Black Hebrew Israelites

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.

Updated!

Categories of Cults

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.

Prosperity Gospel : Research Resources

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 — Disconnection

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.

Bill Johnson / Bethel Church, Redding, California

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.

Cult of Christianity

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?

Spiritual abuse

Among the most-visited pages within Apologetics Index, those dealing with various aspects of spiritual abuse — sometimes called religious abuse — rank very high.

Throughout this week we will be updating our list of research resources on abusive churches and spiritual abuse.

Narconon, Scientology’s drug ‘rehab’ approach

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.

Ideological totalism: “Isn’t this just like brainwashing?”

“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‘?”

Characteristics of Cults

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.

Islam and Terrorism

‘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.

Seventh-day Adventist Church

The Seventh-day Adventist Church goes to great lengths to try and be accepted as a just another Christian denomination.

But based on its serious doctrinal errors we believe it should instead be considered, theologically, a cult of Christianity.

Is Your Church Free from Cult-like Tendencies?

Many people who have been subjected to spiritual abuse wonder, in looking back, why they stayed in an abusive church for so long.

Often it turns out that the church in question grew more and more cult-like gradually.

After all, most abusive churches do not start out that way.

This checklist will help you to honestly evaluate your church, its leaders, and your church experience.

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