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Cult Warning Signs


Amethyst
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From this site: http://wellspringretreat.org/families/warning.html

 

Trying to determine whether or not your loved one is in a cultic situation can sometimes be a challenge. All relationships and commitments require some time and dedication, but abusive groups and relationships take devotion to an extreme degree. Below are some warning signs that someone is in a dangerous situation. These can apply to cultic relationships with a single individual, as well.

 

Decreased contact with your loved one.

 

Difficulty in communicating with your loved one.

 

Increased hostility.

 

Loss of sense of humor.

 

Dramatic drop in grades or performance at job.

 

Sudden change in dating or friendships.

 

Spending a lot of time with a new group or religious organization.

 

Becoming "preachy."

 

Dramatic change of career interests.

 

Dramatic change of residence.

 

Glassy stare in his/her eyes, seems ?spaced out,? or not quite there.

 

Drastic change in dress, music preferences, social activities, etc.

 

The group expects an unusual commitment of time and resources.

 

The group expects more or less exclusive devotion or focus on its leader, its practices, or its beliefs.

 

The group discourages your loved one from having other relationships.

 

Honorable persons outside the group are overtly or subtly dismissed.

 

Ideas and lifestyles from outside the group are ridiculed.

 

The group promises that extreme devotion yields extreme rewards.

 

Members of your loved one's group view themselves as special and part of an elite group.

 

Nonmembers are seen as subnormal. Members who have left are considered dangerous by the group members and leadership.

 

Doubts in the members are suppressed by enforcing the practices of the group in excess.

 

These can include chanting, meditation, speaking in tongues, singing repetitive lyrics, repetitive work regimens, endless study, etc.

 

The group functions as if right and wrong are defined by what furthers or inhibits the interests of the group.

 

The world according to the group is defined in sharp, black-or-white categories.

 

The group emphasizes attracting new members, collection of money, or participation in the group's practices to the exclusion of other activities necessary for normal emotional growth.

 

Thoughts, feelings, and actions, however minor, are expected to be under the "benevolent care" and direction of the leader.

 

* * * * *

 

A lot of these are true for Christianity, yet so many people are blind to it being a cult. :ugh:

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I know what you mean, Amethyst! I did an article on fundamentalist Christianity being a cult a few years ago:

 

http://www.religionisbullshit.org/fciscult1.htm

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Gee, sounds A LOT like the kind of churches that I attended.... pentecostal churches really fit that I think more than any other christian religion (IMO) .... I had shut off all ties to relatives, friendships, (that did not believe the way I did) and was totally taken by the group I was in. WHEW! Glad I am outta there. I know that they consider me the devil... well so be it, whatever I am, I am not one of them, that is what I am thankful for :)

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I remember when I was doing my little fundy experiment; it was very much like that, too. I would flaunt my cult, place my gawd over people, the whole nine yards. Thankfully, I woke up and just dropped it.

 

When you step back and look at it honestly, Xianity is preciely that, a cult. Most Xians, if you told them there are people who believe in a hateful god to whom they attribute all sorts of evil deeds in the past (and try to justify said deeds), believe in serving that god first above all things, believe in trying to placate that god so they are rewarded in this world and the next, and all those who do not believe in their god will face unending torment, will say "oh my god, what a horrible cult!"

 

They'd not know what to say if you revealed that it was Xianity you were talking about all along. It fulfills all the criteria and contains all the religious arrogance, initiation rites said to be necessary for the believer, and life-altering, anti-social behavior. Xianity is a cult, just one that has gotten too big for its breeches - just like Islam.

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A lot of those were true for the Mo. Synod Lutheran church I attended when I was a child.

 

Loss of sense of humor.

 

Drastic change in dress, music preferences, social activities, etc.

 

The group expects an unusual commitment of time and resources.

 

The group expects more or less exclusive devotion or focus on its leader, its practices, or its beliefs.

 

The group discourages your loved one from having other relationships.

 

Honorable persons outside the group are overtly or subtly dismissed.

 

Ideas and lifestyles from outside the group are ridiculed.

 

The group promises that extreme devotion yields extreme rewards.

 

Members of your loved one's group view themselves as special and part of an elite group.

 

Nonmembers are seen as subnormal. Members who have left are considered dangerous by the group members and leadership.

 

Doubts in the members are suppressed by enforcing the practices of the group in excess.

 

The group functions as if right and wrong are defined by what furthers or inhibits the interests of the group.

 

The world according to the group is defined in sharp, black-or-white categories.

 

The group emphasizes attracting new members, collection of money, or participation in the group's practices to the exclusion of other activities necessary for normal emotional growth.

 

Thoughts, feelings, and actions, however minor, are expected to be under the "benevolent care" and direction of the leader.

 

I didn't have a change in friends or clothing since I was forced to attend said church from 1st grade until I graduated from high school. But they were pretty humorless people.

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