Conversion Techniques: Changing Minds & Persuasion (Part 8 – Guilt)


Giving people guilt trips is a common method of persuasion, and parents and friends often use it. You may have done so yourself. Some individuals and groups, however, take this method to new levels.

Escalate the group

Loyalty to the group is typically escalated to high level, and framed as being a good and right thing to do. This is often couched within talk about obviously good things such helping customers, supporting colleagues and creating world peace. By associating themselves with unchallengeable values, the group and its leader also become unchallengEably ‘good’.

This escalation to ‘godhood’ makes the leader and higher members of the group unchallengeable and able to pronounce on what is good and what is bad. It also, by implication, puts the person lower down the order of ‘goodness’.

Accuse the person

Once the group, its leaders and ideals are established as being above the person, they can then, without fear of challenge, accuse the person of breaking important values and putting themselves ahead of the group and its (very reasonable) values.

If the person is sent out to collect money, for example, if they do not bring back enough cash they are admonished for not being sufficiently dedicated and for putting their own selfish concerns ahead of the good of the group or the causes they promote.

Dangle elevation

The group may dangles the prospect of elevation into higher positions within it, where guilt is left behind as ultimate goodness is approached. Of course the only way to reach this higher station is to do whatever these great people tell them to do.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s