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What's your opinion?
I didn't understand anything 15%  15%  [ 4 ]
It happens but it's rare 19%  19%  [ 5 ]
I prefer to think it's not true 0%  0%  [ 0 ]
What you describe doesn't exist 11%  11%  [ 3 ]
Duh! 15%  15%  [ 4 ]
Other _________________________________________________________ 41%  41%  [ 11 ]
Total votes : 27

pandd
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21 Jan 2010, 11:37 am

I would not want to accompany someone I knew or suspected held views of this grossly contemptuous nature about me, to the Galilee, or anywhere else for that matter.

You might want to consider that people without Aspergers Syndrome often tend to be remarkably astute when it comes to detecting contempt directed at them by others.



Greentea
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21 Jan 2010, 12:49 pm

Sue, thanks, it's very comforting to see that someone understands what I'm talking about. I've been trying to make it as clear as possible but I see that most don't understand yet. I think as people discuss it more, it will become clearer.

miszt, of course good and evil are artificial and subjective constructs. But it's so much easier to write "evil" instead of "concerned only with self-gain, self-interest and 100% lacking in compassion" that I was tempted to use the word. But I agree, I should've used the definition rather than the epithet.

TD, the pyramid I'm talking about is about informal hierarchy and private life, so it leaves out formal workplace relating (except in feudal kind of work relationships).

Still hoping to be proven wrong, though all the nerves touched here only confirm and reconfirm the thesis so far, unfortunately...


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miszt
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21 Jan 2010, 1:04 pm

Greentea, I think its more fundamental than that, you seem to be making a distinction between the behaviour of those at the top of the pyramid, and those at the bottom, I would disagree and suggest that mostly people all act in the same way, driven by the need to survive, and one of the ways we do this, is by hoarding, and gathering up friends who may be of some use to us in the future, this occours at every level. What distinguishes the people at the top and the bottom, is blind luck in the distribution of resources.



makuranososhi
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21 Jan 2010, 1:09 pm

Let's see... you've asked for others to disprove your suggestion, but your comments - "it's very comforting to see that someone understands what I'm talking about. I've been trying to make it as clear as possible but I see that most don't understand yet." - seem to imply that you think you are correct and expect others to argue your point for you. You have, thus far, refused to acknowledge any of the points made by myself or others that dissent with what you've proposed. In your last post, you continue to make the same assertions of motivation that have already been refuted earlier in the thread. So unless there is something I have missed entirely, it appears that the subject of this thread is not what it was advertised to be... and has lost my interest. Unfortunate and disappointing.


M.


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Last edited by makuranososhi on 21 Jan 2010, 1:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Greentea
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21 Jan 2010, 1:27 pm

Good question. No, it's not luck. It's talent. A massive money and connections (= power) making talent is a rare and sought after asset, that's why he/she's the top boss and all the others depend on him/her.


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miszt
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21 Jan 2010, 1:35 pm

Greentea wrote:
Good question. No, it's not luck. It's talent. A massive money and connections (= power) making talent is a rare and sought after asset, that's why he/she's the top boss and all the others depend on him/her.


Certainly an ability/talent to take advantage of oppertunities is important, but the oppertunity has to be there in the first place, people didnt use' talents' to find Gold and Oil, it just happened to be in the same place as them at a time when they where able to take advantage of it



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21 Jan 2010, 1:45 pm

makuranososhi wrote:
You have, thus far, refused to acknowledge any of the points made by myself or others that dissent with what you've proposed.

There you go proving her point again. The mere fact of dissent is an obvious proof that the assertion disputed is necessarily correct;, why else would anyone be sufficiently "nerve touched" to disagree with something other than because it happens to be true?

Do not bother arguing 2+2 does not equal 5; such dissent only proves that the truth of 2+2=5 touches a nerve because if it were not true, no nerve would be touched and therefore no dissent would occur. No one ever disagrees with something unless it has touched a nerve by virtue of its truth. It is certainly not plausible that someone would disagree with an assertion because it is untrue. That never happens. Seriously. :roll:



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21 Jan 2010, 1:47 pm

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Almost everyone chooses to belong to a pyramid for protection against sudden misfortune in exchange for their soul. ---> this is the thesis I'm asking you to disprove.

ok, makes a little more sense now.

I lived in a cult for 20 years and it was absolutely required that I exchange my "soul" for protection against misfortune, protection being in the form of "god's hedge" which only "believers" can access with certainty. absolute allegiance was guaranteed by cultivating fear, and members were encouraged to "root out evil" by telling on other members, so we not only lived in fear of losing god's protection, but distrust of our fellow members. members were not rewarded for being holy or pure, but for how "spiritually aggressive" they were.

I think that kind of pyramid is fairly common in evangelistic religions, with pyramids nested inside pyramids where individuals at various leadership levels try to carve out their own group of dedicated followers.

in my family, it was a definite pyramid structure with a mentally ill leader. the form of the pyramid was constantly in flux as she demanded absolute compliance (even down to what opinions we held) and pitted us one against the other and forced us to vie for approval. usually I was out of favor since I was the most outspoken, but once I left my youngest sister took my place. I gave up on salvaging anything out that mess. every once in a while the fallen leader tries to entice me back into empty fold, but I suspect that would lead to too much pain so I ignore her invitations. I took my "soul" back from that after realizing that the protection of family simply doesn't exist for me.

when it comes to employment, there is an exchange of time and effort, which I guess could be considered part of your "soul" depending on where on your priority list you put your current employment. fear of sudden misfortune in the form of unemployment will inspire compliance to a greater degree when a person has fewer options or more to lose, so the degree to which they give their soul in exchange for security will depend on how many options a person has. many will feel like they have none or few, but some know they have options and will take them.

so, your hypothesis "Almost everyone chooses to belong to a pyramid for protection against sudden misfortune in exchange for their soul" is disproven as far as I'm concerned, because:

1. most people don't belong to soul-sucking religions. in the cult realm, besides me, lots and lots of people have walked away from cult life and we're less inclined to exchange our souls for any kind of "protection", knowing that said promised "protection" can't be guaranteed and is often just hot air.

2. my family life wasn't normal or healthy. as I get healthier and recover from the damage done to me as a kid, I see more and more that the protection of a family isn't generally given at the cost of one's soul.

3. while many people might feel they have few or no options in employment so will give their "soul" in exchange for employment security, plenty of others have employment options so in the event that an employer demand their "soul", they're more likely to find the nearest exit.



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21 Jan 2010, 1:55 pm

bhetti wrote:
most people don't belong to soul-sucking religions.


But what's the evidence that most people don't choose to belong to soul-sucking pyramids (religious, blood families, groups, whatever) in exchange for protection against sudden misfortune? This is what I'm trying to find...


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bhetti
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21 Jan 2010, 2:03 pm

Greentea wrote:
bhetti wrote:
most people don't belong to soul-sucking religions.


But what's the evidence that most people don't choose to belong to soul-sucking pyramids (religious, blood families, groups, whatever) in exchange for protection against sudden misfortune? This is what I'm trying to find...
you're not going to find any evidence that the reason they don't belong is that they don't want to exchange their soul for protection. the best you could probably do is set up a survey then run some math against the data to come up with an answer, but it wouldn't be credible and it wouldn't be hard evidence.

the only evidence I have is what people say or do when presented with the option to sell their soul in exchange for protection in whatever form, whether that option is implicit or explicit. the evidence I've gathered indicates that people don't rationally choose it. they only choose it when their sense of fear or greed is fueled.



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21 Jan 2010, 2:05 pm

bhetti wrote:
members were not rewarded for being holy or pure, but for how "spiritually aggressive" they were.


What do you mean by "spiritually aggressive"? In my family, which I've discovered lately is very much a cult, you're rewarded with attention, a sense of belonging and warmth the more power (money+connections) you manage to gather for yourself in the community - but no rewards for genuine kindness. Those unable to gather power in the outside community are at the bottom of the family pyramid. They're the "service people" - you're only as good as the services you provide and when the service isn't needed anymore, you're moved to a different service or if they can't find you a use you're forgotten and abandoned.

Also, do you have any recommendations of books/articles I could read more about becoming free from a cult?


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miszt
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21 Jan 2010, 2:06 pm

Greentea wrote:
bhetti wrote:
most people don't belong to soul-sucking religions.


But what's the evidence that most people don't choose to belong to soul-sucking pyramids (religious, blood families, groups, whatever) in exchange for protection against sudden misfortune? This is what I'm trying to find...


Wheres the evidence that we choose to do anything?



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21 Jan 2010, 2:11 pm

Greentea wrote:
Except for very rare exceptions, people are very dependent on other people. Almost everyone chooses to belong to a pyramid for protection against sudden misfortune in exchange for their soul. ---> this is the thesis I'm asking you to disprove.

Most people can do very little in life in terms of independent pursuit of what they really want, like or believe in. Living like this is a choice. And almost every person chooses this way of life. It's a sacrifice people make in order to cope with the extremely scary nature of life and the world. They don't ever get to genuinely enjoy life because they're not allowed to by the group they belong to, but in exchange for sacrificing their lives they live with the reassurance that they won't get to know naked, full-brunt tragedy/disgrace either.


This is true, and the only reason most people don't drive Ferarris and live in mansions.

Quote:
I call this kind of group a pyramid because it is an organized group of people where you must behave in certain ways in order to be accepted. It's usually a family - either your family of origin or the family you form, or another's family that adopts you, or a group that organizes itself like a family. The structure is one leader at the top, whom everyone must worship and back up whatever this person does, and whose values, habits and preferences must be accepted as their own by each member. Then you have the secondary leaders, those who most influence the top leader. Then there are more and more leaders at each level, then the wide base of non-leading members.


IMO, there are lots of "pyramids". There is someone's job, someone's family, someone's peers, etc. However, this is true, yes.

Quote:
The top of the pyramid is always an evil person. This is because what the pyramid offers is protection against evil - and therefore, the top leader must be one of the evil ones in order to be able to establish strong bonds with powerful evil people and so protect his pyramid (in exchange for total, absolute, unquestioned control of all the members).


It depends. In the case of a pyramid like a peer group, there will probably be a dominant member of that group, but not someone who's connected to anyone "evil", really. This also largely depends on how you define evil.

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I've recently discovered that when you talk to someone, they're actually first and foremost concerned with not losing their membership to their pyramids, and usually have no other considerations in mind. They'll say whatever, as long as it's allowed by the pyramid and doesn't go against its interests or threaten its strength/existence, or harm their relationship with someone higher up in the pyramid. They'll do anything, if the pyramid requires it. They'll uphold beliefs and values, whichever as long as those are the beliefs and values of the top leader.


This is true. People will only do things within the articifical rules they are set or have set themselves. Social rules are a good example of this.

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You don't ask a 9-year old child if he wants to go for a movie and a burger with you. You first ask their parents. In the same way, people (almost all) are not independent and before you ask them something you have to ask their pyramids if it's ok. Therefore, it's a waste of time (and a risk to the relationship) to relate to someone directly. You have to relate to their pyramids, first and foremost, and often even exclusively.


Not sure about that. There's a lot of people from different "pyramids" who still get along and are friends, or are related, or work together, etc.

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People tend to call others living like this "cults" or "closed groups" or "clans" or "mafias". But actually those are just pyramids that are easier to identify and less hidden than any other pyramid - not more strict than any other pyramid.


Not true. A cult is a lot harder to get out of than a social group, for example.

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A pyramid is little else than a web of nasty, fake, selfish, political relations. That's how people relate to each other when they stick together just out of fear of the "out there". They resent each other, they're passive-aggressively hostile to each other, they compete and envy and fight dirty for the favors of those higher up in the pyramid.

Eg: Lucy genuinely appreciates Tom, but Tom feels like a threat to the pyramid's strength if you ask Sam. So Lucy, not wanting to annoy Sam (since Sam is very influential to Kim, who in turn has a strong influence on Joan, the top leader's wife), claims to dislike Tom when asked about it. Then, out of fear of becoming suspicious to the pyramid, she goes on to do something really nasty to Tom to prove her continuing allegiance.

It doesn't matter what someone genuinely thinks of you. What will determine your relationship with them is the intricate politics they have within their own pyramid and how they think you fit in or not with those politics.


True in some situations, yes.

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The worst thing you can do to a human is make them risk their membership to their pyramid. They'll react like an animal feeling threatened and will destroy you for their own survival. They may have feelings for you but they'll never act on those feelings - they'll do whatever it takes to ensure their place in their pyramid, at any cost.

Eg: I asked someone once if she'd like to go to the Galilee for the day on Friday, since we were both saying how much we loved traveling to the Galilee in the weekends. I was sure her answer would be positive. However, I was shocked when she extended her palm in front of me and moved backwards abruptly. As if distancing from the devil. She explained that Fridays she must cook for the whole extended family, they all come to hers for Friday dinner each week. I realized that, should she ever go away on a Friday, she'd piss off someone who enjoyed dinners at her house, that person would influence someone even more influential against her, and she might lose the protection of the group. She'd much rather NEVER see the Galilee again than risk the lack of protection of her group. It's a sacrifice she's willing to make in order to live with the reassurance that sudden misfortune will not have to be dealt with alone, that she'll have the protection of her pyramid when that happens.


Again, this entirely depends on what "pyramid" you're talking about, they're all very different in nature.

Quote:
I think most NTs don't only feel more secure in a pyramid - they also enjoy the odd day when belonging to a strong pyramid gives them a feeling of power. Autistics, however, can't form part of a group. Pyramids are a lifestyle, a choice. Yet the Autistic has no choice - he can't belong. And on top of that, the Autistic doesn't enjoy ego power trips. If I had to give up on exploration, creativity, research, adventure, self-advancement from day one in order to be protected for life, I'd live a very sad, hopeless, boring life. Most NTs are sad and bored too, because of their dependence on their pyramids. But they won't change their lifestyles - with all its badness, the pyramid is the only possible protection against tragedy.


This is the part I really disagree with - the assertion that because we're autistic, we can't be part of a group. This forum is a group, autistic people themselves are a group. If you have a job, you're part of a group.

However, not working in a group, or forming your own pyramid, is a lot better than joining an existing one, and is something we are probably more likely to do. This would be a life choice, and one we are perhaps more likely to do. Anyone who starts their own business is forming a pyramid. Anyone who works hard enough at their business will become rich. NTs will then watch in awe and shock as an autistic person, who are thought of as so low and stupid, have done so much better than them.

So, if it's true we can't join pyramids as you say, it could very easily work out to our benefit.



bhetti
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21 Jan 2010, 2:15 pm

Greentea wrote:
bhetti wrote:
members were not rewarded for being holy or pure, but for how "spiritually aggressive" they were.


What do you mean by "spiritually aggressive"? In my family, which I've discovered lately is very much a cult, you're rewarded with attention, a sense of belonging and warmth the more power (money+connections) you manage to gather for yourself in the community - but no rewards for genuine kindness. Those unable to gather power in the outside community are at the bottom of the family pyramid. They're the "service people" - you're only as good as the services you provide and when the service isn't needed anymore, you're moved to a different service or if they can't find you a use you're forgotten and abandoned.

Also, do you have any recommendations of books/articles I could read more about becoming free from a cult?
yeah, my ex-cult sounds like your family.

"spiritually aggressive" (the real-life definition) means sticking your nose into other people's lives in the name of "god", helping them walk the "straight and narrow path" by pointing out all their faults. basically it's being a busybody. the people who are the best at it (or the worst, depending on your pov) are also the most likely to talk incessantly about how spiritual they are, how "father" told them thus and so about someone and they "confronted" them and "backed the devil off" blah blah blah. they're also the ones most likely to back-stab if it's expedient to elevate their own position.

I can get you a book list and some sites for cult recovery, yes. I'll PM it to you in a while.
(edited for spelling)



Last edited by bhetti on 21 Jan 2010, 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Janissy
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21 Jan 2010, 2:16 pm

Greentea wrote:
bhetti wrote:
most people don't belong to soul-sucking religions.


But what's the evidence that most people don't choose to belong to soul-sucking pyramids (religious, blood families, groups, whatever) in exchange for protection against sudden misfortune? This is what I'm trying to find...


The evidence is that healthy groups outnumber unhealthy groups. There are religious cults out there, as bhetti experienced, but they are outnumbered by the countless benign neighborhood churches/synagogues/temples/mosques which ask for your attendance and adherance to at least some of their principles (levels of required adherence differing according to the particular organization). If you think religion necessarily requires soul-sucking, attend a Unitarian Universalist service. They have gone out of their way not to do that.

Families? There are some pathological families headed by mentally ill patriarchs or matriarchs who bend their children to their soul-sucking will. But they are outnumbered by the countless families headed by couples (or singles) just trying to make it through the day and ensure the kids get a safe and healthy guidance towards adulthood.

Groups? I already described Wrong Planet's non-evil pyramidal structure in a previous post. And I think it's the norm rather than the exception. There are some cultish groups- non-religious ones- that require soul exchange. Amway in the U.S. is a famous one (I can't give specific examples for other countries but assume they are out there). But these groups are outnumbered by the countless, harmless book clubs, bowling leagues, and other groups that people join for socialization and then disvover to their great relief that when the chips are down, the people they spend their free time with do actually come through for them. It's these sorts of religious groups, families and hobby/socializng groups that most people belong to and that are run by people who aren't evil at all, they are just very organized and get good feelings from being the one that pulls things together and keeps the group going. These good feelings don't translate into evil, possibly because the power is rarely absolute. In fact, only in cult or dictatorship situations (Scientology, Kim Jong Il) is the power absolute and thus leading to evil. In most cases, it simply is that people band together, enjoy spending time together and are gratified to see that someone has their back when things go horribly wrong, as they always do for any of us at some point in our lives.