I know a thing or two about spiritual abuse. I know that feeling of betrayal when the thing that’s supposed to protect you tears you to pieces. I’ve seen predators disguise themselves as faithful servants of the people of God, using subtle indoctrination and mind control techniques to weave a prison so tight around their victims that even their closest friends and family couldn’t get through to them.
For those of you who don’t know, in my last year of college one of my best friends started a Charismatic prayer group. Dozens of people joined it and in the years after our graduation we moved to Kansas City. Members of the Group were punished, isolated, and expelled for questioning the leader’s authority, and ultimately the oppression became so great that it claimed a life.
So in my experience, these are five clear warning signs that a group or movement or religious community has departed from traditional Christian orthodoxy and become a danger to its members and others. Continue reading