Before you join that new yoga class, martial arts gym, self-help group, meditation school, MLM, office etc.!
Do this checklist ✔️ ❤️
Do your research; are there media, websites, podcasts etc about the group?
If there are academic papers about the group (especially from the notoriously cult-apologist NRM field) who wrote the papers? Do they have links to the organisation?
Talk to ex followers. What do former members say about the group and why they left?
Ask the teachers challenging questions. Do they give direct, transparent answers? Do they deflect, blame, judge or get angry?
What do the core members and staff do in their free time? Do they have normal lives; free time activities, participation in activities outside the group, families etc.?
Not all cults have uniforms or pictures of the guru everywhere. Some cults are very subtle in the way members display allegiance.
Do they sound similar: intonation, sing-sing voices, tone of voice?
Do they have a similar vocabulary?
Do they use a language that outsiders would struggle to understand?
Is individuality and self-expression supported? Are the core members from a variety of backgrounds, sexual orientations etc?
Are they accepting of other practices? Do they seem judgemental towards other organisations or act like/claim their practice/group is better?
Most cults are not obviously culty on the surface.
Many cults are doing good things; offering interesting teachings or life-enhancing practices.
Too many cults have charity status because they offer free or low-cost classes to the wider community.
All cults ultimately aim to recruit new members and pull them further and deeper in over time. Often through starting off by offering them activities and interactions that make them feel good.
Do your due diligence as you would when starting any new venture or relationship. Look out for red flags and always, always trust your intuition. Of course your fully informed, freely-given and consensual involvement in anything is completely up to you.
Cults get buy-in by making you think they offer the best thing, they have what no one else does, you can never reach your ‘highest’ goals without them. This is not true.
Whatever you think you can ‘get’ there you can get it elsewhere, with a clean conscience and being part of a positive, empowered and empowering energy field or group.
Would you add anything to this list?
Stay true to yourselves and look out for each other seekers ❤️
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