Cults and cult leaders

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Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 31 Dec 2010

I post this information for all the users and guest of the forum, so that they could evaluate the reality by themselves. The information come from sources dedicated to search the topic of cults and cult leaders and work for help people to get free from the influence of cults. The posts below are a compilation of materials which I use in my professional life as a mediator consultant helping people protect themselves or get free from the danger of manipulation, abuse, cults, deception in their life.

A cult needs to recruit and operate using deception, levels of involvement, special versions of teachings depending on the level, incomplete versions of teachings and others. Why? Because if people knew their true practices and beliefs beforehand then they would not join. A cult needs to hide the truth from people until they think they are ready to accept it. 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. 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 traits of cult leaders:

1. Using hypnotic language. Hypnotic language contains generalizations, nominalizations and great amount of passive structures. The leader uses words and phrases which don’t have substantial meanings; they may be interpreted in various ways depending on the context and current needs. This provides the narrator with the safe margin of interpretation what he really meant, in case his narration turns to be contrary to reality.
2. Claiming special knowledge and or skills. Cult leaders create the image of having access to the extraordinary information, relationships and connections. They present themselves and their followers present them as divine media, gods, messiahs, super guides.
3. Demanding unquestioning obedience. Cult leaders expect the followers to obey their instructions without doubts, questions and hesitations. Following without thinking is the attitude promoted and praised by cult leaders.
4. Demanding perfection by all means. Cult leaders remind their followers that they are imperfect creatures which should make hard efforts.
5. Secretiveness, vagueness, ambiguity in everything. This secures cult leaders with safety and make them distant and mysterious. Their teachings becomes not achievable for the followers’ simple minds. Consequently, followers are not supposed to use their minds and independent thinking. They should think what they are told to think by leaders.
6. Emphasizing exclusivity. The cult leaders teach their followers that they belong to the chosen ones. They create antagonism and clash between followers and the rest of the world. They bring their followers to feel the need to separate from family, friends and society, a change in values and substitute the cult as the new "family" or "new criteria". It leads to subtle or abrupt personality changes. Often followers leave their life behind with no clear understanding why or ability to explain why.
7. Totalitarian World view (we/they syndrome). Effecting dependence, promoting goals of the group over the individual and approving unethical behavior while claiming goodness.
8. Exploitation. Can be financial, physical or psychological. The cult leader pressure to surrender everything to them – time, mind, wealth, body. They urge followers to spend a great amount of time on activities prescribed by leaders. They expect followers to work excessive hours without pay and/or to engage in inappropriate sexual activities.
9. When certain emotions come up, leaders have followers to keep those feelings locked out with the use of "state control techniques" until they are ready to explode at the appropriate time for breakdown and surrender themselves completely to the leader.

The trait of cult groups:
1. Group pressure. It reveals itself in discouraging doubts and reinforces the need of belonging through the use of child-like games or singing or hugging or special practices limited to the group.
2. Isolation/Separation: It creates inability or lack of desire to verify information provided by the group with reality. The group is supposed to live in the leader’s philosophy with few people supporting that reality. The members of the group are repeatedly discouraged by the leader from getting close to others to really be known intimately. They create posters or slogans presenting their new philosophy and post them in every open space of their environment.
3. Thought Controlling and Feeling Stopping Techniques. The group introduces a new comers to repetitious activities which, when used excessively, induce a perfect state of high suggestibility. They intertwine teaching time control maintenance techniques with cults mindset for full effective results. Members are supposed to schedule every minute of their life with the leader.
4. Fear and Guilt are induced in members by eliciting confessions to produce intimacy and to reveal fears and secrets, to create emotional vulnerability by overt and covert suggestion or threats, as well as alternation of punishment and reward. Members are taught to display the attitude of "falling in love with 1" to ensure commitment to the leader and the group. This makes easy for the leader to get them to leave their old lives behind and follow him.
5. Sleep Deprivation. Members are encouraged to it under the guise of spiritual exercises, necessary training, or " to stretch your personal boundaries" or in urgent projects.
6. Inadequate Nutrition. Members disguise it as special diet to improve health or advance spirituality, or as rituals requiring fasting. They are required to introduce changes in eating, such as "vegan" as part of the group or cult regime. The food and feeding times is controlled by the leader and sometimes unpredictable or unexpected times throughout the day and night. Result: Members are supposed not be able to eat until the leader tells them to, and only if it is what he tells them they can eat. The ultimate result is when the leader teaches them how to breath, and they think of him whenever they do.
7. Sensory Overload: Forces acceptance of complex new doctrine, goals and definitions to replace old values by expecting recruit to assimilate masses of information quickly with little or no opportunity for critical examination. The perfect recruit will let go of all their past beliefs overnight to follow you.

The truly converted to the cult will display the traits:

*The exact same goals and values as the cult leader
* Loss of free will and control over one's life.
* Loss of family and home.
* Development of dependency and return to child-like or teen-age behaviors.
* Inability to work or be responsible.
* Posting, and of cults philosophy all over environment.
* Noticeably ugly ties or snappy dresses.
* Loss of spontaneity.
* Compulsive audio tape listening.
* Loss of sense of humor.
* Ingestion of growth hormones and speed inducing pharmaceuticals.
* Inability to form intimate relationships or friendships.
* Physical deterioration and abuse.
* Psychological deterioration (including hallucinations, anxiety, paranoia, disorientation, and dissociation).

How to recognize the mind control and manipulative practices of the cult leaders
 People are put in physical or emotionally distressing situations.
 Their problems, questions, doubts are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized.
 They are taught that they receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader or group.
 They get a new identity based on the group.
 They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.

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.

Cult leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is the same as disagreeing with God. The cult leaders will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life. If the cult is not a religious group then questioning the leaders or program will still be seen as a sign of rebellion and stupidity.

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 is not 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.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by shivsena » 31 Dec 2010

Dear anu.

Very nice and very informative eye-opener article.
Did you find it on the net ?


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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 31 Dec 2010

shivsena wrote:Did you find it on the net ?
This is a part of my professional work as a mediator consultant and coach. Various people come to me to receive help in solving their life or professional problems. I decided to post a selection of points. The points come from professional literature (various titles); part of it was published by international organisations searching the topic of cults and results of their activities. I compiled the entire set of points.

My decision to post is the result of my deep distress and worry about what is actually happening not in BK, but in AIVV. After years of studying and dealing with AIVV I discovered that many rules which I have to and I want to observe in my professional life and which I use to help people ovecome their problems, recognise those who manipulate them, get free from cults, many of these rules have been repeteadly violated in AIVV. So, the reality turned to be like that the religious path which I follow, which is supposed to be the highest and noblest, remains contrary to laukik profession in a very strange way. I discovered that my religious teacher sometimes behaves like those people described as a cult leaders. Imagine my feelings and thoughts when a person seriously abused by a cult practices comes to me and I go with him through all these points mentioned above and many more to help him recognise the pattern of cult and get rid of it, when I myself experienced some of them on my path, in my spiritual family. How can I introduce the ideas and teachings of AIVV to those people? I cannot. I did my best to present the entire topic to Baba and he neglected it; he said that he doesn't have time.

I have much more materials on this. I will post them here soon.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 01 Jan 2011

What is cult, types of cult, how cult groups operate

What is cult?

The word “cult” originally denoted a system of ritual practices. The narrower, derogatory sense of the word is a product of the 20th century, especially since the 1980s.The popular, derogatory sense of the word has no currency in academic studies of religions, where "cults" are subsumed under the neutral label of the "new religious movement", while academic sociology has partly adopted the popular meaning of the word.
In the opinion of Benjamin Zablocki, a professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, groups that have been characterized as cults are at high risk of becoming abusive to members. He states that this is in part due to members' adulation of charismatic leaders contributing to the leaders becoming corrupted by power. Zablocki defines a cult as an ideological organization held together by charismatic relationships and the demands total commitment. According to Cult Watch cult is any group which employs mind control and deceptive recruiting techniques. In other words cults trick people into joining and coerce them (sometimes in a very hidden and subtle way using manipulative psychological practices, emotional distress, feeling of guilt) on into staying.

How cult groups operate:

1. Cult groups may seem wonderful on the outside but on the inside they are very manipulating. Cult leaders are desperate to trick people into joining. They are after their obedience, their time, their dedication and money.

2. Cult groups stress on dedicating one’s all entity to the cult leader. The doctrine usually emphasizes that the cult leader is the only one who protects and saves the members of the group. The members are supposed to live and breathe having the leader in front of them all the time. The leader becomes a kind of super star. All speak and think about him. This is the powerful source of energy for the leader.

3. In order to become a member of the cult, the person has to pass through certain levels of initiation. The cult leader sets the standards. The prospective member is gradually introduced to the doctrine. He can never learn the full version of the doctrine at the beginning and then decide whether he wants to join it or not. He has to pass through certain phases . Often the declaration of commitment is required from a prospective candidate. The declaration may be in a written form or in a form of a ritual or payment. The declaration enables the prospective candidate to learn more. This is a form of manipulation used by cult groups very often. Usually after the declaration, the new comer learns about some new facts or conditions that may appear uncomfortable to him and which he wouldn’t have accepted or agreed with them earlier. But now, it is too late. The declaration is already signed or money - paid. A powerful feeling of internal dissonance awakes in the new comer. Unconsciously he does what he can to reduce this dissonance and justifies everything what is happening with him, justifies the cult theory as the final truth. The cult leader uses the feeling of dissonance to exert influence on the new comer by awaking in him the feeling of guilt. He may say that the emotional suffering the new comers undergoes is the result of past sins, his weaknesses, his weak mind, impurity, inability to understand the divine truth that the leader reveals before him or others.

4. 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 a person from the group if he is 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.

5. Cult groups always teach their members that their leader is the only true one in the world; their path is the only right one in the world and only they, as the chosen ones, will be saved and rewarded. Cult groups often use derogatory language for describing those from outside the group.

6. Mind control is a suite of psychological techniques that cult leaders attempt to control their members with. Mind control is a kind of influence placed covertly on cult members by the cult. The Cult Watch organization describes mind control not as 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 the members and says, "if you leave, then you will lose your fortune” or “you may leave any time, but be aware that you will lose all of your friends and family", "if you don't conform then you will go to Hell", "if you don't want to do this, don’t do it and become a loser” or “if you don’t offer your wealth to us, you will fail in business" or “if you can’t follow the rules, it’s a clear sign that you are weak” or “do you want to suffer for ever in that Hell?” and others.

7. Cult members are usually very fearful of disobeying or disagreement in anyway with their leadership. Contrary to them, healthy organization are not threatened by open debating issues. To pretend that they operate like healthy organsation, cult groups may organise fake debates which imitate healthy discussion. At the same time, by using manipulative techniques, cult leaders succesfully discourage expressing doubts and disagreement.

8. Cults know that if they can control relationships then they can control people. When someone first goes to a cult they will practice "love bombing", where they arrange instant friends for him. It will seem wonderful, how could such a loving group be wrong! But the person soon learns that if he ever disagrees with them, or ever leaves the cult then he will lose all his "friends". This unspoken threat influences all actions in the cult. The person will pass by silently things that normally would have complained about because doesn’t want to be ostracized. Like in an unhealthy relationship love is turned on and off to control.

9. Cults also try to cut their true members off from their friends and family, because they hate others being able to influence them. A mind control cult will seek to manoeuvre their life so as to maximize their contact with cult members and minimize their contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose their involvement.

10. 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.

Types of cults:

Cults that use a belief system as their base are very common. Their belief system could be standard Buddhism, 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, manipulative practices not what they believe.

Cults that use commercial gain as their base are called "cults of greed". They will promise you that if you join them and follow their special programme for success then you will become very rich. Often they will hold up their leader as an example and explain that if you do what he or she says then you will be successful too. Commercial cults use mind control to get you working for them for free, and to make you pay for an endless stream of motivational tapes, videos, books and seminars all of which are supposedly designed to help you succeed, but in reality are designed to enhance the cult's mind control environment and keep you believing in their almost impossible dream of success. Of course they never mention that the primary way the leaders make money are by selling these motivation materials to their group! For more information see below under the section, "Pressure Selling".

Self Help & Counselling
Cults that use "self help" or counselling or self improvement as their base often target business people and corporations. By doing their courses and seminars they claim you and your staff will become more successful. Business people locked away in hotel rooms are subjected to quasi-religious indoctrination as they play strange games, join in group activities, and share their innermost thoughts with the group. Once you have completed one course you are told you need to do the more advanced course, which naturally costs more than the last. These cults will sometimes request that you do volunteer work and that you help recruit your friends, family and work mates. These groups specialize in creating powerful emotional experiences which are then used to validate your involvement in the cult. The religious overtones are couched in terms which don't sound religious. They usually come to the surface as you near the end of a seminar. Many people have been bankrupted by involvement with these cults.

Cults that use political ideals as their base are well known throughout history. Hitler's Nazi Germany and Stalin's Communist USSR were classic examples of mind control on a very large scale. On smaller scales white and black supremacists, terrorists, and rebel groups commonly use forms of mind control to recruit and dominate their members.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 01 Jan 2011

Character Assasinations and other practices used in cult groups.

What is character assassination?

Character assassination is used by cult leaders to help create the guilt in members. 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". It’s an attempt to tarnish a person's reputation. It may involve exaggeration or manipulation of facts to present an untrue picture of the targeted person. It is a form of defamation and can be a form of ad hominem argument.

For living individuals targeted by character assassination attempts, this may result in being rejected by his community, family, or members of his or her living or work environment. Such acts are often difficult to reverse or rectify, and the process is likened to a literal assassination of a human life. The damage sustained can last a lifetime or, for historical figures, for many centuries after their death.

In practice, character assassination may involve doublespeak, spreading of rumors, innuendo or deliberate misinformation on topics relating to the subject's morals, integrity, and reputation. It may involve spinning information that is technically true, but that is presented in a misleading manner or is presented without the necessary context. For example, it might be said that a person refused to pay any income tax during a specific year, without saying that no tax was actually owed due to the person having no income that year, or if a person was sacked from a firm, even though they may have been made redundant rather than actually fired. Cults use character assassination as one of their tactics to obtain mind control.

An innuendo is a baseless invention of thoughts or ideas. It can also be a remark or question, typically disparaging (also called insinuation), that works obliquely by allusion. In the latter sense, the intention is often to insult or accuse someone in such a way that one's words, taken literally, are innocent. Cult leaders often use this technique.

—also called calumny, vilification, slander (for transitory statements), and libel (for written, broadcast, or otherwise published words)—is the communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government, or nation a negative image. It is usually a requirement that this claim be false and that the publication is communicated to someone other than the person defamed

An ad hominem
("to the man"), also known as argumentum ad hominem, is an attempt to link the validity of a premise to a characteristic or belief of the person advocating the premise. The ad hominem is a classic logical fallacy, but it is not always fallacious. For in some instances questions of personal conduct, character, motives, etc., are legitimate and relevant to the issue.

Doublespeak (sometimes called doubletalk) is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms, making the truth less unpleasant, without denying its nature. It may also be deployed as intentional ambiguity, or reversal of meaning (for example, naming a state of war "peace"). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth, producing a communication bypass.

EXAMPLE of character assassination:
This is how it works. Imagine if you will a conversation between two men, Ford and Arthur.

"One plus one equals three", says Ford.
"No I don't think so. You see when I have one thing, and I have another thing, then I have two things not three", replies Arthur.
"I see your point, but what you must realize is that one plus one when calculated in relation to this complex number domain, which I just invented, and then squared by the sum of the ninth tangent in the sequence of the Fibonacci series results in three!", stated Ford triumphantly.

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 did not 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.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 01 Jan 2011

Brainwashing, cult recruitment, key warnings, misconceptions about cults

Brainwashing refers to the application of manipulative techniques or the exertion of powerful influence to change the values and beliefs, perceptions and judgments, and subsequent mindsets and behaviors of one or more people, usually for political, financial, personal, or religious purposes.
Brainwashing, powerful influence and conditioning involves installing beliefs. Examples are: "Only we know the truth", "Anyone who attacks us is insane or criminal", "Thinking is evil" and "Criticism is proof of sickness". Many extremist groups attempt to place their leaders (living or dead) as substitute high-authority "parents" in the minds of the membership (Father-gods and mother-goddesses), and the group membership are often presented as (and even called) brothers and sisters. Connections to family and former friends are often strongly discouraged. Members may then feel tremendous guilt if they even consider leaving their "sacred new family". However, such people are typically unaware that they have been influenced, and often support their manipulators.
This kind of psychological influence overcomes critical thinking and free will. Subjects to the influence are not supposed to make independent decisions. They are supposed to act according to received approval or informed consent.

This kind of influence takes several forms which may be applied in a physical or a psychological (subtle) way
1. Increase suggestibility with repeated activities, sleep deprivation and/or nutritional restrictions
2. Control social environment and/or enforce or encourage social isolation
3. Control communication and/or prohibit disconfirming information and opinions
4. Destabilize consciousness, awareness and/or emotional defenses
5. Undermine self-confidence and/or decision-making (
6. Create aversive emotions with humiliation, loss of privilege and/or isolation etc
7. Intimidate with group-sanctioned psychological threats

Cult recruitment techniques:

Hyped Meetings

Rather than explain to you what the group believes or what their programme is up front, they will instead insist that you can only understand it if you come to a group meeting. There everyone around you will seem so enthusiastic that you will start to think there is something wrong with you. They create an environment where you will feel uncomfortable and the only way to become comfortable is to join them. This is an application of controlled peer pressure.

Intense Unrelenting Pressure
They call repeatedly. Meet you on campus or outside your work. Trick you into coming for only an hour and then lead you into a long study, meeting or talk. They have to keep the pressure on, otherwise you might snap out of the mind control environment they are trying to immerse you in.

They tell you that they are not a cult.

This is a preemptive strike against the warnings from friends and family members which they know will come. In fact some cults go as far to tell you that Satan or Evil Eye or Black Power, will try and dissuade you by sending family members and friends to tell you it is a cult; all the world will stand against you and will try to pull you far from the Goodness and Truth the group offers you as a unique chance. When this tactic is used then often a warped form of logic occurs in the recruits' mind, the "agents of Satan" do come and tell them that it is a cult. So since the group predicted that would happen, the group therefore must true! Basically if any group tells you that they are not a cult, or that some people call them a cult, then for goodness sake find out why!

Key warnings

The group may be a cult group if it displays some of the following features:

• They have a single charismatic leader.
• People in the group always seem constantly happy and enthusiastic. Especially if you discover that they have been told to act that way.
• Instant friends.
• They tell the members who they should or should not talk to or associate with.
• They hide what they teach.
• They reveal what they teach in parts (levels) and demand commitment, forms of declarations.
• They say they are the only true group, or the best so why go anywhere else.
• They organize hyped meetings, get you to meetings rather than share with you.
• The are experiential rather than logical.
• They ask for money for the next level.
• They ask for a special commitment for the next level.
• Some cults travel door to door during times when women are home alone. They, and this is rather sexist, think that women are easier to recruit and once they have the woman then it will be easier to snare the husband or partner.
• They discourage doubts, questioning.
• They display being open to questions, but answers all of them in a similar way.
• They postpone answering questions to “when the time comes”; “when you are ready”.
• They hide the leader and make access to him difficult.
• They don’t allow to meet the leader unless you fulfill special conditions.
• They say that their leader has divine powers, contact with God, or is Messiah, God himself.
• All speak the same propaganda language; answer your questions in the same way; use the same arguments which are often repeated phrases from the leader’s speeches.

Misconception 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.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 01 Jan 2011

Cult leader (CL) - often displayed characteristics

1. Using charisma to induce men's whole hearted devotion through a blind and fanatical trust and an unrestrained and uncritical faith. Usually, those who remain under a strong influence of CL justify everything what the CL does or says and by all means uncritically bring about evidence, no matter how illogical they are, that the CL is right ad just.
2. Using though-reform techniques which leads to whole hearted devotion of his followers.
3. Using his followers to build an inaccessible wall around himself (nobody, apart from a few chosen ones know where the CL is, what he does, where he travels and when he will appear)
4. Not being available when his followers need him, but when he wants to be available.
5. Selecting few special ones and entrust them with special responsibility in order to manipulate the other followers, arise jealousy in them , make them feel low or guilty.
6. Repeating the same arguments to explain various, not necessary linked issues.
7. Hiding himself (false address, false name etc.)
8. Displaying behaviors typical for personality disorder, psychosis, psychopathy ect.
9. Presenting himself as infallible; whatever he says is the ultimate truth.
10. Neglecting or belittling feelings of the others.
11. Neglecting or belittling problems that the other.
12. Not being empathic.
13. Not discussing. Not taking into the consideration the others’ views, feelings, experiences.
14. Not listening to the others.
15. Violating social norms.
16. Direct or indirect declaration of divinity.
17. Discouraging questioning. (“You may question as much as you want. Those who question belong to the Evil.”)
18. Discouraging doubts. (“Those who doubt are weak.”
19. Answering in the same way to various questions.
20. Undermining selected groups and inducing clash among them.
21. Using illogical argumentation as a respond to critic, doubts, questions. (“Because I said so.”)
22. Using emotional argumentation as a respond to critic, doubts, questions (“Dady can see that you don’t trust you Dady any more”; “Those who doubt will become enemies.”)
23. Beguiling, seducing.
24. Garnering all the attention when entering the room.
25. Commending the utmost respect and obedience.
26. Feeling conspired against, spied upon or cheated, or maligned by a person, group, or governmental agency; hence the need of hiding.
27. Believing in one’s magical powers, omnipotence, and connection to God.
28. Displaying (direct or indirect) traits of megalomania – “I am able or entitled to rule the world.”
29. Becoming on object of worship.
30. Allowing the followers to display forms of worships (encouraging special service, divine work; allowing treating him specially and behave in front of him extraordinarily)
31. Not being grateful.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 01 Jan 2011

Who is your leader?

Cult leaders may exhibit many of the behavioral characteristics of psychopathy, paranoia, personal disorder, often in a hidden or subtle forms. They may exhibit these traits in various forms and intensity - from weak and subtle to sharp and powerful. The final diagnosis is something that only a trained professional should do.

Captive Hearts Captive Minds by Madeline Landau Tobias and Janja Lalich presents the checklist as a tool to help you label and demystify traits you may have noticed in your leader.

1.Glibness/Superficial charm
Glibness is a hallmark of psychopaths. They are able to use language effortlessly to beguile, confuse, and convince. They are captivating storytellers. They exude self-confidence and are able to spin a web that intrigues others and pulls them into the psychopath's life. Most of all, they are persuasive. Frequently they have the capacity to destroy their critics verbally or disarm them emotionally.

2.Manipulative and Conning
Cult leaders do not recognize the individuality or rights of others, which makes all self-serving behaviors permissible. The hallmark of the psychopath is the psychopathic maneuver; which is essentially interpersonal manipulation "based on charm. The manipulator appears to be helpful, charming, even ingratiating or seductive, but is covertly hostile, domineering....[The victim] is perceived as an aggressor, competitor, or merely as an instrument to be used....The manipulation inevitably becomes the end-all and is no longer qualified by the reality principle." In other words, there are no checks on the psychopath's behavior--anything goes. The Psychopath divides the world into suckers, sinners, and himself. He discharges powerful feelings of terror and rage by dominating and humiliating his victims. He is particularly successful when, through an overlay of charm, he makes an ally of his victim--a process sometimes described as emotional vampirism or emotional terrorism. It is especially prevalent in the one-on-one cultic relationship, where there is direct involvement with the manipulator.

3. Grandiose Sense of Self
The cult leader enjoys tremendous feelings of entitlement. He believes everything is owed to him as a right. Preoccupied with his own fantasies, he must always be the center of attention. He presents himself or has the other present him as the "Ultimate One" enlightened, a vehicle of God, a genius, the leader of humankind, and sometimes even the most humble of humble. He has an insatiable need for adulation and attendance. His grandiosity may also be a defense against inner emptiness, depression, and a sense of insignificance. Paranoia often accompanies the grandiosity, reinforcing the isolation of the group and the need for protection against a perceived hostile environment. In this way, he creates an us-versus-them mentality.

4.Pathological Lying
Psychopaths lie coolly and easily, even when it is obvious they are being untruthful. It is almost impossible for them to be consistently truthful about either a major or minor issue. They lie for no apparent reason, even when it would seem easier and safer to tell the truth. This is sometimes called "crazy lying." Confronting their lies may provoke an unpredictably incense rage or simply a Buddha-like smile.
Another form of lying common among cult leaders is known as pseudologica fantastica, an extension of pathological lying. Leaders tend to create a complex belief system, often about their own powers and abilities, in which they themselves sometimes get caught up. "It is often difficult to determine whether the lies are an actual delusional distortion of reality or are expressed with the conscious or unconscious intent to deceive. These manipulators are rarely original thinkers. Plagiarists and thieves, they seldom credit the true originators of ideas, often co-opting authorship. They are extremely convincing, forceful in the expression of their views, and talented at passing lie detector tests. For them, objective truth does not exist. The only "truth" is whatever will best achieve the outcome that meets their needs. This type of opportunism is very difficult to understand for those who are not psychopaths. For this reason, followers are more apt to invent or go along with all kinds of explanations and rationales for apparent inconsistencies in behavior "I know my guru must have had a good reason for doing this." "He did it because he loves me even though it hurts."

5. Lack of Remorse, Shame, or Guilt
At the core of the psychopath is a deep-seated rage which is split off (i.e, psychologically separated from the rest of the self) and repressed. Some researchers theorize that this is caused by feeling abandoned in infancy or early childhood. Whatever the emotional or psychological source, psychopaths see those around them as objects, targets, or opportunities, not as people. They do not have friends, they have victims and accomplices-and the latter frequently end as victims. For psychopaths, the ends always justify the means. Thus there is no place for feelings of remorse, shame, or guilt. Cult leaders feel justified in all their actions since they consider themselves the ultimate moral arbiter. Nothing gets in their way.

6. Shallow Emotions
While they may display outbursts of emotion, more often than not they are putting on a calculated response to obtain a certain result. They rarely reveal a range of emotions, and what is seen is superficial at best, pretended at worst. Positive feelings of warmth, joy, love, and compassion are more feigned than experienced. They are unmoved by things that would upset the normal person, while outraged by insignificant matters. They are bystanders to the emotional life of others, perhaps envious and scornful of feelings they cannot have or understand. In the end, psychopaths are cold, with shallow emotions, living in a dark world of their own.
Hiding behind the "mask of sanity/wisdom," the cult leader exposes feelings only insofar as they serve an ulterior motive. He can witness or order acts of utter brutality without experiencing a shred of emotion. He casts himself in a role of total control, which he plays to the hilt. What is most promised in cults--peace, joy, enlightenment, love, and security are goals that are forever out of reach of the leader, and thus also the followers. Since the leader is not genuine, neither are his promises

7. Incapacity for Love
As the "living embodiment of God's love," the leader is tragically flawed in being unable to either give or receive love. Love substitutes are given instead. A typical example might be the guru's claim that his illness or misfortune (otherwise inconsistent with his enlightened state) is caused by the depth of his compassion for his followers, whereby he takes on their negative karma. Not only are devotees supposed to accept this as proof of his love but also are expected to feel guilt for their failings! It becomes impossible for members to disprove this claim once they have accepted the beliefs of the group.
The leader's tremendous need to be loved is accompanied by an equally strong disbelief in the love offered him by his followers; hence, the often unspeakably cruel and harsh testing of his devotees. Unconditional surrender is an absolute requirement. In one cult, for example, the mother of two small children was made to tell them nightly that she loved her leader more than them. Later, as a test of her devotion, she was asked to give up custody of her children in order to be allowed to stay with her leader. The guru's love is never tested; it must be accepted at face value.

8. Need for Stimulation
Thrill-seeking behaviors, often skirting the letter or spirit of the law, are common among psychopaths. Such behavior is sometimes justified as preparation for martyrdom "I know I don't have long to live; therefore my time on this earth must be lived to the fullest." "Surely even I am entitled to have fun or sin a little." This type of behavior becomes more frequent as the leader deteriorates emotionally and psychologically--a common occurrence.
Cult leaders live on the edge, constantly testing the beliefs of their followers, often with increasingly bizarre behaviors, punishments, and rules. Other mechanisms of stimulation come in the form of unexpected, seemingly spontaneous outbursts, which usually take the form of verbal abuse and sometimes physical punishment. The psychopath has a cool indifference to things around him, yet his icy coldness can quickly turn into rage, vented on those around him.

9. Callousness/lack of empathy
Psychopaths readily take advantage of others, expressing utter contempt for anyone else's feelings. Someone in distress is not important to them. Although intelligent, perceptive, and quite good at sizing people up, they make no real connections with others. They use their "people skills" to exploit, abuse, and wield power.
Psychopaths are unable to empathize with the pain of their victims. Meanwhile, part of the victims' denial system is the inability to believe that someone they love so much could consciously and callously hurt them. It therefore becomes easier to rationalize the leader's behavior as necessary for the general or individual "good." The alternative for the devotee would be to face the sudden and overwhelming awareness of being victimized, deceived, used. Such a realization would wound the person's deepest sense of self, so as a means of self-protection the person denies the abuse. When and if the devotee becomes aware of the exploitation, it feels as though a tremendous evil has been done, a spiritual rape.

10 . Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature
Like small children, many psychopaths have difficulty regulating their emotions. Adults who have temper tantrums are frightening to be around. Rage and abuse, alternating with token expressions of love and approval, produce an addictive cycle for both abuser and abused, as well as create a sense of hopelessness in the latter. This dynamic has also been recognized in relation to domestic abuse and the battering of women. The cult leader acts out with some regularity--often privately, sometimes publicly--usually to the embarrassment and dismay of his followers and other observers. He may act out sexually, aggressively, or criminally, frequently with rage. Who could possibly control someone who believes himself to be all-powerful, all-knowing, and entitled to every wish, someone who has no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for the impact on those around him? Generally this aberrant behavior is a well-kept secret, known only to a few disciples. The others only see perfection. These tendencies are related to the psychopath's need for stimulation and inability to tolerate frustration, anxiety, and depression. Often a leader's inconsistent behavior needs to be rationalized by either the leader or the follower in order to maintain internal consistency. It is often regarded as divinely inspired and further separates the empowered from the powerless.

11. Early Behavior Problems/juvenile delinquency
Psychopaths frequently have a history of behavioral and academic difficulties. They often "get by" academically, conning other students and teachers. Encounters with juvenile authorities are frequent. Equally prevalent are difficulties in peer relationships and developing and keeping friends, marked control problems, and other aberrant behaviors such as stealing, fire setting, and cruelty to others.

12. Irresponsibility/Unreliability
Not concerned about the consequences of their behavior, psychopaths leave behind them the wreckage of others' lives and dreams. They may be totally oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they inflict on others, something which they regard as neither their problem nor their responsibility.
Psychopaths rarely accept blame for their failures or mistakes. Scape goating is common, blaming followers, those outside the group, a member's family, the government, Satan--anyone and everyone but the leader. The blaming may follow a ritualized procedure such as a trial, "hot seat" denunciation, or public confession (either one-on-one or in front of the group). Blame is a powerful reinforcer of passivity and obedience, producing guilt, shame, terror, and conformity in the followers.

13. Promiscuous Sexual behavior/infidelity
Promiscuity, child sexual abuse, polygamy, rape, and sexual acting out of all sorts are frequently practiced by cult leaders. Conversely, there is often stringent sexual control of the followers through such tactics as enforced celibacy, arranged marriages, forced breakups and divorces, removal of children from their parents, forced abortions or mandated births. For psychopaths, sex is primarily a control and power issue.
Along with this behavior comes vast irresponsibility not only for the followers' emotions but also for their lives. In one cult, for example, multiple sexual relations were encouraged even while one of the top leaders was known to be HIV positive. This kind of negligence toward others is not uncommon in the psychopath's world.
Marital fidelity is rare in the psychopath's life. There are usually countless reports of extramarital affairs and sexual predation upon adult and child members of both sexes. The sexual behavior of the leader may be kept hidden from all but the inner circle or may be part of accepted group sexual practices. In any case, due to the power imbalance between leader and followers, sexual contact is never truly consensual and is likely to have damaging consequences for the follower.

14. Lack of realistic life plan/parasitic lifestyle
The psychopath tends to move around a lot, making countless efforts at "starting over while seeking out Fertile new ground to exploit. One day he may appear as a rock musician, the next a messiah; one day a used car salesman, the next the founder of a mass self-transformation program; one day a college professor, the next the new "Lenin" bringing revolution.
The flip side of this erratic life planning is the all-encompassing promise for the future that the cult leader makes to his followers. Many groups claim as their goal world domination or salvation at the Apocalypse. The leader is the first to proclaim the utopian nature of the group, which is usually simply another justification for irrational behavior and stringent controls.
The leader's sense of entitlement is often demonstrated by the contrast between his luxurious lifestyle and the impoverishment of his followers. Most cult leaders arc supported by gifts and donations from their followers, who may be pressured to turn over much of their income and worldly possessions to the group. Slavery, enforced prostitution, and a variety of illegal acts for the benefit of the leader are common in a cult milieu. This type of exploitation aptly demonstrates Lifton's third point of idealization from below and exploitation from above.
Psychopaths also tend to be preoccupied with their own health while remaining totally indifferent to the suffering of others. They may complain of being "burned out" due to the burden of "caring for" their followers, sometimes stating they do not have long to live, instilling fear and guilt in their devotees and encouraging further servitude. they are highly sensitive to their own pain and tend to be hypochondriacs, which often conflicts with their public image of superhuman self-control and healing abilities.
According to them, the illnesses they don't get are due to their powers, while the ones they do get are caused by their "compassion" in taking on their disciples' karma or solving the group's problems. This of course is another guru trick.

15. Criminal or entrepreneurial versatility
Cult leaders change their image and that of the group as needed to avoid prosecution and litigation, to increase income, and to recruit a range of members. Cult leaders have an innate ability to attract followers who have the skills and connections that the leaders lack. The longevity of the group is dependent on the willingness of leadership to adapt as needed and preserve the group. Frequently, when illegal or immoral activities are exposed to the public, the cult leader will relocate, sometimes taking followers with him. He will keep a low profile, only to resurface later with a new name, a new front group, and perhaps a new twist on the scam.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by arjun » 02 Jan 2011

Dear Admin,

Anu has posted the same topic in all the four Sections or started topics giving a reference to this thread. I feel that the similar threads in other Sections should be removed. Otherwise, it will become an example for others to follow in the hope of getting more publicity. This has been done by members like satyaprakash earlier.

This is only a suggestion to make the forum more readable. This has nothing to do with relationship with Anu on this forum. I hope Anu does not mind :D .


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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by satyaprakash » 21 Feb 2011

arjun wrote:Anu has posted the same topic in all the four Sections or started topics giving a reference to this thread
So what is wrong? He is directing people to look at the posts on cults as otherwise they will miss it.
arjun wrote: This has been done by members like satyaprakash earlier.
Dear Arjun, why are you dragging my name into this? I have not interacted for quite some time. Are you hurt because some truths are being told by Anu? Wherever you go, you cannot escape from truth.
ANU wrote:Cult leaders may exhibit many of the behavioral characteristics of psychopathy, paranoia, personal disorder, often in a hidden or subtle forms. They may exhibit these traits in various forms and intensity - from weak and subtle to sharp and powerful. The final diagnosis is something that only a trained professional should do.
Dear Anu, I really congratulate you for bringing the real picture of what a cult leaders' qualities are. How nicely the truth is written by you!
Our Guardian of PBK- self appointed?_ Arjun, feels hurt as the characteristics are very similar to that found with PBKs and their leader Baba! Of course the BKs also exhibit some of the cult qualities.
Best wishes to Arjun.


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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by arjun » 21 Feb 2011

satyaprakash wrote:Best wishes to Arjun.
Thanks brother.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by fluffy bunny » 12 Apr 2011

Who are they trying to fool? One of the 8!

Hello, all souls ... hope you are all well and happy. Happier than her at least!

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by ANU » 13 Apr 2011

Warm recommendation for BKs and their PBK parents (as they proclaim themselves to be this):

Bethlem Royal Hospital
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Delhi Psychiatry Center, Preet Vihar, NCR-Delhi

AIIMS - department of psychiatry ... _intro.htm

And best wishes of mental health for all :)

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by arjun » 14 Apr 2011

fluffybunny wrote:Who are they trying to fool? One of the 8!

Hello, all souls ... hope you are all well and happy. Happier than her at least!
I got a chance to see the live telecast of the last Avyakt Vani of the season yesterday. It was also the beginning of the Platinum Jublee of BKWSU. Avyakt BapDada was decorated with golden crown, golden necklace and flower garlands. I could see that Avyakt BapDada was not interested in eating anything, but the Dadis were very eager to feed him, even if it meant discomforting him.

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Re: Cults and cult leaders

Post by Roy » 14 Apr 2011

Is there any more proof needed to illustrate what ShivBaba is referring to, when He speaks of Ravan raj in the Murli!


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