How Do I Know if It's a Religious Cult
or Healthy Spirituality?
- Healthy spirituality respects the individual's autonomy.
Religious cults enforce compliance.
- Healthy spirituality tries to help individuals meet their spiritual needs.
Religious cults exploit spiritual needs.
- Healthy spirituality tolerates and even encourages questions and independent critical thinking.
Religious cults discourage questions and independent critical thinking.
Healthy spirituality encourages psychospiritual integration.
Religious cults "split" members into the "good cult self" and the "bad old self."
Conversion to healthy spirituality involves an unfolding of internal processes central to a person's identity.
Cultic conversion involves an unaware surrender to external forces that care little for the person's identity.
Healthy spirituality views money as a means, subject to ethical restraints toward achieving noble ends.
Religious cults view money as an end, as a means toward achieving power or the selfish goals of the leaders.
Healthy spirituality views sex between pastors and the faithful as unethical.
Religious cults frequently subject members to the sexual appetites of the leaders.
Healthy spirituality responds to critics respectfully.
Religious cults frequently intimidate critics with physical or legal threats.
- Healthy spirituality cherishes the member's family.
Religious cults view the outside family as an enemy.
- Healthy spirituality encourages a person to think carefully before making a commitment to join.
Religious cults encourage quick decisions with little information.
~From an article sent to Exit & Support Network™ (original title: "How Do I Know if It's a Sick Cult or Healthy Spirituality?")