Four interlocking dimensions make up the framework of a cult’s social system and dynamics. You can use this framework to examine your own cult experience.
It is helpful for Christians to know the signs of possible problems when assessing a minister or ministry.
Is there a certain type of person who is more likely to join a cult? No. Individual vulnerability factors matter much more than personality type when it comes to joining or staying in a cult or abusive relationship.
While most people interested in vampires firmly place vampirism (or vampyrism) in the realm of fantasy, a vampire subculture has developed as well. Some take their interest even further, turning fantasy into real-life practices.
Benjamin Zablocki is a professor of sociology at Rutgers University where he teaches sociology of religion and social psychology. He has published widely on the subject of charismatic religious movements, cults, and brainwashing.
Cafeteria Religion -- also known as Salad Bar Religion, Spirituality Without Religion, or Believing Without Belonging -- is popular among so-called 'nones.' It is a form of religious pluralism, in which people pick and choose doctrines and religious practices to arrive at a customized, personalized spirituality. Many Christians actually take a similar approach when they fail to learn or practice spiritual discernment.
The late Robert Vaughn Young walked away from the Scientology -- only to be talked into returning. When he later left the cult for good, he rejected theories about 'brainwashing' and 'mind control,' but eventually found parallels between victims of domestic violence and those who leave other abusive situations.
Neopaganism has become one of the fastest-growing religious movements today. Christians are not immune from its influence. Witchcraft and occultism are knocking on the doors of American homes, gaining acceptance and prominence in media and advertising, and enticing people of all ages to dabble in deceptive and dangerous practices. In his book Witchcraft Goes Mainstream Brooks Alexander offers lucid and enlightening descriptions of witchcraft today and our culture's acceptance of it. He concludes by helping Christians formulate a reasonable response.
Research resources on Jehovah's Witnesses and their organization, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society (Watch Tower Society; Watchtower Society)
Removing Your Name from LDS Church Records Want to resign from the Mormon Church? Like most other cults, the Mormon Church (LDS or so-called Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) makes leaving difficult. However, you have a legal right to resign. Joining the Mormon Church is easy. Getting out can be hell. So says Owen Edwards, a 28-year-old San Francisco masseur and student aesthetician. Born into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Edwards faces a disciplinary hearing …