How the BLEEP did that happen?! - Episode 5

[I recommend going in numerical order with the Episodes. They build on each other.]

Episode 30 contains the full resource list.


If you studied High Control or High Demand Groups from Episode 3 you'll notice the word CULT only comes in later in the description. That's a relief! Because I didn't like that word. In fact, in my experience, I'd been led to believe there was no solid definition to the word. That it was merely a word used by 'suppressives' who wanted to cause damage and create fear. But here's the thing. It DOES have a definition. A very clear, concise definition.

ICSA, a research and educational nonprofit organization, published this definition accepted by many researchers:

Cult: A group or movement exhibiting:
  • great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, and
  • employing unethical manipulative or coercive techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgement, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it),
  • designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders,
  • to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.

Excerpted from Cultic Studies Journal, 3, (1986): 119-120.

When I bothered to actually read the definition my jaw dropped. How did I, with a supposed enquiring 'scientific' mind, completely ignore this and not pursue a definition?! Another great question.


This short film below gave me staggering realizations. It's funny, kooky and weird, but hits right at the heart of the issues. I wish I could have made it! I'm thoroughly jealous! 

Mind Control Made Easy or How to Become a Cult Leader was made in 2000 by director Carey Burtt. It's a fantastic comedy spoof. Enjoy!

Next up.... Shaming, from inside and outside (including family)

To be continued....

Mark Vicente ©2017