In order to solve the Govind Pansare and Narendra Dhabolkar murder cases, the police need to deprogram the accused (and others) and also ensure that they undergo exit counselling through trained psychiatrists, as sustained interrogations will have no effect on the accused who is a part of a cult (Sanatan Sanstha).

Deprogramming, especially in the 70’s and the 80’s, was the act of kidnapping someone against their will, locking them in a room with the deprogrammers and showing them all the wrong things about the group/leadership of their cult. This is what the media portrayed anyway. This method often backfired, and the cult member would dig their heels deeper into the cult because everything out there is “satanic” and they are out to take the truth from you.

The best deprogramming, is done by the person themselves. It is the type where the ex-member must “de-program” their beliefs, thoughts, lifestyle and life. This way is the most effective.

Exit counselling is different again. The cult member must be willing to talk with an exit counsellor.

In Australia, there are only a few exit-counsellors for people within the cults. This number is very sad, considering the vast growing mission field in the cults and the occult.

Exit-counsellors discuss aspects of the group with the cult member, and best try to help them realise that they have been conned. The term “mind-control” is generally best not used at first so as not to be too confusing. The aspects that are discussed are generally

  1. Leadership: Who is the leader of the group in question? What is his or her life history? What kind of education/training have they undertaken? Does the group’s leader have a criminal record? Where does the balance of power lie?

Doctrine: Does the group publicly disclose their beliefs? Is there an “insider” and an “outsider” doctrine? Do they believe that the end justifies the means? Do they claim the “only truth”? Does or has their truth changed?

Membership: Is some form of deception used to recruit members? In the membership drive, is the org’s real name involved? Does the recruitee meet the leadership straight away? Are members segregated from society? How is membership maintained?

This will show a basic organisational structure, and will help the cult member to actually consider how they get into the group, and what happens once they are in there.

Deeper questions will reveal exactly the state of the group…

How long have you (the recruiter) been involved? Are you trying to recruit me into any type of organisation?

Can you tell me the names of all the other organisations that are associated with this group?

What does your group believe?

What are new members expected to do once they join? Do I have to quit school or work, donate my money and property, or cut myself off from family and friends who might oppose membership?

Is your group considered to be controversial by anyone? If people are critical of your group, what are their main objections?

How do you feel about former members of the group?

Have you ever sat down to speak with a former member to find out why they left the group? If not, why not?

Does your group impose restrictions on communication with former members?

What are the three things that you like least about the group and it’s leader?

What to do to help a cult member change and grow as their own person?

Build rapport and trust. It is recognised that friendship evangelism is the most successful evangelism today. If people know and trust you, then they will certainly listen to you thoughts, desires and opinions.

Collect valuable information. You want answers from the cult member, not the leaders of the organisation. You want “him” to answer the questions for you.

Develop the skills to promote a new perspective. After you have the trust of the cult member, and you have much information on the group, you are now ready to promote a new perspective to the cult member. This is the hardest step, and your exact approach will be determined by the nature and character of the cult member involved.

Get the cult member to consider reality from a number of perspectives. This is like explaining the Trinity doctrine 14 different ways until the person finally grasps its factuality.

Side step the thought stopping process. Negative remarks and thoughts are side stepped by destructive cults, therefore, side-step the negatives and introduce a positive. Instead of stating that “your leadership ripped you off $500,000 and now live in a nice big mansion because you were stupid enough to give them your money,” you could try “Where did the money for such a big mansion come from, and why are you living in this small shed, 6 to a room?”

Show the member, after you have done the other steps, a concrete definition of mind control, and how it works, Get them to understand that they are a victim of mind control.

Get them to re-establish reality testing and their critical faculties so that they trust their own opinions again. This is an important step forward. It is therefore very important to encourage every type of individual expression they have – even if may seem insignificant it is a first small step back to thinking for themselves.

Part II – How the police can crack the Sanatan case