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Definition of a Cult

“Anyone who has witnessed a loved one rapidly slip into the emotionally insulated and distant world of a cult, knows the extent and swiftness of its catastrophic effects. Few people understand the mechanisms by which these devastating seductions are systematically engineered by cult leaders.”

Quote by Stephen Josephs, Ed D. Psychologist.

Definition of a cult:

(quoted from Ian Howarth: Cults a Practical Guide*)

1.     It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members.

2.     It forms an elitist totalitarian society

3.     Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma

4.     It believes “the end justifies the means” in order to solicit funds or recruit people

5.     Its wealth does not benefit its members or society.

People are enticed by a message and controlled by a method

Read “ Combating Cult Mind Control by Steven Hassan.

 “To family and friends, the person seems not only more distant but deceptive and evasive. Sometimes the person can be coaxed into revealing what he now believes. Frequently, though, the new member asks family members and friends to talk to older members or leaders, “because they can explain it better.”

The most tell-tale sign of the work of a destructive cult is this radical personality change of the new member. He may have been politically liberal before but is now a staunch conservative. He may have loved rock music but now thinks it is from the devil. He may have been very loving and close to his family but now doesn’t trust them at all. He may have been an atheist; yet now God means everything to him. Granted, people do shift beliefs and values as a natural unfolding of life experience. However when deception and mind control are involved, the change is dramatic, sudden and artificially manufactured. Time after time I have heard family members say, “He’s a different person now. We don’t know him anymore!”