hoaxes can teach us

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joe sz
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hoaxes can teach us

Unread post by joe sz » Mon Feb 11, 2008 6:01 pm

A common question I am asked regarding 'cult' activity is how do people get duped into such seeming nonsense? I reverse the question by pointing out that all people rely on and tend to believe to some degree the evidence as presented, even very smart people. A good way to prove this is to look at the history of hoaxes. Check out A&E's American Justice: The Quiz Show Scandal and Other Frauds DVD
"From Tawanna Brawley to the famous Quiz Show Scandals of the 1950s, examine some of the most famous hoaxes in recent history. From simple greed to marketing strategies, a desire for fame or fear of getting into trouble, explore the surprising reasons these hoaxes were perpetrated, and how they were uncovered. Herbert Stempel was a contestant on the popular '50s game show Twenty-One, who suspected the fix was in. Here, Mr. Stempel recalls the amazing succession of events he caused, which ended with nearly all of the popular game shows of the day being taken off the air amid revelations that they were rigged. Clifford Irving had a deal to sell the "authorized" biography of Howard Hughes a sure-fire bestseller to McGraw Hill, but was exposed by Hughes himself. Mark Hoffman was a noted rare documents dealer who was really one of the most accomplished forgers of recent memory..."

This episode features many good examples of how easily the public can be fooled, like the Tawanna Brawley hoax that took in many Black leaders including Rev Sharpton. A Black teen was out late and faked that she was raped in the woods to get sympathy from her abusive father (the man killed his former wife). Her mother believed her and the event snowballed into a year long high level investigation. In the end a Black journalist thoroughly exposed the hoax, the Grand Jury proclaimed that the evidence proved that Tawanna had perpetrated it but Tawanna and mom continued to claim the story was true. Tawanna's position is not unlike that of many cult leaders.

Guy Ballard and his wife Edna were readily exposed in the late 1930s as hoaxers who created the stories about meeting ascended master Saint Germain on Mt Shasta, yet they persisted to the end in their claims. Might their persistence have to do with all the money and adulation the Ballards continued to receive from true believers?

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Unread post by IUB » Sat Mar 15, 2008 4:43 am

And also, (since Tawanna Brawley has been reintroduced), lets not forget the cultish mind-set of "Andrea Yates" a 'White Woman' who murdered her own 5 children and then turn around, and blamed it on a "Black" man. Which in this society, is just one of the perfect ingredients to stir up white fear and deep seated bigotry.

But of course once she was found out, she then claim insanity drove her to do it.

http://video.aol.com/video-detail/yates ... 2397150612

joe sz
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Location: Birdsboro, PA

Unread post by joe sz » Sat Mar 15, 2008 8:04 am

I did not know Yates blamed anything on a "black man"???? Where did you get that?
She admitted she did it because she was a "bad mother" and did not raise her kids right.
"I killed my children." Her eyes were blank.

"Why did you kill your children?"

"Because I'm a bad mother." http://www.crimelibrary.com/notorious_m ... tes/2.html

She has schizophrenia and was in psychosis at the time. Nothing to do with a cult. This is a very different case than the Tawana Brawley one...not comparable.

BUt your point does bring up serious questions about the state of the "minds" of cult leaders and followers of delusional behavioral systems.

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Unread post by G2G » Sat Mar 15, 2008 9:36 pm

That was Susan Smith. She left her two young children in her car and let it just go forward into a lake - without her. She concocted a horrible story about a man and added to it that he was black.
"I never really understood religion - it just seemed a good excuse to give" - Ten Years After circa 1972

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Unread post by Whatchamacallit » Sun Mar 16, 2008 5:56 am

Andrea Yates also had repeated bouts of severe clinical depression. As the media reported it, it was being questioned why nobody had picked up on the symptoms she was exhibiting, that they didn't take seriously enough, soon enough. That added to the mix of her other mental instabilities (illness).

I never was aware that she was related to any sort of cult. If so, someone please share more info along that line.

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