Monday, August 24, 2020

A Free online BOOK on How Cults Work

The following "chapters" are the result of a decade of formal, academic study and several decades of direct investigation, including participation in several cults before I understood what I was getting into. (Substantially enhanced 04-03-2021.)

What Are Cults and How Do They Work?

The Five Progressive Qualities of the Committed Cult Member

The Typical Path of Cult Involvement

Cult Membership as an Addiction Process... and a Process Addiction

Groupthink, Social Proof & Unquestioning Acceptance of Authority

Authoritarianism, Affective Polarization, and Economic Ideology (with commentary)

The Cynical Use of the Crowbar of Stipulated Belief in not-moses’s reply to the OP on that Reddit thread

Understanding Codependency as "Soft-Core" Cult Dynamics... and Cult Dynamics as "Hard-Core" Codependency

Cognitive Dissonance & Double-Binding: The Sure Paths to Cultic Crazy-Making

Coercive Persuasion in Cults

Constant Conflict: Conditioned Belief for Collective Survival vs. Using One's Senses for Individual Survival

Damned if you Do and Damned if you Don't "Double Binding" & the Treatment Thereof

Doctrine and Certitude

How Cults use Benign Portals to Recruit New Blood in not-moses’s reply to the OP on that Reddit thread

How Cults use Duplicity, Contradiction, Conflict, Cognitive Dissonance, & Dissociation to Take Over & Control the Mind

Ego Decompensation & Emotional Blackmail in Thought Reform

Fantasy Operational Processing in The True Believer

Abusive Xtianity, Emotional Blackmail & How to Recover from the Lingering Effects of F.O.G.

The Cultic Road to Learned Helplessness  and the After Effects of Being Groomed into Learned Helplessness

Article by Cult Expert Janja Lalich (2017)

How & Why do People Leave One Cult and End up in Another?

Mechanisms of Moral Disengagement among Upper Level Cult Authorities and not-moses’s reply to the OP in Do cult leaders know they are cult leaders?

The Typical Path of Cult Involvement

Do cult leaders really Believe what they are Preaching? in not-moses’s reply to the OP on that Reddit thread

The Psychology of the Cult Experience (1982)

Psychopaths as Gurus, and Vice-Versa

Religious / Cultic Trauma Syndrome

Social Proof and the Teflon True Believer

Abgrall's Soul Snatchers: The Mechanics of Cults

The True Believer, Spencer’s Model, the Addiction Model & the Paradox of Openmindedness

The Unquestioned Power of the Priest or Guru...

Can People truly Recover from Cult Indoctrination and Manipulation?

Do I need Exit Counseling or Deprogramming?

A Basic Cult Library 

International Cultic Studies Association affiliate exit counselors include those listed right here. I cannot vouch for any of these people, but ICSA is pretty up to speed on how cults work and how to treat those who get to the second and third of the five stages of therapeutic recovery.


  1. Any family suffering due to Brahma kumaris cult pl join me