Bemused, I so appreciate reading your posts. Thank you for taking the time to share your research. After leaving ATC, I, too, studied and researched cults, trying to understand my own experience.
I had a very small library of spiritual books when I first started training with GM, and early on she came to our house to "bless" it and made us throw out all of our books (they were evil energy). Now I am partnered with a serious researcher and we have a metaphysical library of over 14,000 books, and I couldn't be happier.
Anyway, one of the first books I read was Scott Peck's, "People of the Lie". What an amazing book on NPD (narcissisic personality disorder). The book really helped me better understand GM and why it would be futile to confront or try to help a person like her. It also helped me appreciate myself and my own life.
Failed Student, after I read your post I can relate to the idea that TYK may be getting some of her ideas from hearing stories from others. It is common for students want to share weird or out of the ordinary stories with TYK. Especially news of the day and current events. It is a way to get her attention and if worthy enough, she will ask that you share it with the rest of the class. Then she will always find a way to weave it into her teaching somehow. Sometimes she will sit listening with that that strange look in her eye, where her right eye would open wider but keep looking down. I don't know if you remember...anyway, the "don't put ideas into my head" comment is one she has said on more than one occasion. National Enquirer anybody?
As far as ganging up on one particular student by the rest of the group, yes this is a common technique used by TYK. I can remember being on both sides, in other words being the victim or at other times going along with her and the group in trying to convince some poor student that they are wrong. Whether you agree with TYK or not, in those situations you had better jump on the bandwagon and repeat what ever her point was at the time. If not, the tides might turn and you could easily find yourself as the groups' next target. It is no fun getting verbally pounded by everyone, all your seniors and peers. Good for you Failed Student for holding out and not letting them get to you. Hanging on to your critical and independant thinking abilities is probably what saved you.
I am sad for the times that I went along with TYK to try to sway someone's mind even when I didn't agree with her and she was clearly wrong. I am truly sorry for having done that. That is what is wrong with being in a cult and doing what ever the leader (TYK) says. I am not making excuses for my choices, I gave TYK that authority over me (but never, never again).
Bemused I think you are right, TYK is beyond help. She may be unstoppable at this point. The best defense against her cult is to be informed about who she is and her selfish intentions. Hopefully anyone who crosses paths with her will find this website and discover many things that are not on her PR website, then draw their own conclusions or at least start to ask some questions. If Bullshido were around years ago a lot of people could have avoided going to her martial arts classes and getting sucked in...great job clare!
Of course TYK is beyond help. You don't think that her reading all the pain she has inflicted or directly/indirectly caused is going to humble her? She can't be humbled. She doesn't feel anything for anyone. She is in my opinion sociopathic along with any cluster b personality disorders we can throw her way.
She has had YEARS and years of behaving this way and perhaps if we ourselves were shown a mirror, we might change. That is the difference. Sociopaths don't follow anyone. Her followers aren't sociopathic. Her ex followers aren't sociopathic. She alone is the one benifitting by all the work of others. She shows enough compassion and empathy toward anyone in her circles to persuade them to believe that she has a soft side.
I think she wishes she did. She might even miss that goodness she might have once had.
I don't know of anyone controlling the lives of others to have that side of them that is wholesome, nurturing and loving. I guess you have to understand her motivations, intentions and ideals to fully grasp what she is.
Control is not nurture nor love. Control is not instruction or a good example. I even doubt that TYK knows who she is anymore. Aside from all the physical (read: under the knife) changes she has endured, she has lost with every trip to the doctor the reality of who she is. She keeps recreating herself, lying to herself so much that she believes her BS and perhaps a shred of who she once was still exists, but who is to say that whatever shred is left is decent or human.
She achieved her "results" through the sweat and profit of others. If that isn't undignified, selfish and dishonorable than I don't know what is. I thought HONOR meant something to someone who is so deeply enmeshed in MA. I am afraid that her bottom line could be measured in bills, not significant moments in her life or others. Her title, her looks, her money and her reputation are everything to her. There isn't room for anything good, decent, honorable.....human.
I've been doing a little research on brainwashing. TYK and SHS liked to claim that the concept has been discredited, but the truth is it is merely in some dispute, like many concepts in science. There is a small group of sociologists of religion who dismiss brainwashing because they think that any attack on any religion for any reason is an attack on religious liberty in general.
I find this attitude absurd. It's like accusing people horrified by Enron's fraud and theft of being anti-business. It's like accusing those who try to protect battered women of being anti-marriage. As the saying goes, one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch. I believe in religious freedom, but I think religious organizations should be accountable to law just like secular organizations are.
It turns out that brainwashing is a specific process with a specific purpose. As bad as TYK's lies and seduction are, they are not brainwashing. Neither are her intolerance of dissent or guilt-tripping, in and of themselves. The trance-inducing chanting and meditating, the crazy diets, even the sleep deprivation, are not brainwashing, although they weaken people so they are more susceptible to brainwashing.
Brainwashing is basically the breaking down of identity and ego to instill loyalty, commitment, and obedience. It consists of confession sessions with unpredictable alternations of harsh punishments and leniency. TYK's brainwashing occurred in what I call the Humiliation Rituals, in which she demanded confessions, insulted us where we were most sensitive, and generally broke us down mentally and emotionally. Sometimes she would commend us for honesty or forgive us instead, just to keep us wondering what she would do next.
When we were new to the inner circle called COL, TYK just asked us to sacrifice a few things that were important to us and to offer before and after testimonials of what her teaching did for us. This wasn't brainwashing, but it prepared us for brainwashing. She started with seemingly harmless requests and gradually turned up the heat until she was issuing unreasonable demands.
TYK didn't brainwash everyone in COL. She did reward those who were willing to be brainwashed with more individual attention, and with higher positions in Lighthouse and her PR machine. She seemed to know just how far she could push each person.
I was emotionally vulnerable and feared rejection. TYK was able to get me through the first two stages of brainwashing, which are identity stripping and identification with the group. But I never reached the third stage, symbolic death and rebirth. I think this is because my mind was a lot tougher than my heart. I couldn't let go of who I was completely.
Looking back, I realize that I was somewhat selective in my confessions. I would confess to sexual fantasies or interpersonal difficulties with other students, but I kept my doubts about TYK's methods to myself. Before COL class, I would often think, "I hope we don't have another Humiliation Ritual. I'd really like to be able to sleep after class is over." But I never said this, not even in my journal. Perhaps this learned deception protected my sanity in the end.
Bemused, what is the difference if any, between brainwashing and thought control? TYK would say "They are saying that I am brainwashing you!" as if it was so absurd and yet there are some who speak up and say "Oh ma'am, I only wish you could brainwash me".
Think about all her ways of screwing with our heads. There are so many as you have shared some with us. In TYK's cult (COL), ours was such a noble spiritual path or so we thought. We believed we were making the world a better place, making a difference and helping those who are "lost and confused". TYK convinced us that God told her what we should do and that her company Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions is "God's Project".
You mentioned not telling all in your journal and what you really thought of some of TYK's teaching. Each of us has done this at one time or another. Can you imagine what kind of class we would have if we had truly expressed every time we thought TYK's teaching or methods were a little wacky or if we questioned anything?
On rare occasion someone would speak their mind in their journal going against TYK or question her and believe me, we heard about it soon after. TYK would scream "can you believe (so and so) said (this or that)? " and then go on one of her famous rants. The entire COL class would then each share how wrong that person was (even when we didn't agree but just to say what TYK wants to hear). These types of things I would define as mind control or thought control. What 's your take?
There are many disputes about the meaning of "brainwashing," "mind control," "coercive persuasion," "thought reform," and other similar terms. I think academics fight more about terminology than about what actually happens in controversial groups.
Some academics don't like the term "brainwashing" because the lay public sees it as a magical method of making people act against their will. There really isn't a way of controlling people to this degree. But what is possible is making people do something they wouldn't normally do because the alternatives are worse or the ends are justified. For example, the residents of Jonestown believed that if they didn't drink the poison they would be shot by the Jonestown guards or by the Guyanese army. The 9/11 attackers believed that they would go to heaven and have, among other perks, 70 virgins.
What I call brainwashing is basic behavior reinforcement, using rewards and punishments to encourage desired behavior and discourage undesired behavior, but applied to an extreme degree. Rather than affecting just a few behaviors, it affects a person's entire identity and belief system. Rather than involving mild punishments, it involves traumatic abuse. The rewards can be real enticements, such as love-bombing, or merely reprieves from punishment.
There are many other influence processes that cults use. They take advantage of people's natural tendency toward obedience to authority and conformity. They claim that the knowledge they possess is unique and that their membership is elite. In exchange for this sacred knowledge and elite membership, they demand gratitude, sacrifice, and public commitment. They present an especially benevolent facade to the world and especially to potential converts. They make members feel guilty for any thoughts or actions that don't support the group. They wear members down with trance inducing activities, low-protein diets, sleep deprivation, etc. Some of these things would qualify as mental manipulation or social engineering, but I wouldn't call them brainwashing. Others might disagree.
A class in which everyone said what they really thought, in which they found themselves somehow unable to kiss up, would have been quite entertaining, but TYK would have really gotten pissed off. Something like it did happen in one class. I didn't witness it, but others have posted about it on earlier parts of this thread. TYK asked JW to imitate her. He did so, calling people forward and yelling at them. He did such a good parody that the class started laughing. TYK got so upset that she started beating people who were laughing with her stick.
Last edited by bemused; 7/02/2008 9:13pm at .
Hey i don't know if this video has been posted yet, but you all should go over and look at this gem:
YouTube - Tae Yun Kim: A thorougly modern Great Grandmaster
which appears to have been posted by EAS herself....
I'm not sure if its just my well removed perspective, but thats a whole lot of crazy.
OMG!! This old lady finally lost it. Not only does she look horrible with her balloon lips that looks like a blow fish (trying to cover up her huge teeth), she has absolutely no rhythm. Does she not realize that at her age she looks foolish. Trying to fit in with young people just makes her stand out and look even older and ridiculous.
Of course, the col'ers are going to lie to her and tell her different. What she doesn't realize is the rest of the world would tell her the truth that she looks absolutely silly.
Thank you for the good laugh!
Good research Clarehoare -
Look at the other videos listed on the sidebar too. I haven't viewed them all yet, but they try and show Tae Yun Kim's better aspects, if they do exist.
I agree that she is trying to appear younger than her actual age in the initial video, but getting up with a band and making an ass of herself when she has zilch for musical talent, as well as shtupping men much younger than herself...well, she is just making a fool of herself. Kind of like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe - totally detached from reality.
Back to the subject -
A recollection about MBF. I remember him stating that he had no friends outside of those in ATC. That is so sad - didn't he have any friends prior to joining this merry bunch
of lunatics, or was he made to believe his friends were not friends in fact. I think perhaps that statement made me sit up and take notice of what was going on about me, and was one of the factors in my deciding not to make a whole hearted commitment to Tae Yun Kim. I remember also that MBF's father was due to come to his (black belt?) testing, but did not show. I think that must have been quite a blow to him, but AF, TYK's husband at the time, said he would "stand up for MBF" or something to that effect. Maybe that disappointment has been a factor in MBF's adhering to TYK and all that has followed. Still, what a fool to sign over a multi million dollar inheritance to his "great grandmaster". He will regret that in future years, I guarantee you that.
Last edited by Failed Student; 7/03/2008 12:43pm at .