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February 18, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

Cult Leaders: Meetings

Another form of this manipulation is in the frequent terminology that a group uses such as “100% commitment to God” or “total commitment to God”. What this really means usually is total commitment to the group, and total obedience to the leader(s).

It implies attending all group meetings and activities that are typically five evenings a week or more, and maybe even the addition of daytime activities, and retreats on the weekends. If you do not attend all these gatherings, you are viewed as “not committed to God” or “lukewarm” or “spiritually lazy” or some similar label. Not wanting to be viewed or labeled in such a way, members go along with these numerous activities and see themselves as far more committed and much better than other groups or churches.

All of the above factors combine to make the member fearful of leaving the group because the member has been deceived into believing that his salvation depends on it. The deceived members are led to believe that to leave the group is to abandon God’s work, and thus to abandon God. The victim of this deception becomes, in effect, dependent upon the group, and is thus deprived of independent action. He may seem cheerful in the face of being manipulated, because he is expected to act cheerful; but he may be deeply resentful; or he may feel a combination of both cheer and resentment. Nevertheless, he has been deprived of the opportunity to exercise his capacities for true self-expression.

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