The BITE model: the specific methods that cults use to recruit and maintain control over people.
“B”: Behavior Control
- Promote dependence and obedience
- Modify behavior with rewards and punishments
- Dictate where and with whom you live
- Restrict or control sexuality
- Control clothing and hairstyle
- Regulate what and how much you eat and drink
- Deprive you of seven to nine hours of sleep
- Exploit you financially
- Restrict leisure time and activities
- Require you to seek permission for major decisions
To me, a former member of the LDS Church, these are self-evident. To a current member, they may not be so evident. Why? Confirmation bias. Obedience to authority, depending on authority for the current word of god, behaving in accordance with prescribed actions, paying tithes and generous offerings in order to receive anticipated rewards (blessings, status, ability to participate in ordinances not available to those who don’t), sexuality (including modes of dress, abstinence until marriage, heterosexual only, personal arousal, etc.), “busy work” (Ministering – formerly Home/Visiting Teaching), time consuming callings and assignments, recommendation to date and marry within the Church, Word of Wisdom, etc.
These are methods to control behavior! Period!
Members will protest, saying they choose these things and are not forced. However, each of these things has a reward if they are chosen, meaning they ARE, absolutely, forms of control! Sure, one does not have to follow or comply with these things, but where does that leave this member? What will happen? Will he/she be left alone?
If they are noticed, no (have you ever attended a Ward Council meeting??)!
This is behavior control, pure and simple.
Thoughts Pro/Con? Please comment!