What is mind control?
Is there really such a thing as "brainwashing," or "mind control"? What kind of person is susceptible? What exactly is a "cult" and how are followers controlled? How can one recognize an organization that engages in such practices, and should such organizations be held responsible for the damage that intentional manipulation can cause?
The most insidious threat to our most basic freedom, freedom of mind, is a little-known phenomenon known as mind control. As used by FACTNet, "mind control" refers to all coercive psychological systems, such as brainwashing, thought reform, and coercive persuasion. Mind control is the shaping of a person's attitudes, beliefs, and personality without the person's knowledge or consent. Mind control employs deceptive and surreptitious manipulation, usually in a group setting, for the financial or political profit of the manipulator.
Mind control works by gradually
exerting increasing control over individuals through a variety of techniques, such as excessive repetition of routine activities, intense humiliation, and sleep deprivation.
As used by FACTNet, "cult" refers to a destructive group which uses mind control to deceivingly influence its members. It has become fairly standard to use this term for any organization or group which uses mind control on its members. Cults are not necessarily religious. A cult may form around any theme, such as a political, racial, psychotherapeutic, or even athletic agenda.
FACTNet, along with most cult experts today, determines whether or not a group is cultic strictly by the mind control tactics the group uses, not by the group's beliefs.
For the protection of our basic human and constitutional rights, FACTNet provides a fundamental education on the subject of mind control so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones from any individual or organization that is engaging in this kind of manipulation.
Cults' impact on families
Parents' involvement in cults can literally destroy a family. Individuals in cults do things willingly under the influence of mind control that they previously may have detested for the sake of the group's "higher purposes."
Reports of members of diverse cults committing illegal and reprehensible activities are widespread. Child abuse in cults is common, and children are often the cults' most devastating casualties.
Of the 912 People's Temple members who died in Jonestown, Guyana in 1978, 276 were children. Of more than 80 who died at Waco, 25 were children. Even children not harmed physically rarely receive formal education or develop correctly on emotional, social, and cognitive levels.
Similarly, young adults who have been recruited into cults can tear a family apart as parents, siblings, and friends struggle to understand and help. Studies report that the majority of cult members are recruited during high school or college years.