Overcoming the Bondage of Revictimization:
A Rational/Empirical Defense of Thought Reform
- Cultic Studies Journal
Psychological Manipulation and Society
Vol. 15, No. 2, 1998
(In Response to "Overcoming the Bondage of Victimization" By Bob and Gretchen Passantino)
In 1994 Christian counter-cult researchers Robert and Gretchen Passantino published a major article in Cornerstone magazine attempting to debunk the theory of cult mind-control.* Beginning with a rundown of several alleged "assumptions of mind-control" and
proceeding to numerous objections to mind-control, the authors sought to demonstrate what they consider to be the faulty basis of the mind-control model of cult recruitment and influence, as well as the incompatibility of the mind-control model with Christian theology. The present article shows that the Passantinos� assertions are incorrect and misguided. Specifically, this article demonstrates
that mind-control is more than cult conversion; that, while mind-control does not rob people of moral responsibility, it mitigates it; and that there is no conflict between biblical theology and the reality of mind-control. We contend that theological considerations inform our understanding of the sociological and psychological destruction caused by cults. Cults distort one�s perceptions of both
natural reality (sociological and psychological) and spiritual reality. Since the former is supposed to reveal the latter, as in the Christian tradition, those interested in spiritual issues must address both sides in order to minister adequately to cultists.
*"Mind-control" is used with a hyphen in this article to be consistent with the Passantinos� many quotes.