You seem to be saying that McKay understands coercive persuasion techniques and has studied them.
And that he uses these techniques knowingly and deliberately to gain control over people.
Most cult leaders learn by hit and miss, not through specific study.
Quoting David McKay RE coercive persuasuion techniques:
[i:50003b2464]A couple of our fans have written to us recently to say that I am manipulative. Actually, I should take that as a compliment. With or without the evil, I have never thought of myself as a particularly skilful leader. I've never had any training, and have had to learn whatever skills I have through trial and error. (Pity the poor guinea pigs!)[/i:50003b2464]
[i:50003b2464]Sometimes we meet friendly people on the streets who want to talk to us. We may ask them to hand out a couple of our tracts while they are waiting for us to have time for a longer conversation. The mere fact that they handed out a couple of our tracts (even if they did not read a word of what was written on it), makes them more open to hear what is written in it later, and more inclined toward accepting the truth in it.
Something similar happens when we ask people to give us a few cents in payment for the tracts that we hand out. Even if they give us one cent it has the effect of committing them to a more positive approach to what we have to say. This is one reason why it is good to encourage friends and relatives to help us out in any way that they can. Even if their help may inconvenience us at times, it is worthwhile because it forms a bond with them which will make them more open to hearing the rest of what we have to say.[/i:50003b2464]
It deals with two specific areas of management which are important to us as Christians: anticipation and motivation.
If they had anticipated that such a day would inevitably come, they might have been able to anticipate the kind of arguments that would be raised, and they might have worked at weeding out any hints of hypocrisy or dishonesty in their own faith and practice beforehand. They might have seen the need to stop preaching and start listening as adolescence approached. There are ways to be prepared, but they are not easy. They take a lot of thought, preparation, humility, and willingness to change. And all of this starts by anticipating that there will be such a judgment one day.
Now let me broaden this to apply to all leaders. You have some people who are trusting you for spiritual leadership. For a while, they will trust you blindly, taking your advice as law. But sooner or later, they are going to start questioning your decisions. Sometimes their challenges will be empty ones, stemming only from their own pride and immaturity. But if you are not careful, you will stand condemned one day, simply because you failed to judge yourself. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "If we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged." (I Corinthians 11:31) This is one aspect of anticipation.
By the time a person becomes a member of our community, they have usually made quite a few significant sacrifices. They have usually done so because they thought that it was God's will for them to do so. However, their understanding of God's will and your understanding may be two very different things. Because of that, sooner or later you are going to think something is God's will about which they will not share the same conviction. Then you must find ways to get them to change out of genuine conviction and not just conformity.
A common example of this is our practice of distributing tracts. People may sell everything they have and give to the poor. They may forsake their family, quit their job, and head out with us to a strange new land, all because they believe that it is God's will. But suddenly they will baulk at handing out tracts, or, more likely, at asking for a donation. For those of us who have done it for many years, what we are doing makes perfect sense. We are "preaching the gospel" and taking an offering from those who wish to contribute. But for people who have only ever thought of "preaching" as being something that you do on a stage, in front of a crowd, we sound like con men trying to justify panhandling.
It's not that the other person is rebelling against God. It's just that their understanding of the will of God is challenged by things that we have learned to take for granted. And the onus is on us to slow down, back up, and find out where it was that we veered off the track that they were travelling down so enthusiastically with us before. We must study their motivations, to see how they differ from our own.
Study the eight ways to know God's will, and work out which ones this person relies on most heavily. Look for ways to wake him or her up to other ways to know God's will. But consider, too, whether you may be able to communicate the same truth through the channels to which they are most open.
A person, for example, who is disinclined to jump just because you have found a proof text in the Bible to support what you are advocating, may be motivated to act if they can see that your proposed plan of action is practical and loving. But another person may be just the opposite. They may refuse to ask for a donation, because they cannot find a verse in the Bible commanding them to do such a thing. For these people, you must find verses, or link the action with more scriptural terminology such as letting those who preach the gospel live off the gospel, accepting carnal rewards from those to whom we have given spiritual food. Topics such as humility, faithfulness, and unity may also need to be discussed.
You may also be able to lead a person, step by step, away from a negative motivation, toward a more positive one. Suppose someone is lazy about doing household chores. Rather than condemn the laziness, you could turn the chores into a game, with some kind of a reward. Such a positive motivation may be all that is needed to overcome the laziness. You have achieved a change through "inspiration" rather than "condemnation". Obviously, we don't want people to be motivated by greed; but in most cases the tiny prizes that we offer would be little more than catalysts, to help people do what they really want to do, and that is to grow spiritually.
We use the empowerment charts to do much the same thing for ourselves, turning progress into points that we can add up on a chart. But even something as simple as an empowerment chart needs a lot of fine tuning, and it is the job of good leaders to experiment with such things until we find a way that gets the desired effect without bringing damaging side effects. We must encourage them not to make the goals too hard, nor too easy. We must encourage them not to make the rewards too big or too small. And we must remind them to constantly re-assess what is happening, to be sure that they are achieving the desired spiritual goals, rather than being sidetracked into pointless production goals.
In conclusion, I would ask you to examine yourself, and those whom you lead, to see if you are aware of your weak spots and the weak spots that threaten your followers. And if you are aware of them, I would ask you whether you are taking actions to motivate changes, and if you are assessing your progress, to see if your actions are having the desired effect. If we keep working on these two aspects of management -- anticipation and motivation -- overall spiritual growth will eventually result.[/i:50003b2464]
As Christian missionaries, we are more concerned with what people actually believe than we are with their outward behaviour.[/i:50003b2464] (so much for any 'good samaritans out there! ed)