Conversion Techniques: Changing Minds & Persuasion (Part 14 – The Love Bomb)

THE LOVE BOMB

The Love Bomb is a classic method used by groups (and is particularly associated with cults) in the initial attraction of new members.

Find someone starved of love

The first step is in spotting the potential group member as somebody who is seeking love and affection. They may have been rejected by partners, parents, siblings, peers, or other such developmental problems. A the common factor is a need for affection that they are unable to find in their current relationships.
The cause of them not finding love may or may not be due to some problem on their part. For example the person may be so desperate that they chase people too ardently, effectively chasing them away.

They may also be affected by a personal trauma, feeling depressed or detached from what might seem an uncaring world.

Offer them unconditional affection

The group members approach the target person as if they were their best friend. Whatever the person says is considered remarkable and interesting. Quirks of personality are ignored. Attention and affection are showered on them by all members of the group at every opportunity.

They are invited to simple meetings at which the attention continues and they are made to feel special at every opportunity. If the group members can determine the ideal type of friend that the person is seeking (which they find through empathetic and concerned listening and probing).

Use love as a reward for correct behavior

When the people join the group, then love becomes one of the methods of keeping them there. It is not now as constant as it was before and it is certainly not unconditional. Now love is given as a reward and removed when behavior is not what is required.

Thus, when people in groups are asked about why they stay, they will still talk about it being a loving place. Their attention and the preaching within the group may well be about love, but it is now on a diet, and they are taught that affection is a just reward for correct behavior.

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