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Wash, Rinse, Repeat

Seek The Truth Blog

Wash, Rinse, Repeat:

Behavior adjustments that do not come naturally seldom remain in effect under normal circumstances. Since behavior patterns are the result of experience, forced behavior patterns would naturally unravel as new experiences cause readjustment. Even subtle adjustments through undue influence will not remain permanently. Any behavior pattern that disagrees with the core beliefs of an individual will eventually be replaced due to the internal conflict they create. They must be continually reinforced.

Religious cults repeatedly subject members to the same patterns of influence to maintain accepted cult behavior. Even after the entire group conforms to the set of beliefs, cult leaders continue to speak against "those who do not conform" as if members disagree. If the behavior is visible, such as women wearing long dresses or long hair, visitors are often offended when they listen for the first time. In a building filled with women having long hair and long dresses, a female visitor wearing short hair and blue jeans mistakenly thinks the minister is targeting them. They are unaware that the statements of condemnation directed at non-cult behavior are repeated in almost every gathering.

At the same time, many cult members are unaware of the repetition. Some members are aware, and assume another member is "backslidden", punished verbally from behind the pulpit. The majority, however, are so familiar with the repetition that they often glaze over or attempt to tune it out. Unfortunately, the constant reminder is never "tuned out". Each repetition is influencing their behavior.

After cult members have escaped for a period of time, and are no longer exposed to the repetition, they are very uncomfortable attending a cult gathering. Not only do they recognize the invasive repetition and its effects, the statements feel more abrasive. Each repeated statement reinforcing cult behavior is a reminder that they, too, were being manipulated.