Errant Belief #6: “He’s Too Intelligent to Join a Cult”

Intelligent People Fall Prey to Cults

 

 

This was my mother’s response in 1974, when I dropped out of college, quit my job, donated my bank account, and moved into the Moon Center in Queens, New York. She was trying to reconcile how her son, an honors student, could be foolish enough to be taken in by a cult and accept such stupid beliefs. She thought that I would see through it quickly and on my own. I only wish that she had been right.

 

Valuable People Recruited

Man with overlay of gears stemming from brain

Many people have a hard time believing that bright, talented people—often from good homes and with higher education— could fall under the control of a cult. What they fail to realize is that cults intentionally recruit “valuable” people—they go after those who are intelligent, caring, and motivated. Most cults do not want to be burdened by unintelligent people with serious emotional or physical problems. They want members who will work hard with little or no sleep. Most of the former cult members I have met are exceptionally bright and educated. They have an active imagination and a creative mind. They have a capacity to focus their attention and enter deep states of concentration. Most are idealistic and socially conscious. They want to make the most of themselves—and to make a positive contribution to the world.

 

Creativity & Imagination Can Be Used to Control a Person

Cult mind control groups thrive to the extent that they can recruit such intelligent, dynamic people. It is essential for all members of the Team (part of the SIA) to realize that cults target these people for recruitment. The more creative a mind a person has, the more his imagination can be used to control him. Indeed, bright people sometimes have even more sophisticated fantasies about the group and its doctrine than does the cult leader. The bright member usually follows his own fantasy construction of the group’s belief system.

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**This is part of an on-going series. If you have not yet done so, please read about errant beliefs 1 -5 by clicking here.


Image of Steven Hassan from Freedom of Mind Resource Center

 

About the Author: 

Steven Hassan M.Ed. LMHC, NCC has helped thousands of individuals and families recover from undue influence (mind control). With over 40 years of experience, he is sought after as one of the foremost authorities on undue influence and controlling groups and individuals. Steve understands the subject from a unique perspective as both a former cult member and as a clinical professional.

Steven is the Founding Director of the Freedom of Mind Resource Center, a coaching, consulting, and training organization dedicated to supporting individuals to have the freedom to think clearly and to freely consider how they want to live their lives.  Steven pioneered a breakthrough method called the Strategic Interactive Approach (SIA), an effective and legal alternative for families to help cult members.  The SIA teaches family and friends how to strategically influence the individual involved in the cult.

Contact Freedom of Mind to schedule a consultation or to learn about offered services.

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