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Unholy Devotion: Why Cults Lure Christians

Both Christians and cult members place high spiritual value on group sharing. In both circles, the foundation for community life and growth is the discussion of personal sins, problems, and intimacies. Christians emphasize prayer for each other's problems, but many do not know the hazards involved. I have met Christians who, during the high emotional pitch of a church or group prayer meeting, have shared intimate details of their live-and for years afterward have regretted the tormenting results of their admission. A fine line exists between healthy openness and destructive manipulation ... When sharing problems, difficulties, and burdens becomes a sign of sprituality, the door to manipulation, exploitation, and other unhealthy group dynamics is unlatched.

- Harold L. Bussell, “Unholy Devotion: Why Cults Lure Christians”, from Chapter 4, entitled “They Even Share Their Burdens and Pray Together,” pp. 41-42.