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Posted by: Doug K
« on: December 04, 2020, 12:59:18 pm »

Why anyone, or any group, would fight against what many knowledgeable people would consider a Public Safety Program, is a mystery.

It's a mystery that the Erie Canal Neighbors Association has perplexed over since we formed in 2018, in order to provide opposition to the dangerous rhetoric being propagated by a Facebook group in the Rochester area, in the eastern suburbs of Pittsford, Perinton & Fairport.

Still to this day, this "pseudo-environmental" group on Facebook, who's calling itself the "Stop the Canal Clear-cut Group", is fighting against all of this NYS Canal Corporation's public safety work along the Erie Canal. And they have also opposed New York Power Authorities' Embankment Integrity Program to repair these unsafe earthen dams as "unnecessary" and detrimental to the "environment".

The owners of the Erie Canal are saying that they need to repair known safety concerns of their earthen dams, for the public's best interest, to prevent environmental devastation that could result from a breached embankment &  flood. They are saying it loud and clearly, and also in public meetings and on the internet.

And this Facebook group is saying they don't believe the message, and don't trust the messenger, who is the New York Canal Corporation & Power Authority?

The ECNA asks: Why wouldn't you BELIEVE the OWNERS of the property, who knows best about canal safety & potential danger to the public?

After all, they have the most at stake whether right or wrong on public safety, and they always want to side with improving public safety, that is their job as Dam Owners,

Why would anyone fight against improving public safety, it's just not rational behavior, and it certainly wouldn't be considered "common sense". Today we may have hit on the "key" to the riddle of the Stop the Canal Clear-cut group and it's leaders, something we have never considered to look at before, simply because we didn't understand the principles at work.

Can an "environmental movement" become a mislead Cult? Or maybe better put, has a CULT mentality become the main driving force as to what operates behind a Facebook group that is working to influence the safety of Erie Canal communities & Neighbors?

Good question, but more importantly how can anyone recognize a Cult? If you take a look across the internet you will find plenty of resources on the subject by the principles hold the same across all cults and that is simple: Cults rely on, and are sustained by, "faith", not by facts. Normally that faith is placed in the Leader of the said cult, and cults do NOT need to be centered on Religion. Here's the second, non-religious definition of Cult from Merriam-Webster.

Back to the question... can an activism movement become a mis-led cult?

Based on the evidence, science, and facts out there, the answer is yes, and here's a little to support this idea. It's from a number of webpages that deal with Cults, on a non-religious basis, which is more rare than most think, but still equally as dangerous to those following these Leaders.

Here's a great piece for insight on Cults, from Tennessee State University, there are a few Highlights below.

And another nice article that sheds more light on how destructive cults operate, another webpage and of course highlights below

Most people have heard of Charles Manson or Jim Jones and understood these were cult leaders. Some of you may recognize the names of David Berg, David Koresh or most recently Keith Raniere who all started a "pseudo-religious" cults.

But how many know the names Bonnie Nettles or Saul Newton, also people who founded cults in America.

The jump from a helpful movement to dangerous Cult will always depend on the antics of the Leader or Leaders, and the willingness of group's followers to believe the leader's message and evidence.

If leaders bend the truth & science for their own purpose or if they dictate what followers can say and believe about the subject at heart, then it's time to look for the warning signs that the facts of the group's leaders aren't supported anywhere else.

If a group's leaders meet ANY opposition of the group's message with IMMEDIATE expulsion, instead of understanding if those difference advance the groups knowledge, it might be time to reassess if that group has become a cult. Following ideas of a leader that has become blind to both science & truth that contradicts their message is a backbone of what's makes cults work.

If membership in any group, depends on loyalty to the leader & the leaders message, it would be prudent to understand if that leader is worthy of that blind devotion and is not hiding the "real truth" from their followers. Most successful leaders understand that they do NOT have all the answers, that's why a group gets formed, to add more ideas.

If the group's Leaders have to keep repeating their supposed factual claims over & over to the group, in a subtle brainwashing, then it might be time to take a harder look at what kind of group this is. Especially if the LEADER's facts are not substantiated by known science or respected professionals in that area of expertise.

We are not making any claim that this particular Facebook Group, who's trying to stop tree-cutting on Canal Embankments, is a Cult, just posting information

We are advising any and all people to do their own due diligence to make sure they understand if their leaders are acting in their own best interests or those of the group & community at large. Be sure your leaders haven't lost their own way, trying to defend something that is not in the best interest of the general community, and have in essence, become their own "religion" for that movement or cause.

The Erie Canal Neighbors Association, as always, is only promoting the advancement of knowledge, truth and science regarding any and all matters that may affect neighbors who live along the Erie Canal. Views expressed are on opinion, though supported by science and truth.