My brother's been sucked in by this cult, and I've hardly seen him for the past 9 years. He's recently come back from a 3 year stung at Flag in the US, a sort of retreat where you wait hand and foot on your superiors and have to behave as you are told - for no money. He's actually a different person than the guy I remember now, it's almost as though you can see the machinations of his "teaching" considering the conversation and how he can guide the topic into whatever suits his/their agenda. It's really bizarre to experience actually. Soon after joining he spent a lot of time trying to convince all family and friends to join, bombarding us with books, leaflets, because we needed "help". All got rejected of course, but this alienation just pushes people further into the system. He got back about a year ago and he's been keen to make contact all of a sudden, the only time I heard from him while he was "studying" was when he wanted a flight back paid for, I've met with him a couple of times but as I said, he's a different person.
It's not so much about protecting the gullible as you say, it's about protecting those who need some sort of confirmation, he was caught on Tottenham Court Road with a stress test, told him he was depressed and you know what? He was a bit down actually. They massage the ego to the point where you get hooked on their stuff, and now he's basically given his life to them, he's the one on the pavement dishing out the stress tests. It's a nasty cycle.