When Depraved Minds Call Upon You To Accept Their Depravity as The Desired Acceptable Norm (2016) — Life is a wonderful thing. Some people will physically travel in this world to see new things, but if we are fortunate to live long enough, standing back and looking at “life” around us, we get to travel to cultures, and belief systems in small geographic regions which are very foreign to us.
As a former special Investigator who specialized in cult and occult related matters, the existence of mind control environments became a usual part of my baseline analysis. What are the core beliefs existing within a group or community, and are those belief systems designed to control the collective group of individuals? Are depraved minds altering the overall perception of what is a “healthy” reality?
What Is A Belief System?
Belief systems are the stories or doctrines we create for ourselves which define our personal (or if a group or segment of society) or collective sense of “reality”. Every human being has a belief system which they have adopted and live by. It is through the mechanism of our belief systems that we individually, “make sense” of the world around us.[i] When our belief systems are dysfunctional then our view of what is “normal” is also dysfunctional.
When people think of a belief system, they rarely think of a belief system as something that exists in every individual, often deflecting the concept onto organizations such as religious groups.
Examples of religious belief systems would include Scientology. The Church of Scientology says that a human is an immortal, spiritual being (thetan) that is resident in a physical body. The thetan has had innumerable past lives and it is observed in advanced Scientology texts that lives preceding the thetan’s arrival on Earth were lived in extraterrestrial cultures. (Scientology beliefs and practices, n.d.)
Doctrines of Jehovah’s Witnesses are established by their Governing Body. Until late 2012, the Governing Body described itself as the representative and “spokesman” for God’s “faithful and discreet slave class” (the approximately 10,000 “anointed” Jehovah’s Witnesses), which Witnesses were taught Christ used as a channel for God’s progressive revelations and to direct Christians on biblical matters. The Governing Body of the Jehovah’s Witness seeks neither advice nor approval from any “anointed” Witnesses other than high-ranking members at the Brooklyn headquarters. (Jehovah’s Witnesses beliefs, n.d.)
Within some religious communities there can be sub-communities such as in the Baptist movement where there are 76 different Baptist sub-denominations. The beliefs of Baptist churches are not completely consistent from one Baptist church to another. Baptists do not have a central governing authority, unlike most other denominations. Baptists, as a collective identity, do hold some common beliefs among almost all Baptist churches. (Baptist beliefs, n.d.)
Some belief systems are cultural and geographic in nature. Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians’ interaction with many deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, the forcesion were efforts to provide for the gods and gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaoh, the king of Egypt, who was believed to possess a divine power by virtue of his position. He acted as the intermediary between his people and the gods and was obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain order in the universe. (Ancient Egyptian religion, n.d.)
Personal and collective belief systems fall into two categories:
- Beliefs that are properly basic, in that they do not depend upon justification of other beliefs, but on something outside the realm of belief (a “non-doxastic justification”);
- Beliefs that derive from one or more basic beliefs, and therefore depend on the basic beliefs for their validity. (Basic belief, n.d.)
As an investigator standing on the outside looking inward at a person’s, group, or community’s belief systems, functional analysis and/or consequence analysis must take place to properly identify the difference between what is a healthy or dysfunctional belief system. Is one dealing with a healthy person or depraved mind? Is one dealing with a healthy community of people or a highly dysfunctional society of depraved minds?
Functional analysis and consequence analysis are commonly used in certain types of psychotherapy to better understand, and in some cases change behavior. It is particularly common in behavioral therapies such as behavioral activation. In addition, functional analysis modified into a behavior chain analysis is often used in dialectical behavior therapy. (Functional analysis, n.d.)
Let’s put this into a very practical application so we can better understand how we adapt to belief systems.
The other day, while driving down the road, I found myself in need of a restroom. Pulling over at a well-known gas station, I stood in line for the already occupied washroom. As a man exited the washroom, I entered and was almost knocked off my feet by the remaining stench in the room – a stench so powerful one was left to wonder how the man exited the room under his own strength. In this washroom environment, as the man before me spent time in this enclosed room, the world around him began to react to a new set of stimulus. The change was gradual, so gradual the man was neither offended by the change, or noticed the intensity of the change. He had unknowingly come to accept the change in his environment as being normal. Until he could remove himself from the toxic environment, and step back into it, he could never truly understand the extreme nature of the environment he once accepted as being normal. Abusive persons, cult based societies, and dysfunctional cultures operate on the same basis.
By applying controls and indoctrination to the individuals under their power, and as long as they can keep those individuals from stepping outside the controlled toxic/dysfunctional/abusive environment, the abuser, depraved minds, or collective leadership can create a false sense of “healthy reality” in the mind of the subject or individual (Example: a preacher can sway the mindset of his or her congregation through the teaching of dysfunctional belief systems, and do so on such a gradual progression that the collective group fails to see the lack of health in the indoctrination being taught, failing to realize they are being impacted by one or more depraved minds.)
When Depraved Minds Call Upon You To Accept Their Depravity as The Desired Acceptable Norm
Some years ago, I had the opportunity to live in the Abbotsford, British Columbia region. Known as “the bible belt” of British Columbia, what many did not know was that this region was also home to a vast variety of cult-based and occult related groups. The small nearby community of Chilliwack was home to over 110 churches, a staggering number for the small populace, and this did not include the many unorganized home-style churches which were springing up. Across the Fraser River from Abbotsford is a community by name of Mission, which once again many did not realize was a community with a high number of wiccan (white witchcraft) covens. In the midst of communities where religious patterns are so engrained, the ground is ripe for unhealthy belief systems to slowly creep into the masses unnoticed.
As I lived in the community, eventually going through a divorce in the community, it didn’t take long to experience an extremely unhealthy cult-style response coming from the members and leadership of that community. The average person would only see the response as being somewhat strange, but a trained investigator who specialized in belief systems sees it more clearly as the action of depraved minds.
Cult based communities focus heavily on trying to control and manipulate a person into change, then instilling into that person’s mindset the false beliefs that their controlled or manipulated change is the healthy norm – a denial of self-expression; a denial of personal freedom to think and believe as an individual; a denial to allow one to live his or her life as they see fit within normal acceptable societal measures, including the ability to leave that community as one sees fit.
I remember well, one minister in Abbotsford saying to my face, “We don’t care if it takes 7 or 11 years or more. We will do whatever we deem necessary to keep you single and available to re-unite with your ex.” That is a classic religious cult “red flag” if ever there was one.
Years later, I arrive in Kelowna, British Columbia, and distant members of those same religious communities/denominations, aware of my earlier divorce, and the actions undertaken by that community, took it upon themselves to pick up where the Abbotsford community left off in an attempt to change my belief systems into believing that what was experienced in Abbotsford was both healthy and normal.
As a former investigator, I have come to recognize depraved minds and cult-based minds very quickly.
Depraved minds will tell you… we live in a world of our vomit. We like our vomit. We enjoy its feel, its colour, its smell – we love our wonderful vomit and if you don’t also love our vomit and wish to live in our vomit then there is something terribly wrong with you, and we must act to bring you to a place of submission to where you begin to love our vomit as much as we do. We love our vomit so much, we have made it easy for you to love it too by setting “the bar” (societal standard) so low that you can easily reach it. Here, let’s get a shovel so we can dig down removing some of our vomit from “that bar” so you can bend over to reach it.
Peer pressure from depraved minds can be an extremely damaging thing unless a person knows himself or herself well, and has had a chance to exist in a healthy environment so as to know the difference.
How Then Do We Respond To The Depraved Minds Of This World?
No man is an island unto himself, for every island is usually surrounded by water filled with sharks and other predators. How then do we exist in a toxic predatory society?
Bill Caines (not his real name) was introduced to me one day by a friend as being the nations 2nd highest broker for sales volume. Impressed by the introduction, I asked Bill a simple question, “Have you been in that line of work for a long time?”
“No,” came Bill’s response, “only 3 years.”
My eyebrows raised and my curiosity peeked. “What did you do before?”
“I had an industrial supply business.” Bill’s quiet words could be heard while arranging his golf clubs in the back of his cart.
Our conversation went on, and I learned that Bill came to a place in his business where he saw the writing on the wall knowing that new technologies and industrial demands would soon eat into his bottom line eventually rendering his business useless. For a short period of time, Bill explored ways to keep the business alive, but soon it became clear that huge dollars would have to be poured into the business while the market demand continued to shrink. Bill made the decision to sell and opted for a change in life.
Bill was very different to another man I knew by the name of Tom. Tom had crossed my path a few years earlier, and like Bill, Tom had his own business which was struggling in a changing society. Tom’s business had been in the family for many years, and it was Tom’s determination to keep it alive for the next generation. Over time, Tom kept pouring money into the business until his reserves were gone, the house was heavily mortgaged, all while his market share continued to decline. Tom was convinced that if only he could hang in there long enough, things would turn around.
Tom and Bill were two very different men. Tom was living with a delusional depraved mindset that was not reality based, believing against all factual evidence that things in his business would turn around.
Bill was able to stand back, look at the facts, and realize that if he was to remain healthy, some form of pro-active ending would have to take place.
The primary difference between Bill and Tom lay in their ability to embrace and accept endings.
Cult-based leaders and their groups, as well as depraved peer groups focus on controlling people in a set environment. That control does not accept the possibility of that abuser/abuse victim role ending.
If we are going to remain healthy in a world of depraved minds, we must keep ourselves free to be the masters of our own change. We must not be afraid to see and accept endings as being normal and healthy. If a business is no longer relevant, then it is both healthy and normal to let it go. A depraved mind will tell you your business failed, when a healthy mind knows the business had lived out its natural life and it was now time to let it go.
In religious settings and community cultures where depraved minds abound, to remain healthy, one must be willing to understand their personal belief system, implement personal boundaries, and when those boundaries are no longer respected indicating the writing on the wall, be willing to accept necessary relational endings for the overall health and well-being of the individual.
We can choose to wallow in someone else’s vomit, or we can choose to rise above the fray of depraved minds to reach our fullest potential.
In life, far more often than we realize, relational endings are necessary. Healthy people do not hesitate to divorce or prune unhealthy and dysfunctional people from their lives.
Writer: James C. Tanner