Is Your Religious Organization Free From Cultic Tendencies?

Gillie Jenkinson, PhD

Is Your Religious Organization Free From Cultic Tendencies?

Gillie Jenkinson, PhDD

  1. Are your leaders fully accountable to a board

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

  3. Are questions and suggestions encouraged

  4. Does your leader/s readily admit errors

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

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

  7. Would outsiders understand the language or is it cliquey

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

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

  10. Do you view those who have left negatively

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

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

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

  14. Are pleas for money rare and unemotional

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

  16. Do your children enjoy participating in your R/S

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

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

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

  20. Is there a single behavioural standard for all members

  21. Are you free from fear

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

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

  24. Is there pressure to have sex with others

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

  26. Do you comply with practices that you do not agree with

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

  28. Do you feel you have lost yourself

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

  30. Does your leader seem both brilliant and irrational

  31. Are ex-members harassed, stalked and threatened

  32. Is being emotional treated as weakness and neediness rather than respected

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

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

  35. Have you become dependent when you used to be independent

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

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

  38. Were you recruited by being ‘love bombed’

  39. 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,