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Monday, September 1, 2008

What to Say to the Recruiters

[Adapted from a brochure produced by Info-Cult, Resource Center on Cultic Thinking, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.]

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the number of human potential, alternative lifestyle and neo-political groups, and new religious movements. Many of these organizations have been beneficial to their members. Others, however, have raised certain questions concerning their recruitment, fundraising practices, and treatment of their members.

If you are approached by someone who invites you to participate in a meeting, program, or event, the following questions may help prevent you from being recruited by a cult.

These questions work best when asked in a very direct and friendly manner. Be alert to vague responses, or a response that "all your questions will be answered at a later time."

-- How long have you been involved? Are you trying to recruit me into any type of organization?

-- What is the official name of your organization and does it go under any other names? If so, what are they?

-- What are your group's beliefs?

-- Are members allowed to lie in certain situations?

-- What are members expected to do once they join?

-- Do I have to quit school or work, donate money and property, and cut myself off from family and friends who are not in agreement with my being a member?

-- Is your group considered to be controversial by anyone? If so, what are the main criticisms?

-- How do you feel about former members of your group? Does your group allow communication with them; and if not, why?

-- Do you know any people who have left your organization? If so, have you ever spoken to them and found out why they left?

-- What are the things you like least about the group?

Never give your name and address to someone that you suspect might be involved in a cult.

If the person is a member of a cult you may ask yourself, "have they replied to my questions honestly?"
If you discover at a later date that they have deceived you, then you should have very serious questions about getting further involved.

[Adapted from a brochure produced by Info-Cult, Resource Center on Cultic Thinking, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.]
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