Friday, January 9, 2015

Scam Tactic: Love Bombing

sun myung moon lider de ALADO iglesia de la un...
Sun Myung Moon
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is the start of a new subtopic called "Scam Tactics" where I attempt to document certain approaches used by unscrupulous people on unsuspecting victims.

Today's topic: Love Bombing

The term "love bombing" originated in the 1970's from the "Unification Church" lead by Sun Myung Moon. If you don't recall the name, you may have heard of the Moonies cult. In a speech in July 23, 1978, Moon gave a speech, which is transcribed and translated below:
Unification Church members are smiling all of the time, even at four in the morning. The man who is full of love must live that way. When you go out witnessing you can caress the wall and say that it can expect you to witness well and be smiling when you return. What face could better represent love than a smiling face? This is why we talk about love bomb; Moonies have that kind of happy problem.
It sounds simple, but the way it works is a bit more insidious. As explained by professor Margaret Singer, a cult expert:
As soon as any interest is shown by the recruits, they may be love bombed by the recruiter or other cult members. This process of feigning friendship and interest in the recruit was originally associated with one of the early youth cults, but soon it was taken up by a number of groups as part of their program for luring people in. Love bombing is a coordinated effort, usually under the direction of leadership, that involves long-term members' flooding recruits and newer members with flattery, verbal seduction, affectionate but usually nonsexual touching, and lots of attention to their every remark. Love bombing - or the offer of instant companionship - is a deceptive ploy accounting for many successful recruitment drives.
Basically, the members fluff up your self-esteem by paying very close attention to your every action and appearance, and only give you positive feedback.

If you have self-esteem problems, the love bombers seem to be the solution. Soon, they are closer than your family and friends. And you will join them. Once you join, they will start withholding their attention unless you do their bidding and think their way. Soon you'll be conditioned as Pavlov's dogs and have your life taken over. And you won't want to leave because that is where you feel loved.

Many commercial cults, including pyramid schemes and ponzi schemes, but also abusive sales organizations that manage to live within "legitimate" network marketing companies, employ love bombing as a way to gain recruits, with a "support network". Such organization often emphasize platitudes such as "everybody's a winner" "we are a community" and so on.

For more on sales cults, see

17 Signs that You're In a Sales Cult
Even More Signs You Are In a Sales Cult

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