If the Boot Fits…(CULT!)

The following are taken from the Wikipedia entry, Cult. Now, it’s not a word I’m fond of–always seemed like more trouble than help to use. But, former/current students of BJU, Maranatha, Northland (ya know, the whole Network), you tell me if any of this sounds familiar. Maybe even scary?

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“a group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre

“a high degree of tension between the group and the more mainstream culture surrounding it”

“recruit[ing] and maintain[ing] members by suppressing their ability to reason, think critically, and make choices in their own best interest”

Examples of coercion, practiced on cult members:

“problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized” (“Just read your Bible and pray-you don’t need medication or professional help. But, psssssst… our books will do the job!”)
“They get a new identity based on the group”
“They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.”

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“in a survey done by Jill Mytton on 200 former cult members most of them reported problems adjusting to society” (sound familiar, grads?)

“…control over members, communal and totalistic organization, aggressive proselytizing, systematic programs of indoctrination, and perpetuation in middle-class communities

“the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders”

“isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [or consequences for] leaving it

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5 thoughts on “If the Boot Fits…(CULT!)

  1. I am His beloved

    Hey Clint,
    For what its worth- I thought this was one of the clearest posts on what a cult is. When I read it I see that it is exactly what I walked out of.
    Thanks.

  2. Stitch

    Sadly. So sadly, yes. I was at BJU for 5 months. I grew up in a stable home and church environment, stayed there for 21 years…but all it took was 5 months to emotionally, mentally, and spiritually debilitate me for almost 2 years. I’m finally starting to heal. I have family members (by marriage) who are still heavily IFB and pro-BJU…but this is so crystal clear. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Connie

    “Students gradually acquire more freedom in this area as they become upperclassmen and demonstrate trustworthiness.” What a contrast to my alma mater, Cedarville University, whose president (in my time) said to the incoming freshmen, “We view this as either our last chance to treat you as children or our first chance to treat you as adults. We choose to treat you as adults.” Yes, Cedarville IS a Christian university! Again, I thank God SO much that I went there (and not BJU or one of the other fundy schools I halfway considered…not even knowing how bad they were til after I became a CU student!) ‘Twas the first step for me away from fundy-ism…for I grew up in it.

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