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Overcoming Manipulation

Seek The Truth Blog

Overcoming Manipulation:

Convincing people to join a religious cult is a difficult task. Unless a person was born into a group that considered themselves the elite of their faith, most people could never be persuaded to become an elitist. Buried deep within human nature is a strong desire to see other humans survive. Religious cults are built upon the premise that only the "chosen ones" will survive, while all other life will perish or suffer great punishment. To circumvent the strong convictions of kind natured new recruits, cult leaders must convince followers that all non-cult members of their faith are worthy of destruction.

To do so, cult leaders must introduce their agenda slowly, appealing to their kind instincts while slowly adjusting them. Cult leaders often refer to their groups as "non-denominational" or "independent", giving the impression that everyone is both welcome and respected. Then, slowly indoctrinating the new recruits with ideologies different from or opposed to the larger faith, cult leaders influence new recruits to believe all non-cult members of their faith are the opposition. Eventually, the new recruits are convinced that they have a higher degree of righteousness, simply by believing cult doctrine.

When a cult member awakens, they often find themselves sorting through each of their new beliefs to determine which were healthy and which were destructive. Not willing to believe they were sold a false bill of goods, they struggle to release. To be open to fully re-examining their faith, former cult members must admit having been wrong about a good number of beliefs.

Without understanding undue influence, former cult members mistakenly assume they are at fault. A strong sense of guilt begins to form, and they find themselves easily angered or irritated. Most are not aware that they were being manipulated, and believe they were in full control of their decisions. It often takes months, sometimes years to understand that their decisions were not their own.