Fear and guilt are central to any thought reform/mind control program. A fearful person is one who cannot think critically and who's ability to make decisions is reduced. Cult tactics include inducing fears and phobias (strong, irrational fears) in group members to allow the leadership to maintain control. Members can believe that all sorts of horrible things may happen if they don't follow the rules, if they don't earn more money, if they leave the group or even think of leaving the group etc.
Guilt is introduced in many ways, too. Guilt because of their weaknesses, their mistakes, weak faith, inability to understand, evil spirits, in fact, anything the leadership decides!
Add fear and guilt and you get dependency. The members come to depend on the leader to know who they are, how they are, how they're doing. In many destructive groups the members are on an emotional roller coaster.
Cult tactics include creating many emotional highs in destructive cults, from knowing the Truth (with a capital T) to group exercises designed to create euphoria, compliments from the leader, especially in public, and sometimes just believing that what they're doing is changing the world.
There are also many lows, any problems being attributed to the member's inadequacies, punishments for doing things or not doing things, being ostracized by the group for not following the rules, the verbal abuse plus the guilt, fear and shame heaped on the members by the leader.
These emotional extremes place a huge burden on the member, psychologically and physically. It also makes it very difficult to think critically and make decisions when there is such an emotional overload.
The jargon in cults has multiple effects.
This sense of elitism makes them feel more important or superior to those outside the group, especially to people in other cults, which they can easily spot!
This gives rise to one of the many contradictions in cults. While members are obedient and humble before the leadership, they can be arrogant to outsiders.
This elitism also brings responsibility, because they feel more responsible for saving the world. And of course, this sense of responsibility can be used by the leaders to manipulate them even further, inducing guilt if they don't properly perform their duties, earn enough money, recruit enough people, and so on.
And remember that many group leaders are psychopaths. This means they have no empathy, guilt or remorse. Ever!
Add to this their inflated sense of self worth, grandiosity and sense of entitlement, and they believe they can do whatever they like, take what they want, abuse whoever they please etc. etc. without any consideration for others. For them the end always justifies the means.
And then consider that the leader is creating clones of himself...!!!
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If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.
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