There are literally thousands of groups that some might call cultic. You will find links to some of them listed at the bottom of this page. These controversial groups have come to our attention for several reasons:
- Experiences of Former Members - Former members of the groups listed below report practices and conditions in the group which have caused psychological and/or physical damage. It is important to recognize that not all allegations of abuse are true. However, when many former members testify to similar conditions, a pattern emerges which strongly indicates an abusive environment. The intent is not to judge any particular group, however, for former members who believe they have suffered abuse, their perception is their reality.
- Public Attention - Negative media attention, although not always reliable, can indicate abnormal group practices. It is important to listen to reports with a critical ear and to investigate whether or not the media is reporting without bias.
- Objective, Observable Criteria - To research whether or not a group is abusive, it helps to use observable, objective criteria. Robert J. Lifton developed a widely-used model for measuring whether or not a group is totalistic and high-controlling. These criteria have been applied to the groups listed below with results indicating a cultic environment. View Lifton's eight criteria.