If you truly want to make someone look bad these days, call the group or church to which they belong a cult! The word cult creates a great amount of confusion for many religious and non-religious people.
From the Christian point of view, there are two very important considerations in identifying a destructive or unhealthy group.
The Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity (Unification Church). Founded in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon, this highly authoritarian and destructive group teaches that Jesus failed on the cross. This highly evangelistic group which began in 1978 with Kip McKean embraces most of the main tenets of the historic Church. Teaches that it is the only true Church and is highly authoritarian, with immense control over members' lives.
Christian Identity Movement (Aryan Nations, Christian Identity Church, Klu Klux Klan, etc.).
A loose-knit confederation of various small groups that are militantly anti-government and conspiracy driven. With so many denominations and religions, how can I decide which are true and which are false? The cult also runs a mission in Haiti, where some former members claim Haitian children are indoctrinated in exchange for food and clothing.
At the end of 1993 the cult started secretly manufacturing the nerve agent sarin and later VX gas. The full name of this cult is the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God.
Commandments of God was a breakaway group from the Roman Catholic Church that formed in Uganda in the late 1980s.

In March of 2000, around 300 followers died in a fire in what is considered a cult suicide. The buildings were then set on fire by timer devices, purportedly as one last symbol of the group's purification. A mayor, a journalist, a civil servant and a sales manager were found among the dead in Switzerland.
Quebec police showed that some members had personally donated over $1 million to the cult's leader Joseph Di Mambro.
Humphrey and Wayne Cooke attempted suicide in a hotel room a few miles from the Rancho Santa Fe mansion; Cooke succeeded. They followed a syncretistic religion, combining elements of Christianity with unusual beliefs about the nature of UFOs. They dressed in unisex garments: shapeless black shirts with Mandarin collars, and black pants.
In 1993, Chung Hwa Pak released the book Roku Maria no Higeki (Tragedy of the Six Marys) through the Koyu Publishing Co. Since that time, Jonestown and its leader Jim Jones have entered American discourse as code for the dangers of cults and cult leaders.
Founded in 1966, the Hare Krishna cult was a fixture in the seventies, with yellow-robed disciples panhandling at every major airport and intersection. One of the most notorious cults of the modern age, the Manson Family was small, but deadly. Hollywood Hills and commit the gruesome murders of successful, rich members of the upper classes.
David Koresh was a charismatic leader who taught his followers that the United States Government was the enemy of God. States, as they were pressured by the government regarding charges of violence, abuse of followers, and illegal cult activity.

I'm sure there are some survivors of Jonestown who will never admit that Jones was a psycho mass murdering communist atheist. Looming in the debate are broader questions about the nature of free will and mind control.
Seeks to destroy through litigation and character assassination those who speak out against the group. He also told them that the social turmoil he had been predicting had also been predicted by The Beatles. A murder of a cult member who tried to leave is now known to have taken place in February 1989.
Journalists, governments, religious groups and other critics worldwide have often referred to the organization as a cult. It is believed that other members were also involved who have remained unknown to the public. Many of the bodies when found were drugged, possibly to prevent the members from objecting. Autopsies confirmed that many of the victims, including David Koresh, had died of single gunshot wounds to their heads.
There is much contention about whose fault the tragic fire was: the controversy continues to this day.

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