How to identify a cult

Here’s sharing this interesting article in which the writer has made a detailed observation on how cults are formed through three general stages of development. I think these stages may apply not only to some governmental or political organisations but also to some church organisations.

The first stage usually starts with a new organisation being formed out of good intentions to help people, brimming with idealism and enthusiasm. However, as the organisation grows, and a leader who is narcissistic becomes more important than the original ideals of the organisation, somewhere along the way the leader begins to control and manipulate the organisation using fear and guilt, which leads to stage 2 of a cult development, where obedience and conformity are emphasised among the members to preserve the structure of the organisation.

Finally, it develops to stage 3 whereby the leader brainwashes the members to be wary of perceived enemies from the outside and uses them as scapegoats where necessary to maintain group cohesion, as well as to discourage members from leaving the group or else they will bear the stigma of being marginalised by the organisation (or being treated like infidels or heretics, in the case of a religious group). Sometimes out of blind loyalty or misguided allegiance to their leader or church organisation or doctrines, the existing members may even quote bible verses to shame those who left a church organisation. This is sad but true in real life.

“The leader personifies the structure. He is the monarch. He issues the marching orders to his major minions, and they pass these orders, through the command-and-control apparatus, down to each member.

Through repetitive brainwashing, realities are impressed upon the minds of the adherents (members, personnel). No one can wander off the reservation. Initiative and independent action, while seeming to be useful, are actually counter-productive and even dangerous.”

(From “The Boston murders“)

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