Sunday, December 23, 2007

Characteristics of a cult: Monkey boy see, monkey boy do.

Two weeks ago the local listserv, Vision 20/20, heard about monkey boy Mike Lawyer’s apology to Bob Mattes. Most of the locals took it as I did, which is to say they didn’t believe a word of it. One guy wrote, “And the real bonus to all of this is that the dupes on the other side are actually buying it.” Like me, they’ve witnessed too much of Wilson’s abusive antics to ever grant him the judgment of charity. But I want to remind you of something that Lawyer wrote in his so-called apology:

Fourth, there has been some discussion about whether I said anything about going after you with the Air Force or the Pentagon. I don’t remember saying or writing anything about that. I don’t think that ever entered my mind. If, I did say anything like that you need to know that I had and have no intention of doing anything with regard to your job. That would be worse than reprehensible. (December 7, 2007, emphasis added)

I call this to your attention because of something that happened on the listserv just two days after Lawyer apologized, and you have to remember that Wilson and his monkey boys police the dialogue on Vision 20/20 no less than they police it elsewhere.

On December 10, someone generated a thread on 20/20 discussing Christ Church’s reputation for abusing former members of the Kult, as well as certain members of the community. A gentleman named Robert Dickow contributed to the thread and it’s important to note that, to my knowledge, Mr. (Dr.?) Dickow has never been a critic of the Kult. I do know that for the most part, he has stayed away from those threads. Nevertheless, he posted the following email to the listserv (if you don’t read the whole list, please jump to the end of the list):

[Vision2020] Characteristics of a cult
Robert Dickow dickow at
Mon Dec 10 08:49:15 PST 2007

Hi all, A minister friend of mine in England provided me with this rather comprehensive list of characteristics of a cult (or “destructive group” — defined more generally). Does this stuff remind you of anything?

Bob Dickow, troublemaker

Characteristics of A Destructive Group

While not all groups exhibit all these traits, destructive groups will have many of these characteristics and attitudes:
  • Authoritarian hierarchal control;
  • Black and white thinking: either or, we they, us them;
  • Centralized power structure;
  • Child abuse and neglect;
  • Competition with other members or with outsiders;
  • Conflicting opinions viewed as moral assaults and disloyalty;
  • Control of information within group environment;
  • Criticism of group, system or leaders is discouraged;
  • Different beliefs or ideas are perceived as threatening;
  • Discrimination (economic, emotional and psychological): race, gender, age, religion, politics;
  • Effusive praise and flattery for leaders;
  • Enemy making, a common enemy outside the group: other business groups, other religions, other countries, other life styles, other races;
  • Fear (or feelings of guilt) about the prospect of leaving the group;
  • Feelings of superiority and exclusiveness;
  • Gender-based abuse in any form;
  • Group becomes like a family and is more important than individual’s family and outside friends;
  • Group has the “truth” (the answers) others don’t;
  • Group (system) mission is more important than the individual;
  • Group’s doctrine repeated over and over, lots of repetitious lectures and meetings;
  • Group leader(s) are looked to for answers involving personal choices in life;
  • Labeling: Dissenting members, other groups, and different belief systems are given negative labels/names;
  • Large pay and power gaps between members and leaders;
  • Loaded language: the group has its own clichés, jargon and slogans that become simplistic explanations for complex situations;
  • Missionary consciousness: converting others to group ideology, product, beliefs, trying to persuade others to be like “us”;
  • Need leader(s) permission for everything;
  • Overuse of plural pronouns: we, us, they, them;
  • Peer pressure: non group ideas receive icy silence, ridicule, or condemnation;
  • Propaganda used to persuade members and internalize group ideas;
  • Public humiliation or embarrassment in any form;
  • Public sharings, testimonials, confession, witnessing;
  • Scapegoating within or outside the group;
  • Secrecy between members or between different levels of a group’s structure;
  • Selfishness is putting yourself above the group;
  • Strict dress codes, everyone looks alike;
  • Suppressing legitimate feelings when they do not fit the group’s mind set;
  • The need to be like leaders or like others in the group;
  • There is always something to do, excessive business;
  • There is a group explanation for everything;
  • Thought control: there are “good” and “bad” thoughts;
  • Unquestioning obedience to authority.
Emotional and Psychological Aftereffects From Membership in a Destructive Group:
Note: Aftereffects will vary depending on the specific type of group and the length of time spent in the group.
  • Feelings of guilt, shame, and self-blaming;
  • Difficulty making decisions and simple choices.
  • Excessive doubt;
  • Short term memory loss;
  • Anxiety and panic attacks;
  • Depression and anger;
  • Loneliness and feelings of detachment and isolation from others;
  • Loss of self-esteem;
  • Lack of self-confidence;
  • Difficulty concentrating and focusing attention;
  • Inability to think critically and “uncritical passivity;
  • Posttraumatic Stress:

  • Flashbacks including images, thoughts, and perceptions.
  • Recurrent nightmares or distressing dreams.
  • Efforts to avoid places or people that arouse memories of the group.
  • Significant diminished interest in important activities.
  • Sense of a foreshortened or non-existent future.
  • Irritability and angry outbursts.

  • Hyper critical of others, other ideas, other philosophies, other life styles;
  • Loss of a sense of self and identity;
  • Difficult or impossible to stop mental or other group ritualistic practices;
  • Feelings of emptiness and loss of a unique mission in life;
  • Disassociative episodes, floating, feeling spaced out;
  • Afraid to join other groups or make commitments;
  • Difficulty forming a new value system or philosophy toward life;
    Nervous tics — often induced by meditative techniques used in the group;
  • Fear of the group;
  • Estrangement (also while in the group) from family and former friends;
  • Difficulty making and expressing opinions.
No sooner did Mr. Dickow post this email (which never identified Christ Church by name) than one of Douglas Wilson’s most virulent monkey boys sent this email to Mr. Dickow and his superior at the University of Idaho (he has done this to several people in the last four years). And please notice the response time: Farris sent this email within 18 minutes of Mr. Dickow’s post:

- - - Original Message- - -
From: heirdoug at
Sent:Monday, December 10, 2007 9:07 AM
To: Robert Dickow
Cc: Kevin Woelfel
Subject: Non Official use of University Property and Computers.

Mr. Dickow,

I see that you posted your attempt at joining “the group” on Vision 2020 this morning utilizing your university computer. Is this post part of the music functions of the Lionel Hampton School of Music?

If it is personal time that you are spending doing this sort of activity maybe you should re-read your rules and regulations pertaining to the proper use of Government property.

I have attached the post with your University of Idaho email firmly attached at the top of the page. I was curious as to when works starts over at the U of I?

Thank you for your consideration in this matter.

Doug Farris
Heirloom Electric.

But Farris didn’t do his homework; he just shot off before he had his facts (which is common for him). Here is Mr. Dickow’s public response to Farris:

[Vision2020] FW: Non Official use of University Property and Computers.
Robert Dickow dickow at
Wed Dec 12 22:49:34 PST 2007

Mr. Farris:

While there are explicit laws applicable to contacting someone’s employer or supervisor with the aim of undermining the employment or status of an individual with regard to their employment, there are no laws or policies against sending email the way that I do. My outgoing mail in this case came from my home, while I was enjoying my morning coffee and correcting papers, on my personally owned computer, and the mail passed through’s smtp servers — an independent IPS — and not directly through any state-owned servers or equipment or software of any kind.

Robert Dickow

So while monkey boy Mike Lawyer made concessions to Bob Mattes for PR’s sake, Wilson’s monkey boys, who you would think answer to Lawyer’s authority or at least follow his example, continued their antics here in Moscow. Monkey boy see, monkey boy do.

Wilson, by your own standard you and your vicious disciples are “worse than reprehensible.”

Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Is that the same Doug Farris who used his Washington State University email account to send harrassing emails to Christ Church critics?

Mark T. said...