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Scientology's tactic is to tell new recruits that in order to achieve maximum fulfillment and finally attain that perfect life they've always wanted, they first need to meet with a higher ranking cult memb..er I mean "Scientologist" and figure out what their "thetan(sp?) level" is.
They do this by getting the new recruit alone in a room and having them play around with an ultimately useless doohickey while describe their ENTIRE life story, detailing EVERY skeleton in their closet, EVERY relationship they have or have had, and basically pour out their minds to the higher ranking guy. And I mean EVERYTHING. Who your friends and family are, where exactly they live, where they work, what they drive, what they're like, everything you know about them, and the same for yourself personally. You tell them EVERYTHING you know about EVERYTHING. And then they tell you some shit about your thetan level, that it's great or it sucks depending on which route they think will best manipulate you. Because whatever they tell you, the end result is that you NEED to get deeper (and more financially invested in the cult) in order to raise or maintain that all important thetan level. Basically just a tactic to manipulate you into going as far down the cultist rabbit hole as they can lure you.
And now that you are going down that rabbit hole, you officially have no way out. Why? Because you told that guy EVERYTHING YOU KNOW ABOUT EVERYTHING, EVERY SINGLE DETAIL ABOUT YOU PERSONALLY, YOUR LIFE, FAMILY, FRIENDS, CO-WORKERS LITERALLY EVERYTHING back when you were figuring out your "thetan level." So now if you wanna leave, or worse blow the whistle on the whole cult? Well good luck because you willingly provided a bunch of sociopathic cultists with MORE than enough information that they can now use to completely and utterly DESTROY your life and the lives of your loved ones in just about every conceivable way.
Essentially, they now OWN your ads because, like I said, they now have the power to completely ruin you! Drive you to suicide or leave you one of those nutty, sunbaked hobos who stumble around town arguing with somebody who isn't there, or worse.
So that's why people who get wrapped up in the cult of Scientology get stuck there and are typically incapable of leaving in most cases, and definitely incapable of blowing the whistle (imagine the dirt they got of Tom Cruise and John Travolta).
I imagine other cults, like the ones being referenced ITT operate roughly the same way. Its scary shit, cults.