Targeted Individual Cult Connection

Cult Mind Control

The B.I.T.E model as discussed in Steven Hassan’s book Combatting Cult Mind Control: Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults, helps to determine whether or not a group is practicing destructive mind control.

B.I.T.E. stand for Behavior, Intellect, Thoughts, and Emotions. Hassan’s model helps people understand how cults suppress individual member’s uniqueness and creativity.

The similarities between a Cults control over their members and the extreme measures taken to control the Targeted Individual’s undesirable behaviors are obvious. Once a person is targeted, most avenues of their life will be controlled by outside forces. The Targets thoughts, emotions, social interactions, living situation, sleep and employment may all be controlled. The Target will be spied on, monitored and manipulated on a regular basis.

The goal is to force the Target to abandon their belief system and to adopt the belief system of the Cult thus becoming a mind controlled slave.

Characteristics in The Bite Model that may apply to the T.I.

Behavior Control

  • Regulate individual’s physical reality
  • Dictate where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates or isolates
  • Interference in relationships
  • Control types of clothing and hairstyles
  • Manipulation and deprivation of sleep
  • Financial exploitation, manipulation or dependence
  • Restrict leisure, entertainment, vacation time
  • Major time spent with group indoctrination and rituals and/or self indoctrination including the Internet
  • Thoughts, feelings, and activities (of self and others) reported to superiors
  • Rewards and punishments used to modify behaviors, both positive and negative
  • Discourage individualism, encourage group-think
  • Instill dependency and obedience

Information Control


  • Deliberately withhold information
  • Distort information to make it more acceptable
  • Systematically lie
  • Keep members busy so they don’t have time to think and investigate
  • Control through cell phone with texting, calls, internet tracking
  • Ensure that information is not freely accessible
  • Encourage spying on other members
  • Impose a buddy system to monitor and control member
  • Report deviant thoughts, feelings and actions to leadership
  • Ensure that individual behavior is monitored by group
  • Extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda, including:
    • Newsletters, magazines, journals, audiotapes, videotapes, YouTube, movies and other media
    • Misquoting statements or using them out of context from non-cult sources
    • Manipulation of memory, possible false memories

Thought Control

  •  Require members to internalize the group’s doctrine as truth
  • Adopting the group’s ‘map of reality’ as reality
  • Instill black and white thinking
  • Decide between good vs. evil
  • Organize people into us vs. them (insiders vs. outsiders)
  • Use of loaded language and clichés which constrict knowledge, stop critical thoughts and reduce complexities into platitudinous buzz words
  • Encourage only ‘good and proper’ thoughts
  • Hypnotic techniques are used to alter mental states, undermine critical thinking and even to age regress the member
  • Memories are manipulated and false memories are created
  • Teaching thought-stopping techniques which shut down reality testing by stopping negative thoughts and allowing only positive thoughts, including:
  • Denial, rationalization, justification, wishful thinking

 Emotional Control

  • Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings – some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong or selfish
  • Make the person feel that problems are always their own fault
  • Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness
  • Your past is suspect
  • Your affiliations are unwise
  • Your thoughts, feelings, actions are irrelevant or selfish
  • Social guilt
  • Historical guilt
  • Instill fear, such as fear of:
  • Thinking independently
  • The outside world
  • Enemies
  • Losing one’s salvation
  • Extremes of emotional highs and lows – love bombing and praise one moment and then declaring you are horrible sinner



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