people only think about cults when they capture the front page, usually when
people die or when someone close to us has been affected. Maybe you can remember
back to the 39 members of heavens gate. Or further back with the Jim Jones
tragedy when over 900 people who followed their leader and committed suicide. We
often believe it happens to others and it cant happen to me or my family and
friends. This has proven to not be so.
psychological and sometimes physical abuse perpetrated by cults has been
affecting several million people for several decades. It is all around
us if we would open our eyes. More often than not the cults outnumber the church
more than 2 to 1 in most areas of the country, this is certainly true in Hawaii.
We have a tremendous problem here with false Christianity and various religions.
are about 5000 different cults operating in America currently. They are constantly
sprouting and growing where they are not wanted. A Christian cult will consist
of any group of people who have a set of beliefs and rituals which are
non-biblical. The beliefs become exclusive to their group only and they begin to
operate under an us versus them attitude. Theyre non religious cults such as
political cults, music cults, environmental cults, Satanist cults, just about
anything can be a cult.
person's cult can be another person's religion, and history has proven that
yesterday's small sect, can mushroom into today's popular religion. Cults can be
made up of only a few people, to ranging in the millions. Given enough time we can
find what was once considered a cult can be transformed into a mainstream
religion, accepted by society. A good example of this is Mormonism with 10
million today, as they have changed their image and present themselves as another
Christian Church, a truer one. Not all religions act like cults. Some Christian cults can be
worse than another religion in that they take more freedom away and exercise
more control. Its a shame
to see people have the same bible in their hand be so close and yet be just as
afar away as the average sinner.
not all countries are tolerant of cults activities. Some are fighting back.
France appointed a parliamentary commission to investigate new religious sects,
such as the JWs. There are 220,000 Jehovahs Witnesses in France and the
Witnesses now owe $25 million in back taxes, plus another $25 million in
interest and penalties. A lien was put on all Watchtower Society property in
France. Germany has taken action with the Church of Scientology, which
claims to have 30,000 members in Germany and 8 million worldwide. It took many
complaints about this new religion for them to notice what was going on. Many
times we keep this news in the religious sector when we should bring this
information to law enforcement, who may curtail their activity.
Those of us who deal with victims of abusive cults with
false teaching know the pain inflicted to the friends and family. We understand
how they tear apart families, and leave emptiness in its place. The loss of ones
loved one has an emptiness that can years to be healed or for some an impossible
recovery. often the result of zealous cults and their leaders have an individual
lose their own identity to become one of the chosen and do Gods work. Their
real family is replaced with the group who are now with their new family.
Children often become the most hurt, because of strict rules enforced on them.
They lose their childhood and are deeply affected, being unable to adjust later
on in life. I have heard this many times from those who left the JW's. That they
were ripped off of their childhood years and now feel they are not
sociologically balanced. Religious systems that are not balanced can be socially
and psychologically disastrous for innocent children and they grow up into
do people join a cult? Some like others to make choices for them so they join
abusive groups. Some like being part of a group that offers purpose in place of
their having none. Some are naïve and know no better since it sounds good and
they like what they see. It can be for any one of a multitude of reasons, but
mostly for the wrong reason.
become convinced and are lead on a course that affects them on every level,
emotional, psychological, the heart and mind, soul and spirit. From this they
are taken captive replacing critical thinking and even biblical thinking with
the ways the group wants them to think in. Destructive cults are basically
pyramid shaped with a person or group of teachers that have domineering control
over their lives. The cult's
lifestyle is based on the hopes, goals of their leader and the group
collectively. They will often use
psychological manipulation and deception to recruit new members. Individuals
are not told up front what the group is really about or what will be expected of
them if they become members. They find these things out later after they have
given them their time and money. So many people never have a chance at a knowledgeable
choice. because most of them are encouraged to join as soon as possible
without looking into the background or history of the group.
because most of them are encouraged to join as soon as possible without looking into the background or history of the group.
are found in two categories theological and sociological. And they can practice both in some
degree. A cult can be theologically sound and have abuse and control from the
leaders or they can be theologically wrong and it will show in their practice. Cults operate through a thought reform process to create a new identity for the
person, one that fits in with the group. The means is through intensive
indoctrination by doctrine, the other is living a new life according to their
doctrine. Steve Hassan who was once part of the Moonies now exits people out of
cults states, "Todays cult leaders are artful manipulators in persuasion
and indoctrination." In a mind control environment, freedom of choice is
the first thing one loses." The cult leaders philosophy, his books,
teachings, and practices determine the new life for the members. This creates
the member's new reality. Everything done prior to this is found meaningless and
now everything done within the group is meaningful.
when you come against their teaching you are personally attacking them and the
people they now have as their new family. You are demeaning the new life that
they claim is from God. This becomes quite feat to go through all the layers of
teaching and unravel it back to step one.
to one research, 48% of cult members had been between the ages of 19 to 25 years
old when they joined. 35% had been between the ages of 26 to 35. They are
looking at those fresh out of high school or in college that are targeted. 26%
were Protestant Liberals and 28% were Catholic. Many three years of college.
This dispels the myth that cult members are uneducated and dont know any
better. Many are educated but naïve to the religious world and its deceptions.
hear about those who never heard the gospel as un-reached people groups. But one
of the biggest un-reached people group are those who carry a bible and dont
know the message of salvation. The reason is that it has either been distorted
or it has shifted to another way and not Christ.
should be able to do something besides simply writing off these ruined lives as
another example of a sinner going astray in our fallen world, or the devils
deception at work. We must hold ourselves out as willing and committed to help
others choose life instead of death, and help them make informed choices about
their lives. This means we must be active in giving the gospel and be there for
them in their lives before they become involved and even afterwards. This takes
time, patience and much love. Without love we will not motivated to have the
patience or longsuffering to see them through. Remember it may not always be
what you say but how you say it that will have the message received.
Let Us reason is here providing information that enables people to make a more informed decision with respect for individual choice. The key is to get the information to the people before they join, because its much harder to convince them to leave after they have joined. The deception can strong, but love is stronger and is never wrong.