Inducing a state of high suggestibility by hypnosis, often thinly disguised as relaxation or meditation.
Peer Group Pressure
Suppressing doubt and resistance to new ideas by exploiting the need to belong.
Creating a sense of family and belonging through hugging, kissing, touching and flattery.
Rejection of Old Values
Accelerating acceptance of new life style by constantly denouncing former values and beliefs.
Encouraging blind acceptance and rejection of logic through complex lectures on an incomprehensible doctrine.
Implanting subliminal messages by stressing certain key words or phrases in long, confusing lectures.
Removal of Privacy
Achieving loss of ability to evaluate logically by preventing private contemplation.
Time Sense Deprivation
Destroying ability to evaluate information, personal reactions, and body functions in relation to passage of time by removing all clocks and watches.
Encouraging child-like obedience by orchestrating child-like behaviour.
Inducing regression and disorientation by soliciting agreement to seemingly simple rules which regulate mealtimes, bathroom breaks and use of medications.
Desensitizing through bombardment with foul and abusive language.
Sleep Deprivation and Fatigue
Creating disorientation and vulnerability by prolonging mental an physical activity and withholding adequate rest and sleep.
Removing individuality by demanding conformity to the group dress code.
Chanting and Singing
Eliminating non-cult ideas through prolonged group repetition of mind-narrowing chants or phrases.
Encouraging the destruction of individual ego through confession of personal weaknesses and innermost feelings of doubt.
Achieving increased dependence on the group by burning bridges to the past, through the donation of assets.
Creating a false sense of righteousness by pointing to the shortcomings of the outside world and other cults.
Promoting acceptance of cult authority by promising advancement, power and salvation.
Inducing loss of reality by physical separation from family, friends, society and rational references.
Maintaining vulnerability and confusion by alternately rewarding and punishing similar actions.
Change of Diet
Creating disorientation and increased susceptibility to emotional arousal by depriving the nervous system of necessary nutrients through the use of special diets and/or fasting.
Inducing dependence on the group by introducing games with obscure rules.
Accomplishing automatic acceptance of beliefs by discouraging questions.
Reinforcing the need for salvation by exaggerating the sins of the former lifestyles.
Maintaining loyalty and obedience to the group by threatening soul, life or limb for the slightest negative thought, word or deed.
Replacement of Relationships
Destroying pre-cult families by arranging cult marriages and families.
Some of the above techniques used in isolation are not necessarily harmful in and of themselves. However, in a psychologically coercive cult environment, they are usually used en masse, in extreme ways and for prolonged periods of time.