Cults Bites: Psychological Manipulation
Hi Vanessa and I have some exciting news for you. Cults is now airing episodes twice a week every Friday. You'll hear cults crime bites where you'll get a brief episode on a true crime theme that's related to the stories on this show is hosted by my co host and good friend Greg and it's a fantastic listening experience. I hope you enjoy it. Welcome to podcast crime bites. We wanted to give our listeners. Some additional content to help them dive even deeper into the true crime world every week. Take in addition to your normal colts episode. Were exploring the most fascinating true crime themes covered across the podcast network. We've collected short clips from some some of our most popular podcast originals to help us explore ideas like motivation method and madness and show how interconnected the true crime world world really is you can find the original episodes of these for free on spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. A list of episodes that we used will be posted in the episode description today. We're discussing cases of psychological manipulation. What tactics to criminals use to deceive coerce coerce and exert control over their victims? Why does it work? And most importantly what are the dangerous consequences of these types of mental domination psychiatrist Harvey Saint Clair defined psychological manipulation as a psychosocial maneuver which uses aggressiveness Restiveness Cleverness and deception to influence others so they will give gratification to the aggressor this gratification. Whether that being taking hostage cultivating followers or seducing murder victim is the driving force behind the criminals manipulative actions. They desire to gain absolute control over their prey. Prey Psychologists George Simon identified many tactics manipulators used to dominate their victims such as intense flattery. Playing the victim to to gain sympathy and undermining victims perception of reality through gas lighting. So who do manipulators target. How do they select the right person? PERSON TO FALL PREY TO THEIR SCHEME DR. Harriet breaker identified. The most common traits victims of manipulation possess among them are an eagerness to please these low self reliance desire to earn acceptance of blurry sense of identity and a fear of disapproval in our clips. Today will walk through a variety righty of criminal manipulators and see how they identify these traits victims. We'll start with a clip it from podcast original crimes of passion covering one of the most well known cases of manipulation in true crime history. The Manson family by manipulating in group and out group dynamics in the late nineteen sixties murderer and cult leader Charles Manson radicalized as followers and cultivated and intense devotion that propelled the family to do his bidding while the most famous killings committed by the Manson family where the Tate Lubyanka murders in August of nineteen. sixty-nine their first victim was drug dealer. Gary Hinman hints murder was the catalyst for a string of brutal. Oh killings carried out by the Manson family in the summer of sixty nine in July of nineteen sixty nine Charles learned. The two men were in the midst of argument. Bobby Beausoleil had purchased a thousand tabs of Mescaline from Gary Hinman but he then claimed that the drugs were tainted tainted. Bobby wanted his money back. Charles figured that as long as bobby was asking for a refund he should demand some extra cash to help fund the families because in exchange Charleston over a few family members to Henman's house to put pressure on him Charles knew that Henman was particularly attracted to Manson family member L.. Joe Bayly so. He suggested she go along to help. Persuade Henman but L. A.. Joe Asked to be excused from duty. Perhaps she guests. That visit might become violent. She later said that she witnessed the family members. Arguing over which guns and weapons. They would bring Henman's apartment instead. Charleston family members. Bruce Davis Susan Atkins and Mary Brunner to act as enforcers. They held the drug dealer up up at gunpoint. While the spurn Bobby Beausoleil beat him senseless eventually Henman agreed to sign over the pink slips to his two vehicles as payment. But when Bobby called Charles let him know he wasn't satisfied he was sure Henman must have money stashed away for the next two days. Bobby Mary Brenner and Susan. Atkins held Gary Hinman hostage. In his home they continue to make demands for money while bobby relentlessly beat him. When Henman told them he'd go to the gleese bobby was spooked? He might go to prison for what he done. He called Charles. Who said you know what to do? Bobby took that as a command to silence Henman by killing him before I continue with Bobby Psychology. cleese note that I am not a licensed psychiatrist or psychologist but I have done a lot of research for the show. The the American Psychological Association has expressed skepticism. That people can be brainwashed into acting violently but some psychologists point to countless examples of people falling under a violent cult influence and going on to do the unthinkable licensed mental health. Counselor Stephen Hasson use we use the rise of al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups as modern examples of how people can be indoctrinated into committing murder. These extremist groups have radicalized individuals through isolation limiting access to outside information and instilling an US versus them and Talapity. Charles Charles Manson uses same tactics. Family members looked Charles as their only source of wisdom and guidance. Some even thought he was the reincarnation nation of Jesus Christ Charles exploited their trust to make them believe they had to take a stand against rich and powerful pigs of the outside world. The family wasn't just willing to kill for their God Charles. They were proud to do it. So when Charles gave the word bobby readily obeyed he stabbed Henman then dipped his hand in the dying man's blood to draw on the wall he wrote a little piggy and then painted a pawprint. Charles had instructed Bobby to leave evidence incriminating donating the Black Panthers. He hoped Henman's death would heighten racial tensions and help kickoff helter skelter. Then the group left after taking Henman's cars with them in this episode covering the Manson Family Gary Hinman murder was only the first in a series of killings soon after the family slaughtered actress Sharon Tate and eight other innocent people all in a bid to kick-start Manson's prophesied race wars but Manson's use of fear and violence was an opposition to many other criminals the HIPPIE era instead they capitalized on the prevailing philosophy of peace and love in this next clip from cults we examined one of the most iconic psychedelic cults of the Nineteen Seventy S. The source family unlike Charles Manson the source families charismatic leader. Jim Baker. You're relied on ideas. Like enlightenment and free love to bind. His disciples to him like Manson Baker was at the center of the source family but instead of acting as a warrior he became their spiritual father offering them love and wisdom in exchange for their loyalty ultimately however this manipulation installation created an all consuming dynamic of extreme dependency between Baker and his disciples what appeared to be a mutually beneficial relationship. was actually in the service of Baker's Crowing Ego Jim Baker typically responded to complex problems by running away from them but this time he didn't cut and run this could be because as psychoanalyst. Daniel Shaw points out in his book. Traumatic narcissism relational systems of subjugation. Listen as a cult leader. Baker developed a codependent relationship with his followers. Shaw writes quote the power that parents have as God like figures to literally give life and sustain. The lives of their children leaves each human being with the memory of total dependency cult leaders tap app into and reactivate this piece of the human psyche. Followers are encouraged to become regressed and Infanta licensed to believe that their life depends pens. Unpleasing the culture and quote and just as much as the source family members needed over. He apparently needed them. According to Shaw the cult leader does not escape dependency instead he and also in many cases she comes to depend on his followers to worship and adore your him to reflect his narcissistic delusion of perfection. In March one thousand nine hundred seventy three. The fifty one year old Baker managed to find a second can home for his followers which they called the Father House a three bedroom three bathroom home. In the hills near the source restaurant it was significantly vacantly smaller than the mother house. A fact that would soon lead to deadly health risks in some ways life at the Father House went on just as it had at the mother house else. Business at the source was still booming and it still required a few dozen family members to run at each day everyone still gathered for four. Am Meditation Tation and spent much of the day cleaning while seeking enlightenment but in other ways everything changed. Baker began channeling new beliefs constantly. Instantly with an ever-expanding emphasis on his own power. He began calling himself by the Jewish name for God Yoga. He taught about the the freemasons and ancient Egyptian magic for his followers. The pursuit of enlightenment became like a whirlwind game in which no one knew the rules else in our episodes on the source family. We go on to examine how Jim Bakker's acres total control over. His followers only increased over the next two years. Eventually their numbers surged to over one hundred fifty people but when a run in with the authorities in Los Angeles forced the cult of Fleet Hawaii Baker or father yoed met his end in fatal hang gliding accident in nineteen seventy. I five for some. It was a death as glorious as Baker's life but for others it was shocking wakeup call. They realized that that for years Baker had manipulated them believing he was guiding them to total enlightenment and in turn his followers had blindly obeyed his every swim but what happens when a criminal delude themselves. into believing that they're heinous actions are truly in the best interest up there. The victim coming up. We discussed the horrifying kidnapping case of Katie Beers and explore the power of of self manipulation from violence and separatist mentality of the Manson family to the all consuming codependent dynamic of the source family criminals have relied on a variety of tactics to exert control over their victims but perhaps the most fascinating method of manipulation is one. The criminal uses on themselves denial and self delusion in our next clip from our show hostage we cover one of the most twisted cases of self delusion the abduction of Katie Beers kidnapped in nineteen ninety two nine year old Katie was kept in underground bunker chain to the wall where she suffered sexual abuse at the hands of our neighbor. John S zero or big John but unlike Charles Manson or Jim Baker Esposito committed his crimes out of the belief but he was helping his victim. Katie came from an abusive home so so esposito convinced himself that showering her with gifts and affection would make Katie happy and feel loved the Nesper. ZITO's mind he had rescued Katie Eighty from her neglectful family. And it was giving your the care and attention. She deserved but in reality he had trapped her in a literal Hell L. on earth. Sometimes big John would come into the bunker to give Katie food or toy and then suddenly the blank look would appear on his face and he would rape her one clue about big. John's mental state is how long he remained in denial about sexually abusing Katie. It took more within twenty years for big John To admit he molested Katie and even then he denied raping her. If Big John Really believed he loved children it it would have been hard for him to reconcile that with the obvious evidence he was seriously harming Katie. Which could lead to denial a psychological coping mechanism on the other hand when John Esposito did finally confess? He blamed his lawyers for telling him not to admit to touching Katie. There is one explanation. A nation that falls somewhere between extreme denial and willful cruelty Catherine Ramsland. Phd Co author of the book inside the minds of of sexual predators. Says one of the most common types of child predators is the quote fixated child offender fixated child offenders. Offenders are stuck at an early stage of psycho sexual development and rationalize away. They're abusive children as showing affection. They may know their our actions are wrong but their fixation on children overrides their moral sensibilities so John might have known he was hurting Katie. But because he was fixated fixated and felt unable to stop. He tried to convince himself he was actually helping her big John's cran gestures like the promise of a car car and a huge amount of money on her eighteenth birthday seem like further rationalizations of this abuse. He was able to convince himself that kidnapping being in sexual abuse were actually a net benefit to his victim. Big John had molested children. Before and in those cases too he cast himself as a helpful male role model in their lives. Among John esposito's victims Katie's sixteen year old maternal half brother John Beers hostage victim. Katie beers survived for seventeen days in John Esposito a bunker throughout her captivity while he tried to manipulate her into forgiving him for kidnapping her she used a variety of tactics to convince Esposito to let go. She pleaded with him if he really loved her. He'd let her leave. Grow up go to college and have a family eventually. ESPOSITO SITO turned himself into the police though it's unclear if he was motivated by guilt over his actions or fear of being caught either way he led the police released to the hidden bunker. Freeing Katie John esposito demonstrated how criminals manipulate their victims while they already have them under their control. But how do they gain a potential victims. Trust in the first place in our next clip from serial killers will examine the tactics of lust murderer her Fritz harmon or the Werewolf of Hanover Harmon killed at least twenty four men from nineteen eighteen to nineteen twenty four all between the the ages of ten and twenty two to lure his victims in he sometimes offered them assistance or accommodations. Several of the young men he murdered. Were runaways this made them especially vulnerable to harmon strategic kindness. He brought them home to his apartment supplied them with food and drink that once. They're guard was completely down. He savagely attacked them after getting away clean for the second time. New Confidence Fueled Harman's bloodlust so when he met seventeen year old wilhelm shelter at Hanover Station Station in one thousand nine hundred eighty three four weeks after killing Fritz Franken. He couldn't help but approached the boy by now. Harmon had a practice routine for finding suitable suitable victims. He often patrolled Hanover station under the guise of a police officer. Searching for vulnerable. Boys shoots was a young writer who had just run away from home and this made him an easy target for Harman Harman had impersonated a police officer and pretend to lend a sympathetic ear. To the boys troubles. He offered Schultz a place to stay warm meal. She'll say eagerly accepted the offers and followed Harmon to apartment. The room was small but spotless. Thoughtless after nearly getting caught for the murder of Franca just weeks prior harmon had scrubbed every inch in fact. He had been scrubbing the place with harsh chemicals so often that other tenants in the house had complained to the landlord a widow named Elizabeth Angle. But harm it had long ago explained. Ankle that he was very particular about his cleaning habits and she saw no reason to bother attendant for keeping US room tidy besides Harmon was charming angle liked him. His charm also allowed him to urge young boys like Schulte into his bed given his pleasant friendly manner. Harmon was always able to get close to his these victims without making them uncomfortable in these situations harmon especially like to ask US victims about their families. This line of questioning seemed reasonable. Coming coming from police officer but Harman's true goal was anything but noble. He needed to know if anyone would come looking for the boy according to Harman he didn't I always feel a violent urge to kill the boys. He brought back to his apartment. In some cases harmon kept young men around as errand boys for several days. He you gave them small jobs or meals until they stopped coming around other times he raped the boys but did not kill them but unfortunately for Schulte his answers made harmon confident that no one would question his disappearance Harmon pulsed. He grabbed Shilpa by the throat and held him down. He raped him and in the midst of the attack sunk his teeth into shelters Adam's apple this episode of serial killers further details. Fritz Harman's six year reign of terror as the butcher of Hanover. But during at that time the police couldn't help but notice a sharp spike in the number of missing boys and teenagers. His crimes were eventually uncovered when the bones from victims started popping up around town in rivers and fields when harmon was arrested. Police discovered stacks of young men's clothing in his apartment after killing them. He sold off their possessions for extra cash at the end his thriftiness. What's his downfall? Every part of Fritz Harman's interaction with this victim served a purpose from where he hunted to how we approach them to how he killed them he was entirely calculated in his manipulations appellations. But for some criminals their actions aren't so nearly deliberate rather their manipulations encouraged by their own dilutions. Our final clip from female criminals covers convicted murderer. Diane Downs Diane grew up in a strict religious household feeling unloved oft. She searched for ways to fill that hole her entire life. She finally thought she found the one in. Louison may carried on a serious reese affair for the better part of nineteen eighty two but Louis concerned by some Diana behavior. She needed his constant attention at affection. She he also lied about everything spinning whatever stories necessary to keep him close to her. Eventually he broke off the affair and went back to his wife. Diane and was devastated so in May of Nineteen eighty-three. She devised a plan to win. Lou Back if she made herself a victim he would have to compactor. Actor her to save her sadly she involved her three young children in the plot making them victims as well one night. Diane took the kids out for a drive then. She staged a violent carjacking on the night. Night of the shooting. May Nineteenth Nineteen eighty-three detective. Doug Welsh interview Diana at Mackenzie Wilmot. Hospital Welsh was the responding officer that night and this was his first homicide case. Diane told Welsh that she and her children had gone to visit her friend and Mark Cola a nearby town in in Oregon on their way home. She decided to take a longer route. That was more scenic even though it was growing dark as she drove her three sleeping children down down old Mohawk road a deserted country road near the Mohawk River. shaggy-haired man flagged her down making her. Stop the car. Diane God ought to ask what he wanted and he demanded she gives him her keys when she refused the man's snapped pushed her to the side reached into the car and shot the sleeping children. Diane then pretended to throw her car. Keys in the direction of the riverbank to divert the gunman's attention they struggled for a moment and he he shot her in the arm but she managed to get back in the car and race away to the hospital. Parts of the story didn't make sense to Welsh. He said quote sightseeing it seeing when it's pitch black out and why are the kids fatally or near fatally wounded and she being right handed shot in the left arm. I mean think about it it. She's the biggest threat to him. Not Three sleeping children and quote. In addition Diane's account of the events on Mohawk road were inconsistent. She told Welsh the man was bushy-haired then said that he wore a ski mask. I she said that they were attacked by one man but then she said there had been two then reverted back to one. Her evolving narrative is consistent with pathological lying the common symptom in those diagnosed with Histrionic personality. Disorder like Diane. Vanessa's going to take over on the psychology here and throughout the episode please note. Vanessa is not a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist but she has done a lot of research for the show. Thank Sammy according to Dr Mark. D Griffiths patients with HP will often lie as a way to enhance or facilitate silicate their dramatic and attention seeking behavior in this case with the dozens of police and doctors in the hospital focused on her. Diana justed her story to you appear more dramatic as needed while Welsh took Diane statement. Doctors fought to save the three downs children as we further outlined in the female criminals episodes detailing dying down story. She had a long long history of pathological lying though her previous lies never had such high stakes now with their children's lives on the line. Diane constructed an elaborate carjacking jacking story to explain their grave injuries however her attempts to manipulate investigators and increasing desire for their attention exposed host her increasingly convoluted delusions. Ultimately one of Diane downs. Children died from their injuries. The other two spent months in the hospital spital recovering her three year. Old Son was paralyzed from the waist. Down her oldest daughter Christie initially lost the ability to speak but but when she recovered it was her testimony at Diane's trial that center mother to prison for life while the criminals that are clips today utilize different different manipulation tactics. They all shared one common goal to gain control over their victims. We saw Dr Simon's manipulation tactics at play. Diane downs tried to make herself into a victim to manipulate police. Enter ex-boyfriend John esposito tried to use intense flattery to win Katie Beers. Affection even deceiving himself into believing he was saving her. We also saw that. These manipulators shows their victims very carefully. Paying attention to those who are are most vulnerable as laid out by Dr Breaker John. esposito victim was not only child but an abused child who desired the approval of adults for many of Fritz Harman's victims runaways vulnerable to any small amount of kindness. He showed them Jim. Baker offered identity and acceptance to its followers. I who look to Baker for Guidance Enlightenment in the end they all achieved their goal of complete domination. Thanks for tuning into podcast. Crime Bites we hope you enjoyed this episode Odom tactics of psychological manipulation. We'll be back next week with a new episode on Mother's misbehaving. We often think of mothers as the consummate nurturers charterers. Why do they sometimes hurt the ones they love most even their own children? If you'd like to listen to the episodes that we discussed today in full well simply search for our podcast. Original shows crimes of Passion Cults Hostage Serial Killers or female criminals on spotify. Not only to spotify already all your favorite music but now spotify is making it easy for you to enjoy all your favorite podcast originals for free from your your phone desktop or smart speaker and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. I'll see you next time. High podcast listeners. It's Greg Big. If you love cults we'd love to hear from you by taking a quick survey your feedback with help us. Continue Making your favorite shows better than ever please visit is it. PODCAST survey dot me slash cults to answer a few short questions. It may seem small but your input really matters. That's PODCAST survey. Avai dot me slash colts. Thank you for your continued support and for listening.