Robert J. Lifton's 8 Criteria for Mind Control
1. Mileu Control
Environment control and the control of human communication. Not just communication between people but communication within people's minds to themselves.
2. Mystical Manipulation
Everyone is manipulating everyone, under the belief that it advances the "ultimate purpose." Experiences are engineered to appear to be spontaneous, when, in fact, they are contrived to have a deliberate effect. People misattribute their experiences to spiritual causes when, in fact, they are concocted by human beings.
3. Loading the Language
Controlling words help to control people's thoughts. A totalist group uses totalist language to make reality compressed into black or white-"thought-terminating clichés." Non-members cannot simply understand what believers are talking about. The words constrict rather than expand human understanding.
4. Doctrine Over Person
No matter what a person experiences, it is the belief of the dogma which is important. Group belief supersedes conscience and integrity.
5. The Sacred Science
The group's belief is that their dogma is absolutely scientific and morally true. No alternative viewpoint is allowed. No questions of the dogma are permitted.
6. The Cult of Confession
The environment demands that personal boundaries are destroyed and that every thought, feeling, or action that does not conform with the group's rules be confessed; little or no privacy.
7. The Demand for Purity
The creation of a guilt and shame milieu by holding up standards of perfection that no human being can accomplish. People are punished and learn to punish themselves for not living up to the group's ideals.
8. The Dispensing of Existence
The group decides who has a right to exist and does not. There is no other legitimate alternative to the group. In political regimes, this permits state executions.