CUlts Inside Out by Rick A. Ross is the most up to date book available on what defines cults and distinguishes cults from other situations.
No matter what the type of cult, the same techniques and lies are used. Cults are distinctive on account of specific behavior patterns not found in other situations.
In all cases, cult leaders intentionally target and recruit among persons who
are vulnerable because they are in crisis.
Corboy dares to suggest (as a non professional) that some day we may understand that most cult leaders may be process addicts, except that they use people to soothe their emotions and boost self esteem.
That cult leaders need and use disciples for the same reason that junkies shoot heroin, meth addicts use speed and gamblers lurk in casinos.
That perhaps cult leaders even be found in many cases to be no different from
relationship addicts or shopaholics.
One is too many and too many is never enough.
This is just a guess, though.
There is also a book entitled Addiction as an Attachment Disorder by Philip J Flores, Ph.D.
Reading this may put the pretensions of Choices Counseling into proper perspective.
Flores pulls together all the current science and clinical psychology findings and
in accessible language, demonstrates how human beings cannot regulate and establish physical and psychological well being unless we are part of a network of secure relationships. Addiction is a disease of isolation.
Insecure relationships make us vulnerable to addictions and to relapse.
Secure relationships ground us and set us free. Insecure relationships (such as those provided by ailing families and incompatible therapists, keep us from reaching developmental milestones and leave us unable to explore and grow.
By contrast, controlling therapists, cults and abusive partners can give us intense emotions but are incapable of giving us secure relationships, because the people themselves are so desperately needy and controlling.
Often this is disguised by charisma and long practice (behind closed doors) in mastering surface charm and communications skills.
Persons incapable of secure relationships are the ones who want to monopolize us. Cults and abusive partners are control freaks. They seek to isolate us from all outside
influences. They excel at tricking us to believe we are weak, when they themselves are the ones who are weak.
Types like this are skilled at playing people against each other. It is common for cults to shun any member who leaves or is ejected.
Leaders need to control all relationships and do not want you to trust each other. At any sign that disciples are forming friendships or a trainee counselor
is becoming trusted will be ruthlessly nipped in the bud.