Steven Hassan is the world’s leading expert in cults.  He wrote a book called “Combating Cult Mind Control,” which provides a framework for assessing how cult-like an organization is (or isn’t).  He has developed the BITE Model – which categorizes cult-like behavior into four domains:

  • Behavior Control,
  • Information Control,
  • Thought Control, and
  • Emotional Manipulation and Control.

While most experts agree that it is rarely useful to use the term “cult” when dealing directly with a particular organization or its members – and is usually counterproductive (see the Backfire Effect), I have found it to be helpful for Mormons experiencing a faith transition to learn/understand cult-like behavior, as a means to help them process their own experiences with the church.

Below are a series of images that include the main points of Hassan’s BITE model. I have colored the bullets in the following ways:

  • Green means: “I don’t think the Mormon church does this in modern times.”
  • Orange means: “I see this happening sometimes in the Mormon church (like on Missions), but not as a general rule .”
  • Red means: “This occurs regularly within the Mormon Church.”

I’m curious to know if you agree or disagree with my assessment.  Please share in comments below.  And thanks in advance!!!