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Cults, Sects, Alternative Religious Movements

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Please Note: This page is no longer being updated. For updated information, see this entry at CultFaq.org, operated by Apologetics Index



Definitions; Characteristics

Secular Checklist of Cult Characteristicsoffsite Article on the American Family Foundation site. More focused on sociological than religious aspects
Secular Characteristics of a Destructive Cultoffsite An article on the ReFocus site
Christian A Cult Recipe?offsite Just what do you mean when you say "cult"?
Christian Cult: A Theological Definition by Alan Gomes, given from an evangelical, Christian perspective. Excellent, clearly-worded outline from his book Unmasking The Cultsoffsite
Christian Cult Recruiting Techniquesoffsite by David M. Williams.
Christian Do Cults Follow The Same Pattern?offsite Though the doctrines of the major cults vary widely, their roots as well as their pattern of development are strikingly similar. By Randall Watters
Christian Eight Distinctives of an Aberrational Christian Groupoffsite Article on the NEIRR site
Christian Eight Marks of a Mind-Control Cultoffsite As outlined by Robert J. Lifton in "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism"
Christian How Could Anyone Join A Cult?offsite by an ex-member of an abusive communal group
Christian How To Identify A Dangerous Religious Groupoffsite Online booklet
Christian How to Identify Counterfeit, Manipulative, and Controlling Systemsoffsite Twenty-three differences between Biblical and totallistic teachings
Christian How You Can Identify A Cultoffsite by Norman Olson, Baptist Press
Christian Identifying and Defining Sectsoffsite Provides a documented overview of the major "Christian" sects. Specific attention is given the essential biblical doctrines which they deny. Article on the Crossroads Project site
Pluralistic Religious Cults, Sects, and Denominationsoffsite Points out the various - often mutually exclusive - definitions of the term "cult." Article on the "Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance" site. (Many of the articles on the OCRT site are written from an anti-anticult perspective)
Christian Thought Reform in Cults and Abusive Relationshipsoffsite Adapted from Robert Lifton's book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalismoffsite
Secular Warning Signsoffsite Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader; Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader. Also: Ten signs of a safe group/leader. By Rick Ross
Christian Why is a Cult a Cult?offsite On the CARM site
Christian Words Cultists Use Don't Mean the Same Thing.offsite On the CARM site
Christian You May Be Involved In A Cult If...offsite by Jim Watkins.


Secular Cult Concern FAQoffsite What to do if a friend or loved one joins a cult


Secular The Cult Controversyoffsite Collection of pre-1997 Washington Post news articles gathered into a special section.
Christian Cults and Deathoffsite Timeline - Three decades of crimes and confrontation by cults and cult-like extremist groups
Christian Cults! An outline analysis of cult practices, brainwashing, techniques, etc.offsite On the CARM site
Christian Cults: What To Say When The Tacks Are Brassoffsite By Eric Pement, reminding Christians to deal with cult members in love.
Christian Does 2 John 10 mean we shouldn't allow cultists into our homes?offsite by Ron Rhodes. Of interest to Christians. What do you when cult members knock at your door?
Christian How Cults Recruitoffsite by Rafael Martinez
Secular Ideological Totalism A chapter from Robert Jay Lifton's book, "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of 'Brainwashing' in China." Lifton, a psychiatrist and distinguished professor at the City University of New York, has studied the psychology of extremism for decades. He testified at the 1976 bank robbery trial of Patty Hearst about the theory of "coercive persuasion."
Secular Introduction: Cults and Sects in Americaoffsite Article on the CARM site
Christian Myths and Facts About Cult Involvementoffsite by Randall Watters
Secular What Messages Are Behind Today's Cults?offsite By Philip Zimbardo, PhD. Former professor of psychology at Stanford University and a former president of the American Psychological Association (APA).

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