Cults enforce compliance.
Cults exploit spiritual needs.
Cults discourage questions and independent critical thinking.
Cults “split” members into the “good cult self” and the “bad old self.”
Cultic conversion involves an unaware surrender to external forces that care little for the person’s identity.
Cults view money as an end or as a means toward achieving power or the selfish goals of the leader.
Cults frequently subject members to the sexual appetites of the leaders.
Cults frequently intimidate critics with physical or legal threats.
Cults view the family as an enemy.
Cults encourage quick decisions with little information.
From “Guidelines for Clergy” by Rev. Richard L. Dowhower, in Recovery From Cults, edited by Michael D. Langone, Ph.D. and published by W.W. Norton and Company. Reprinted with permission.