Thinking in Absolutes (us versus them)
Black and white thinking is a way of viewing the world only in extremes. It creates an artificial bond between people (it's us against the world!) and it creates a common enemy.
More importantly, it makes you your own worst enemy. Many people like to think in absolutes, it gives them certainty in life. All people who wear pink are evil. That would make it fairly simple to avoid evil people, right? Except it doesn't work like that, past the age of 5.
When we are very little, it is normal to divide into simple categories. Boy / girl. Good / bad. Tasty / yucky. As we get older, our mind develops and we accept that there are many gray areas in ife. Our heart gets broken by the person we thought was perfect, we realize that we aren't always a "good" person, but think unspeakable things. Sometimes we lie, sometimes other people disapoint us.
It takes strength and practice to tolerate a world where everything flows between opposites. That perfect means something different to each person. That you can't be sure about anything 100%. That's very frustrating.
This is one of the main appeals of a cult (yes, of course there are appealing things, how else would they get people to go to that first meeting, give it a try?). After becoming a grown up and meddling with life for a bit, getting our shares of disapointment, looking for a meaning in it all, here's finally somebody who has THE ANSWER. Capital letters. There's no doubt, this guru has eaten wisdom by the spoon full. And he / she has an answer for absolutely EVERY area of our life. You can finally exhale and relax.
And here's what happens when you relax. The guru feeds your more and more information, which increasingly becomes less plausible, but once you belief the first word, you're hooked. And if there is any fault in someone who gets recruited into a cult, it is this. To have a desire to let somebody else figure it out. That small moment, where you assume somebody knows you better than you do. Where you want to let someobody else fix it.
Once you're hooked, your personality is buried under your brand spanking new pseudo-personality, and you have switched off critical thinking for the most part, the world becomes black and white.
There is no room for error, you have to give 100% all the time, belief without a doubt, and accept that your old life was completely evil (unless you made a lot of money before the cult, that you can bring that into the group, thank you very much). You are told that your old friends and relatives are bad. There cannot be one ounce of goodness in them.
And so it's easily to get lost in absolutes. A whole race is not really human, let's extinct them. A gender is not as valuable, so let's continue to rape and abuse. One human is worth less then the other, based on their skin color. I am not going to speak to you anymore, since you do not belief that my guru is right.
"I feel comfortable with not knowing what's going to happen. I think grey is the prettiest of colors.
There is beauty in the unknown."