How To Tell If Your Office Is A Low Key Cult In 6 Key Steps

Our 9-to-5’ers, you’re not alone nor are you crazy.

After working a variety of office related jobs that deal with a variety of teams, you could say we’ve seen a lot of human spirit be thrown around. But you’re not alone—a cult and an office environment can mirror parallels beyond just your eyes. Here are six keys elements that you may be in a cult-like office setting.


Built Up And Broken Down

You’re excelling, excelling, excelling and boom, your boss drops you in front of everyone at the company. You feel confused. You’ve excelled the entire time during this team project and out of the blue, you’ve been gutted for filth. This is key step 1. It’s to be able to control you in grand way. To set you as the example of what happens when a top worker “falls” below the average.


Can’t Get In A Word In Edgewise

Unless you speak on brand, your voice will be masked by the leader and pegged as outside ideas that don’t belong. Notice these in one-on-ones, board meetings, hiring meetings? It’s another control tactic to keep your voice on-brand or as minimal as possible.


The leader is the ultimate authority

If you’re not allowed to criticize your leader, even if the criticism is true, you’re probably in a cult. Cults begin with a charismatic leader who claims some supreme knowledge. They may call themselves a prophet, messiah, messenger, or an enlightened teacher… they can also be CEOs. This is a major point in cult like behaviors.


The group delegitimizes former members

If you can’t think of a legitimate reason for leaving your group, that’s a tell tale sign of cult thinking. Because the cult (company) considers itself the ultimate authority on truth, it can’t imagine anybody leaving it with their integrity intact. Thus, it has to perpetuate a false narrative that former members were deceived, proud, immoral, or lazy.


The group relies on shame cycles

Bosses trap employees in shame cycles by imposing abnormally strict codes of conduct, guilting members for their shortcomings, and then positioning themselves as the unique remedy to the feelings of guilt which they themselves created. You’ve seen the signs.


The leader is above the law 

A prevalent idea among CEOs is that they are above the law, be it human or HR. This idea allows them to exploit their employees. When confronted, they do not confess, but create justifications for their impropriety. Loyal employees will perform any amount of “mental gymnastics” to justify or ignore the leader’s behavior.

How To Tell If Your Office Is A Low Key Cult In 6 Key Steps
Scroll to top