Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building Bridges: A World Religions Program for 8th-9th Grades

Activity 3: Help! A Friend Is in Trouble!

Activity time: 15 minutes

Description of Activity

Participants consider what might make a cult attractive to a prospective member and how they might intervene if a friend became involved with a cult-like group.

Engage participants to recall the reasons a cult might be attractive to someone which they generated in Activity 1: "What would draw you in to a different religion or belief system?"

Then, lead a discussion with these questions:

  • If someone in your life became involved with a group that seemed to you to have cult-like tendencies, what would you do? What could you do and still be respectful of their right to make their own decisions?
  • Could you still respect and value the person even if they made decisions that to you seemed very destructive to their welfare?
  • If you discovered they were being punished for listening to you say critical things about the group, what would you do? Would you stop talking to them about it?
  • If they were allowed to continue a friendship with you, could you continue the friendship if you believed there was no way of convincing them to disassociate from the group?