Trickery of a Cult

In a majority of cases, those who join cults do not necessarily hold to the beliefs of the cult.  Rather, the cultmeets some needs or desires of that person.  Meeting the needs of a person can amount to many things.

1. Social needs. People need others to feel normal and human.
a. affirmation - the need to be recognized as having value.

    As Christians, we possess two kinds of affirmation. Affirmation of the Spirit says that we have value because of Christ's sacrifice.  Affirmation of Fellowship says that we have value to others, because we recognize the value of others, due
to the sacrifice of Christ.

b. security - the need to have a consistent social environment; a somewhat predictable habit of social contact.

    As Christians, we have security through Christ, who is our environment, and who is a constant.  Note the theme of God's faithfulness.

c. attention - the need to have a personally directed response to our thoughts and actions.

.    As Christians, we have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, who directs and affirms our thoughts and actions.

d. leadership - the need to have a goal or purpose; sometimes a reason for life.

.    As Christians, our leadership is through Christ, augmented through those appointed to lead us in discipleship to Christ.

e. philosophical - the need to reason and find rationale for what happens or is perceived.
.    As Christians, we find our reasoning and rationale in revelations, naturally occurring through God, and in the nature and being of God.

f. power - the need to control and not be controlled.

.    As Christians, our lives are controlled by Christ.

2. Physical Needs

 a. food
 b. shelter
 c. health and medicine

3. Emotional Needs

 a. dependence
 b. comfort/contentedness
 c. emotive social response/response to hurts
 d. compassion
 e. justice
4. Spiritual Needs

 a. God-shaped emptiness within each person
 b. justice/balance
 c. worship


1. Repetitive recitation: makes responses automatic.

2. Scripture twisting: appeals to need for rational thinking, and depends on a pre-existing confidence in Scriptures, or a possible confidence in Scriptures.

3. Emotional incentive: social needs are met only when the "proper" response is given.

4. Emotional teardown: breaking down the individuality of a person encourages replacement of the individual with the ideas and thoughts of another.

5. Physical incentive: physical needs are met only when the "proper" response is given.
6. Spiritual incentive: secret or mystic "truths" are revealed only when the "proper" response is given.

7. Physical teardown: a sensual experience is generated through physical deprivation.  Affects emotional and rational needs.

8. Spiritual teardown: current belief system is challenged and ridiculed.  A new belief system is proposed to replace it.  Plays on emotional and spiritual needs.

9. Social incentive: social needs are met when the "proper" response is given.

10. Peer pressure: needs are met when the expected "proper" response is given.

11. Graduated indoctrination: real basis, or belief system, is introduced to the victim so slowly, the victim assimilates information without checking it against previous information.

Copyright 1989 The Christian Counter Project

We so much appreciate The Christian Project allowing us to use this document.
Blessings,  Rev. Wise