Hate groups use various tactics to recruit new members.  You may not even recognize that you are a target until you’re deeply in.

Here’s how hate group recruiters work:

Hate groups often target individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their personal or professional lives and may offer a sense of belonging and purpose as a way to recruit them. They may play to your ego, offering you leadership opportunities, a sense of purpose or meaning in your life.

Ryan was feeling disappointed after returning from Iraq and not being able to find a good job.  His recruiter offered him a position of leadership.

Hate group recruiters prey on individuals who are feeling vulnerable or isolated and make them feel the group will be there for them, become their substitute family.  But what you need to understand is that any group that is promoting hate and violence is not going to be there for you.

Hate and love do not co-exist.

Hate groups nowadays use social media and other online platforms to spread propaganda and recruit new members. Social media is an ideal way to share ideology and to target individuals who may be receptive to their message. Sometimes it’s portrayed as all a joke, nothing is serious—until it is. Racist, sexist and hate-filled memes promoting hate and supremacism gradually get into your head. Many of those who shot up churches, synagogues and attacked minorities recall how hate music and hate-filled ideologies started to dominate their thinking.

Kerry Noble remembers how his Christian beliefs got twisted and he almost carried out a hate crime.

Hate groups are filled with people who don’t feel good about themselves.  They need to engage in hate and blaming others to try to make themselves feel better.  They are stuck in a tribal instinct of banding together for strength that they don’t feel on their own. They need you for numbers and they want you to shift the blame in your life for things that aren’t going right for you. They want to control you and their leaders are often benefiting from having you in the group.  You need to understand, are just a tool for them. They don’t care about you and the minute you get in trouble or try to walk away or otherwise lose your usefulness they will abandon you.

Hate groups often host events or gatherings with loads of alcohol, and sometimes drugs, where they can interact with potential recruits in person. Hate groups host rallies, meetings, or other events where they try to show their power, unity, sense of belonging, “noble” purpose, etc. to attract new members. Don’t fall for it.  The only thing you get from being in a hate group is a lot of hate in your life.

Sure, others will fear you.  You may feel strong or safer surrounded by your group, but you are not strong because you can’t stand on your own and if you try they will kick your feet out from under you.  Hate groups love you to wear their symbols, to indelibly mark your body, etc. because it isolates you from others and bonds you to them.  But try and leave…

Hate groups use fear and intimidation to recruit and retain members. They tell those who are picked on that they will be protected and stronger inside the group. They may offer protection but they also separate you from others who could bring more joy and love into your life. They’ll continually warn you can’t leave the group and make it on your own because others fear and revile you, but it’s not true.  Your hate group may even beat you up or harm you if you try to leave, but staying it has risks as well—of ending in prison or dead.

Run, don’t walk, away from hate.

If you need help exiting hate you can contact people who care here.

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