- to give the members a future focus and
philosophical purpose in avoiding the apocalypse or
delivered through it.
- various practices including meditation,
words and/or phrases, and ‘spiritual’
with God are used as
of their truth.
- sleep and food deprivation which
will of the subject. This is
though practiced by more
of being persecuted and
with claiming any opposing
demonstrated against them as
a form of
- Many have a non-verifiable
For example, they would
teach something that cannot be verified.
A space ship behind
Or, that God, an alien, or
angel appeared to the leader and gave him a revelation
The members are seeded
angels from another world, etc.
philosophy makes sense only if you adopt the full set of values and
definitions that it teaches.
With this kind of belief,
truth becomes unverifiable, internalized, and easily manipulated through
the philosophical systems of its inventor.
- The Leader of a Cult
Often charismatic who is
considered very special for varying reasons:
The leader has received
special revelation from God.
The leader claims to be
the incarnation of a deity, angel, or special messenger.
The leader claims to be
appointed by God for a mission
The leader claims to have
The leader is often above
reproach and is not to be denied or contradicted.
- Cult ethos
- Usually seek to do good works,
otherwise no one would join them.
- They are usually moral and possess a
good standard of ethical teaching.
- Many times the Bible is used or
additional "scriptures" are penned.
The Bible, when used, is
always distorted with private interpretations.
Many Cults recruit
Jesus as one of their own and redefine him accordingly
- Cult groups
- From the ascetic to the promiscuous.
- From esoteric knowledge to very
- From the rich and power to the poor
- Who is Vulnerable to
Joining a Cult?
- Everyone is vulnerable.
Rich, poor, educated,
non-educated, old, young, previously religious, atheistic, etc.
- General Profile of cult member
(some or all of the following)
- Disenchanted with conventional
- Intellectually confused over
religious and/or philosophical issues
- Sometimes disenchanted with society
as a whole
- Has a need for encouragement and
- Emotionally needful
- Needs a sense of purpose.
- Financially needful
- They find a need and fill it.
One of the ways they do this is called
"Love Bombing" - Constant
positive affection in word and deed.
- Sometimes there is a lot of
physical contact like hugging, pats on the back, and touching.
- Cult group members will lend
emotional support to someone in need.
- Help them in various
ways...whatever is needed.
The person then becomes
indebted to the cult.
- Compliment them, reassure them, and
make them the center of attention.
Many Cults use the
influence of the Bible and/or mention Jesus as being one of their own;
thereby adding validity to their system.
Those that use the Bible
take verses out of context
Then mix their
misinterpreted verses with their aberrant philosophy.
Slow altering of thinking
processes and belief system through repeated teaching
People usually accept cult
doctrines one point at a time.
New beliefs are reinforced
by other cult members.
Would Someone Join?
- The cult satisfies various
- Psychological - Someone could have a
weak personality, easily lead.
- Emotional - Someone could have
recently suffered an emotional trauma
- Intellectual - Someone has questions
that this group answers.
- The cult gives them approval,
acceptance, purpose, and a sense of belonging.
- The cult is appealing for some reason.
It could be . . .
- Moral rigidity and purity
- Financial security
- Promises of
exaltation, redemption, higher consciousness, or a host of other rewards.
- How are they kept in the cult?
People often want to stay
because the cult meets their psychological, intellectual, and spiritual
Outside contacts are reduced
and more and more of the life of the member is built around the cult.
It then becomes very easy to
control and shape the member.
- Cognitive Reconstruction
Once the person is
indoctrinated, their thinking processes are reconstructed to be consistent
with the cult and to be submissive to its leaders.
This facilitates control by
the cult leader(s).
The Cult and cult leaders
often take the place of mother, father, priest, teacher, and healer.
Often the member takes on
the characteristics of a dependent child seeking to win the approval of
the leader and or group.
The member becomes indebted
to the group emotionally, financially, etc.
The person is told that to
leave is to betray the leader, God, the group, etc.
The person is told that
leave would mean to reject the love and help the group has given.
- Threat of destruction by God for
turning from the truth.
- Sometimes physical threat is used,
though not often.
- Threat of missing the apocalypse, or
being judged on judgment day, etc.
- How do you get them out?
- The best thing is to try not
to let them get trapped in the first place.
- If you are a Christian, then pray.
- But, to get a person out of a cult
Time, energy, and support.
- Teach them the truth.
- Give them a true replacement for
their aberrant belief system
- Show the cult group's philosophic
- Study the group and learn its history
seeking clues and information.
- Try and get them physically away from
the cult group.
- Give them the support they need
- Alleviate the threat that if they leave
the group they are doomed or in danger.
- Generally, don't attack the leader of
the group...that comes later.
- Converts often feel a loyalty and
respect for the founder of the group.
- Confront them when needed.
Hopefully, this basic outline will give you information
to see how Cults work and how
to avoid them. If you
have someone who is lost in a
cult, you need to pray
and ask the Lord to remove
them and give you the
insight and tools needed. It
can be a long
and arduous task and very
ends in failure.
This is not an easy ministry.
by Matthew Slick
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