Among the most-visited pages within Apologetics Index
, those dealing with various aspects of spiritual abuse
— sometimes called religious abuse — rank very high.
Here is an extensive collection of research resources on abusive churches and spiritual abuse.
Nearly all false doctrines taught today by Christians and cultists alike can be traced to the distortion of the meaning of Biblical words.
This article highlights eight rules that are the center of all grammatical interpretation.
Accepted and used by scholars from Socrates to the present, they are equally applicable to legal, historical, and other such language.
Andrew Wommack has a number of aberrant and heretical teachings.
According to him, God has no authority on earth, the spirit of a Christian is completely perfect, and faith is a force by which words create reality.
Black Hebrew Israelites (also Black Hebrews, African Hebrew Israelites, and Hebrew Israelites) are diverse groups of people mostly of Black African ancestry who believe they are descendants of the ancient Israelites.
Black Hebrews adhere in varying degrees to the religious beliefs and practices of mainstream Judaism, but are not accepted as Jews. Many of the groups espouse a racist, Black Supremacy attitude.
Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Not every person’s experience will fit neatly into these following categories, but this list should provide some idea of the range of cults and their reach into every walk of life.
Research resources on the prosperity teaching or prosperity gospel, the doctrine that claims God wants you to be rich.
You may have seen these preachers on TV or in your church: they state that God will (or even must) make you rich just as soon as you send your money to those very same preachers.
Scientology’s cruel disconnection policy breaks up friendships, business relationships, and even families.
This policy is one of the reasons that we consider Scientology to be a hate group.
The destructive cult denies the policy exists, but there are countless testimonies to the contrary.
Pastored by ‘apostle’ Bill Johnson, Bethel Church in Redding, California is an influential church in the so-called New Apostolic Reformation (NAR).
The NAR is a heterodox movement in Protestant Christianity in which people follow present-day apostles and prophets who claim to govern the church and give new divine revelation that is needed to set up God’s kingdom on earth.
Bethel’s teachings and practices also identify the church as part of the equally problematic Word-Faith Movement.
The term ‘cult of Christianity‘ is used of a group, church or organization whose central teachings and/or practices are claimed to be biblical or representative of biblical Christianity, but which are in fact unbiblical and not Christian in nature.
What are the things you should look for in determining whether or not a particular group is truly Christian in nature?
Research resources on the ‘Twelve Tribes,’ an international ‘community of religious communes.’
Considered to be theologically a cult of Christianity, sociologically Twelve Tribes has cult-like elements as well.
Narconon is a residential rehab program aimed at treating substance abusers. The problem? Its approach is based on the medical views of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, considered by most to amount to nothing but quackery. TIME magazine has referred to Narconon as “a classic vehicle for drawing addicts into the cult.”
Updated: added the Narconon Lawsuits website, operated by a lawyer who is currently being threatened by a Narconon attorney for doing so. Read stories by people who allege that Narconon has harmed them.
Janet and Anton Hein are the co-publishers of Apologetics Index.
“Where totalism exists, a religion, a political movement, or even a scientific organization becomes little more than an exclusive cult,” Dr. Robert Jay Lifton writes.
A discussion of what is most central in the thought reform environment can thus lead us to a more general consideration of the psychology of human zealotry. For in identifying, on the basis of this study of thought reform, features common to all expressions of ideological totalism, I wish to suggest a set of criteria against which any environment may be judged — a basis for answering the ever-recurring question: “Isn’t this just like ‘brainwashing‘?”
Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may be manipulated, exploited, or even abused.
This list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may help you assess a particular group or relationship.
‘Islamic terrorism’ refers to terrorist acts committed by Muslim groups or individuals who are motivated by Islamic or Islamist views.
Condemned by most Muslims, Islamic terrorism is inspired by the concept of ‘lesser Jihad’ — ‘holy warfare’ against the enemies of Allah and Islam.