Mental self defense is a term used to describe someone protecting themselves from inflicting severe psychological injury – essentially stopping those who influence and manipulate people’s minds to serve their self-interest. Mental self defense encompasses a wide range of topics. From a battered woman to corporate marketing and commercials to religious extremism. Essentially anyone trying to use manipulative tactics to influence your decision unconsciously.
Mental Self Defense & Vulnerabilities
We are all vulnerable to manipulative tactics because we are all human. However, some people are naturally more immune than others. Mental Self Defense aims to help protect individuals and families from becoming a victim of deceit, bankruptcy, and death. Most self-proclaimed descendants of god use many manipulative tricks to influence your conscious and unconscious mind. If you can stand back and objectively rationalize an argument without becoming emotionally involved, you are one step closer to being left alone.
When a person or group promises to supply a need or want that you desire he or she will be in a position to manipulate you. The types of needs may include, but are not limited to the following:
- A sense of security and belonging or community
- A sense of status within a group
- Being emotionally connected to others or being intimate
Jim Jones and the People’s Temple
Jim Jones and the People’s Temple was established in the 1950s as church gathering which encompassed all social, economic and racial classes – the rich, poor, blacks and whites. Jim Jones openly accepted all people to join his following in the hope of racial integration and human rights for all. He was also heavily involved in protesting police brutality against blacks and visible minorities. Jim Jones was the first white person to adopt a black child in the state of Indianapolis. He was revered and loved by many of his followers as a signal for positive change and hope.
Jim Jones, the preacher, now asks you – a loyal member of his following – to drink poison and kill yourself and your children to take part in a revolutionary suicide, what do you do? Of course, you don’t drink the poison because you know better than to harm yourself or your children. However, on November 18, 1978, in Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones convinced 900 people (300 of which were children) to drink flavor-aid laced with cyanide and kill themselves.
History is marked with many people like Jim Jones, from followers of the Ku Klux Klan, Shoko Asahara and David Berg and the Children of God. To Joseph Di Mambro and Order of the Solar Temple and Marshall Applewhite of Heaven’s Gate. Many of these cults used manipulative tactics to influence followers to consent to child rape, murder, violence, and suicide.
So how do you defend against such extreme tactics of manipulation? A large part of the self-defense against these types of psychological attacks comes from knowledge. Knowing the environment that makes you vulnerable as well as the tactics used in manipulation will make you better prepared against mental attacks.
Am I being Manipulated?
- When someone continually reminds you of the things they’ve done for you and your family, you are vulnerable to manipulation.
- When you see others in your community doing something or behaving a certain way, it legitimizes your actions and feelings. However, many times this very sense of groupthink can be used against you, to force you to comply.
- If someone speaks as an authority figure and presents many statistics, you should be suspicious. Statistics and facts themselves can be manipulated to show anything to anyone. You need to do your research and make sure to the data is “statistically significant”.
- When someone takes an earnest interest in you or your family, you may see them as likeable or attractive. People tend to follow those who are charismatic and charming. However, take any sudden or prolonged interest in your family should be taken with a grain of salt. Be suspicious of anyone trying to get very close to your family.
- When someone or some group use scarcity in their conversation, you are being manipulated. Corporations use limited time offers as gimmicks to lure potential customers. Charismatic leaders solicit their love as unconditional and unmatched. This limited offer of love and belonging becomes exclusive to the cult leader. The rarer it becomes, the more value you put into it.
Stay tuned for part two of our mental self defense series. We will discuss actions you can take to directly combat psychological attacks against your thoughts and beliefs.