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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" for persons with any doubts concerning his/her religion, 19 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs (Paperback)
CULT: Tightly controlled, high-pressure social environment. Limit access to outside information (Page 3)

Some religious cults have “An elite group that claims to know the real meaning of Scripture” (Page 4)

They rail on about how all the other Churches are dead and unscriptural (Page 7)

Threatening Prophecies (Page 12)

“Love” depends on meeting expectations and goals (Page 13)

Demand for purity: Establishing impossible standards for performance, thereby creating an environment of guilt and shame. No matter how hard a person tries, he always falls short, feels bad and works even harder. (Page 17)

Sacred Science: The belief that the groups dogma is absolutely scientifically and morally true, with no room for questions or alternative viewpoints (Page 17)

Dispensing of existence: The belief that people in group have the right to exist and all ex-members and critics or dissidents do not (Page 17)

Cult control is a social process that encourages obedience and conformity. It discourages autonomy and individuality. The groups dogma becomes the persons only concern (Page 19)

Thought Reform: Create a tightly controlled system with a closed system of logic, wherein dissenters feel their questioning indicates something inherently wrong with them (Page 20)

Behavior Control (Page 22)
- Dictate with whom the member lives and associates
- Restrict leisure and entertainment
- Encourage group-think (not stumbling others)
- Impose rigid rules & regulations

Information Control (Page 23)
- Discourage access to non-cult sources of information - Internet, Critical Information, Former Members
- Keep members busy so the don't think and investigate
- Outsider versus insider doctrines
- Encourage spying on other members
- Extensive use of cult-generated information, including magazines and other media
- Misquotations, statements from non-cult sources taken out of context
- Unethical use of confession

Thought Control (Page 24)
- Members required to internalize the groups doctrine as “the truth”
- Instill Black and White thinking
- Good versus Evil; Us versus Them
- No critical questions about leaders, doctrine or policy allowed
- Alternative belief systems viewed as evil

Emotional Control (Page 25)
- Make the person feel that problems are their own fault – never the leader or group
- Excessive use of guilt – You are not living up to your potential
- Excessive use of fear
- Fear of the outside world
- Fear of losing one’s salvation
- Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by the group

Phobia indoctrination
- No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
- Terrible consequences if you leave
- Shunning of those who leave, fear of being rejected by friends and family
- Never a legitimate reason to leave; Those who leave are weak, unspiritual, worldly or seduced by sex
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but understand exactly what you are buying., 7 Sep 2014
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A very good book on how to act when a loved one appears to have joined a cult. The author clearly writes from experience, and equally writes with great sympathy for the people who we popularly regard as "victims". The author very accurately (as far as I know) empathises with the mind set of the "cult member" and how bizarre attempts to persuade them can appear to their world view.

Very practical and sympathetically written.

One word of caution though. I bought it because it was referenced in another book I had been reading about Scientology. I assumed it would be a slightly more general description of this topic. It actually seems to be written more of a "how to" manual, so it's of less interest to a general reader. If therefore you are a general reader it may be too specific for your interest (it was for me). If however you believe you know someone who you worry may be in a cult, it is a very sound and sympathetic book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for those with friends in a dangerous group, 11 July 2012
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This review is from: Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs (Paperback)
Three decades ago, Steve was the most significant innovator of exit-counseling. His first book was the best general introduction to the subject, but rather than resting on his laurels, he continued to expand his thinking, to our great benefit. This book represents an even better approach to indoctrination and exploitative persuasion. Steve is one of a handful of true experts on the terrible problems posed by destructive groups. It has been my good fortune to know him these many years and I can attest that his integrity and courage are unswerving, despite the extreme pressures of such work. Anyone who has been involved should put aside the prejudices instilled by their group and read this book. For that matter, as every life is now touched by fanaticism, everyone should read and discuss the compelling ideas that Steve puts forward here.
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5.0 out of 5 stars If you need to help someone out of a cult - it's all here., 26 July 2014
I found this a simply written and well structured book which I am sure will help people who are looking for the most effective ways to assist someone realise they are in a cult, face the truth, and find their way out. It is a concise yet very detailed ‘manual’ which will guide concerned family and loved ones through the maze of complexities surrounding the problem. It also contains a wide ranging set of ideas for future consideration by individuals, organisations and groups that may assist in this often devastating area. If this is an area of concern for you – this is ‘the’ book to get.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding cults, 22 Feb 2013
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R. Gray - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults, and Beliefs (Paperback)
Great book, hard to put down and very interesting concepts. Stimulating reading for anyone wanting to understand the often subtle ways in which cults manipulate thinking.
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