25 ATTRIBUTES OF A CULT:
This list is taken from a college course called “The Psychology of Fundamentalism” offered by the University of Texas
1. the leader is charismatic and often militaristically demanding
2. the leader is always right
3. elitism, the leaders treated as royalty or a sense of awe, hierarchical, authoritarian power structure
4. lower members get no respect, or get abused
5. leader is not held accountable for his actions or the actions of his authority structure
6. leader will not tolerate or receive criticism, but leader criticizes all others
7. there is no exit (There is always an exit – it’s the same doors you came in!!)
8. if members exit they are considered rebellious, out of the will of a higher power or the leader
9. members do not have any association with members that have left the group
10. there are no graduates from the “program” or group, just deserters or evil people
11. there is cult speak (a language many others can not understand)
12. personal attacks on critics or those who are not in the group
13. solidarity within themselves, no outside allegiance or association
14. use of guilt to manipulate members (I don’t carry guilt so I can’t relate to this.)
15. the leaders of group are self absorbed
16. instant community
17. members unable to tell the truth
18. money grubbing
19. newcomers don’t “think right” and need to be trained
20. system of punishment and reward
22. sense of powerless, dependency, covert fear, guilt
23. members and leaders are imbalanced or mentally ill
24. thought stopping language, clichés, or slogans
25. demands of ultra loyalty or ultra trust in the groups process and others
WOW!! It’s so interesting to look back and consider the churches that we’ve come through over the years. In thinking specifically of the one of the two main churches we were involved in here in San Antonio – I can’t believe how many of these “qualities” are “spot on!” I bolded the qualities which were, to me, obviously present in that church body. Others who defected from the church may highlight all of them, or not the same ones as I. It would, of course, depend on your mental state (how deprogrammed or programmed are you) and your experiences in the cult and once you left the cult, and of course your ability to use Godly discernment in these matters. Present members will be able to defend themselves against all these charges. I, however, can think of specific examples of how these attritbutes correctly describe the “Standard Operating Procedures” of the cult that we spent 4 years fellowshipping with.
WOW! I’m so glad I’m FREE!! ALL 25 attributes are completely juxtaposed to True Christianity.
Maybe they should get shirts like this – but no…it needs a little more religious satire to it…. maybe add a hand with an apple in it, the apple has a bite taken out of it – and that hand has placed the apple in another’s hand.
Something reminiscent of the image of God creating Adam –>
Oh. That is too rich!!! Because it definitely has to have some false but seemingly altruistic flair to it!! Just turn the hands a little and put a piece of fruit in that’s been bitten out of….and then below it add the shirt motto: I’m here for the cult meeting.
You could even make an image that women could iron onto their denim jumpers!!!
Ok. Ok. Enough. I gotta go home school some kiddos!!