top of page

How do you know if a group is a sect/high control?

I've never come across a sect or high control group which admits to being one. Its just not what they do, you have to work it out for yourself. These groups do exhibit a series of behaviour flags though, which will alert you to that fact. I often get contacted by people concerned about relatives or friends involved with unusual groups, asking 'is it a cult?' Here are some tips: Check out for an assessment tool. They are a podcast discussing Mormon and ex Mormon stories. Obviously, Mormans are only one of a wide variety of these groups - the stories may be different to your own/friends/family experiences - however its useful to hear other peoples stories of exit and recovery. I find the assessment tool useful as it covers a wide array of high control tactics. 29 of the common high control tactics are listed below. eception

  1. Love bombing

  2. Purity

  3. Dispensation of existence

  4. Milieu control

  5. Destabilisation of Self

  6. Dependency

  7. Black & White Thinking

  8. Elitism

  9. Us v's Them

  10. Doctrine over Self

  11. Social Pressure

  12. Belief follows Behaviour

  13. Double-Bind

  14. Blame Reversal

  15. Emotion over Intellect

  16. Indirect Directives

  17. Identification and Example

  18. Totalist reframing

  19. Loaded Language

  20. Thought/Cliches

  21. Public Commitments

  22. Time Control

  23. Dissociative States

  24. Euphoria Induction

  25. Induced Phobias

  26. Guilt and Shame

  27. Institutionalized Bigotry

  28. No Honourable way to Exit

The Atlantic has an article - 7 Signs that you're in a Cult - which is a good read. has an interesting checklist of common characteristics. Dr Steve Hassan is a leading American expert in the field - he also has some interesting resources on his website. He has a BITE model of control which outlines some high-control tactics.


Laura Conti Headshot_edited.jpg

Hi, thanks for stopping by and learning more about fundamentalist Christianity, coercive religious control and The Truth sect.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Instagram
  • Twitter
bottom of page