Diane Benscoter on How Cults Rewire the Brain (6:49)
Diane Benscoter is sure that brain scans of people engaged in circular thinking, such as she experienced while with the Moonies, would differ from those of people engaged in critical thinking.
I sure would like to see some real studies, not just correlational, but something more like “before and after cult experience” brain scans. Were the scan only done after, you could claim that people with the identified anomalies, if there are any, were more predisposed to cult following.
However, her hypothesis (polite form of: “I am sure that”) isn’t totally pulled out of the air. PTSD victims do have significant changes in the size of the amygdala, although again, not a lot of brain scanning gets done on the general population beforehand on the off chance that the person might experience trauma and subsequent PTSD.
The envelope: Interesting viewing but she’s still not thinking critically. There’s really no explanation here, as TED claims, just a nice lady who had a decade-long bad experience that she’s using to define herself.
Related: A whole new Scientology scandal – with a video and more links than you can shake a stick at.