Sunday, November 9, 2014

Follow the Leader - the Halo Effect

The Halo Effect is a mental bias where people assume that since a person has one outstanding good quality, then the rest of his character must also be good. Being "chosen of God" was certainly a special and good quality, therefore the natural mental inclination is to think that everything about that man must be good. This effect is extremely common in regard to cult leaders.

Because Berg was "God's Endtime Prophet," then whatever he said or did was worth emulating. This was carried to ridiculous degrees within the group, going so far as the creation of illustrated comic books for the children of members called "Life with Grandpa." ("Grandpa" being Berg.)

These comics supposedly depicted life in the utopian household of Berg. They chronicled little events in the lives of the children being raised there, each story generally ending with some sort of behavioral or moral lesson. The idea of these comics was to instill in the plebeian group members the ideal values and lifestyle of "Grandpa's house."

One leader gleaned all the "tips" that Grandpa or other minor authority figures at his house were quoted as saying in those books into a list of "rules" that she typed up and freely distributed so we could all have the laws governing "Grandpa's" household. Even for one so blinded as myself, that was too much.

The reality was that "Grandpa's house" was full of sexual, physical, and psychological abuse, all hidden under the guise of "God's love" and was justified because it was "done in God's loving ways." Who can argue with the authority of God?

After all, there's "no better place to raise children than in the Family*" and it only follows that there's no more ideal place for kids than in "the Prophet's" own loving household.

The travesty of delusion.

*The Family is one of the many names of what was formerly known as The Children of God, then The Family of Love, and finally, The Family International.

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