Saturday, October 11, 2014

Filling in Blind Spots

Just as we have visual blind spots where our minds fill in the gaps according to expectation, so we have many mental biases that do the same to the information we take in, some of which I've mentioned already. 

Our minds easily recognize and concoct patterns, whether it be a face in the clouds, a ghost in the shadows, or a snake on the path. This is an obvious help in dangerous situations, as we all would rather make the mistake of thinking a stick is a snake rather than assuming the reverse is true and suffering for it. (This concept has been given the name "apophenia" by Klaus Conrad, and then built on and renamed "patternicity" by Michael Shermer.)

With the help of this and other natural mental shortcuts, our minds fit together pieces of the patterns and information that we take in to form an image or idea consistent with our personal expectations and our own sense of reality.

This innate tendency was exploited to a great degree by the COG, with conspiracies lurking behind any small event. There were reasons for events, and there was meaning in everything. "Everything happens for a reason," and behind everything was the great God of the universe pulling the strings. And thank God, we were the chosen few who really knew what was going on. His invisible hand was working in all our lives. All these thoughts continually reinforcing the notions of being chosen, called out, separate, and pulling us further into the group.

The daily bombardment of reading and memorization of cult materials made it so much easier to perceive the patterns in the world around us and give them meaning. We deemed those who had this ability as being more "spiritual" and "in-tune with God." They were strong in "faith." Well yes, because "believing" truly "is seeing." We see what we believe we see.

From the Illuminati, to the CIA killing Kennedy, we were steeped in conspiracy theories through the group's publications. Daily delusion spinning, serving to further pull me into the web of deceit and lies that were the foundation of the COG.

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