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Group Information
Title Love Israel
Founder Paul Erdman (also goes by the name of "Love Israel")
Description

The below information has been provided to use by a friend of a current member of the group: "Founded by Paul Erdman, aka Love Israel in 1968 in Seattle, Washington. Purports to be fulfilling the vision of Jesus Christ on Earth by working toward a vision of a community that is committed to love one another and forgive one another. Reached zenith of membership in the mid-80's with nearly 400 members. Dissolution of the majority of the group came about when families of members sued for return of property turned over to the family and allegations of monetary and property mis-management occurred. The remaining members moved to a 290 acre ranch near Arlington, Washington. During the 90's the leader and his lead elder Serious have formed multiple corporations, one of which is The Love Is Real Family, Inc., reportedly a non-profit corporation. Additionally, Serious is the registered agent for: The Jordan Village Corp., The Golden Triangle Development, Inc., The Bistro, Inc., and The Love Is Real Family, Inc. The Bistro is a restaurant concern in Arlington, Washington, reportedly owned and operated by the family. Also reported in the Seattle Times is a evening coffee club called the Compassion Cafe. Members confirm that this is a Family concern but at this point Ive been unable to obtain documentation to confirm this connection."

Behavior
Control
1. Regulation of individual's physical reality
  a. Where, how and with whom the member lives and associates with
  b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
  c. What food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects
  d. How much sleep the person is able to have
  e. Financial dependence
  f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations

2. Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals

3. Need to ask permission for major decisions

4. Need to report thoughts, feelings and activities to superiors

5. Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative).

6. Individualism discouraged; group think prevails

7. Rigid rules and regulations

8. Need for obedience and dependency.

"Great cultural pressure to adhere to groups norms of dress, styles, manner of talking. Communal living idealism, so food is regulated by the core group. Key members of the group do not go without food or sufficient provisions. Out of favor members tend not to be taken care of as well or poorly. Early morning meetings are de riguer and the lifestyle encourages late evenings as well, therefore, not much sleep occurs. Members are encouraged to contribute all to the family upon joining. Households are reportedly self-sufficient, but must contribute (as of 10/00) 1/3 of their income to Love so that the payments on the property may be made. Leisure activities of the members revolve around the family actitivies. Love Israel frequently takes trips around the world, particularly Europe. Lesser members never, if ever, travel. Must always ask permission to make major decisions. Marriages must be sanctioned Otherwise, less formal couplings are neither discouraged nor encouraged, although couples are encouraged to experiment outside their union. Morning prayer meetings are often used for getting to what people think/feel. If you are in favor, you get more food, greater benefits, more freedom. Out of favor and you get job assignments that arent as welcome punishments, group pressure, etc. There are many rigid rules and regulations. Dependency is wrought first by financial dependency developing into emotional dependency and learned helplessness. Perhaps the only real autonomous people there are Love Israel and Serious Israel."

Information
Control
1. Use of deception
  a. Deliberately holding back information
  b. Distorting information to make it acceptable
  c. Outright lying

2. Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
  a. Books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
  b. Critical information
  c. Former members
  d. Keep members so busy they don’t have time to think

3. Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
  a. Information is not freely accessible
  b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid
  c. Leadership decides who “needs to know” what

4. Spying on other members is encouraged
  a. Pairing up with “buddy” system to monitor and control
  b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership

5. Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
  a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc.
  b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources

6. Unethical use of confession
  a. Information about “sins” used to abolish identity boundaries
  b. Past “sins” used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution

"Leaders decide who needs to know what. Likely only Love Israel, Serious and their most trusted companions know key areas of the business dealings of the two men."

Thought
Control
1. Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
  a. Map = Reality
  b. Black and White thinking
  c. Good vs. evil
  d. Us vs. them (inside vs. outside)

2. Adopt "loaded" language (characterized by "thought-terminating clichés"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words".

3. Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged.

4. Thought-stopping techniques (to shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts); rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism.
  a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
  b. Chanting
  c. Meditating
  d. Praying
  e. Speaking in "tongues"
  f. Singing or humming

5. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate

6. No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful

"Must internalize the groups truth as truth. Loaded language techniques are rampant. No critical questions about Love, his doctrine or his policies are legitimate. You are a traitor if you question him."

Emotional
Control
1. Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings.

2. Make the person feel like if there are ever any problems it is always their fault, never the leader's or the group's.

3. Feeling-stopping. Like thought-stopping, this is the automatic suppression or blocking of feelings that are not acceptable by the cult identity- such as feeling "homesick" or feeling "depressed" or feeling "resentful".

4. Excessive use of guilt
  a. Identity guilt
    1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
    2. Your family
    3. Your past
    4. Your affiliations
    5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions
    6. Social guilt
    7. Historical guilt

5. Excessive use of fear
  a. Fear of thinking independently
  b. Fear of the "outside" world
  c. Fear of enemies
  d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
  e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
  f. Fear of disapproval

6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows.

7. Ritual and often public confession of "sins".

8. Phobia indoctrination: programming of irrational fears of ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
  a. No happiness or fulfillment "outside"of the group
  b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: "hell"; "demon possession"; "incurable diseases"; "accidents"; "suicide"; "insanity"; "10,000 reincarnations"; etc.
  c. Shunning of leave takers. Fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family.
  d. Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are: "weak"; "undisciplined"; "unspiritual"; "worldly"; "brainwashed by family, counselors"; seduced by money, sex, rock and roll.

"Excessive use of fear. Many of the people who have been there for 20 or so years have developed such an indoctrination to the culture that living outside the family has become extremely difficult."

Other
Resources
(articles, videos, information)

Love Family (Wikipedia)