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 – with inspiration and thanks to Larry Pile, Wellspring Retreat and Resource Centre and Rosanne Henry and Sharon Colvin,