Best 9 ways to check if your group is led by a dangerous charismatic leader


Best 9 ways to check if your group is led by a dangerous charismatic leader

Is your Large Group Awareness Training being led by (or founded by) a dangerous charismatic leader? Here are the best 9 ways to find out, with some additional resources below:

1) Is your charismatic leader manipulative, does he act like a con artist?

2) Does your charismatic leader maintain a grandiose sense of self? Does she feel everything is owed to her as a right?

3) Is your charismatic leader a pathological liar? Does he lie even when it is obvious or even in small situations when it is unnecessary?

4) Does your charismatic leader have a lack of remorse? Does she not show any guilt or signs of shame for dangerous or even possibly criminal behavior she may have performed in the past?

5) Is your charismatic leader a thrill seeker? Does he have a need for stimulation? Does he partake in dangerous thrill seeking behavior in his spare time?

6) Does your charismatic leader have a lack of empathy? Is she callous? Does she ridicule others in public or in front of large groups of people?

7) Is your charismatic leader impulsive or have poor behavior control mechanisms? Is he prone to making large purchases of extravagant gifts for himself? Is he prone to fits of rage or abuse? Does he command others to perform abuse on his behalf?

8) Did your charismatic have early onset of behavior problems? Was she a juvenile delinquent? Was she cruel to others as a youngster? Did she have early failed relationships?

9) Is your charismatic leader unfaithful to his sexual partners? Is he promiscuous? Does he have a disturbing pattern of serial adultery or infidelity? Were there reports of child abuse, child sexual abuse, or rape committed or allegedly committed by the charismatic leader?

Resources: “Profile of Cult Leaders”. “Psychopathy and Characteristics of a Cult Leader”. “Profile of a Cult Leader”. “Cult Leaders: The Master Manipulator”.


Tobias, Madeline Landau; Janja Lalich. Captive Hearts, Captive Minds. (1994). Chapter 5: “Characteristics of a Cult Leader”. pp. 67-79.

Note: Captive Hearts, Captive Minds is an excellent resource for further info, many of the questions above were drawn from warning signs about charismatic leaders in this section of the text.


One Response

  1. Hmmm. as to this posting, it sounds like a charismatic leader as described is nothing but a Pathological Narcissist, with a sub-criminal pathology to boot.

    Why don’t we call it for what it is in this country? Narcissism is rampant, a growing problem where flash, entitlement, bullyism, etc..deceptive practices launched upon a naive population, looking for easy answers and a guru to lead them.

    Narcissists also get bored easily, and their ideas of thrills might just be using people around them. With disasterous results for the victims, willing or not. They need constant stimulation.

    I’ve met with a lot of them, have them in my birth family, and these ‘leaders’ are ultimately soul sucking and dangerous to others. But we are a naive nation, and are looking for someone to give us something that we THINK we can’t do for ourselves. That is why there is such a proliferation of groups led by these ‘gurus’.

    After all, emotional vampires come in all sizes.

    Lady Nyo

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