✔︎ The group/person has the Total and Only answer. Only they have the right line, will make the revolution, solve your problems, empower you, make you loved, rich, effective, holy, etc.
✔ Extreme, immediate and/or inappropriate friendliness or attention.
✔︎ Promises of perfection if only you adhere to their program.
✔︎ Your “gut-feeling” tells you something is wrong. Trust this, and try to analyze it.
✔︎ The group creates conditions of extreme stress, threat or fear (emotional and/or physical).
✔︎ Not answering questions, or turning them back on the questioner.
✔︎ Inappropriate personal boundaries.
✔︎ Loaded language: strange language or jargon you initially can’t understand. Canned, repetitive phrases.
✔︎ A hard sell for further commitment, programs or contact. If you resist, you’re selfish, ungodly, “bourgeois”, don’t believe in yourself, etc.
✔︎ Encouragement to cut ties with family or friends, unless you can recruit them.
✔︎ Secrecy, inappropriate “confidentiality”.
✔︎ Lack of privacy – constantly with group members, constantly busy with group activities.
✔︎ Ends justifies the means. It’s OK to lie to others in the name of the Cause, God, for success, etc.
✔︎ Challenging your fundamental identity: Your strengths are criticized as your weaknesses.
✔︎ Once you’re in, heavy pressure to stay in.
✔︎ Those who do leave are shunned. They become the enemy, or objects of pity.
✔︎ No criticism allowed of the group or leader. The group/leader is always right.
✔︎ Deception: what you thought you’d get on joining or attending an activity turns out to be something else.[SOURCE: http://www.alexandrastein.com/warning-signs.html]
Protect yourself and understand the warning signs!