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Mind Control

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  • Mind Control

    Since New Testament Christian Church is listed here on Factnet, the question still arises- "Is NTCC a cult?" Personally, I find it hard to answer. Doctrinally, they are NOT a cult, because they do teach the Bible. However, in PRACTICE they are guilty of every single tactic that cults use to control their members and thus ACT like a cult. This may have been covered a long time ago, but I think a healthy discussion is in order to determine once and for all if they are guilty of being a cult. The fact that there have been 21,000 posting on this forum speaks volumes.

    Here is a copy of cult tactics as posted by

    ********** ********** ********** ********** *********
    Mind Control Tool Box

    Copyright Cultwatch 1996 - 2001. Written by Mark Vrankovich
    Important Note

    Remember, all together these form Mind Control. Separately they are undesirable but they are not Mind Control.


    A cult will use deception. The cult will not normally tell people exactly what they believe, their origins, what they practice, and what life is really like in the cult, because if people knew they would not join. This information is taught to the new recruit slowly and in pieces - a "frog in the pot" tactic.

    Deception is a key pre-requisite to Mind Control. The cult must be willing to deceive people. The Bible teaches that Christians are not to use deception. Many cults know this and yet practice deception.

    Deception is a very effective tool in the Mind Control Tool Box.


    A mind control cult will promote an "Us verses Them" environment. They will teach their members that their church is the only true church, the only church in which you can be saved. If you leave the cult then it is said you have "fallen away from God." This is done to instill fear in the members which can be expressed like this: If you ever think of leaving this body of true Christians or do something which forces us to expel you from this body then you will be losing your salvation and God will hate you. There is nowhere else you can go and still be a Christian. This is a powerful control mechanism.

    Exclusivism is fear based control mechanism, the Bible tells us that we have no reason to fear except for a healthy fear of God. Exclusivism imposes false criteria on salvation - "If you do not join us and/or if you are not doing what we are doing you are not saved." This of course is a serious doctrinal error ingrained in the practice of the group. Remember, just because a group does not teach it officially does not mean they do not practice it.

    Fear and Intimidation

    Leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is to disagree with God. If the leaders tell you to do something, you had better do it. Often intense breaking sessions are employed to destroy any supposed rebellion or threat to the leadership. These sessions can involve many people at once attacking the character and motives of the target.

    The Bible tells Christians not to "lord it over people," but rather to be one another's servants. Jesus attacked the Pharisees who placed themselves between God and the people. It does not take much to realise that fear and intimidation is not the biblical model for Christian leadership. (Fear and Intimidation is very different from having respect for Christian leaders.)

  • #2
    Love Bombing

    A mind control

    Love Bombing

    A mind control cult practices love bombing or false love. When you first join the cult you will gain instant friends, you'll be hugged and everyone will want to talk to you. For someone who is lonely or comes from out of town this is especially wonderful. However, after a while this "love" becomes conditional on your performance and/or you measuring up to the cult's unpublished standards. If you ever leave the cult then you know you will lose all of your new friends just as quickly as you gained them. Like an unhealthy marriage relationship, love is switched on and off to control. Of all of them, this is probably the most effective implement in the mind control tool box.

    We are relational beings with the ultimate aim of regaining a relationship with the God who created us. It only requires common sense to see the power this "love bombing" tool could have on someone. We have all seen it at work in the cults, at work in manipulative relationships and at work as peer pressure in schools and society in general. This false love is a distortion of true love which is defined in 1 Corinthians 13.

    Information Control

    Those who control the information control the person. In a mind control cult any information from outside the cult is considered evil, especially if it is opposing the cult. Members are told not to read it or believe it. Only the cult-supplied information is true.

    This technique is really a partner to deception. Common sense tells us that a person who does not consider all information may make an unbalanced decision. Filtering the information available or trying to discredit it not of the basis of how true it is, but rather on the basis of how it supports the party line, is a common control method used throughout history. A Christian should have nothing to fear from any source of information - after all "Falsehood runs from truth, but truth stands solid against falsehood."

    Reporting Structure

    In a mind control cult like in Nazi Germany or Communist Russia you must be careful of what you say or do; "The walls have ears." Everyone is encouraged to watch out for "struggling" brothers and report what they see to the leadership. Often information given in deepest confidence will find its way to leadership. Cult members are sometimes shocked to find their problems preached about in the cult meetings. People comment that while in a Mind Control cult they were acting, always being worried about people watching.

    This is opposite to the biblical model. The Reporting Structure is an important fear producing method in the Mind Control Tool Box.


    • #3
      Loaded Language

      The cult wi

      Loaded Language

      The cult will have their own language and terms. These prevent people outside the group being able to engage in "dangerous" conversations with members and it gives the members a sense of belonging. It also allows a phenomenon known as thought stopping where a simple word can stop any thoughts in the member's mind which are against the cult.

      Harmless by itself, "loaded language" is used in all areas of life from the computer industry to orthodox Christianity. Every group or specialist field develops its own words or meanings for words, and this is often called "jargon." However, when mixed in with the other Mind Control tools, "loaded language" can take on a threatening attribute which is unbiblical. For example, in the International Church of Christ cult "loaded language" is used throughout the world - a typical conversation might go like this...

      "The Bible says that we are saved by grace, not by works. You are telling me that I must get people baptised or I'm not a real Christian," says the Disciple.

      "I am more spiritually mature than you and you are questioning what I am saying. You are PRIDEFUL and REBELLIOUS, you need to get RADICAL about your SIN," replied his Discipler.

      Prideful & rebellious = You are the problem, not the ICC teaching.
      Radical = Plunge into obeying the ICC teaching.
      Sin = Thinking or acting outside the ICC rules, often including disobeying your discipler.

      Time Control

      Mind control cults keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become too busy and too tired to think about their involvement.

      Again, common sense allows us to see that this would be an effective tool for controlling people. The flip side to this is that if a person can get out of the cult's "time control" schedule then after a few weeks, in our experience, they can begin to contrast "normal" life with the controlled cult environment and often this results in them leaving. The ICC, in New Zealand at least, has preached that it is best to not have a holiday at Christmas because that is when most people fall away from God (leave the ICC).


      • #4
        Relationship Control

        A mind

        Relationship Control

        A mind control cult will seek to maneuver your life so as to maximise your contact with cult members and minimise your contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose your involvement. Cult members will be moved into cult communities or cult flats where they can be watched more closely and immersed in the cult environment. The cult must cut off any contact through which information or reminders of your past life will come. You cannot marry or date anyone outside of the cult and often your spouse will be chosen.

        Controlling relationships is a powerful Mind Control method. Friends and family are important influences on our lives. By controlling those who we associate with and those who we respect, a Mind Control cult can influence a person towards becoming like those people who are "good" to be around. The Bible tells us that those we associate with do effect us. Every parent knows that the peers their child associates with affects the child, moving them towards what the peers have as a norm. All people are affected by society and the groups to which they belong. By defining who is "good" and who is "bad" the Mind Control cult is attempting to move the subject towards the "group norm" that their group has. Often intense pressure is put on people to stay away from the "bad" people which are often friends, parents and their old church.

        Personal Identity Replacement

        Three stages are involved; breaking, indoctrination and finally refreezing.

        Fear and intimidation are used to break a person. Often the cult calls into question a person's salvation, and in some cults a person is not truly broken until they are crying uncontrollably.

        Next the cult indoctrinates the person by pumping them full of cult doctrine and systematically destroying anything which does not agree with the party line. If a person objects to anything, their sincerity, character and motives are questioned.

        Finally the person is frozen into the cult member mold. They become like all the other cult members to a certain degree. Friends and family will complain that the cult member has become a different person. Often in the early stages the cult member will float between their true identity and their cult identity, but as their cult involvement continues their true identity becomes more and more repressed.

        This is a well established method of changing how people act and think, to mold them into a team member like everyone else. The Armed Forces use this method in basic training and throughout the career of their soldier. The difference is, that unlike in a Mind Control cult, the Armed Forces recruits know what is going on; it is expected. The Mind Control cult recruit goes through this process covertly. The cult recruit does not lose his true personality but rather represses it. They realise that by conforming there is more acceptance and less pressure to change. This is why people in a Mind Control cult will often seem to think, act and sound the same, whereas in a normal church group individual personalities are more evident.


        • #5

          Mind Control is not


          Mind Control is not what many secular authors have tried to portray it as - a magic method of controlling its targets against their will making them only victims. Neither is it what those in opposition to the secular Mind Control model have defined it as, in their reaction they let the pendulum swing to the other side saying that Mind Control does not exist and is a fable invented by anti-Christian secularists.

          Cultwatch says that Mind Control is a suite of practices Mind Control groups use to influence their members and potential recruits, a real attempt to control their minds. There is an enormous amount of evidence that certain groups are employing the Mind Control methods.


          • #6
            And once again, we return to b

            And once again, we return to basics. Thank you for keeping the discussion focused, Connecticut Yankee.

            The subject of whether or not NTCC is a cult has been addressed exhaustively on this forum, and that's precisely what this forum is for. Numerous former members and ministers are hesitant to use the "C" word for the same reason you described in your prelude: NTCC holds to core orthodox Christian teachings, such as the divinity of Christ, the Trinity, etc.

            I, for one, do not hesitate to use the word CULT to refer to NTCC, because I use the term (as do many who have studied the subject extensively) to refer to a set of behaviors and tactics, not a set of doctrines. I have personally observed pseudo-Christian religious groups who do NOT adhere to orthodox doctrine that are perfectly harmless, and do not employ any type of coerciveness or deceit or pressure or mind-control. Yet it is equally obvious to me that there are church groups who DO adhere to fundamental doctrines yet are abusive, deceitful, exclusive, and all the rest. Despite their DOCTRINE, they are oppressive psychological traps and do far more damage than they do good. The former is not a cult at all. The latter is. Theology is not the real issue. Tactics of control and exploitation are the issue.

            NTCC demonstrates not merely some, but ALL of the definitive traits of a mind-control cult.


            • #7
              I would add a little something

              I would add a little something to this.

              The essence of a cult is lost in much of what passes for Christian anti-cult literature, because anti-cult apologists have, for their own convenience of usage, decided arbitrarily to confine dangerous doctrine "worth fighting" to the realm of Christology. Seeking to make the argument manageable, they focus almost entirely on the Deity of Christ as a line of demarcation, and in doing so miss a great quanitity of sects and behaviors that are dangerous to the individuals who are decieved thereby.

              And yet, when the doctrines of ntcc are examined in light of orthodoxy, they fall short in spades; believing in the doctrine that the Thief went to Hell, that Jesus suffered in flames after the cross, that the repentant will offer animal sacrifice during the millenium, as well as the usual litany of legalistic 'holiness' requirements common to pentecostals, and of course the culture of adulterous remarriage centered upon personal cult loyalty. Merely affirming the Deity of Christ hardly makes up for their rampant disannulment of the Cross, Grace, and nature of the Atonement.

              If we are voting, put one in the CULT column for me.


              • #8
                Agreed. As it happens, most of

                Agreed. As it happens, most of the egregious abuses require aberrant and arbitrary doctrine as their justification. The typical NTCC minister will affirm that he believes in salvation by faith, and that the essence of the Gospel is love, but most if not everything he preaches is antithetical to those values. He will do little or nothing to comfort his listener with the completed work of Christ, but will undermine it with a constant barrage of messages designed to convince his audience that their acceptance with God depends entirely and exclusively upon their performance and conformity.

                "The hardest thing you will ever do is make it to heaven."
                - R.W. Davis

                Lip-service to a few fundamental doctrines is meaningless. The real influence of Davis and his clones undermines it all.

                NTCC is a textbook CULT.


                • #9
                  I would like to examine each o

                  I would like to examine each of the ten points, and give my take on them, in as brief a reply as possible. This may take me a couple of posts.

                  1. DECEPTION: There's no doubt that the true doctrines of ntcc are hidden from new believers. I used to practice this myself, knowing that if I told people everything that the church believed and practiced I would "run them off". After all, who wants to go to a church if they told you straight up that you will have little to no free time, your wife can't work or help out financially in any way, you have to wear dresses at all times, etc, ect. In retrospect, why not just have it all out in the open and let the new people decide? Well, they would probably decide for the door.

                  2. EXCLUSIVISM: There is no doubt that ntcc is very guilty of this. Through their words and actions they make it very clear that they are the only "pure" church around and all others are "compromisers". Sure, they may grant someone from another church "salvation", BUT mostly just to give them the "benefit of the doubt"-- of which there is plenty. If you could nail them down on this they would have to confess that YES they ARE the ONLY church that is really RIGHT with God.


                  • #10
                    Love Bombing: [i]"They&#39

                    Love Bombing: "They're SO friendly!"

                    Purposed friendliness: promoted & pushed welcoming: Winning them to yourself so much, that it's for the sake of winning in group growth.

                    <font color="ff6000">&#34;To win people to Jesus, you have to win them to yourself first!&#34;</font> Jordan/Kinson:Tillicum

                    Right: First to yourself, then to your group, and finally to your Leaders, especially &#39;PASTOR&#39; Davis, who was there first... so that winning them to Jesus, being dear children of God, pleasing the Lord, loving your neighbor for love&#39;s sake, etc... gets pushed aside and ultimately all lost in the mix!

                    The People Business: Being so friendly for success&#39; sake, not loving people for Jesus&#39; sake.

                    What I see is a very detailed and persistent pattern of perverting all the natural good things of being a Christian into the mechanical appearance of good things for the sake of BUSINESS: making the ministry of the saints into a very personal business for profit&#39;s sake. Too personal. Cultishly so.

                    Christ&#39;s sincerity of faith and the godly simplicity of His ministry is transformed into a church builder&#39;s zealous vision and the ungodly goal of his own program!


                    • #11
                      3. FEAR/ INTIMIDATION: This o

                      3. FEAR/ INTIMIDATION: This one is huge. Most people I know are afraid of the leadership of ntcc-- especially rw davis. Year after year I would hear loyalists say, &#34;Well, he&#39;s rough on the outside, but he&#39;s really a nice guy on the inside&#34;. I never saw it. Once in a while he would act OK, but soon he was back to his old gruff self. Also, the constant fear of &#34;messing up&#34;, even though you were doing your best; or the fear of being rejected by the leaders. One thing I have noticed in other churches is the love the leaders have for you REGARDLESS of your actions. But at ntcc, if you even step one inch off the straight line of holiness, church rules, ect. you will be &#34;jacked up&#34;. Fear and intimidation are alive and well in this church.

                      4. LOVE: Love is a very conditional thing at ntcc. You&#39;re taught about love in the Bible, and you&#39;re preached about love, but you rarely experience REAL, UNCONDITIONAL love -- like the Bible talks about. It bothers me alot that so many people say with their mouth, &#34;I love you&#34;, but as soon as you leave, &#34;You were the biggest devil there ever was&#34;. That&#39;s not love. If rw davis was the father of the prodical son, he would have immediately began the disinformation and character assassination of his son the day he left the farm.


                      • #12
                        Personal Identity Replacement:

                        Personal Identity Replacement: Titles, numbers, and dollars.
                        If James was indeed the first Pastor/Leader of the first &#39;Organization&#39; of Christ on earth as is falsely taught, then why doesn&#39;t God call James &#39;Pastor&#39;, or even refer to him as Pastor James? Afterall, Davis claims the inheritance of that position after James, and his name is PASTOR, so much so that there is only one real Pastor in NTCC...

                        So, a cult would also be heavy on titles and low on names; therefore, a part of lost personal identity is that of TITLE TYRANNY, the tyranny of titles, or tyrannically tied to titles.

                        Everyone has a title and position, such as brother/sister, Rrevered, Pastor, etc... and only last names, but no one hardly knows anyone&#39;s first name. So that lasting or eternal friendships are not being made but rather temporal business ASSOCIATES, or even COMRADS. &#40;The Church-Business Comradship under the great Leader Pastor&#41; But John even refers to the fellowship of labors, service, and martyrdom as COMPANIONS in tribulation &#40;Rev 1&#41;, which is a much more friendly term pointing to the Christian vision of travelling friends.

                        It is a fact that it&#39;s easier to drop a title than a name, or a one-time &#39;brother&#39; than a friend, if they leave the group... So you&#39;re &#39;Family&#39; but not friends. You&#39;re claimed as instant family, only to be rejected out of hand without friends. &#40;Is it just coincidence that Davis&#39; favorite coffee is Instant Maxwell House?&#41;

                        And then there are the numbers and dollars in the Organization&#39;s weekly church-business reports. However, in Scripture we read such &#39;reports&#39; by the apsotle Paul concerning local churches, but he gives names, not numbers and money.

                        So, in a cultish business of the ministry, it truly is in spirit and in deed all about titles, numbers, and dollars, which breaks down the very personableness of the church &amp; ministry: One&#39;s own personal identity, and the personal friendships of others. It is the cultish de-personalizing, or de-humanizing of a man-made church business. It becomes metalicized and loses it&#39;s humanness, so that they are past feeling &#40;Eph 4:19&#41;.

                        But in God&#39;s ministry and church it&#39;s all about names. So God&#39;s love is:

                        <font color="0000ff">Names, not numbers.</font>

                        And the cult&#39;s business lust is the exact opposite &#40;as usual&#41;: Numbers with no names. &#40;Numbers only, pleases. Just the facts, ma&#39;am Just the facts. It&#39;s just a business, afterall.&#41;

                        <font color="ff6000">&#34;Some people couldn&#39;t be more wrong if they tried!&#34;</font> Davis: Psycho of Self-Development &#40;Exactly...&#41;


                        • #13
                          &#34;Purposed friendliness: pr

                          &#34;Purposed friendliness: promoted &amp; pushed welcoming: Winning them to yourself so much, that it&#39;s for the sake of winning in group growth.&#34;

                          This was one of the things I disliked about NTCC more than anything else. The fake friendship... first exhibited in soul winning. Phoney smile, car salesman type smile... &#34;Just come to church&#34;!

                          The only reason I came out, was because I thought Will Pilkington was real. To the ones who invited me before he did, I said no.

                          There was so much phoniness. &#34;God bless ya!&#34;


                          • #14
                            5. INFORMATION CONTROL: In a

                            5. INFORMATION CONTROL: In all the years I was in ntcc I was always amazed at how &#34;secret&#34; alot of things were. After you graduated from bible school you rarely knew where everyone had gone, because there was a tight lid on who went where. &#40;Plus the fact that you weren&#39;t allowed to call them up and say hello anyway&#41;. Conferences were about the only time you could find out. And when someone leaves the org they NEVER say anything about it. You&#39;re just under the assumtion that they&#39;re still doing fine at an ntcc church.

                            Information on finances is a huge secret. I still don&#39;t understand how all the finances work, and what offerings go where, who gets what, or how the pastors get paid. In all the classes we attended through the years, very little was ever revealed.

                            Rev. Davis has always talked about his doctorate and psychological training, but has never, to my knowledge, ever revealed WHERE or WHEN he got this supposed degree. Most info at ntcc is only revealed on a &#34;need to know&#34; basis.

                            6. REPORTING STRUCTURE: I don&#39;t if telling on others is openly promoted, but obviously there is always someone who will gladly &#34;narc&#34; on someone else. Many times from a class or from the pulpit it would be shared that someone told the pastor of another doing something wrong. I&#39;m thinking about a time when a broother was seen in or near a video store. It was immediately reported upon and the guilty was blasted from the pulpit. Nobody ever asked the brother what he was doing-- Maybe he was using the phone, maybe he was renting videos games for his kids, or maybe getting a movie. The point is that instead of talking to the brother in private to find out the &#34;Truth&#34;, it is always assumed that the person is guilty and therefore they are publicly humiliated.


                            • #15
                              7. LOADED LANGUAGE: This tak

                              7. LOADED LANGUAGE: This takes on different forms, but everybody in ntcc knows what &#34;Code Preaching&#34; is. That&#39;s when the preacher is blasting someone from the pulpit without revealing their name, but you know from the references he is using that someone is guilty of said &#34;example&#34;. Then there are the words that ntcc members use frequently that people from the outside don&#39;t understand. &#34;Sinners&#34; &#40;anybody not with ntcc; &#34;Being in a battle&#34; &#40;having a spiritual conflict; &#34;Being convicted&#34; &#40;Feeling bad about something you had done, regardless if you had really done anything wrong&#41;... on and on. I don&#39;t know about some of you, but I got sick of refering to anybody who was not a Christian as a &#34;sinner&#34;. &#34;Well, I work with this sinner..&#34; I don&#39;t have time now to go into more detail.

                              8. TIME CONTROL: Wow... where do start on this one? Let&#39;s put it this way-- once you decide to give your life to ntcc you can kiss your personal life goodbye. Between working full-time on a job and bible school classes at night, or pastoring a church, soul-winning on Saturdays and going to church four times a week there is barely any time left over to spend with your family, kids, or anything else you like to do. Infact, there is barely any time to even reflect on anything other than going to the next event. How many of you have been in &#34;thrash mode&#34;? Where you are rushing through traffic, trying to eat dinner if you have time, and still make it to church or class on time? And forget about a vacation-- you need to take those by going to &#34;conference&#34;. When do you pray? Well, you can do that in the morning drive to work.