“What Constitutes a Cult?”
“The criteria that determine a cult are not definitive, and some organizations are classified as cults by some definitions and not by others. This incongruity can especially be seen with the classification of certain religious organizations, which are only considered to be cults by some.
“Organizations that are recognized as cults typically have a charismatic leader who is self-appointed and whom members obey without question. They often form a totalitarian society and also tend to exhibit most, if not all, of the following traits:
- The use of manipulation or coercion to recruit and teach new members.
- A dislike, distrust, or general devaluation of outsiders.
- A claim to offer the only path to salvation or possess unique powers.
- An involvement in illegal and harmful practices, such as child abuse, physical or sexual abuse, and illegal drug use.
- The discouragement and punishment of doubt or dissent.
- The discouragement or prevention of members from leaving.”
- International Cultic Studies Association – www.icsahome.com
- The Aftermath Foundation (Mike Rinder, former Scientologist) – https://theaftermathfoundation.org
- The Cult Education Institute – www.culteducation.com