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February 18, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

Cult Leaders: Control over your decisions

A person who has charisma typically forms a cult. By seeming to demonstrate the miraculous or simply having an impressive personality, he/she may easily convince us that he/she is the spokesperson of God. As observers, we thus attribute an aura of sacredness to such an individual so that a “he can do no wrong” mentality develops — thus a “halo effect”. Then we may clearly observe evil behavior in this leader but justify their actions only to our detriment. As a result, the followers even put up with double and contradictory messages. For example, a prominent theme of the group may be about freedom, yet the leader dictates practically every detail of the members’ lives.

Although a leader may teach his followers to be loyal to God, he may actually want allegiance and loyalty from his followers to himself.

Since he leads them to believe he has learned from God how to think, they think as he tells them to think. The result is they become dependent on him for decisions, even to the point that he makes decisions for them. Therefore, their minds become enslaved because the cult master into a dependency on his instructions has hijacked the humility of wanting to be responsive to the desires of God.

The extent of this dependency can even be seen in his dictating or at least heavily influencing (subtly or overtly) whom a member should marry — followers readily entrusting him with such a decision.

This comes from the followers’ dependence on him and believing he knows best.

He leads them to believe that he is God’s unquestionable, infallible messenger and authority. Thus the message of the group becomes, either overtly or implied.

This used to happen a lot when I used to with the members of the cult group. Many of the members would go to the cult leader to help them make decisions. One of the many examples were:

  1. When one of the members had to get married, the cult leader accompanied them to the first meeting with the girl. He convinced the members that the girl they were going to meet was the perfect match for one of the members by stating that if the next phone call he received on his phone was good news. He received a phone call stating that one of his many followers had a boy. Based on this ‘good’ news…the marriage was arranged between the girl and one of the members. Unfortunately the marriage was not successful because the members had never liked the girl’s parents from the first meeting…but agreed to the match because of the cult leader. The cult leader also failed to mention to all his members that the member whose match he was advocating did not want to get married.
  2. When one of the member’s was offered a job in another location, the cult leader pushed the decision saying that he had seen visions of this. Unfortunately, the member did not get the job but the cult leader covered up his ‘mistake’ by saying that the job did not fall through because the member’s extended relatives were envious with the member’s success.
  3. One of the member’s had an option to relocate with a new job. The cult leader pushed for the member to make this decision so that the member would be closer to him and could become a permanent member of his group. The member followed his advice and has since then been unhappy. But the cult leader keeps telling him that he has seen visions that show that this decision was the best one for the group member.
  4. If any of the member’s had to go on holiday or family trips, the cult leader would always step in to say who should go and for how long. Many of the members found it hard to make decisions without him.
  5. One of the member’s who had not wanted to get married but was forced to by the parents and the cult leader would act up frequently with their spouse. The cult leader would be brought in to calm the group member down and act as a marriage counselor between the member and their spouse. His advice, in turn, made matters worse between the couple and the cult leader took part with the group member’s parents to bad mouth the spouse and the spouse’s parents. Ultimately the marriage broke down, which was the same match that the cult leader had pushed four years ago stating that he had visions that the match was perfect.
  6. These are just a few of the examples, there were many more as the cult leader dictated every part of some of the group members’ lives.
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