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The naiveness of College freshmen 
14th-Sep-2005 04:32 pm
Here is an excerpt of an email I received today:

I am a freshman student at ... State Univerity.
Recently, I have been doing a bible study with a man who introduced himself to me during my orientation.
The man (Doug) began to go though the Bible with me doing prepared "Bible studies". (...)
After I few weeks, I noticed that some of the lessons he taught me did not agree with what I belived with, so I asked my dad to do some research. He found this site and after I have read it, I relize that this man is part of (...) a known cult.
Doug still would like to meet with me on a weekly basis, but I do not know how to explain to him why I would not want to meet with him anymore.
It would be helpful if you can let me know a good way to "get out" without hurting the guys feelings.

Don't we all feel like we've been there?
At least I would compliment that young person for heeding the warning signals and getting some unbiased background information from a source they could trust (the dad).
However, I feel this is really the typical pattern for luring people into cults:

First, create some friendliness.
Second, make the person feel that you care for them.
Then, you can use guilt as a weapon against them when they want to leave, even if they have GOOD reasons.

This young student knows clearly that things with the group aren't just fishy, but that they got themselves involved in a "known cult", according to their own terminology. However, they can not simply "go away" because they feel that they would "hurt the recruiter's feelings".
So many young college students fall victim to cults all because they believe that the care and concern the recruiters display is genuine. They feel that they would be too harsh to just "go away" and maybe even take the blame upon themselves for "hurting the other's feelings".

We need to send out a clear voice: it's the cultists that continually hurt, belittle and reject other's feelings to further the agenda of their group, it is best to just go away for your own good and for the cultist to maybe one day ask themselves why seeking young people can not see Christ through their preaching. The person leaving such an environment shares no guilt.

The blame is entirely on the cultist, because they had been using deceptive and manipulative tactics from the beginning. No person needs to feel guilty for refusing to be deceived and manipulated!

And it doesn't matter whether that group is UBF or any other cult in the world.
Young students shouldn't naively believe that cult recruiters react the same way like they would, cult recruiters are programmed for a single purpose: get you lured into the cult without knowing it!

In Christ,
Mike K.
14th-Sep-2005 05:23 pm (UTC) - Ron Enroth wrote about cults, incl the ubf

On the wellspring.org website, there is a great article that examines 'what is a cult'? Dr. Enroth used several different standards, as there are different types of cult groups. Not all are non-Christian.

Here is the context of cult wehre he specificlaly mentions the ubf. It covers alot of ground. I think the next two sentences are the most descriptive of the problems caused by ubf.

While heresy can and often does cause psychological damage, orthodoxy, in and of itself, is absolutely no guarantee that psychological and moral injury will not occur (5). Therefore, a strictly theological definition of the word cult is not enough. There also needs to be a psychological definition. Ronald Enroth points out that Christians have neglected the psychological aberrations of cults, and he quotes a concerned Christian layman, who said, "I think there is merit for placing more stress on the other danger zones created by cults, such as psychological and moral injury, disruption of family ties, impairment of scholastic and professional careers" (6).

Therefore, many definitions of cults include not only theological, but also psychological elements. Here are a few examples:

A group that uses methods that deprive individuals of their ability to make a free choice. They usedeceitful recruitment techniques, they deceptively and destructively use the devotees' energies, and they capture the devotees' minds (7).

Destructive cults are those which tend to use extreme and unethical techniques of manipulation to recruit and assimilate members and to control members' thoughts, feelings, and behavior as a means of furthering the leader's goals. Although most cults that have aroused concern are religious, they can also be political, commercial, or pseudo-therapeutic (8).

A group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends, family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community (9).

With these three definitions in mind, another aspect of the cult problem becomes apparent cults can include groups and organizations that typically are not viewed as cults. These could be fringe churches, psychotherapy groups, New Age organizations, and various extremist political movements.

(Then one of the subsections is abberant Christian groups.)

Aberrant Christian Groups
These groups claim to be Christian and Bible-based. Some would argue that they are fundamental and evangelical, but these groups deviate by way of practice and belief from the standards of evangelical Protestant Christianity. Some deviate from historical Christian doctrines that evangelicals and other Christians would consider founda tional, but most of their deviations would not be considered actual heresy. This category includes the Family (formerly the Children of God), the Holy Alamo Christian Church, the Church of Bible Understanding, the Love Family (or Church of Armageddon), Faith Assembly, the Church of the Living Word ("The Walk"), The Way International, the Christ Family, University Bible Fellowship, the Fundamentalist Army, the International Churches of Christ, Maranatha Christian Ministries [now disbanded except for a campus ministry called Campus Ministries International], and Great Commission International [now Great Commission Association of Churches; the group has made significant reforms in recent years and is not as abusive as formerly]. Even the excesses of the Shepherding Movement, founded by Bob Mumford, Derek Prince, Don Basham, Ern Baxter, and Charles Simpson may be classed here as an aberrant Christian group.

so, according to Dr. Enroth, a group that seems to be enthusiastic Christians can be a very harmful cult group.
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