Coercive persuasion comprises social influences capable of producing substantial behavior, attitude and ideology change through the use of coercive tactics and persuasion, via interpersonal and group-based influences.
It is an attempt to force people to change beliefs, ideas, attitudes or behaviors using psychological pressure, undue influence, threats, anxiety, intimidation and/or stress. The most classic example is how an evangelist tries to put the mark "on the spot" for their "sin".
What an evangelist does, is create an artificial climate in which he/she creates a need for something that is not needed in the first place.
Let's look at how that works.
Phase 1 : The creation of the need
The mark must first realize he is guilty of some transgression and risks to be punished by some authority. In other words:
- An evangelist shows the mark that they are sinners and going to "Hell".
- The evangelist shows that show them that they cannot avoid this threat through their own means.
Phase 2 : The mark is shown a black and white solution
- The evangelist shows that the only way to get out of their predicament is to adhere to the evangelical ideology
- Use emotional appeals to "twist the arm" of the mark into buying into the evangelical ideology.
Phase 3: The mark is pushed towards a decision
- The evangelist will guide them by showing them biased information that will knock down any objections or natural mental defense.
- The evangelist will insist on bringing the mark into an environment where other evangelicals are found (invitation to a church).
While the first ammendment allows for freedom of religion, Coercive persuasion is antithetical to the First Amendment. It is the unfair manipulation of other's biological and psychological weaknesses and susceptibilities.