Checklist of Cult Characteristics
The following questions are designed to help you decide whether or not you dealing with a Cult:
If you answered "YES" to any of the questions below, you should be concerned!
If you have answered “YES” to 3 questions or more...
It's a Cult!
If your in the Gottawanna's...
You are in a Cult!
You need to get yourself to a "Meeting", an "Al-Anon Meeting"!
Checklist of Cult Characteristics.
"Comparing the following statements to the group with which you or a family member or loved one is involved may help you determine if this involvement is cause for concern. If you check any of these items as characteristic of the group in question, and particularly if you 3 or more of them, you may well be dealing with a cult and should critically examine the group and its relationship to you or your loved one.
1) The group is focused on a living leader to whom members display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.
2) The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members and/or making money.
3) Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged.
4) Mind-numbing techniques (for example: meditation, chanting, denunciation sessions, or debilitating work routines) are used to suppress members' doubts.
5) The group's leadership dictates how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, or get married;) leaders may determine types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth.
6) The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, it's leader(s), and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).
7) The group has a polarized We vs.Them mentality that causes conflict with the wider society.
8) The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).
9) The group teaches or implies that its "superior" ends justify the means that members would have considered unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).
10) The group's leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control then.
11) Members' subservience to the group causes them to give up previous personal goals and interests while devoting inordinate amounts of time to the groups."
12) Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
Adapted with permission from Dr. Michael Langone.