Several decades ago a close family member left for California with her husband joining the “religion” of Scientology. Her adult son managed to leave the community of worshippers of this group a few years ago. On doing so he was labeled “a suppressive person” and his parents cut ties and communication with their son, following the commands of the organization.
His move came shortly before the actress, Leah Remini, began her program on A&E called “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.” It was 2017’s Emmy award winning program. She and Mike Rinder ( an ex-executive of Scientology ) has progressively uncovered lies, deception and fraud perpetrated by L. Ron Hubbard’s creation.
The Department of Religious Studies at the San Diego State University has compiled ” A Listing of Cults in America. Scientology is #3 on the list. The list is as follows:
- The Ku Klux Klan (Established Dec. 24, 1865)
- The Watchtower Society ( Est. July 1869 ) More notably known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.
- The Church of Scientology ( Est. 1952 )
- People’s Temple (Est. 1952-54 ) Jim Jones and the mass suicide of 900 in Guyana.
- The Westboro Baptist Church ( Est. 1955 )
- Heaven’s Gate (Est. 1975 ) In March, 1997, 39 members of the group commit suicide together.
- The Raelian Movement (Est. 1974 )
- The “Yearning for Zion Ranch” community. (2008)
There are certain demands cults require of their members. The following characteristics I’ve taken from The Atlantic at their website:
- They oppose critical thinking. (In other words member must not think for themselves or question the church).
- Isolating members from others and penalizing them for leaving.
- Emphasizing special doctrines outside scripture.
- Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leaders.
- Dishonoring the family unit.
- Crossing Biblical boundaries of behavior.
- Separation from the church.
Psychology Today has an article on cult psychology with certain definitions of cult at their website address:
- Powerful and exclusive dedication/devotion to an explicit person or creed.
- They use “thought-reform” programs to integrate, socialize, persuade and therefore control members.
- A well thought through recruitment, selection and socialization process.
- Attempts to maintain psychological and physical dependency among cult members.
- Cults insist on reprogramming the way people see the world.
- Consistent exploitation of group members specifically to advance the leaders goals.
- Cults nearly always go in for milieu control signals–a different, unfamiliar setting with different rules, terms, behavior patterns.
- Ultimately using psychological or physical harm to cult members, their friends and relatives and possibly the community as a whole.
Finally I refer to an article taken from http://www.letusreason.org:
How to Recognize if You are in a Cult Group
- Are you told not to question what is being taught because the leaders are honest and want the best for you so you must trust them? Has someone replaced your own choices in life?
- Are you told not to ask questions why anyone left, you’re to accept the answers the leaders give you such as : they fell into sin, they didn’t receive correction, they weren’t open or they had a bad heart and didn’t want to be disciples?
- Are you told you must be with their certain church or group in order to be saved and not by Jesus Christ?
- If you want to leave are you being told there is no other church that practices the truth and you will go to hell?
- Are you made to feel your failures, that your performances are not up to par for the bible’s standard?
- Are you being rebuked for things such as the way you say hello or how you respond to being asked to do something for a leader or a disciple? Do they tell you it is a matter of the heart how one complies?
- Are they putting down other churches and building themselves up? Do they sometimes use people as examples of what you are to be doing and others on what you are not to be doing?
- Do they bring attention to what they are doing, ignoring others that might be doing the same things outside their church?
- Do they put down others to make themselves look better, calling themselves righteous and others unrighteous?
- Do they call those who leave “fall away’s” and enemies, dogs returning to their vomit, using the examples of Korah or Judas?
- Do they stop you from reading anything negative about themselves- calling it spiritual pornography, or recommend you not to read it for your own protection?
- Do they recommend for you to be around their people- expecting you to be at all their activities? If not your spirituality and dedication are questioned?
- Do they defend what they do though it can be harmful or wrong?
THE BIBLE WARNS US AGAINST FALSE PROPHETS:
Matthew 7:15- Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.
2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets rose among the people, just as there will be false prophets among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.
2 Corinthians 11:13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So, it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond with their deeds.
I pray for those good people who have been misled. I pray for my family members who have been split apart that they may be reunited one day. I know others who are unaware they are being used by false prophets. I pray for them as well.