Dangerous Devotion: Signs of an Unsafe Group

View warning signs of an unsafe group by expert consultant Rick Alan Ross below. Compare these signs with specific examples exhibited by Love Has Won, and examine other resources and opinions about this topic.

Warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader:

  • Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
    Example within Love has Won | Members must surrender completely to the leadership of LHW, beginning with a phone session known as a "surgery." (These sessions come at a cost and are recurring.) Despite regularly professing that they "don't know shit," Amy and her team insist that "Mother God" knows all and that the only way to clear oneself of inorganic matter and survive the great purge is to surrender to her alone. They insist that "Mother" and "Father" are the source of all love, yet the duo verbally attacks loyal admirers daily for things as trivial as using the wrong peanut butter. Members grovel profusely and apologize or confess transgressions until it is confirmed they are back in good standing. 

Woman on Window Sill
  • No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. 
    "While brainwashing is a complicated subject, one can recognize it, in its most simplistic form, when followers are discouraged from questioning the group or its beliefs, and punished when they do express concerns. Love Has Won implements this practice by requiring members to use 'I feel' phrases, instead of 'I think.' Members are instructed to "trust the plan" and trust 'Mother' rather than expect answers or explanations. When members begin to question, they are told they are 'spinning out' and instructed to ground themselves. It is common on live-streams for members to mock former or current members that have spun out. Dr. Steve Hassan notes that in many cults one can never criticize their leader, but instead must criticize themselves."
    Read full blog post comparing documented signs of a dangerous group with the behaviors of Love Has Won here.

 

  • Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.  "In Love Has Won, members are constantly speaking about their fears of The Cabal, the Elite, dark forces, democrats, etc. They say that the only way to eradicate these dangers is to support 'Mother God' through her ascension. Amy Carlson, 'Mother God', assures her followers that if they push hard enough on society to increase love and happiness, she will ascend to the fifth dimension and all terrors and negative things will cease to exist. Members become stuck in the mindset that if they do not continue serving towards this cause, they will live among humanity in a world of darkness and horrors." Read full blog post here.

 

  • There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
    In addition to videos posted by LHW itself, and personal accounts from former LHW followers, there have been several     articles, podcasts, and a two part season premiere of Dr. Phil, highlighting alarming behavior associated with Love Has Won. 

Visit our Podcasts and Media page for more informative documentaries and podcasts.

 

  • The group/leader is always right. 
    "Cults generally can be recognized if they have one primary leader, or small group of leaders, who are afforded the sole responsibility of making all decisions and guiding the direction of the organization. Psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton identifies an authoritative leader who becomes the object of worship as a foundational characteristic of a destructive cult. Amy Carlson meets this criteria. She is viewed and worshipped as 'Mother God,' and her words and actions are held to the highest standard. Even with videos of her abusing a cat, and locking a child in a closet, Amy Carlson is protected by the cult mentality that she can do no wrong.  When a member of a group is not held responsible for their actions, and they are the primary person in charge with unquestioning followers, the group can be identified as having a common characteristic of a cult."  Read full blog post here.

Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader:

  1.  Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.

  2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.

  3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".

  4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.

  5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.

  6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supersede any personal goals or individual interests.

  7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.

  8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.

  9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.

  10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided. 

View the full list of warning signs, as well as other important information about these groups, at Rick Ross' website: https://www.culteducation.com/warningsigns.html

America's leading cult expert, Steve Hassan, suggests using the BITE Model to help determine whether or not a group intends to influence how one feels, thinks and acts. 

 

"You can use the BITE Model  (Versión en español) to help you assess the level of control that a group exerts over its members. You can also ask any of the questions below. Vague, evasive, deceptive, or manipulative answers are a huge red flag! Give yourself the time and space to investigate and think about any groups you are considering."

View recent blog post about this topic here.

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