Message Mind Control - Recruitment:
When the average person hears the phrase, "religious cult," an image begins to form in their minds of two men, dressed in black pants, long-sleeved white shirts, suspenders, clean-shaven cheeks and perfectly combed hair. From past experience or watching movies and television, they envision two men knocking on the door asking, "Can we spend a few minutes to share the Gospel with you?"
News media and television have done well in spreading awareness of these types of recruiting strategies. Most people are now aware that two men that fit this description are not really trying to "share the Gospel," they are trying to trick you into a religious cult. They are prepared for the deceptive techniques, and are not so easily lured in. For this very reason, some cults are now using mothers with strollers and fathers wearing street clothes to recruit.
The "Message," the cult following of William Branham, uses recruiting strategies that are not as easy to identify. You seldom find Branham cult followers knocking door-to-door, and you won't find men carrying the "Book of Branham" along with the Christian Bible. The "Book of Branham" contains over 1400 sermons and books written by William Marrion Branham, and one would need a wheelbarrow to cart them through a neighborhood.
Like many well-established cults, the "Message" is mostly populated by internal growth. It is much easier to focus on retaining its members and making itself more attractive for children of the already existing followers. While the cult of yesteryear focused mainly upon recruiting adults through evangelism, the cult of today is building go-cart tracks, golf courses, campgrounds, and more. And because the group has no living authority, some cult pastors condemn the new recruitment strategies and focus their efforts on the evangelism of the past.
Most denominations of faith have branches of evangelism and various outreach programs to recruit, and they are healthy, thriving organizations with little chance of mind control. But mind control cults are different in that deceptive techniques are used in recruitment. When a Baptist missionary in Southeast Asia converts Buddhists to Christianity, for instance, they are very open with their agenda. Their converts are aware that they are Baptist ministers, introduced to the Baptist statement of faith, and most importantly introduced into Christianity. There are no additional books or media for required learning; the new converts are given a Bible. Generally speaking, one recruit or missionary is trained in the simple Gospel of Jesus Christ, and is appointed as minister to share the Gospel with others. There are no strings attached, and the recruits are not "Baptists" as much as they are "Christians."
But in religious cults, especially Pentecostal-style cults, there is hidden agenda. A Latter Day Saint recruiting converts into the Mormon church will often start by claiming that they use the same Bible -- not mentioning the Book of Mormon until later in the recruitment process. A Jehovah's Witness will not tell the prospective convert that a different translation is used. Many Pentecostal-style cults start their conversations with, "Well, we are a non-denominational religion."
When I was recruiting for the "Message," I often used that phrase, leading people to believe that I was a Christian -- just like they were. Sometimes I described our group as "similar to Pentecostals, but we follow the Bible more closely." Only after engaging the potential convert did I use the phrase, "Did you know that God sent a prophet?"
Watching others, many successful in recruiting people into the "Message," their strategy was much the same. The phrase, "Non-denominational group" was often used to give the appearance of a very small congregation of people -- not an international mind control cult comprised of between two and four million people. In fact, most "Message" cult recruits are not aware of the massive size of the group until much, much later.
In all cases, recruiters for the message mention William Branham early in their process, but almost never tell the potential convert that they will be required to believe William Branham as "their prophet" along with Jesus Christ. Over time, "Message" cult recruiters learned that a successful recruitment could not be achieved through honesty, and large details are left out of their advertising.
New converts are never told that they will be required to believe that the Zodiac was the first "Bible" or that the Great Pyramid of Giza was the "Second Bible." They won't be told that an "egg-shaped-car" is required in their belief system, or that they will soon believe all Christian leaders from the Apostle Paul to William Branham were only given partial "truth." Never is a new convert warned that he or she will be taught to think of all other Christians as "inferior" for joining a Christian denomination of faith, or that their Christian family and friends will soon be cut off from their fellowship. Like all other mind-control cults, the "Message" uses deceptive strategies to lure the unsuspecting into their mind control.
In his book, "Combating Cult Mind Control," Steven Hassan describes his experience being recruited into the Unification Church, better known as the "Moonies." He was not told about their impending doomsday of 1977, the year Sun Myung Moon predicted to be the date of WWIII. In fact, many in the Unification Church were unaware about the failed prophecies, even though some had been in the cult for quite some time.
When I was in the Moonies, no one knew about Moonâ€™s failed prophecies that the old world would end and the Moon movement would take over, first in 1960 and then in 1967.94 Moon predicted that World War III would occur in 1977. When that didnâ€™t happen, all eyes were on 1981. People recruited around 1977 have told me how clearly they remember the magical, whispered excitement of the word â€œ1981â€ on their lecturersâ€™ lips. 95 When 1981 produced nothing more dramatic for the Unification Church than President Ronald Reaganâ€™s inauguration (which Sun Myung Moon himself attended), talk had already turned to dates farther ahead.
- Steven Hassan. Combating Cult Mind Control
Similarly, the deception in the "Message" cult does not end with recruitment. Many issues are hidden from the cult members -- from failed prophecies to fictional life stories and bogus statistics to support misogynistic or apocalyptic doctrine. This is a common strategy in a mind control cult, one that is described "Control of Information," which we will be examining in greater detail in our upcoming posts. Preventing recruits and existing members from hidden secrets is absolutely necessary to maintain mind control. Many minds are only interested in following truth, and when lies or hypocrisy is exposed, those of that mindset will allow their authentic identity to overcome the cult identity. And this is one of the most powerful strategies in freeing victims from mind control, so long as the correct process is used in empowering the authentic identity to critically think for itself. We will also be examining that technique, empowering each and every one of you to free your friends and family from the mind control cult called "The Message."
Stay tuned for more!
Combating Cult Mind Control (Second Edition): http://amzn.to/1NCnN45
Profile of "The Message" on Freedom Of Mind Resource Center: https://freedomofmind.com/Info/infoDet.php?id=883&title=The_Message