Indoctrination In Ursula Poznanski's Erebos

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Ursula Poznanski’s literary masterpiece “Erebos,” portrays one clear message throughout the course of the story, the use of indoctrination through the setting of a roleplaying platform, recruiting teenage players into the late game developers very own cult, with one simple goal to achieve, revenge. The process of indoctrination includes a variety of manipulative techniques known as thought reform, a more technical term for brainwashing. Said techniques can be grouped into three major categories, deception, isolation, and finally, induced dependency on the cult. (HowStuffWorks) These three techniques can easily be seen throughout the plot of “Erebos,” and eventually come to shape the course of the novel. In relation to a cult, the technique…show more content…
The goal of isolation is for the cult to cut off members from the outside world. (HowStuffWorks) Cults often try to keep contact between new recruits and other cult members to a minimum. (HowStuffWorks) This is clearly displayed in “Erebos” that, when in-game players are only aloud to converse in cities, or when given permission to light a fire, ensuring that multiplayer contact is kept to a minimum. This also trelates back to reality, where members of the cult are strictly forbidden from conversing about their in-game life, the third rule stating: “The content of the game is secret. Do not speak to anyone about it, especially not to people who are not registered. Don’t pass information on to your friends or your family. Don’t post information on the Internet.” (Poznanski, p. 40) The reasoning for this isolation is to avoid suspicion, especially from outsiders who may not approve of the games illegal intentions. Often times, cults tend to believe that outsiders are dangerous. (HowStuffWorks) This can relate back to Erebos, considering that when suspicions arise in the outside world of the games content, the messenger gives the players the order to: “attend school every day and behave inconspicuously.” (Poznanski, p. 239) Overall, the clear objective of isolating players in Erebos is to indoctrinate them into accepting the rules for the well being of the cult as a…show more content…
Cults often demand absolute devotion, loyalty, and submission from members. (HowStuffWorks) Cults tend to control every minute of a victims life, allowing them no time to think or make their own decisions. (HowStuffWorks) In Erebos the messenger directs the majority of gameplay. At one point Nick notices: “The game had chucked him out or made him take a break; he’d never left it voluntarily.” (Poznanski, p.165) This showcases the messengers control over Nick as a player, showing that he decides when Nick shall take his leave. Induced dependency can also involve the victim being showered in gifts. (The Film Theorists) In Erebos this can be seen that after every real world task is completed, the user is rewarded in some way, whether it be a power up, some levels, or in Nick’s case, even a T-shirt of his favourite band. These gifts are often used to encourage a member’s submission to the cult. (HowStuffWorks) Overall the decision-making and distribution of gifts allows the victim to become more and more dependent on the cult, allowing for a victims indoctrination to occur at much quicker
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