Fancy performing weddings, funerals, baptisms and other functions of the clergy? Well, you can: The Universal Life Church in Modesto, California, will ordain anyone as a minister — online, and for free.
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 …
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 …
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.
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.
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.
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.'