Jean-Marie Abgrall

Jean-Marie Abgrall

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Jean-Marie Abgrall
Fransa, 12 Nisan 1950
Jean-Marie Abgrall, where he still lives., is a French psychiatrist, criminologist, specialist in forensic medicine, cult consultant, graduate in criminal law and well-known anti-cultist. He has been an expert witness.
Cult members are generally recruited between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. Older followers usually belonged to a cult earlier in life as well. At the young end of the scale are students finishing their secondary education or beginning their higher education. Full disciplehood usually means curtailing formal studies, and the true cultural and education level of the members is slightly lower than it appears to be. The discrepancy between the biographical cultural level and the real cultural level is an indicator of socio-cultural maladjustment.
If we take, for example, the Church of Scientology, one can see that most of Dianetics put the bulk of responsibility for a thetan’s failures in life on his or her parents. Thus Ron Hubbard makes
parents the true criminals 3 by making them the only people responsible for their child’s dissatisfaction with his or her life. The theory of the thetan actually reduces parents to being merely the instruments that produced the thetan. They are usually, however, seen as parasites, since they cut the “ideal person” from his or her true potential by “socializing” him. The majority of painful experiences in a Scientiologist’s life are blamed on his or her parents, particularly the mother: stress is placed on any abnormal behavior of the mother before the child’s birth, this conduct supposedly being the origin of the subject’s failures in life.

The parents’ influence is therefore suppressed (and is considered an obstacle to the CC’s success in initiation) and eventually eliminated. Any opposition from them is considered the same as persecuting the Church. The emotional vacuum that results from this sends the subject to seek relations only within tthe Church of Scientology, thus allowing the creation of a substitute pseudo-family.

However, the subject can progress if he manages to attract the members of his family into the Church: this is the theory of dissemination and planetary evangelization.
Physical exhaustion is a mighty weapon. A good many cults use
it, and some have been indicted for this reason. Not only is forced labor a source of income for the sect, its systematic application, coupled with malnutrition, reduces resistance to indoctrination. The triad of labor/sleep deprivation/malnutrition is an ideal instrument for breaking the physical and mental resistance of an individual.
The ability to reduce cognitive dissonance, to use American sociologist Festinger’s term, is one of the essential characteristics of cults.

Festinger suggests that sectarian groups have the capacity to
“recalibrate” their objectives or their thought when a confrontation with reality shows the thought to be false. When there is "dissonance” between the thought and reality, the group tends to reduce the discordance by experimentally revising its thoughts and analyzing the results.

Cults have a stunning capacity to reduce dissonance. Traversing their recent history, one notes that the followers are not terribly shaken by the non-realization of their frequent prophecies. The failure of the world to come to an end, as frequently predicted by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, does not seem to slow down their enthusiasm to convert others.
Family or social conflicts often contribute to a person’s decision to join a cult. The group is a shelter from the aggression that has been felt and it provides a model of conflict resolution that intellectually satisfies the follower. He refuses any self-analysis and transfers all responsibility onto the external world, and more particularly onto the social or family unit. Entry into a cult is often a way of responding to the social pressures to establish one’s autonomy from the family, especially during adolescence. Sometimes this move is taken in response to crisis situations — divorce, job loss, mourning — or to a disturbance of what used to be “normal,” either personally, or within the family. Going into a cult, in such cases, serves a pseudo-therapeutic function. This element of “asking for help” makes CCs take a strong aggressive stance with regard to recognized psychiatrists and psychotherapists, who are the only ones likely to bring the subject to a real analysis of his actions and his responsibility in family and social conflicts.
The essential functions of coercive cults negate any individual benefit from the structure and repress any deviance. Thus, they affirm their totalitarian character.
Sexuality is another mode of intra-cult expression, whether between cult members or the cult member and the guru, representing a will to intrude even within the body. Sex is an ideal means of breaking in, an obvious sign of the sect’s domination. The principles set up by AAO and Kommune speak much of this transgression of individual taboos:

1. Free sexuality, dissolving relationships between couples;
2. Collective ownership, abolishing private property;
3. Close-cropped hair, abandoning hairstyles common to “the little family” [the external world];
4. No personal clothing, overalls for all;
5. No sexual relations outside of AAO;
6. No external socializing with groups (bars, restaurants, cinemas);
7. Communication is limited to the sect;
8. No exchanges with the outside world, no visits to the outside
world or with people from the outside world;
9. The practice of SD within the group, higher than that of any other communication, makes any other type of exchange useless;
10. No individual rooms;
11. The outside world is regarded as evil;
12. The group is structured hierarchically according to the level of the cult member’s consciousness [level of involvement];
13. Work is conducted under the control of a chief of communications. [13]

13. Nouvelles de la Kommune, no 1, 1976.
Similarly, in the aftermath of the sarin gas attack by the Aum cult
in Japan, the international investigation that followed it underscored the close bonds existing between the Russian political powers and the cult. When Vitali Savitsky, the President of the Parliamentary Committee on Religious Organizations in Russia, was asked how the inquest was progressing, he said, in July 1995, “The investigation has been stymied at the highest level of the State. No trial of the Aumists will take place.” It is obvious that Moscow did not take pains to clarify the relations between the Aum sect and the services of the State. It seems that Oleg Lobov, Secretary of the Security Council, was among those responsible for the establishment of Aum in Russia. In 1991, he contacted Shoko Asahara for the alleged purpose of collecting funds for the creation of a Russian-Japanese university. During his stay in Russia, Asahara met Ruslan Khasbulatov, at that time President of the Parliament, and also Alexander Rutskoi, Vice-President of Russia.
Children are fascinated by fairytales. The ogre and the wolf represent the law and the father; the good fairy is a substitute for the mother. However, poisoned needles and magic wands do not fascinate the adult, stripped as they are of their symbolism. Sectarian doctrines are fairytales for adults, where fantasy takes the place of reality, where the dream of power erases social frustration and where divinity is within reach of all by the phenomenon of transcendence. Religion gives super-human power only to the mystics, whereas sects make it gleam in the eyes of the more humble.
The Pentecostal Church and its offshoots like the Universal
Church, however, do not appear to be the fruit of good luck nor of Brazil’s spiritual quest. In 1984, in a report addressed to the Vatican, the conference of Brazilian Bishops denounced the CIA’s hold on the Pentecostal sects and their use for objectives of manipulation and political influence, of which the CIA is so fond.
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Jean-Marie Abgrall
Fransa, 12 Nisan 1950
Jean-Marie Abgrall, where he still lives., is a French psychiatrist, criminologist, specialist in forensic medicine, cult consultant, graduate in criminal law and well-known anti-cultist. He has been an expert witness.

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