1. Idolatry - Create excessive, and sometimes blind, admiration and devotion to a person or group, and their beliefs.
2. There is a well developed, and often unstated system of rules and codes for behavior. Teaching God will approve of the members who follow the leader and are loyal to him is of utmost importance. God is not acting out of grace or mercy. God is a strict judge of justice who is working directly with and through the leaders who alone know what God really wants. The Mind Controller becomes their parent, and his followers are treated like children. They do not need to know everything, but just what the leaders think they need to know.
3. Almost total dependence on a leader, leaders, and the group, combined with cutting off most of the outside world; especially close friends and relatives.
4. Systematically using subtle techniques for changing the way people think, what they think, and keep existing member’s thoughts and hearts loyal to the Mind Controller and his cause. The goal is to have the Mind Controller as the parent, and the adult subjects functioning as his children.
5. Teaching that the group has all the answers; it has everything good in life and there is nothing else.
6. Creating an environment of fear in leaving. Any deserters are punished by shunning, and are vilified and marginalized by ridicule before and/or after they leave. This creates a profoundly deep subconscious fear in the existing members to never leave, so this won’t happen to them. Anything outside of the group is inferior and of Satan. It is evil. There is no rule or doctrine more pure, or better, than the group’s. Outside is failure and disaster.
There is a lust for power that burns deep inside a lot of men, (and some women). Most people suppress it, or are never in a position to use it. Some people are just not smart enough to figure out how to control others. So-called Christian leaders are not much different. They also still have natures that lusts for power and control.
Satan tried to tempt Jesus with this with his offer to make Him king over the entire earth. It is a temptation common to all humans.
When a leader has deep insecurities coupled with a licentious lust for control over others, layered thick with deep welling pride, then a wolf, an abusive and divisive leader, emerges. Like a vortex that begins swirling and sucking everything into themselves, they become incrementally worse and worse, sucking people inward and downward.
This was a common expected problem to deal with for Jesus. He warned his disciples right after the mother of James and John asked for a place of honor for her sons in the Kingdom. Jesus said, “You know the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just like the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Godly leaders need to lead by example, serving others. Peter was inspired by the Holy Spirit to write: “Do not lord it over those entrusted to you but rather be examples.”
John strongly rebuked Diotrephes for his wicked words and lengthy malicious speech and for casting others out of the church for unbiblical reasons.
The Bible warns against Satan disguising himself as an angel of light, and his servants as ministers of righteousness. An abusive control is deceptive and the doctrines of demons.
“What, you don’t want any authority in your life?
Ahh, you’re a sinful rebel, rejecting accountability to your leader!”
People often just “put up with it”, and allow themselves to be motivated by satanically inspired guilt and fear.
When the abusive authority ridicules others, marginalizes, and puts opponents who threaten their control out of their association, then followers just “put up with it”. The more the followers “put up with it”, the stronger the control becomes and it spirals inward into an increasingly abusive vortex of control. The abusive authority takes full advantage of the common trait most people have in wanting to appease leaders.
Christians are especially vulnerable to manipulation by perceived spiritual authority figures, and easily intimidated in large groups by their desire for living quiet and peaceful lives, and respect of authority.
Some clues to help tell if it’s a Mind Control environment:
Deception is heavily used with mind control. Once the victims pass through the gate of deception and they accept the way they were deceived as rational for “the cause,” then they are set up to deceive others the same way. They become a slave to deception themselves by believing the end justifies the means. The lying isn't looked upon as real lying, since the lying is done for a good purpose; for “the cause” or “the truth.”
These people unwittingly become Mind Controllers themselves by straying from the truth and are exploited by the Master Mind Controller.
By buying into deceiving others, the followers become deceived themselves by not letting the truth control what they say. The expression, “just trust Your Elders,” is used liberally in these assemblies.
Mind Controllers hone in on a person’s weaknesses by first making their target comfortable, then get personal and confidential information to exploit the person later. People are easy to control by a Mind Controller, especially after a vulnerable time of stress in their lives, making them easy targets. Defense mechanisms are broken down or overloaded, and people are easily controlled.
Many cult leaders project themselves with false humility; as spiritual men. They take the place of the person’s physical father and successfully use this emotional leverage for the deep seated need for approval in order to motivate and control them. The goal is to make the adult followers as much like their own children as possible. When people accept this, then they accept human authority in their lives to the point where they are hopelessly dependant on the authority, as children are with their parents. One technique used to obtain this type of parental control is to keep them off balance to foster dependency, making it hard for them to make their own decisions.
When cunning craftiness is plotted to deceive the followers into functioning like children, they become much more manageable, being easily influenced by false doctrines and other tricks of deception.
Mind Controllers use friendships and peers to leverage control over others. People tend to doubt themselves and defer to what the group says. This is why it is so important for a Mind Controller to gather to himself leaders who are loyal followers themselves! The Mind Controller strives to get all the bases covered first, so the only alternative is to readily accept his teachings and/or policies, no matter how fabricated they may be! That is why after an hour long message, many followers lose their frame of reference and accept what is being said to them without objection. At that point into the message, faces begin to relax into a blank neutral stare, enduring the repetitive, rhythmical, droning, and they accept in time, the truth, the truth of the Mind Controller’s choosing.
Mind Controllers are shrewd manipulators and effective communicators. Followers are taught to follow orders without hesitation or question, like soldiers in the Army. The Truth becomes perfect and absolute. Any flaw pointed out is associated with that person’s flaw, not the Truth. Follow the Truth even is you don’t understand it. The living and true God becomes smaller and smaller.
Information is tightly controlled. When the information is controlled, it restricts the ability to think critically and make sound judgments. This is done extensively. “Gag orders” are routinely given, instructing followers not to talk to outsiders about assembly matters.
Fear of the outside world and all the bad things that will happen if one leaves, is firmly and methodically embedded in the mind of the followers by creating an “us vs. them.” The “them” or “other side” or the “outside” is associated with Satan.
Phobias are created to systematically create a fear of deserting the Mind Controller. The thought they need the Mind Controller or group to grow spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally is drilled in.
Constant reinforcement and interaction with the group and/or Mind Controller and his fellow mind controllers is needed. The more personal time people can be persuaded to give up the better. People are ridiculed who want more “family time” or “personal time.”
The Mind Controller stress followers have to “keep rank” and “stick together.” There is a feeling of power from the single-mindedness.
Mind Controllers manipulate so the followers can’t make decisions without going to the Mind Controller. They are being continually encouraged to not think independently or make their own decisions. They become dependent on the Mind Controller or his underlings as their parent. The more dependent they are, the more controlled they are. It would be a terrible thing to be accused of being “independent.”
For many followers, personal problems are blown way out of proportion to keep the focus on the person being controlled, so they don’t challenge the Mind Controller.
Mind Controllers exploit the natural tendency people have to obey authority. They exploit the fear people have of ridicule, rebuke, and losing relationships. This fear is a very deep subconscious fear that profoundly motivates them to defend what they are doing, and condemn others that do not obey the leaders.
Even the thought of people who left the assembly or disobeyed the mind controller, conjures up defenses in the minds of those controlled to discount or think poorly of those who have “gone to Satan” and the evil outside world, outside of their assembly. Their mind is ensnared and captivated by fear to automatically think evil of anybody who leaves their group.
Getting away with public ridicule, sarcasm, and rebuking automatically lets the Mind Controller gain more control over an audience because the audience fears the same thing happening to them! Pointing people out publicly creates fear in others to behave so the Mind Controller won’t do this to them, so they want to be nice to the Mind Controller and get on his good side and please their parent. And they might tell on their friends to gain more favor.
Private and public slander creates fear in the followers by naturally not wanting the Mind Controller to do this to them. Creative slander can be used to create bitterness and walls against those who could help the followers. Slander against the Mind Controller is a very, very bad sin, and divisive. Slander against followers is not nearly as bad an offense, and even very acceptable if the leader is doing it.
Using guilt and fear to manipulate and control keeps the followers off balance. Confession of past wrongs is a powerful device for controlling emotion. But rarely is the confessed sin forgotten, but brought up later to manipulate.
People are not allowed to talk to each other about anything critical of the leader, doctrine or organization.
Mind Controllers often have a deep inferiority complex. What they require is attention and power. They learn to crave it, and develop a need for more and more power. Some cult leaders are in it for the personal power, not the money. They operate under the belief that people are too stupid and unspiritual to know what is best for them. They begin to believe their own propaganda.
From: Rhett Stuart