Monday, July 28, 2008

Jeff Prather other Cult Master Bio

Jeff Prather Bio Found

Jeffery Prather

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Jeffrey Prather has trained for over 35 years in Japanese martial arts and is one of a very few 15th-degree blackbelt Shihan (master or gentleman instructor) in the world. He is licensed by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, Bujinkan Soke, the grandmaster of Budo Taijutsu. The Yamaneko Dojo is an official branch of Hatsumi Soke's dojo. Shihan Prather is a double recipient of Hatsumi Soke's Gold Medal. The first was awarded for his development of the Close Quarter Combat course for the U.S. Marine Corps. and the Army Special Operations Forces, the second for hosting the 1995 Tai Kai, which he had the honor of hosting a second time in 99'. Shihan Prather also has a 10th degree blackbelt in Shinkengata (real life combat). He has written for publications such as Black Belt magazine and has taught the police and military all over the world.

He has taught US and allied, police, military and civilians throughout the world, and unlike many civilian instructors, he has employed what he teaches in real operations, here and abroad. After an extensive career of public service and a near death experience, he recognized that only the symptoms of society's problems were being addressed by his government service. He founded Initiation,, to address these problems at the source, and change the world, one person at a time.

Initiation founder Jeffrey Prather is a son, father, husband, warrior, artist, author, actor, soldier, special agent, student, and teacher. A US Martial Arts Hall of Fame member, he holds 15th-degree black belt, master rankings in Budo Taijutsu (Body Skills), and Shinken Gata (Real Combat), from Grandmaster Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. He also apprenticed under the late N'dee (Apache) holy man Phillip Cassadore Besh Koon singing in the Naiies (Sunrise) ceremony.

Prather served on active duty with the 7th Special Forces as well as domestically and abroad as a federal Special Agent and national government Intelligence Officer. He is rescue team qualified, a Federal Firearms Instructor, Distinguished Pistol Expert, and a member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors IALEF.

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Teacher Bio From Old Warriorship school Page

Teacher Bios

Warriorship founder Jeffrey Nadza, BA, BFA, MA, Captain, USAR, 11th-degree Bujinkan black belt Shihan in both Budo Taijutsu and Shinken Gata, N'dee (Apache) Sunrise Ceremony Singer, Dakota Pipeholder, member National American Indian Enrollment Agency, is an artist, writer, and teacher with over thirty years of intimate experience in both eastern and western warrior traditions. As a child his adoptive father introduced him to the N'dee warrior path, and took him to reservations in Arizona and Oklahoma. As a boy he was schooled by the Jesuits, the priest-warrior order of the Catholic Church. At nine he began training at the prestigious Yoseikan Karate Headquarters (US) and Soto Zen Temple. By eighteen he was a licensed black belt holder and meditation teacher. As a young US Army officer, he regularly traveled to Arizona and Japan, where he apprenticed under the late, famous N'dee medicine man Phillp Cassadore (Besh Koon), and the acclaimed Japanese Kobudo (Warrior Way) Grandmaster Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi (Hisamune). As a Special Forces (Green Beret) officer he lived with and learned from many native peoples: the Aymara in the Andes, the Kuna in the San Blas Islands, and the Misquito on the Honduran-Nicaraguan frontier. He was given a pipe and blessed to pray with it by Dakota pipeman Asa Primo (Pejuta Okshina). Upon request, in 1984 at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, he began teaching fellow officers what would become WARRIORSHIP. References available.

Robert Geyer (Nakayen-Warrior/Warrior Benefactor) , BS, MA, writer, college instructor, 5th-degree Bujinkan black belt, warrior benefactor/teacher, has over fifteen years experience in Warriorship and other Eastern and Western mystic traditions. The martial arts led Geyer to the founder in the mid-1980s. He completed his apprenticeship 1992, his first apprentice achieved warriorhood in 1994, and in 1995 he became the first after Nadza to teach Warriorship Initiation Cycles. He lives in Alabama, with his wife and two sons.

Michael Pearce (Dashte-Warrior/Warrior Benefactor) is a husband and father, 8th degree black belt in the Bujinkan, and warrior teacher/benefactor with over six years in Warriorship. He has been studying the Martial arts in the Bujinkan for over ten years, over seven in Japan with Masaaki Hatsumi the 34th grandmaster. He was accepted as an apprentice in 1996 by founder Jeffery Nadza and completed his apprenticeship in 1997, and now teaches with full licensing and certification Warriorship Initiation Cycles. He lives in Japan where he teaches Warriorship. He has also been given permission from the founder Jeffery Nadza to teach in Europe and Australia as well. References available.

Nathan Paris(Yaa'itso-Warrior) BS, is a husband and father , 5th degree Bujinkan black belt, and a warrior teacher. He was introduced to Warriorship through the Martial Arts in 1992, completing his own warrior apprenticeship in 1995. From 1997-2000, he studied Bujinkan in Japan with Masaaki Hatsumi, the 34th Grandmaster, as well as taught Warriorship with full licensing from Warriorship founder Jeffrey Nadza. He is currently living and teaching in Colorado.

Sean Waters (Tsee Peneh-Warrior) is a current graduate student in astrophysics and martial arts teacher with over six years experience in Warriorship and meditation. A black belt for over a decade, he was introduced to Warriorship through the martial arts. Mr. Waters has trained with both police and the US Army Special Forces. He completed his own warrior apprenticeship in 1996, and now teaches with full licensing from Warriorship founder Jeffrey Nadza. References available.

Theresa Zortman (Warrior), BS, 2nd-degree Bujinkan black belt is a warrior with over five years experience in Warriorship. She finished her warrior apprenticeship in 1997 under the warrior benefactor-teacher Robert Geyer. Navigato is finishing her Masters (Enviromental Engineering) in Boulder, Colorado, where she teaches Warriorship with full license and certification from the founder. References available.

Eric Stearns (Tandinbil jee' -Warrior/ Warrior Benefactor), became acquainted with Warriorship in 1984 through the Bujinkan Martial Arts, in which he has been awarded a 3rd degree black belt. Completing his apprenticeship in 1997, he now serves as a Warrior benefactor by license of founder Jeffrey Nadza. References available.

Todd Luethjohann (Ntliz -Warrior/Warrior Benefactor), BS, CIS, MBA, was introduced to Warriorship in 1996 through the Bujinkan Martial Arts, in which he has been awarded a 5th degree black belt. He currently serves in hospital healthcare administration. He completed his apprenticeship directly under founder Jeffrey Nadza in 1997, and is now jointly licensed with other Tucson Intensive instructors to teach Warriorship intensives. References available.

David Frye (Nogutline-Warrior), BS, MS. is a husband and father. Frye has been awarded the rank of forth degree black belt in the Bujinkan Martial Arts. Introduced to Warriorship in 1993, he completed his apprenticeship with founder Jeffrey Nadza in 1997. He is jointly licensed with other Tucson Intensive instructors by Jeffrey Nadza to teach Warriorship intensives. References available.

Brian Kowalski (Nata'tsay-Warrior), BS,MS, is a husband and father. He served 15 years in the US Army. He now serves as a Police Officer and has been awarded a forth degree black belt through the Bujinkan dojo. A student of Warriorship since 1992, he completed his apprenticeship directly under founder Jeffrey Nadza in 1996 and is now jointly licensed with other Tucson Intensive instructors by Jeffrey Nadza to teach Warriorship intensives. References available.

Phillip Legare, (Deleecho-Warrior), BS, MSgt, USMC Retired, combat veteran, and Warrior. He is a Shihan (11th degree black belt) in Budo Taijutsu and Shinken Gata under Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, and recipient of three Bujinkan Gold Dragon Medals. Phillip is fully licensed to teach Warriorship and accept apprentices by founder Jeffrey Nadza. Together, he and licensed Healer, Penny Telfer (Itzaa'niyaa) teach Warriorship in the U.S. and British Columbia, Canada.

Gregory Heeg (Dilhil Ba'cho-Warrior), started Warriorship in 1986 and apprenticed under founder Jeffrey Nadza. He is a 7th dan in the Bujinkan dojo and has trained in Japan with Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. A sacred prayer pipe was blessed and gifted to him by Dakota pipe-bearer Jack Waterman. He has devoted over eighteen years with the Sisters of Notre Dame. He is fully licensed to teach Warriorship. References available

Cary Irvin (Yil Dah'nldoh-Warrior) BA, 3rd degree black belt Budo Taijutsu, black belt Shinkin Gata. His interest in Psychology and Martial Arts led him to mystic studies that culminated in his Warrior Certification by Jeffrey Nadza in 1998. He is a husband and father, and is currently serving as a Non-Commissioned Officer for the United States Air Force at Ramstein, A.B. Germany.

Timothy Pinnow (Dahyogeel-Warrior) BA, MfA is a warrior, professional actor, director and college professor with over 15 years martial experience in Eastern and Western styles. He is a Bujinkan black belt and licensed Fight Director and Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors. He completed apprenticeship in 1999 under Nantan Robert Geyer and teaches with the endorsement of Founder Jeffrey Nadza. He lives in New Mexico with his wife, Jennifer.

Will Zortman (Ndocho-Warrior) BS, Captain, USAFR, 2nd degree Bujinkan Black Belt, Close Quarter Combat Instructor, Member, American Meteorological Society, is a husband and warrior. He has traveled in Asia and the Middle East as an Air Force Special Tactics Officer and taught Warriorship across the US. He completed his Warrior Apprenticeship under Jeffrey Nadza in 1996. Zortman currently works in the semiconductor industry and teaches Warriorship in California with full license from the founder.

As far as I know many of these people have begun to disassociate themselves with Jeff Prather and Warriorschool.

I was told that Mike Pearce, and Phil Legaire are no longer on good terms with Jeff Prather. Mike Pierce was one of the very top 3 guys and wrote an independent account of Jeff Prather dead, floating in the air and then resurrected. Robert Geyer wrote the same sort of thing, but I think he is still heavily involved. I heard Eric Stearns had modified his relation to WS and to Jeff Prather although I don't recall in what capacity. I heard Todd Luethjohann has maybe quit doing Budo Taijutsu with Jeff Prather, but I find it hard to believe he has split away from him completely or quit Warriorschool. David Fry has probably also stopped training with Jeff Prather, but I don't know all the details. Brian Kowalski? I don't know how much he is still connected with everything. That's a toss up.

Also reading all these names again brings back memories. I remember Sean Waters was a cool guy and he had a pretty wife who was also training in Warriorschool, probably as a healer. Well anyway, Jeff Prather was always a cool guy and mentioned the fact once that there was a pattern that developed in martial arts that you can pick up on after a while. I had never even considered the thing he mentioned, but it made sense once he spoke about it plainly. Jeff Prather said: "You know that every woman that trains in the dojo will at one time or another fall in love with the instructor and want to sleep with him. The black belts need to be aware of this, and not let their ego get in the way. The women come here for safety and to learn, we can't take advantage of them. We need to help them get strong". He said something like that. Anyway Jeff Prather was always professional and well mannered and I never noticed anything about him that made me think he was promiscuous or anything. How does all this connect to Sean Waters? Well he would visit Jeff Prather a few times a year with his wife and kids. I remember very clearly one day, that Sean Waters wife was practicing with a 6 foot long bo staff and Jeff Prather went over towards her, and pulled her about 15 to 20 feet away from the rest of us. He stepped up behind her and moved the bo staff for her while she was holding on to it. Ok, I am sure you can piture this, his crotch was up against her ass and they were rhythmically swinging this obvious 6 foot long phallic symbol of a bo staff. It went on long enough for me to look around for Sean Waters to see if he was watching this. He must have seen it, because it was so obvious. I also imagine that his wife told him about it. I remember thinking to myself that that was definately suspicious behavior.

Other than that, oh this is a good one too. This kind of relates to other sort of sexualized behavior that isn't the norm for society at large as I know it. For empowerment the bracelets would recommend the apprentices not to wear underwear. The idea was to make you feel more manly, free and natural or something like that. Well anyway Jeff Prather and a few of his top people would often stand around and grab their nut sack, lift it up with their right hand and then let it drop. It was a weird habit, but they seemed to have picked it up and developed it. I had never seen it before and I have never seen it since. It was a strange thing, I tried it, I recommend you try it, just to see what it is like. Anyway it is a pretty retarded habit, and I remember at least one of the top women in the whole WS would complain about it.

Oh and here is some more random weird naked sex stuff I heard in passing while I was with all these folks. I remember hearing this stuff and thinking to myself that is kind of weird, I don't have to participate with this, I might give it a shot, but we'll just see what happens. Thank God it never came to that. Ok so I heard that somehow warriors and healers would dance around naked with each other at Initiations etc. I never confirmed this, it just sounded too weird. Oh right, and I guess they would get naked, get painted by Jeff Prather and then run together. Something like that.

Also there was some guy that had left Warriorschool and was apprenticing some lady. She realized that he was 'enlightened' and she wanted that teaching from him. She asked him what she needed to do to become enlightened and he said she should give him a blow job. Personally I never understood all that stuff so well, but somehow you were able to open people's chakras or something with sex. The retardation is amazing. I remember one woman telling me that it is definately possible to give a woman enlightenment while she is giving you a blow job, but somehow it wasn't right. Don't ask me how she became convinced of this.

Oh yea, here is another one. I guess they used to have their black belt meetings at the strip clubs. Occasionally some of the guys would go to the strip clubs and would invite me along. I wasn't into that, but now that I write about it it shows that there was definately a sort of sexual element to this group and it is no surprise that it started to go overboard eventually. No offense to you strip club conosseurs, the only reason I bring it up is because Warriorschool was supposed to honor women and respect them etc and be about holiness and purity blah blah blah, but then they would go to strip clubs. I never quite got that one. Also I remember one guy who was one of the top guys told me that he had been traveling recently and visited a prostitute who might have had a demon and was giving him seriously hateful looks. I thought to myself "maybe she hates you, because you are screwing her and she doesn't want to have sex with you, maybe she is being forced by her pimp to have sex with you". Anyway he told me how he had sex with her 'impeccably' and he thought he had helped her out. Good one buddy.

Reading and Viewing List

Warriorship / Warriorschool Recommended Reading and Viewing List

These books and movies have one are more points in them that relate to the teachings in the Warriorship training.
Title Author
Any of the Carlos Castaneda books
The Three Pillars Of Zen Roshi Philip Kapleau
Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind Shunryu Suzuki
I Heard The Owl Call My Name Margaret Craven
A Stranger In A Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein
Shane Jack Schaefer
Nine Stories J.D. Salinger
Franny And Zooey J.D. Salinger
The World Bible
The Way of the Shaman Michael Harner
The Code Of The Warrior Rick Fields
Seven Arrows Hyemeyohsts Storm
In Search of the Warrior Spirit Richard Strozzi Heckler
The Art Of War Sun Tzu
A Book Of Five Rings Miyamoto Musashi
The Secrets of the Samurai Oscar Ratti and Adele Westbrook
The Tao of Physics Fritjof Capra
Fools Crow Thomas E. Mails
The Awakened Warrior Rick Fields
Illusions Richard Bach
Jonathan Livingston Seagull Richard Bach
Shambhala: The Sacred Path Of The Warrior Chogyam Trungpa

The Magnificent Seven The Seven Samurai
Hombre Little Big Man
Little Buddha Ulzana's Raid
Brainstorm Prophecy
Gandhi High Lander
Black Robe Ben-Hur
Braveheart Excalibur
Glory The Warlord
The Razor's Edge Manhunter
My Life The Big Blue
The Nun's Story Star Wars trilogy
The Longest Day Broken Arrow with James Stuart
Emerald Forest A Bridge Too Far
Exorcist Blade Runner
The Seventh Sign Forrest Gump
The Mission

This might be a little old and incomplete.

I am sure they would have added The Matrix and the Lord of the Rings.
They would also include the "Hostage to the Devil" and "God at War" books which deal with spiritual warfare and exorcism.

Warrior School Warriorship Way Back Machine Old Pages

Here are some old pages from the Warrior sites a few years back. I hope to post some of the pictures in the future. There are a few synopsis of the Bracelet, which are just awesome to read.

Current Issue


Contact Us





By Jeffrey Prather

Today's girls suffer the absurdities of liberal, pop culture no less than boys. The lie is just different. This is the great feminist lie of equivalency, that except for plumbing, men and women are essentially the same. ...

By Kevin Eddy

I just awoke from a dream. In the dream, after Taijutsu class, Nantancha'an asked if I remembered "last night." I said no, why? He said something about coming over to arrest my wife, that being without my protection, she had succumbed to evil and her organs of love, creation, and healing had become a "spiraling vortex of blackness and death."...

By William Zortman

The usual response when someone tries to talk sports to a bracelet is politeness, but complete lack of understanding. Although play, as in the hunt game, is common if not brutal, being a bracelet just doesn't incline one to sports and other competition. We're too serious. ...

The full articles are available online as well as in print for Bracelet subscribers.
The Bracelet � 2001 is published quarterly by Warriorschool Press, Box 40775, Tuscaloosa, AL 35404. All rights Reserved. Photocopying, reproduction, or quotation strictly prohibited without written permission from the publisher. Unsolicited material cannot be acknowledged or returned.

Home | Courses | Calendar | Services | Products | Founder | Donations | Contact Us

Warriorschool empowers you with the life skills and inner technologies to become a physically, mentally, and spiritually whole human being, and win the battles of life. Today there is little training on how to be a real man or true woman, much less a Warrior or Healer. As a result, our modern society is a chaos of crime, drugs, divorce, and despair.

Warriorschool provides the training to change you and to change the world! A vital person, by his very presence, enlivens the world around him. Warriorschool can help you create that presence and take you farther than you ever imagined!

Warriorschool has been featured on television, in documentaries, and in news and magazines.



. .

Don't miss Initiation's largest and most important event, Initiation Camp 2002. This is an unique opportunity to train with the founder of Warriorschool and Initiation. Initiation students and teachers from America, Europe, Japan, and all over the world will attend. Much of the training is one-on-one and highly personal.

Be sure to check the calendar for all upcoming Warriorschool seminars.

You can be ignorant, But become educated.

You can be arrogant, Yet humble yourself.

You can be stupid, Then learn wisdom.

But if you choose to remain Ignorant, arrogant, and stupid, You are lost.

- Jeffrey Prather .

The official journal of Initiation, Warriorship and Healership is now online!

The Bracelet Online

Home | Courses | Calendar | Services | Products | Founder | Donations | Contact Us

Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, here I am. Send Me.
Isiah 6:8

Well-meaning and dedicated legal and medical professionals can treat only the symptoms of society's ills. Warriors and Healers go to the source.

We deal with souls.

After intense training, through selfless service, allowing the God force to flow through them, Warriors oppose evil and Healers rescue those ravaged by it.

If you feel oppressed or under attack, or find your loved ones in need, call us.

Home | Courses | Calendar | Services | Products | Founder | Donations | Contact Us



Close Quarter Combat (CQC) Video
by Captain Jeffrey Prather , USAR
Price: $39.95 *


1999 Tucson Tai Kai Video
Kukishinden Ryu
Price: $29.95 *

* All items have an additional cost of $4.00 domestic for postage.



Close Quarter Combat (CQC)
For U.S. Special Forces
by Captain Jeffrey Prather , USAR
Price: $19.95 *

2) The Bracelet
The Official Journal of Warriorship, Initiation, and Healership
Price: $25.00 (1 year subscription)

* All items have an additional cost of $4.00 for postage.

Warriorschool Shirts

Warriorschool T-Shirt
"Boys and Girls are born. Women and Men are trained at WARRIORSCHOOL"
Price: $20.00 *

Click on T-Shirt to enlarge.


Warriorschool Polo
Price: $40.00 *

Click on Polo to enlarge.

* All items have an additional cost of $4.00 for postage

If you would like to purchase any of the above items by mail, please send a check (please include postage) addressed to Jeff Prather to:

P.O. Box 14502
Tucson, AZ 85732-4502

For any more details please contact us.

Home | Courses | Calendar | Services | Related Books/Videos | Instructor Profiles | Contact Us

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I thought as a child, and I acted as a child. But when I became a man I put away childish things.
1 Corinthians 13:11

Society is in crisis because grown males and females still act like irresponsible boys and girls!

Unlike all indigenous societies throughout the history of the world, our modern society is the first ever, to not train our youth for the rigors of adult life through rites of passage.

Gangs have sprung up to fill the void, but they are shallow caricatures of the real thing. Not knowing any better, they mistake violence for bravery and replace compassion with callousness. The result is a spiral into despair, domestic violence and divorce that drags society downward.

INITIATION is the answer to the crisis!

INITIATION was founded to restore the tradition of a rite of passage to adulthood in modern society. There is no modern training for man and womanhood -until now!

INITIATION is a unique, intense, training camp that teaches the lost, but vital skills of physical and spiritual adulthood. While open to all ages, the training is traditionally conducted at puberty.

INITIATION draws upon practical, proven, techniques from traditional Native American culture, and allows boys, girls, and often grown adults, passage to adulthood through training and ceremony.

Boys and girls are born, but men and women are trained!

Native cultures have long known that that their children must be formally trained for their roles as responsible adults in society. Society offers driver's licenses, voting rights, and abortions, but no adulthood training, and no defining moment of transition to adulthood. INITIATION does.

INITIATION channels and refines the naturally aggressive male energy of boyhood into the maturity of manhood. INITIATION directs and cultivates the often misunderstood and abused power of girlhood into the true femininity of womanhood. Boys become men, who become protectors instead of aggressors. Girls become women, who in turn become healers instead of dividers.

Men and women are vital to each other, the family, and society!

Both then learn that what native cultures have always known: The roles of men and women are unique and different, and both are essential to the well being of the family. The family, now endangered by symptoms of popular culture, is the basic building block vital to a free, healthy, society. INITIATION is rebuilding it.

No one tells another what to do!

A common thread through Native American culture is individual freedom and responsibility. INITIATION has no dogma and does not preach. Instead, students are offered a series of training experiences through which they discover, and decide for themselves.

Students ritually experience the cycles of childhood, youth, maturity, and old age. Each session is devoted to cycle of life:

Purification - Discovering something worthwhile beyond just the physical, i.e. the non-physical -the spiritual.

Empowerment - Accessing and strengthening the spiritual through practical, physical training.

Impeccibility - Deciding right and wrong. Knowing good and bad. Balancing the spiritual and physical in selfless service.

Quest(Boys)/Vigil Girls) - Integrating all of the training via rite of passage, to a defining moment of adulthood.

All ceremonies are free. All are welcome. INITIATION opposes Evil in all forms.

(Top of page)


The Purification training cycle provides the opportunity to experience the luminous realm and establish a solid grounding in the fundamentals of Initiation. Prepare to discover worlds of untapped potential. Most likely you will learn to see electromagnetic bioluminescence--auras--your first night of training!

The seminar perspective orients from the southwestern American Indian warrior tradition, and while specific sacred rituals will remain inviolate, we will transpose ceremonies as vehicles to approach the inner and outer other worlds, and later their initial integration.


Student's Comments:

"The training has changed me so much. I am so much stronger. I feel as though I can handle more spiritually, and that I am able to help others and myself in a positive way."

"It would have a wonderful impact on society. We would have people who would be able to help others and themselves. I think society needs this."

"I am feeling renewed physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I thought it would fade after a couple of days, but the feeling just continues."

"This training can have a positive growth impact on society."




The official journal of Initiation, Warriorship and Healership is now online!

The Bracelet Online



The second training cycle is called Empowerment. A warrior is defined by his power and its use. Since time immemorial, the warrior has been most easily recognized by his physical skill and the arms he bore. But any well trained soldier can match such abilities. The true, whole warrior is known for his unique prowess in the spiritual, or luminous realm as well.

During the first intensive you literally saw this luminous power. In this second intensive, you will actually access and utilize this phenomenon. Only by impeccably balancing body and spirit in selfless service does the warrior empty ego and become a ready vessel for God's power to pour through.

The seminar perspective orients from the southwest American Indian traditions. Various indigenous ceremonies will be transposed as vehicles to empowerment. This training is in no way associated with New Age, Wicca, magic, witchcraft, or the worship or fostering of evil. The warrior's sole reason for existence is to oppose evil--everywhere and always!


The third training intensive is Impeccability. This third intensive focuses on beginning to obtain the unobtainable--the elusive impeccability of enlightenment! At your first training intensive, you discovered inner technologies, literally seeing and feeling your own electromagnetic bioluminescence. During your second intensive, you learned to use this new wisdom, strengthening and directing this energy. Now you will begin to distill and combine your gains from purification and empowerment training, and approach the perfect poise of the warrior, balanced between physical and spiritual worlds, on the razor's edge!


The fourth and final Intensive and the conclusion of the Intensive Cycle: Quest/Vigil. Modern society, in spite of its technological advancements, lacks the cultural indices and understanding to mark adulthood and spiritual accomplishment. Through formal rights of passage such as questing, tribal peoples found direction for their lives and the power once considered requisite to marry, to hold office, and to live as an adult. At your first Intensive, you discovered inner technologies, learned to use your newfound wisdom, strengthening and directing these etheric energies. Through spiritual worlds. Now, in this final and most personal venture, you will combine all the skills you have learned throughout the cycle, and challenge yourself as never before!

How Exorcism Works

This page very generally talks about 'Catholic Exorcism' as far as I can tell. It is worth checking out.

I have a friend who spent quite a bit of time with Christian Exorcists traveling the world and even interviewed the mother of Annelise Michel after whom the movie 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' was based. He also spent a lot of time with Christian Missionaries and Christian 'Cults'. I will try to relay his story and info as time goes on.

The main reason I wanted to post some quick info about this subject has to do with some of the books Warriorschool recommends for reading. One such book is called
"Hostage to the Devil". It is briefly mentioned here in this How Stuff Works article.

Malachi Martin, a former Jesuit priest and self-proclaimed (but not official) exorcist, offers additional information on exorcism -- information not endorsed by the Church. A controversial figure in the Catholic world, Martin reveals in the book "Hostage to the Devil" what he considers to be the typical stages of an exorcism (Cuneo 19-20):

1. Pretense - The demon is hiding its true identity.
2. Breakpoint - The demon reveals itself.
3. Clash - The exorcist and the demon fight for the soul of the possessed.
4. Expulsion - If the exorcist wins the battle, the demon leaves the body of the possessed.

"Hostage to the Devil" created quite a stir in the Church. The book details supposedly factual exorcisms that Martin claims to have performed, assisted with or witnessed. The exorcisms Martin describes are on the level with "The Exorcism" in terms of action and violence. It has been criticized by believers, who think Martin has sensationalized and therefore belittled the power of the devil. But if Martin's vivid scenes don't ring true to the Church and its supporters, what does a real exorcism look like?

Personally I have not been able to analyze all the books Warriorschool recommends for reading, but I wouldn't be surprised if most of them are just complete bullshit. Any help with this analysis would be appreciated.

One of my good friends was telling me that the 'Carlos Castaneda' books were a complete fraud and fiction.

I found that 'World Bible' they advocated to be really retarded. Essentially the guy who wrote it tried to summarize the world religions and made a point that somehow ll religions are seeking God in their own way or some nonsense like that. This was part of the foundation of Warriorschool. This allowed them to recruit people from all belief systems, but anyone who has any clue of the major world religions will see that this book is merely the opinion of a small group of people who have their own agenda.

I was also recommended to read "Stranger in a strange land" when I was apprenticing. That book was super retarded. Essentially an alien comes to earth and has a human body, which he quickly controls to the maximum. Then he understands things on a super profound level, called Groking. I think he teaches other people how to do this, and it is supposed to give you some sort of new perspective on things. I must say reading this book, probably was one of the most unenjoyable parts of my apprenticeship.

I also need help analyzing all the movies and video clips they showed and/or recommended. Some of them were definately awesome.

How Cults Work

How Cults Work

When most of us hear the word "cult," we see a bunch of brainwashed zombies feeding their children cyanide-laced fruit drink, mass murders, a burning compound in Waco, Texas -- it's not a pretty picture. But is it a true picture? What exactly is a "cult," and how is it different from a "religion"? Are all cults dangerous? Are people who join destructive cults mentally disturbed, or are all of us equally susceptible?
In this article, we'll separate fact from propaganda and learn what a cult actually is, what practices characterize a destructive cult and look at some of the more notable cult incidents in recent history.
What's a "Cult"?
Courtesy Getty ImagesShelly Katz / LiaisonThe Branch Davidian compound explodes in April 1993 following a standoff between the cult and the FBI. See more pictures of cults.
The cults that make the news and drive fear through the hearts of parents sending their kids to college are the exception, not the rule. At its most basic, a cult is simply a small, unestablished, non-mainstream religious group that typically revolves around a single leader. The American Heritage Dictionary defines "cult" this way:
1. A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader.
2. A system or community of religious worship and ritual.
If You Need HelpIf you think you may be involved in a destructive cult, or you've recently left one, there are a lot of resources out there ready to help you. They can assist you in understanding the situation and taking action. Here are just a few organizations that specialize in helping people recover from cult involvement: · reFOCUS· Support Group Locations· Post-Cult Trauma· Cult Information Service
The first definition is closer to the common usage of the term today, but you'll notice there's no mention of brainwashing, murder or mass suicide. There is no meaningful difference between a cult and a religion in terms of faith, morality or spirituality. The primary differences are that a "cult" operates outside of mainstream society, often calls on its followers to make an absolute commitment to the group and typically has a single leader, whereas a "religion" usually operates within mainstream culture, requires varying levels of commitment from its members and typically has a leadership hierarchy that, in practice, can serve as a series of checks and balances.
But destructive cults are a different story. There is a big difference between a destructive cult and a non-destructive religion (or a non-destructive cult). A destructive (or totalist) cult exploits its members' vulnerability in order to gain complete control over them, often using unethical psychological techniques to bring about thought reform. It can be said that a non-destructive religion or cult attempts to alleviate its members' vulnerability through spiritual guidance in an effort to help them exercise control over their own lives.
While most small, non-mainstream religions are harmless, certain circumstances do make them an easy breeding ground for destructive practices. The People's Temple began as a charitable organization in the United States that ran a free medical clinic and drug rehabilitation program. But you probably know it as the doomsday cult whose Kool-Aid mass suicide/murders took more than 900 lives in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978. How can something that began with so much hope go so very wrong? There's a lot of speculation about what happened to the members of The People's Temple, but for the most part, what went wrong is what goes wrong with most destructive cults: the leadership.
Photo courtesy Getty ImagesDon Hogan Charles / New York Times Co.Reverend Jim Jones, leader of The People's Temple, and his family in 1976
Photo courtesy Getty ImagesDavid Hume KennerlyNine-hundred members of The People's Temple (including more than 200 children) dead after Jones ordered a mass murder/suicide in 1978
It's really a two-part problem. First, many of these religions are founded by a single person who retains a position of exclusive power within the organization, and power tends to corrupt even the most ethical among us. In the case of The People's Temple, there is evidence that its leader, Reverend James Warren Jones, was abusing prescription drugs and becoming increasingly paranoid through the 1970s. Next, because these groups operate outside the mainstream, there is usually no one checking up on their operating procedures, so a corrupt or mentally unstable leader is free to exploit his followers to his heart's content. In addition to this authoritarian leadership structure, some primary characteristics of a destructive cult include:
· Charismatic leadership
· Deception in recruiting
· Use of thought-reform methods
· Isolation (physical and/or psychological)
· Demand for absolute, unquestioning devotion and loyalty
· Sharp, unsurpassable distinction between "us" (good, saved) and "them" (bad, going to Hell)
· "Inside language" that only members fully understand
· Strict control over members' daily routines
For the remainder of this article, when we refer to techniques employed by "cults," we're talking about destructive cults, not the small religious groups that keep to themselves and don't hurt anybody. In the following sections, we'll examine destructive cults more closely and find out how they function. Let's start with the leadership structure.
It Takes All KindsNot all destructive cults are religious in nature. They can be driven by political or financial goals as well. In the end, it's all about subjugating members' individuality to achieve the desires of the leader(s), whether that means reinforcing a self-proclaimed messianic status, participating in destructive activities in the name of political revolution or simply filling the leader's pockets with their hard-earned money. There are radical political groups, commercial pyramid schemes and self-help seminars that employ similar recruiting and indoctrinating techniques as destructive religious cults, targeting people with certain vulnerabilities and then playing on those vulnerabilities to keep them "in the fold." The end result is a "convert" who will blow himself up in the name of destroying capitalism, try to get all of his loved ones to buy into the same business deal that he is losing his life savings on, or keep signing up for an unending series of lectures, seminars and retreats that promise psychological and spiritual healing but really only drain his bank account.

The Leadership Structure
Photo courtesy Getty ImagesDon Hogan Charles / New York Times Co.Jim Jones, leader of The People's Temple
There is no cult without a powerful, charismatic leader. A charismatic leader has the uncanny ability to get people to follow him unquestioningly. The phrase "cult of personality" refers to this type of group dynamic. Cult members are devoted to the leader, not to the leader's ideas. The leader has complete control over his followers -- there is no questioning of his decisions, and he is accountable to no one within the group.
It's possible for a cult to have more than one leader, but that's atypical. Most destructive religious cults demand absolute devotion to a single person who is considered to be God or connected to God, the Messiah, a prophet or possessing some other holy status. This is a critical component in maintaining absolute devotion: To the members of a cult, only this single person can lead them to salvation. Without this single person, they will spend eternity in Hell.
Courtesy Getty Images; Nine Network AustraliaDavid Koresh
How does a person fall into a role like this? One common scenario is the preacher or church member who gets "banished" from a mainstream church for preaching extreme or unconventional ideas or showing signs of corruption or instability. When he leaves, his followers go with him, or else he joins an already existing cult and eventually vies for control. David Koresh, leader of the Branch Davidian cult that was destroyed during a U.S. government siege in 1993, was active in a mainstream Christian church before he was thrown out for "negatively influencing" some of the church's younger members. Reverend James (Jim) Warren Jones, who ordered hundreds of members of The People's Temple to drink poisoned punch in Jonestown, Guyana, in 1978, was ordained a mainstream Christian pastor.
But not everybody starts out in mainstream religion. Some cult leaders are simply anti-social, destructive individuals who find out they have a knack for manipulation. Charles Manson fits this description.
Photo courtesy Getty Images; Fotos InternationalCharles Manson (center) surrounded by his "Family" in the early 1970s
Manson was the charismatic leader of a doomsday cult (which the media would eventually dub "The Family") with more than 100 members near Los Angeles, Calif. He spent most of his youth on the streets and in and out of prison. At one institution, Manson was described as "a very emotionally upset youth who is definitely in need of some psychiatric orientation." He was also described as violent and manipulative. After the age of 18, his crimes grew from robbery and car theft to pimping, rape and fraud. In 1967, Manson was paroled from one of his prison stints and landed in San Francisco, where he slipped into the hippie scene and developed a following -- mostly young women who were generally troubled and disillusioned with America. "Charlie" became their guru. He preached that the world would end in a racial war. Blacks would destroy wealthy whites and win a position of dominance, but the black power structure would quickly collapse due to inexperience. And then, the Manson Family would come out of hiding in the desert and rule the world.
Photo courtesy Getty ImagesSahm Doherty / Time & Life PicturesManson being led from a courthouse in 1969
Manson referred to himself as the reincarnation of Jesus. His followers called him "God" and "Satan" seemingly interchangeably. Manson and the members of his cult brutally slaughtered people, committing what is probably the most famous cult mass murder -- the shooting and stabbing of seven people over two days, including actress Sharon Tate (wife of director Roman Polanski), who was eight months pregnant when she was killed. Most reports conclude that Manson ordered his followers to brutally kill their victims, but he never killed any of them himself. His power over his cult family was absolute. While Manson was on trial for murder, one of his followers, Lynette Fromme, protested the trial by carving an "X" into her forehead on the courthouse steps. Fromme would later attempt to assassinate President Gerald Ford in order to bring attention back to Manson's cause. As of March 2006, Charles Manson is still in prison, receiving tens of thousands of letters every year from people hoping to become members of The Manson Family.
While Manson found his followers in the drugged, anti-establishment haze of 1960s San Francisco, not all cult leaders have such a ready-made base of potential recruits. Cult recruiting is a controversial topic, in that some believe active recruiting has died down since its heyday in the '70s, and others think it has only gotten quieter. Whatever the degree of the problem, there are people out there looking for potential cult members. In the next section, we'll learn about cult recruiting techniques.

If You Need HelpIf you think you may be involved in a destructive cult, or you've recently left one, there are a lot of resources out there ready to help you. They can assist you in understanding the situation and taking action. Here are just a few organizations that specialize in helping people recover from cult involvement: · reFOCUS· Support Group Locations· Post-Cult Trauma· Cult Information Service
You may have an idea of a "cult recruit" as an obviously troubled young person, maybe "mentally ill," easily exploited by unethical cultists. But studies show that people who join cults have only a slightly higher incidence of psychiatric disorders than the general population.
Cult members come from all walks of life, all age groups and all personality types. However, one common thread among most cult recruits is heightened stress: Research indicates that a majority of people who end up joining a cult were recruited during a particularly stressful period. This could be the stress associated with adolescence, leaving home for the first time, a bad breakup, losing a job or the death of a loved one. People undergoing significant stress can be more susceptible when a person or group claims to have the answer to all of their problems. Michael Langone, Ph.D., a psychologist who specializes in cults, also identifies some psychological traits that can make a person more likely to be successfully recruited, including:
· dependency - an intense desire to belong, stemming from a lack of self-confidence
· unassertiveness - a reluctance to say no or question authority
· gullibility - a tendency to believe what someone says without really thinking about it
· low tolerance for uncertainty - a need to have any question answered immediately in black-and-white terms
· disillusionment with the status quo - a feeling of marginalization within one's own culture and a desire to see that culture change
· naive idealism - a blind belief that everyone is good
· desire for spiritual meaning - a need to believe that life has a "higher purpose"
Cult recruiters hang out in places where you might find people in a period of extreme stress or possessing the above personality traits -- which is anywhere. Some particularly fruitful recruiting locations might include college campuses, religious gatherings, self-help and support groups, seminars related to spirituality or social change and the unemployment office. In a 1990 article in the San Francisco Examiner, an unnamed ex-cult member commented on how easy it is to get sucked in: "People don't realize how susceptible we all are. Those smiling faces lead you to buy it when you're naive and accepting." She was recruited on the UC San Diego campus when she was 19. Her parents arranged for her to be "deprogrammed" eight years later (more on deprogramming in the "Getting Out" section).
The main methods of cult recruitment revolve around deception and manipulation. Potential recruits are not told the true nature or intentions of the group. Instead, recruiters portray it as something mainstream, low-pressure and benign. They may tell people at a church gathering that their group meets once a week to brainstorm ways to raise money for a new homeless shelter. They might invite a high school student to a talk about how public service can enhance a college application. Recruiters identity the specific needs or desires of their targets and play to them. They learn to pick up on a person's fears and vulnerabilities and portray the cult accordingly. For instance, if a young woman just went through a bad breakup, and she's feeling depressed and alone, a cult member might tell her that his group helps people to overcome interpersonal problems and rebuild their confidence for a fresh start. If a man just lost his wife in a car accident, and he can't bear that he didn't get to say goodbye to her, a recruiter might claim that his group helps people reach peace in the wake of sudden death.
It might seem strange that someone would accept these types of invitations, but there are a couple of factors that make it seem more palatable. First, the recruiter might be someone these people know. He could be in that young woman's college dorm or that man's survivors' support group. And someone who is sad, lonely or desperate might be more inclined to trust someone who claims to know the path back to happiness. Also, cults typically isolate recruits so they can't get a "reality check." They may hold meetings or services at times that would normally be spent with family and friends; they may hold "retreats" that submerge the recruit in the group's message for days at a time; and they may ask recruits not to discuss the group with others until they know more about it, so they don't mislead people or give them only part of the story. This kind of isolation narrows a person's feedback structure drastically for a period of time, to the point that the only people they're really communicating with are the members of the cult they're being invited to join. Their doubts about the group, therefore, are never reinforced, and they end up turning into self-doubt, instead. Looking around them at all of the smiling, friendly people who have obviously found peace and happiness by following this path, it appears that it must be the right way.
Once a person attends one meeting or service or lecture, he's invited to another, and another and another. He's welcomed into the cult family and invited to commit himself to the group. From day one, it's a process of manipulation and deception. And for those who stay on, the recruiting process culminates in the submission of their own personalities to the "will of the group." In the next section, we'll see what cult indoctrination entails.
Is My Loved One in a Cult?If you suspect someone you love is in a destructive cult, the first thing to do is remain calm and rational. Temporarily discard the whole "cult" thing and ask yourself why you're worried -- what behaviors are causing you concern? Write them down. Are these behaviors dangerous? Destructive? If so, the next step is to try to find out if they might be a result of your loved one's involvement with the group in question. There are no absolute, scientifically proven checklists for involvement in a totalist cult, but here are a couple of sources that can help: · Cult Concern FAQ· Cult Influence & PersuasionIf your research leads you to believe that your loved one's behavior can in fact be attributed to her involvement with a destructive cult, your next step is the same as your first step: remain calm and rational. Talk to your loved one about your concerns and listen to her responses. If your fears appear to be valid, consult a psychologist or exit counselor to find out how you can help your loved one without causing further damage. There are lots of organizations out there dedicated to educating and assisting the concerned families of cult members. See the following links for more information: · ex-Cult Resource Center· Cult Information Service· reFOCUS

Sounds Like Boot CampWhile some people may see similarities between the mind-control practices used by cults and the training that goes on in military organizations, there are significant differences. For one thing, military recruits know from day one that being in the military means giving up some of their autonomy -- that's how the military hierarchy works. A person who joins the military makes an informed decision to relinquish that autonomy, whereas a cult recruit does not know that total submission is a requirement of membership. Also, a person who joins the military does so for a definite period of time -- he is a party to a legal contract that states how long he will be a soldier and what he will get in return. A person who joins a cult thinks he can leave whenever he wants, but in reality, his commitment to the group is supposed to be indefinite. Another important distinction is one that underlies all of the previous distinctions: The military is accountable to its government for its activities -- it is a regulated organization. A cult answers to no one.
A destructive cult uses countless techniques to get its members to stay, commit themselves and take part in what may be harmful activities. The sum of these techniques constitutes what some people call "mind control." It's also known as "thought reform," "brainwashing" and "coercive persuasion," and it involves the systematic breakdown of a person's sense of self.
Patty Hearst, heiress to the Hearst publishing fortune, became famous in the 1970s after she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (the SLA, which some deem a "political cult") and allegedly brainwashed into joining the group. There are reports that Hearst was locked in a dark closet for several days after her kidnapping and was kept hungry, tired, brutalized and afraid for her life while SLA members bombarded her with their anti-capitalist political ideology. Within two months of her kidnapping, Patty had changed her name, issued a statement in which she referred to her family as the "pig-Hearsts" and appeared on a security tape robbing a bank with her kidnappers.
Thought reform is an umbrella term for any number of manipulative techniques used to get people to do something they wouldn't otherwise do. The concept of thought reform itself is a controversial one -- some say it's mere propaganda designed to scare people away from new religions and political movements. But most psychologists believe that cult brainwashing techniques, which are similar to techniques used in prisoner interrogation, do change a person's thought processes. In cult recruiting and indoctrination, these techniques include:
· Deception - Cults trick new recruits into joining the group and committing themselves to a cause or lifestyle they don't fully understand.
§ Cults mislead new recruits/members as to the true expectations and activities of the group.
§ Cults may hide any signs of illegal, immoral or hyper-controlling practices until the recruit has fully immersed himself in the group.
§ A cult leader may use members' altered consciousness, induced by activities like meditation, chanting or drug use, to increase vulnerability to suggestion.
· Isolation - Cults cut off members from the outside world (and even each other) to produce intense introspection, confusion, loss of perspective and a distorted sense of reality. The members of the cult become the person's only social contact and feedback mechanism.
§ Cults may keep new recruits from talking to other new recruits. They may only be allowed to speak with long-committed members for a period of time.
§ Cults may not allow unsupervised contact with the "outside world." In this way, there is no chance for a "reality check" or validation of a new member's concerns regarding the group.
§ Cults typically instill the belief that "outsiders" (non-cult members) are dangerous and wrong.
· Induced Dependency - Cults demand absolute, unquestioning devotion, loyalty and submission. A cult member's sense of self is systematically destroyed. Ultimately, feelings of worthlessness and "evil" become associated with independence and critical thinking, and feelings of warmth and love become associated with unquestioning submission.
§ The leader typically controls every minute of a member's waking time. There is no free time to think or analyze.
§ Members are told what to eat, what to wear, how to feed their children, when to sleep ... the member is removed from all decision-making.
§ Any special talents the member has are immediately devalued and criticized in order to confuse the member's sense of self-worth.
§ Any doubts, assertiveness or remaining ties to the outside world are punished by the group through criticism, guilt and alienation. Questions and doubts are systematically "turned around" so that the doubter feels wrong, worthless, "evil" for questioning. The member is loved again when he renounces those doubts and submits to the will of the leader.
§ The member may be deprived of adequate sustenance and/or sleep so the mind becomes muddled.
§ The leader may randomly alternate praise and love with scorn and punishment to keep the member off-balance and confused and instill immense self-doubt. The leader may offer occasional gifts and special privileges to encourage continued submission.
§ The member may be pressured to publicly confess sins, after which he is viciously ridiculed by the group for being evil and unworthy. He is loved again when he acknowledges that his devotion to the cult is the only thing that will bring him salvation.
· Dread - Once complete dependence is established, the member must retain the leader's good favor or else his life falls apart.
§ The leader may punish doubt or insubordination with physical or emotional trauma.
§ Once all ties to the outside world have been cut, the member feels like his only family is the group, and he has nowhere else to go.
§ Access to necessities depends on the leader's favor. The member must "behave" or he may not get food, water, social interaction or protection from the outside world.
§ The member may believe that only group members are "saved," so if he leaves, he will face eternal damnation.
Indoctrination, or thought reform, is a long process that never really ends. Members are continually subjected to these techniques -- it's part of daily life in a cult. Some adjust well to it after a period of time, embracing their new role as "group member" and casting aside their old sense of independence. For others, it's a perpetually stressful existence. In the next section, we'll take a look at what it's like to live within the confines of a destructive cult.

Cult Life (and Death)
Photo courtesy Getty ImagesDavid Hume Kennerly900 dead bodies at The People's Temple compound in Jonestown, Guyana
There is no single description that fits the lifestyle of every destructive cult out there. But there are some common themes. Many ex-cult members depict a type of insulated, moment-to-moment existence in which repressing fear and anxiety is job one. Chanting and meditation become prime coping mechanisms in this regard. Cut off from family, old friends and the outside world, their old life becomes like a dream. In their new life, psychological growth just stops -- cult members are caught in a static life that depends on not thinking, not questioning, not wondering, not remembering. Children raised in a destructive cult are stunted early. They do not usually attend school, and the cult may or may not provide its children with an education.
Cults need food, shelter and clothing like everyone else, and unless they have a wealthy benefactor or they're truly isolated, living in a jungle and growing their own food, that means they need money. Some cults make money to sustain themselves by legitimate means. The Heaven's Gate cult in San Diego, Calif., had been running a successful Web design business before they committed mass suicide in 1997. Some cults commit crimes like fraud and tax evasion to help support themselves. They may use deceptive fundraising techniques or require that new recruits make significant financial contributions to support the rest of the cult.
Above all else, life in a totalist cult is typically characterized by tight control. There is very little freedom in daily life: The leader prescribes what a member can and cannot do for every minute of the day. This includes what food he can eat, what books he can read, whom he can talk to, what he can wear, where he can go and how long he can sleep. The leader makes decisions, and the followers do as they're told.
For some people, living this way is a relief -- life is simple. There are no unanswered questions, no uncertainty, no worrying about the future or managing conflicting desires. Some people's lives on the outside were so bad that the cult is in reality a safe, happy place. But in a lot of cases, this type of lifestyle causes intense psychological distress. Many people experience a persistent fear of angering the leader or losing group approval. They must constantly avoid the tension between their cult world and their former life and stifle any doubts or longings that arise. In some cases, there is also the possibility of physical harm. Punishments for disobedience might be physical, and cult members are typically cut off from hospitals and regular medical care. Some studies show that children in destructive cults are more likely to be abused or neglected than in the general population.
This level of stress can lead to chronic anxiety, physical illness or even a complete mental breakdown in which a cult member may become unable to function in daily life. It's the people who experience cult life as stressful who are most likely to leave voluntarily. In the next section, we'll find out what options people have when it comes to getting out of a destructive cult.
Notable Cult Incidents· 1997, San Diego, Calif.: Heaven's Gate39 members commit suicide by overdose and suffocation. · 1994-1995, Canada, Switzerland, France: Order of the Solar TempleMore than 65 members and former members die in a series of mass murders and suicides. · 1993, Waco, Texas: Branch Davidians80 members die by fire and gunshots during a confrontation with the FBI and ATF. · 1978, Jonestown, Guyana: The People's TempleCult leader Jim Jones and more than 900 members die in a mass murder/suicide by poison and gunshots. · 1969, Los Angeles, Calif.: The Manson FamilyCharles Manson and his followers commit mass murders that leave nine people brutally slaughtered over the course of two weeks.

Getting Out
People might voluntarily leave a cult for any number of reasons. Some cult members become disillusioned and just walk out. This was the case with the Davidians, a precursor group to the Branch Davidians. The leader of the Davidians predicted the end of the world on a particular date. When that date came and went, some members were disappointed. The leader predicted a new date, and that date came and went with the world intact as well. By the time the leader died and his wife took over and predicted a new series of dates that failed to see the destruction of the world, there were very few members left in the group.
For some people, it's not that difficult to leave a cult. Some individuals are just less susceptible to mind-control techniques than others, and they may have retained enough of a sense of self to make an informed decision to walk out. But it's usually not that simple. There are ex-cultists who say they spent years working up the nerve to get out. A true convert is completely dependent on the cult for every aspect of life and consciousness -- to the truly indoctrinated cult member, leaving means being alone and starting over. His sense of self has been completely broken down to the point that he doesn't even know who he is without his cult family. He may not have made a decision in years. Gathering the confidence to voluntarily leave a totalist cult requires a tremendous act of will and doesn't come easily. It might result from renewed contact with the outside world, such as a cult member speaking with her parents for the first time in a decade. It might happen when a cult member has a psychological breakdown and believes she is simply too worthless to meet the expectations of the group, so she leaves to spare her cult family the weariness of her presence. Or it might come about following a particularly traumatic experience that jolts the cult member into consciousness, such as witnessing the sexual assault of a child or a murder within the cult.
But making the decision to leave is only part of the process. The cult has to unlock the door, so to speak, in order for the member to get out. Some destructive cults do let people leave. Usually, they'll put a lot of pressure on a member to stay; but in the end, a person can choose to go and not have to climb a barbed-wire fence in the dead of night or sneak past any armed guards. In the mildest cases, a member who leaves may be "disowned" by the cult, forbidden any contact with the people that have been her family for months, years or decades, but the member won't suffer any physical harm when she walks out. In the most severe cases, though, a cult may stop at nothing to maintain control over its members, and a person may fear for her life if she tries to leave. When 16 members of The People's Temple in Jonestown, Guyana, decided they wanted to leave the cult in 1978 following a visit from a U.S. government group, several armed cult members followed them to the airport and opened fire. They injured 11 people and killed a U.S. Congressman, three reporters and one member who was trying to leave. Fear of the consequences of this incident is what triggered leader Jim Jones to initiate the mass suicide and murder of 900 members of the cult.
While a peaceful, voluntary exit is certainly the preferred method of leaving a cult, it doesn't always happen that way. There are those who don't want to escape at all but are grabbed from their beds at three in the morning and dragged back into the outside world. This is typically the first stage in what is known as "deprogramming," which is an extreme method of removing someone from a cult against his will.
It's not easy to get someone to leave a destructive cult. Talking is always the first step. But sometimes, the cultist is too well indoctrinated to really hear anything an outsider has to say, and other times there's no opportunity to talk at all. A cult member may have severed all ties to the outside world. Family members who fear for a loved one who's deeply involved in a totalist cult have to find another option if simple talking is impossible or doesn't work. At this point, they can go one of two ways: deprogramming or exit counseling.
Deprogramming is the more drastic of the two approaches because it usually involves an initial kidnapping to get the cult member away from the cult. For this reason, deprogramming is a very expensive service. It can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. After the forced removal, deprogramming mostly involves hours and hours of intense "debriefing," during which a team of deprogrammers hold the cult member against his will and use ethical psychological techniques to try to counter the unethical psychological techniques used by the cult. The goal is to get the cult member to think for himself and re-evaluate his situation. Debriefing methods can include:
· educating the cult member on thought-reform techniques and helping him to recognize those methods in his own cult experience
· asking questions that encourage the cult member to think in a critical, independent way, helping him to recognize that type of thinking and praising him for it
· attempting to produce an emotional connection to his former life by introducing objects from his past and having family members share their memories of his pre-cult existence
Deprogramming was relatively common in the 1970s, but has fallen out of favor as an acceptable cult-removal method, partly because it's so expensive, partly because it involves kidnapping and imprisonment and partly because that kidnapping and imprisonment led to a lot of lawsuits over the years. Now, most families turn to "exit counselors." Exit counseling leaves out the kidnapping and focuses instead on employing psychological techniques that might get the cult member to voluntarily submit to debriefing. Exit counselors guide the family in the most effective ways to get a cult member to communicate with "outsiders." Family members must be non-judgmental, calm and loving, or else they'll only reinforce the belief that all outsiders are "bad" and dangerous. If they succeed, and the cult member agrees to participate in the process, what happens next is essentially the same debriefing that occurs during deprogramming, with long sessions that take place over a number of days, but the cult member is free to leave.
There's is no guarantee that any cult-removal technique will work. Some sources say that at least one-third of deprogrammings fail, and there are no definitive statistics on the success rate of exit counseling. But when it does work, the cult member finds himself back in the outside world -- with a whole new set of problems. People who leave a totalist cult can suffer from a laundry list of psychological problems. Some common ones include depression, anxiety, paranoia, guilt, rage and constant fear. They may have difficulty thinking clearly, making decisions, analyzing situations and performing everyday activities like picking out something to wear or going to the store to buy groceries. Psychologist Michael Langone describes a common post-cult state he calls "floating," in which the former member goes back and forth from "cult to non-cult ways of viewing the world ... stalled in a foggy, 'in-between' state of consciousness."
Not everybody is psychologically damaged by a cult experience. Some go on with their lives after a relatively short adjustment period. But most people who have undergone thought reform suffer negative consequences when they leave the insulated environment of the cult. It can take years for a former cult member to readjust to life on the outside. Some people never completely return to their pre-cult level of functioning. But in most cases, counseling and family support can go a long way toward recovery.
For more information on destructive cults and related topics, including links to organizations that help people who've been hurt by cult involvement, check out the links on the next page.

Lots More Information
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More Great Links
· Court TV Crime Library: Cult Murders
· Cult Concern FAQ
· ex-Cult Resource Center
· International Cultic Studies Association - Cults: Questions and Answers
· reFOCUS - includes phone numbers and contact information for support groups and ex-cult members who want to help
· "Biderman's Chart of Coercion." reFOCUS.
· "Characteristics of a Destructive Cult." International Cultic Studies Association.
· "Cults."
· "Cults: a.k.a. New Religious Movements."
· Enroth, Ronald, Ph.D. "Dysfunctional Churches." Cult Observer, 1992, Vol. 9, No. 4
· Groenveld, Jan. "Identifying a Cult." ex-cult Resource Center.
· Hassan, Steven. "Mind Control - The BITE Model." ex-cult Resource Center.
· Irving, Carl. "One who got away: Cult recruiting flourishing quietly on college campuses." San Francisco Examiner, March 4, 1990,
· "Destructive Cults: The Family (Charles Manson)."
· "Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst." American Experience.
· Jacobsen, Jeff. "A Short Review of Academic Research into Cults." ex-cult Resource Center.
· Langone, Michael D., Ph.D. "Cults: Questions and Answers." International Cultic Studies Association.
· Lifton, Robert J., Ph.D. "Thought Reform: The Psychology of Totalism." ex-cult Resource Center.
· "The People's Temple." Religious
· Rosedale, Herbert H., Esq. and Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. "On Using the Term 'Cult.'"
International Cultic Studies Association.
· Ryan, Patrick. "Mass Suicides Timeline." International Cultic Studies Association.
· Singer, Margaret T., Ph. D. "Conditions for Mind Control." ex-cult Resource Center.
· Troy, Carol. "Behind Suicide Cult Lay Thriving Web Business." The New York Times, Mar. 28, 1997.
· "Waco: The Inside Story."

How Brainwashing Works

How Brainwashing Works
by Julia Layton

Layton, Julia. "How Brainwashing Works." 10 May 2006. 28 July 2008.
Inside this Article
1. Introduction to How Brainwashing Works
2. Brainwashing Techniques
3. The Possibility of Salvation
4. Rebuilding the Self
5. Brainwashing Then and Now
6. The Lee Boyd Malvo Case
7. See more »

During the Korean War, Korean and Chinese captors reportedly brainwashed American POWs held in prison camps. Several prisoners ultimately confessed to waging germ warfare -- which they hadn't -- and pledged allegiance to communism by the end of their captivity. At least 21 soldiers refused to come back to the United States when they were set free. It sounds impressive, but skeptics point

out that it was 21 out of more than 20,000 prisoners in communist countries. Does brainwashing really work in any reliable way?
In psychology, the study of brainwashing, often referred to as thought reform, falls into the sphere of "social influence." Social influence happens every minute of every day. It's the collection of ways in which people can change other people's attitudes, beliefs and behaviors. For instance, the compliance method aims to produce a change in a person's behavior and is not concerned with his attitudes or beliefs. It's the "Just do it" approach. Persuasion, on the other hand, aims for a change in attitude, or "Do it because it'll make you feel good/happy/healthy/successful." The education method (which is called the "propaganda method" when you don't believe in what's being taught) goes for the social-influence gold, trying to affect a change in the person's beliefs, along the lines of "Do it because you know it's the right thing to do." Brainwashing is a severe form of social influence that combines all of these approaches to cause changes in someone's way of thinking without that person's consent and often against his will.
Because brainwashing is such an invasive form of influence, it requires the complete isolation and dependency of the subject, which is why you mostly hear of brainwashing occurring in prison camps or totalist cults. The agent (the brainwasher) must have complete control over the target (the brainwashee) so that sleep patterns, eating, using the bathroom and the fulfillment of other basic human needs depend on the will of the agent. In the brainwashing process, the agent systematically breaks down the target's identity to the point that it doesn't work anymore. The agent then replaces it with another set of behaviors, attitudes and beliefs that work in the target's current environment.
While most psychologists believe that brainwashing is possible under the right conditions, some see it as improbable or at least as a less severe form of influence than the media portrays it to be. Some definitions of brainwashing require the presence of the threat of physical harm, and under these definitions most extremist cults do not practice true brainwashing since they typically do not physically abuse recruits. Other definitions rely on "nonphysical coercion and control" as an equally effective means of asserting influence. Regardless of which definition you use, many experts believe that even under ideal brainwashing conditions, the effects of the process are most often short-term -- the brainwashing victim's old identity is not in fact eradicated by the process, but instead is in hiding, and once the "new identity" stops being reinforced the person's old attitudes and beliefs will start to return.
There are psychologists who say the apparent conversion of American POWs during the Korean War was the result of plain-old torture, not "brainwashing." And in fact, most POWs in the Korean War were not converted to communism at all, which leads to the question of reliability: Is brainwashing a system that produces similar results across cultures and personality types, or does it hinge primarily on the target's susceptibility to influence? In the next section, we'll examine one expert's description of the brainwashing process and find out what makes an easy target.

Fictional Brainwashing

Modern literature and film use the brainwashing scenario pretty liberally. It gets to the very nature of humanity: Are we all ultimately reducible to puppets? The protagonist in George Orwell's "1984" undergoes a classic case of brainwashing that ends with the famous concession to his tormentors: "two plus two equals five." In 1962's "The Manchurian Candidate," brainwashing produces a robot-like assassin incapable of overriding the control commands he's been programmed with. "A Clockwork Orange" (1971) positions institutional brainwashing as an option for violent convicts looking to shorten their sentences, and in 1997's "Conspiracy Theory," a mentally unstable, government-brainwashed assassin seeks to prove that some very powerful people have been tampering with his mind.

Brainwashing Techniques
Photo courtesy U.S. ArmyAmerican POWs in theKorean War
In the late 1950s, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of Korean War and Chinese war camps. He determined that they'd undergone a multistep process that began with attacks on the prisoner's sense of self and ended with what appeared to be a change in beliefs. Lifton ultimately defined a set of steps involved in the brainwashing cases he studied:
1. Assault on identity
2. Guilt
3. Self-betrayal
4. Breaking point
5. Leniency
6. Compulsion to confess
7. Channeling of guilt
8. Releasing of guilt
9. Progress and harmony
10. Final confession and rebirth
Each of these stages takes place in an environment of isolation, meaning all "normal" social reference points are unavailable, and mind-clouding techniques like sleep deprivation and malnutrition are typically part of the process. There is often the presence or constant threat of physical harm, which adds to the target's difficulty in thinking critically and independently.
We can roughly divide the process Lifton identified into three stages: breaking down the self, introducing the possibility of salvation, and rebuilding the self.
Breaking down the self
· Assault on identity: You are not who you think you are.
This is a systematic attack on a target's sense of self (also called his identity or ego) and his core belief system. The agent denies everything that makes the target who he is: "You are not a soldier." "You are not a man." "You are not defending freedom." The target is under constant attack for days, weeks or months, to the point that he becomes exhausted, confused and disoriented. In this state, his beliefs seem less solid.
· Guilt: You are bad.
While the identity crisis is setting in, the agent is simultaneously creating an overwhelming sense of guilt in the target. He repeatedly and mercilessly attacks the subject for any "sin" the target has committed, large or small. He may criticize the target for everything from the "evilness" of his beliefs to the way he eats too slowly. The target begins to feel a general sense of shame, that everything he does is wrong.
· Self-betrayal: Agree with me that you are bad.
Once the subject is disoriented and drowning in guilt, the agent forces him (either with the threat of physical harm or of continuance of the mental attack) to denounce his family, friends and peers who share the same "wrong" belief system that he holds. This betrayal of his own beliefs and of people he feels a sense of loyalty to increases the shame and loss of identity the target is already experiencing.
· Breaking point: Who am I, where am I and what am I supposed to do?
With his identity in crisis, experiencing deep shame and having betrayed what he has always believed in, the target may undergo what in the lay community is referred to as a "nervous breakdown." In psychology, "nervous breakdown" is really just a collection of severe symptoms that can indicate any number of psychological disturbances. It may involve uncontrollable sobbing, deep depression and general disorientation. The target may have lost his grip on reality and have the feeling of being completely lost and alone.
When the target reaches his breaking point, his sense of self is pretty much up for grabs -- he has no clear understanding of who he is or what is happening to him. At this point, the agent sets up the temptation to convert to another belief system that will save the target from his misery.

The Possibility of Salvation
· Leniency: I can help you.
With the target in a state of crisis, the agent offers some small kindness or reprieve from the abuse. He may offer the target a drink of water, or take a moment to ask the target what he misses about home. In a state of breakdown resulting from an endless psychological attack, the small kindness seems huge, and the target may experience a sense of relief and gratitude completely out of proportion to the offering, as if the agent has saved his life.
· Compulsion to confession: You can help yourself.
For the first time in the brainwashing process, the target is faced with the contrast between the guilt and pain of identity assault and the sudden relief of leniency. The target may feel a desire to reciprocate the kindness offered to him, and at this point, the agent may present the possibility of confession as a means to relieving guilt and pain.
· Channeling of guilt: This is why you're in pain.
After weeks or months of assault, confusion, breakdown and moments of leniency, the target's guilt has lost all meaning -- he's not sure what he has done wrong, he just knows he is wrong. This creates something of a blank slate that lets the agent fill in the blanks: He can attach that guilt, that sense of "wrongness," to whatever he wants. The agent attaches the target's guilt to the belief system the agent is trying to replace. The target comes to believe it is his belief system that is the cause of his shame. The contrast between old and new has been established: The old belief system is associated with psychological (and usually physical) agony; and the new belief system is associated with the possibility of escaping that agony.
· Releasing of guilt: It's not me; it's my beliefs.
The embattled target is relieved to learn there is an external cause of his wrongness, that it is not he himself that is inescapably bad -- this means he can escape his wrongness by escaping the wrong belief system. All he has to do is denounce the people and institutions associated with that belief system, and he won't be in pain anymore. The target has the power to release himself from wrongness by confessing to acts associated with his old belief system.
With his full confessions, the target has completed his psychological rejection of his former identity. It is now up to the agent to offer the target a new one.

Rebuilding the Self
· Progress and harmony: If you want, you can choose good.
The agent introduces a new belief system as the path to "good." At this stage, the agent stops the abuse, offering the target physical comfort and mental calm in conjunction with the new belief system. The target is made to feel that it is he who must choose between old and new, giving the target the sense that his fate is in his own hands. The target has already denounced his old belief system in response to leniency and torment, and making a "conscious choice" in favor of the contrasting belief system helps to further relieve his guilt: If he truly believes, then he really didn't betray anyone. The choice is not a difficult one: The new identity is safe and desirable because it is nothing like the one that led to his breakdown.
· Final confession and rebirth: I choose good.
Contrasting the agony of the old with the peacefulness of the new, the target chooses the new identity, clinging to it like a life preserver. He rejects his old belief system and pledges allegiance to the new one that is going to make his life better. At this final stage, there are often rituals or ceremonies to induct the converted target into his new community. This stage has been described by some brainwashing victims as a feeling of "rebirth."
(See How Cults Work: Indoctrination for details on the thought-reform process that takes place specifically in destructive cults.)
A brainwashing process like the one discussed above has not been tested in a modern laboratory setting, because it's damaging to the target and would therefore be an unethical scientific experiment. Lifton created this description from first-hand accounts of the techniques used by captors in the Korean War and other instances of "brainwashing" around the same time. Since Lifton and other psychologists have identified variations on what appears to be a distinct set of steps leading to a profound state of suggestibility, an interesting question is why some people end up brainwashed and others don't.
Certain personality traits of the brainwashing targets can determine the effectiveness of the process. People who commonly experience great self doubt, have a weak sense of identity, and show a tendency toward guilt and absolutism (black-and-white thinking) are more likely to be successfully brainwashed, while a strong sense of identity and self-confidence can make a target more resistant to brainwashing. Some accounts show that faith in a higher power can assist a target in mentally detaching from the process. Mental detachment is one of the POW-survival techniques now taught to soldiers as part of their training. It involves the target psychologically removing himself from his actual surroundings through visualization, the constant repetition of a mantra and various other meditative techniques. The military also teaches soldiers about the methods used in brainwashing, because a target's knowledge of the process tends to make it less effective.
While the U.S. consciousness was turned to brainwashing in the 1950s in the aftermath of the Korean War, brainwashing has been around for longer than that. Scholars have traced the roots of systematic thought reform to the prison camps of communist Russia in the early 1900s, when political prisoners were routinely "re-educated" to the communist view of the world. But it was when the practice spread to China and the writings of Chairman Mao Tse-tung ("The Little Red Book") that the world started to take notice.

Brainwashing Then and Now
In 1929, Mao Tse-tung, who would later lead the Chinese Communist Party, used the phrase ssu-hsiang tou-cheng (translated as "thought struggle") to describe a process of brainwashing. Political prisoners in China and Korea were reportedly subjected to communist-conversion techniques as a matter of course. The modern concept and the term "brainwashing" was first used by journalist Edward Hunter in 1951 to describe what had happened to American POWs during the Korean War. Hunter introduced the concept at a time when Americans were already afraid: It was the Cold War, and America panicked at the idea of mass communist indoctrination through "brainwashing" -- they might be converted and not even know it!
In the wake of the Korean War revelations, the U.S. government seemed to fear it was falling behind in the weapons race, because it began its own mind-control research. In 1953, the CIA began a program called MKULTRA. In one study, the CIA supposedly gave subjects (including the famed Timothy Leary) LSD in order to study the effects of mind-altering drugs and gauge the effectiveness of psychedelics at inducing a brainwashing-friendly state of mind. The results were not that encouraging, and subjects were supposedly harmed by the experiments. Drug experimentation by the CIA was officially cancelled by Congress in the 1970s, although some claim it still happens under the radar. Public interest in brainwashing briefly subsided after the Cold War but resurfaced in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of countless non-mainstream political and religious groups during that era. Parents who were horrified by their children's new beliefs and activities were sure they'd been brainwashed by a "cult." The mass suicides and killing sprees committed by a small percentage of those cults seemed to validate the brainwashing fears, and some parents went so far as to have their children kidnapped by "deprogrammers" to remove them from the influence of cult leaders.
Photo courtesy Keystone/Consolidated News Pictures/Getty ImagesPatty Hearst is caught on surveillance camera during a bank robbery in San Francisco.
One supposed victim of brainwashing at that time was Patty Hearst, heiress to the Hearst publishing fortune, who would later use a brainwashing defense when she was on trial for bank robbery. Hearst became famous in the early 1970s after she was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (the SLA, which some deem a "political cult") and ended up joining the group. Hearst reports that she was locked in a dark closet for several days after her kidnapping and was kept hungry, tired, brutalized and afraid for her life while SLA members bombarded her with their anti-capitalist political ideology. Within two months of her kidnapping, Patty had changed her name, issued a statement in which she referred to her family as the "pig-Hearsts" and appeared on a security tape robbing a bank with her kidnappers.
Patty Hearst stood trial for bank robbery in 1976, defended by the famous F. Lee Bailey. The defense claimed that Hearst was brainwashed by the SLA and would not have committed the crime otherwise. In her mental state, she could not tell right from wrong. Hearst was found guilty and sentenced to seven years in prison. She only served two -- in 1979, President Carter commuted her sentence.
In the next section we'll look at the Lee Boyd Malvo case.

The Lee Boyd Malvo Case
Photo courtesy Davis Turner/AFP/Getty ImagesLee Boyd Malvo is escorted by deputies as he is brought into court to be identified by a witness.
Another "insanity by brainwashing" defense hit the courtroom 30 years later, when Lee Boyd Malvo stood trial for his role in the 2002 sniper attacks in and around Washington, D.C. The 17-year-old Malvo and 42-year-old John Allen Muhammad killed 10 people and wounded three in a killing spree. The defense claimed that the teenaged Malvo was brainwashed by Muhammad into committing the crimes, which he would not have committed if he weren't under Muhammad's control. According to "The Brainwashing Defense" in Psychology Today:
Muhammad plucked 15-year-old Malvo from the Caribbean island of Antigua, where his mother had abandoned him, and brought him to the U.S. in 2001. An army veteran, Muhammad filled the teen's head with visions of an impending race war and trained Malvo in marksmanship. He isolated Malvo, steeped him to his own idiosyncratic, vitriolic brand of Islam and imposed a strict diet and exercise regimen on his "adopted" son.
The argument was that Malvo was brainwashed, and because he was brainwashed he could not tell right from wrong. Malvo was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without parole. (Muhammad was sentenced to death in a separate trial.)
There seems to be a contrast between an underlying fear of brainwashing in modern society, as seen in contemporary films and literature, and the apparent belief of many people who sit on juries that brainwashing is hogwash. Maybe it's the "it could never happen to me" reaction, or maybe it's just a general reluctance to absolve a criminal of responsibility for his or her crime. Whatever the cause, people seem to distinguish between brainwashing now and brainwashing in the future, the latter of which appears to be the more fearsome of the two. The future of brainwashing, if Hollywood and the conspiracy theorists are to be trusted, involves much more high-tech approaches. And yes, brain implants are arguably a lot scarier than verbal or physical "assaults on identity." If some evil branch of neurosurgery can get it right, we're all doomed to be puppets of the state. Combined with hypnosis techniques, a brain implant might be all that's needed to control a human being's thoughts, actions and beliefs. But most scientists agree that the field of neurology is nowhere close to that level of understanding of the human brain. Likewise, many psychologists believe that large-scale brainwashing -- via the mass media and subliminal messages, for instance -- is not possible, because the thought-reform process requires isolation and absolute dependence of the subject in order to be effective. It's just not that easy to change a person's core personality and belief system.
For more information on brainwashing and related topics, check out the links on the next page.

Lots More Information
Related HowStuffWorks Articles
· How the Brain Works
· How Cults Work
· How Exorcism Works
· How Fear Works
· How Hypnosis Works
· The Korean War
More Great Links
· ChangingMinds: Lifton's Brainwashing Processes.
· Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology: Brainwashing
· PsychologyToday: The Brainwashing Defense
· The Skeptic's Dictionary: Mind Control (Brainwashing)
· Working Psychology: Introduction to Influence
· Adams, Cecil. "Is brainwashing possible?" The Straight Dope.
· "Brainwashing." ChangingMinds.
· "Brainwashing." Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology.
· Flora, Carlin. "The Brainwashing Defense." PsychologyToday.
· "Introduction to Influence." Working Psychology.
· "Lifton's Brainwashing Processes." ChangingMinds.
· "Positive Psychology of POW Survival." International Network on Personal Meaning.
· "Schein's stages of conversion." ChangingMinds.
· "Sniper Malvo sentenced to life without parole." May 5, 2004.