By Allen ‘Alanzo’ Stanfield
When I got out of Scientology 21 years ago, I’d have made the same documentary India Oxenberg did.
I would have used the same ‘cult experts’ and presented the same simplistic anti cult movement tropes that India presented in “Seduced”.
It took me over a decade to realize I was using this simplistic anticult mindset in my own life, and even longer to see how much damage this had done to me.
The anti cult movement uses the same template for every minority religion or minority subculture they label a ‘cult’. It’s the template for Scientology, NXIVM, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Latter Day Saints – even supporters of Donald Trump.
It’s a McDoctrine® that’s great for people in mainstream society who want to dehumanize and persecute minorities. But for Exes, it’s a self-destructive catastrophe to use this to understand what you were doing in the “cult”.
It ruins your self-confidence in your own decision-making. It causes you to wall-off and diseasify something which used to inspire and nurture you. It causes you to mistrust and go to war against yourself. It is the most destructive mindset an Ex can adopt who is trying to evolve and grow after moving into mainstream society from a minority religion or sub-culture.
What should India do instead?
She should spot where she uses these self-destructive anti cult tropes on herself such as “I was BRAINWASHED” or “I was being GROOMED”. She should recognize these as metaphors, then seek the real, objective language that describes what specifically occurred without excess emotion or cognitive distortion.
Dispute “I was being GROOMED” (metaphor) with the question “What objectively happened?”
Answer: “Allison Mack tried to get me to accept the benefits of having sex with Keith Raniere.”
Question: “Did it work?”
Answer: “For a while.”
Question: “What were you personally trying to accomplish for yourself at that time?”
Apply profound self-acceptance to the answers that arise here. Delete the shame that anticultism demands. Your self-acceptance will demolish the walls you’ve built around your earlier experience and unearth the treasure you’ve buried there: The treasure of YOU.
You will soon heal the damage you’ve caused yourself by using that dimestore anticult ideology. You will generate lots of original and genuine insight that you can share. If you take the next few years to mine this gold, you will be able to write a book or produce another documentary that could change the world.
You could both strengthen the rights of minorities, and expose abuses of power.
This is something India could do.
With all my heart, I hope she does.
India Oxenberg and Mark Vicente