Behavior Control

1. Regulation of individual’s physical reality
2. Dictates where, how and whom the person lives and associates with
3. Control types of clothing that are permissible, colors, hairstyles worn by the person
4. Regulate food and drink allowed or rejected
5. Impose sleep deprivation
6. Financial exploitation, manipulation or dependence
7. Restrict leisure, entertainment or vacation time
8. Commit major time to for indoctrination and group rituals
9. Require permission for major decisions
10. Insist that thoughts, feelings and activities be reported to superiors
11. Control rewards and punishments (thus modify behaviors, both positive and negative)
12. Discourage individualism, encourage group think
13. Impose rigid rules and regulations
14. Instill obedience and dependency

1. Deception
a. Deliberately holding information back b. Distort information to make it more acceptable. c. Systematically lie to the member
2. Minimize or discourage access to outside sources of information including
a. Internet, TV, radio, books, articles, newspapers, magazines, other media b. Critical information c. Former members d. Keep members so busy they don’t have time to think and investigate
3. Compartmentalization of information into Outsider vs Insider doctrine
a. Ensure that information is not freely accessible b. Control information at different levels and missions within organization c. Allow only leadership to decide who needs to know what and when
4. Encourage spying on other members
a. Impose a “buddy” system to monitor and control members b. Report deviant thoughts, feelings and actions to leadership c. Ensure individual behavior is monitored by whole group
5. Extensive use of group generated information and propaganda including
a. Newsletters, magazines, journals, audio/video tapes and other media b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-group sources
6. Unethical use of confession
a. Information about sins used to abolish dissolve boundaries b. Past sins used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution

Thought Control

1. Member required to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
a. Adopting the group’s “map of reality” as reality b. Instill black and white thinking c. Decide between good vs evil d. Organize people into us vs. then (insiders vs outsiders)
2. Use of loaded language – for example, thought-terminating cliches. (Words are tools for thinking. Special words– constricting rather than expanding knowledge, stopping thought process– function to reduce complexities into platitudinous buzz words)
3. Only so-called good and proper thoughts are encouraged
4. Hypnotic techniques are used to alter mental state
5. Memories are manipulated and false memories are created
6. Thought-stopping techniques, which shut down reality testing by stopping negative and allow only so-called good thoughts, are used:
a. Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking b. Chanting c. Meditating d. Praying e. Speaking in tongues f. Singing or humming
7. Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism
8. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy allowed
9. Alternative belief systems viewed as illegitimate, evil, or not useful

Emotional Control

1. Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings
2. Emotion-stopping (like thought stopping, but blocking feelings like homesickness, anger, doubts)
3. Make the person feel that problems are their own fault – never the leader’s or group’s fault.
4. Excessive use of guilt
a. Identity guilt b. You are not living up to your potential c. Your family is deficient d. Your past is suspect e. Your affiliations are unwise f. Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant g. Social guild h. Historical guilt
5. Excessive use of fear
a. Fear of thinking independently b. Fear of outside world c. Fear of enemies d. Fear of losing one’s salvation e. Fear of leaving group or being shunned by group f. Fear of disapproval
6. Extremes of emotional highs and lows
7. Ritualistic and public confession of sins
8. Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about leaving the group or questioning the leaders authority.
a. No happiness or fulfillment possible outside of the group
b. Terrible consequences if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc.
c. Shunning of those who leave: fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family d. Never a legitimate reason to leave: those who leave are weak, undisciplined, unspiritual, worldly, brainwashed by family or counselor, or seduced by money, sex, or rock and roll

Author: Steven Hassan B.I.T.E. Model to Mind Control Freedom of Mind Resource Center

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