Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Manipulating minds and exploiting the vulnerable.

Given the events of the past week, many people wonder how some can be manipulated and made to believe what is so demonstrably false. I know most people who visit my blog are natural born skeptics who apply cold logic to what they see and will question until they understand. So you must be wondering how it is all done - how a man using the power of words and borrowing the authority of a higher being can shape the beliefs of others, make them drop their skepticism and trust everything he says. The skill to do this consists of both art and science.

Before we continue, I just want to say that most men of faith teach what they truly believe to others with no ulterior motives except to guide them along what they believe is the right path to happiness and perpetual life. However, there are a handful who would do it for they own selfish gains.

"Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart:
O, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!"

-l Spoken by Antonio in "The Merchant of Venice", written by William Shakespeare (1564-1616)

This outstanding video by famous British "mentalist" Derren Brown shows the techniques used by the unscrupulous to manipulate others for their own gain.
42 minutes and 40 secs into the video is a segment on "Prosperity Gospel" a teaching closely associated with the City Harvest Church.

Thoughts of a contented Singaporean who has lived in Singapore
for 40 years.


Anonymous said...

To most, heaven is a place to be and it exists by faith. For some gahmen and businessman, heaven is a place on earth, a place called SinCity.

Here's the song

Anonymous said...

Giving is not equivalent to investing. Their church is not like a stock exchange. If so, they should all go buy stocks and watch how their returns will come back.

When people groom Christians with the false expectations that giving is going to give them back untold riches, 30, 60 and 100 fold that they are set up for a major fall later in their Christian walk.

When are they going to open their eyes and see that the govt actually have to import these foreign millionaires in order to get to the top 5 ranking of city-states with most millionaires? IT is all very laughable.

Anonymous said...

Lets give it a rest and allow due process to follow.

The charges are about mismanagement of funds and accounting fraud.
As for faith in Kong, well, its up to the people who believe.
Rightly or otherwise.

We cannot stop people from buying insurance or the types of policies.
Despite education and free information, there will be people who will buy without deep thinking.

There will always be daft people among us. We need them too.
Otherwise how will we know that we are clever?

Anonymous said...

The farmer warned us all about CHC and another cult church in Suntec. He told us all to give 10% to my sons education fund. The farmer was sued, but he is rich, so he told the church, that he would blog about and they let go. I was just wondering what if the church picked on someone who is not as financially strong, wouldn't that person have to issue a public apology and retract the statement?

Josephine Lim Lee Lian Bukit Batok

Anonymous said...

Anon 4/7/12 18:09

"There will always be daft people among us. We need them too.
Otherwise how will we know that we are clever?"

So if you buy faulty computer from Sim Lim, means you should have no recourse and is daft for buying at Sim Lim?
Also by your analogy, we don't need laws because the person who commits crime or are the victims of crime are just daft enough to be in the wrong place and wrong time? We also don't need SAF/SDF and when Indo or Mal invade us, those unlucky to be born here are also daft to be born here lah? It is up to people to believe in KH, but when he breaks the law, the sword should hang over his head.

Since you are so clever, go and start your own church/cult. Publish your name here so we will remember you when you are a multibillionaire faith healer and can congratulate you for being so clever.

Anonymous said...

Why don't these people who can manipulate minds and exploit the vulnerable become politicians?

Then they will sure can manipulate the minds and get a lot of votes and win an election what?

And if they win enough seats to become the govt, imagine how much more powerful they can and will be!!!!

Anonymous said...

Politician is answerable to public mah, and they can lose power when booted out in GE. Whereas for charlatans, there is alway religion and snake oil.

Anonymous said...

Here is a critique of one of Kong Hee's sermons by another Christian.

Anonymous said...

Terry Goodkind has stated this rule as a means of understanding human behavior inside his novel, "Wizard's First Rule":

"Wizard's First Rule: people are stupid [...] People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it's true, or because they are afraid it might be true. People's heads are full of knowledge, facts, and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool." (Terry Goodkind, "Wizard's First Rule")

The narrative revolves around a Seeker, Richard Cypher, who tries to break the cycle of control that Darken Rahl, an evil wizard of the dark arts who manipulates people's minds (especially citizens of D'Hara, the land which he subjugates and rules over) to chant litanies of invocation to him, calling him "Father Rahl" or "Lord Rahl". Now, doesn't Darken Rahl's pattern of control over the minds of D'Harans seem reminiscent of the way in which some preachers--false ones at that--seek to manipulate innocent and insuspecting people's minds?

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I meant, "The narrative revolves around a Seeker, Richard Cypher, who tries to break the cycle of control that Darken Rahl, an evil wizard of the dark arts enjoys over people's minds (especially citizens of D'Hara, the land which he subjugates and rules over) , manipulating them to chant litanies of invocation to him, calling him "Father Rahl" or "Lord Rahl". "

Anonymous said...

Also, I meant "unsuspecting", not "insuspecting"....arghhh....

Anonymous said...

It is not just miracles for sale though the trickery or mind tricks is the same for other banal Christian doctrines such as the power of the blood,name,communion,cross etc etc all for...."sale". And this "sale" may not necessarily involve money. In fact,worse... Your sanity and the irony, your soul is on the table.

Can we brush it aside and tell's peope's choices just like choosing your brand of underwears?

Nope. The church is a serious institution and a formidable power. It has a huge worldwide following and tremendous influences in the political world.

If she is on the wrong course, you better pay serious attention or suffers worldwide consequences!

Anonymous said...

And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; if he does, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost and the bottles destroyed; but new wine is to be put in new (fresh) wineskins.

Time to discard or DUMP the old body and watch....the new is coming.....

Anonymous said...

Satanic verses used to exploit the vulnerable:

"GST is to help the poor"
"Under pay the ministers and your wives and daughters will become maids in foreign land"
"You can own an HDB flat with $1,000 pm salary"
"CPF minimum sum is for your own protection"
"people of hougang will repent"
"your property value will drop if opposition forms the govt"
"no one will be left behind"
"we will become an inclusive society"
"national pledge is only an aspiration"

Anonymous said...

Excellent video. Thanks for sharing with everyone.

ah lian said...

The recent news reports again and again described Kong Hee as "charismatic". That's it, some people know how to draw a crowd. And when it comes to pop stars, they're described as having the "x-factor". (I'm referring to real pop stars, not the wife.)

It's v hard to shake a person's belief. Fans will find excuses for their idol's wrong-doings. More so, will people be unwilling to see any fault in what their spiritual leaders do, esp if it's in the name of god.

Makes me think of how doting parents will insist their criminal offspring is "a good boy (or girl)". And how abused spouses will psych themselves to bear with things, coz they remember good times in the past, or they think they'll be worse off, or if the abuser knows when to say sorry.

(Er... the abused spouses are kinda like the MIW diehard supporters! Really, I only thought of the parallel while I was typing. Probably trying to drag the gahmen in somehow, seeing as it's Lucky Tan's blog. :p )

About the people who believe in miracle healing, I don't think they're more gullible, or that the professed healers are particularly charismatic. It's just coz when you're desperate for a cure, you'll want to believe in alternative medicine and miracles.

Anonymous said...

Think of it as a demand and supply situation. People are always in need of answers to their lives, no matter how bad the answers are, and Kong Hee just happened to be there to supply them. I technically don't believe the problem lies with anything but Kong Hee's suspicious agenda, which twisted Christianity's historic doctrines to become a newfangled 'prosperity gospel' to suit his own profiteering motives.

Anonymous said...

God is not a solution. It's a problem.

patriot said...

"About the people who believe in miracle healing, I don't think they're more gullible, or that the professed healers are particularly charismatic. It's just coz when you're desperate for a cure, you'll want to believe in alternative medicine and miracles.
5/7/12 02:28". Unquote.

Those who believe in miracle healing are superstitious, misled and or mis-guilded folks.


Anonymous said...

I disagree. You obviously never had a major ailment or disease afflicting you. When you're in pain, anything that can alleviate or take away the pain, you'll go for it. But to devalue the human pain to superstition, in that a man is such for opting anything he can to survive, is unsympathetic. They're wrong but it's understandable why they're wrong. Get that bearing right first before you identify yourself as a patriot.

Anonymous said...

The younger Singaporeans are discarding the old and everything that is in the past (PAP). It is part of growing up to be an adult. You need to discard old ways and built your own new way. PAP is an old system, too old that the young no longer trust the system any more. Today's Singapore are tired of the old mindset.

Anonymous said...

People will shed the old for the new if they know the new offers them salvation. And this is no fraud.

Anonymous said...

Magicians imitating politicians?
Politicians imitating magicians?

Spiritual leaders imitating politicians?
Politicians imitating spiritual leaders?

Inclusive growth?
A new national pledge,
aspiration or
political ideology?

But what about the old national pledge?

Anonymous said...

I don't believe in superstition. But I do believe in psychokinesis. The mind has the power to conjure non-existent things if it has been given sufficient motivation and belief. Faith healers and a lot of doctors work on this principle. Heard of the "placebo effect?"

Anonymous said...

CH is an Evil organisation. Founded and run by fraudsters based on greed and cheating.

Anonymous said...

The word 'politics' is derived from the word 'poly', meaning 'many', and the word 'ticks', meaning 'blood sucking parasites'.
Larry Hardiman

"Politics makes strange bedfellows rich".
Wayne Haisley

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it wrongly, and applying unsuitable remedies".
Sir Ernest Benn

Anonymous said...

CH should be BANNED from Singapore. It is evil and spread decadent and dangerous ideas.

Anonymous said...

You take down the self appointed spokesman for god, or god's voice, the sheep will eventually scatter. If sheep still want to listen to self appointed or anointed flesh and blood, we allow only the weak/stuttering preschers on the pulpit(soon, they won't turn up lol). we encourage the strong to be ordinary, no titles, no permanent appointment and open mouth when necessary.

Heck, if so, why then do you even need a church building? lol

patriot said...

Me did witnessed spiritual healings been performed on some people and hey they worked!
The Spiritual Healers were not engaged by the 'Sufferers' of their problems; some mental, some physical. They were engaged by their family members and friends, however, all the patients were believers.
Yes, me does know the power of suggestion as well and the psychological effect of placebo, ritual and black magic. They work on believers. A hypnotist will not be able to get his/her target to his/her command when the latter refuses.
Desperation does drive people to end their live, had miracle healing works, it would have saved many; other implications aside.

Recalled the Case that happened at Novena Church where the Believer is suing the Faith Healers who happened to be Preachers there?


Ng Eng Hou said...

That church group looks to me more like a rich men club for members to network, hoping to clinch some business deals or know some rich and powerful people. They willingly pay to the church treating it as some kind of membership fees, just like they're paying for golf club membership fees. Therefore some of these people may not mind if they can reap some benefits out of their contributions which they may view as sort of investments.

Should re-register this church group as a normal business group, because I don't see any much religion there! Maybe only 10% of their activities are purely religious nature!

Anonymous said...

Irony is...the church is actually anti god lol

does that mean they are anti Christ too?


Anonymous said...

CHC = Church Harbouring Conmen

looking forward to jackneo doing a movie with the potential for a blockbuster. so much material for him to use and little reason to add fiction.

Anonymous said...

A wonderfully produced documentary with high standard. Thank you for sharing it with us.

Appreciate your blog, Mr Lucky !!

Anonymous said...

religion is just a tool for the strong minded to use against the weak minded. this applies to all kinds of religion. i'm sorry if this offend anyone of you. this is my opinion. if you are strong, you do not need to depend on any illusionary religion. there is no god or satan. there is only good people and bad people.

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ is used as a bait to fleece superstitious believers.
How or who to blame? Jesus, the con people or the believers ?

Austin Wedding Photographer said...

Words are powerful that it can either create chaos or goodwill to its fellowmen. The most important thing is to believe in what you believe in and never encouraged to people's words. Remember that you are the master of your own soul, therefore no one should command nor dictate whatever you do.