Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Home » Religious Education » Tapestry of Faith Curricula » Youth Programs » Building Bridges » Workshop 21 » Workshop Plan » Leader Resources » LEADER RESOURCE 1: What Do Cults and Religions Do?
Recreate the image of the poster on newsprint. Cut the phrases into slips of paper.
Make everybody eat together
Pressure people to give their houses, cars, money, etc. to the group
Track down and/or kill people who leave the group
Punish people for criticizing the group or the leadership
Pressure people to give a set portion of their income to the group
Excommunicate or shun people for very bad offenses
Require doing unhealthy tasks, such as going without sleep, to prove loyalty
Require specific behavior to demonstrate one's faith
Discourage contact with family or friends outside the group
Declare that opponents or enemies should be tricked, sued, lied to, or destroyed
Make members feel guilty about making life choices for themselves
Encourage or require all members to live together or in the same area
Insult members, diminish their sense of self-worth
Require that children attend schools run by the group
Publicly punish or humiliate members, both adults and children
Strongly encourage parents to send children to group-run schools
Assure members the group will always be there for them
Assure members the group will always completely take care of them
Encourage members to be somewhat dependent on the group
Encourage members to be independent thinkers
Encourage members to be totally dependent on the group
Want children to grow up to be members of the group
Require that children become fully indoctrinated members for life
Require children to be taught group doctrine, but allow them to leave
Rely on the gratitude and generosity of members to perpetuate itself
Specify certain texts as the only acceptable sources of ultimate truth
Interpret the world for members, who must accept this interpretation
Create a mindset of "us versus them"
Perpetuate themselves by playing on members' insecurities and fears
Offer members reassurance that they matter and others care about them
Maintain that its teachings are the only path to eternal salvation
Punish misbehavior in social, unofficial ways
Require members' attendance at group events to be in good standing
Require a financial contribution to be a member in good standing
Require a large financial contribution to be a member in good standing
Require occasional proof of loyalty
The images on this page are a preview of those which are included (in a higher resolution) at the end of the downloadable versions of this workshop.
This work is made possible by the generosity of individual donors and congregations.
Please consider making a donation today.
Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
Sidebar Content, Page Navigation
Read or subscribe to UUA.org Updates for the latest additions to our site.
Learn more about the Beliefs & Principles of Unitarian Universalism, or read our online magazine, UU World, for features on today's Unitarian Universalists. Visit an online UU church, or find a congregation near you.
More Ways to Search
Donate to Support This Program and the Ongoing Work of the UUA