16 June 2017

The Truth about The Truth: Love Bombing and Psychological Manipulation

Love bombing is defined as the attempt to influence a person by demonstrations of attention and affection. Cults and other new religious movements do this, including the Jehovah's Witnesses. If you want to see how they do it, pretend that you're interested in their message, and you'll see how interested they become about you.

A few weeks ago, I was at the Philippine Embassy here in Berlin to renew my passport. The embassy is located in a nice neighborhood, on prime real estate. There are plenty of people on the street, as the street is one of those streets lined up with luxury names. Anyway, amidst the shoppers and pedestrians, I saw Jehovah's Witnesses, standing right in front of the embassy, so that anyone exiting the building (most likely Filipinos) would see their preaching carts, with signs in Filipino, proclaiming that one should "listen to God".

So when I exited the building, I saw them, and for a brief moment I couldn't believe that I am actually seeing Filipino Witnesses. I later looked it up and sure enough, there is a Filipino Congregation here in Berlin. Anyway, I stopped, and feigned a phone call, so that it wouldn't be weird to just stare at them. I took my phone out, and pretended that I had a call, just so that I could stand there and observe them a little. What happened next was just weird and funny.

One of the people standing next to the cart saw me looking at the cart. I then saw him, and he saw me looking at him. He definitely wanted me to say something. It's that weird feeling, where he wouldn't say anything, and he wanted me to approach him first, but of course I didn't say anything. If I understand correctly, they preach by just waiting for people to approach them, whenever they have these carts in public. They only say something when the person says something first.

Honestly, it was weird. It felt like he was this closeted gay dude trying to cruise someone for sex.

Anyway, the thing that bothers me is that they use cultural ties to attract members. This tactic is done most of the time by the native language groups. So you have a foreign language congregation in a foreign country, so the members seek out their fellow countrymen hoping to recruit these fellow countrymen into the cult. It is a tactic that works, because you might be a lonely Filipino who just recently moved to Germany, and who know nobody in Berlin. So you meet the Filipino Witnesses, and lo and behold, you gain immediate friends. You feel at home, since now you're suddenly surrounded by "friends" speaking your language. But what you don't know is that they're just love bombing you.

Once you show disinterest, once you question their beliefs, once you research their doctrines using sources other than the Watchtower Society, then they will mark you and distance themselves away. Worse, if you do all of these things later on, say after you joined them, then you'll be shunned as if you have a communicable disease, and they'll treat you as if you don't even exist. All that love bombing goes to dust.


  1. " Honestly, it was weird. It felt like he was this closeted gay dude trying to cruise someone for sex."

    Okay, I've been laughing for five minutes!

    We have many Witnesses around Ottawa, usually standing around with leaflets. They don't try to talk to people so I ignore them. They bother me less than the very vocal anti-abortion people with their graphic signs :-/

    1. Zhu,

      I sometimes wonder why I get bothered by the Witnesses, since you're right, they just stand there. They've only rang my doorbell once in the past 4 years, and I sent them away. But I am bothered because I know what it was like to be inside, and the inside isn't pretty. I know how people who want to leave are oppressed, and the challenges they face when they get ostracized once they do. And of course, the child abuse cases...