Religious Cults -
Seductive Mind Control

Excerpt from Chapter 5 - Spiritual Traps & Treadmills

Manufacturing Devils Trap. If you want to get folks attached to you as a religious or cult leader, it is very useful to manufacture devils. Then - provide the sole means to outwit or avoid these evil creatures. The Catholic Church, for example, manufactures the concept of "mortal sin" and provides confession and forgiveness as solutions. Other trapped groups also have their devils that they must battle: fundamentalists/gays, blacks/whites, Israel/Arab-states. Cult leaders will usually point the finger outside for the danger and the evil that must be battled. Sometimes, however, leaders create internal things like "original sin," the "internal devil," or the "predator within" as the villains inside each of us that we can only effectively deal with by the specific religion/spiritual-path that has created the villain. Both internal and external villains depend upon our not seeing that the sources for these persistent devils are unresolved traumas, primarily traumas of childhood. If you can get a follower to believe in your devil, then you have him/her well hooked. Yuck!

Love Bombing Trap. One well-established technique used by cults to hook recruits has become known as love-bombing. This involves showing much more caring, attention and affection to new recruits than customarily shown in other groups. Some attention-starved folks just lap this up. They think how wonderful it is to finally be seen, appreciated and cared for. Other recruits may initially sense some falseness, but as they hang around the group over time, this love-potion becomes the norm for them, and they themselves start applying love-bombing to new recruits. They will even brag about their change in attitude towards the love-bombing (of course, they don't call it that). They fail to see how much they have been brainwashed.

What is happening during the love-bombing is that the bomber may be feeling (or faking) God's love or his own personal infatuation (or some combination thereof). Because most people cannot distinguish between real personal love, God's love and infatuation, the phoniness of the love-bomber is neither felt nor recognized by either the bomber or the recipient. The problem with that form of God's love is that the bomber is covering over manipulation, sickness and personal pain with God's love. The whole package will feel sick to the more-aware recipient.

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© 2008 by Thayer White
Finding Your Soul in the Spirituality Maze
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Related Pages:
  Characteristics of a Cult Leader
  Cult Members Have a Hidden Child Agenda
  Cult People Have an Illusion of Freedom
  Cult Gurus Promote Peak Experiences
  Cults in America & the World - Research

Excerpt from Be Your Own Therapist: "Success Tip: You will be more likely to succeed if you give yourself concrete praise every time you perform a behavior you are trying to acquire."