Recruitment, Indoctrination and Protecting Yourself.
The aim here is not to cast judgement on particular groups, but to help people make well-informed decisions based upon the various warning signs!
Cults tend to target people whom they know to be vulnerable, and therefore likely to develop an emotional dependence on the group.
Young students are particularly vulnerable and impressionable, and often searching for identity and meaning in their lives, in addition to having a strong desire for peer approval.
The recruitment event will often feature an inspirational talk, aimed at whipping up strong emotions in the audience, to render them even more suggestible to the material.
Potential recruits are often invited to such meetings by cult members who are acquaintances, friends or family.
By gradually increasing the level of commitment, cults are able to build up a recruit’s emotional dependence on the group
New recruits are given a warm and affectionate welcome in a practice called ‘love bombing’, but the friendliness immediately cools down at any sign of disobedience.
A cult can also foster emotional dependence by undermining members’ self esteem (for example, through self-criticism sessions), and then insisting they need the group’s help to re-build their confidence.
The head of the cult ‘family’ is usually a charismatic authority figure, modelled on familiar ones such as pastors, teachers, counsellors, experts, and even parents. You are more likely to obey authority figures than equals.
Cults put recruits through a process of disorientation and depersonalization to soften them up for indoctrination. Disorientation tends to heighten recruits’ suggestibility and acceptance of the process.
Be suspicious strangers who appear overly friendly or unusually helpful. They may be genuine, but it pays to be on your guard.
Neutral friends should accompany you if you choose to attend an open meeting. Do not allow yourselves to be separated.
Do not participate in hypnosis, intensive meditation, repetitive chanting, extended fasting, sleep or rest deprivation, group confessions or other disorienting practices.
Do not commit to anything straight away; always ask for a day to think it over by yourself. Be prepared to break off a commitment or relationship if you feel you are being emotionally manipulated.
Lastly, BE VIGILANT for any tell-tale signs of cult activity. It could save your life.
(Excerpts from )