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On the thread immigration and assimilation it came up of comparing 2 religions, after thoughtful consideration have realized such wouldn’t give proper credence to the entire subject.

All religions, and non-religion can be dangerous, if not to others then at least to mental health of the victims.

Too know if any belief system, or group is dangerous one must know core principles. Adherence of an individual member, or not, to all principles of the group never show its true potential.

One must look to the leader, their papers written over time, and what those leaders in place of origin say.

Hitlers followers didn’t all start out as willing to murder millions.

One will never see the true face of a group until they are hooked in, or the group has the dominant power, or tools of destruction, it needs.

Having had some experience with cultic type groups I thought I would share a few items for now and more as time allows.

There is also a large difference between immigrants, and refugees which some seldom consider: immigrants are those who choose to change country for something they like in the one to which they immigrate; very similar to a citizen changing cities, and adopting to the laws of new city. I wouldn’t expect to move into a city and build fires in my backyard as I do in the country.

A refugee is simply someone who has been displaced by turmoil in their own land. According to federal government refugees are supposed to be only temporary, and returned to home country, and culture as soon as possible, and their are documents on the greater problem of refugees who won’t leave, yet desire to continue their own culture, despite the conflict it causes, as compared to a voluntary immigrant who chose to come.

I would give a third category on illegal immigrants as they are mostly even different than the previous two.

Here is the short list without getting into the subtle details. I had to get it from their old defunct site with way back machine as they removed it from new site.

ICSA does NOT maintain a list of "bad" groups or "cults." We nonjudgmentally list groups on which we have information.

Groups listed, described, or referred to on ICSA's Web sites may be mainstream or nonmainstream, controversial or noncontroversial, religious or nonreligious, cult or not cult, harmful or benign.

We encourage inquirers to consider a variety of opinions, negative and positive, so that inquirers can make independent and informed judgments pertinent to their particular concerns.

Views expressed on our Web sites are those of the document's author(s) and are not necessarily shared, endorsed, or recommended by ICSA or any of its directors, staff, or advisors

Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups - Revised
Janja Lalich, Ph.D. & Michael D. Langone, Ph.D.

Concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members, former members, and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused. The following list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group or relationship.

Compare these patterns to the situation you were in (or in which you, a family member, or friend is currently involved). This list may help you determine if there is cause for concern. Bear in mind that this list is not meant to be a �cult scale� or a definitive checklist to determine if a specific group is a cult. This is not so much a diagnostic instrument as it is an analytical tool.

1.‪ The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law not to be questioned.

‪ 2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged, or even punished.

‪ 3. Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, required prayer or service attendance, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

‪4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

4.‪ The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar, never to be questioned, or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

5.‪ The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

6.‪ The leader is not accountable to any authorities, and is above questioning (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

6.‪ The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

7.‪ The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

8.‪ Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

9.‪ The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members, and continuing to grow.

10.‪ The group is preoccupied with making money.

‪ 11. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

‪12. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

‪ 13. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

This checklist will be published in the new book, Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias (Berkeley: Bay Tree Publishing, 2006). It was adapted from a checklist originally developed by Michael Langone.
Resources Langone, Michael, Ph.D.: "Definitional Ambiguity"
Langone, Michael, Ph.D.: "On Using the Term "Cult"
 

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The definition of Cult is a lot like the definition of propaganda.
Education is knowledge that we like. Propaganda is knowledge that we don't like.
Taken individually the thirteen signs of a cult describe attributes of many mainstream western religions.
Mass suicide is not a very practical approach to growth and money raising. It's pretty rare among organizations accused of being cults. But it is a good way to scare your members away from other recruiters . . . .or is that us / them thinking.
So who is it you want to burn this week?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The definition of Cult is a lot like the definition of propaganda.
Education is knowledge that we like. Propaganda is knowledge that we don't like.
Taken individually the thirteen signs of a cult describe attributes of many mainstream western religions.
Mass suicide is not a very practical approach to growth and money raising. It's pretty rare among organizations accused of being cults. But it is a good way to scare your members away from other recruiters . . . .or is that us / them thinking.
So who is it you want to burn this week?
Such is true of some western religions. One of the deciding factors is psychological damage, what happens when one steps out of the belief. (Do they loose support? Friends? Family?)

I figured instead of comparing sects, and religions it best to have knowledge to identify dangerous ones.

Any can be, or become, cultic.

Those deeply involved in cults often take years to overcome the psychological trauma, for most of the control is psychological, and aren’t that different from an emotionally abusive relationship.

There is a good article on ICSA about how to knowledgeably find a church, which could be expanded to finding a belief/religion.
If I can find it again I will post it.
 

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Answer the question.
psychological damage is only one of the factors because psychological damage is everywhere. We have people being traumatized by seeing a white piece of paper.
 

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The definition of Cult is a lot like the definition of propaganda.
Education is knowledge that we like. Propaganda is knowledge that we don't like.
Taken individually the thirteen signs of a cult describe attributes of many mainstream western religions.
Mass suicide is not a very practical approach to growth and money raising. It's pretty rare among organizations accused of being cults. But it is a good way to scare your members away from other recruiters . . . .or is that us / them thinking.
So who is it you want to burn this week?
That is not the definition of Propaganda.

"information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view."
"information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc."

The definition of Propaganda has nothing to do with how it's received by its audience.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Good article from the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) on choosing a church.

Choosing a Church After a Painful Experience

They have hundreds of papers. Great site.

We can discuss tactics all day, as well as now defunct past ones, and their behavior, such as nazi germany, branch davidians, north korea etc.

It's an individuals own responsibility to observe and determine.
Another on tactics and tells some the same as the previous.

An added benefit is many of the same tactics are used by those with BPD, and NPD to control personal relationships as well, therefore knowing the tactics can point red flags for those as well.


Generally, it takes a trained person who can identify unhealthy patterns and teachings as compared to healthy ones and can then identify a cult. Furthermore, cult-like behavior is more commonly identified through excessive control, manipulation, and esoteric teaching of a group where the group's members are often isolated and indoctrinated into special teachings and practices.
Social aspects of cult-like behavior.
For a group to be a cult in the social sense, many of the following characteristics would have to be present. For a group to be a cult in the doctrinal sense, essentials (in this case of the Christian faith) would have to be violated. Some of the characteristics are listed below.

Submission:
1. Complete, almost unquestioned trust in the leadership.
2. Leaders are often seen as prophets, apostles, or special individuals with unusual connections to God. This helps a person give themselves over psychologically to trusting someone else for their spiritual welfare.
3. Increased submission to the leadership is rewarded with additional responsibilities and/or roles, and/or praises, increasing the importance of the person within the group.

Exclusivity
1. Their group is the only true religious system, or one of the few true remnants of God's people.
Persecution complex
2. Us against them mentality. Therefore, when someone (inside or outside of the group) corrects the group in doctrine and/or behavior, it is interpreted as persecution, which then is interpreted as validation.
Control
3. Control of members' actions and thinking through repeated indoctrination and/or threats of loss of salvation, or a place to live, or receiving curses from God, etc.

Isolation
1. Minimizing contact of church members with those outside the group. This facilitates a further control over the thinking and practices of the members by the leadership.

Love Bombing
1. Showing great attention and love to a person in the group by others in the group, to help transfer emotional dependence to the group.

Special Knowledge
1. Instructions and/or knowledge are sometimes said to be received by a leader(s) from God. This leader then informs the members.
2. The Special Knowledge can be received through visions, dreams, or new interpretations of sacred scriptures such as the Bible.

Indoctrination
1. The teachings of the group are repeatedly drilled into the members, but the indoctrination usually occurs around Special Knowledge.

Salvation
1. Salvation from the judgment of God is maintained through association and/or submission with the group, its authority, and/or its Special Knowledge.

Group Think
1. The group's coherence is maintained by the observance to policies handed down from those in authority.
2. There is an internal enforcement of policies by members who reward "proper" behavior, and those who perform properly are rewarded with further inclusion and acceptance by the group.

Cognitive Dissonance
1. Avoidance of critical thinking and/or maintaining logically impossible beliefs and/or beliefs that are inconsistent with other beliefs held by the group.
2. Avoidance of and/or denial of any facts that might contradict the group's belief system.

Shunning
1. Those who do not keep in step with group policies are shunned and/or expelled.

Gender Roles
1. Control of gender roles and definitions.
2. Severe control of gender roles sometimes leads to sexual exploitation.

Appearance Standards
1. Often a common appearance is required and maintained. For instance, women might wear prairie dresses, and/or their hair in buns, and/or no makeup, and/or the men might all wear white short-sleeved shirts, and/or without beards, or all wear beards.
 

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So,
Whom do you want to burn this week?
Cults, the great bugbear of christianity, had their origin in 1960's communal societies which mostly existed as a social protest against over controlling family structure in mainstream christianity. Groups living together and sharing property and inevitably failing due to the inability of drug addicts to produce enough art to support themselves. This led to the creation of groups like the ICSA as a support for parents seeking to regain control of their adult children. Anti cult groups often shared propaganda such as the lists of warning signs until it became impossible to determine the origin of any of it. A great deal of it is obviously written with the mormon church (church of Jesus Christ of latter - day saints) in mind. In fact Mormon conversion prevention was the goal of the originating authors. This of course due to the well known, and annoying practice of Mormons in proselytising directly to christians. In other words the whole anti-cult movement is based on maintaining the cash flow of disorganized mainstream christianity.
Now with an important goal like that no tactic was withheld. With a few very scary real cults imploding here and there, it became convenient to label anyone who was siphoning off your followers as a Cult de jour. but that is the problem. When you start calling good evil, or at least harmless wacko's, evil, it becomes easy for you to see evil means as good. You end up with Crystal night.

So when you pop up with a bunch of "spot the cult" crap, I automatically want to know, which bookstore you want to burn. Just to cut to the chase.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So,
Whom do you want to burn this week?
Cults, the great bugbear of christianity, had their origin in 1960's communal societies which mostly existed as a social protest against over controlling family structure in mainstream christianity. Groups living together and sharing property and inevitably failing due to the inability of drug addicts to produce enough art to support themselves. This led to the creation of groups like the ICSA as a support for parents seeking to regain control of their adult children. Anti cult groups often shared propaganda such as the lists of warning signs until it became impossible to determine the origin of any of it. A great deal of it is obviously written with the mormon church (church of Jesus Christ of latter - day saints) in mind. In fact Mormon conversion prevention was the goal of the originating authors. This of course due to the well known, and annoying practice of Mormons in proselytising directly to christians. In other words the whole anti-cult movement is based on maintaining the cash flow of disorganized mainstream christianity.
Now with an important goal like that no tactic was withheld. With a few very scary real cults imploding here and there, it became convenient to label anyone who was siphoning off your followers as a Cult de jour. but that is the problem. When you start calling good evil, or at least harmless wacko's, evil, it becomes easy for you to see evil means as good. You end up with Crystal night.

So when you pop up with a bunch of "spot the cult" crap, I automatically want to know, which bookstore you want to burn. Just to cut to the chase.
If you want to discuss your trigger with the information I am willing to do so rationally.

Your reaction to information reminds me of the reaction family of one I was trying to help, after I gave the individual a book on how to spot on counter emotional manipulation, and control tactics.

Attack the giver of the information. Attack the person for reading it. Attack the information itself.

Mass psychology, and psychology of the crowd would be a good read for you. They predate your timeline and are where groups like icsa got some of their information.

More than half of my relatives are Mormon, and they wouldn’t be staying if Mormons were cultic in nature.
After my grandparents left the Mormon’s it they weren’t attacked, shunned, threatened or any other of the known tactics.
Matter of fact, even after my grandparents moved at least 2 members, sometimes more, would make an 8 hr drive from the closest to them a couple times a year just to check on them, and visit as friends.

As I have said tactics are much the same as an abusive relationship.

I assume you have never dealt with, or seen the results of one stuck in one or you would be a little less judge-mental.
 

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OK so the last thread was about the muslim plot to breed us out of existence. And now you are looking for cults. I'm lost. It's kind of conspiracy theory. I thought you were against a particular group.

So am I in a cult, or an abusive relationship? or conversely have I never dealt with either? Well I'm alive and over 50 so I reckon I've seen an abusive relationship. As to a real Cult, I'll mentally continue to claim that they are too rare to expect to find one. And I'll keep giving the strangely dressed folks down the road all the sawdust and scrap wood they want.
 

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OK so the last thread was about the muslim plot to breed us out of existence. And now you are looking for cults. I'm lost. It's kind of conspiracy theory. I thought you were against a particular group.

So am I in a cult, or an abusive relationship? or conversely have I never dealt with either? Well I'm alive and over 50 so I reckon I've seen an abusive relationship. As to a real Cult, I'll mentally continue to claim that they are too rare to expect to find one. And I'll keep giving the strangely dressed folks down the road all the sawdust and scrap wood they want.

I actually dislike the term “cult” as it’s fails to convey proper context of the mental totalitarianism.
I prefer to define it as any group, organization, attempting to control members, and influence others through coercion, subversion, fear, loss of support, threats, emotional manipulation, temperance, forcing acceptance, name calling, etc.
I am against any such.
There are many such groups and mentalities in our current society, and they are growing. There are animals rights groups, religious groups, on watch lists,

Fact so many people can’t look around at the divisions taking place in society, pinpoint origins and groups with a propensity for harm, and educate others, is abdication of a man’s responsibility to family, and country, as he is placing such in hands of police which have no duty, or obligation to protect anyone other than those who hire them.

Some of the videos posted in a thread on Bernie’s supporters shows similarities.
How many ‘ism’s can you name?
Black bob tribe of Kansas having land taken because they lived off of the land instead of working.
Laws in early colonies to impose punishment on any who attempted to live with, and as the American Indians.
Settlers raiding villages of native Americans simply to bring back the “errant” pilgrims who wanted to live with tribes, then whippings and stocks as punishment.

I have nothing against vegans. Tried it for a few years myself. Yes I took flak for it.
Just an example:
Recently read a story of a vegan who had to start eating some meat due to health problems and allergies.
She was afraid to tell the truth to friends, and hid it for some time, for fear of loosing friends, and support.

She eventually did and it wasn’t quite as bad as she feared. Most accepted it. Others haven’t been quite so lucky as her.
The simple fact she was afraid to let anyone know she was eating meat, the mental anguish she suffered, and mental hoops she had to jump through by actually eating it is an example of menticide, and indoctrination perpetrated by controlling groups, and how an intelligent person can become a part of a movement.

A good example of pressuring him, and his friends pressuring her, instead of reasoning on both sides.
As well as cognitive dissonance. No child is born a vegan, unless i am ignorant to some process that infants can live on creamed avocados and nuts instead of milk. :wink2:

I was born Vegan and have Vegan brothers and sisters, siblings are married to Vegans, 1 has a Vegan baby, so we really value it!

My ex changed his eating habits a lot. He cut out dairy for health reasons and began eating fake-meat and Vegetarian sausages, soya (TVP), seitan etc. He learnt how to cook basically, and would make these things himself at home when I wasn't there. Mostly he didn't eat meat in front of me.

He by no means identified as a Vegan or Vegetarian, however, and would happily eat meat at his mum's house, at work, and when at restaurants with friends. He basically said that the welfare of animals was not important to him like it is to me, that it's more health and environment that does it for him, but he's not prepared to risk social exclusion or ridicule in order to choose the Vege option at a restaurant (his friends really do make a thing out of it, and normally I'm the one on the receiving end from his friends or dad, though he sticks up for me).

I basically largely accepted his diet, or at least learnt to shut up about it and give him credit for having changed a lot. But recently he bought a house and the idea of me moving into a house where meat /egg products would be in the fridge and getting cooked just felt too much for me. I'm happy for him to do what he wants outside of the home, but just not in our home, otherwise it's not my home, if that makes sense. He couldn't accept this condition, saying he wants to feel free and accepted for who he is.

We(she) decided to break up, Veganism a 'core' value that cemented our decision over all our other differences that arguably could be resolved and some of which already have been.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Anyone over 30 who has never ran into such groups live in a vacuum, willfully ignores it, or simply doesn't know what to look for.

I grew up in a very rural environment, and still had run ins with small secular and non-secular.

At age 8 was told by a preacher when I questioned him on the bible to just listen to him and his interpretation as I couldn't understand it cause I didn't have gift of discernment yet. (listen to the higher authority)

At 12 saw the split of a church over dress code, and the hate, controlling nature, and vitriol as a result. Many never spoke to each other again. (control of dress and roles)

At 19 ran into the christian aryan nation supremacy group. (subtle buggers play on emotions)

And several more since all spouting:
Don't question.
Their not one of us they are against us.
People leave the group never spoken to again.
Violence, or threats of violence if you question them.

The proof is in the questioning.

ETA: Perhaps this will help to illuminate.
I've studied for so long I forget it maybe hard for someone who is a layman of psychology to accept such things can, do, and are going on, more so in the last 6 years than I have ever seen.
There was a reason Schein, Schneier, & Barker, as well as APA warned psychologists against using certain techniques.

During this period, the concept of thought reform (Lifton, 1961), or coercive persuasion (Schein, Schneier, & Barker, 1961), popularly called "brainwashing" or "mind control," was used to try to explain the behavior of many controversial groups that were being called "cults." Disputes arose between so-called "pro-cultists," who favored the term, "new religious movement," and "anti-cultists," who favored the term, "cult." The debate between these parties was often depicted as revolving around the question of whether or not thought reform, "brainwashing," exists, or whether it necessarily entails physical coercion. Proponents of thought reform models, however, have long held that their models apply to extreme examples of the sociopsychological influences seen in everyday life. Lifton, for example, extensively studied Chinese civilians who had not been exposed to physical coercion.

And both he and Schein warned society about the dangers posed by sociopsychological influences within our own culture. Indeed, the American Psychological Association (APA), recognizing that even responsible, well-meaning psychologists should avoid the use of certain forms of influence, imposes ethical constraints on psychological researchers (APA, 1992).
https://www.icsahome.com/articles/cults-psy-abuse-and-thought-reform-langone

No one wants to think they can have their, goodness, empathy, or subconscious needs used to influence them without their consent.
Without one knowing how it's done they have no protection.
 

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Governments are the biggest cults and also the worse brain washing machines there is. Go to countries like North Korea, Zimbabwe, Western Sahara, Iraq, China, Iran, Uganda, etc. Malawi is is just trying to recover from that status.

The UK is doing its best to establish itself as a cult based on LGBT religion and other foolishness.
One of the major traits of any cult is to demonise anyone who questions the authenticity of the ethos of the cult. In UK now if you ask searching questions about LGBT or Islam or deviation in general, you will be labelled a Hate speech monger and be very quickly arrested and silenced. You will also lose your job fast wherever you work. There is no discussion allowed. If you are at university, you get expelled.

But it is OK and indeed acceptable to to dis Christianity and call Christians any derogatory term you wish to use. Not one police office will think you are making a hate speech. No court will try you and no employer will NOT find it to be a joke in good taste.

Governments higher teachers as cult agents. Teachers are easy to manipulate as they are not allowed any thinking of their own. They can only teach what the government prescribes. A teacher who plants unwelcome thoughts in kids is soon sacked.
 

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Governments are the biggest cults and also the worse brain washing machines there is. Go to countries like North Korea, Zimbabwe, Western Sahara, Iraq, China, Iran, Uganda, etc. Malawi is is just trying to recover from that status.

The UK is doing its best to establish itself as a cult based on LGBT religion and other foolishness.
One of the major traits of any cult is to demonise anyone who questions the authenticity of the ethos of the cult. In UK now if you ask searching questions about LGBT or Islam or deviation in general, you will be labelled a Hate speech monger and be very quickly arrested and silenced. You will also lose your job fast wherever you work. There is no discussion allowed. If you are at university, you get expelled.

But it is OK and indeed acceptable to to dis Christianity and call Christians any derogatory term you wish to use. Not one police office will think you are making a hate speech. No court will try you and no employer will NOT find it to be a joke in good taste.

Governments higher teachers as cult agents. Teachers are easy to manipulate as they are not allowed any thinking of their own. They can only teach what the government prescribes. A teacher who plants unwelcome thoughts in kids is soon sacked.
Very true.

Such tactics are based on experiments from 50-60’s.

People go along to get along regardless of how incorrect a group tends to be even to the point of giving obviously incorrect answers if majority of group gives wrong answers.
 

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According to federal government refugees are supposed to be only temporary, and returned to home country, and culture as soon as possible
Huh?

Do you have a source for this? All of the reading I can find on the subject speaks of resettling them, not repatriating them.
 

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Governments are the biggest cults and also the worse brain washing machines there is. Go to countries like North Korea, Zimbabwe, Western Sahara, Iraq, China, Iran, Uganda, etc. Malawi is is just trying to recover from that status.

The UK is doing its best to establish itself as a cult based on LGBT religion and other foolishness.
How ironic that you correctly identify Uganda as authoritarian and then complain about tolerance of homosexuality, which is illegal in Uganda.

One of the major traits of any cult is to demonise anyone who questions the authenticity of the ethos of the cult. In UK now if you ask searching questions about LGBT or Islam or deviation in general, you will be labelled a Hate speech monger and be very quickly arrested and silenced. You will also lose your job fast wherever you work. There is no discussion allowed. If you are at university, you get expelled.

But it is OK and indeed acceptable to to dis Christianity and call Christians any derogatory term you wish to use. Not one police office will think you are making a hate speech. No court will try you and no employer will NOT find it to be a joke in good taste.

Governments higher teachers as cult agents. Teachers are easy to manipulate as they are not allowed any thinking of their own.
If you get something out of playing the Christian victim card, well, this is TAM but it is disgusting to insult the intelligence of everyone in the noble profession of teaching.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Huh?

Do you have a source for this? All of the reading I can find on the subject speaks of resettling them, not repatriating them.
State department website archives around late 1990’s or early 2000’s.

Specifically stated end goal was their return home.
 
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