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.
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.
The term 'cult' is used so often, it would seem that everyone knows what a cult is. Yet classifying a group as a cult is not as simple as it sounds.
This article -- a chapter from the 1994 book "Prophets of the Apocalypse: David Koresh and Other American Messiahs" -- takes a look at the history and usage of the term.
Cults come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Not every person's experience will fit neatly into these following categories,
but this list should provide some idea of the range of cults and their reach into every walk of life.
The term "cult of Christianity" is used of a group, church or organization whose central teachings and/or practices are claimed to be biblical or representative of biblical Christianity, but which are in fact unbiblical and not Christian in nature.
What are the things you should look for in determining whether or not a particular group is truly Christian in nature?
"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 against which any environment may be judged -- a basis for answering the ever-recurring question: "Isn't this just like "brainwashing"?"
Does the company you work for act like a cult? Does your boss force you to attend seminars produced by cults? And how do some multi-level marketing (MLM) companies resemble cults or at least employ cult-like tactics?
The term ‘walk-away’ is used of someone who has left a cult on his or her own accord.
There are some who claim that people who are caught up in a cult or cult-like group have been brainwashed
to such and extent that they are never willing or able to leave.… Read more
The dark and dangerous world of cults has long been a source of both fascination and fear. What attracts followers to cults and, more importantly, what makes them stay?
Watch the documentary, Cults: Dangerous Devotion.
In this issue: Examining the "Word of the Lord for 2010," by the 'Apostolic Council of Prophetic Elders.' CRI gets it wrong (and continues to support a cult of Christianity. Cult expert Steve Hassan on the issue of human rights violations vs. religious freedom, and Interview with cold case detective Jim Wallace of PleaseConvince.com
Psychiatrist and author Dr. Robert J. Lifton -- know for, among other things, his theory on brainwashing -- addresses doomsday cults such as Aum Shinrikyo. [video]
In the medical profession, ethical contracts ensure that patients have given "fully informed consent." That is, if a doctor fails to inform a patient about the risks, side effects, and options for treatment, the uninformed patient is entitled to sue. Below is a mock contract for cult membership. Ask yourself if you gave informed consent at the time of your recruitment, or if you would have joined had you known your participation would involve the following conditions.
Read excerpts from the book, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from cults and abusive relationships
Destructive mind control can be understood in terms of four basic components, which form the acronym BITE