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"Comparing the following statements to the group with which you or a family member or loved one is involved may help you determine if this involvement is cause for concern. If you check any of these items as characteristic of the group in question, and particularly if you check many of them you may well be dealing with a cult and should critically examine the group and its relationship to you or your loved one.
1) The group is focused on a living leader to whom members display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.
2) The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members and/or making money.
The Department of Defense has announced its recruiting statistics for the active and reserve components for Januar 2009 (the fourth month of Fiscal Year 2009). A "Fiscal Year" runs from October through September.
All of the active duty branchesbranches met or exceeded their recruiting goals for the month.
Active Duty Recruiting Statistics for Jan 2009:
Army – 9,658 accessions with a goal of 9,000; 107 percent
Navy – 2,948 accessions with a goal of 2,948; 100 percent
Marine Corps – 3,720 accessions with a goal of 3,406; 109 percent
Air Force – 2,600 accessions with a goal of 2,597; 100 percent
On the Reserve side, five of the six reserve componants met or exceeded their recruiting goals.
Reserve Recruiting Statistics for Jan 2009:
Army National Guard – 4,913 accessions with a goal of 5,577; 88 percent
Army Reserve – 3,223 accessions with a goal of 3,128; 103 percent
Navy Reserve – 712 accessions with a goal of 712; 100 percent
Marine Corps Reserve – 879 accessions with a goal of 567; 155 percent
Air National Guard – 896 accessions with a goal of 703; 127 percent
Air Force Reserve – 683 accessions with a goal of 683; 100 percent
3) Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged.
MC & KG: Command response to dissent varies widely. Resisters who publicly refuse orders or go AWOL generally receive a swift and harsh response through courts-martial. They can expect harsher punishment than GIs who take the same actions quietly, or go AWOL for other reasons, though sometimes military courts have responded to heartfelt objection with more leniency than commands would like.
4) Mind-numbing techniques (for example: meditation, chanting, denunciation sessions, or debilitating work routines) are used to suppress members' doubts.
Requiring no instruments to play, they are counterparts in oral military folklore of the military march. As a sort of work song, military cadences take their rhythms from the work being done (compare sea shanty). Many cadences have a call and response structure of which one soldier initiates a line, and the remaining soldiers complete it, thus instilling teamwork and camaraderie for completion. The cadence calls move to the beat and rhythm of the normal speed (quick time) march or running-in-formation (double time) march. This serves the purpose of keeping soldiers "dressed", moving in step as a unit and in formation, while maintaining the correct beat or cadence.
5) The group's leadership dictates how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, or get married leaders may determine types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth.
6) The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, it's leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).
7) The group has a polarized we-they mentality that causes conflict with the wider society.
8) The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).
9) The group teaches or implies that its "superior" ends justify means that members would have
considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).
10) The group's leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them
11) Members' subservience to the group causes them to give up previous personal goals and interests while devoting inordinate amounts of time to the groups."
12) Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.