Stolen youth

Stolen youth

By this, I am talking about those young people who are almost spellbound by certain cults, communities or organizations into becoming robots. In these incidents, there is an “enthraller” and an “enthralled.” 

Look at NBA player Ener Kanter. His family rejected him, asking him to change his last name. Kanter adopted the last name “Gülen” and declared that he would sacrifice his entire family “on the path of the preacher…”
What kind of a fascination is this? It is a sick dedication, abandoning one’s mother, father, brothers and sister. What kind of hypnosis, what kind of a charm is this? 

There are other similar cases, like a technical student in Germany, in 2002, all of a sudden enchanted by the Taliban; or like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) of today. 

When I come across these psychological enchantment states, I remember Adolph Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels, who wrote in his journal when he saw Hitler for the first time in 1924: “I was reborn at that moment…”

I would exonerate good-willed people who have sympathized with the education and service aspects of the Gülen movement, who have donated to them. The law should also very carefully make this distinction.  
My aim is to explain what kind of “black magic” it is to be attached and enchanted to someone, thinking that is the “only way,” and what kind of disasters it may lead to. I want to explain that this is a totalitarian enchantment. Through creating the sentiment of dedication, it destroys the individual’s will and makes people robots. 

I think it is important to notice that this psychology is not a religious ecstasy or Islamic service awareness, but it is a sick mentality. It is also seen in totalitarian secular movements such as the Nazis and the Bolsheviks.  

I had referred to it before: A communist priest name Jim Jones, yes, a communist priest, founded the “Peoples Temple” cult. He would claim he was superior to Jesus and Vladimir Lenin. His weird behavior was accepted as a wonder by his followers.  On Nov. 18, 1978, in the cult’s settlement in Guyana, he arranged the mass murder-suicide of about 900 of his American followers. 

Of course, every incident is different. What I am drawing attention to is the hypnosis power of those people who are attributed supernatural or superhuman skills.   

Social psychologist and humanistic philosopher Erich Fromm has also written these characteristics of Hitler and Josef Stalin. 

Well, they may be so but why do we let ourselves be hypnotized and enchanted? 

In his book “Escape from Freedom” Fromm explained that sometimes, instead of the will power required to be an individual alone, it is more attractive for some people to transform into a small cog in the machine. 
Imagine, somebody else decides your job, spouse, your baby’s name, everything for you. 

This totalitarian attachment has extremely disastrous consequences, as we have all experienced. 

In such societies where the sentiment of “not being different from the crowd” is stronger than being independent individuals, these kind of mysterious, thickly-knit structures that require absolute obedience, that do not accept criticism, the ones that are easy to enter but difficult to exit, should be strictly avoided.  
We should persuade our young people to have independent personalities and develop self-esteem, encourage them to diversify their social relations instead of confining them to one certain point.