Mental Self Defense: Psychological Tools for Your Emergency Team
Mental self-defense is a term used to describe someone who protects himself from inflicting serious psychological injury, essentially stopping those who influence and manipulate people’s minds to serve their own interests. Mental self defense covers a wide range of topics. From a battered woman to corporate and commercial marketing to religious extremism. Essentially, anyone trying to use manipulative tactics to unconsciously influence their decision.
Mental self-defense and 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 victims of cheating, bankruptcy, and death. Most of the self-proclaimed descendants of God use many manipulative tricks to influence their conscious and unconscious mind. If you can go back and objectively rationalize a discussion without getting emotionally involved, you are one step closer to being alone.
When a person or group promises to supply a need or desire that you want, they will be in a position to manipulate it. 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 with others or being intimate
Jim Jones and the People’s Temple
Jim Jones and the People’s Temple was established in the 1950s as a church gathering that encompassed all social, economic, and racial classes: rich, poor, black, and white. Jim Jones openly accepted that all people join his followers 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 sign of positive change and hope.
Jim Jones, the preacher, now asks you, a loyal member of his followers, to drink poison and kill yourself and your children to participate in a revolutionary suicide, what do you do? Of course, he does not drink the poison because he knows that he must not harm himself or his children. However, on November 18, 1978, in Jonestown, Guyana, Jim Jones convinced 900 people (300 of whom were children) to drink flavorings mixed with cyanide and commit suicide.
History is marked by 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 the Order of the Solar Temple and Marshall Applewhite of Heaven’s Gate. Many of these sects used manipulative tactics to influence followers to consent to the rape, murder, violence, and suicide of children.
So how do you defend yourself against such extreme manipulative tactics? Much 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 better prepare you against mental attacks.
Am I being manipulated?
When someone continually reminds you of the things they have done for you and your family, you are vulnerable to manipulation.
When you see others in your community doing something or behaving in a certain way, you legitimize their actions and feelings. However, many times this same sense of groupthink can be used against you, to force you to comply.
If someone speaks like an authority figure and presents a lot of statistics, you should be suspicious. The statistics and the facts themselves can be manipulated to show anything to anyone. You need to do your research and make sure the data is “statistically significant.”
When someone genuinely cares about you or your family, they may find you friendly or attractive. People tend to follow those who are charismatic and charming. However, any sudden or prolonged interest in your family should be viewed with caution. Be suspicious of anyone who tries to get too close to your family.
When someone or some group uses scarcity in their conversation, you are being manipulated. Corporations use limited-time offers as tricks to attract potential customers. Charismatic leaders request your love as unconditional and incomparable. This limited offer of love and belonging becomes exclusive to the cult leader. The weirder it gets, the more value it puts on it.
Stay tuned for Part Two of our Mental Self Defense series. We will discuss the actions you can take to directly combat psychological attacks on your thoughts and beliefs.