Does This Explain The Haredi Position On Metzitzah B'Peh?
"Cults promote a non-human way of knowing that bypasses both the sensory evidence we gather and the individual’s rational processing. Cultic knowledge is a body of truths not acquired by experimentation and reasoning, but by virtue of the authority of initiated leaders. This knowledge and its application always contain elements that contradict the senses and logic."
The facts clearly show that metziztah b'peh, to mouth-to-penis sucking done by the mohel to baby immediately after removing the baby's forskin with a knife, is dangerous. It has maimed and killed babies.
Yet Satmar, other hasidic groups and even Agudath Israel oppose a type of informed consent for that warns parents about it.
In doing so, many haredim deny all the evidence against metziztah b'peh and claim that there is no danger at all. No babies have really been sickened or died, and any evidence showing they have s false – lies, haredim say, made up by the New York City and its health department and spread by doctors and journalists in a bizarre anti-haredi, anti-circumcision conspiracy.
How is it that haredim do this?
Jeanette Pryor, writing about a different group, explains:
…Cults promote a non-human way of knowing that bypasses both the sensory evidence we gather and the individual’s rational processing. Cultic knowledge is a body of truths not acquired by experimentation and reasoning, but by virtue of the authority of initiated leaders. This knowledge and its application always contain elements that contradict the senses and logic.
You might instantly object that most school classes and mainstream religions fall into this category because students and believers assent to complex truths of which they have no personal experience. Yet academic truths were gained through the process of observation by credible witnesses and can be tested. Even spiritual, moral truths can be analyzed by their consequences.…we can assess the fruits of immaterial ideas, such as, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” “Thou shall not murder,” and “Blessed are the merciful.” People must subject religious teachings and practices to the scrutiny of logic and ask what are the consequences of a given faith when put into authentic practice? What is the quality of the founders’ lives in terms of verifiable benefit to humanity?
Adhering to cultic knowledge requires suppressing this essential human thought-process. Nobody joins a cult; people are attracted to cultic groups by an apparent good. This could be legitimate elements borrowed from a non-cultic faith, the “high” experienced at a self-help conference, or the camaraderie and affection offered by a new group of caring people. These attractions fill a need experienced by a vulnerable recruit. The benefits prime the new member to identify the cult as the source.
Cult members invariably begin to experience a discrepancy between cult teaching and what he or she observes. Mr. Goldman spoke of knowing LaRouche published antisemitic literature while the leader claimed to have a special love for Jewish people. Confronted with inconsistencies, the subject must choose between personal thinking and the cult-knowledge with all its perceived benefits. Once a person consciously repudiates his or her own mind, defending against intruding reality becomes imperative. As the cult-thought becomes more and more invasive, the member no longer lives life based on the normal ebb and flow of information, analysis and personally-selected behavior. Instead, the subject defaults to free-standing dictums that have no root in reality.
The mind continues to receive sensory input from the world and this causes “dissonance,” a struggle between suppressed reason attempting to reassert itself and the post-analytical intellect.…
The Cult Mind frequently violates conscience, that internalized voice of universal right and wrong.…
The need to limit contact with people who live according to reason explains alienation from family, friends and non-members. Living extensions of the Gnostic, group-mind are only comfortable with people who affirm the illusion in which they live. Within a cult, subjects serve to continuously monitor one another’s level of blind adherence to cult ideology and to suspension of critical thought. Deviations such as questioning or criticism are met with social sanctions that vary in intensity depending on the cult. Anyone who threatens the unity of thought is deemed an enemy. Such a person threatens the essential psychologically-dependent state that constitutes the essence of the cult.
The Gnostic Mind is often compartmentalized and people who eschew reason in one area of life are able to function at high levels of professionalism in others. The more dangerous cults are precisely those whose members seem relatively normal on the surface because they offer fewer external warnings to the vulnerable.
Gnostic knowledge provides profound emotional pleasures. True believers are certain that they see the truth and their fellow human beings are ignorant and duped. This conviction generates a sense of importance that many people lacked “in the real world.” Men like Beghe and Goldman were not “losers,” but both confessed insecurities or a sense of personal lack of completeness that was remedied by their place in the cults. The cults teach that life “outside” is devoid of meaning. It takes a great deal of mental energy to refute the constant influx of reality and this is why so many bury themselves in the “cause” of the cult to the point of obsession. Laser-focus on the group’s mission produces “white noise” that blocks doubts and contributes further to the isolation of cult members from those who have no interest in the one-track-mind of those in the organization.
Understanding the cult-imprisoned mind leads to more effective intervention. Deeply addicted to perceived emotional benefits, cult members resist any threat to their voluntary mental captivity. Being ostracized or shunned by family reinforces their attachment to the group. Friends and family who want to help others leave a cult must start with providing a sense of security and kindness that will permit, imperceptibly, the relaxation of the Gnostic Mind. There will already be plenty of “stored” impressions of failure and contradiction in the cult. If the imprisoned subject feels he or she doesn’t need the cult, they may have the mental strength to begin to listen to their own mind again.
Whatever its inception, cult exodus almost always entails tremendous mental and emotional suffering. The deepest pain is the sense of betrayal, of having tolerated or committed acts one knew (in the healthy mind) were wrong. There is a “honeymoon” period during which members see nothing but the good. Sooner or later the contradictions and flaws appear. Because they are dependent upon the group to supply emotional needs, the members often become bystanders as they participate in or justify abuse or irrational behavior. Providing a place without judgment is crucial or the member may return to the cult just to escape internal or external condemnation.…