The cult’s method was this: take a mildly rebellious teen and convince their parents that they are addicted to drugs and on the verge of destruction. Take the parents’ money, lock the kid up and physically, psychologically and sexually abuse them until they not only recite the programme’s self-flagellating party line, but they actually believe it. We weren’t allowed to speak to our parents until we reached that point.
Kids who thought or behaved outside of the cult’s norms were punished with violent, personalised group confrontation, where group members screamed at and spat on kids who were suspected of having broken the rules. Attack therapy had two unspoken purposes. It demonstrated the terror that lay in store for the sinner and it let attackers reinforce their rabid loyalty. Every kid’s survival depended not only on our allegiance, but also on our violence towards those who appeared to have crossed it.
Trump’s frenetic female supporters use the same technique for the same reason. In praising predatory men and attacking outspoken liberal women, they reinforce their devotion to the dominant group, the group they subconsciously fear because it controls their fate: Republican men. It’s like a koan within a koan: how can countering one’s own best interests keep one safe?