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A cult in Australia today is led by a certain “Jesus Christ” reincarnate (Alan John Miller) whose romantic partner (Mary Suzanne Luck) claims to be the reincarnated Mary Magdalene. Another, narcissistic seventy-one-year-old Álvaro Thais, known by his followers as Inri Cristo, likes to make guest-celebrity appearances on Brazilian comedy shows when he’s not being arrested in, or expelled from, other countries as a result of acts such as cathedral vandalism. Jesus of Kitwe makes his meager living as a tennis-shoe-wearing taxi-cab driver in Zambia, whereas Moses Hlongwane (Jesus of South Africa), when his marriage to disciple Angel launched the end of the world in 2016, prefers dressing in gold and silver bling and sunglasses reminiscent of Vanilla Ice and other rap artists of the ’90s. Messiah David Shayler, on the other hand, delivers some of his sermons in drag as the “transvestite Jesus,” Delores, who is able to bring a woman’s perspective to mind as he teaches his gospel.

Again, the Bible warns about these End-Times blasphemies:

  • “And as [Christ] sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?’ And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ’” (Matthew 24:3–5).
  • “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Timothy 4:1).
  • “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them” (2 Peter 2:1).
  • “For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that [the true] Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist” (2 John 1:7).
  • “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 4:3–4).

And before it’s assumed otherwise, yes, these authors know how this looks. These false messiahs we just reflected upon are extreme examples who aren’t captivating the attention of the mainstream. It would be a weak argument to use them as proof that, in the end, a vast majority of believers will fall away. However, these men are serving Antichrist’s cause from two other, more effective angles: 1) The continual onslaught of false christs is gradually breaking down our culture’s respect of the True Messiah; 2) The obvious failure of these men to resemble Christ will make the impressive Antichrist look legitimate by comparison.

The Bride of Spot and Wrinkle Blushes for Her Leader

Of all the classifications of cults that academics have compiled, by far the most dangerous and concerning is referred to as simply a “destructive cult.” This is the category into which Antichrist fits, based on the actions Revelation prophecies say he will take in the End Times. There are also three main recognizable characteristics of what history has shown to be a typical cult: 1) a leader, 2) indoctrination, and 3) exploitation.[i] We’ve already shown how Western society, in general, is being trained to accept all sorts of evils, and this in turn results in the manipulation of society’s people. As such, the latter of these subjects (indoctrination and exploitation) have been covered to a great extent in the context of Western society. However, we want to address these elements again, specifically as they relate to the Church. Between the secular and religious world, we’re building a One-World Cult. At the time of this writing, however, the Man of Sin who will run this cult hasn’t yet assumed the throne. This renders us a “leaderless cult,” and we will, for a moment, turn our attention to the first characteristic of a cult: who our leader will be.

In the majority of cults, a leader doesn’t rise overnight. He waits until he has identified a group of people who share vulnerabilities and lack direction. He tests them with small instructions or teachings over time to see who is prone to listening to the loudest voice in the room. In this way, almost every cult is “leaderless” until its official formation.

As noted earlier, Antichrist will be the son of Satan, “one with” his father in every way Jesus was “one with” His Father. As such, he will operate in satanic power to its fullest extent. The brainwashing we relate to the cult leaders of recent history is, in every sense of the term, child’s play compared to the kind of conditioning Antichrist will have in his arsenal to confuse his followers. He will exercise sovereign undue influence (or “mind control,” which is quickly becoming an outdated term in the field of “cult” study) over a vulnerable and directionless people he’s had the benefit of watching develop since Adam and Eve.

He’s not in a hurry. He doesn’t have a pressing music-career dream (like Charles Manson did) that drives him to manipulate as many people as possible around him so that he can achieve his goals before his thirtieth birthday.

He doesn’t need to be obvious or desperate. He doesn’t need to spend his woman and child sex-abuse coupon on a following the size of David Berg’s “Children of God” group when his global sex-trafficking agents are at work. Nor does he feel the pressure to convince anyone that a comet will open heaven’s gate like Marshall Applewhite when, to his grim satisfaction, worldwide suicide statistics show that every forty seconds another person takes his or her own life.[ii] (And, based on the increasing trend of assisted suicide discussed earlier, we can expect this alarming number to escalate exponentially in the coming years.)

And he won’t get caught by authorities like David Koresh did during the FBI siege at Waco—because he will be the authority.

A typical, regular-human cult leader will spend months, years, or even decades testing which manipulation tactics work and upon whom, but their experience and power over other humans will always be limited in ways that Antichrist will soar past in the first five seconds of his rule.

Undue influence and mind control in the context of fanatical religious faiths and movements could be defined as “any system of influence that disrupts an individual’s authentic identity and replaces it with a false, new one,” further described as “practices [that] violate personal boundaries and human integrity, as well as ethics and, often, the law.”[iii] At times, this is apparent in extreme ways from almost the beginning. Part of what Keith Raniere and “Smallville” actress Allison Mack were up to in the NXIVM cult involved the literal branding of women like cattle. And other obvious, but less graphic, identity-replacement ploys are as old as dirt, such as the practice of giving disciples new names.

Sometimes, however, the undue influence is a slower burn, one that’s not recognizable in the beginning, but that leads to an ensuing brainwashing effect.

The key consideration here: When it comes to labeling a new religion as a “cult,” it’s not always about a body count, and certainly not at first. Obviously, if the group or its leader successfully implements undue influence in the interest of murder, suicide, torture, rape, or other acts of physical violence, it would be demonstrably destructive. But even before such an act has occurred, if the undue influence is such that it makes the group liable to carry out violence eventually, it still falls into the classification of a destructive cult. Though some scholarly personalities differentiate physical harm from psychological, many others, like psychologist Michael Langone of International Cultic Studies Association, would openly define a destructive cult as “a highly manipulative group which exploits and sometimes physically and/or psychologically damages members and recruits.”[iv]

So, you see, well before Antichrist’s Superchurch begins to kill, it will use a counterfeit love to groom and condition its adherents into embracing the unthinkable down the road. Before the first head rolls (whether the beheading is literal or symbolic of some other form of execution), members of Antichrist’s Superchurch cult will believe they’re “doing the Lord’s work” and contributing to a healthier society.

So, it doesn’t make the Western Church “less of a cult,” because we are currently leaderless. It makes us more of a cult than if Antichrist had shown up too desperate or too hurried, if he appeared at the wrong time, during an era when Christians read their Bibles enough to recognize him as the supreme con artist he is and will be. We, the “Bride of Spot and Wrinkle” (cf. Ephesians 5:27), are now developing the One-World Cult, waiting for our leader to rescue us just like Manson rescued his girls.

With this in mind, let’s glance over the known process and endgame of cultic indoctrination and exploitation.

Indoctrination and Exploitation of the Wrinkled Bride

This form of intense group manipulation has been referred to with a few mainstream terms such as “thought reform,” “mind control,” “brainwashing,” etc. But, in the context of a cult, experts of psychology and psychiatry essentially point to the eventual process of “forced indoctrination.” Consider the following in light of what we know Antichrist to be.

According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, “indoctrination” can be defined as follows: “1: to instruct esp. [especially] in fundamentals or rudiments…; 2: to imbue with a usu. [usually] partisan or sectarian opinion, point of view, or principle.”[v] But “indoctrination,” when further defined by the well-recognized term “brainwashing,” produces a slightly more direct (and justifiably more aggressive) description: “1: a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas; 2: persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship.”[vi] In other words, a central characteristic of a cult involves the gradual process of reshaping followers’ religious beliefs and worldviews to match that of the group, which is truly only an extension of the cult leader’s hidden agenda.

Cult leaders’ approaches to this goal vary, but one immensely popular method is to: 1) establish the Holy Bible or a culture’s “Sacred Texts” as the final word on every situation; 2) twist writings from that source to fit the programming and agenda of the cult leader, with the ultimate objective of gaining further control/power; 3) introduce some level of shame upon any follower who doesn’t accept the interpretation, insinuating that, in rejecting the leader’s interpretation, the follower is rejecting the Bible itself and therefore is forsaking God. More simply put: A cult leader twists Scripture whenever it suits him to further his sway, and whenever challenged, he then uses the Bible as a dictatorial weapon with which to discipline and publicly shame any potential doubters.

As far as cultic exploitation goes, there are likely as many examples as there are stars in the sky, but the most notorious cult leaders of history have carried out tactics similar to the following pattern:

First, the leader warmly invites outsiders into the fold, introducing them to what appears from the outside looking in to be a strong community. For obvious reasons, the more vulnerable and lonely new members appear to be, the more enthusiastically the leader will present his group as the family they never had, with answers to whatever ails them in life. This group, this family (made up of members who are as yet unaware that they’re in a cult), wants nothing more than for new followers to shed their griefs and sorrows in the embrace of their newly acquired brothers and sisters.

Second, once they’ve joined the group, members will be given new identities and/or names and made to believe they have “cast off” their painful past and are now reborn. Separation from “the old life” is emphasized, and the leader’s control deepens as the rest of the “family” encourages widening the gap between the new members’ present and past identities. Although it is presented in glorious, poetic, revolutionary verbiage so the shedding of the past life is seen as a positive and liberating event, the leader knows he has just gained more people as his emotional and mental property.

Third, through the passing of time, the leader increasingly positions himself to be the answer to members’ problems, drawing them farther into his psychological game.

Without a doubt, Antichrist and his False Prophet will establish the One-World Order and the Apostate Superchurch under the guise of family, and it will appear to be the healing people from every walk of life need (except for those devoted to truly following Christ). Antichrist will solve so many problems politically and socially that he’ll appear to be the godlike answer to all problems. The psychological harvest for Antichrist will be a no-brainer (no pun intended).

Often, when news about a destructive cult involving mass casualties is covered, the public responds with such questions as: “How could anyone be so naïve as to fall for that guy’s tricks?” “Why didn’t those people just leave?” or “Those beliefs were simply crazy! How were they so tragically misled? Did they really believe they were doing the right thing?”

Sometime later, the books, documentaries, scholarly journal articles, etc., all come forward with the explanation: It was a gradual indoctrination by a brilliant mastermind who found ways of exploiting his victims’ weaknesses and vulnerabilities, promising to have all the answers of love (or success, etc.) in the precise areas his victims needed it. In so doing, he proved calculating enough to deceive regular people, just like us.

Now, considering how commanding Antichrist will be—both as a saint in the beginning as well as a devil later on—with all of his abuses of Scripture, knowing the Word well enough to twist it to confuse even the greatest of scholars, and having established himself as world leader, can you even imagine the scope at which he will utilize methods of cultic indoctrination and exploitation? He will mislead the “Bride of Spot and Wrinkle,” that Superchurch, into the One-World Cult who, while hand in hand with other world religions, will call herself “Christian,” never believing (or caring) she’s in fact the Harlot who simultaneously rides the Beast. If our world’s most influential Antichrist to date, Adolf Hitler, could accomplish the murder of seventeen million people (six million Jews, approximately nine million Soviets, and two million others), then there’s no doubt the Antichrist is capable of surpassing these efforts by multiple billions of deaths when he decides to part ways with the Harlot whom he devours.

UP NEXT: A Harlot to the World Already

If you would like more information on the topics covered in this article series, see the book Dark Covenant by Donna Howell and Allie Anderson, available below:

[i] We’ve had a number of helpful resources to assist us in this area of study: Hassan, Steven, Combating Cult Mind Control (Newton, MA: Freedom of Mind Press, 2018; 30th Anniversary Ed.; 4th ed.); American Psychiatric Association, Marc Galanter, MD, editor, Cults and New Religious Movements: A Report of the American Psychiatric Association from the Committee on Psychiatry and Religion (Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association Press, 1989); Clark, Jr., MD, John G., Michael D. Langone, PhD, Robert E. Schecter, PhD, Roger C. B. Daly, MDiv, “Destructive Cult Conversion: Theory, Research, and Treatment,” American Family Foundation, Bonita Springs, FL, 1981; as well as information provided at ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association), last accessed February 10, 2020,

[ii] “Suicide Data,” World Health Organization, last accessed November 2, 2020,

[iii] Hassan, Steven, Combating Cult Mind Control: The Guide to Protection, Rescue and Recovery from Destructive Cults (Newton, MA: Freedom of Mind Press, 2018; 4th Ed.), 42.

[iv] Turner, Francis J.; Arnold Shanon Bloch, Ron Shor, “105: From Consultation to Therapy in Group Work with Parents of Cultists,” Differential Diagnosis & Treatment in Social Work (Free Press: 4th ed., September 1, 1995), 1146; emphasis added.

[v] “indoctrination,” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate… locations 197919–197921.

[vi] “brainwashing,” Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate… locations 72617–72618.

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