I'd like to add that being anti secret society is more about rejecting the ideas surrounding all cult-like activity. Religious groups are number one
when it comes to this. Freemasonry & a couple other groups aren't far behind. Many teeter on the line of being an actual cult. Only the members
themselves can decide if the group they're involved with is influencing their free-thinking for better or worse.
I hope my post isn't viewed as a means of derailing this thread. That's far from my intentions. I'd simply like to demonstrate how similar secret
societies, freemasonry, & many religious organizations mirror how cults operate. Everyone has an engrained need to feel accepted by others. That's
human nature. I'm just saying that people need to be careful who you decide to surround yourselves with, then ask yourself if the group has your best
interest in mind.
Quoted from source:
"Because all cults have different beliefs, cult experts have identified common characteristics of cults, which they use to identify new cults. Thus,
an organization can be identified as a cult no matter what their beliefs are. We have used the following lists of cult characteristics to help us
analyze whether or not the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) is a religious cult. We make the following lists available to others as a public service. If
you have any reason to believe that you or anyone close to you is involved with a group that you suspect is a cult (religious or not) then you can use
the following lists to help you decide whether the group is a cult. (Please note that a group doesn't need to have all the characteristics in any one
list to really be a destructive cult. If a group has more than half of the cult characteristics in any of the lists below, then you should be
Cult Information Centre (31 Characteristics)
Every cult can be defined as a group having all of the following five characteristics:
1. It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members
2. It forms an elitist totalitarian society.
3. Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma.
4. It believes 'the end justifies the means' in order to solicit funds recruit people.
5. Its wealth does not benefit its members or society.
Mind Control techniques include:
Inducing a state of high suggestibility by hypnosis, often thinly disguised as relaxation or meditation.
2. Peer Group Pressure
Suppressing doubt and resistance to new ideas by exploiting the need to belong.
3. Love Bombing
Creating a sense of family and belonging through hugging, kissing, touching and flattery.
4. Rejection of Old Values
Accelerating acceptance of new life style by constantly denouncing former values and beliefs.
5. Confusing Doctrine
Encouraging blind acceptance and rejection of logic through complex lectures on an incomprehensible doctrine.
Implanting subliminal messages by stressing certain key words or phrases in long, confusing lectures.
7. Removal of Privacy
Achieving loss of ability to evaluate logically by preventing private contemplation.
8. Time Sense Deprivation
Destroying ability to evaluate information, personal reactions, and body functions in relation to passage of time by removing all clocks and watches.
Encouraging child-like obedience by orchestrating child-like behaviour.
10. Uncompromising Rules
Inducing regression and disorientation by soliciting agreement to seemingly simple rules which regulate mealtimes, bathroom breaks and use of
11. Verbal Abuse
Desensitizing through bombardment with foul and abusive language.
12. Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue
Creating disorientation and vulnerability by prolonging mental an physical activity and withholding adequate rest and sleep.
13. Dress Codes
Removing individuality by demanding conformity to the group dress code.
14. Chanting and Singing
Eliminating non-cult ideas through group repetition of mind-narrowing chants or phrases.
Encouraging the destruction of individual ego through confession of personal weaknesses and innermost feelings of doubt.
16. Financial Commitment
Achieving increased dependence on the group by 'burning bridges' to the past, through the donation of assets.
17. Finger Pointing
Creating a false sense of righteousness by pointing to the shortcomings of the outside world and other cults.
18. Flaunting Hierarch
Promoting acceptance of cult authority by promising advancement, power and salvation.
Inducing loss of reality by physical separation from family, friends, society and rational references.
20. Controlled Approval
Maintaining vulnerability and confusion by alternately rewarding and punishing similar actions.
21. Change of Diet
Creating disorientation and increased susceptibility to emotional arousal by depriving the nervous system of necessary nutrients through the use of
special diets and/or fasting.
Inducing dependence on the group by introducing games with obscure rules.
23. No Questions
Accomplishing automatic acceptance of beliefs by discouraging questions.
Reinforcing the need for 'salvation' by exaggerating the sins of the former lifestyles.
Maintaining loyalty and obedience to the group by threatening soul, life or limb for the slightest 'negative' thought, word or deed.
26. Replacement of Relationships
Destroying pre-cult families by arranging cult marriages and 'families'.
Rick Ross (20 Characteristics)
Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.
- Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
- No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
- No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
- Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
- There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
- Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
- There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
- Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
- The group/leader is always right.
- The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or