Facade of cults is misleading to society

Cults and in particular religious cults have an advantage in that their practices that are visible to the public eye display a picture of serenity honesty and happiness. Furthermore most members of society believe that if something has a ring of religion perceived by certain familiar Christian or biblical terminology that it can be assumed as an authentic group above suspicion. Unfortunately such a careless attitude especially of parents has led to many young people getting trapped in abusive religious groups.

It is important to bear in mind that the picture that is displayed of cults on the surface is not the full picture. Members of cultic groups may even confess to the benefit they have received since belonging to the group. Individuals’ experiences in cultic groups will differ depending on their personalities. What is acceptable and bearable for one individual is not necessarily for the next. It is also important to note that members’ reports about cults are influenced by the fear that something terrible will happen to them if they speak out against the deficiencies of the cult and leader. Despite the aforementioned differences in how the practices of cults are perceived knowledge of how cults operate is essential in order to ensure that individuals, your children and loved ones, do not fall prey to such groups.

Cults must not be overestimated nor underestimated. Overestimating a cultic group refers to evaluating or judging a group without the necessary evidence or proof.  That happens mostly when people or the media jump to conclusions about the intent of a group based on insufficient evidence or limited knowledge resulting in labeling a group as a cult. To underestimate a cult is even more dangerous and refers to the ignorance of society to the impact of the dynamics of these cultic groups that can be harmful.

The underestimation of cults is conveniently aided by certain aspects they very skillfully employ. (1) Cults deceive society and prospective members in order to recruit and maintain members.  One successful manner in obtaining this result is through dissociation and manipulation of members. (2) They display a facade of honesty and respectability by explaining their practices and functioning as authentic expressions of  their right to freedom of speech and their right to freedom of religion. (3) Through their practices they progressively isolate members from the outside world and known structures ensuring control over them and creating a dependency on the group. (4) They infiltrate society and hide behind certain front organisations that promote their course and right as authentic religion. (5) Some cults even enjoy a position of influence in the community based on their wealth and are less likely to be exposed by society.

In this context be on the lookout for these groups “if something seems to be too good to be true it is not true”. Test everything even religion!

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