One way in which cults or high control groups seduce their prey is a tactic known as Love Bombing. Remember when you first started going to the Kingdom Hall and everybody was so glad to see you? They swarmed all over you in a sort of ,"cocoonment". All of a sudden you have, INSTANT FAMILY, INSTANT PURPOSE, INSTANT COMMUNITY, INSTANT FRIENDS. Can you imagine how this must feel to those who are disinfranchised from society, or those who have suffered a loss of some kind, those who are searching for answwers, those who are depressed? You now have friends and a family. You know longer have to look for answers as to the purpose of life because the high control group leaders will dispense all your spiritual needs. You feel so lucky that you found all of these wonderful good people!
Elders who have the Pay Attention book know that this act of Love Bombing is something that is greatly stressed for new ones. Pages are dedicated to greeting new ones and how to get the congregation to join in this practice. Smiling, greetings, shaking hands, playing with their kids, inviting new ones to sit with you, making sure they have a Bible, helping them to look up scriptures. All of this is planned enducement to get the people to keep coming back, to want to become one of Jehovah's Witnesses.
According to the book Cults in Our Midst by Margaret Thaler Singer the practice of love bombing is a common practice in groups who seek to control others.
She states: Most cults have specific plans for drawing in each recruit. As soon as any interest is shown by the recruits, they may be love bombed by the recruiter or other cult members. This process of feigning friendship and interest in the recruit was initially associated with one of the early youth cults, but soon it was taken up by a number of groups as part of their program for luring people in. Love bombing is a coordinated effort, usually under the direction of leadership, that involves long-term members' flooding recruits and newer members with flattery, verbal seduction, affectionate but usually nonsexual, touching, and lots of attention to their every remark. Love bombing---or the offer of instant companionship--- is a deceptive ploy accounting for many successful recruitment drives.
Remember the talks right before the Memorial that we should welcome any newcomers who come. That we should make that extra effort to be welcoming. Or the midweek talks reminding us to be extra friendly and welcoming to any new ones at the Sunday meetings. Especially when we had special talks or the Circuit Overseer came to visit.
Yes many, including myself, were seduced by the Love Bomb. However, what a difference it is when you fail to tow the line. The Love Bomb train is swiftly swept away!