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Powerful Persuasion Strategies
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Destructive groups take advantage of this. Remember, mind control is a process. So what the destructive groups do is introduce ideas one step at a time. Once you accept the first step it's much easier to take the second step which is consistent with the first. Now that you have accepted the second part (and justified it to yourself...), in order to be consistent, there is an obligation to accept the third part.
For example, a cult member confesses something in front of the group. The then they feel obliged to accept the punishment that is normally given out for that kind of weakness or sin. Even if the punishment is outrageous or the person would never have tolerated that kind of treatment before.
Or a person goes along to a personal development seminar to learn about communication skills. And the leader begins to build a ' logical chain' starting with the idea that in order to improve communication skills a person needs to change their thinking. In order to change your thinking you need to change who you are. One way to do that is to change your values. He argues that the value of freedom is the most important. After all, if you have freedom you have access to all the possibilities available to you. Next, an important aspect of freedom is sexual freedom.
Having led the members of his group down this particular path, members now believe that sexual liberty indicates that they are evolving, developing. This, of course, leaves the members very vulnerable to sexual abuse by the leader. After all, having sex with the leader is, he will argue, consistent with, and proof of, having sexual freedom.
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