Note: I hope I chose a good subforum for this topic. I feel that the general points of the article apply to other CT movements as well, not just anti-vaxx.
Anti-vaxxers are using the same tactics as cults do to attract followers on social media[..]
Looking back, though, I see that the fear tactics that Moon used to recruit and keep me in the cult are the same ones that leaders of the anti-vaccination ideology are using today to attract and retain followers via social media and other outlets.
While there are many mind control techniques that destructive cults use, emotional control is one of their most powerful weapons for keeping people dependent and obedient. Known as phobia indoctrination, it exposes a person to a series of persistent, irrational fears that initiate a closed cycle of fearful images, thoughts and feelings. The goal is to cause people to fear things that are actually harmless in reality. The cue can be internal or external, such as a thought, image, word, smell, feeling or behavior. This stimulus causes a person to generate negative feelings (often doom).
Anti-vaccination groups are doing the same thing today. Everyone is susceptible to mind control when under great stress and disorientation, and these groups use social media to bombard their targets with messages that sow doubt, fear and confusion about the Covid-19 vaccine. As a result, a significant portion of the US population is refusing to get vaccinated and putting themselves at risk of being hospitalized or dying from Covid-19.
Helping people to overcome these fears is the only way to end this pandemic.
Here are three specific ways anti-vaccination groups use deception to influence the public:
Withholding vital information[examples omitted]
Distorting information[examples omitted]
Outright lying[examples omitted]
Phobias are common, but curable. If we do not take the time to analyze the data and actual risk, and if we allow ourselves to trust people and sources that are untrustworthy, we can go down a rabbit hole of paranoia and end up in real danger. Helping people overcome these fears is the only way to end this pandemic.