(Please note: the following was not written by us, but by professionals. We leave it to you to determine whether the Keshe Foundation is a mind-control cult or not. Obvious parallels have been put in red.)
Cults, wonderful on the outside, but on the inside they are very manipulating. Cult leaders are desperate to trick you into joining. They are after your obedience, your time and your money. Cults use sophisticated mind control and recruitment techniques that have been refined over time. Beware of thinking that you are immune from cult involvement, the cults have millions of members around the world who once thought they were immune, and still don’t know they are in a cult! To spot a cult you need to know how they work and you need to understand the techniques they use. You will hear how they help the poor, or support research, or peace, or the environment.
Cult-like behavior is commonly identified through excessive control (51% shareholding, secret/private zoom meetings or “teachings”), manipulation, and esoteric teaching of a group (“pray to your reactors”, “you can already see the 2nd sun”) where the group’s members are often isolated and indoctrinated into special teachings and practices.
A cult needs to recruit and operate using deception. Why? Because if people knew their true practices and beliefs beforehand then they would not join. A cult needs to hide the truth from you until they think you are ready to accept it. For example, imagine if the leader of Heavens Gate cult was open and honest about the group and had said to new recruits, “Join us, wear strange clothes, get castrated and then drink poison!” he would not have had many takers.
Cult leadership is feared. To disagree with leadership is the same as disagreeing with God. The cult leaders will claim to have direct authority from God to control almost all aspects of your life. If the cult is not a religious group then questioning the leaders or program will still be seen as a sign of rebellion and stupidity.
Guilt, Character Assassination and Breaking Sessions. Guilt will be used to control you. Maybe they will call you stupid or greedy, maybe they call you a spy or a terrorist, but it could never be that the group program isn’t working. It’s always your fault, you are always wrong, and so you must try harder! You will also be made to feel very guilty for disobeying any of the cult’s written or unwritten rules.
Breaking sessions are when one, two or more cult members and/or leaders attack the character of another person, sometimes for hours, weeks or months on end. (As Keshe has done with the imaginary “Red Circle” and anyone else who spoke the truth) Some cults will not stop these sessions until their victim is damaged heavily.
Cults know that if they can control your relationships then they can control you. Whether we like it or not we are all profoundly affected by those around us. When you first go to a cult they will practice “love bombing”, where they arrange instant friends for you (“one nation, one family”, or they tell you: “you have been chosen”). It will seem wonderful, how could such a loving group be wrong! But you soon learn that if you ever disagree with them, or ever leave the cult then you will lose all your new “friends”. This unspoken threat influences your actions in the cult. Things that normally would have made you complain will pass by silently because you don’t want to be ostracized. Like in an unhealthy relationship love is turned on and off to control.
Cults also try to cut you off from your friends and family because they hate others being able to influence you. A mind control cult will seek to manoeuvre your life so as to maximize your contact with cult members and minimize your contact with people outside the group, especially those who oppose your involvement.
Common sense tells us that a person who does not consider all information may make an unbalanced decision. Filtering the information available or trying to discredit it not on the basis of how true it is, but rather on the basis of how it supports the party line, is a common control method used throughout history.
People in a mind control cult will also hide their true thoughts and feelings, and instead wear a mask which presents them as a perfect cult member. This mask is a defense against being reported to leadership and being punished for not measuring up (cult members never feel like they measure up to the cult’s ideals, and yet often believe the other members around them do, when in reality the others feel the same as them). Hence cult members are trained not only to deceive outsiders, but also to deceive their fellow cult members. Rarely can close friendships form in cults, and if they do the cult’s leaders may see them as a threat and move those people away from each other. Nothing is allowed that can be more powerful than the cult members’ allegiance to the group and it’s leaders.
Mind control cults keep their members so busy with meetings and activities that they become too busy and too tired to think about their involvement. Time control also helps the cult keep their members immersed in the manufactured cult environment. And time control helps keep cult members away from friends and family. In some cases you might even lose your job or your spouse because of your intense involvement in the cult.
Hyped Meetings: Rather than explain to you what the group believes or what their programme is up front, they will instead insist that you can only understand it if you come to a group meeting. There everyone around you will seem so enthusiastic that you will start to think there is something wrong with you. They create an environment where you will feel uncomfortable and the only way to become comfortable is to join them. This is an application of controlled peer pressure.
Intense Unrelenting Pressure: They call repeatedly. Meet you on campus or outside your work. Trick you into coming for only an hour and then lead you into a long study, meeting or talk. They have to keep the pressure on, otherwise you might snap out of the mind control environment they are trying to immerse you in.
They tell you that they are not a cult. This is a pre-emptive strike against the warnings from friends and family members which they know will come. In fact some cults go as far to tell you that Satan will try and dissuade you by sending family members and friends to tell you it is a cult. When this tactic is used then often a warped form of logic occurs in the recruits’ mind, the “agents of Satan” do come and tell them that it is a cult. So since the group predicted that would happen, the group therefore must true! Basically if any group tells you that they are not a cult, or that some people call them a cult, then for goodness sake find out why!
Further signs of a cult:
– Complete, almost unquestioned trust in the leadership. A single charismatic leader.
– Leaders are often seen as prophets, messiahs, apostles, or special individuals with unusual connections to God. This helps a person give themselves over psychologically to trusting someone else for their spiritual welfare.
– Increased submission to the leadership is rewarded with additional responsibilities and/or roles, and/or praises, increasing the importance of the person within the group.
– Their group is the only true system (“WE will enforce peace, it’s humanity’s last chance”)
– Signs that the leader rarely, if ever, admits to do anything wrong even when the evidence insists otherwise. (“we are always correct”, even if Keshe attacks, falsely accuses and slanders all the time)
– Outside sources of other materials or information is strongly forbidden to be read (“don’t listen to the enemies of the Keshe Foundation”)
– “Us against them” mentality. Therefore, when someone (inside or outside of the group) corrects the group in doctrine and/or behavior, it is interpreted as persecution, which then is interpreted as validation.
– Control of members’ actions and thinking through repeated indoctrination (repeating lies and accusations over and over again and adding new ones on the go)
– Making grandiose, unsubstantiated claims to have ‘restored’ truths that have been lost for many years or even thousands of years
– Minimizing contact of members with those outside the group. (“don’t click on any emails or links, this is how they attack you”) This facilitates a further control over the thinking and practices of the members by the leadership.
– Making incredible demands on the time of their followers, even to the point of harming relationships, family or job? (“Today we learned a lot of things, the teaching has become so interesting, it’s not worth going to work anymore.”)
– Showing great (real or faked) attention and love (or in rare cases financial support) to a person in the group, to help transfer emotional dependence to the group.
– Presenting the group as “non-profit”, only to come up with commercialization in the long run.
– Asking for money (in Keshe’s case: money + mandatory “donations”)
– Super hyped meetings (Dubai meeting, Bari meeting, “Free energy for world peace”, “Ambassador meeting”, “Blueprint Week”, etc. etc.), books, tapes, videos, leaflets, products.
– End of the world pressure (2nd sun, earthquakes, “we don’t have much time”, “build these units as fast as you can”, “register for the meeting as soon as possible”)
– Secret knowledge or secret knowledge claims (but advertised as “free and open”)
– Invoking conspiracies to explain lack of progress (“they tried to stop us, they threatened us, they tried to kill us”)
– The claimed invention implies violations of firmly established mathematical or physical laws (“a new state of matter”)
– Claiming discovery of new physical theories, or comprehensive “theories of everything” (“this is the knowledge of the universe”)
– An unusually long gestation period without commercialization frequently promises working devices “in a few months” or “in the coming time”, deadlines are always missed
– Lack of formal education in relevant field (unlike what some people think, Keshe is neither a doctor nor a professor, but an engineer)
– Pursuit of funds from unconventional sources, individuals, especially the elderly with large life savings, church groups, especially fundamentalist, wealthy people lacking education in subject field
– Repeated pattern of touting one design and then abandoning it in favor of a new one when critics show it cannot work (“bait and switch”. We have seen this with the flying car, the CO2 Kit, the orb-shaped reactor, the star formation, the power beads, the power unit, the plasma battery, the coils, the health unit… it goes on and on, from one to another, but nothing ever works. What will be next ? Oh yes, the power generator and the “elusive spaceship”. And everything is in plasma form now, so it cannot be proven wrong by any human being in matter state…)
– Appealing to religion or “higher power”, especially when seeking funds from religious people or groups. (“this technology will enforce peace”)
– Heavy marketing emphasis on wonderful applications of a device, carefully avoiding question of whether the device actually works
– Instructions and/or knowledge are sometimes said to be received by a leader from God (Keshe’s “2nd soul” or “messenger soul”)
– The teachings of the group are repeatedly drilled into the members, but the indoctrination usually occurs around Special Knowledge. (in this case: “Keshe plasma technology”)
– Cognitive Dissonance. Avoidance of critical thinking and/or maintaining logically impossible beliefs and/or beliefs that are inconsistent with other beliefs held by the group.
– Those who do not keep in step with group policies are shunned, isolated and/or expelled. False reasons are offered as to why a particular person no longer participates with the group. Former members might later be bribed into rejoining the group.
– Refusal to be responsible to, or be corrected by, any member – or even the whole group, even when it is clear that something was done wrong. (“if there is something wrong, there is something wrong with YOU”)
– Diverting attention away from the leader to escape law enforcement (“the Keshe Foundation is not us anymore, now the Keshe Foundation is all of you”, “I have no problem taking a backseat in the teachings”)
– Insisting that, even when they are wrong, God will back up their decisions (“our physicality is weak, but our soul is always correct”)
– Control of gender roles and definitions sometimes leads to sexual exploitation.
– Cult leaders often have a criminal record.
– Being told that you must stop ALL contact with anyone who is a former member.
– Repeatedly making subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) threats. (“if anything happens to us, something strange will happen to you”, “we will knock on your doors very soon”, “these are the red circle terrorists”)
The purpose of a cult is to serve the emotional, financial, sexual, and power needs of the leader. The single most important word here is power. The dynamic around which cults are formed is similar to that of other power relationships and is essentially ultra-auhoritarian, based on a power imbalance. The cult leader by definition must have an authoritarian personality in order to fulfill his half of the power dynamic. Traditional elements of authoritarian personalities indude the following:
– the tendency to hierarchy
– the drive for power (and wealth)
– hostility, hatred, prejudice, slander
– superficial judgments of people and events
– a one-sided scale of values favoring the one in power
– interpreting kindness as weakness
– the tendency to use people and see others as inferior
– a sadistic-masochistic tendency
– incapability of being ultimately satisfied
Cult leaders (The Master Manipulator)
Cult leaders have an outstanding ability to charm and win over followers. They beguile and seduce. They enter a room and garner all the attention. They command the utmost respect and obedience. These are individuals whose narcissism is so extreme and grandiose that they exist in a kind of splendid isolation in which the creation of the grandiose self takes precedence over legal, moral or interpersonal commitments. Paranoia may be evident in simple or elaborate delusions of persecution. Highly suspicious, they may feel conspired against, spied upon or cheated, or maligned by a person, group, or governmental agency. Any real or suspected unfavorable reaction may be interpreted as a deliberate attack upon them or the group.
Harder to evaluate, of course, is whether these leaders’ belief in their magical powers, omnipotence, and connection to God (or whatever higher power or belief system they are espousing) is delusional or simply part of the con. Megalomania – the belief that one is able or entitled to rule the world – is equally hard to evaluate without psychological testing of the individual, although numerous cult leaders state quite readily that their goal is to rule the world. In any case, beneath the surface gloss of intelligence, charm, and professed humility seethes an inner world of rage, depression, and fear.
Two writers on the subject used the label “Trust Bandit” to describe the psychopathic personality. Trust Bandit is indeed an apt description of this thief of our hearts, souls, minds, bodies, and pocketbooks. Since a significant percentage of current and former cult members have been in more than one cultic group or relationship, learning to recognize the personality style of the Trust Bandit can be a useful antidote to further abuse.
The Profile of a Psychopath
- A charismatic leader who increasingly becomes the object of worship
- A series of processes that can be associated with “coercive persuasion” or “thought reform”
- The tendency toward manipulation from above… with exploitation – economic, sexual, or other – of often genuine seekers who bring idealism from below
Psychopathy is not the same as psychosis. The latter is characterized by an inability to differentiate what is real from what is imagined: boundaries between self and others are lost, and critical thinking is greatly impaired. While generally not psychotic, cult leaders may experience psychotic episodes, which may lead to the destruction of themselves or the group. An extreme example of this is the mass murder-suicide that occurred in November 1978 in Tonestown, Guyana, at the People’s Temple led by Jim Jones. On his orders, over 900 men, women, and children perished as Jones deteriorated into what was probably a paranoid psychosis.
Psychopaths are, first and foremost, social predators. With no conscience to check their behavior, they use charm and manipulation liberally to get what they want from others. No one is exempt from this. They’ll prey with equal recklessness on family, friends, lovers, co-workers, or even turn their skills to cults or politics. (“World government”) They modify their personalities to become exactly the person they think you want them to be. And they’re good at it.
Ultimately, the psychopath must have what he wants, no matter what the cost to those in his way.
Cultic groups usually originate with a living leader who is believed to be “god” or godlike by a cadre of dedicated believers. Along with a dramatic and convincing talent for self expression, these leaders have an intuitive ability to sense their followers’ needs and draw them closer with promises of fulfillment.
Gradually, the leader inculcates the group with his own private ideology (or craziness!), then creates conditions so that his victims cannot or dare not test his claims. How can you prove someone is not the Messiah? That the world won’t end tomorrow? Through psychological manipulation and control, cult leaders trick their followers into believing in something, then prevent them from testing and disproving that mythology or belief system.
You need to be aware of possible SIGNS of cult-like behavior BEFORE you get significantly involved with anyone. Few groups will display all of the above characteristics. You should be concerned, however, if a group or leader has three or more of the above traits. (as can be seen above, the KF has a lot more than three of them!)
For active KF members and followers it already seems to be too late. But we hope that this website can still help some of them to break free, before the Keshe cult consumes them completely and lets them resort to questionable or even criminal action.
“Potentially unsafe groups or leaders come off very nice at first, they go for vulnerable people who are looking for answers, lonely, what you’d call ‘normal people.’ They’re very good at what they do and can get people to believe anything. You might think you’d never get taken in, but don’t bet on it.” – Margaret Singer, Ph.D.
Find more information here:
How to leave and recover from a cult
Warning others about a group you were in
Cultic warning signs
Cult Education Institute
Info about cult leaders