Information from: Spotlight Ministries
Used by permission.
( A copy can also be found at: http://www.christiananswers.net/evangelism/beliefs/test-mindcontrol.html )
Although cults differ in their belief systems they all use the same mind control tactics. The purpose of this article is to give you the chance to test yourself to see if you are the victim of well known manipulative mind control techniques. No one single religious group has been singled out in the following questions. Rather, the information below has been gathered with many groups in mind, all of which are known to use mind control on their members. It should also be noted that these questions are not merely limited to religious groups. There are also many non-religious, secular, business, and political groups in existence today which also use mind control on their members.
Are You The Victim of a Mind Control Cult? Test Yourself.
-- Do you feel that no matter how hard you try, the ‘good deeds’ you perform for your group are never quite enough? As a result of this do you often feel plagued with feelings of guilt?
-- Is questioning the group, or the group leaders, discouraged or frowned upon?
-- Does the group you belong to believe that it is an elite and exclusive organisation which alone has ‘the truth’ and answers to life’s questions?
-- Does the group pour scorn upon, attack, and mock other Christian churches and their interpretation of the Bible?
-- Is reading any literature critical of the group discouraged? Many cults will warn members not to read anything critical of the group, especially if written by ex-members (who are called names by the cult such as “apostate”, “hardened”, or “of the devil” etc.). This is a well known information control technique to stop the member from discovering the clear and documented errors of the cult. Member's abilities to think for themselves are effectively disarmed in this way. Instead, they will think more and more as the rest of the group thinks.
-- Take a look at the way the group looks and acts. Does everyone dress more or less the same, act the same, and talk the same? One observer, speaking of his particular involvement with a cult, said that the group encouraged its members “to do everything in exactly the same way - to pray the same, to look the same, to talk the same. This in psychology is a classic example of group conformity. Its purpose is to ensure that no one tries to act differently or become dissident, thus nobody questions the status quo.” (Andrew Hart, Jan. 1999).
-- Does the group discourage association with non-members (except, maybe, for the possibility of converting them to the group)?
-- Does the group give you ‘black and white answers’? -- What the group agrees with is right and what the group disagrees with is wrong.
-- Does everyone in the group believe exactly the same things (i.e. what the group leaders tell them to believe)? Is there no room for individual belief, or opinion even in minor areas?
-- Does the group wear ‘two faces’? On the one hand, does it attempt to present itself, to potential converts and the public at large, as a group of people who are like one large family, who have love among themselves, where everyone is equal? But on the other hand, the reality is, that many members inwardly feel unfulfilled and emotionally exhausted?
-- Have you attempted to disable your own critical thinking abilities by ‘shelving’ various doubts about the group or group’s teachings etc.
-- Are others in the group, who do not conform to the requirements of the movement’s teaching, treated with suspicion, and treated like second class members?
-- Does the group tend to withhold certain information from the potential convert? Are the more unusual doctrines of the group not discussed until an individual is more deeply involved in the movement?
-- Do you feel fearful of leaving the group? Many cults use subtle fear tactics to stop members from leaving. For example, the group may imply that those who leave will be attacked by the Devil, have a nasty accident, or at least not prosper because they have left ‘the truth’.
If you answered “yes” to most of the questions above, the group that you are involved with is certainly using manipulative mind control techniques. Now that you know this, what will you do?
Firstly, you need to realise that whatever group you are part of, it does not have the monopoly on God. For many people in mind control cults, leaving the movement is usually considered the equivalent of leaving God Himself and forfeiting one’s salvation. However, the truth is, that there are Christians in all denominations who have found salvation in Christ alone, and not a Church. Many people who are trapped in a spiritually abusive religious system often feel as though they would have nowhere else to go if they managed to make the break from the group. The answer is found in what Jesus said in Matthew 11 : 28 -- “Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”
Secondly, you do need to leave the group. This may be difficult, but by staying you will only continue to be spiritually and mentally abused. You will also be contributing to a system which, in your heart, you know to be wrong. Also, don’t let pride keep you from leaving the group.
Thirdly, don’t feel as though you will be alone in your decision to leave. There are many individuals who have been in the same situation as yourself. These people come from many different religious groups, but have all been victims of the same dominating mind control techniques. Today, many are living new lives of liberty, security, and hope.