One of the most competent educators on violent extremism in the world today is Sweden’s Robert Örell. He is definitely receiving well-deserved attention for not only what he knows, but how he is helping to reclaim the lives of thousands of victims of hate groups and radicalization.
Robert was recently asked to deliver an 18-minute TED talk on violent extremism and how hate groups influence their victims. It is a must-watch watch video, which you can access at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNIgKsb1QbA
After watching and listening to Robert’s engaging expose several times on how hate mongers and violent extremist groups persuade victims and members, I was struck with the parallelism of Watchtower’s brand of unethical persuasion.
For starters, people who join Watchtower and violent extremist groups are looking for a community, where they can feel a sense of belonging and have meaning to their lives; both groups claiming exclusivity to the truth.
Both groups do very well at disconnecting their members from family, friends, society and themselves.
The victims are introduced to a higher cause.
Both groups influence their victims and members with black-and-white thinking;
Everything is defined by the group as either good or bad;
Us against them;
They learn to speak the language of the group;
Members are given the feeling they are superior to other people and groups;
A moral superiority complex is constantly reinforced;
They associate only with members of the group;
Non-members are inferior and constantly de-humanized; and
They have no problem violating the basic human rights of non-members.
But don’t take my word for it. I would encourage you to watch and listen to Robert to see and hear for yourself.
Robert lives in Sweden, and has been very active for the last 15 years with EXIT Fryshuset. You can access his group at: http://exit.fryshuset.se/english/. EXIT excels at helping people escape from violent extremist groups that unduly influence their members.
Robert was also featured in a New York Times article, which you can access at:
Another interesting article about Robert and his life as a Neo Nazi can be found at: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/how-a-neonazi-got-out-of-swedens-most-powerful-white-supremacy-group/story-fniym3t1-1226769235990