This response to Richard Raubolt's article, “Attack on the Self,” attempts to understand the intense and enduring connection that often develops between charismatic leaders of cult-like groups and their followers in terms of their mutual need to regulate uncertainty. After describing “the intersubjective regulation of uncertainty,” a concept influenced by self psychology and intersubjectivity systems theory, a number of uncertainty regulating modes that emerged in the training program are examined including: 1) the denial of difference, 2) the denial of sameness, 3) alter ego relating, 4) the inflamation of passion, and 5) faith-keeping fantasies.
Brothers, D. (2003, September). Clutching at Certainty: Thoughts on the Coercive Grip of Cult-Like Groups. Group. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1025197906128