Updated: Dec 23, 2021
Governments are using emergency powers to change human behaviour on a scale never attempted before. The imposition of lockdowns has transformed normal, healthy social interactions into forbidden activities resulting in a significant emotional burden on individuals. One that's not always immediately evident.
Seven months on and we are in the same place, doing the same thing and being told to expect different results. Even with the arrival of vaccines the goalposts shift, with new variants and a wait and see approach.
In the absence of a clear way out, all that remains are the changes to our behaviour and an excess of control, but what if that is the real goal?
The reliance on fear and other forms of emotional manipulation, emphasis on collective efforts before individual rights, censoring of competing narratives and promise of a brighter future ('Build Back Better') all have cultish tones.
Cults are not dissimilar to totalitarian regimes, even abusive partners, in that they all employ similar methods to gain control over people.
So let's check this theory out.
Defining aspects of cults
Social separation and isolation
Fear, coercion and control
Compliance, follow the rules
False promises and utopias
The goal of a cult is total control over its members. To do this there are established psychological techniques that break down an individual's persona. Typically these are focused on undermining a cult member's independence, their social relationships outside of the cult and critical thought or objectivity. A cult works to gradually devalue a member's self-worth and value, which they win back only through compliance. Cult's also isolate members from contrary influences and those who might signpost them back to reality and freedom. A member is indoctrinated to only serve the cult, its leaders and their objectives.
Dependency is a cult's primary objective. When there is dependency a member’s ability to free themselves is diminished and the cult's power is magnified. The more holistic and total the dependence becomes the less ability the initiate has to free themselves. A panoply of control techniques are deployed - physical, psychological, financial and, more often than not, existential or spiritual.
Sustenance, support, access to the external world and others are all controlled by the cult.
State regulation and its penetration into our private lives has boomed during the pandemic.
Mask mandates, restrictions over who we can socialise with, trillion-dollar handouts and state wage subsidies to prop-up families devastated by lockdowns and forced closures of businesses. The cumulative effects of these policies has drawn people further away from their own means. The line between the state and our private lives is more blurred than ever. With this, the ability to control our environment and retain autonomy has been hugely diminished.
Pandemic surveillance technology, vaccine passports and a looming cashless society will serve to deprive us further of the independence, privacy and freedoms we enjoyed before the pandemic. Participation in this emerging framework will ultimately mean a life of subjection to the dictates of the state.
As Christians we must not enter into situations where we allow others to have undue power over our lives, such as through fear, debt, oaths, coercion or unequal yoking to unbelievers. All of this has the potential to create an oppressive system of dependency akin to a communist state.
Cultists ensure members are physically isolated from friends and family members who might otherwise provide a reality check, offer emotional support or, worse still, draw someone out of the cult.
Newspapers, books, TV, and web access are all censured (China, North Korea), ensuring that the only reality experienced is the one presented by the cult.
Cultists convince members that life outside the cult is a threat to their wellbeing. Safety is reinforced within the confines of the cult. Others are regarded with suspicion as social separation becomes a defining aspect of a member’s life.
Initiate's gradually lose their individuality as a form of social osmosis takes hold, and the cult's values take precedence over their own.
Holocaust survivor Hannah Arendt, noted in her work “The Origins of Totalitarianism,” published in 1951, that since ancient times, tyrants have worked to isolate citizens from each other. Sowing separation and distrust in communities. This prevents people from acting in concert and generating power that can overthrow tyrannical dominance.
Social distancing, separation from loved ones, forced quarantines and other ‘health’ measures have been fundamental in invoking feelings of isolation and depersonalisation.
"Stay apart to stay together", "If you go out, you can spread it, people will die".
These slogans are designed to make us believe that socialising will put ourselves, our friends or loved ones at risk. We are acting selfishly if we do not obey the rules. These moral and emotional counterweights are designed to restrict our interactions, make us fearful and implant guilt.
More than this, Christians are particularly vulnerable to these moral pressures. The World is telling them 'this is the right thing to do, you are a bad person if you do not comply with all of these rules'. This is not true, it is 'moral' blackmail. Can a Christian, hand on heart, say that to keep loved ones apart - even in sickness and death is something Christ would do? Can they say a 12 million NHS lockdown-induced waiting list, business closures, medical segregation, a mental health tsunami and quarantine camps are good?
After having made you dependent and socially isolated you, the cultists' next job is to make sure you can never leave.
In an interview with Aeon, social psychologist Alexandra Stein explained that "when we are frightened, we don't simply run away from the fear, but run to a haven. When the supposed safe-haven is also the source of the fear, then running to that person is a failing strategy, causing the frightened person to freeze, trapped between approach and avoidance."
By keeping individuals off-balance in this way, cults increase their members' dependency, ensuring they retain control. This confusing and conflicting state of "fear and avoidance" overwhelms cult members and their ability to think critically about the situation they’re in.
Breaking out of this situation usually requires an ‘outside influence’. Broadly, cults retain control over their members by controlling influences on them.
In this context dissenting voices are crucial as they offer a signpost that cult members can use to ground themselves, recover their objective capacity and freedom.
Some cults even have initiates receive a physical mark on their bodies as a visible token of allegiance and ownership. The Nxivm cult, which included Hollywood celebrities, branded its adherents. The cult leader said the branding was to be "like a sacrifice" and referred to the female members as “slaves” who were illustrating their submission in an indelible way.
A visible indication of submission is important to cults, its something that sets their followers apart from the unwashed and uninitiated. These symbols and other outward displays of loyalty become fetishised as evidence of total indoctrination and acceptance, both by the adherent and the cult.
The state and it’s agencies have relied heavily on the media and ‘tech giants’ to control the ‘narrative’ surrounding the pandemic. By their own admission, they have used fear to control the public’s behaviour.
Is it any surprise then that the majority of the UK government’s scientific advisory group (SAGE), are in fact ‘behavioural scientists’ and not epidemiologists or virologists?
One of them is Prof. Stephen Reicher who co-authored a book called ‘50 Years of “Obedience to Authority”: From Blind Conformity to Engaged Followership’.
Governments have become both enslavers and comforters, the source of fear and the 'safe-haven', promising to keep us safe if we 'follow the rules' and engage in the rituals. Compliance is the key to our salvation and acceptance by society.
And what about ‘dissenting voices’, crucial in freeing those trapped inside the cult and a vital feature of any freedom loving, civil society?
Well, as we have seen, any information which conflicts with the state sanctioned narrative is, by default, ‘disinformation’. This is now the policy of mainstream media outlets as well as Google, Twitter and Facebook. In the UK, a recent Ofcom edict threatened broadcasters with action if they gave airtime to dissenting views without providing ‘context’.
Scientists, doctors and even legitimate regulated media channels are falling foul of censorship including de-platforming, blocking and sandboxing. All these techniques are being used to isolate individuals from ‘harmful’ information. This is often simply defined as messaging that doesn't come from approved sources.
But control isn't just about minds, it's about bodies as well. Now vaccines and vaccination passports are being used as a means to render physical submission and control over populations. Wearing a mask and getting jabbed signify you are part of the group, the 'greater good', you are 'legitimate'. To not comply or to question is heresy and causes your moral stock to fall in the eyes of your compliant friends.
Masks and vaccinations have become the symbols of one's acceptance of, and being accepted by, the state. Compliance and acceptance of these controls is now a badge of 'honour'.
False promises, zero-Covid and a new era
The promise of a better world, or reaching a common goal, is a feature of many cults and a motivating factor towards group unity and adherence to the rules. To question the cult’s aims or disobey the rules is viewed as a selfish act of ‘ego’ and hindering progress towards the collective goal.
Many cults promise a higher stage of enlightenment as initiates climb the steps required to attain it, set by the cult leader. In so many real-world cases this has resulted in acts of self-destructive behaviour, murder and even mass suicides.
One thing they all have in common is that their promises prove false. Cult leaders are often exposed as liars, cheats, controlling abusers, sociopaths and narcissists.
You may have heard the phrase ‘Build Back Better’. The slogan has been used by governments around the world as part of their pitch for a brighter post-Covid future, but what does it mean?
‘Build Back Better’ is part of the 'Great Reset', a policy initiative of the World Economic Forum. The 'new normal' (another WEF slogan) is an already established plan for global restructuring and a resetting of the world economy. It's rationale is tied into climate change and see's humanity as a force to be controlled and limited in order to 'save' the planet. It's proponents are using the pandemic to force us into more 'sustainable' lives on a planet that will also be 'healed' of injustice and inequality. We just need to hand over all control to them. They actually go much further than this into dystopian sounding trans-humanism. This literally means changing what it is to be human.
The 'resetters' often make calls for greater world unity. Greater cooperation over Covid, They have praised the global effort. Their emphasis is always on the oneness of humanity, "none of us is safe until we all are". There is never any mention of God, have you wondered why?
For decades these organs have pushed the idea of world government, it is their utopia. They are using Covid as an 'opener of the way'.
Totalitarian societies are indistinguishable from cults
So why talk about cult behaviour? Well, because totalitarian societies and cults have everything in common. They have cult-like leaders, they seek to control all thought and behaviour, there is no private or sacred space beyond the cult-state's reach, compliance is paramount, dissenters are publicly outed and punished, information is strictly controlled sometimes by censorship, sometimes by limitation and the cult-state has primacy over Church, family and friends.
Totalitarian states are the ultimate 'inclusive' society because nobody is allowed to exist outside them.
What should Christians make of this?
There's no doubt the behavioural mechanisms employed are cult-like and are changing society wholesale, what's more they are evidently not defeating the pandemic. Despite this, the interventions, the restructuring and global planning proceeds apace. Then there is the major effort to reorder society that snakes it's way through these sweeping changes. Truthfully, none of this was part of the UK's pandemic preparedness plan prior to Covid and I'm confident it wasn't in the preparations of other nations.
The arrival of vaccines and vaccine passports, should a Christian accept them, will yoke them to the state. These are nothing like a simple ID card or passport. They will enable the state to become the arbiter of what we can and cannot do in our every day lives. This is already evident in some churches. Furthermore, all of this is about 'hearts and minds'. It is about emotion, sentiment and trust, especially trust in the authorities of the world. The Christian who does this is saying: "I believe the world, I trust the world with my life".
I have little doubt that vaccine passports will be ubiquitous, eventually restricting access to all goods and services - they are already dividing society. It's inevitable that the unvaccinated will be marginalised and persecuted. Never before have humans been so at risk of losing all their personal autonomy and society so divided against itself.
Whatever the excuse, this is indeed a power grab, without limitation. No world leader, to my knowledge, has stated these 'passports' are a temporary measure. Quite literally, whoever controls people controls the planet. Whether you believe it is to help rid the world of a virus or not, the transfer of power and control from yourself to the state is unprecedented and undeniable. I'd go as far as saying, the proponents of this technology are stealing humanity from God. Who can steal from God?
So what next?
There are many watchful Christians who see this as laying the foundations, material and spiritual, for the Mark of the Beast and I am one of them. I firmly believe Christians must not have any part in it. Satan is the ultimate deceiver and the perfect cult-leader. It's therefore no wonder that the society emerging from the pandemic exhibits all the hallmarks of a cult and it will want to put its own unique 'mark' on all mankind.
Proverbs 29:25 - “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.”
What can we do? Love the truth and trust in Jesus who has the victory. He overcame the world and through him we have the power to overcome it also. We are most definitely not to succumb to the world or let our lives be dictated by fear.
The truth is vital. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of truth and it is only by him we are saved. We are not to engage in irrational and meaningless behaviour or lies - no matter how good we think our intentions may be. If we give a little to a lie, we will end up giving a lot, maybe everything. Christians must not put on the yoke of slavery again, let us not bind ourselves to the World.
Come Jesus soon. Amen.