How To Fight Cult Leaders Like Donald Trump And L. Ron Hubbard And Win

There are a lot of similarities between people in a cult like the Church of Scientology and the hardcore true believer supporters of Donald Trump. And there are also many parallels in the tactics needed to deprogram the most ardent believers.

You are rarely going to convince a cult member that he or she is in a cult, let alone convince them to simply leave the cult by reciting facts and figures from reality that counter the cult’s core message and construction of reality. In the world of traditional cults, even extreme methods like kidnapping and forcing people to listen to an argument has a poor success rate.

In A&E’s series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, actress and former scientologist Leah Remini (best known for the sitcom The King of Queens) interviews many former scientologists and detractors and one common thread runs through many of their stories. In addition to reacting to the mental torture that scientology imposes on followers by forcing them to disconnect from family members who leave the church, the other most potent anti-cult weapon has been educating the public on what Scientology is all about and up to.

Here’s Remini explaining the series and why she thinks it will hurt the cult:

In the last fifteen years or so there has been a steady stream of books, tv series, and documentaries about just how crazy the behavior of the church has been historically and leading up to the bizarre behavior of current leader (and Tom Cruise bestie) David Miscavige. This informational war has demystified the church in the minds of most of the public, turning it into more of a punchline than anything.

You see in the interviews with former church members in the series that this had more of an effect on them than going up to them at any point during their time as a true believer and saying “Scientology is a scam that’s taking your money and is based on made-up theology from an unbalanced science fiction writer” (L. Ron Hubbard, the church’s founder).

Over and over in the series the former members discuss how they got access to the internet (the church monitors everything they do) and had moments where their world as constructed by the church collided with the reality of its behavior as documented from the outside and caused them to question their commitment.

It didn’t happen overnight, nor has it worked on even a majority of the church’s members. But it has had an effect. People are leaving, and it is because the church has repeatedly been exposed for what it truly is.

We find ourselves in a similar situation with Donald Trump and his most ardent defenders. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told on social media, after pointing out some lie of his or expose of his malfeasance, that “his supporters won’t care.” This has been the mantra of many on the left from early on in the election season, and has probably worsened since he assumed the office of the presidency.

This is missing the point. In an ideal world, a Trump supporter would learn about the bed of lies his entire persona is built on and simply leave the Trump compound of their own accord. But in the real world, this is unlikely to happen. If anything, Trump cultists will double down on their loyalty due to external attacks, with Trump issuing verbal kool-aid to them by describing everything outside the bubble as “fake news.”

But outside reporting and debunking of his lies and mendacity does erode the cult of Trump. It galvanizes those of us on the left who are opposed to him with a shared set of information and logic to pass back and forth within our ranks as ammunition. Then for those moderates who are open to a logical argument, it arms them with information they need to form an informed opinion. With these two divisions of an information army continually supplied with material, you can win a war.

What about the true believers, though?

We can pick them off. It will take a lot of time and a lot of work, but if you continually aim for the ground under Trump’s feet, he will slowly but surely continue to dissolve. It won’t happen overnight, or even within a year or two. But if the fire remains consistent, it will force retreat, and even if he is not in a full-fledged run to his Berlin bunker, any sign of retreat is also a signal to those within the cult that all is not well. They will wonder why, despite his proclamations about what reality is, why he feels the need to pull back – even slightly. That crack in their programming is what can lead to a deluge and another defection.

You can win without the defectors, simply by galvanizing our own side and giving those caught in the crossfire the data they need to make an informed decision. But you can have a massive long-term victory by also using that information to erode his credibility even in the eyes of the most locked-in cultists.

The cult can be broken, hope is not lost, it just takes time and work.

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  • dbtheonly

    Bully Oliver.

    Would only add that toning down the rhetoric when dealing with them is a plus. No one likes to be called a racist.

    There’s an old saying about honey, vinegar, and flies.

    • FrancesPoo

      And Donald John Trump is the President Baby!

    • Jay Whelan

      I have heard this expression before and question the value of catching flies in the first place, as flies are vectors for sickness and breed only maggots.

      • dbtheonly

        Indeed. One can only assume that the flies are to be prevented from further spreading of their illness.

        An extension I was unwilling to make in relationship to people.

        • Jay Whelan

          Fair enough. I’m afraid my cynicism has been rising to the top a bit more than usual of late.

    • Dennis

      db,

      Oliver traffics in race-baiting. He always has. He even called Hillary a racist. He called Joe Biden a racist.

      It’s his go-to strategy. Always has been. Always will be.

      I appreciate your telling him that. But it’s like telling an alcoholic he needs to stop drinking.

      • dbtheonly

        Ragging on Our Gracious Host is not what I had in mind either.
        I agree with Oliver much more than I disagree.

        What’s with you, Poo, and the others in the mindless insults game? Poo keeps trying to suck me into it.

        Seriously, Dennis, did you really expect this level of chaos and incompetence from Trump & his Administration? I’ll admit to being surprised.

        • Dennis

          No, I didn’t. I did don’t expect the Left to start trying to collectively ratfuck him at every step of the way.

          • dbtheonly

            Your treatment of President Obama didn’t give you a hint?

            But I don’t see that Trump has suffered from the left as much as from himself.

            The insistence that 1.5 million people watched the inauguration. The insistence that 3 million illegal votes were cast. The insistence that his election was a landslide. Spicer’s first briefing. Alternative facts. Not noticing the DOL nominee had his own illegal problem. Picking a fight with the Australian PM. Apparently not telling Pence that Flynn had lied to him for weeks.

            What did the left have to do with any of these?

            If Trump ran his businesses like he’s running the country, they’d be bankrupt.

            Oh wait.

          • FranceyPoo

            oh cry me a river DB- Obozo was a joke. he only got elected because the illegal black vote and morons like you and Cuffman.

          • dis4

            You’re the joke… and a filthy one at that. IF you are even American, I hope you soon feel the repercussions of fanning after a troll president. Ahhh well… you weren’t the only fool mistook a troll for a man. The weakness of males was brought out when they got trumped. Fearful weak betas coming out of the bowels of the internet like roaches and it’s been a filthy sight to see indeed.

          • FranceyPoo

            Ah haha. You are a female. Says it all. A fat load none the less.

          • FranceyPoo

            Where are you from, Canada, eh? You foo k in moron. Bring it

          • dis4

            One cannot ratfck a troll who’s already getting ratfcked by Putin. Trump has bent the US to Putin’s will. He’s made this Country beta to putin’s alpha. ANY American doesn’t see a thing wrong with this is just another PutinBootLicking fool. Lick the whole boot Dennis… as you taking it up the bum like a foolish troll with no sense and less integrity. Why would a fool expect anything else…?

        • Chutney Bridge

          Who is the POTUS?

          • dbtheonly

            Who is the pot of the US?

            You really want to leave me that straight line?

          • Chutney Bridge

            im horny DB

  • kateshumway

    Fantastic piece! Thought-provoking, insightful, helpful, and pretty hopeful at a time during which hope seems faint and far-flung. I’ve been having a lot of conversations recently about the helplessness I’ve been feeling, and that seemingly others share, regarding bridging our realities with those of people who are sucked into a cult of personality, and are happily trapped in that alternative reality with alternative facts. I definitely needed a strategic blueprint for how to counter that meaningfully as an outsider; the parallel you draw here with Scientology is so helpful in terms of understanding the cognitive functions of someone with a deep psychic investment in such a cult, and your guidelines for engagement with those supporters are perfect constructive communication strategies to build the bridges we need. Thank you so much for this.

    • FrancesPoo

      You need to get a life or laid. That’s your problem

    • Dennis

      No Kate, Oliver has no degree is psychology and no formal background in studying cults or even cult behavior. None. He spends no time studying it. He just watched an A&E special and then started making half-assed parallels to conservatives, who he hates.

      I could do the same thing to him. And to several left-wing blogs that are nothing but echo chambers and liberal hot tub clubs where everyone thinks the same way. Where Bernie supporters were trashed, lambasted and castigated because they simy didn’t like Hillary. Nowhere was cult-like behavior more evident than in the way Bernie supporters were treated by Democrats.

      Seriously, Oliver doesn’t have even a superficial knowledge of what cults are. And he has no expertise in it as far as people following political leaders.

      He’s a guy who flat out called Hillary a racist in 2008. Said she wasn’t qualified to be a dog catcher. Wanted her nowhere near the White House. Hated her. Lambasted her. And yet, like a Scientology cult, he vehemently supported her for president. A woman he said was a racist.

      That can’t be explained in any other way than he is a bugger cultist than ant Trump supporter.

      Here, read what Oliver wrote. His own words. Once a person has said that about someone, how could he ever support her ever again? Yet he did. Cultist indeed.

      Hillary ‘White Power’ Clinton

      • Matt C Colgan

        Hey Dennis, fuck off and die.

        • Dennis

          Hey Matt,

          GFY.

        • FranceyPoo

          Hey Matt- what is wrong with you, you fucking loser

        • FranceyPoo

          hey Matt- you fucking LOSER. I hope you get deported.

  • dis4

    Or just leave them behind…There aren’t as many as you would think, I reckon. Trolls with 50 FakeAccounts AKA 45’s base. If 45 had as much support as has infected his twitter threads and roamed the bowels of the internet, then the numbers would have been represented at his wretched Inauguration. But the Mall was considerably less packed than Obama’s Inauguration, much to 45’s discompusure and obsession. The processional Stands were empty.

    Everything about Bannon and 45 is steeped in shadow and subterfuge. But apparently, going by 45’s obsession with all things concerning himself, even propagandists can be taken in by their own dissemination of false appearance and alt facts. So there’s that. But the rest of us must move forward with or without our wayward thinking brethren. I do try to remember President Obama’s admonition to talk to instead of at them. I’m just not trying to toss my pearls before swine.

    But my point is to advise caution as to whom you are chatting, online at least. Remember that names and avatars are chosen for affect and to persuade. But for those who are truly American, thinking of the cult aspect aligns with what Goebbels was after as well. I’ve been reading his words and biography. I reckon Bannon has too. I think we’re seeing the influence of Goebbels writing on Bannon at play here. I think 45’s America has become Bannon’s playground for fleshing out his own extreme views. It’s all very disturbing. But he won’t succeed. We have the net and we are all connected in a way Goebbels and 1930’s Germany could never imagine. The majority of us get what’s going on.

    • FrancesPoo

      Donald John Trump 2017 BABY. BILLARY And her lying dog shit eating husband lost. #makeamericagreatagain. Donald John Trump 2017 BABY.

      GOD BLESS Charlotte PD, George Zimmerman, Officer Wilson, Baltimore PD, all PD and NYPD. True American HEROS. Justice was SERVED BABY.

      Ted Nugent is Killing and Grilling BABY.

      Deport all the Mexi’s and Mussie’s

      #whiteandcopslivesmatter
      #womanneedtostartcleaning
      #liberalsarepussygrabbers

      Suck on that douche bag

  • SqueakyRat

    He pulled back on his birtherism during the debates, in fact completely reversed himself. That might be an example. I’m not really sure why he did it. I’d say he was afraid of getting laughed at, but it’s clear he’s not very afraid of that, though it obviously angers him.

    It was interesting how he did it. He said, “Obama was born in the United States. Period.” The point of “period” seemed to be, “Now it is impermissible to ask me about this any more”; and the media largely went along with that.

    • FrancesPoo

      Obozo is gone. Deport his ass also

    • dbtheonly

      Solid point, but it leaves one huge question: does the cult leader have to believe what he’s peddling? In L Ron’s case the answer is obviously not. In Trump’s case there’s the further question of whether he believes anything at all?

      As for following up on birtherism once Trump made his period announcement; to what point? Any question will be answered by, “Born in America”. Contentious and tendentious questioning is propaganda not news and is only permissible on Fox.

      • SqueakyRat

        I think it would be permissible to press him on what changed his mind. After all, a couple of years ago he was assuring us that his investigators were turning up incontrovertible evidence in Hawaii.

        • dbtheonly

          The answer would go something like:

          Thank Donald Trump. He forced Obama to clear up the controversy surrounding his birth certificate. No one else could make him end the controversy, only Donald J. Trump.

          Next question.

        • FranceyPoo

          How’s obozo doing? you know the brown man?

  • Juliet Delaney

    They are acting like they are in a cult. They better wake up before it’s to late. I wonder if Trump and Tom cruise are beat buddies.

    • FrancesPoo

      Donald John Trump is DA MAN. Hopefully mass deportation starts really soon.

    • Dennis

      Juliet,

      Can you tell me what the night of 11/8/16 was like for you?

  • FrancesPoo

    Donald John Trump 2017 BABY. BILLARY And her lying dog shit eating husband lost. #makeamericagreatagain. Donald John Trump 2017 BABY.

    GOD BLESS Charlotte PD, George Zimmerman, Officer Wilson, Baltimore PD, all PD and NYPD. True American HEROS. Justice was SERVED BABY.

    Ted Nugent is Killing and Grilling BABY.

    Deport all the Mexi’s and Mussie’s

    #whiteandcopslivesmatter
    #womanneedtostartcleaning
    #liberalsarepussygrabbers

  • dbtheonly

    Poo has, once again, cut and pasted his comment that Trump is indeed President.

    Yes, and if accounts are correct, Trump is as tired of being President as we are of having him be so.

    Barely 3 weeks and even Trump misses “No drama Obama”.

    • FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy

      Hey DB,

      Just think, another 1700+ days minimally. The Donald is kicking ass and taking names brother and there is nothing you can do about it.

      FrankyPoo

      • dbtheonly

        Flynn resigned for lying to the VP? Is that one of the names Trump is taking?

        You missed the news reports that Trump already is tired of being President? Should I find a cite for you?

        Yet another “nom de blog”?

        • FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy

          Huh? It happens in every administration and The Donald doesn’t put up with liar’s. You’re FIRED.

          Yes, cite me an article that isn’t written by that fat slob Amanda Marcotte, raw story or any of your liberal charged sites.

          No, check the history. This one has been in existence for a long time. If you and that loser stopped whining to Ollie, it wouldn’t be an issue. Grow a set of balls Db.

          • dbtheonly

            No, I don’t keep track of your various handles.

            Regardless of the name, your particular aura comes through. Don’t blame me for getting, yet another, name banned. I haven’t complained.

          • Dennis

            db,

            You’re a good guy, but could you please stop mocking FrancesPoo for all his extra chins he’s grown lately?

            It’s bad form. He was born that way.

          • dbtheonly

            Dennis,

            Did you see where Jeffrey Loria, owner and crasher of the Miami Marlins is up for being Trump’s Ambassador to France? Apparently after selling said Marlins to Ivanka’s brother-in-law?

            I’m sure Loria will do the same stellar job building good will as he did with the fans in Miami.

            You can’t make this stuff up.

          • Chutney Bridge

            Db- who cares? You lost. It’s over. Donald John Trump- President of The United States of America. Boo YAH

          • FranceyPoo

            db- does it stand for douche bag?

          • Bobby Tolberto AKA TDA

            Calm down, Dennie-boo-boo.

          • FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy

            Calm down? Why? You worried Taco Bell is going to be deported with Fat Pong?

          • Bobby Tolberto AKA TDA

            Nah, she’s a citizen now. Was plugging Rebecca in the butt enjoyable once you could locate it?

          • FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy

            She is not a citizen. Hey , I just looked on google maps, why are your garbage cans still at the street? You really are classless.

          • Bobby Tolberto AKA TDA

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1191bdbaf943397e0944a2fdb439276ab123a46db4cf7c6f6a1b15bfefaf0abd.jpg

            I’m guessing the sunglasses keep the baby batter out of her eyes when she’s servicing her clients, amirite?

          • FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy

            Seriously, DA you really need to go on a diet. Just look at your picture, you are a role model for dough boys. For God’s sake, clean up your front lawn, paint your garage and enjoy deportation for that hairy beast Taco Bell.

          • Dennis

            .
            AVOID FILIPINO DATING SCAMS, NEVER SEND MONEY
            .

            It’s too late for our dumb friend, DA. But maybe his misfortune can save someone else from his same awful fate.

            Please everyone, get the word out.

          • FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy

            Thanks for the advice brother. How do you like my chins?

          • Dennis
          • FranceyPoo

            Thanks for the advice Dennis. I will do my best. Can’t stop eating the diorites’ though. I am sooo fat and my blog has NO readership.

          • FranceyPoo

            Where’s Taco Bell today? Is she banging the dead dog?

          • Dennis

            DA,

            Did you barbecue PatPong when he passed? Throw him in some of Meribel’s famous Filipino Spaghetti and serve him up to her family?

          • Chutney Bridge

            A citizen???? You’re a LOSER. How’s your blog loser?

          • FranceyPoo

            Hey FrancEs- How is the shitty blog doing? You loser, take your garbage cans in and bury that ugly pat a pan dog.

          • Chutney Bridge

            Hey DA- how is life as a loser?

          • FranceyPoo

            Hey FrancEs- you fat slob. How many chins we up to?

        • FranceyPoo

          How’s life being depressed DB?

    • FranceyPoo

      Where you been DB? I guess getting your head beat in by conservatives every day is really hard. You thought you had this election in a land slide and guess what???? YOU LOST!!! America spoke. Bye bye mexi’s and mussie’s. Immigration is about to change HUGELY.

      • dbtheonly

        Yet another “nom de blog”? Last one got banned?

        • FranceyPoo

          Yes it did because you keep blocking it DoucheBag. See the play on DB?

  • FrancEs 4 Chin Cuffy

    Late Breaking News- Billary Clinton will NOT be President.

    • Dennis

      Rumors are circulating that she wants to run again.

      • FranceyPoo

        I’ve been hearing those rumors. Just ask Ollie who claimed that Billary was a racist 8 years ago.

  • Chutney Bridge

    Hey Ollie. Your article doesn’t make much sense?

  • Thomas Brunn

    best way to fight a cult is to not pay attention to them.. and as far as Donald trump well he the president and he got the job from the peoples votes and working hard. not by Russia or any other way when you do your job you will be fine. cult leader what crap I follow him because 1 he funny .very fare straight up and I used to work in one of his building years ago. he a fare man do your job and he or anyone will never have nothing on you .he doing his job now the job the people hired him for. ok

    • FranceyPoo

      Amen, Thomas, AMEN. Wow, Ollie isn’t gonna like us. All his lib TARD friends have run and hidden since fatso Billary lost.

  • rnsr4u

    I believe the cult is CNN and MSM- just look at the emails where news stories are shifted and drafted for false belief and panic. Trump’s anti-establishment group is the opposite of the cult mentality. We can see through this and it is about time. Church of scientology is one of those that use the 1st amendment to hurt people and get by with it. Another example of the media shunning those that disagree or have ideas contrary to their leftist views. Trump is the best thing to happen to America in my lifetime.

    • FranceyPoo

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Buy American and Hire American!