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February 18, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

Cult Leaders

These misleaders will often insist that by following their directives the problem will eventually go away. If it does not, they attribute the fault to the victim. Sometimes the cause and the remedy are stated from the outset with a blanket (and “all-knowing”) accusation like, “If you were more spiritual and right with God, you wouldn’t have this problem”. In some cases, this is true. Nevertheless, it is a hurtful error to jump to this conclusion with such a simplistic answer without knowing the real facts.

The totalistic mindset typically tells you that mishaps, illness, and any adversity are always your fault, perhaps even God’s judgment on you. On the contrary, suffering does not always mean we are being punished or are out of fellowship with God. Even if our suffering is the result of our own mistakes, God can bring good from it and bring forth His power in the midst of weakness.

Totalistic rulers always like to blame others, and never take responsibility for their own faults and mistakes. In this system, members are often falsely accused of some kind of wrongdoing. In one group, if you spoke up to defend yourself; the leader would say your defensiveness proves you are unsubmissive and rebellious. If you are silent, he would say it proves you are guilty – a difficult situation.

They often do this by “blame-shifting” – they can never own up to their own shortcomings or problems with the group system. Instead, they contrive reasons why you or the other person is faulty. “You are the problem” is the common retort, or “Well if you don’t like it, you can just leave.” Their system is a one-way street.

Although totalistic overseers will tell you that if something goes wrong it’s your fault, if something goes wrong on their part they will never admit it’s their own fault or that they were wrong. Some of them make predictive prophecies that do not happen. Then instead of admitting they were wrong, they simply revise it or say that God revised it, or they put a new interpretation on it. Therefore, with their smooth talk and charismatic personality, they maintain their credibility in the eyes of their followers.

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