When the word ‘cult’ is mentioned, I believe there is an automatic link (in the minds of many) to think of god-related religious groups.
The dictionary definitions back up my theory… “A system of religious beliefs”…”The sect following such a system”…”An extravagant admiration for a person or idea”.
More than the god-related religious groups
However the reality is, the cult mentality or mindset is found in many different organisations or establishments, not just in prominent religious or occult groups.
The obvious places to find the cult mindset are :- Satanic worship groups, Witch/Warlock covens, Secret societies such as the Freemasons, The illuminate families, Ethnic (Xenophobic) hate groups, Atheist groups, Political parties & god-related religious groups (ALL systems of religious beliefs).
The more obscure places to find the cult mindset are :- Families, Groups of friends, Monarchy’s, Governments, The Work place, Certain businesses (especially Multi Level Marketing ones), Sports/Exercise clubs, Educational establishments (especially Universities/Colleges fraternities, sororities & unions), On-line Social Networks, Gangs, Syndicates, Trade unions, Fan Clubs, The Army and groups or clubs which require declared (usually verbal and or written) membership.
Obvious statement 1
I don’t think it’s wise or beneficial for anyone to get involved in the obvious cult areas.
Obvious statement 2
I am not saying that the obscure areas should also be avoided; however, I believe everyone should be aware of the cult mindset in the more obscure settings, as they can be just as dangerous.
Obvious statement 3
I’m fully aware that everyone has a right to exercise their God-given power of “choice” to join/belong to whatever they want.
I’m just sharing personal observations and experiences…besides, If I were to try to control or manipulate you, I would also be guilty of having the cult mindset.
Never fully convinced
Due to my upbringing, actually listening to my mother’s appropriate teaching and early chastisement.
From my earliest recollection, I’ve always been a person to adopt the, ‘think for myself stance’, in any given situation.
The majority of times, my involvement in anything was because I wanted to be involved, not due to following others and being led astray.
For example, when others were participating in under-age smoking, sex, drug taking and drunkenness…I did not.
I remember when I started going out to nightclubs and parties; I would always have enough self-control to ‘not’ make it a weekly habit, my rest and health have always been important to me.
From my early/mid-twenties to my thirties, I remember sitting in various religious Christian meetings listening to speakers (who were trying to instil regular attendance) drawing comparisons to the things they did whilst trying to group everyone in the same camp.
They would use the “We used to go out every week-end….sometimes all weekend without sleep…” etc. etc.” as a means to get people to conform and attend the set programs under the guise of “show your commitment to God, now that you have changed”.
I always knew when something was a bit ‘suspect’ and always kept my mind open to question things which were needing more than just a, ‘because we said so’, or ‘that’s how we’ve always done it’ answer.
I think it was that ability which protected me from being ‘completely’ sucked in and thereby adopting the cult mindset.
The cult mindset has been permitted in certain individuals, it comes from men and women…It comes from people with insecurities, jealousy, backgrounds of abuse, control issues, self-loathing, narcissism, rebellion, pride, arrogance, prejudices and a controlling and manipulating personalities.
My wife usually jokes about cult-type leaders, stating that they were not ‘breast fed’ enough when they were babies.
We may have a laugh about how pathetic they are, however, looking at the subject matter seriously, these individuals must lack a certain amount of confidence and love, not only for themselves but also for others.
It can be easy to say they love others (especially in a religious Christian setting) but if you step back and examine them, you find there is an objective and that is usually to have others following and doing what they say, especially when it is to the detriment of the individuals who follow them.
The cult mindset is a way of thinking which causes those involved I.e. members, employees etc. to be subjected to a manager or leaders every command, idea, suggestion or whim.
People in their groups are usually directly or indirectly silenced for fear of being ostracised, they are led to believe that they have to put up and shut up if they are serious, committed or true to the cause or belief system.
Cult leaders ultimately want their own empires with their own subjects to rule and they, as well as those closest to them, do not want to be questioned or challenged.
They manipulate others (often very skilfully) to carry out their agendas, to get them to “give” more, in time, commitment, resources or finances.
Admittedly, in some circumstances, the manager or leader has nothing to do with imposing the cult mindset; it is actually some members or assistant leaders within that group who are guilty of imposing it.
Take my football club Arsenal for example, there are the “Arsene knows” or “In Arsene we trust” group, who I call the cult of Arsene.
I don’t believe Arsene is paying them or has ordered them to speak on his behalf but they believe that anyone who doesn’t support him fully, without question, is not a true fan of the club.
That garbage is believed so vehemently that they will throw serious insults at those of us who exercise our freedom of thought and opinion in objection and even threaten opposer’s with violence.
On the religious ‘Christian’ front, there are those who have written books, which instruct the gullible and unenlightened to avoid challenging their leaders, making it some sort of ‘sin’ if they do.
In my experiences (where my participation in any group was concerned) if I noticed that things were wrong, I always questioned and challenged those things…if positive changes were not seen or felt by the majority who were affected, I voted with my feet and walked away.
Many are aware of what a cult is but even those who are aware, are susceptible to falling under a cult mindset.
Some are aware of what they’ve allowed themselves to fall into but feel they can’t speak out against the set-up(establishment).
Those who are rebelling against situations and circumstances in their lives, those who feel they are isolated from their families, the paranoid, the sensitive, those who are upset with their current financial situation, those who are insecure, the emotionally and mentally vulnerable, those who want to ‘belong’ to something, are usually those who are most vulnerable and susceptible to being sucked into a cult/cult mindset.
There are some methods and words used which are so transparent but work so well on the vulnerable/gullible especially in most of the prominent religious cults.
They are told.. “We’re your family now… We’re your friends now”
They are encouraged to ‘keep rank’ by not speaking to those who have left the group, for fear of being disloyal or upsetting the leader…something we have personal experience of.
They are encouraged to lean on the rest of the group for help, which in turn develops a great deal of dependency on that group.
Irrespective of the setting, it’s important to understand that key individuals with the cult-mindset develop a ‘siege mentality’, creating a ‘them and us’ divide, which encourages members to close ranks, and reinforces the ‘togetherness’ within that particular organisation or group.
Please don’t misunderstand me, any group of people helping members of their organisation etc. isn’t wrong…however, when that group encourages individuals (directly or indirectly) to leave, exclude or ignore friends and family, alarm bells should be ringing.
Time is running out
Slowly but surely, many are waking up to the truth about their situations, I’m constantly hearing about one situation after another, where individuals and groups are receiving their ‘reality checks’.
Time is running out for those, who well and truly know that what they are doing is wrong…they cannot control and manipulate forever.
The strength of human will and power of choice are underestimated by the cult mindset…an individual has to overcome pride, fear, guilt and shame to release themselves and escape from it.
I know people who are still under it but if you tell them, they will blatantly refute and deny it, they may even submerge themselves deeper into it in order to convince themselves that they are right.
That is sadly, the mentality and actions of those within any cult…confronting them usually forces them, even further, into dangerous levels of commitment.
Their groups will continue to re-enforce their values on you or your loved ones, using a variety of mental, emotional and psychological methods to impose and maintain their systems of control.
There are many ways to deal with the situation, I can only talk to and help those who are borderline.
However, if you know someone who is seriously affected by the cult mentality, in any situation, there are groups and organisations, which can be of help, such as:-