CCChat-Magazine Cults-Coercion - Flipbook - Page 21
Robert J Lifton
Robert Jay Lifton is an American psychiatrist and author, known for his work on the
psychological causes and effects of wars and political violence, as well as for
his theory of thought reform.
Robert J Lifton began to interview American
servicemen who had been prisoners of war
during the Korean War in 1953. His 1961 book
Thought Reform and the Psychology of
Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China,
which was based on this research, was a study
of coercive techniques used in the People's
Republic of China. He described this process
as "thought reform" or "brainwashing".
demonstrate divine authority, spiritual
advancement, or some exceptional talent or
insight that sets the leader and/or group apart
from humanity, and that allows a
reinterpretation of historical events, scripture,
and other experiences. Coincidences are
interpreted as omens or prophecies.
Demand for Purity.
In the book, Lifton outlined eight criteria for
This involves the control of information and
communication both within the environment
and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in
a significant degree of isolation from society at
The manipulation of experiences that appears
spontaneous but is, in fact, planned and
orchestrated by the group or its leaders to
The world is viewed as black and white and the
members are constantly exhorted to conform to
the ideology of the group and strive for
perfection. The induction of guilt and/or shame
is a powerful control device used here.
Sins, as defined by the group, are to be
confessed either to a personal monitor or
publicly to the group. There is no
confidentiality; members' "sins," "attitudes," and
"faults" are discussed and exploited by the
Making The Invisible Visible