Lessons from a college cult for RECOGNIZING and avoiding manipulation

The documentary is about college students that became devout followers and listeners of a man named Larry that directed them to live and think in ways that were sometimes at odds with what the students wanted but furthered his personal interests. Some call him a cult leader.

Larry initially helped them overcome psychological challenges that were heavy internal burdens which seems to be a major reason they assumed anything and everything he did from then on would be in their best. Overtime, these individuals stopped trusting their own opinions and instincts and accepted everything Larry said as the source of truth even when they thought he was wrong and were being emotionally, physically, or financially hurt from his “truths.”

A takeaway from the story for parents, other caretakers of children, and people that want to be critical thinkers

The notion that higher education or intelligence levels will serve as a buffer against such manipulation isn’t always true. One person Larry influenced had a Bachelors from Harvard and a MD from Columbia. She actually dropped out of psychiatry residency to live with Larry out of fear by scaring her with stories and convincing her that her life was in danger.

Lessons & recommendations

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