• Religious convictions are stated as black and white
  • Isolation from people who do not share the same beliefs
  • Think of the world and flesh as inherently evil
  • Obsessive about praying, going to church, reading the Bible, attending crusades, watching television evangelists, sending money to missions1
  • Excessive fasting
  • Hearing messages from God
  • Judging others; often angry and violent toward “heathens” (pagans)
  • Brainwashing2 – attempt to persuade family and significant friends to their way of thinking
  • Compulsively talking about God, religion or quoting from Scripture
  • Conflict of ideology with hospitals and schools
  • Discourage thinking for oneself, doubting or questioning
  • Sexuality seen as dirty or bad
  • Cannot accept criticism
  • Suffer tension, stress, often develop physical illnesses, such as eating disorders, depression and anxiety
  • Often stare, go into trances
  • Erratic personality changes

~Taken from: When God Becomes A Drug: Breaking the Chains of Religious Addiction and Abuse, by Leo Booth

Related Articles:

Warning Signs of Extremism

Getting the Group Out of Us

Footnotes by ESN:

1 For those in WCG or authoritarian offshoots, the words “attending crusades, watching television evangelists, and sending money to missions,” can be replaced with: “attending all of the holy days, listening to the leader of their group on TV or the Internet (if he has a program), and sending large amounts of money to the group’s headquarters.”

2 A more accurate term than “brainwashing” to explain this process would be mind manipulation or thought reform.


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