Cults and the Demonic

Waiting for Godot to Leave

Kevin O’Brien

Last week I wrote about the difference between Living in the Church and Living in a Cult.

Here’s an article at The Atlantic that describes the effects of Living in a Cult within the Church. In this case, it’s within the Protestant segment of the Church, but note the similarities to the Catholic cults within the Church.

As in the Catholic Church, the International House of Prayer case shows that those (the school’s counselors and administrators) who could have stepped in to intervene, or who could have been more helpful to the victims once the cult was fully exposed for what it actually was, appear to have been less than diligent. The same is true for authority figures in the Catholic Church, who for years knew about the damage being done by cult leader Marcial Maciel (founder of the Legionaries of Christ), but at best did nothing to restrain him, and at worst actively protected him.

After all, if bishops enabled (and still sometimes enable) the sexual abuse of children on their watch, they’ll enable cults.


I think it’s important to note this about cults. They are not neutral things. They are not merely means of seeking a close group of like-minded friends and somehow worshiping with them. In my last piece on cults, I focused on the unrealistic element of hyper-control that most cult members are seeking in their lives, and this is bad enough, but what’s really happening in cults goes far beyond this hyper-control and the insularity that comes with it.

Note: This is an Abuse Tracker excerpt. Click the title to view the full text of the original article. If the original article is no longer available, see our News Archive.