Red Flags Indicate Threat Situations for College Students

By Stanley Ridgley     Author of Brutal Minds   To listen to article, scroll down and click play.

On the university campus, ideological threat situations can develop in any number of ways. Academic survival depends on recognition of these situations, who engineers them, and what to do to counter them.

A particularly high-threat time on campus is the beginning of the fall term. With their arrival on campus in the fall, college students, particularly freshmen, are pummeled with a cascade of programs and activities by grinning student affair types. If you are one of these incoming students, switch on your critical faculties with these people.

It’s important to be alert for when a campus threat environment develops, and this means learning the tells of thought reform.

Don’t be taken in by the big smiles and the mantra of “inclusion and belonging.” That’s vapid Cultspeak more appropriate to a retirement home than to an institution of higher learning.

Recognize the Red Flags of the threat environment. Learn the tells of the thought reformers, whether in the residence halls, or in the classrooms, or in strange workshops called “difficult dialogues“ or “courageous conversations“ or something similarly named.

In BRUTAL MINDS, I provide to students a series of Red Flag warnings to indicate when a student is a threat situation. When staffers or workshop “facilitators“ begin using a strange vernacular, cock an eyebrow. You’re in the presence of cult believers.

Here’s the Red Flag:

Red Flag #4:

The special lingo of critical racialism gives its believers a reason to feel a sense of being granted access to knowledge denied to others. This is a characteristic of cults, the use of esoteric jargon to convince others that they are “outsiders” and that to become “insiders.” They should adopt the lingo for themselves. This lingo is a contrived and off-putting mode of speech that signals cult membership and excites newcomers, who hear ti for the first time from cult recruiters.

Examples of the cult lingo in student affairs, academic advising, and in the academic “studies” enclaves include verbs and action phrases: to “do the work,” to interrogate, to transgress, to unpack, to dismantle, to center, to privilege, to decolonize, to disrupt. They include nouns and phrases such as emancipation, ally, critical consciousness, marginalized, patriarchy, settler colonialism, inclusion and belonging. Psychiatrist Saul Levine says of this odd cult behavior and vernacular:

There is a programmed quality to their discourse, whether it is being used in defense of their newfound beliefs or in attack on others’ longstanding ones. They parrot their leader without being able to come up with phrasing or intonation, not to mention argument, unique to themselves.

Eerier still, their delivery is jarringly euphoric.

BRUTAL MINDS offers a series of Red Flags like this one — “tells“— that indicate a student has entered the province of fraudulent “transformative education“ that is conducted by underqualified staffers with the obligatory master’s degree in “educational leadership“ and who up-sell themselves as “college educators.“

These are not faculty, and what they do is not coursework in the curriculum. They are overreaching and unqualified in the academic space. If you are a college student, they rely on your willing and docile compliance and they desperately want you to “trust“ them and “make yourself vulnerable.“ Their entire fraudulent enterprise is dependent on your investment of trust.

This is precisely what you do not want to do.

Trust is earned. They haven’t earned it.

Moreover, if you pay close attention to their cultic ideological spiel, you come to understand that you have great reason to distrust them.

Learn and heed the Red Flags

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