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February 18, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

Cult Leaders: Sins

Pressuring people to confess is a form of meddling, prying into others’ business, and taking undue liberty to oversee their lives. It is also a form of being a “busybody”.

To reiterate, a cult master will often put group members on the spot to expose their faults. Once the group is persuaded to get into this routine, it takes on a momentum of its own. If you are a newcomer, you may find yourself in a group that is telling about their life experiences, ordeals they have had, even shameful things about themselves, or merely talking about their weaknesses.

If you do confess, they keep in mind what you say and use it against you later.

This was one of the many reasons I decided to get away from the cult leader and his group. Everyone would talk about different experiences and their hardships. I was always reluctant to talk about my personal life in the group but the cult leader would always try to coax me. Many times he would say to the other members that “XXXXX, is a the best from her whole family. She covers her head and follows religion so dutifully and I know that her family background is so liberal so it must be hard for her.” Such statements used to irritate me because no one knows my own family better than myself. No one knows how religious I am better than myself. If I was that “great,” then surely it was because of my upbringing and the atmosphere that existed at home.

Therefore it would feel hypocritical for the cult leader to talk like that when he knew nothing about my personal life. I also felt hypocritical with these statements because I knew how many members of my family were better as people than me and I also knew how many duties in religion I would fail on a daily basis. But since I avoided talking to the cult leader, I would not correct him.

In hindsight I realize that this was my biggest mistake. If I had stood up in the beginning to tell the cult leader that he could not make such incorrect statements, I could have cleared a lot of misunderstandings. My silence was seen as an affirmation by the rest of the group members.

They may remind you of it and hold it up to you as your “problem”. If you fail to confess that you are dealing with your problem with some measure of regularity, they may say that you are not facing your problem and that it is a sin not to deal with it.

There is no victory over sin in these cases, only assuaging one’s guilt by confession until the next sinful episode. There may never be another sinful episode, but that is irrelevant to them because in these cases you are being controlled because of your sinful past.

If the group is large and composed of smaller groups where these confessions are held, the leader of the small group will often take what you reveal and pass it on to other leaders. It may be from one of these other leaders that you are surprisingly reminded of your “problem”. Alternatively, this leader may state it to you in an indirect and roundabout way so that you are somewhat mystified and awe-struck, leading you to believe that God is “dealing with you” about your problem.

The focus of totalist accusers is to make you always look bad, and ignore any good in you, or at least keep you in a heightened state of awareness of your past wrongs or weaknesses.

Here we see that one of the functions of Satan is to accuse. He likes to pick on people for wrongs in the past that have already been forgiven, while God’s role is to restore and have mercy.

In one group, the ruler would often make false accusations against certain members. If they were silent, that meant they were “guilty”. If they denied it and tried to defend themselves, he labeled them as “rebellious”. He set up a difficult situation to “prove” them guilty no matter what. Such a tactic proves nothing. It only proves that the leader is making a false assumption of guilt and has an ax to grind. This kind of intimidating treatment can cause a victim to voice false confessions, and thus even distort and alter individual memory causing such a one to think, “I must have really done it!”

In a cult or abusive church, if you disagree with or criticize the leader or the policies of the group, you will likely be rebuked in front of the group, or at least labeled as rebellious and unfaithful.

This happened to me a lot. Because I was not in the habit of participating in discussions with the cult leader when he was present, my silence always “meant” something to the other members and it was not perceived as if I was uneasy. Privately I would express my concerns and opinions to one of the group members to whom I was supposed to be close to but unfortunately that member had the same tendencies as the group leader. They would take those same private thoughts and exploit them to the whole group, that the end result was drastically different from what I had stated.

As a result, I then had to stop communicating with the group member as well.

Our human nature is often reluctant to express disagreement, doubt, or criticism of others if we have grown to admire or respect them. Some reasons for this are:

• We feel it is impolite or disrespectful.

• We want to believe the best of someone.

• It shows mistrust (after trust has been built).

• We fear loss of approval and favor.

• We fear alienation, rejection, or even loss of friendship.

Therefore, it is easier to go along than to resist the tide. Fears and reasons to fear are part of the picture of how mind control works and why so many are vulnerable to it.

Nevertheless, there is a time and a need to be assertive. Admittedly, this is sometimes difficult for the reasons listed above.

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