This UK-based resource site has, in its articles, a useful list of tips: [www.cultinformation.org.uk
I've put double stars after some items that seem relevant to LGATS. And suggestions of my own in parentheses--corboy)
Exploding The Myths
People don't join cults. They are recruited. **
People are recruited by a method not a message.**
People do not stay in cults because they have nothing better to do with their lives, but because psychological coercion holds them there.**
Cults intend to retain a hold on people for life, or for as long as they are valuable to the cult. It is not a fad or a phase. (In another section, the Cult Information Centre says this: 'The wealth of a cult benefits neither its members nor society.' )
Normal people from normal families are recruited into cults. **(Some LGATs often pose as job training or infiltrate the work place.)
Cult leaders should be blamed for the problems caused, not the individual members, ex-members or their families. (Blame the victim syndrome). It can happen to anyone.*(Though people emerging from a cult may find they must deal with pre-cult personal problems that they left 'on hold' and unresolved at the time they were recruited.
Cult members are sincere. (Sincere victims, but sincere.)
Cult members are victims and need to be treated with love. They are people who need help, not hostility.
Cults recruit people of all ages, not just young people. (Though certain cults target people either already affluent or who have the likelihood of earning money later on. If a cult targets a specific 'niche market' that gives valuable insight into who is vulnerable to recruitment--and where to post warnings to alert people..)
Cult recruiters are rarely visually identifiable***. They usually look like quite normal people who appear to be very friendly.
Anyone can become a victim of cult techniques of psychological coercion. The safest people seem to be the seriously mentally ill, or those that know how to recognise a cult.
Accurate information on cults is not best obtained by trying to infiltrate a cult. This is far too dangerous.***(Some of us may be tempted to infiltrate a cult that has damaged a loved one. But some of these have now been on the scene for decades, and have spent that time testing and refining their techniques. Theyare far more effective than when they first emerged in the 60s and 70s--so you may be at high risk of injury if you try to go 'undercover'--especially if you're more vulnerable to trance induction than you realize.)
General Secretary, Cult Information Centre