Here are some of our answers to questions we frequently get asked.
What is Cultwatch?
Cultwatch is incorporated as a Charitable Trust made up of Christians from many different types of churches, such as Baptist, Presbyterian, various independent and other churches.
We are a para-church group which means no one church “owns” or runs us. Instead we have a board of well known Christians who oversee us.
What do you do?
We have two major purposes:
First, we warn people about the cults so they are forewarned when the cult recruiters come after them. This is the fence at the top of the cliff.
Second, we help get people out of cults, and we help their friends and family. This is the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.
It takes five minutes to pre-warn someone about a cult, but can take weeks, months or years to get them out once they have joined – if you can ever get them out at all.
How are you funded?
We are all volunteers so there are no salaries to pay. We keep our expenses to a minimum, and these expenses are met by our volunteers. We do not request donations from those we help. If we have a special project that needs extra funding then we will approach people we know directly.
If you would really like to help us, then instead of sending money, please help us by letting more people know about our site. Please link to www.culwatch.com or one of our articles. Tell your friends and family. Free advertising that allows us to help more people is the only thing that we would request.
What is a cult?
We define a cult in two ways.
Firstly, if they use mind control as part of their day to day practice then we define them as a cult. If we find mind control in use in their practices then we will examine the independent stories of ex-members. If those independent stories have the threads of mind control running through them then we certainly have a cult on our hands.
Secondly, when working with Christians we use the classical Christian definition of a cult. That is if a group claiming to be Christian teaches significantly different things from what the Bible teaches then we would label them a cult. For example the Mormons claim to be Christian yet teach that Jesus and Satan are brothers and that God came from a small planet near the Star base Kolob. Even a person who does not know much about Christianity would know that these beliefs are not Christian beliefs. Hinduism on the other hand is not a cult, but a world religion. Why? Because it teaches things very different from the Bible but does not claim to be Christian.
While the classical Christian definition of a cult will normally be only of interest to Christians, we find that the Mind Control definition is one almost all people agree with.
You’re Christians, so aren’t you biased?
Yes. But the reality is that everyone – yourself, us, and even the person who claims to be unbiased – is biased.
You see we all have our own beliefs about reality, and we color what we see by those beliefs. Since it is impossible to be unbiased the best we can do is try our very hardest to recognize our bias and try to not let it affect our judgment.
All that we ask of anyone is to carefully read or listen to our information and come to the point where they understand what we are putting forward. Once they understand our position then we ask them to consider it carefully and come to some conclusions. That really is all we can ask of people.
What is it like dealing with cults?
Sad when you see the damage they do to people
Disconcerting when the various threats come, as they do
Funny sometimes. For example we get some of the weirdest letters, like the one, which demonstrated how the spiritual realm works with hand drawn pictures of levers, pulleys and bizarre machinery
Rewarding when someone is set free from mind control and is able to start their recovery
Enjoyable as we meet bunches of interesting people from all over the world.
Do you kidnap people?
Instead, we recommend “exit counseling” people to help them leave a cult. While Cultwatch does not do exit counseling, we do consider it the most ethical way to encourage someone to leave a cult since it relies on persuasion not force.
Exit counseling is when a cult member agrees to discuss their involvement with their group. Contact us at Cultwatch for recommendations on how to find an exit-counselor in your country.
(By the way, if you are an exit-counselor or a counselor experienced in helping former cult members please send us your details. Including which geographical areas you cover.)