5 Ways to Realize You've Joined a Cult
Pay attention, you may be in a Cult.
Sooner or later, we see the tanks rolling in on a compound, the BATF flitting from tree to tree, or the pitchers of grape Kool*Aid on a table and go, "how did those people end up joining that nutty cult?"
Even if you don't feel like strapping on your Nikes and catching the comet, you should be aware of what's going on around you. Here are ways to determine whether you are in a cult or not:
1) Everyone dresses the same way. It's pretty basic. You get a uniform. You may all look like you're refugees from an episode of Little House on the Prairie or you may go more for the onesie, but everyone looks the same. If everyone around you dresses pretty much the same, you may be in a cult.
2) Everyone says the same things. Whether it's a mantra chanted in unison, some sort of short-hand used in front of others, or merely technical jargon, most cults use special language. If you find yourself speaking differently than the rest of the population, you may be in a cult.
3) You have a highly visible, charismatic leader. He or she may be fairly widely known. Generally the leader will inspire love or loathing. You'll either want to be with them or far away from them. If you are around someone like this for several days a week, you may be in a cult.
4) There are penalties for straying from the path. There are clear cut do's and don'ts. If you comply with the rules, you get rewarded (now or later); if you fail, you get penalized. If you're in a place with specific rules day-in and day-out, you may be in a cult.
5) Your family isn't allowed to be with you. If you find yourself where your family isn't welcome for more than brief visits, you may be in a cult.
So, if you are somewhere where everyone dresses alike, speaks the same jargon, is led by a charismatic person, you have specific penalties and rewards lined out, and they don't want your family there, you may be in a cult.
Here are four examples of leaders of organizations such as I've described:
1) Ronald McDonald (McDonalds)
2) The King (Burger King)
4) Chuck E. Cheese (Chuck E. Cheese's)