This is a parent site for connecting and discussing intentional communities of different philosophies and avoiding cults–I recommend Steven Hassan’s work for cults: https://freedomofmind.com
Cults are usually lead by narcissists who tend to especially draw in people with codependent characteristics. This is a helpful book for avoiding that: https://www.amazon.com/Human-Magnet-Syndrome-Codependent-Narcissist-ebook/dp/B07D99945P/
In addition, I have found this podcast helpful for understanding and avoiding cults: https://www.parcast.com/cults
I originally started this site partially because ic.org did not have a message forum and I wanted to provide one. However, they are setting one up pretty soon and so I would encourage people who want to talk about intentional communities in general to go there. However, this site’s forum may still be useful for people interested in connecting to intentional communities and who want to focus on engaging with different belief systems and philosophies.
So why intentional communities? Intentional communities are needed for the following reasons. Genetics and environment influence people’s character, both their altruism and their measure of productivity. Measuring productivity is the basis for evaluating most people (e.g. students or employees) in the current world system. The current world system rewards people who display a higher measure of productivity–and we are increasingly getting people who have greater productivity measures.
However, productivity does not lead to altruism and there are ways to measure yourself as productive without being productive. Notably, one out of every five CEOs is a psychopath: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/australasia/psychopaths-ceos-study-statistics-one-five-psychopathic-traits-a7251251.html and the prevalence of psychopaths increases in management before the highest level: https://www.forbes.com/sites/victorlipman/2013/04/25/the-disturbing-link-between-psychopathy-and-leadership/ There is no evidence that psychopaths are actually more productive just that they are better at being measured as productive:
“Our findings are consistent with other research suggesting that individuals with more psychopathic traits seems to be able to ‘talk the talk’, but not ‘walk the walk’,” she says. “Psychopaths are more likely to gain power through dominance, bullying and intimidation, rather than respect, she adds. “However, gaining power is not the same as wielding it effectively.”
Narcissism is a component of psychopathy that is also encouraged by the current system:
“But in the last decade or so, there’s been an outpouring of research on what’s called grandiose narcissism. These individuals have high self-esteem. They are much more agentic, more extroverted, and really more dangerous. And evidence shows that they’re achieving high positions in organizations, getting promoted and making more money than normal people.” https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/how-narcissistic-leaders-destroy-within
Narcissists and psychopaths manipulate others to increase the narcissist’s/psychopath’s measure of productivity. We need a system that rewards altruism and not just measures of productivity. Closer communities prevent manipulators from climbing over the more loosely connected people that make up the corporate ladder before they burn bridges; getting to know our neighbors makes us deal with their psychology or relocate rather than getting them promoted away from us. Voluntary and open intentional communities where people must cooperate and look out for each other provide a basis for a new system that can help encourage altruism rather than just measures of productivity.
I have created this site to connect people of different philosophies and beliefs who wish to join or create intentional communities that will encourage people to be altruistic and not manipulative.