What Makes a Person Vulnerable to Join a Cult ? By Steve Hassan

by flipper 45 Replies latest jw friends

  • Heaven

    Cults prey on the vulnerable, whether you are unaware of them or you have a void that needs filling in your life. Make damn sure you have a plan for what you are gonna do with yourself before you retire!

    Retirement is one of the biggest changes you'll ever make in your life. My father retired and was floudering (drinking a lot!). The JWs got him when he was vulnerable (there's that 'V' word again!). Counsellors urge us to start planning at least 10 years before we expect to retire. Do your research and planning.

    "Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail"

    Luckily for me, we Canadians no longer have a mandatory retirement age. I don't have to worry about any of this because I'll have to work 'til I die thanks to the company and the manipulation going on with the economies by the power elites.

    "Would you like fries with that?" or how about... "Welcome to Tim Horton's. What can I get for you?"

  • chickpea

    low hanging fruit....

    that is who ends up recruited
    exactly as described, the vulnerable...

    for me, it was the death of a brother
    and a son within 12 months.... longing
    to provide an answer to my then 4 YO
    son who wanted to know where his
    uncle michael was .... desperate need
    to believe i would have my son, our
    baby paul benjamin, back in our lives.....

    low hanging fruit is the easiest to pick

  • truthsetsonefree

    Being born-in is certainly one way where most of those points actually can apply to a person. No one is more vulnerable, more dependent on learning from others than when they are children. As children we lack judgment, critical thinking skills. We are in a position where we are not free. We must listen to those older than us. Further children view their parents as infallible, making anything they teach "holy writ" so to speak. Then when we are grown we are in the groove set by the cult. We might see inconsistencies but it takes many years to take them on and question them.

    Crazyblondedeb speaks of seeing it as a kid and the elders' influence. Funny I had a similar experience. I knew something was wrong. I would not get baptized. But we had an elder who was nice to me and who would regularly come up to me at the Hall and ask me almost verbatim the question the Etiopian eunuch asked in Acts: "What prevents you from getting baptized"? Here is where the authority was too much for me. At fitrst I would politely avoid saying anything. Or I might say I was thinking about it. But as time went on his persistence got me and I got baptized. Thus began the devotion to the cult for me.

  • rebel8

    #3 should include people who crave a highly structured life or who have an insatiable desire to be holier than everyone else.

  • flipper

    Saw this thread was bumped up about 2 months ago ! Gawd ! I didn't realize so many replied 2 months ago. Thought it had been lying dormant.

    HOCHIMIN- I'm glad Steve Hassan's books helped you ! They helped me as well ! It is true the word " cult " just makes us cringe , doesn't it ? Reminds us of mind control.

    LEAVING WT- I'll have to re-check out Chapter 4 in " Combatting Cult Mind Control ". Wife and I are reading " Releasing the Bonds " a second time through now.

    HEAVEN- That is a great point you make . Cults do try to fill voids in people's lives. Sorry the witnesses got to your dad after retirement. Hope he can get busy golfing instead of making disciples.

    CHICKPEA- I'm sorry you were caught by the witnesses after the death of your brother and son. It's sad how the WT society plays on people's low points and emotions to manipulate them in a fragile time. I'm glad you got out though- hope you are hanging in there.

    TRUTHSETSONEFREE- You make some excellent points Truth. We definitely are NOT able to choose what decisions to make as youths because if we are bor in witnesses we are told WHAT to believe. And made to feel if we believe anything different - we are at odds with God and the witness organization. So we stay in it as witness kids- to survive ! I know- I was a born -in. Then as you say these " loving elders " give us a guilt trip to get baptized- then we are toast.

    REBEL 8- Yes indeed, witnesses have a highly structured life and feel they are holier than others. Pretty pathetic

  • gubberningbody

    None of those things identified me or my wife. I suspect that there's been a bit of cherry-picking in the data gathered. Perhaps a broad brush might find these things in some, though certainly not all. The real reasons for aligning with JW's for some (myself included) was the business of actually being interested in anything having to do with a search for meaning.

    If the internet had been available then, I doubt if I'd have gotten involved, or if there had been enough information available at the book stores it might also have been different. As it was, there were not even many people that I'd worked with who had even heard of JW's. The only books I found were in so-called Christian book stores and as I was examining all this from an atheistic perspective, the books I found there weren't particularly convincing because they seemed wrapped up in shrill Jesus-olatry.

    I went down to the local library and found a three books on the concentration camp experiences, one being Christine King's, "The Nazi State and the New Religions", another "Mother's in the Fatherland" another by a communist woman in charge of a women's unit at Ravensbruck and another by Kogon "Theory and Practice of Hell".

    Too, the fact was that locally the JW's were generally well educated, many were either going to college, or had graduated. The PO had a degree in mechanical engineering, the service overseer had a degree in electrical engineering and another had a degree in architecture. There were quite a number who were well off financially and I didn't feel pressured to study or not study as it were. I eventually asked for one after watching them for about nine months.

    Clearly the place I came in was unusual. Things began to change after about ten years. Not for the better. Then I realized I'd been living in an isolated little camelot and after some ex-bethelites and the lot moved into the area everything started to go to hell.

    I really thought it was quite alright to disagree openly with the borg.

    I was wrong.

  • flipper

    GUBBERNING BODY- I think most of us find out in time that it's not alright to disagree with the governing body and still stay a witness. It sounds like you were around some pretty intelligent, well educated elders ( which is rare ) so perhaps that's why you couldn't see the scam behind the witnesses for awhile. But like you said when you saw the interactions between ex-Bethelites and others the power of the " cult mind control " made itself manifest I'm sure. Glad you got out ! Good post

  • still thinking
    still thinking

    This was a fantastic thread by flipper that addresses why we are attracted to cults. Many of these reasons applied to me, and apply to my inlaws who keep seeking enlightenment and fellowship from one cult to another.

    I hope new members enjoy reading this thread...

  • ziddina

    Goood bump, still thinking...

  • still thinking
    still thinking

    My inlaws belonged to a cult started by an ex JW woman and her husband in Australia zid.

    There were around a dozen or so members and their children. The amount of damage done to those childrens lives cannot be underestimated. It still effects their family relationships all these years later and has put divisions in his family. That woman is still recruiting and sending out emails and I'd guess in this day and age has her own website or forum indoctrinating people with her ideas.

    A cult does not have to be huge to do damage. And as ex cult members or nearly cult members we need to be very aware of how we got there in the first place so we don't make the same mistake again.

Share this