|Cults, wonderful on the outside but on the inside are very manipulating. Cult leaders are desperate to trick you into joining. They are after your obedience, your time and your money.Cults use sophisticated mind control and recruitment techniques that have been refined over time. Beware of thinking that you are immune from cult involvement, the cults have millions of members around the world who once thought they were immune, and still don’t know they are in a cult! To spot a cult you need to know how they work and you need to understand the techniques they use. Teaching you these things is what this article is all about.This article exposes the secret techniques cults will use to try and trick and control you. Cult leaders will not want you to read this, but read it anyway. Once you understandHow Cults Work you will be better able to spot and avoid cult recruiters, and protect your family and friends.First let’s eliminate some misconceptions about cults.
Cults are easy to spot, they wear strange clothes and live in communes.
Well some do. But most are everyday people like you and me. They live in houses. They wear the same clothes. They eat the same food. Cult leaders don’t want you to know that you are being recruited into a cult and so they order their recruiters to dress, talk and act in a way that will put you at ease. One cult has even invented a phrase to describe this, they call it “being relatable”.Cults are full of the weak, weird and emotionally unstable.
Not true. Many cult members are very intelligent, attractive and skilled. The reality is that all sorts of people are involved in cults. One of the few common denominators is that they were often recruited at a low point in their life — more about that later.Cults are just a bunch of religious nut cases.
This is a common mistake people make thinking that cults are purely religious groups. The modern definition of a mind control cult refers to all groups that use mind control and the devious recruiting techniques that this article exposes. The belief system of a religion is often warped to become a container for these techniques, but it is the techniques themselves that make it a cult. In a free society people can believe what they want, but most people would agree that it is wrong for any one to try to trick and control people. In the section “Types of Cults” we will examine the various types of cults you may come across.Christians call all other groups cults.
Basically Christians have said that if a group claims to be Christian and yet teaches something fundamentally different from what the Bible teaches then they are a cult. ie. a Buddhist group that claims to be Buddhist is not a cult, but a Buddhist group that pretends to be Christian is. This definition is not used in this article.So what is a cult anyway?
The modern definition of a mind control cult is any group which employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques. In other words cults trick people into joining and coerce them into staying. This is the definition that most people would agree with. Except the cults themselves of course!
Cults that use a belief system as their base are very common. Their belief system could be standard Christianity, Hinduism, Islam or any other of the world religions, or they may have invented their own belief system. What makes them a cult is the fact that they use mind control, not what they believe.
Self Help & Counselling
Cultwatch does not consider Mind Control to be some magical device which can take away peoples’ free will. In other words it does not turn people into some sort of remote control robot. Rather we see Mind Control as a dishonest influence placed covertly on cult members by the cult. So instead of Mind Control being some sort of irresistible force like the aliens in the movies that take over peoples minds, rather it is more like a gun. The cult leader points the Mind Control “gun” at a member and says, “if you leave us then you will lose all of your friends and family”, “if you don’t conform then you will go to Hell”, “if you don’t give us money then you will fail in business”.
We have broken Mind Control up into a series of techniques that the cults use. Together these techniques make up Mind Control.
A cult needs to recruit and operate using deception. Why?
Because if people knew their true practices and beliefs beforehand then they would not join. A cult needs to hide the truth from you until they think you are ready to accept it.
For example, imagine if the leader of Heavens Gate cult was open and honest about the group and had said to new recruits, “Join us, wear strange clothes, get castrated and then drink poison!” he would not have had many takers.
A cult will have a slick well-rehearsed Public Relations front which hides what the group is really like. You will hear how they help the poor, or support research, or peace, or the environment. They will tell you how happy you will be in their group (and everyone in the cult will always seem very happy and enthusiastic, mainly because they have been told to act happy and will get in trouble if they don’t). But you will not be told what life is really like in the group, nor what they really believe. These things will be introduced to you slowly, one at a time, so you will not notice the gradual change, until eventually you are practicing and believing things which at the start would have caused you to run a mile.
A normal religious organization would not have any trouble with you moving to another similar organization as long as you stayed in that same religion. Because it is the belief system that matters, not membership in an organization. For example if you were a Christian then you could move from one church to another and still be a Christian.
However cult leaders will tell you can only be “saved” (or can only be successful) in their organization alone. No other organization has the truth, all others miss the mark. So it is not the belief system that decides your future, but it the belief system AND your membership with that particular group.
The cult leaders need to make you believe that there is no where else you can go and still be saved, and if you ever leave the “one true church” then you are going to hell. This is a fear based control mechanism designed to keep you in the cult. It also gives the cult leaders tremendous power over you. If you really believe that leaving the group equals leaving God (or means you are leaving your only chance to succeed in life), then you will obey the cult leaders even when you disagree with them instead of risking being kicked out of the group. Exclusivism is used as a threat, it controls your behavior through fear.
Guilt, Character Assassination and Breaking Sessions. Guilt will be used to control you. Maybe the reason you’re not making money is because you’re not “with the programme”. Maybe the reason you’re not able to convert new recruits is because “your heart is prideful and full of sin”. It could never be that the programme isn’t working, or those new recruits have valid reasons for not joining. It’s always your fault, you are always wrong, and so you must try harder! You will also be made to feel very guilty for disobeying any of the cult’s written or unwritten rules.
Character Assassination is used to help create the guilt in you. Character Assassination is a type of false reasoning used by people and groups who have no real arguments. The technical name for Character Assassination is “The Ad hominem Fallacy”. This is how it works. Imagine if you will a conversation between two men, Ford and Arthur…
“One plus one equals three”, says Ford.
Ok, Ford is wrong, but that is not the point. The point is that Ford tried to answer Arthur’s reasoning with more reasoning of his own. This is the healthy way people and groups debate subjects. Now lets see what would have happened if Ford had used Character Assassination…
“Arthur I have been a mathematician longer than you. How dare you disagree with me! You are obviously a very smug and prideful person. I think you are disagreeing with me because you are jealous of me, and to be honest with you Arthur your rebellion has really hurt me and a lot of other people too”, stated Ford his face intimidatingly close to Arthur’s.
You see Ford didn’t answer Arthur’s argument, instead he attacked his character. If you are not aware of how Character Assassination works then it is a powerful way to exert control over you.
Breaking sessions are when one, two or more cult members and leaders attack the character of another person, sometimes for hours on end. Some cults will not stop these sessions until their victim is crying uncontrollably.
Cults also try to cut you off from your friends and family because they hate others being able to influence you. A mind control cult will seek to manoeuvre your life so as to maximize your contact with cult members and minimize your contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose your involvement.
Those who control the information control the person. In a mind control cult any information from outside the cult is considered evil, especially if it is opposing the cult. Members are told not to read it or believe it. Only information supplied by the cult is true. One cult labels any information against it as “persecution” or “spiritual pornography”, another cult calls it “apostate literature” and will expel you from the group if you are caught with it. Cults train their members to instantly destroy any critical information given to them, and to not even entertain the thought that the information could be true.
Common sense tells us that a person who does not consider all information may make an unbalanced decision. Filtering the information available or trying to discredit it not on the basis of how true it is, but rather on the basis of how it supports the party line, is a common control method used throughout history.
In a mind control cult like in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia you must be careful of what you say and do; “The walls have ears”. Everyone is encouraged to watch out for “struggling” brothers and sisters and report what they see to leadership. Often information given in deepest confidence is automatically reported to leadership. Cult leaders will then use this information to convince their members that they have a supernatural link, the trusting member does not suspect the very natural mechanism behind the supernatural revelations they are given.
People in a mind control cult will also hide their true thoughts and feelings, and instead wear a mask which presents them as a perfect cult member. This mask is a defense against being reported to leadership and being punished for not measuring up (cult members never feel like they measure up to the cult’s ideals, and yet often believe the other members around them do, when in reality the others feel the same as them). Hence cult members are trained not only to deceive outsiders, but also to deceive their fellow cult members. Rarely can close friendships form in cults, and if they do the cult’s leaders may see them as a threat and move those people away from each other. Nothing is allowed that can be more powerful than the cult members’ allegiance to the group and it’s leaders.
Mind control cults keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become too busy and too tired to think about their involvement.
Time control also helps the cult keep their members immersed in the manufactured cult environment.
And time control helps keep cult members away from friends and family.
Together they make Mind Control.
Remember, people are not perfect, but if they employ them constantly you are most likely dealing with a cult.
One of the most common forms of commercial cults is the pressure selling organization. These groups ostensibly make money by selling goods via their sales organization, but in reality they make their money by selling goods and motivational materials to their sales organization. Using mind control they seek to enlarge and maintain their sales force, and hence their profits.
Some names along with the bad reputations of these groups are well known to the general public, so their recruiters need to be very deceptive. They will call and ask to come and meet you to discuss a “business opportunity” or new “eCommerce venture”, not once mentioning the organization behind it. In fact if asked they might mention a completely different name. Meeting with them will involve a long intense presentation carefully designed to convince you that you could make a lot of money by following their plan. Only near the end will they briefly mention the real organization behind it.
Here are some key warning signs to watch out for…
Here are some key questions to ask the recruiter…
Here are some key warning signs that may indicate a cult is trying to recruit you.
Intense Unrelenting Pressure
They tell you that they are not a cult.
The Internet should be your first stop if the group you are interested in or involved with has an international scope. Most of the larger cults will be mentioned by counter-cult organizations like Cultwatch, and commonly many ex-members will have posted their cult involvement stories on the net.
Many of the larger cults hate the net since it allows their members access to information they deem subversive or evil. A good place to start is www.CULTWATCH.com, there we have cult information and links to other counter-cult groups. Also go to the search engines and type in keywords associated with the group, like the name of the group, the leaders or founders name, the titles of books they use and any peculiar words that the group uses. If the group is new or too small to have been exposed on the net then read stories of other people who were in mind control cults. The patterns may seem familiar to you. If you are still unsure then email us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org, we will let you know of any thoughts we have.