To gain the control, manipulation and finally the commitment of a person – a cult uses a variety of what are termed ‘mind control techniques’.
Here are 20 of the most common techniques, as defined by a variety of cult experts.
Inducing a state of high suggestibility by hypnosis, often thinly disguised as relaxation or meditation.
(2) Peer Group Pressure
Suppressing doubt and resistance to new ideas by exploiting the need to belong.
(3) Love Bombing
Creating a sense of family and belonging through hugging, kissing, touching and flattery.
(4) Rejection of Old Values/Beliefs
Accelerating acceptance for new life style by constantly denouncing former values and beliefs.
(5) Confusing Doctrine
Encouraging blind acceptance and rejection of logic through complex lectures on an incomprehensible doctrine.
Implanting subliminal messages by stressing certain key words or phrases in long, confusing lectures.
(7) Removal of Privacy
Achieving loss of ability to evaluate logically by preventing private contemplation. No privacy of private world. All becomes known to the group leaders.
Encouraging child-like obedience by orchestrating child-like behaviour, activities, etc.
(9) Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue
Creating disorientation and vulnerability by prolonging mental and physical activity and withholding adequate rest and sleep.
Fatigue and sleep deprivation result in physical and mental tiredness. When you are physically tired and less alert, you are more susceptible to persuasion.
(10) Chanting and Singing
Eliminating non cult ideas through group repetition of mind narrowing chants or phrases.
Encouraging the destruction of individual ego through confession of personal weaknesses and innermost feelings or doubt.
(12) Financial Commitment
Achieving increased dependance on the group by ‘burning bridges’ to the past, through the donation of assets.
(13) Finger Pointing
Creating a false sense of righteousness by pointing to the shortcomings of the outside world and other groups/cults.
(14) Flaunting Hierarchy
Promoting acceptance of cult authority by promising advancement, power and salvation.
Inducing loss of reality by physical separation from family, friends, society and rational references. Physical isolation can be very powerful, but even when physical isolation is impossible or not practical, manipulators will typically attempt to isolate you mentally.
(16) Controlled Approval
Maintaining vulnerability and confusion by alternately rewarding and punishing similar actions.
(17) No Questions
Accomplishing automatic acceptance of beliefs by discouraging questions.
Reinforcing the need for ’salvation’ by exaggerating the sins of the former lifestyles.
Maintaining loyalty and obedience to the group by threatening soul, life or limb for the slightest ‘negative’ thought, word or deed.
(20) Replacement of Relationships
Destroying pre-cult families by arranging cult families, marriages, bonds, etc.
[Source: Cults: A Practical Guide – Ian Haworth, Cults Information Centre (CIC) UK]
These ALL take place in Avatar and we will be discussing them deeper and Avatar’s practices throughout the rest of our #222days to the Wizards Course campaign.