Oxford ‘guru’ Thierry Tilly accused of torturing French aristocrats

Thierry Tilly, an Oxford-based Frenchman, has been arrested over allegations that he kidnapped, tortured and brainwashed several generations of an aristocratic family into giving up their fortune.

Brainwashing / Mind Control
Mind control‘ or ‘brainwashing refers to the unethical use of persuasion methods with the aim of recruiting people into joining or remaining involved with a group, movement, or cause.
A remarkable thing about cult mind control is that it’s so ordinary in the tactics and strategies of social influence employed. They are variants of well-known social psychological principles of compliance, conformity, persuasion, dissonance, reactance, framing, emotional manipulation, and others that are used on all of us daily to entice us: to buy, to try, to donate, to vote, to join, to change, to believe, to love, to hate the enemy. Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope. One difference is in its greater efforts to block quitting the group, by imposing high exit costs, replete with induced phobias of harm, failure, and personal isolation.
- Philip G. Zimbardo, Ph.D., What messages are behind today’s cults?

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Thierry Tilly, 45, allegedly posed as a secret agent to convince the rich and highly educated De Védrines family that they were the lost descendants of an ancient society called L’Equilibre du Monde (The Balance of the World), and that he had “superhuman powers” to help them reclaim their illustrious past and its “limitless treasure”.

Eleven members of the De Védrines family, headed by 88-year-old matriarch Guillemette, severed ties with relatives and friends and barricaded themselves in their chateau near Bordeaux for five years after meeting Mr Tilly in the late 90s. They went on to sold off three million euros (£2.7 million) worth of furniture, jewellery and properties including the family seat.

On Tuesday, his alleged victims played down the claims of abuse, saying Mr Tilly was simply a “good family friend”.

Three years ago, the group moved to Oxford and lived various suburban homes, several of which they failed to pay rent on and were taken to the small claims courts.
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- Source / Full Story: Oxford ‘guru’ accused of torturing French aristocrats , Aislinn Laing, Murray Wardrop and Henry Samuel in Paris, Telegraph (UK), Nov. 11, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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