In a majority of cases, those who join cults do not

necessarily hold to the beliefs of the cult. Rather, the cult

meets some needs or desires of that person. Meeting the needs

of a person can amount to many things.

1. Social needs. People need others to feel normal and human.

a. affirmation - the need to be recognized as having value.

As Christians, we possess two kinds of affirmation.

Affirmation of the Spirit says that we have value because of

Christ's sacrifice. Affirmation of Fellowship says that we have

value to others, because we recognize the value of others, due

to the sacrifice of Christ.

b. security - the need to have a consistent social environment;

a somewhat predictable habit of social contact.

As Christians, we have security through Christ, who is our

environment, and who is a constant. Note the theme of God's


c. attention - the need to have a personally directed response

to our thoughts and actions.

As Christians, we have a personal relationship with Jesus

Christ, who directs and affirms our thoughts and actions.

d. leadership - the need to have a goal or purpose; sometimes a

reason for life.

As Christians, our leadership is through Christ, augmented

through those appointed to lead us in discipleship to Christ.

e. philosophical - the need to reason and find rationale for

what happens or is perceived.

As Christians, we find our reasoning and rationale in

revelations, naturally occurring through God, and in the nature

and being of God.

f. power - the need to control and not be controlled.

As Christians, our lives are controlled by Christ.

2. Physical Needs

a. food

b. shelter

c. health and medicine

3. Emotional Needs

a. dependence

b. comfort/contentedness

c. emotive social response/response to hurts

d. compassion

e. justice

4. Spiritual Needs

a. God-shaped emptiness within each person

b. justice/balance

c. worship


1. Repetitive recitation: makes responses automatic.

2. Scripture twisting: appeals to need for rational thinking,

and depends on a pre-existing confidence in Scriptures, or a

possible confidence in Scriptures.

3. Emotional incentive: social needs are met only when the

"proper" response is given.

4. Emotional teardown: breaking down the individuality of a

person encourages replacement of the individual with the ideas

and thoughts of another.

5. Physical incentive: physical needs are met only when the

"proper" response is given.

6. Spiritual incentive: secret or mystic "truths" are revealed

only when the "proper" response is given.

7. Physical teardown: a sensual experience is generated through

physical deprivation. Affects emotional and rational needs.

8. Spiritual teardown: current belief system is challenged and

ridiculed. A new belief system is proposed to replace it.

Plays on emotional and spiritual needs.

9. Social incentive: social needs are met when the "proper"

response is given.

10. Peer pressure: needs are met when the expected "proper"

response is given.

11. Graduated indoctrination: real basis, or belief system, is

introduced to the victim so slowly, the victim assimilates

information without checking it against previous information.


Copyright 1989 The Christian Counter Project

Reproduction permitted only if text is intact, not within the

body of any other text, and is not sold for gain or profit.

August 1989

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