14 Religious Cult Signs To Look Out For

Religious cult followers tend to adhere strongly to the teachings of a specific person or person’s misinterpretation of the Bible as contrasted to occults which are groups whose belief is in hidden or secret knowledge that goes beyond the range of ordinary human knowledge that is not necessarily backed by scripture. 

Religious Cult Meaning

The term “religious cult” is often used to describe a group or organization that is characterized by extreme or unconventional religious beliefs or practices, and often has a charismatic leader who is followed with extreme devotion by their followers.

The term “cult” itself can be used in a variety of ways, some of which are more neutral or even positive, while others are more negative or critical. In some contexts, “cult” simply means a small, new religious group that has not yet gained widespread acceptance or recognition. In other contexts, it may refer to a group that is seen as deviant or dangerous, often due to their practices or beliefs.

It’s worth noting that not all religious groups that are labeled as “cults” are necessarily harmful or dangerous. Some groups may have practices or beliefs that are considered unconventional or even controversial but still operate within legal and ethical boundaries. However, there are some groups that have been known to engage in abusive or coercive behavior, such as manipulating or controlling their followers or isolating them from the outside world.


Overall, the term “religious cult” is often used to describe groups that are seen as extreme, unconventional, or potentially dangerous, but it’s important to consider the specific beliefs and practices of each group before making any judgments or assumptions.

Cultic groups use certain practices to acquire such knowledge, which includes divination, fortune telling, spiritism, and magic. 

Characteristics Associated with Cult

  1. The group displays an excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the truth, as law.
  2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
  3. Mind-altering is used in excess and serves to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
  4. The leadership dictates, sometimes to great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and its members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
  6. 6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
  7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
  8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus purposes).
  9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
  10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
  11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  12. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
  13. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
  14. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group. 

Under the Bill of Rights, the Constitution of Kenya says that “every person has the right to freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion”, and that every Kenyan has the right “to manifest any religion or belief through worship, practice, teaching or observance, including observance of a day of worship” without restrictions. 

The law is, however, silent on the subject of cultism.

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