Characteristics of cults, sects, alternative religious movements...
An Apologetics Index research resource
Cults, Sects, Alternative Religious Movements
Articles Books Conferences/Seminars Counseling/Support Countries Definitions Mailing Lists/Newsgroups
News Organizations Publications Related Information About The Color Key For Information on specific movements see the A - Z Index
Please Note: This page is no longer being updated. For updated information, see this entry at CultFaq.org, operated by Apologetics Index
Checklist of Cult Characteristics Article on the American Family Foundation site. More focused on sociological than religious aspectsCounseling
Characteristics of a Destructive Cult An article on the ReFocus site
A Cult Recipe? Just what do you mean when you say "cult"?
Cult: A Theological Definition by Alan Gomes, given from an evangelical, Christian perspective. Excellent, clearly-worded outline from his book Unmasking The Cults
Cult Recruiting Techniques by David M. Williams.
Do Cults Follow The Same Pattern? Though the doctrines of the major cults vary widely, their roots as well as their pattern of development are strikingly similar. By Randall Watters
Eight Distinctives of an Aberrational Christian Group Article on the NEIRR site
Eight Marks of a Mind-Control Cult As outlined by Robert J. Lifton in "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism"
How Could Anyone Join A Cult? by an ex-member of an abusive communal group
How To Identify A Dangerous Religious Group Online booklet
How to Identify Counterfeit, Manipulative, and Controlling Systems Twenty-three differences between Biblical and totallistic teachings
How You Can Identify A Cult by Norman Olson, Baptist Press
Identifying and Defining Sects 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
Religious Cults, Sects, and Denominations 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)
Thought Reform in Cults and Abusive Relationships Adapted from Robert Lifton's book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism
Warning Signs 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
Why is a Cult a Cult? On the CARM site
Words Cultists Use Don't Mean the Same Thing. On the CARM site
You May Be Involved In A Cult If... by Jim Watkins.
Cult Concern FAQ What to do if a friend or loved one joins a cultGeneral
The Cult Controversy Collection of pre-1997 Washington Post news articles gathered into a special section.
Cults and Death Timeline - Three decades of crimes and confrontation by cults and cult-like extremist groups
Cults! An outline analysis of cult practices, brainwashing, techniques, etc. On the CARM site
Cults: What To Say When The Tacks Are Brass By Eric Pement, reminding Christians to deal with cult members in love.
Does 2 John 10 mean we shouldn't allow cultists into our homes? by Ron Rhodes. Of interest to Christians. What do you when cult members knock at your door?
How Cults Recruit by Rafael Martinez
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."
Introduction: Cults and Sects in America Article on the CARM site
Myths and Facts About Cult Involvement by Randall Watters
What Messages Are Behind Today's Cults? 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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