Is Your Religious Organization Free From Cultic Tendencies?

Gillie Jenkinson


Are your leaders fully accountable to a board


Is loyalty to yourself and your family placed second to loyalty to your R/S


Are questions and suggestions encouraged


Does your leader/s readily admit errors


Does your leader/s imply they have special powers or are specially chosen


Are the practices of your R/S deemed more important than the individual members


Would outsiders understand the language or is it cliquey


Are you expected to dissociate yourself from all your experience gained before joining your  new R/S


Do you feel that those outside your group are less valuable than members of your R/S


Do you view those who have left negatively


Does your R/S see itself as the most important R/S


Are teenagers and young people respected and loved even if they decide to leave behind their parents R/S


Are individuals encouraged to follow their own career path rather than one expected of them


Are pleas for money rare and unemotional


Are you expected to live in a communal house or specific area


Do your children enjoy participating in your R/S


Is there a diversity of class, race, dress styles, ages and occupations in your R/S


Do individuals express different personality types or do all the members seem to have similar personalities


Are people allowed to come to their own conclusions about R/S issues


Is there a single behavioural standard for all members


Are you free from fear


Are you allowed to leave whenever you want and still be in contact


Is there pressure to lend money to leaders for personal or business use


Is there pressure to have sex with others


Are you able to say no to practices you do not agree with


Do you comply with practices that you do not agree with


Do you have sex with people you do not want to have sex with


Do you feel you have lost yourself


Are you restricted in what you are allowed to read, watch on TV etc.


Does your leader seem both brilliant and irrational


Are ex-members harassed, stalked and threatened


Is being emotional treated as weakness and neediness rather than respected


Are you encouraged to  ‘drink of the spirit and don’t think’


Is your spiritual leader the only route to God or a higher spiritual plane


Have you become dependent when you used to be independent


Has your self esteem and confidence reduced since joining your R/S


Do you feel you were pressured to join your R/S initially


Were you recruited by being ‘love bombed’


Were you offered free services only to discover you had to pay high prices later


















Score 5 or less and you are ok



Score 5-15 – there are areas you should watch out for



Score 15-25 – serious problems get help fast



Score 25+ - leave now for your own sake and encourage others to leave too



Put together by Gillie Jenkinson – www.hopevalleycounselling.com with inspiration and thanks to Larry Pile, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Centre and Rosanne Henry and Sharon Colvin, www.cultrecover.com.