Manipulation is Controlled Reality
Manipulation happens when our beliefs and our experience of reality are controlled by a human predator: an authoritarian or totalist leader, teacher, partner, parent or group. Predators often develop sophisticated methods of recruitment or seduction. No matter how intelligent they are, people will stay if they accept the manipulator’s distorted version of reality. They will think and act in accord with that reality, as the manipulator intends. Escape can come naturally or through the intervention of an outsider.
The Human Predator
Human predators are all around us. Charming, manipulative and bullying, they have no feeling or concern for other people, and ruin lives with their lies, their risk-taking, and their rages.
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Recruitment or Seduction
Almost anyone can be seduced into a dangerous group or relationship, and all manipulators use startlingly similar methods to lure and entrap us.
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Why People Stay
Once we accept an idea, we often hold on to it stubbornly. A manipulator can use this to cage a well-meaning victim. Even the brightest and best people have been tricked into irrational beliefs and foolish practices by human predators. Doctors, surgeons, astrophysicists, professors and lawyers have been lured into cults.
Idealistic people who want to change the world for the better and are dismayed by society’s cynicism are the most likely cult converts.
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How People Escape
Some people simply wake up and walk away from a destructive relationship. Some are thrown out, and long to return. Others are talked out, by family, friends or professional counselors. With the right approach, anyone can be helped to reconsider their involvement with a destructive partner or group.
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A History of Manipulation
There have always been human predators. When they control society, there is injustice, violence and war. Sometimes whole nations fall under the spell of a manipulator and a destructive ideology like Nazism. Gangs, terrorist groups and extreme religious cults are all founded on manipulation. Predators use religious belief and unethical laws to control others.
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