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Beware of the cult trap

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The proliferation of destructive religious cults in Zimbabwe should be cause for concern.

NewsDay Editorial

Hardly a week passes before the media draws attention to leaders of such cults in court facing charges that include theft, rape and sexual abuse among other crimes.

Girls and women are more at risk because the charismatic leaders of such cults are revered so much that power corrupts them and they end up abusing members, particularly females.

Women need to be aware of these wolves in sheepskin pretending to be men of the cloth. Cult leaders demand total commitment and surrender by followers to the extent that members become vulnerable to their whims.

Cult followers are brainwashed to believe that leaders have special prophetic and other supernatural powers and this makes them give in to strict lifestyle demands by such leaders.

Consequently, members give up possessions, professions or even their lives.

Girls and women end up giving in to sexual demands against their will.

These cult leaders are dangerous to society and they should not be tolerated at all.

What is more irksome is that leaders of these organisations purport to be Christian, but they twist the Scriptures to fit their own beliefs and agendas that include sexual gratification.

They are tricksters who use the Bible and Christian terminology, but with totally different definitions to suit their intentions.

Through indoctrination and instilling fear into their members, such leaders end up having their way with hapless followers.

Members end up believing that opposing the cult leader is akin to opposing God and the tragic result would be divine punishment.

We have seen this trend growing in the country and women have suffered the brunt of sexual abuse at the hands of these cult leaders.

We should, as a society, collectively take the responsibility to ensure that such people are not only exposed but are locked away to protect the vulnerable.

We should give enough education to our children and peers to be aware of how cults work so that they are not easily trapped by these evil people.

The cases that go public are a tip of the iceberg as it is not easy to reveal what happens within a cult or to rebel against a cult.
Members are threatened, are made to feel indebted to the cult or the cult leader, are isolated from mainstream society emotionally and physically and are made to feel guilty if they entertain any thoughts of rebellion.

The trap is so intricate that it is not easy to get out.

This is why it is important for all of us to be on the lookout for cults and ensure that our friends and families do not fall into their traps.

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