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Top 10 Tactics of Cultic Apologists

I developed these today inspired by a convo with a Seventh-Day Adventist AND with a little inspiration from a top 10 list made up by David King a while back on Catholic Apologists.

Enjoy. Be on the lookout for these.

Top 10 Tactics of Cultic Folks

1. Semantic Obfuscation (word games). Simply redefine words without telling your opponent. Use their words THEIR way and then change meaning without notice. Works well with any of the other techniques listed below.

2. Conspiracy Theories and Drama. Present your view as something ‘hidden’ and purposely concealed. Or present it as ‘new truth’. Present yourself as an enlightener, revealer, and that your greatest desire is to present what’s been ‘long hidden’ from folks so that they too can be in ‘freedom’ (bondage). Present the people who did this ‘hiding’ from you as evil and suspect – if possible, try to numerically associate their name with the mark of the beast. Play on the emotions of the person as much as possible. Works well with #1

3. When Challenged, Feign Insult and Offense. When your facts just don’t add up, call your opponent rude, point out (or make up) character flaws and put yourself above ‘arguing’ with that person. Proudly present your humble attitude in the discussion.

4. When Challenged, Change the Subject. Simply change the subject and begin talking about some other area as an offshoot of the conversation. If you can get them to rabbit trail off, you’ll never have to deal directly with their comments. Staying intently on one subject and critically analyzing and dealing with serious challenges to it will only show your position to be faulty quicker. You want to hold on to conversational superiority as much as possible for as long as possible.

5. Simply Ignore The Obvious and Keep Posting. 200+ earlier years of church history against your contention that Constantine changed the day of worship to Sunday/Invented the Trinity/Removed the ‘Do Not Remove Tag’ from the Mattress/returned ‘Constantine’ late to Blockbuster/invent your accusation here ?

No problem! Ignore facts and say you choose not to answer that at this time. NEVER get back to it. Works well in concert with #3.

6. Cut and paste. Works well when you paraphrase the beginning of someone’s argument to make it look like you wrote it yourself. Gains you plenty of rep on whatever message board/e-mail discussion list/website you’re posting on. Can be used in combination with #5 as a follow-up.

7. Cite Obscure Sources. Most Christians today are woefully unaware that the church didn’t start with Billy Graham. So citing some weird and obscure teacher, someone from church history (orthodox or not) and presenting them as legit may intimidate someone just enough to have them back off. Does not work as well when you use the internet, since they can find it just like you did.

8. Feign Intelligence. Use big words to throw your people off, use obscure ‘my group only’ terms that your opponent wouldn’t know about, but that SOUND deep. Even take words they normally DO use and add extra meaning to them to make yourself appear more intelligent. Due to the same factors as those in #7, this may also serve to scare away Christians who know that ‘something’ is wrong with your teaching, but can’t nail it down. Take advantage of their ignorance.

9. Flood. Flood whatever board, list or whatever you’re posting on with post after post after post, in heavy detail, explaining your position. Used in concert with #7, 6, 5, 1 and 2, you’ll produce at least one or two converts from a list or board of 100. Force-feed a child and they’ll eventually swallow some of the food. Same principle.

10. John 13:34-35 them. Today’s Christian has been influenced heavily by the world’s thinking and way of doing things, so that ‘feeling’ and ‘experiencing’ take precedent over ‘believing’ and ‘thinking’. As a result, you can capitalize on the emotions of your opponent OR the emotions of onlookers by using the least offensive language as possible. Remember to constantly appeal to them as ‘brothers’, though, since you both don’t believe the same things about salvation (and in the case of Mormons, you have a fundamentally different view of God), you’re technically NOT brethren… but your audience might not be sharp enough to immediately pick up on that. Once you’ve got the heart strings from your apparent ‘Christ-likeness’, getting them to listen and agree is easier. Especially effective in ‘poisoning the well’ (causing others to shut down to what your opponent has to say) when used in combination with #3. This combo gets more folks into cults than any other.

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Comments (3)

  1. Normally I lurk here, but I thought that this was excellent, so I wanted to just thank you for the posting.

    Much of what passes for ‘discussion’ on the blogsphere is a derivative of some of the above.

  2. That’s awesome. I haven’t laughed that hard since logic class! Such a shame though, that I can actually think of several dozen people who use those tactics. I don’t understand how people can say certain things and not suffer a lingering bad taste in the mouths…

  3. This was HILARIOUS… I needed a good laugh. And the sad thing is this is so true I almost feel guilty for laughing so hard… not really.
    Good post.