A reader describes the 5-day intensive she attended and gives a pretty good description of their cult like techniques. She said it’s possible because she is an attractive slender female, she got to go the first 5-day intensive for free.
By Just Sayin’
I absolutely believe that Keith would instruct people to recruit attractive girls / young women.
I was offered the intensive by a guy that I was friends with for about 8 months before he offered the “opportunity” to attend the intensive for free.
I think I probably could have continued on past the five days if I had been interested, whether it was going to be free or the start of an indentured servitude, I will never know because what went on in the first five days was so horrific, I was never going to stick around to find out.
I suppose I should be grateful to Christine Collins for that.
Bear in mind, I was fine before I went to this intensive. I wasn’t having emotional difficulties. I was just open to the idea that I could learn something new that might benefit my life. I genuinely believed at that time the guy who invited me was my friend.
He suggested it to me at a moment that I had the free time to do it, and it was a relatively short drive for me to go there every day.
Because it was “free” and I trusted that guy (foolishly I now realise), I didn’t research it beforehand. I am sure I am not the only one to wind up at an intensive that isn’t some stupid, insecure nutjob that people make all attendees out to be.
First of all, it was mostly a lot of just garbage. They lecture you on how if you feel sleepy, you are having cognitive dissonance, so you should pay extra attention (talk about a brainwashing technique). There is an entire video by Nancy Salzman about how it isn’t a cult, that perfectly describes NXIVM as a cult.
You are kept in the room on horrible chairs at tables under fluorescent lights for 10 or 12 or even 14 hours in a day.
Also, you do not have nearly enough nutrition. Especially, if you are a carnivore like I am. To go from having a normal diet to only eating quinoa salad, and whatever other ridiculous vegan concoctions they laid out on those tables for us, will decimate anybody’s brain functioning.
You can’t get enough sleep at night, so you are exhausted coming back every day (also brainwashing technique).
A Mexican guy dragged his wife out saying this was all bullshit, and I wanted so badly to follow him, but because I hadn’t paid, I felt I owed it to my so-called friend to ride this thing out.
For me, I had panic attacks when I was younger. I hadn’t had one in probably 12 years before Christine Collins put me into one during the intensive, which isn’t surprising given the amount of physical stress it puts you under to be in those conditions for days on end.
She literally physically put me in a corner and wouldn’t let me out, going at me like a drill sergeant, and I literally couldn’t breathe. I had been saying I didn’t feel like I was a victim, that I am happy with the choices I have made in my life, and I like myself the way I am, so she turned me into a victim to prove to me I was one.
For some reason, in their logic, admitting you are a victim is part of realising there are no ultimate victims. It really is all pretty standard brainwashing techniques. If you can get someone to admit they are something they don’t believe they are, so that you can tell them they are then not what you got them to say they were, you have someone pretty well under control.
When I left that night, I knew there was no way I was going to do another 11 days. Ridiculously, I did show up for the last day to spend it being forcefully peer pressured to go another 11 days. I think it was about 14 of us that went to the end of 5 days and absolute max 5 people went on to the 11 days.
Anyhow, after I left the intensive, I read an article about a woman who went straight to a psychiatric unit from an intensive, and I can see why. If I weren’t as strong as I am, I think that panic attack would have put me all the way over the edge.
And it isn’t just what goes on at the intensive, which is difficult to explain to someone who hasn’t attended, but many people who have will understand. It took months for me to level my emotions back out to have a normal life again, and the guy who invited me actually told me this is normal, and why it is important to stay with the program. WTF ?
Basically, it is designed so that it only gets better if you stick with the brainwashing, and then, IMO, you don’t know anymore what are actually your emotions or not because the cult is so far in your head.