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The primary purpose of the Roberts Group, aside from diligent study of the scriptures, is to recruit new members. The basic pattern for recruitment is usually the same. As you'll read in the section Profiles of Our Sons and Daughters, prospective members fit a general profile which Roberts Group members recognize because of similarities to themselves.
College campuses appear to be the main area of recruitment. The Roberts Group is also active at concerts, libraries, and public gatherings in cities that might draw a counter culture crowd.
Shortly after a member has met a potential recruit, the conversation turns to the scriptures. The member witnesses to the recruit and uses scripture to make the recruit feel guilty and inadequate. The member tells of their glorious nomadic lifestyle, total allegiance to the Lord, and paints an idealistic picture of their life. They don't tell the potential recruit about the stringent rules pertaining to family, marriage, and freedoms. They convince the recruit that people in the world lack the discipline to lead spiritual lives and make a good argument with their superior knowledge of the scriptures A sense of urgency may be applied to hasten the recruit's decision so that the "seed of salvation, which has been planted in the heart, will not be snatched away by Satan." Pressure to decide now and not think about the consequences or ask for advice from outside the Roberts Group can be overwhelming to someone at a crossroads in their life.
The recruit, overcome by idealism and their own sense of altruism, commits to the Roberts Group. Once committed, they're encouraged to get rid of all their worldly possessions. Any money the recruit has may be used to pay debts and buy necessities.
The recruit is often required to write home to their family. This usually happens in the first week. The letter is general, just telling the family everything is all right. Another letter might follow a few weeks later. This letter may contain many of the scripture passages that support the Roberts Group's lifestyle. Follow-on letters may become critical of the parents as the Roberts Group members work to sever the ties to family and make the recruit emotionally dependent on the Roberts Group. These early letters are intentionally designed to delay searching by the family and to throw them off the trail while it's warm and traceable. Some recruits never write home. Many families receive letters marking a complete detachment, with no more communication, cruelly declaring, "This is the last letter you will ever get from me."
The recruit becomes indoctrinated into the Roberts Group, with the Elders as their teachers. The recruit can make friends with other members and is responsible to any member with seniority, which, in the case of a new recruit, is everyone in the Roberts Group. Men are not subordinate to women, no matter how senior the sister is. Women are subordinate to all men, regardless of seniority. New women are subordinate to everyone.
...and thus, filled with youthful expectations and idealism, a young, impressionable recruit becomes a Roberts Group member.