Drug and alcohol treatment programs can often be LIFE-SAVING.

But it's important to stringently investigate WHO these groups are.


Because there's a long legacy of CULT behavior inside these groups. Obviously I'm not talking about ALL programs, but many.

Let's discuss..🧵
One of the FIRST drug treatment programs in existence was a group called "Synanon." This group was founded in 1958 by a man named Charles Dederich.

Dederich pioneered using ex-addicts as “counselors.” He promoted a “tough love” approach and established a “culture of recovery.”
Synanon “Treatment” centered on something called “The Game.” In essence, this was a “hot seat” tactic (used by many other cults) where members sit in a circle, and the target is psychologically attacked by the group. The goal is to “break" them. People regularly felt humiliated.
Synanon grew from Dederich's living room to a large chain of drug treatment centers all over California. Synanon purchased the Club Casa del Mar, a large beachside hotel in Santa Monica, and this became headquarters and a dormitory for those undergoing Synanon "treatment."
When people arrived at Synanon, they were forced to quit using drugs cold turkey (often going through withdrawals). For their first 90 days in the community, members were expected to cease contact with outside friends and family (another cult tactic).
As time passed, Synanon took on aspects of a utopian community and a religion. Members shaved their heads, wore a “uniform” of overalls, and engaged in subservient devotion to Dederich.
Another drug and alcohol rehab program that falls under the "cult" category is the Palmer Drug and Alcohol Program (PDAP) & "Enthusiastic Sobriety."

These groups were founded by Robert Meehan, an ex-con who was encouraged to start a group by a priest he met at an AA meeting.
Meehan believed that young people would stay away from drugs if they were allowed to engage in OTHER forms of rebellion. Staff at his centers allowed and encouraged the use of cigarettes and anti-social behaviors such as vandalism, arson, and even animal abuse.
In some programs, girls were instructed to perform sexual acts with boys and men they were “dating.” Married women were forced to have abortions. Like Synanon, "therapy" meetings demanded complete TRANSPARENCY.
Participants were required to share stories of sexual assault, domestic violence, and drug overdose in graphic detail. Often, they were kept awake all night and forced to divulge deep secrets while in a state of sleep deprivation.
In a classic cult tactic of changing names or locations, Meehan moved to San Diego, rebranded and renamed. Today, numerous offshoot programs STILL operate in the United States and Canada—under different names but still under Meehan’s treatment philosophy (I find this shocking).
People familiar with cults will know that Scientology has its OWN drug "rehabilitation" program called "Narconon." The strategy of ALL of these groups?

Recruit people into the cult.

Quite regularly, these groups replace ONE addiction with another addiction (the cult).
Now. I know what a LOT of people are thinking as they read this.

Is AA a cult!?

Well. I would start by saying that if AA has helped a person be functional in work and home life, keep with it!

However, AA is by no means the “ONLY way to gain control over drugs and alcohol.
I have heard from many people over several decades who have had horrendous experiences with 12 Step Programs. They have read Combating Cult Mind Control as well as highly critical books like "Resisting 12-Step Coercion" by psychologist Stanton Peele. amazon.com/Resisting-12-S…
Here are my concerns with 12 Step Programs:

AA has a 5% success rate with people who try it. It's a red flag when some groups claim only THEIR approach works. As a therapist, I subscribe to a harm reduction model to help empower people and not a disease model for addiction.
Any group that indoctrinates people to believe they are powerless is toxic. I don't agree with giving people a permanent identity related to addiction. Making people believe "I’m an alcoholic" and even stating they are an addict is the opposite of healthy healing psychotherapy.
The past is done. Live in the present oriented to a positive future.

In my view, this is the OPPOSITE of a good mental health approach. I believe people can CHANGE their identities.
I also don't particularly agree with the "all or nothing" approach that if someone has a sip of beer, they've fallen off the wagon.

I believe in a HARM REDUCTION approach aimed at EMPOWERING people.
Now I realize that this post might offend some people who've received great benefit from 12 step programs. If this is you, by all means, keep attending meetings! Again, I'm not saying all 12 Step Programs are in any way close to the cults I talked about above...
But I have my concerns and encourage people who have recurring issues and lack of success with 12 Step Programs to pursue other avenues.

Personally, I think the psychologist Stanton Peele is EXCELLENT. His website is linked here below: peele.net.
For more on the destructive drug rehab cults mentioned above, check out my latest blog. I interviewed David Cherry. Cherry spent 15 years under Enthusiastic Sobriety’s mind control and has some brilliant insights about these types of cults. freedomofmind.com/cults-disguise…

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More from @CultExpert

5 Nov
Want to guess what U.S. Senator gets money from multi-level marketing cults?

Kyrsten Sinema

As was reported in @politico today, Sinema has taken money from the parent company of Amway (cult), the executive chair of Mary Kay (cult) and Herbalife (cult).
But this just scratches the surface. Sinema has taken money from countless other "nutrition" and "beauty" MLM's. Every one of these entities is associated with the controversial Direct Selling Association, the trade group that promotes multilevel marketing.
Though these groups may appear harmless (if not a little annoying), a great percentage of MLM's are actually authoritarian commercial cults.

(For a deep dive on MLMs, and WHY I label them "cults," read the thread below. It will catch you up 👍):
Read 9 tweets
29 Oct
Want to know if a group is a destructive cult? Are you able to recognize ethical vs. unethical influence?

My Influence Continuum can help!

I developed this visual aid years ago to make it easier for people to discern ethical vs. unethical influence.

Let's take a look: 👇
On the LEFT side of this chart, we have ETHICAL influence (also known as "constructive" or "healthy" influence). Everything that appears on this left side of the spectrum is positive and non-problematic.
On the RIGHT side of this chart, we have UNETHICAL influence (also known as "destructive" or "unhealthy" influence). Everything that appears on this right side of the spectrum is problematic and cause for concern.

The influence continuum is divided up into 3 sections...
Read 12 tweets
28 Oct
I was in the Moonies. The Moonies are a Korean cult. Today I'm going to tell you about ANOTHER Korean cult called Shincheonji.

Shincheonji, like the Moonies, are a pseudo-Christian doomsday cult. The cult was founded by Lee Man-hee in the 1980s.
Lee claims to have a special ability to interpret Christian scripture, and claims that HIS interpretations are the ONLY legitimate ones. He also claims he is immortal and salvation can only be obtained through belief in him rather than in Jesus Christ (sound familiar?).
Like many other cults, Shincheonji DECEPTIVELY recruits. They hold events but DON'T tell people they are attending a Shincheonji event. They hold "Bible studies" that provide academically weak instruction (not based on any legitimate Biblical interpretation).
Read 9 tweets
27 Oct
5 years ago TODAY, hundreds of militarized police descended on a small camp of Indigenous water protectors that stood directly in the path of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The officers forcibly evicted residents and arrested 142 people. Medics and journalists were also arrested.
This violent confrontation between law enforcement and the water protectors showed in glaring detail the COORDINATION between federal, local, state police & private security in suppressing protest.

It's important to remember WHY people were protesting.
This pipeline, like so many other pipelines, cut through land the pipeline company didn't have the authority to claim. Treaties were (as they've always been) completely ignored. In this case, the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie.
Read 12 tweets
22 Oct
Have you ever had a friend from high school who is involved in multi-level marketing? Their feeds become a wash of inspirational quotes and videos trying to sell & recruit others.

Did you know that many multi-level marketing schemes are actually CULTS?

Let's talk about it: 🧵
There are 5 main types of cults:

Religious cults
Psychotherapy/educational cults
Political cults
Cults of personality
Commercial cults

Multi-level marketing when it's predatory falls into the "commercial cult" category. These cults prey on people's desire for wealth & power.
Like other authoritarian cults, predatory multi-level marketing has a pyramid structure with members at the bottom making money for people further up the pyramid. Quite regularly, most of the money people make (which doesn't occur 99% of the time btw) is from recruiting others.
Read 10 tweets
21 Oct
Facebook is reportedly CHANGING the focus of their company.

Their new focus?

Building the "metaverse."

FB is building a digital platform enhanced by augmented & virtual reality where people interact through digital avatars.

Why do I find this problematic? Let me tell you:
Of ALL the things Facebook could be working on right now, why is building a virtual reality world even a priority?

Here's a better, more pressing list of items they should instead focus on:
-Protect people’s personal data. This of course would require a change in their model of using people’s information to sell things to them but this is what the public wants and their current model is highly unethical.
Read 8 tweets

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