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How to protect oneself against the influence of destructive religious ideas Printable version

Last update: 08.12.2022

Today, religious extremism and terrorism have become one of the major threats to humanity. 

A destructive religious movement or organization is a destructive religious or pseudo-religious (imitating a religious) organization seeking to establish complete (total) control over the consciousness and will of its followers.

Signs of destructive religious associations/movements

The following should alert you, if people you met claim that:

  • You will find what you have been looking for until now in their group. 
  • It is forbidden to use official sources of information, including religious associations
  • They know exactly what you need.
  • The very first meeting with them reveals a completely new worldview for you.
  • The worldview of group is overwhelmingly simple and explains any problem.

They tell you that:

  • The group has a teacher, medium, leader or guru. Only he/she knows the whole truth.
  • The group's teaching is considered to be the only real, eternally true knowledge, and all the others are false, including science, rational thinking and reasoning because they are negative, satanic, unenlightened
  • Criticism of the teaching and activities of the group by people who do not belong to it is perceived as proof of the truth of the teaching.
  • The world is heading for disaster and only a group knows how to save it.
  • A group is the elite. The rest of humanity is seriously ill and lost as it does not cooperate with a group or does not allow a group to save the world.
  • You should become a group member.

As the result:

  • The group distances itself from the rest of the world by clearly regulating interpersonal relationships, as well as clothing, food, and a special language.
  • A group wants you to break up your "previous relationships" as they hinder your development (first of all, they try to get rid of relatives/parents, friends, colleagues as it is usually them who try to save a person from being zombified, and also encourage critical thinking).
  • Sexual relations are regulated from the outside, for example, management selects partners, prescribes group sex or, vice versa, complete abstinence.
  • A group fills all your time with tasks by making you reading and selling certain books, performing group tasks (courses/meditation), recruiting new members.
  • It is difficult for you to be left alone, someone from the group is always with you;
  • If a follower starts to have doubts and a promised success does not come, then it is a person who will always be guilty for it, because he/she allegedly did not try enough, participate or act enough.

Signs of a recruiter:

  • It is the friendliest person you have ever met, who encompasses with love and care;
  • A person is keen on something what you like to do.
  • A person showers you with compliments and praises and coolly assesses what can be taken from you: enthusiasm, energy, physical or intellectual strength, money, an apartment, etc.
  • A person has answers to all the questions.

There are several categories of citizens, who are potentially prone to be enrolled by targeted religious groups

  • The youth.
  • Labor migrants living in a state of serious economic and psychological stress.
  • Vulnerable social group.
  • The convicts.

Also, a special risk group involves individuals engaged in intensive spiritual searches and aiming at “complete and absolute truth”.

Involvement into destructive cults occurs the following ways:

  • Social media is the most effective and widespread tool for enrollment.
  • A sport is one of the favorite areas for enrollment. The most susceptible to this are those sports where different nations are presented: wrestling, box and martial arts.
  • Also, orphanages, crisis centers, retirement homes and centers for the disabled are the most accessible in this respect.
  • Penitentiary institutions.

Methods of influence to involve into a destructive group:

  • Application of special psychological control techniques (NLP: neuro-linguistic programming).
  • "Bombardment with love".
  • Application of various addictive drugs.

Consequences of getting involved into destructive religious movements

As the result, a person does not understand that he/she has become a puppet and is controlled by someone. His/her personal "I" is dulled and the collective "We" is imposed.

A person finally loses critical thinking, own opinion, self-awareness, psychologically he/she becomes a part of a large collective organism.

At the same time, the goals can differ, from a simple deviation from true religious values, which creates conditions for the imposition of selfish ideas, to a riot aimed at establishing a theocratic form of government.

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