Agreed. But we can give general advice to people so they can make their own investigation of teachers, and help prevent them from falling into abusive relationships.
This article on the Buddhist channel is relevant here, though the author is speaking from a traditional Theravada perspective. Still, I think his points about abusive personality types are spot on:http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id= ... pM_cuL3M6I
Are You a Member of a Cult?
By Gurugaveska, The Buddhist Channel, Nov 18, 2013
Profile of a Cult Leader
A typical profile of the personality traits of a cult leader1 is basically that of a sociopath or psychopath2 which may comprise any or all of the following:
Glib and Superficial Charm - the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. A psychopath is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything - never gets tongue-tied. He can also be a great listener to simulate empathy while zeroing in on his targets' dreams and vulnerability, so as to be able to manipulate them better.
Grandiose Self-worth - a grossly inflated view of his abilities and self-worth. He is self-assured, opinionated, cocky, and a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.
Need for Stimulation or Proneness to Boredom - excessive need for novel, thrilling and exciting stimulation. He takes chances and risks. Psychopaths often have low self-discipline and fail to carry tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.
A Pathological Liar - shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever. In extreme form he is deceitful, underhand and unscrupulous.
A Manipulative Con-man - uses deception to cheat, con or defraud others for personal gain. This is distinguished from mere lying and deceit as exploitation and callous ruthlessness are present, reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one's victims.
Lack of Remorse or Guilt - lack of feelings or concern for the loss, pain, and suffering of victims. This is usually demonstrated by a disdain for his victims.
Affected Show of Warmth - superficial, open gregariousness and warmth. This is a façade behind which lies emotional poverty, interpersonal coldness or a limited depth of feeling.
Callousness and Lack of Empathy - cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless. He is dispassionate, coldhearted and lacks positive feelings towards people in general
Parasitic Lifestyle - intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others.
Poor Behavior Control - expressions of irritability, annoyance and impatience stemming from inadequate control of anger and temper. He acts hastily and uses threats, aggression and verbal abuse to intimidate.
Promiscuous Sexual Behavior - variety of brief, superficial relationships; numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners. He has a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity (rape) or of taking great pride in discussing sexual exploits and maintains multiple relationships at the same time.
Early Behavior Problems - variety of behavior problems. Prior to age 13, problems include running away from home, lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, arson, glue-sniffing and alcohol-use. In his juvenile years there is criminal behavior that shows antagonism, exploitation and manipulation which reflect ruthlessness and tough-mindedness
Sometimes he gives you presents and a position within the organization to make you feel special. Other followers also try to impress upon you that the leader is a wonderful and compassionate person with special spiritual power. Very often he is looked upon as a guru. This is the beginning of the spider's web! And before you know it, you are a willing and enthusiastic member of the organization and proffer your services with zeal voluntarily.
Thereafter, he will inculcate in you his spiritual philosophy and knowledge. He loves giving long speeches and sermons, and often repeats himself - a ten-minute sermon can extend to 5 or 6 hours. He loves to listen to his own voice and impress his followers with whatever knowledge he may possess. In the process, he also demonstrates his healing powers to impress you. He may pass on profound teachings which are in tune with your state of mind and well-being. In between sermons or spiritual lectures, he puts fear into your mind that if you should leave the organization and break certain rules or vows you and your family members will face misfortune or untimely death - in short, emotional blackmailing and brainwashing.
You are assigned certain tasks within the organization and are loaded with more and more work until you have no time for your friends and family. This is how he isolates you and makes you dependent upon the organization. You are made to work long hours to the point of exhaustion - mind, body and soul. With the fear already inculcated in your mind, you have no choice but to carry on working as he controls your mind when you are hopelessly weak and exhausted. You have become an easy target for manipulation and influence.
So long as you are obedient, you are deemed a good member and will probably be promoted to a higher position or are roped into the leader's inner circle to make you feel even more special. In a cult organization, the leader always creates a cell within a cell. Each member in the cell is told he is the chosen favorite assistant, and to keep this to himself. So in such a situation, each of these members feels that he is very important to the guru and the organization. However, what they don't realize is that each is independently asked to spy on other members. The guru thus controls the organization through divide-and-rule.
If a member is suspected of being insubordinate or disobedient, he or she is placed in the middle of a room and verbally, sometimes physically, abused by other members for hours or days under the guise of religious training or group therapy until the victim breaks or simply gives in to avoid further such punishment. The member is then forced to make false confessions verbally and in writing - much like an Inquisition!