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  1. I'm just curious, what countries/continents do my fellow FJers' ancestors' come from? Mine come from Europe and North America! What about the rest of you?
  2. I'm a bit tired and I wasn't sure how to title this thread, but here is Lori's blog entry, where she answers if she thinks women are inferior to men. lorialexander.blogspot.com/2014/10/do-i-think-women-are-inferior-to-men.html
  3. Aloha, I am a newly registered user but have been a lurker for a long time. I enjoy reading and studying topics concerning religion in many different forms. A fascination of mine is fundies (of all religions, not just Christianity), how religions begin and are altered over time, and religious cults. I have some questions that I haven't been able to find the info to and would like to either be pointed in the right direction for study or begin a dialogue here. My questions today involve cults. I know Scientology has been in the news quite a bit over the last year or so, and while reading about Jenna Miscavige-Hill I am intrigued about family connections to cult leaders. This encompasses not just Scientology, but also smaller cults or cult-like groups such as the branch of FLDS concerning Warren Jeffs and stretching even further back in time to groups like Peoples Temple (Jonestown) and etc. If the purpose of a cult leader is to gain and maintain control and assets of followers and have free reign to carry out abuse on those followers, then it is obvious that the founder(s)/leader(s) know what type of system they are implementing. It seems there would be a clear linear goal with the end results possibly becoming more macabre as years drag on, but not always necessarily. The question I have is, "Where does the role of family members come into play?" If the leader(s) are aware that the group is based on false beliefs and that the group is used for nefarious purposes then why are family members often subject to the same mistreatment as other, regular members of the group? It would seem to me that it could be a benefit to pass down the leadership to someone who has been a part of the group their whole life and who possibly doesn't realize how awful things are from an objective viewpoint. Perhaps when they assume command and they fully begin to realize the deception and despicable things going on they are too invested to ever be able to leave the group. I understand that possibility. But when leaders subject their very own family members to such abusive behavior starting in early childhood, and it is clear that that family member will never assume command or leadership roles of the group then I am failing to understand any possible benefit for allowing or encouraging that to happen. In the COS example, Jenna Miscavige-Hill, the niece of leader David Miscavige was subject to the same horrific abuse as all other, regular, non-celebrity members. Her treatment was severe as she was born to parents in the Sea Org, the most hard-core sector. Fortunately she was able to leave COS before it was too late but the damage has already been done. Why are family members subjected to this type of treatment? I find it hard to believe that David Miscavige believes in the tenets of Scientology and that his motives are anything other than financial and the satisfaction he has in controlling other people. If he KNOWS Scientology's religious aspects are false then what benefit would he have for having his own family treated in such a way? I would assume it would cause more damage to COS when word got out that family was treated just as horribly in the likelihood of an escape and denouncement. If his own family was treated and regarded more highly then not only would a defection be statistically less likely, if one did occur then the leaders could always claim that they were treated fairly and that the defector is publishing pure lies. Is it just that the leaders have such little regard for other people that this is extended to their own family? Jim Jones (Peoples Temple/Jonestown massacre) subjected his own immediate family members to his madness as well and had radioed his son to commit suicide the day of the massacre as his son was away at a ball game. I'm struggling to understand the purpose and/or benefit with involving those closest to you. For a founder of a group who's end goal doesn't concern mass suicide, wouldn't it be better to teach immediate family how to continue or further the group and teach the recruiting, financial, psychological tactics, etc to ensure its continuation? I am just at a complete loss and have been pondering this for some time. Now that I am registered, I figured I could post. If this is in the wrong sub-forum please feel free to move.
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