Religious abuse: It’s easy to get taken in

There is nothing weird, weak or sinister about Donna. To meet her is to know that anyone can be snared by religious abuse. Exploitation with religious trappings happens not only in exotic cults. Much of it now occurs in fringe Christian assemblies marked by overtight mastery and deception. Experts say it may include sexual assault but encompasses broader manipulation. … “These groups are successful because they are meeting or claim to be meeting personal or social needs. The appeal has to do with the sense of spiritual family that they provide,” said Ronald Enroth, a retired professor of sociology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, Calif. Enroth spent decades studying manipulative religious movements. more

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