Freedom responded to my last post, Is Young Life a Cult?…
Probably not a cult, but an elite club for the “in” crowd. The want to be the place of the “hip and pretty.”
Obviously they are using as much manipulation as possible to get this kids to have an emotional conversion experience. That “emotional conversion” is the key to evangelical protestant Christianity. It’s the entire starting point of their faith – if you don’t have that, you aren’t one of them. Then you have to prove it to them to stay one of them by following their rules and regulations.
The manipulation with the “love bombing” and creating environments to create a sense of belonging is all part of the recruiting aspect. Then you bring them to the “camp” where this continues, set up an environment to make them feel they want to be part of the group, then you hit them with the “sign at the dotted line” at the end. It’s all sales tactics used by many companies to sell a product. In this case, the product is Young Life’s version of Christianity. And the truth is that teens are MUCH easier to emotional manipulate than adults. When they give the end “sales pitch” they have created emotional bonds between the teens so now you have the added peer pressure to conform – your friends are doing it and you want to be part of it. Now they are all crying and hugging each other and they have have a shared experience that is extremely emotional.
It’s all a sales. Yes, it’s recruiting, but recruiting is sales (ask me what I do for a living someday). What they are doing is no different than any of the “home based” pyramid type companies like Amway (or whatever they call themselves these days), Mary Kay, Pamper Chef, Southern Living, etc, etc. They all do they exact same thing to get people to sell their product – get your friends involved, invite them to a “sales” meeting (small group meeting), have them sign up, get them to come to the big yearly “meetings” (AKA youth camp), create emotional bonds, get them excited about the company and have a BIG send off where they go out and recruit new sales agents (altar call).
YL is selling a product and their success is measured by how many members they have, just like the “home based” business sales person measures success by how many “recruits” they have under them.
BTW – My kids will NEVER be going to any young life events.