Destructive cults are determined to be destructive on the basis of their behavior.
As stated in his paper "Cult Formation" Robert Jay Lifton summarizes "Economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie."
This may be recorded through public and/or court records.
"There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader."
"Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances."
Some academics in the fields of religious studies and sociology have apparently become "apologists" for destructive cult groups. These academics often dismiss the testimony of "apostates" from cult groups. Some have also accepted research funding and/or expert witness payments from such groups, which has led to controversy and criticism.
Most former cult members don't speak out about their cult experience, but rather simply move on with their lives.
Whether or not an ex-member speaks out is an individual choice.
Many former members fear retribution from the cult, e.g. Scientology has a reputation for going after ex-members that speak out.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/20/2011 08:54PM by rrmoderator.