Saturday, September 13, 2008

Are You Under The Influence?

I found this quiz on the Internet and answered yes to almost all of the questions. I thought you might find it interesting to take.

Are you "UNDER THE INFLUENCE" of a destructive group or belief system? Find out with this Self Quiz:

Does your group discourage doubts, criticism or ideas that differ from their belief system? Yes____No____

Do you tend to rationalize whatever the group does even when it goes against your sense of right and wrong? Yes___ No___

Do you often feel exhausted from lengthy group activities, meetings and projects? Yes___ No___

Does your group have its own unique words, cliches, slogans, chants, prayers and doctrinal phrases that reinforce the group viewpoint? Yes___ No___

Are doubts viewed as a lack of faith, dedication, commitment or disloyalty? Yes___ No___

Have "your thoughts and questions" become "the enemy?" Yes___ No___

Do you often find yourself doing more and more things in the group because of group peer pressure that you would not have done on your own? Yes___ No___

Does your group publicly humiliate or criticize members? Yes___ No___

Does your group have a system of punishments and rewards for behavior? Yes___ No___

Group paranoia: Does your group obsessively think other groups or people with different beliefs are out to get them? Yes___ No___

Does the prospect of leaving your group seem scary, difficult? Yes___ No___

Do you feel the need to leave in secret? Yes___ No___

Have you been told something bad might happen if you leave? Yes___ No___

Does your group/belief system think they have/are the only or highest truth, or have the solution for the world’s problems? Yes___ No___

Are your leader’s ideas or belief system considered beyond reproach or sacred? Yes___ No___

Do you follow a particular individual or belief system that requires unquestioning obedience and loyalty? Yes___ No___

Do members of your group feel specially chosen, superior, exclusive, elite? Yes___ No___

Do you feel the need to save or convert others to your belief system or ideology? Yes___ No___

Is your group secretive to outsiders about its inner workings, teachings, activities or beliefs? Yes___ No___

Does your group equate purity and goodness to being in your group, and impurity or evil to those outside your group? Yes___ No___

Do you place your group’s mission or agenda above your own goals and ideals? Do group interests come before your own interest? Yes___ No___

Do you find yourself thinking in a we-they, us-versus-them mind set? Yes___ No___

Does your group/system have a clear outside enemy? Yes___ No___

Do you see less and less of your family and friends who do not belong to your group or who do not subscribe to your group’s belief system? Yes___ No___

Does your group use frequent public testimonials, confessions, or sharings that reinforce the group’s mission or agenda? Yes___ No___

Is communication within, into and out of your group controlled or censored in any manner? Yes___ No___

Does your group criticize, shun, abandon or demean individuals who leave the group? Yes___ No___

Do members seek approval or get permission from group leader(s) for personal life choices? Yes___ No___

Do you feel pressured to attend meetings, events, lectures, seminars? And do you feel guilty if you don’t attend? Yes___ No___

Do you feel pressured to give a portion of your income to the group, or spend money on special projects? Yes___ No___

Are the group’s financial needs more important than your own economic well-being? Yes___ No___

Does your group discriminate against anyone regarding race, gender, or belief? Yes___ No___

Does your group have a totalitarian structure: a strict, top-down centralized control? Yes___ No___

Do you wonder if you have been in a destructive group? Answer these questions:

Do you have difficulty forming new friendships and intimate relationships? Yes___ No___

Do you have low self-esteem, poor self-image or loss of identity? Yes___ No___

Do you have difficulty making simple decisions and choices? Yes___ No___

Do you often feel depressed, anxious and nervous? Yes___ No___

Do you feel isolated, lonely, guilty, cynical? Yes___ No___

Do you feel like you are just now growing up, becoming a mature adult? Yes___ No___

Do you have short-term memory difficulties? Yes___ No___

Do you feel you have nothing to believe in? Yes___ No___

Do you often feel anger and rage towards the group? Yes___ No___

This quiz has no scientifically predetermined number of "yes" answers to indicate a destructive group. However, answering "yes" to any of the above questions means you may need to examine your group and its influence in your life.


Anonymous said...

I said "yes" to most of these too. On one hand, it made me sad that I "fell for it" and put my family in such danger. But on the other hand, it made me so thankful to be free from the control. I now answer "no" to all! I love my new church! Praise God for restoration!

Anonymous said...

I think I answered yes to all of the questions. How could this possibly be a church - saying they are doing the work of God? I think people should be better off because of a church, not worse off. I think when God's love touches someone they don't feel hurt and alone. Thanks for sharing all these different things on your blog.

Anonymous said...

I can go down the list and give an example of everyone of these questions, but I'll just pick out a few to expound upon. (I hope this is okay with you, set free.)

I always made excuses for what the pastor did - even when I knew it was wrong.

We had special meetings that would last a week long and everyone was exhausted at the end, except for the ministers, because they were waited on hand and foot.

We used to say a "confession" before every offering, calling in checks, bonuses, etc. The one that always got me was calling in inheritances. Did they want someone else to die so they could get rich?

Any question you had made you completely disloyal and you were not "honoring your man of God."

Not only did I feel pressured to give, I actually heard from another church member that tithing records would be checked. What about privacy and doing what you do as unto the Lord?

Talk about keeping secrets - the pastor and his family were the most secretive people I have ever known. They were not an open book by any stretch. Not that I want to know people's business, but when they are that secretive, it makes you wonder what they are hiding.

I guess I'll stop at that.

Anonymous said...

I took the quiz and I answered yes to all of the questions but one. I don't think I'm experiencing memory loss (although I can't really remember), but everything else was a very clear cut yes. I guess that means I was a part of a destructive group.

Set Free said...

To anonymous 12:06,
Thanks for the comic relief. I needed that!!!

getting there said...

I answered yes to about almost all the questions... I am linking this to my blog! Very insightful and helpful!

Set Free said...

Thanks "getting there" and I'm glad you stopped by. I have really enjoyed your blog.