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The Cult Phenomenon Ebook

Here's a link to download the book :

Hope this may help some of you.

Re: The Cult Phenomenon Ebook

I don't know if some of you downloaded the book ?

Here's some excerpts relevant to rse on leadership and leader-follower relationship :

"Leadership and the leader
Leadership can be defined as a process of social influence by which an individual
is able to solicit and obtain the participation of group members in performing a
common task.54 A person who has this power to influence others is called the
Acting as the leader of a group means that this person has authority and
responsibilities that differ from those of the other members. Consequently, the
status of group leader is unique since he or she may: 55
• Influence or control interactions among members;
• Encourage others to quickly adopt his or her ideas;
• Make decisions on behalf of the group;
• Impose sanctions or punish members who do not contribute to
accomplishing a task.
Each group seeks specific qualities in a leader. Based on the interactions of its
members, the group reaches a consensus with regard to the leadership qualities
valued, sought or expected:
• In some groups, the behaviours and attributes sought in a leader are
extremely specific and leave little space for any form of personal
expression. The person who assumes the leadership must therefore
remain effective, or risk losing his or her position;
• Other groups may grant the leader more latitude. The leader may
therefore be allowed to modify the group’s requirements and reconfigure
the leader’s role based on his or her personality and skills.

When members recognize the unique quality of the leader, his or her influence
on the members can increase over time.56 The leader of a group can influence
members’ choices, decisions and behaviour through mystic powers that he or
she claims to possess and that are accepted by the members. For instance, a
spiritual group leader can declare to the members that he or she has the ability to
communicate with God. Since no one else in the group has this ability, the
members may attribute disproportionate importance to the ideas and suggestions
put forward by the leader.57
The leader’s personality
While it is difficult to recognize qualities specific to a leader, certain
characteristics are often associated with leaders who are able to maintain their
role at the helm of a group:58
• The ability to create emotional ties with group members: effective
leaders often have the ability to quickly forge friendships with group
members, and tend to favour warm interpersonal relationships. This
helps to ensure better internal functioning of the group;
• The ability to structure the group: leaders tend to be creative in their
methods for managing the group and intragroup relations;
• The ability to promote production: leaders favour a task-oriented
approach and succeed in motivating members to pursue common
• The ability to show compassion: leaders are or appear to be tolerant
and compassionate when conflicts arise among group members.
Aside from specific personality traits, a leader’s success may also depend on his
or her ability to facilitate the attainment of the group’s objectives59. In order to
focus members’ attention on attaining objectives, the leader may stimulate them
by identifying a common enemy. This creates a sense of belonging to the
organization and a desire to rally against the group’s enemy.
The role of leader varies from one group to the next. To understand the full
scope of a leader’s power in a group, it is important to observe, among other
things, his or her ability to make decisions on behalf of the entire group as well as
his or her power to impose sanctions on group members.

Leader-follower relationship
Relationship with a good guru
It is difficult to describe the leader of a group as good or bad. Every guru or
leader can have harmonious or problematic relationships with certain members
of the group.76
A “good” leader:77
• Has good knowledge of the group’s writings;
• Has been the disciple of several masters, and asks many questions
during the learning process;
• Lives according to his or her teachings.
The condescending guru
This type of leader has a paternalistic attitude toward members of the group, and
is overprotective and secretive about the leader-follower relationship. Although
the leader’s intention is to protect and reassure members, in exchange, he or she
sometimes demands extreme submission from members. In this situation,
spiritual or personal growth occurs through the leader’s teachings and the leaderfollower
relationship. The objective of the group is to promote the leader’s
spiritual growth so that the participants can share in his or her higher knowledge.
The spiritual abuser
The spiritual abuser may be described as a leader who uses spiritual, biblical or
other writings to inflict feelings of guilt on members. The leader uses divine
language or prayers to address social, psychological or health problems.
The swindler guru
Swindler gurus can be described as leaders who constantly ask their followers
for money. These leaders live in luxury while their disciples lead an ascetic life,
sometimes below the poverty line. This type of guru often does not accept
questions from members and expects them to follow whatever he or she tells

... Interdependent relationship
For some, a unique bond is created between the leader and the follower.78 This
relationship is born out of the following complementary needs between the leader
and the members:
• Leaders feel the need to be elected and vested with a mission. They
see themselves as guides, leading their followers to salvation.79 This
need to be elected is fulfilled by the members’ fervent commitment to
follow a leader.
• Members, for their part, want to be recognized as different from the rest
of the population through their membership in the group.80 They feel the
need to associate with a person whom they consider to be inspiring in
order to follow an ideal.

These complementary needs and aspirations can create a powerful bond
between the leader and the follower who may, over time, become mutually
In some relationships, the member becomes increasingly dependent on the
leader. Membership in the group can eventually encroach on all aspects of an
individual’s life. Gradually, the members lose their ability to judge and become
completely subjected to the leader.
Dependence on a leader becomes problematic when both the members and the
leader cannot imagine life without the other.82 In some cases, leaders feel that it
is their duty to preserve the members’ fervour. To maintain this bond, the
follower may be obliged to respond to all of the leader’s demands. In this
extreme interdependent relationship, group members can commit criminal acts..."

The description of the swindler guru depicts quite accurately this hybrid beast that comes from the crossbreeding of a zebra with a ram that wich is termed a ramtha...

Re: The Cult Phenomenon Ebook

very informative. thank you.