It’s all very well to talk about one cult or another but what is one? If you have never had any experience with cults, could you recognize a harmful one if you came across it?
Around the world there are many churches and most seek only to do good. Some bring help to people of all types regardless of their religious affiliations if any. These genuine organizations also provide a peaceful environment for their members to gather together and worship God according to their particular belief. Leaders of such churches try to point the way to God and do not seek to be elevated to a status which interferes with the congregation’s view of God.
The gentle and patient guide, tag heuer replica watches and the supporting behavior towards individual spiritual searches and journeys, rather than the overbearing doctrinaire controlling behavior, are the marks of difference between a genuine church and a controlling cult.
How unfortunate it would be then if a genuine Church with no motives to bring harm and only good were to be mistakenly labeled as a religious cult. Equally, how sad it is that many controlling cults falsely present themselves as harmless churches and get away with it.
So how then do you tell if a particular group may be a damaging cult? If you have questions about a so-called Church you are in or want to determine whether a group you are thinking of joining is out to help or harm you, then this question must be truthfully answered.
You will find a list here of characteristics which will help you in making this determination. This doesn’t mean that all cults will be guilty of each and every factor however it is a safe bet that a cult which could be destructive will exhibit the bulk of these problems. This list is general and not definitive, for a more technical explanation of how to spot a cult, please visit: www.factnet.org
Characteristics of a harmful cult:
The word cult simply means a group devoted to a person or thing. You could have a superman or star-trek cult for example. These aren’t likely to be destructive unless people really become obsessed. Hopefully the description above will make it easier to sort out destructive cults from those which are not.
It will be obvious then that spending a significant amount of time in a manipulative and controlling cult leads to major damage to anyone and rebuilding a life afterwards is a huge challenge. In the next chapter we will look at how cults do so much harm to people all over the world.