Are you in a cult?
Are you sure?
People who are in cults or other high-control, abusive religions and groups often don’t recognize that they’re being controlled by that group’s leaders, much less that they’re being outright abused. To congregants and group members, logical fallacies and other methods used to justify a cult’s beliefs and practices become more and more acceptable, so that critical thinking skills soon become nonexistent.
Cult members also learn to stop seeing abuses by their church or other such group as overly controlling, intrusive, and insulting; instead, they eventually become conditioned to simply accept how they’re treated, without question. Congregants are also given a laundry list of excuses for the cult’s hurtful practices.
Some cult members might also choose to stay in the church because it fulfills some type of need for them, although not in a healthy way. A person might find that the authority they’re given in the cult, the sense of superiority the church fosters, or the “carrot” it dangles in front of them is irresistible, so that they shut their eyes to the abuses of the leaders, and even to their own abuse of other people!
To help people better recognize the many hurtful and hateful practices of cults and other such abusive groups, please consider this 99-page booklet, “Are You In a Cult?”
Inside this book, you’ll find:
Why People Join Cults
This section dissects the many reasons that people join or stay in groups that are overly controlling and downright abusive, including the need to belong, the power or authority they’re granted over others, and a supposed quick fix to their problems. Understanding these reasons in greater detail can help a person recognize their own reasons for staying, or point out those reasons to others.
“Many cults often provide a sense of superiority for members, telling them that the church or group knows better than other people certain secrets or deep doctrine of the bible, or about human nature in general. Cults also often tell or teach members that they’re smarter or more capable than other people, and that the group itself knows more about how the mind works, how life began, what will happen in the future, how to bring people together, how to get people off drugs, and the list goes on.”
The Cult Leader Can Do No Wrong
When a cult leader tries to control many aspects of a person’s life or is outright abusive in some way, that abuse is overlooked simply because it’s coming from the cult leader. If a boss, teacher, politician, family member, or someone else behaved in the same way, an individual might be very resentful, but will dismiss or make excuses for a cult leader in particular.
“Overlooking this type of invasive involvement in your life can mean that you’re not seeing the signs of being in a cult, or of someone having cult-like control over you. In your mind, you may dismiss this type of inappropriate control, because it’s from your church or group leader. It’s being done by him, the rule is from her, from them. Your leader, your reverend, your guru, your instructor, your prophet, your pope, your governing body are the ones making these rules or intruding upon your life this way, so that makes it somehow okay in your mind.”
They’re the Adult, You’re a Child
When a religion’s leaders or anyone in authority in that organization treats other members as if they’re children, unable to make personal decisions for themselves or understand any part of a holy book on their own, this is a sure sign of a cult.
The Loaded Language of Cults
Loaded language and logical fallacies abound in cults, as a means of shaping the thinking of its members. Critical thinking, balanced reasoning and logic, and other such healthy forms of discussion are often limited, at best.
Using Your Sins and Weaknesses Against You
Most religions will have some type of punishment for sins, but one earmark of a cult is to use sins and even weaknesses or vulnerabilities as a way to emotionally blackmail members into staying and “toeing the line.” Public announcements of sinful conduct or reproof, threats of horrific punishments in the afterlife, and other such intrusive and embarrassing practices typically indicate that a person is in an abusive cult.
Myths and Misconceptions About Cults
This section provides a response to many common assumptions about cults, including:
- members of cults live in communes
- cult members wear robes, chant, shave their head, or otherwise dress and act “weird”
- cult members follow one person
- cult members have lots of wives and children
- cults are very small
- cults are always religious
- cult members are simpletons; smart and successful people don’t join cults
- cult members are all brainwashed and need professional intervention
- people call a group a cult just to insult them
- former members are just bitter and angry for having been kicked out
Also included in this book:
- How cults control information their members can receive
- The extremes that are often warning signs of a cult
- How abusive groups will demand their members display or stifle certain emotions
- Questions to ask
The concluding section also offers some helpful reminders and advice for those who are ready to leave.
Available on amazon:
Click here for the paperback version.
Click here for Kindle.