How many of these characteristics does Christianity fall under?

Definitely not all of them, but enough to raise awareness.
Fundamentalism in particular.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_checklist#Steven_Hassan

Behavior Control

* Regulation of individual’s physical reality
* “Where, how, and with whom the member lives and associates, what clothes, colors, hairstyles the person wears, what food the person eats, drinks, adopts, and rejects, how much sleep the person is able to have, financial dependence, little or no time spent on leisure, entertainment, vacations.”
* Major time commitment required for indoctrination sessions and group rituals
* Need to ask permission for major decisions
* Need to report thoughts, feelings, and activities to superiors
* Rewards and punishments (behavior modification techniques — positive and negative)
* Individualism discouraged; “Group think” prevails
* Rigid rules and regulations
* Need for obedience and dependency

Information Control

* Use of deception
* Deliberately holding back information, distorting information to make it more “acceptable,” “outright lying.”
* Access to non-cult sources of information minimized or discouraged
* Media (books, articles, newspapers, magazines, TV, radio), critical information, former members, keep members so busy they don’t have time to think and check things out.
* Compartmentalization of information; Outsider vs. Insider doctrines
* “Information is not freely accessible, information varies at different levels and missions within pyramid, leadership decides who “needs to know” what and when.”
* Spying on other members is encouraged
* “Pairing up with “buddy” system to monitor and control, reporting deviant thoughts, feelings, and actions to leadership, individual behavior monitored by whole group.”
* Extensive use of cult generated information and propaganda
* “Media (newsletters, magazines, journals, audio tapes, videotapes, etc), misquotations, statements taken out of context from non-cult sources.”
* Unethical use of confession
* “Information about “sins” used to abolish identity boundaries, past “sins” used to manipulate and control (no forgiveness or absolution).”

Thought Control

* Need to internalize the group’s doctrine as “Truth”
* “Adopting the group’s map of reality as “Reality” (Map = Reality), Black and White thinking, Good vs. Evil, Us vs. Them (inside vs. outside).”
* Use of “loaded” language (for example, “thought-terminating clich├ęs”. ). Words are the tools we use to think with.[clarification needed] These “special” words constrict rather than expand understanding, and can even stop thoughts altogether. They function to reduce complexities of experience into trite, platitudinous “buzz words” (The best analogy would be Newspeak in Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell).
* Only “good” and “proper” thoughts are encouraged.
* Use of hypnotic techniques to induce altered mental states
* Manipulation of memories and implantation of false memories
* Use of thought-stopping techniques, which shut down “reality testing” by stopping “negative” thoughts and allowing only “good” thoughts
* Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism. No critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy seen as legitimate
* No alternative belief systems viewed as legitimate, good, or useful

Emotional Control

* Manipulate and narrow the range of a person’s feelings.
* Make the person feel that any problems are always their fault, never the leader’s or the group’s.
* Excessive use of guilt: identity guilt (who you are, not living up to your potential, your family, your past, your affiliations, your thoughts, feelings, actions), social guilt, historical guilt.
* Excessive use of fear: fear of thinking independently, fear of the “outside” world, fear of enemies, fear of losing one’s “salvation”, fear of leaving the group or being shunned by group, fear of disapproval.
* Extremes of emotional highs and lows.
* Ritual and often public confession of “sins”.
* Phobia indoctrination: inculcating irrational fears about ever leaving the group or even questioning the leader’s authority. The person under mind control cannot visualize a positive, fulfilled future without being in the group.

Filed Under: Rigid Tools

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  1. No Chance Without Jesus says:

    You just went to a lot of effort to display your ignorance of what a relationship with God is.

    Well done

  2. Chris S says:

    You’ve just pointed out major flaws and errors of people and what they do in the ‘name of
    Christ’ and in the ‘name of other religious systems’

    Can’t argue with what has happened to someone at one time or another with evil people.

  3. imrod says:

    Chrisitianity should be measured by its Founder and example Jesus Christ and not by its flaws or by those who pervert it.

  4. Tim M says:

    You’ve described the Democratic Party!

  5. Joe P says:

    To much to read there.

    There is great freedom in Christ, freedom from the bondage and the crushing weight of sin. God does not want, nor ask for mindless robots. Faith in Jesus Christ is a living, breathing, active relationship. God welcomes sincere, respectful questions. God gave us an intellect and expects us to use it wisely. Faith without conscious decision is no faith at all.

    John 3:16-18

  6. The Wags says:

    first off, Christianity is an umbrella term with many different variations that can disagree widely.

    to group all beliefs that consider themselves christian, is stereotyping and discriminating. It also shows a lack of research and understanding even from a nonreligious stand.

    The Bible emphasizes relationship verses religion. Faith verses Works. Being freed from death and bondage from sin verses being “yoked” with further burdens of religious works, judgment, and laws.

    your faith is not built on a church or group of people, but on Christ and Christ only. And that is for all people to take advantage of, in accepting what is being offered by God. His grace, mercy, love and salvation. This goes for all people despite economic, class, social, race…and so on, and it does not discriminate against the type of sins committed.

    Christ warned against false prophets, that many will come in his name and will be wolves in sheep’s clothing. Jesus even said there will be many anitchrists…until the final one who is considered the abomination of desecration.

    i noticed that people who have so much negative things to say about christianity are often getting their info from false sources, false prophets, false religions…they do no research on their own. For your own sake, if even to make better arguments try the website gracethrufaith. it has easy to understand studies, articles, and Q & A formats to help people understand God’s word.

  7. john & virginia says:

    please check the world christian encyclopedia book that lists more than 33,000 different christian denominations and let us know which ones we should be wary of because so far we haven’t even managed to scratch the surface in our personal search endeavors / visits

    best 1 we have visited personally so far that has not exercised this mind control on us or thrown us out for voicing our beliefs is the garner ted armstrong evangelistic association but they have a few doctrines that we cannot agree with.

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