How do you drop cult thinking? I’m looking into this for a friend, who follows a very peculiar guru-like woman, and I’d love to help her regain some clarity in her life direction. But I’m not entirely sure what the best approach is to encourage this. Anyone have any suggestions or hints on where to look?
If you go straight on all you will get is resistance. May I suggest you talk about sales as a career. Then give a book or show her videos on sales techniques. If she does not want to listen? Say your thinking of sales and what she thinks about the techniques? When she sees the way simple physiological tricks can alter someones thinking. She may put things together and sort her self out.
Read some psychology textbook chapters on cults. Fascinating stuff. You will gain lots of insights as to what's going on inside your friend's mind.
Then you could (very slowly & gently) try Daniel Dennett's 4 rules for arguing:
That should hopefully defuse the Backfire Effect.
Deprogramming cult members is a very difficult task. I ran into it as an educator, as in hitting a brick wall. Saw a few members move on after a long time. They were the ones who really quested after information. The ones who have found what they were seeking and stopped looking will die with their true faith. A broad based education and an open mind are the key. Keep asking hard questions.
You can try street epistemology on Facebook. There ARE some very experienced people on the site. But if you have regular contact and communicate with this person, you may start by getting them away from the surrounding influence and ask questions. A LOT of questions.