By Dr. P. Bradley Carey
From his book
The Darkness In The Light
© 1992, 1996
Cults have existed, and probably always will exist. As long as there are lost and uninformed people for them to feed on, they will continue to exist and grow.
What is a cult? The average person pictures a cult as having bizarre religious ceremonies, having their members wear robes, and have their heads shaved bald.
Now, this description may be correct for a few of them, but some of the cults have a completely different appearance. Some of them have special programs for the children and for the family, and may openly appear to be very Christian. They may have large beautiful churches, and have programs to help the poor and the old.
They will appear to be the most lovingly of places, and seem to have all the answers to any and all problems you may have. They will slowly begin to indoctrinate you, and slowly use your own feelings against you.
These, are the most dangerous. Their brainwashing techniques are so subtle, that most will never even be aware that they are being brainwashed. This brainwashing doesn't take place over a weekend. It takes place very slowly, over months, or even years. It's not until you are so far into it, that they then reveal the true teachings of these religions.
Now religious cults aren't the only cults. There are political cults and subjective cults (i.e., UFO's, militias, role playing games, etc.). I'm not saying that all of these are cults, what I am saying is that the ones who go overboard and become very secretive, are likely to be or become cults.
The best way to avoid becoming trapped into one of these cults, is to know what to look for.
Not all cults will have all of these signs, however most will. Other cults may have some or even none of these signs. Still, they will still have something somewhere that they only allow their members to know. They may have other secrets as well.
When investigating a church or organization, ask questions and look around. Talk to some of the members, or even former members. Read their literature. See if they truly follow the teachings of the Bible. Speak with someone who is an authority on this church or organization.
Above all else, if there are unanswered questions, or if you have doubts, don't join them. Keep looking around for one that shares your beliefs and those of the Bible. A place that you feel comfortable in.