|Posted by Natacha Tormey on July 26, 2014 at 12:15 PM|
While writing my second book, ‘Cults – A Bloodstained History’ I was amazed by the similarities when it came to cult’s methods of recruitment and mind control. No matter what religion the cult was based on, they all used the same pattern of manipulation.
For one, there is almost always a ‘cover’... often a humanitarian organisation or a new age lifestyle group. Shoko Asahara, leader of the notorious Aum Shinrikyo, began his recruitment using a yoga group as a front. Luc Jouret, co-leader of the Solar Temple, ran seminars on alternative healing methods.
When they start out, their doctrines are usually quite “acceptable”. This is the period during which they recruit the majority of their followers but once they have amassed a core group of members, they close the trap and begin to unleash bizarre doctrines on their followers, whilst the level of brainwashing and control increases. By this time, most cult members are so involved that they do not even notice the changes happening around them.
Often. by this point, they will also be tied down to the cult in a practical or financial way. They may have married and started a family, or they may have simply cut themselves off from their family and friends outside (which is almost always the case), making it difficult for them to leave as they have no money / support network outside the cult.
These days, cults operate in the same manner but their covers have changed with the times. Examples are: online support groups, life coaches, fitness groups and even social groups in professional companies (more often than not, led by a senior executive who is a cult member). They are capable of hiding anywhere and everywhere, under disguises that no one would immediately suspect.
Tread with caution. Investigate any club/group you are interested in joining. In most cases, they will be entirely innocent but it is worth taking the time to learn more about them.