Influence

  Influence processes that ensure unhealthy destructive control

People in general have find ways to influence others in order to obtain a desired outcome.  Husbands and wives have developed methods of influence one another in order to obtain the required behavior.  Children quickly learn how to get the attention and desired reaction from their parents. In the workplace bosses know what means to utilise to get their workers to perform to standards.

To obtain the desired reaction or behavior from others by making use of emotions of love, fear or guilt or through other more radical psychological techniques such as food and sleep deprivation, isolation, overstimulation, excessive attention and an overrated sense of belonging is not a new phenomenon. These aforementioned techniques can be referred to as a subtle influence process used by one party to manipulate a particular reaction or behavior from another party unawares of the true intention of the first party.

In this particular case the focus is on the utilisation of such excessive psychological influence processes present in certain “groups” in order to establish an unhealthy dependence and behavior control over people in the group.  These groups include religious, spiritual or even secular groups.  The term “cult” has been developed to refer to the doctrines, teaching and practices of a particular group viewed as spurious, unorthodox and destructive.  Cultism refers more particularly to the study of these excessive influence processes and the impact it has on the followers, family and society in general with the aim of creating an understanding of the phenomenon and to provide helpful information to victims, their families and society in general.