There is an interesting phenomenon within pseudo-Christendom, and specifically today, the Pentecostal branch of Christianity, and that is Behavior Control, internally known as Righteousness. Pentecost is akin to many other major sects, such as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Scientology [non-Christian], etc., in that it’s foundation is very modern and focuses on controlling the behavior of man to produce an asset.
Was that God’s intent? Certainly, behavior was regulated in the Old Testament, and yet we call it the Old Testament now because to some degree, it failed, due to mans inability to ‘follow the rules’. So why are we trying that again?
For Christ is the end of the law [it leads to Him and its purpose is fulfilled in Him], for [granting] righteousness to everyone who believes [in Him as Savior]. – Romans 10:4, AMP
As DivideTheWord.blog matures and I meet and hear the stories of more and more people, I am staggered by the sheer number of people in support groups to help them transition back into a normal life after leaving Pentecost. This is similar to military personnel, even those who have never seen combat duty who struggle re-entering civilian life, where they now and suddenly must regulate their own behavior.
The exit patterns of ex-military personnel and ex-Pentecostals are twin brothers who are experimentation’s for the Psychology of Influence. We call it the Rubber Band Effect.
As a rubber band is pulled taught, a reverse force energy is created. Either the band must break to release the energy [submit], or spring back upon itself [rebel]. The energy created will propel the rubber band in the opposite direction with enough force to travel much farther than it was originally pulled and often with stinging force. This is evidenced by troubles in the persons life as they are propelled into choices and decisions they are not mentally prepared to make.
A Controlling Church seeks to break the rubber band, to gain submission, just as the Military does. Both face an equal amount of shot rubber bands, and both consider that the worthwhile price for those who [break] become the elite soldiers. Lifers.
Don’t forget, the Pastor is the one pulling your rubber band. If it submits [breaks], it will be credited to his/her leadership. If it snaps back [rebels] it will be credited to your inability to be ‘pastored’. Having your rubber band snapped is what you need to live a good life, they believe.
I hated being UPC growing up. I was so oppressed with all the outrageous rules and always felt like I was in a cult. I still suffer from spiritual trauma to this day and I’ve been gone from that madness for over ten years now. I fear that it’ll haunt me for the rest of my life. – Ashley Nicole Portillo, from an ex-Pentecostal Support Group
First and foremost, this structure requires one powered light bulb and then a group of non-powered bulbs. This is the pastor, and his dumb sheep mentality. This is the Pentecostal model.
“The ability to deal with people is as purchasable a commodity as sugar and coffee. And I will pay more for that ability than any other under the sun.” – John D. Rockefeller
How Does It Work?
In the book Influence: Science and Practice, by Robert B. Cialdini, who is a professor of Psychology at Arizona State University, we are presented with The Six Key Weapons of Compliance Professionals.
Just that line alone is staggering: Six Key Weapons of Compliance Professionals but it is so accurate to controlling leaders within religious societies. What are their six weapons? Reciprocation, Commitment & Consistency, Social Proof, Liking, Authority and Scarcity.
At the end of the article I’ll provide brief commentary for each.
The ties that bind is a carefully crafted and absolutely non-Biblical lie that the Pastor is God’s replacement authority on the earth, he is the only mouthpiece of God, and thus, he is infallible. This is Pope (Father) for Catholics, President (Prophet) of the Apostles Council for Mormons, etc.
Most of humanity is obsessed with the concept of the afterlife, as evidenced by nearly every society known in history. As Christians, we have been conditioned to think in terms of Heaven, and Hell. Both have admittance requirements. If one man can cause you to believe that he is the ticket to heaven, and not following is the ticket to hell, would you follow? (This one man was supposed to be Jesus, see our article Replacing Jesus with your Pastor.)
If you would follow, what would be the limits of what you would accept from the one [man] who has the keys to your eternity? If being in the Church requires obedience to man, what would you do for the Church?
- Would you accept forced obedience to whimsical rules and regulations for the Church?
- Would you be willing to cut off your parents, or other friends/family for the Church?
- Would you be willing to give up jobs and refuse higher education for the Church?
- Would you be willing to give 10%, 15%, or 20% of all your money to the Church?
This list could be endless, but the ties that bind is this question: What wouldn’t you do for Salvation? With that one question, Compliance Professionals have pulled the wool over the eyes of thousands, and millions of easily influenced people, causing them to believe that obedience to them [the man] is equal to salvation, or justification by God, and thus, the promise of eternity in Heaven.
Never mind that the majority of things being taught in the Pentecostal religion are extra biblical, decrees and doctrines of man. It is ‘their’ revelation of what God wants, the convictions God gave them.
In closing, consider these 6 Key Weapons of the Compliance Professional and how it applies to a Pentecostal experience. With this, I pray God blesses you with open eyes to the fallacy of these doctrines so that you may find real peace in God.
From here on, Compliance Professional will be replaced with Pastor as we are talking about controlling churches that are controlled by a single man or woman calling all the shots.
People feel the need to return the favor, I have taught this lesson using the Christmas party analogy. If you show up and are offered gifts, but you have none in return, your level of guilt will spike and your need to return the favor will control your behavior.
Controlling leaders/pastors use this by giving small gifts or favors to congregants, that will overtime become obligated to that man or woman.
Key Phrase: This is the least you can do for Pastor, who has given so much for this church!
- Commitment and Consistency
People have a general desire to appear consistent and gain value by being committed. Pastors can exploit this desire slowly but making small initial requests that are not too burdensome.
Once committed, the next small request is hard to deny, thus continual small requests turn into large commitments that will end up controlling ones time.
Key Phrase: I’ve given my entire life for this, I’m only asking you for n time.
- Social Proof
People generally look to others who are like themselves when making decisions. This is Group Think. This is used both positively, and negatively. In the positive fashion, controlling pastors will often give example of the good effects in someones life as a result of their teaching.
In the negative, controlling pastors more often than not give examples of the rubber band effect as evidence and proof of what will happen to any who get out from underneath the control.
Key Phrase: Look what happened to brother/sister so and so when they left the church…do you want that for your family, think of your kids!
People are generally influenced most by people they like. This is the charismatic personality. They tend to have a halo of intelligence, capability, friendliness, authority. The friendliness turns off when you disagree with them, but the veneer is effective initially in creating the aura of love, creating a desire to ‘get on their good side’.
Key Phrase: No one loves you like your pastor does!
The Milgram Experiment ran by Stanley Milgram, shows that the majority of people will act in automated fashions when commanded by an authority figure to perform a certain task, even if their instincts suggest the commands should not be followed.
Pastors exploit this in congregants by creating legalistic rules and then using all of the above key weapons, along with authority, to gain compliance. By this time in the circle of influence, obedience is rarely questioned.
Key Phrase: If you think I’m wrong, you just obey your pastor anyway, let God deal with the pastor.
People generally desire things most when they are less available. This is simple economics, supply and demand. It is problem that when information is restricted, people want it more and will hold it deer.
In Pentecostal churches, this is the ‘Understanding’ in Job 38:36. Controlling pastors teach that the only way you will get ‘Divine Understanding’ is by obedience to their rules and processes by which you gain God’s favor. This is in direct confrontation with James 1:5.
Key Phrase: As with Nicodemus (John 3) he couldn’t even see [understand] the Kingdom until he obeyed.