Tactic of a Cult – Free Will Undermined

The more I read books about cults, the more I realize how much of a cult Sound Doctrine really is and how I was gradually brain washed. Take a look at this amazing parallel. On page 248 of “Twisted Scriptures”, the author lists how the members of the Heaven’s Gate cult (the ones who committed mass suicide in 1997) had their free will undermined by the “church” leader:

• Personalities were destroyed
• Human characteristics were generally viewed as negative
• Commonly used words were given new definitions
• Members were led to believe there was no reason to exist outside the group
• They were isolated from family members and friends
• Obedience was demanded even when it conflicted with conscience
• He created a sense of urgency for there to be total commitment
• Fear, guilt, and shame were instilled in the members
• Personal affairs were closely monitored
• Applewhite had the group excessively confess non-moral issues
• Within the group, he fostered a highly developed sense of elitism
• True thinkers were systematically weeded out
• Criticism of the leaders was not tolerated

Sad to say, every single one of these bullet points were (and still are being) perpetrated on the members of the “church” I belonged to for the last 12 years in order to control them and keep them as members.

On page 239 under the heading “Finding Your Way Back” the author suggests:

“Controlling environments usually cause you to distort your past life to some degree. Take every opportunity to spend time with old friends and family reminiscing about old times. This will help you regain the perspective of your former life that you may have lost.”

It has been so good to reconnect with old friends and family members to regain my perspective. Praise God for opening my eyes!

2 thoughts on “Tactic of a Cult – Free Will Undermined

  1. Isn’t this so hard when you think of the actual and Biblical local church? There are all good uses of things like authority, structure, confession of sin, accountability, correction, etc. The issue isn’t that cults teach those things, the issue is that they twist them into something extreme and unreasonable! Makes it hard for true churches who are trying to do these things in the biblical manner and are sometimes met with resistance from people who think we are trying to push something unbiblical only because they’ve only seen the abuse of a thing, instead of its proper use. I wrote a bit about this tension here: http://allthyngs.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/the-abuse-of-a-thing/

    -paul

  2. Pingback: Roundup That Matters | Timothy J. Hammons

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