Thursday, August 6, 2009

Warning Signs

Warning Signs is cult expert Rick Ross's list of things to look for, not just in a potential cult leader, but in those who are followers of cult leaders -- and also what to look for in a safe group.
    This is an essential list for anyone looking to attend a new church because you never know at first what kind of group you may be joining. At first, spiritually abusive groups often bombard new members or attendees with love and care. Some warning signs of abusive leaders:
  • Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability

  • no tolerance for questions or critical inquiry

  • unrealistic fears about the outside world

  • the leader always needing to be right.

  • Some warning signs of cult followers:

  • Leader criticism is characterized as "persecution"

  • extreme obsessiveness toward leader or group, resulting in the exclusion of every practical concern

  • a dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor

  • former followers are, at best, considered negatively, and at worst considered evil

  • anything the leader does can be justified, no matter how harsh or harmful.

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