Living in Denial in the Comfort of the Cult
I’m not a part of AOL nor ever was. But I can tell you that it’s FRIGHTENING to see the effect it has had on my former significant other. I have written about him earlier on this blog. Recently, I had a few conversations with him. It was EXTREMELY DISTURBING to find that not only has he NOT BECOME a stronger and more compassionate human being after joining AOL, he has become far more weak-willed and closed than he was. He was extremely depressed when he joined AOL. He didn’t have a job and he had lost all hope. Someone he considers a close friend encouraged him to join AOL, promising him happiness and a new life. I was pained by my break-up but I thought that if there was anything good about AOL, it would definitely help him, and he would emerge a more empowered individual.
I tried my best not to look back for a few months. I tried my best not to wonder about anything. I disconnected from him and thought that he would learn his own lessons and that AOL would not harm him. When I spoke to him recently, I got the shock of my life. Fortunately, I am emotionally disconnected now, so I was able to recover. He was saying exactly the same things that he said earlier. He was behaving in exactly the same way. He was sounding as depressed. The only difference was that he was insisting he was happy. Then came the more alarming shocker. He said that everyone in AOL was happy because they had no pain. I asked how that was possible as life is about happiness and pain. He said it was possible because SSRS said that one had to kill one’s mind every moment and live life as if one is born again every moment.
I wondered aloud if that was a tiring process. I wondered if it was even possible to forget everything. He said it’s easy. He said if you can’t forget things actually, then you pretend to forget till the time you can actually forget. I thought maybe he was right. I thought maybe it was me who couldn’t accomplish such a simple thing. Just then, he started talking about the past. He began to blame everyone he always blamed. He began to speak in anguish like he always did. He began to pronounce judgments as usual. After he finished, I naturally asked him why he hadn’t forgotten the past and killed his mind. He said he had. I asked why he was speaking about it. He said he wasn’t.
I could hardly believe it. Then he said I was talking about the past and he was listening. This startled the hell out of me. I thought I was talking to someone who isn’t sane. I tried to take the conversation in another direction. I asked him about what else SSRS said about killing one’s mind. He told me about a site called happified.org and a new year message posted on it. I read the message. Still, I couldn’t get over the fact that he said things and denied saying them a minute later. I knew that I hadn’t imagined all that he said about things in the past.
I asked him what the best part about being in AOL was. He said it was KNOWING WHAT TO SAY ABOUT EVERYTHING ALL THE TIME. He said THAT MADE LIFE EASIER. He said that he was happier because HE KNEW WHAT TO SAY TO HIS FAMILY, TO HIS FRIENDS, AND TO HIS RELATIVES. I asked him what it was that he said. He said he TOLD EVERYONE THAT HE WAS HAPPY BECAUSE EVERYONE IN AOL IS HAPPY ALL THE TIME and now NO ONE ASKED HIM ANY QUESTIONS ANY MORE. I was stunned for a bit and then I asked if that meant he had successfully silenced everyone. He laughed and said yes. My jaw dropped. I tried to smile and then, within a couple of minutes, I left.
On my way home, I kept wondering why it was that I didn’t run to a world from where I could silence everyone who ever cared about me just because they asked me uncomfortable questions about my being in pain ? After all, I was often in a lot of pain and unable to cope with it. I often spoke about my past in anguish and I often blamed something or someone. I realized that it was because I could tolerate the concern of those who expressed concern, even if they expressed it in a way that I did not like. So, I continued to live in the real world, with my pain, with my family and with my friends. My former significant other, on the other hand, quite obviously stays in a CULT which successfully INSULATES him from the real world. If IGNORANCE IS BLISS, then i suppose cults are great. If not, then isn’t THE REAL WORLD BETTER ? …