False Cults are very careful to camouflage themselves to resemble normal groups. Often this resemblance is so deceptive that it becomes very difficult to discern or believe that a particular group could be a False Cult. However, truth would dawn only when one is able to penetrate under this veneer of deception respectability.
Christian Cults try their best to look as similar to Evangelical Christian groups as is possible. Non Christian cults try to present themselves as personality-development programmes, psychological societies, educational societies, or such socially acceptable movement. Just as it is necessary to sugar-coat bitter pills for making it agreeable, this deception is essential to make these groups safe from detection and isolation.
The methods of camouflage are tried and tested, and they work very well in deceiving most people. However, even with a little discernment almost any Christian can recognize False Cults. Once this is done, they can then themselves study the errors of these groups, or can seek help from knowledgeable believers. Here are some of the characteristics using which one can begin to assess the standing of any group:
1-Secrecy: Almost all Cultists know that the others brand them as Cults. They also know that Evangelical Christians have a vast network of people who regularly caution believers against involvement with these False Cults. Consequently, the Cultists know that if they reveal their identity in the beginning itself, then their potential “customer” would be alarmed and would resist all Cultistic attempts to trap him. This is one reason for secrecy.
2-Evasion: Almost all False Cults try to keep their identity secret as much as possible. Thus they are not only secretive, but also try to evade answering straight questions.
3-Inducement: A Bible-believing Christian never uses any kind of inducement (spiritual, material, or social) to encourage others to become Christians. On the other hand, the Cultists are here to “catch” unsuspecting people for his group. Thus he uses plenty of inducements that serve as baits.
4-Appeal to extrabiblical authority: Bible is the only source for all matters related to faith and doctrine. However, most cults derive their bizarre doctrines from the books of their founders. Thus no sooner there is a doctrinal discussion, these books come into the scene.
Summary: All Cult propagandists know that they are a group different from Evangelical Christianity. They also know that their potential customers have most probably been warned about False Cults by their leaders and teachers. Thus they know that revealing their identity would turn their “customer” cautious and even hostile, depriving the opportunity to trap him. Thus most Cultists project themselves as part of the great evangelical heritage. The art of this camouflaging has been perfected by many Cults, and thus it is often difficult to recognize them in the beginning. However, a probing mind along with a few probing questions would reveal the points mentioned above. From here onwards the believer can watch carefully and identify whether this group is a False Cult or an Evangelical Bible-believing Church.