BEWARE of people who are excessively friendly BEWARE of people with invitations to free meals and retreats BEWARE of through guilt people who recruit you

If you feel that you or a friend or family member has been subjected to mind control or cult recruitment, you may contact: Office of Student Affairs 103 Central Square 736-5144 *If possible, please provide the name(s) of the recruiter(s), and the organization For ongoing help contact:

on campus
What to be aware of, What to do

BEWARE of people who want your name and phone number but won't give you theirs Not all cults are religious groups. There are also political, social, psychological and financial groups that are considered cults. What these groups have in common are the characteristics of mind control.
KEEP IN MIND: Cults deliberately keep their true nature hidden Trust your instincts about a group. If you are uncomfortable at any stage, get out! Everyone is vulnerable during certain 'low' periods in his/her life. Don't feel embarrassed at having been involved. GET HELP! You as a consumer have a right to have your questions answered. You have a right to make choices Any legitimate group will be more than happy to tell you about the beliefs of the group

York Counselling and Development Centre 145 Behavioural Sciences Building (416)736-5297 York Inter-Faith Council 103 Central Square (416)736-5144

Combatting Cult Mind Control, Steve Hassan; Park Street Press, 1990 Cults (What Parents Should Know), Joan Carol Ross and Michael D. Langone; Carol Publishing RECOMMENDED VIEWING: “What Is A Cult: And How Does It Work?” "Cults: Saying NO Under Pressure” "Surrender"
· AII of these are available through the Office of Student Affairs This pamphlet was produced by the Office of Student Affairs York University May 1998

“It is possible, given total control of a person's environment, to turn his/her mind in a very short time. Coercive persuasion-brainwashingcan be achieved by removing the recruit from normal routines and beliefs into a controlled environment.” -Margaret Singer, Ph.D., University of California Psychologist

what is a cult?
Cults are groups that deceptively recruit members by using mental, emotional, physical and financial means to control the actions of their adherents. They can best be described as elitist, high demand organizations that require members to follow the teachings of their leaders, without question.

• a cult is usually characterized by a leader who claims a special relationship with God, or special knowledge and power • the leaders demand absolute obedience and are the sole judges of members' faith/commitment • members are exploited by and are preoccupied with recruiting, fundraising and worship to the exclusion of the rest of their lives • members put the goals of the cult ahead of personal concerns, family interests and career goals • cults utilize techniques designed to effect ego-destruction, thought reform and dependence on the cult • recruiters are guarded and vague about the beliefs and goals of the group until the recruit is hooked • recruits may display symptoms of extreme tension and stress, lack of sleep and proper diet • cults teach hate and fear of the world: only their particular group has the solution

ISOLATION-you are physically separated from your social seeing PEER GROUP PRESSURE-doubt and resistance are suppressed by exploiting your need to 'belong' LOVE BOMBING-a sense of family and belonging is contrived through hugging, kissing and frequent telephone calls and attention GUILT-cult beliefs are reinforced by exaggerating the sins of your former life FEAR-loyalty to the group is maintained through warnings of serious spiritual or physical repercussions for not conforming to the group RECIPROCITY-guilt is reinforced in the new recruit. "How can I be having such negative feelings about the group when they've been so 'nice' to me?" FATIGUE-disorientation and vulnerability are enhanced by withholding adequate rest and sleep REMOVAL OF PRIVACY-your ability to make decisions is diminished by preventing you from being alone

Those who are: ⇒ recovering from personal trauma (e.g. death or illness of someone close) ⇒ average or above average intelligence ⇒ idealistic and/or intellectually curious ⇒ in a state of transition (relationship, job, school)

• they are recruited while they are in a vulnerable period of their lives • they are impressed with the friendliness of the recruiter • they fail to trust their first instincts and doubts about the group • they are deceived and have been systematically entrapped by the group