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Group Information
Title Lord's Resistance Army LRA
Founder Joseph Kony
Leader Joseph Kony
Description This is a extreme example of a personality cult that encompasses political agendas and uses religion as a front. Kony has been documented to have brutally kidnapped children and adults, have them watch their parents be killed, sexually molested, and ultimately trained to be child soldiers.

We have been reading about Kony's crimes for over 25 years and cite the LRA as one of the most extreme examples of mind control cult.
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.
LRA members are torn violently kidnapped, and isolated from anyone who can help them. Their entire identities are reformatted. Sleep control. Food control, they are not allowed alone. They are beaten, tortured and killed if they are disobedient
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
LRA members have no access to family, friends or anyone who can help them escape. They have no access to outside information for they live in remote jungle. members turn each other in, if a violation in the rules take place.
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
Members have to believe in Kony and that they are fighting a holy cause. They are not allowed to have any doubts. Many are captured as children so have only known Kony indoctrination.
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.
Members are turned in to killers and made to feel justified in their crimes because they are special and working for a holy cause. They have not only phobias installed but legitimate fears of pain, suffering and even fear for their lives if they try to escape.
Critical
Websites
Kony in Wikipedia

Invisible Children
Other
Resources
(articles, videos, information)
Inside the LRA-Uganda (VIDEO)

Kony 2012 (VIDEO)

Abduction-Uganda (VIDEO)

âAll People Are the Same to Godâ: An Insiderâs Portrait of Joseph Kony

Religious Beliefs of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army

A Comedy Writer Confronts âMind-Shredding Evilâ in Uganda

Nature, structure and ideology of the LRA

Trail of Death: LRA Atrocities in Northeastern Congo (Human Rights Watch)

Photo feature, Washington Post: a look at some of the members, and victims, of the Lord's Resistance Army

International Criminal Court arrest warrants for LRA leaders

LRA Crisis Tracker: "The LRA Crisis Tracker is a real-time mapping platform and data collection system created to bring an unprecedented level of transparency to the atrocities of the Lordâs Resistance Army."