‘ The Family International (TFI) is a cult that started in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, USA. It was originally called Teens for Christ and later gained notoriety as The Children of God (COG). It was later renamed and reorganized as The Family of Love, which was eventually shortened to The Family. It is currently called the Family International.’ Wikipedia
‘ TFI initially spread a message of salvation, apocalypticism, spiritual ‘revolution and happiness’ and distrust of the outside world, which the members called The System. In 1976 it began a method of evangelism called Flirty Fishing, that used sex to ‘show God’s love and mercy’ and win converts, resulting in controversy. TFI’s founder and prophetic leader, David Berg (who was first called ‘Moses David’ in the Texas press), gave himself the title of ‘King’, ‘The Last End-time Prophet’, ‘Moses”, and ‘David’. He communicated with his followers via ‘Mo Letters’-letters of instruction and counsel on myriad spiritual and practical subjects – until his death in late 1994. Wikipedia
On November 18,1978 918 people died in Guyana at the behest of the People’s Temple cult leader, Jim Jones.
On March 26, 1997 police discovered 39 corpses of the members of the cult called Heaven’s Gate. ‘ They had participated in mass suicide in order to reach what they believed was an extraterrestrial spacecraft following Comet Hale-Bopp.’ Wikipedia
Now, these are extreme cases and it would seem that the poor people that were members of these cults would have been able to discern the extreme belief system as false and contrived by megalomaniac leaders?
But, they did not.
In fact, I can postulate that there is probably a cult in your town.
Is there a group that asks its members to ignore logic and fact?
Is there a group that ascertains that their leader is above the laws of we mere mortals and that immorality and illegality and a systematic using of others…is Gods will…and that you must comply…joyfully?
Were you raised to believe that the truth is the truth and a lie is a lie…and the discerning between the two…was simple?
Are you a member of a group that decides how much of your finances you must give to the organization?
In your church or political affiliation…does what ever the leader say or do or how often that they change what they say is truth…have God’s blessing…and subsequently you must follow?
Does your leader tell you that they hear from God directly and that you, therefore must do what they tell you to do,…as if God was speaking to you.
Does you church leader get increasingly richer and have more mansions and luxury automobiles and the finest of foods…all the while the congregation is poor and in lowly housing and hungry and ill clad?
Are you willing to see children separated from their mothers and fathers…and believe that God’s will is being done?
Are you willing to be told that an apple is a grape…and that sunlight is darkness and that suffering is just fine for some people…. if so…you are a member of a cult.
Thinking for yourself and analyzing what you hear and what you see is exhilarating!
Unquestioned acceptance of what any human being says is a prescription for disaster.
You will make mistakes…but they will be your mistakes.