To Create Your Very Own Cult
1) Begin by creating your own reality. You do this by keeping your members away from outsiders. An isolated farm in the middle of Idaho is good but if such a retreat isn't available, impose a form of self-censorship. If it's not of the cult, it's of the devil.
2) Next set the leader and his/her inner circle up as the only link to paradise...only they hold the keys to the kingdom.
3) Remember to make increasing demands. Start small but keep it going and eventually you'll have your followers standing in line to turn over all their worldly possessions.
4) Keep turning out stories about the greatness of the leader. The more unbelievable the more they will be believed. Your members have already been conditioned from the time they were children to accept things like coming back from the dead and walking on water.
5) Remember to use your converts to bring in still more converts. This has the double advantage of picking up new disciples and (even if that doesn't always work) the mere act of proselytizing will further cement the commitment of those already in the fold.
6) Keep everybody busy. This doesn't allow time for potentially critical thought. Let the minds of the masses wander and who knows, they might put two and two together. For this reason, long sermons - the longer the better - and interminable work shifts are essential. And when you aren't haranguing them and they aren't being kept busy...make sure they're at least singing.
7) And finally, keep your flock fixated on the carrot. The payoff is just around the corner and only they will be the ones paid off. The clouds will part and they will be raptured up and then, boy-oh-boy, won't all those non-believers be sorry.