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 …

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.

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.

Rick Joyner

Viewed by many as a modern-day prophet or apostle, Rick Joyner -- of MorningStar Ministries -- is a false prophet with an ongoing track record of aberrant, unorthodox and otherwise unsound teachings.

His claims of receiving prophetic revelations should be rejected.

Branch Davidians

The Branch Davidians are a religious group that originated from a schism in the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, a sect of the the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Many Branch Davidians died in a controversial, ill-advised U.S. government operation -- which became known as the 'Waco Siege.'

Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus

The Universal Church of God (Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus) promotes Word-Faith teachings, with a particular emphasis on the 'seed-faith' doctrine that is at the root of the prosperity gospel. (Want something from God? Give money. Want more? Give more money.)

Since its theology and practices are far outside those of mainstream, biblical Christianity, this movement is considered to be theologically a cult of Christianity.

Iglesia ni Cristo

Theologically Iglesia ni Cristo is a cult of Christianity because it denies essential doctrines of the Christian faith.

Sociologically the movement has cult-like elements as well.

We provide research resources for those who are confronted by this fast-growing religious movement.

Do Muslims, Jews and Christians worship the same God?

The Quran states that Muslims, Jews and Christians worship the same God. However, when compared with the Jewish and Christian scriptures, the teachings of Quran show that Allah is not the same God worshipped by Jews and Christians.

In fact, neither Christianity nor Islam can logically endorse the other religion’s distinctive claims and practices without denying its own.

Word of Faith Movement

The Word of Faith Movement (also known as Word-Faith or simply Faith Movement) is a popular, diverse subculture within the Christian Church.

It is primarily known for its emphasis on the pursuit of health and especially wealth (the so-called "Prosperity Gospel").

The movement's teachers claim that both can be obtained through "positive confession" and/or "acts of faith" -- more often than not donating money to those teachers, or by throwing away medicines.

 …

Women in Christian Ministry

Are women allowed to teach or pastor other Christians? There is disagreement between, and within, denominations.

Viewpoints include the Traditional or Complementarian view, the Egalitarian view, and the Developing Egalitarian view.

Rapture

Many Christians believe that either before, or simultaneously with, the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to earth, believers who have died will be raised from the dead and that they -- together with believers who are still alive -- shall be caught up ('raptured') in the clouds to meet Jesus.

But there is a variety of views regarding the timing of this event.

Church of Wells

Theologically the Church of Wells is a cult of Christianity. Its teachings and practices show it to be outside the boundaries of the Christian faith.

Sociologically the church has many cult-like elements as well, to the extent that it should be considered a mind control cult.