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February 18, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

Cult Leaders: Manipulation – Part 2

Another form of mystical manipulation occurs when the leader induces a false sense of euphoria through certain stimuli in the group, such as certain breathing exercises, hypnotic or semi-hypnotic techniques, forms of trance-inducing meditation or chanting. These and similar stimuli can produce a “high,” but the leader interprets the high for the group, declaring it is from God or the source of “positive energies”.

Cult masters or “ideological totalists” perform these mystical manipulations in order to maintain a sense of power over their subjects. But more importantly, they feel driven by a sense of their own “higher purpose,” because they are supposedly the special agents chosen by history, by God, or by some other supernatural force in order to carry out what they think is their mission. Their overriding sense of this mission makes these manipulations justifiable in their own minds.

I saw a lot of instances where the cult leader would go into a state of spirituality and was able to see and say things. Once they needed to be brought out of that states, water was brought to them as an act as drinking or eating brought them back to the real world. And it was hard to be critical while watching the cult leader do this because he would look like he was under a lot of mental pressure, sometimes his voice would become rough, he would be sweating. And at some of these meetings, if a member of the group would contribute on something religious, the cult leader would state that they too had the power to reach that state of spirituality and gave the impression that they were near it. It made the members of the group feel special.

At this point, if ever the cult leader suggested that a member of the group should live his life in a certain way, the member was inclined to follow it because it seemed as if the cult leader and the members of that group were all special and were chosen by God for a higher destiny.

The ones who are manipulated (the followers or members) are impressed and awestruck by these “miracles,” stories, and group euphoria. They indeed are led to believe that the leader has some special power. The followers themselves get caught up in the “mystical aura” that surrounds the group. Thus, they want to and eventually come to feel that they are a part of the “higher purpose” and the special chosen agents. The result is an elitist mentality.

There were many miracles relayed to me, I never met the people who were concerned to actually confirm if these stories were true. There were some people that I did meet, but the situation in which we were introduced in was never such that I could ask any questions. In hindsight I should have asked details about such stories but it I always refrained from doing so because I did want others around me to think that I was doubting the cult leader.

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