What kind of people end up in church cults?

Category: Religion and Philosophy So, what kind of people end up in church cults? Contrary to popular belief, church cults do not seek weak-willed people. Church cults don't want high-maintenance people, they want productive individuals who will toe the party line & promote the organization. They need hard-working people to enlist in the "ministry of helps" (a.k.a., volunteer work force) so their "vision" (a.k.a., vehicle of destruction) can grow...buildings can be built...bank accounts can prosper. If anyone is susceptible to getting involved with a cult, it's middle- or upper-class people, educated, idealistic, and those coming from a Judeo-Christian background. "People who end up in cults are normal people. They are usually intelligent, open-minded & honest. They’re willing to make sacrifices for the greater good of the group. They’re interested in self-improvement & in the improvement of the world. The best kinds of people, in a way, are targeted by cults. Their very decency makes them desirable as cult members.” - Dr. J W West Professor of Psychiatry University of California “Even a dishonest person prefers to do business with an honest person.” - Thomas E. Collins, Wallpaper Salesman & Lay Preacher Have you ever wondered why a dishonest person prefers to do business with an honest person? It’s because he can manage and manipulate the honest person with deceit, flattery, bluster, guilt, lies, emotionally charged coercion, & group oppression to suppress his critical thought processes and to garner his unquestioned loyalty. It is then that the dishonest person can rob the decent, unsuspecting person of his vitality, his wealth, and his freedom before he realizes what is happening to himself. The man who lacks virtue feels morally smug in judging the virtue of his neighbor. The “hypocrite” is the critic who disguises his own failings by focusing attention on the failings of others, for have you considered that the adulterer is obsessed with judging other peoples’ sexual offenses, the homophobe secretly wonders about his own sexuality or the sexuality of his son, the self-righteous co-dependent who idolizes group conformity condemns the critical thinker, and the accuser of slander/libel is himself guilty of the charge? Have you ever considered how powerful a man is who understands how vulnerable an honest person is to a dishonest person? This principle is learned by observation & perfected by experience. The power it invokes in a man over others is frightening. For such power promotes the tyranny of one over many, demanding unquestioned loyalty to the practitioner who determines & dictates to the unsuspecting soul how he/she is to act & what he/she is to think...suddenly the choices you once made become the choices he now makes for you under the cult of his personality, the cult of his leadership, on which you’ve come to depend & to fear. The bane of hypocrisy is not its visibility to others, it is its invisibility to the practitioner. Therefore, a man that recognizes that a dishonest person prefers to do business with an honest person can be & often is himself a practitioner of dishonesty for he feels morally smug in judging a neighbor of the virtue of which he himself lacks, but which he exploits to his own benefit. There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. One is either for or against God, for or against man. God allows men to make choices, in fact, provides them with the tools for doing so. Men do not. Yet the deceitful man gives that appearance all the while cinching a noose about the throat of his victims daring them to think & to choose independently at the forfeiture of all they have. To know God one must read God’s Word. If to you it is dictated, then you are in trouble, for it is not your understanding, but the understanding of another that guides you by the force of his personality & the intimidation of the group he’s fostered & into which he’s drawn you.... & you become as seed planted in the fallow ground of his vineyard only to grow so much before you begin to wither away & die for the lack of care & spiritual depth within his closed environment or, worse yet, death by persecution because you might think critically & dare to question his leadership cult or decide to leave.

Please realize, I understand, it's not easy to leave a cult, much like a battered woman might have trouble leaving an abusive partner. It's very analogous to domestic abuse, but this is a whole group. God is introduced & it's ramped up to an infinite level. It makes it a devastating experience. If you can finally muster up the courage to leave, you're told... ...that you've betrayed your pastor, the church & ultimately Jesus. ...you're told you may die because you left the "covering" of the Church....you've "opened the door to the enemy"...you're "going back out into Egypt". ...you're told your children will be destroyed by the world. It sounds naive but when it's your whole life, your "spiritual" parents, your "brothers" & your "sisters" in Christ, their children are like your own children, you believe it's God's will. Once you're there, you can hardly imagine you'll ever leave. And if you do, it's even harder to imagine that you could find yourself telling someone else that they should leave. But to abstain from condemning a church cult personality or the church cult of his leadership is to become an accessory to the persecution & social murder of his victims who have criticized & refused to follow him. It is to live in fear so long as you are unable or unwilling to consider criticism of a leader or a leader’s beliefs. And, so long as you remain alien to God’s Word, which encourages critical thinking and/or criticism of those who would lead us in error. (1 John 4:1) It is important that you consider carefully the man who both understands & is able to exploit this principle of control over others, for your very decency makes you a desirable member of the church cult, which he is brewing. Think for yourself...think critically...with God’s Word the basis for your evaluation. Then choose carefully & walk in it because God would have you to, unafraid of what the deceitful man may do to you. Spend time in the Word of God that will deliver us from the mouth of this roaring lion. But, if we do not spend time in it, then are we not fair game for this savage beast? God’s Word helps us to think critically. It provides us with the ability for choosing rightfully. We have the right to partake of this Tree of Knowledge....&, when we do, the choices we make become to us a Tree of Life – Then said Jesus to those … which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8: 31,32). Name one man whom God has chosen to make our choices for us & I will show you antichrist – a person of the lie. Lazarus, the man who Jesus had raised from the dead, spoke like this to the religious people of his day & here is their response: "Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too, for it was because of him that many of the people had deserted them & believed in Jesus." - John 12:10-11

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