The BITE Model


Behavior Control
Regulation of individual's physical reality
a. Where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates
b. What clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears
c. What food the person eats, drinks, abopts, and rejects
d. How much sleep the person is able to have
e. Financial dependence
f. Little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations

Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals
Need to ask permission for major decisions
Need to report thoughts, feelings, and activities to superiors
Rewards and punishmnets (behavior modification techniques- positive and negative)
Individualism discouraged; "group think" prevails
Rigid rules and regulations

Information Control
Use of deception
a. Deliberately holding back information
b. Distorting information to make it more "acceptable"
c. Outright lying

Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
a. books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio
b. Critical information
c. Former members
d. Keep members so busy they don't have time to think and check things out

Compartmentalization of information; Outsiders vs. Insider doctrines
a. Information is not freely accessible
b. Information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid.

Spying on other members is encouraged
a. Pairing up with "buddy" system to monitor and control
b. Reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership
c. Individual behavior monitored by whole group
d. Leadership decides who "needs to know" what and when

Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
a. Newspapers, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, and other media
b. Misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources.

Unethical use of confession
a. Information about "sins" used to abolish identity boundaries
b. Past "sins" used to manipulate and control; no forgiveness or absolution

Need for obedience and dependency

Thought Control
Need to internalize the group's doctrine as "Truth"
a. Adopting the group's map of reality as "Reality" (Map=Reality)
b. Black-and-White thinking
c. Good vs. Evil
d. Us vs. Them (inside vs. outside)

Use of "loaded" language (for example, "thought-terminating cliches"). Words are the tools we use to think with. These "special" words constrict rather than expand understanding and can even stop thoughts altogether. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous "buzz words."

Only "good" and "proper" thoughts are encouraged
Use of hypnotic techniques to induce altered mental states
Manipulation of memories and implantation of false memories
Use of thought-stopping techniques, which shut down "reality testing" by stopping "negative" thoughts and allowing only "good" thoughts.
a.Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking
b. Chanting
c. Meditating
d. Praying
e. Speaking in "tongues"
f. Singing or humming

Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constuctivecriticism. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate.

No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful

Emotional Control
Manipulate and narrow the range of a person's feelings
Make the person feel that if there are ever any problems, is it always his fault, never the leader's or the group's
Excessive use of guilt
Identity guilt
1. Who you are (not living up to your potential)
2. Your family
3. Your past
4. Your affiliations
5. Your thoughts, feelings, actions

Excessive use of fear
a. fear of thinking dependently
b. Fear of the "outside" world
c. Fear of enemies
d. Fear of losing one's "salvation"
e. Fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group
f. Fear of disapproval

Extremes of emotional highs and lows
Ritual and often public confessions of "sins"
Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader's authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.
a. No happiness or fulfillment outside of the group
b. Terrible consequences will take place if you leave: hell, demon possession, incurable diseases, accidents, suicide, insanity, 10,000 reincarnations, etc.
c. Shunning of leave takers; fear of being rejected by friends, peers, and family

Never a legitimate reason to leave. From the group's perspective, people who leave are "weak," "undisciplined", "unspiritual", or "seducted by money, sex, rock and roll."


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