Sometimes we feel lonely, and we are searching for answers and we stumble across a seemingly perfect online movement or leader. All the information being put out by the group feels great. The feeling of community feeds our desire to belong and we do not question the motives of the movement. However in order not to be mindless followers we need to question everything. Most manipulative cults have have a few red flags to watch out for.
Watch Out For
An Oath Of Secrecy
Taking an oath to keep the group a secret or certain aspects of the group a secret. Mystery schools in Europe, Africa and Asia have used this for centuries.
Positive: Depending on the group secrets might be necessary to protect the organization’s trade secrets from competition who seek to steal them and get an advantage. Secrets are also necessary to protect sensitive information that criminals can use to perpetuate fraud in the group’s name.
Negative: If they’re manipulative they might want people to keep the group or group activities private because if members tell outsiders they might be subject to criticism that can widen their perspective and free them from manipulation.
A set of rules governing dress.
Positive: Uniforms create unity. If everyone wore the same clothes there would be less competition and separation and discrimination based on superficial differences. If they require a certain dress that’s fine, if they make assumptions about others who don’t dress like them that’s not okay.
Negative: The uniformity suppresses your uniqueness. Some religious extremist groups teach their members that people who don’t dress like them are of a lower level consciousness. They train their members to judge people on how they look, ignoring other factors that make up the individual.
They Preach The Last Days/ End Times
Last days or end times is a time period in the future, which according to many religious groups and cults, will bring about the world’s end.
Negative: People have been preaching it was the last days long before anyone reading this was born. Long before our great, greater and greatest grandmothers were born. Yet the world is still spinning. People use the last days as a scare tactic to intimidate people into giving them money and turning over all their material possessions. This is one of the oldest tricks used by manipulative groups.
Positive: It could be how they genuinely feel. It can make people less materialistic and focus on the positive things they can do in this life. Some will change their ways and live an honest life if they think the world will end in a biblical sense.