Good general information about cult indoctrination and 'brain-washing' techniques by someone who has suffered at the hands more than one false guru:
]I've summarized the main points for those who prefer reading:1.
You feel uncomfortable, but you don't know why. What does this guru really want from me? Are they empowering me, or is the focus all on them? The words they speak may make perfect sense and may sound beautiful, but you have questions.2.
You feel confused – there seems to be opposing concepts in the so-called "teachings". There are things that are vague and could have double meanings. You experience some cognitive dissonance and feeling foggy. The false teacher uses‘word salad’. You wonder why you don't quite 'get it'.3.
You begin to doubt yourself and your place in the world. Then you begin to deny your doubts and confusions. The false teacher could confirm that this state of doubt is normal and to be expected. You might not want to look stupid, especially in front of other members, so you go along with it.4.
The false teacher will introduce the group's dogma or belief-system here. There will be a lot of concepts that you are not familiar with. You agree with what you are taught, even though you don’t understand it.
The teacher has the power of knowing more than you do and has done all this before! They are clever at working out what to say in order to win you over.5.
You feel pressure to accept the dogma, because you want to belong to a community. You deny any doubts. It doesn’t feel good – although in some specific moments, it feels great.
You get the creeping feeling that if you could just let go of all your doubts, the everything would be wonderful.6.
Your thinking beings to shift. You feel good, like you belong for the first time in your life
, because a carrot has been dangled in front of your nose – the reward seems to be there within your grasp. You feel pressure to keep putting in the work, being more and more devoted, trying harder and harder to do what the false teacher says. You begin to feel exhausted and sucked dry. Your own internal dialogue is drowned out and replaced by what the false teacher wants you to think. You might feel like you are in a trance when you leave the ashram or group, because the real world is no longer 'your world'.7.
You begin to implode. You can no longer accept the ‘old you’. You feel like you no longer have your sense of ‘self’.8.
Emotional catharsis. The false group that you belong to will celebrate this new state in you are in, and tell you that you are close to ‘enlightenment’ or ‘God’. This is a very vulnerable state.9.
You believe this break-down is actually a ‘break-through’. Your old world now seems not to exist. But the promised enlightenment never arrives. Now you will do the false teacher’s bidding.10.
You are now welcomed to the ‘group’ or ‘family’. However, you have to always do what they tell you. There is no room for dissent. You are open to exploitation.
By the way, I personally got to around stage 4 or 5
in the above process while I was following Mooji's pointings. But my doubts outweighed my 'wanting to feel good' by just trusting and accepting everything I was being told. I began to ask too many questions. I began to research and cross-reference what Moo was saying with traditional Advaita Vedanta doctrine.