacks like a cult...then duck!

Post-Cult After Effects
Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D.

After exiting a cult, an individual may experience a period of intense and often conflicting emotions. She or he may feel relief to be out of the group, but also may feel grief over the loss of positive elements in the cult, such as friendships, a sense of belonging or the feeling of personal worth generated by the group's stated ideals or mission. The emotional upheaval of the period is often characterized by "post-cult trauma syndrome":
spontaneous crying
sense of loss
depression & suicidal thoughts
fear that not obeying the cult's wishes will result in God's wrath or loss of salvation
alienation from family, friends
sense of isolation, loneliness due to being surrounded by people who have no basis for understanding cult life
fear of evil spirits taking over one's life outside the cult
scrupulosity, excessive rigidity about rules of minor importance
panic disproportionate to one's circumstances
fear of going insane
confusion about right and wrong
sexual conflicts
unwarranted guilt
The period of exiting from a cult is usually a traumatic experience and, like any great change in a person's life, involves passing through stages of accommodation to the change:
Disbelief/denial: "This can't be happening. It couldn't have been that bad."
Anger/hostility: "How could they/I be so wrong?" (hate feelings)
Self-pity/depression: "Why me? I can't do this."
Fear/bargaining: "I don't know if I can live without my group. Maybe I can still associate with it on a limited basis, if I do what they want."
Reassessment: "Maybe I was wrong about the group's being so wonderful."
Accommodation/acceptance: "I can move beyond this experience and choose new directions for my life" or...
Reinvolvement: "I think I will rejoin the group."
Passing through these stages is seldom a smooth progression. It is fairly typical to bounce back and forth between different stages. Not everyone achieves the stage of accommodation / acceptance. Some return to cult life. But for those who do not, the following may be experienced for a period of several months:
flashbacks to cult life
simplistic black-white thinking
sense of unreality
suggestibility, ie. automatic obedience responses to trigger-terms of the cult's loaded language or to innocent suggestions
disassociation (spacing out)
feeling "out of it"
"Stockholm Syndrome": knee-jerk impulses to defend the cult when it is criticized, even if the cult hurt the person
difficulty concentrating
incapacity to make decisions
hostility reactions, either toward anyone who criticizes the cult or toward the cult itself
mental confusion
low self-esteem
dread of running into a current cult-member by mistake
loss of a sense of how to carry out simple tasks
dread of being cursed or condemned by the cult
hang-overs of habitual cult behaviors like chanting
difficulty managing time
trouble holding down a job
Most of these symptoms subside as the victim mainstreams into everyday routines of normal life. In a small number of cases, the symptoms continue.
* This information is a composite list from the following sources: "Coming Out of Cults", by Margaret Thaler Singer, Psychology Today, Jan. 1979, P. 75; "Destructive Cults, Mind Control and Psychological Coercion", Positive Action Portland, Oregon, and "Fact Sheet", Cult Hot-Line and Clinic, New York City.


At 6:53 AM, Blogger Anne said...

Hi Joe...great post! The ICSA link you have at "post-cult trauma syndrome" looks extremely useful. Lots of stuff there for former members to benefit from.

The thing that jumped out at me from your list of symptoms was the sense of isolation and alienation.

After I joined SM, it wasn't long till the reality I lived in and the reality my friends and family lived in became too disparate for much real communication to take place...but I had new friends in SM, so that wasn't TOO bad, even though I felt the loss of those former friendships.

By the time I left SM 10 years later, I no longer had any meaningful contact with those earlier friends, and leaving SM meant I no longer had contact with my SM friends either.

Obviously, that was all rather "isolating" in itself, but I didn't mind that particularly. I was "starting-over" in most aspects of my life, and making new friends was part of that.

The thing I found really hard over the years since I left SM was that there was no-one at all who could understand what I had experienced in my SM years, and no-one who understood the process of "getting over" SM. These two sets of experiences were a major part of who I was, yet there was no point even trying to talk to any of my new friends about either.

THAT was truly isolating, and a definite hindrance to the "recovery" process. Having a whole bunch of former members online now to talk to is the best thing since sliced bread!

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Joe said...

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At 7:26 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I agree Anne. From the time I decided that I was definitely not happy with this, I pretty much just tried to shove it all to the side and get on with life, but something kept bringing me back to finding out more about the whole truth. And I am still coming to grips with the fact that I was involved with a group that fits the cult profile.

I suspect that many lapsed members don't even bother with this part of it, and I suspect that many current members are fighting some seriously strong cognitive dissonance right now. I think Mary for example knows deeply in her heart that the death of a small child or a mahikari tai is truly a deeply disturbing (no pun intended) event, and that the normal human response is one of sadness, sorrow, and anger towards the person or people responsible. Instead, it is all rationalized and compartmentalized into "maybe god wants her" or "it's her parents fault" It is easier to hang on to the dogma than actually think and feel the truth.

I cannot tell you all how much I have appreciated the support and the contributions from all of the former members. I am sad that we are all separated by such distance in miles, but glad we can come together here.

Side note-I am working on getting all of the blogs linked to my page but I had some difficulty as the list gets longer. So to ZT and Medimom, I beg forgiveness for the time , and I am also sending out a request for so more posts from both, if they are up to it, because I would like to hear more of their insights.

More later...

At 9:22 PM, Blogger Anne said...

ditto ditto on the first paragraph of your comment. I just got on with my life and refused to think about it all for years, but it didn't really go away till I faced all the issues (including the "how could I have possibly been sucked into a cult" issue).

I now wish I had done that much earlier. It was well worth facing all the "demons". I'm the happiest I've ever been since doing that.

At 6:33 PM, Blogger Joe said...

Good for you Anne! I have been having my own struggles from time to time, but the accumulation of more and more information had really helped me through it...I pray that other members will find out the truth. I noticed your post regarding the many kind people you met, and I can say ditto.

The biggest shock is could I have been so blind? God is showing me now that I was blinded by over-intellectualizing, and that I was really trying to make sense of His world. As I read your posts and also look at the numerous sites devoted to these cult-like organizations, it is easy to see why they prosper, and how subtle they are when it comes to using "reason" I am fascinated too by the members who are unable to realize that Mahikari is just another Japanese creation, and that these "churches" have there basic root in spiritism and mentalism.

At 3:59 PM, Anonymous KitKat said...

Hi Joe,

Great post - yes, I went through a large number of those reactions too... and still have occasional flash-backs and reactions to certain 'trigger' words like gratitude and compensation, even after some years. I still dread running into cult members, and get knee-jerk reactions like 'I'm being punished' if something bad happens to me or one of my family.

One thing I noticed very strongly was that when I was in Mahikari, my ability to read dropped after some years, especially novels and the like. I could comprehend the words, but I couldn't visualise the scenes the author was describing, or remember characters' names or other details. It's like my imagination was switched off. Within six months of leaving, it was noticeable that I could read, remember and visualise so much better.

At least I did go through a major upheaval, leave, and deal with it straight away... I didn't want to push it down and just forget about my experiences, so hopefully I got most of my trauma response over and done with pretty quickly - but as I mentioned above, some aspects do linger.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I agree Kit Kat, the tiggers are still there sometimes. It is a testament to the indoctrination they foist upon you. Basically they set up a framework or a lens if you will that suggests to kumite a way to interpret the world.

You can see this all the time in the speculative talk around the dojo...wondering about "divine arrangements" and purifications, bad sonen and the like. They can really turn you into a robot with the combination of high expectation and denigration of the "outside world" I thought about how ridiculous all of it really is when Katina hit New Orleans...the Nutjob Fanatic "christians" said it was a punishment from their god, the muslim fanatics claimed it was allah's judgement on the USA, and I could just hear the mahikari take on it in my head...New Orleans needed a "purification"...or some similar nonsense! When I was a member I would have just accepted that, but in retrospect it just proves that no human really has claim on the knowledge.

I hope all of you folks are well, and again I encourage more members to join us here...for the truth


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