Multiple levels of membership
Destructive groups derive their finances and manpower from different sources; some prey on older folks, attempting to shake them down for their retirement income and assets, while other groups go after young people. Although they may not have much money, the young are able to provide free labor for the group. Due to our experience in CFCMI, this page will focus on the use of young people as the group's motive power.
In addition to the 'real' resources of labor and money, cults will eventually need a commodity that's a little less tangible: a respectable front. This often requires things that aren't conducive to the extraction of money and time from the young people, things like families and children. So many groups put a lot of effort into making sure that young single people don't get any ideas about getting married, at least not without permission. This allows them to have their dedicated core, and a respectable front at the same time. To help maintain this, a separation between married and single is encouraged, for two main reasons: (1) you can't have the single people feeling as if they're missing out on something, and (2) you can't have the families learning details of the single people's living conditions. There may be varying excuses and rationalizations, but most of them boil down to these two main elements.
In order to employ the single people's own good intentions against them to ensure their continued single status, many groups will create or adopt exclusive doctrines to make them feel special. In CFCMI, the doctrine of eunuchship was adopted by Lloyd R. Davis in the late 80's/early 90's to control the single men. Since CFCMI has chosen to remove the eunuchship bible study from their website, here is a brief summary: show young men a few scriptures that indicate that God is pleased with those that decide to give their whole life to him, let their "brothers in Christ" put some peer pressure on them, and get them to make a committment to stay single (and therefore poor and in servitude) for the rest of their life. In return, they get a special reward from God on judgment day.
To desire to be married, and therefore leave this special group, is frowned upon; you're somehow less spiritual if you desire a wife and family. By the way, before anyone has a conniption fit about me commenting on this subject, have a look here first. If that statement isn't clear enough for you, then email me.
To add to the pressure, Davis "prophesied" once about having a special group of 200 men (assumed to be exclusively eunuchs) that God would use to evangelize the entire world. The "Rangers" of God's army, as it were (or SeALs, Green Berets, etc.; you get the idea). The general impression I received was that it was an all-or-nothing deal: if CFCMI couldn't come up with 200 men, the world would just continue on its way to hell in a handbasket. What young zealot could turn down an offer like that? It was, as a mafia "Don" might say, "An offer you can't refuse."
Inner circles like this are often quite secretive. This helps ensure that people only know what they "need to know." For example, in CFCMI, it was a huge no-no for anybody to even discuss eunuchship, tithing/offerings, etc. with someone not "in the know." On at least a couple of occasions I've seen guys get chewed out for going a little too far when answering a question asked by a visitor.
I'll continue this later; just wanted to get these few thoughts up for the new year....