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Cults & Memes:

An Overview of Mind Control

by L. L.

Some Preliminary Concepts

Meme is a term used by Oxford Professor Richard Dawkins in his studies on imprinting.1

  1. A meme is a set of instructions for imprinting behaviour patterns in the neural pathways of the brain.
  2. A meme is contagious and is passed on like a virus, effecting belief systems & behaviour patterns.
    1. A meme can be benign, like a musical tune that sticks in the mind, or
    2. A meme can be harmful, like a disease:
      1. Mild, like a common cold, or
      2. Lethal, like AIDS, such as belief systems of extreme hatred, terrorism and suicide bombing. This is the deadly form of meme we see being deliberately passed on in its most contagious form of hatemongering, terrorism, and suicide bombing. Hate is a very contagious "bait."
  3. Like AIDS, the lethal meme destroys the society it infects – unless cured, or infection prevented.

The Lethal Meme

This can be called Brainwashing / coercion / conditioning / mind control. Whatever form it takes, from the ridiculous to the deadly, it all follows a set pattern of steps.

The steps vary in time for each individual, depending on the "Bait" and the type of victim targeted.

Example: when fishing, a lot of attention and care is spent on making the bait attractive to that type of fish and environment.

The attention and care spent on making the Bait attractive is not done out of compassion for the fish! It is designed to get the fish to swallow the hook and become caught!

Steps to Entrapment

  1. Get the attention of the victim/ recruit/ dupe/ convert: The attention-drawing "Bait" can be secret knowledge, sex, money, God, love, hate, power, attention, status, riches, friendship, and belonging. I’ve found the most deadly "Bait" is Hate! -- as this emotion overrides reason. Whatever the dupe/ victim shows vulnerability in, the "Bait" can be customized for the individual: time varies.
  2. The new recruit/ dupe/ victim is praised, made to feel privileged, "special, chosen, different" from others, persuaded that they are chosen – by God, luck, looks, intelligence – whatever the dupe/ recruit shows vulnerability to. They are told "Beginner’s Secrets" with hints of more to come. If accepted into upper/ inner/ privileged circle, hints of more – to do, know, experience.
  3. The degree of conviction and dedication is further worked on with each individual being encouraged to recruit/ invite newer recruits. The Hints of Secrets are passed on, as each new recruit wants to feel important and interesting to those who are listening.
  4. This further deepens the conviction dedication of the recruit, as it reinforces the sense of being "special, gifted, chosen, important" – the admiration of the new recruits reinforces the recruits’ conviction that they are chosen.
  5. It doesn’t matter what the "Bait" is: it can be a peculiar brand of god, sex, money, knowledge – the "Bait" is whatever the victim will swallow – the "Hook" is accepting the authority and passing on the "Bait" to others.
  6. To the degree that the individual accepts "the authority," "the leader," to that degree the basic self and the self-defense mechanism is surrendered to "the authority." This is the basic trickery used by Pimps, Cults, Terrorists, and Con Artists of all kinds, and the steps vary in time: some victims take the hook quickly, deeply, and are hooked very fast and deep, such as suicide bombers and martyrs. Hate against a directed target is very contagious, especially if a self-righteous religious slant is used.
  7. Some realize the power and themselves become the predators, recruiting recruiters as teachers, pimps, "Holy Men," Con artists, settling for the "delicious" perverted power of sacrificing the lives of their dedicated "believers". A few extreme examples:
    1. The Aryan Nations and KKK use Hatred (Jewish people, African-Americans, etc.)
    2. The Inquisition used Hate (Heretics, witches, and unbelievers)
    3. Hitler used Hate (Jewish and Roma (Gypsy) people, homosexuals, people with physical and mental deformities and defects, and those not of pure "Aryan" blood)
  8. Strong, irrational emotions stirred and directed by the unscrupulous leads to murder, and wasted lives, as in suicide bombers and terrorists for all "causes," from baby seals to what name to use for God!

Further Reading

  1. For L.L.’s extensive article on the methods used by destructive cults, see Cults, Pimps & Other Creeps.
  2. For a background on the author, see L. L.’s Bio.
  3. For a look at general cult techniques from the perspective of one person's experience in a Christian cult, see Jesse Ancona's Lying with the Truth: Deception and Mind Control in the Worldwide Church of God, a Case Study in Religious Manipulation. .
  4. For a profile of one style of deceptive religious leader, see Jesse Ancona's The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: The Deceptively Humble Man .

©L. L. (Edited by Jesse Ancona). Permission is granted to download, print, or copy this document without charge for private study or non-profit distribution for Cult Information purposes only. Permission is not given to reprint this work in a larger work, post it on another website, or to use it for resale, public reading, or broadcast. For information on citation of Internet sources using the Harvard System, see Library - BRIDGES: Harvard System - Electronic Material.


1Dawkins, R., 1976, 2nd ed, 1989. The Selfish Gene.
-----------------, 1982. The Extended Phenotype.
-----------------, 1987. The Blind Watchmaker.
-----------------, 1995. River Out of Eden.
-----------------, 1996. Climbing Mount Improbable.
-----------------, 1998. Unweaving the Rainbow.

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