Will they suck you in and brainwash you?
Every cult starts by offering universally comforting platitudes (you are loved and valuable, there is a purpose to your life, you can achieve the things you dream of if you have the right motivation and support). You would be amazed how nice this can sound to someone who’s having a rough time. They’re not offering you aliens and superpowers at first, they’re offering you friendship, connections, motivation, nice practical things you might be lacking.
THEN they get your info and drop the alien s**t on you, but by then you’re too deep into the Sunk Cost Fallacy to question it. People who think they’re too smart for cults are some of the easiest to recruit. (Wazula42)
Religion and Ladies
I live in Chicago and in the mid 1990’s I was really into religion and also chasing girls, so I decided to do both and joined a bible study group to meet nice Christian girls. I would only devote a couple of evenings a week to the group, but then they decided to hold regular study for four days a week and I was heavily criticized for missing any. Then the group “Leader” decided we needed to start taking part in groups with religious causes to help increase the size of the bible study group and expand it into a real ministry. I realized I’m in way over my head. I don’t like these people, I was trying to meet a christian girl to date but they were all deranged. So I said F**k it, I’m out. Then they’re constantly calling me and knocking on my door to get me to come with them back to bible study and threatening me with hell fire if I don’t come back. I sort of lucked out when another member tried to leave, and a physical altercation resulted in the police getting involved. The so called bible study group and wannabe ministry broke apart after that. (weirdinchicago)
Around 1983 or so, I was in the Air Force stationed in Southern California. While on base, my buddies and I ran into a group of really cute girls. They were really flirty and friendly and started talking with us. About an hour of talking, they invited us to go with them to a “meeting”. We tagged along, thinking that we might get laid at some time during the night.
Long story short, it was a Scientology indoctrination meeting. It was like an initial contact kind of thing and the girls were just sent out to recruit new members. So when we got to the center, I saw it for what it was right away. I pulled my buddies aside and told them that no, we’re not going to get laid, and they’re just trying to recruit us into some bulls**t….so we decided to just f**k with them. Giving insane answers when they started doing their “audits” (I only learned later this was called an audit or whatever). They got frustrated pretty quickly and we just left. They didn’t even offer to drive us back to the base, so we had to call a cab. (goofball_jones)