"A religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader." link
The following is a list of ingredients that make up a cult:
1. The Cult Leader
The first ingredient for a cult is the cult leader. You can't have a cult unless you have a cult leader. The cult leader is always a narcissist who expects others to do what the leader says, while ignoring what the leader does. The narcissistic cult leader believes that they are superior to all of their followers and must be able to convince others that the leader is chosen by God and above all reproach. Successful cult leaders have the ability to make others believe that the leader is God's perfect servant and all doctrine and rules issued forth by the leader come directly from God Himself. The cult leader must have the ability to convince others that the leader is pure and without sin, while causing the followers to blame themselves for any trouble in their lives by focusing on the members' own shortcomings and alleged sins.
2. Cult Members
|These Cult Members from the ntcc Flock Together at the National Tax-free Cult Compound in Missouri to Pledge their Support For The World Missions Slush Fund While Missionaries Testify of Poverty and Lack of Financial Support|
The cult leader must find people that will follow without question and seek the leader's approval. Cult members are often from dysfunctional families and broken homes and seek approval and a place to belong. Unfortunately the prime candidates for Christianity usually have similar backgrounds to cult members. Cult members often start out as sincere Christians or broken souls who are seeking to be free from a life of suffering and misery or loneliness and lack of direction or purpose. While God reaches out to many who are poor, a cult leader instead requires the members to have an income or ability to make money so the cult leader can prosper financially from all of the money and labor of the followers. Cult leaders are often sexual predators who not only seek financial profit but use their position of trust to gratify their sexual fantasies. For this reason many cult members were targeted due to their background of physical and sexual abuse. Abused people are drawn to cults which give them a false sense of being loved. They often don't recognize the cult's abusive practices as abuse, because they are accustomed to poor treatment in their past. Hence cult members are often people that can be easily exploited for money, sex or 'pastor' worship, all due to their past familiarity with abuse and present gullibility.
In contrast, people who are solidly grounded in a healthy faith do not make good cult members. People who know the bible do not make good cult members. People who are well-off financially do not make good cult members. People who ask too many questions do not make good cult members. People who demand accountability and transparency from the cult leader do not make good cult members. People who think for themselves and speak up against hypocrisy and abuse do not make good cult members. They may be fooled for a while; but as they grow in grace and the knowledge of the truth, they will recognize a cult for what it is.
3. Cult doctrine
A cult leader cannot control his/her cult members without cult doctrine. Cult doctrine is the mortar that holds all the bricks together in a cult. A successful cult leader introduces false doctrines supported by twisted scriptures to control and manipulate cult members. Cult members have to believe that cult doctrine comes from God. Cult indoctrination often involves total trust and confidence that the cult leader is God's chosen vessel to share God's special plan with the members. God's special plan is always based on the cult member sacrificing and the cult leader profiting. The cult member pays tithe or gives in offerings while the cult leader receives tithes and collects offerings. Cult doctrine or God's special plan for the cult members' lives is only made possible if they are ignorant of what the bible actually says or if they quench the Spirit. Cult members are taught not to use the part of their brain that questions their cult leaders or rationalizes that they are part of a big scam. They are indoctrinated to believe that any thought or person who questions the cult doctrine or leader is "of the devil". This phrase, "of the devil" is mind-stopping lingo designed to halt independent thought. It is cult jargon at its worst.
4. Cult Jargon
|Cult Jargon for Dummies: |
Turn or Burn!
Get Right or Get Left!
Holiness or Hell!
Often times cult members are brainwashed with cult jargon. Cult jargon often consists of one line phrases that are not found in the bible but are believed by cult members as gospel. Here is a list of cult jargon that was often used in the ntcc.
- You just need to get saved. (often used when one doesn't conform)
- All Christians pay tithe and give in offerings.
- X-cult members are just bitter and need to move on.
- I can't remember the last time I sinned. (a big lie)
- You can't build a church with poor people. (or non tithe payers)
- If you do not pay 10% tithe before taxes or if you are late with your tithe you will be too heavy to go in the rapture.
- Children hinder the work of the Lord.
- If you steal a paper clip from the Army you will be one paperclip too heavy to go in the rapture.
- cats are of the devil
- Children must be beaten to drive the devil out of them
- Television is the devil vision
- Internet is the Sinner net
- ear rings are devil stirrups
- If you don't pay tithe, you are a God-robber.
- Pastor is the Man of God (and must be obeyed without question)
- White men who marry black women have low self esteem
|All are Welcome if the Gate is Open, the mind is shut, and the wallet is also open!|
Cults often have compounds that are fenced in. Gates and security cameras are often placed around the homes of the cult leaders and access is only granted by permission to a select few. Unusual rules and demands are placed on cult members who live in cult compounds. Permission is often required to be asked among cult members to do ordinary things that most people do without asking. Decisions that most Christians are trusted to make on their own require approval from cult leaders who have very little trust in their followers. Sometimes cult compounds use strict rules rather than fences to keep people in. Servicemen's Homes are cult compounds that require all occupants to attend every church function, pay tithes and home offerings, have no visitors unless approved by the pastor, obtain permission to come and go for extended periods of time and be an "example of the believer" by keeping a bunch of non biblical man-made rules.
A requirement of faithful cult members to attend every cult function also can make a civilian church feel like a cult compound because most of the cult members waking hours are spent fulfilling the requirement to be at every cult meeting and only spend time with other cult members. Permission is asked for just about everything in a cult member's life, creating invisible boundaries that should not exist. Dating is not permitted without permission from the local cult leader and many relationships are manipulated or destroyed by the cult leader to maintain control inside the cult collective. Everything a cult member does is scrutinized by the cult leader and ultimatums of eternal damnation are placed upon the lives of cult members to keep them in the compound or cult community.
How do you avoid a cult? Simple question and simple answer. Read your bible. Do you ever see Jesus telling people who they can date or encouraging folks to follow a rich huckster that lives in a gated community? Of course you don't. Once you know the Word, it becomes easy to avoid cults.
But what if you didn't know the Word and you joined a cult? The problem is that cult members don't like anyone telling them anything that destroys their fantasy world. Brainwashing involves people abandoning all common sense in pursuit of a religion that makes them feel special and chosen while excluding all who recognize the cult leader's diabolical motives. Expecting a cult member to filter out cult doctrine from the bible is like expecting a poisonous snake to allow you to pet his forked tongue without getting bit. Many of us were there at one time. We all thought critically of everyone who didn't fall lockstep into our way of life. We labelled it Christianity and, in our minds, those who didn't comply were all destined for hell. We didn't want anyone to interfere with our religion; and we definitely didn't want to believe we were in a cult. Eventually after being used and abused for an extended period of time, we opted out.
Successful cults will make people think that if they leave the cult, they are leaving God. Therefore those who leave tend to blame themselves for everything while they exonerate the cult leader and cult followers of any wrong doing. But reading the Bible will show that the opposite is true. It is most often the person who leaves the cult who has the pulse of God, while those who stay in the cult are following a false prophet.
Cult Extraction - Yay!
But for cult members who are constantly bombarded with false doctrine, it takes time for the seed of truth to grow in their hearts. Occasionally a cult member or a former cult member will wake up and the lights will turn on and expose the cult in their minds. One hundred cult members might read this; and all one hundred of them might deny that they are in a cult and mock us for what we are doing. But God will continue to water the seed of truth in their hearts. We believe that there will come a time that the cult leaders will push these honest Christians to a breaking point, as these miscreant cult leaders so often do; and the Christian member will realize that they have been had. Once this light breaks, the Christians realize they no longer belong in this cult; and they will make a break for freedom and liberty. We hope that when they do so, these liberated people will not blame God or feel that they are betraying God by leaving the cult. We also hope that their break from the cult will be not only physical but spiritual too. So many people will leave the cult physically, but struggle to rid themselves of the erroneous cult doctrines that have been pounded into their hearts and minds. Worship through godly music, prayer, and bible reading will help the newly freed Christians sharpen their senses and filter out false teachings and cult echoes that try to haunt and hinder their free walk with God.
It's only a Cult, NOT your God
Leaving the cult is not leaving God. It's freeing yourself from the handwriting of man-made ordinances that is against you. The cult leaders in the ntcc know what they are doing; and they want you to go along with their doctrine for the rest of your life, whether you leave or you stay. They definitely do not want you to share your knowledge with the brainwashed masses that remain in bondage. They want you to hate anyone who exposes them even if you no longer attend their cult meetings or support them with your tithes and offerings. That's what makes it a cult; and even if you leave them they expect you to keep their doctrine as if it came from God Himself. But gave us our salvation. He is not going to take it away. Our salvation does not depend on the name hanging over the cult compound. God gave salvation to us, and man cannot take that away from us, even if we leave their money-grubbing cult!
This is the recipe for a cult. All you need is a Huckster, some followers, some messed up doctrine supported by non biblical jargon and a cult community that keeps you in their controlling atmosphere where you can be manipulated and exploited. They will always be looking for new recruits to replace those whom they no longer need; but they would prefer for you to keep your brain switch in the "Off" position for the rest of your life and don't dare say anything against them or hell will be your home, according to them. Thank God that Jesus is not like them!