Inside New Zealand: How to Spot a Cult

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Inside New Zealand: How to Spot a CultCult-like groups are on the rise in New Zealand. Now the two-part Inside New Zealand: How To Spot A Cult documentary uncovers what really goes on inside these often controversial groups.

Inside New Zealand: How To Spot A Cult gives viewers an intimate view of what life is like inside groups that some former followers say are cults operating in New Zealand.

These former members have consistent stories about how the different organizations actually work, explains producer Gary Scott, and the techniques they say were used to control them, even though the belief systems can be miles apart.

The modern rise of cult-like groups is not something experts can easily quantify, but there is a proven trend away from mainstream churches, towards other forms of spirituality. There has been a lot of talk about Destiny Church, since the covenant of 700 followers.

The two-part documentary consists of ex-believers' stories, and investigates the similarities they say exist between groups including the Exclusive Brethren, Scientology, Centrepoint, Gloriavale, Avatar and the International Church of Christ.

Watch the full documentary now. Available only in North and South America.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7NZ2QBWUQBBOWVRCZORZSV2TEM alans

    People just want to belong somewhere, be in a union with others, be a part of something bigger, relate and have a commonality. There is nothing wrong with that, as long as people understand the risks and consequences and are willing to take the negatives over the positives of being in these groups or any groups.

  • http://twitter.com/WakeUp2Wellness Fateh Kaur Born

    use of fear and guilt, claiims of one true path, charismatic leader ~ sounds like mainstream religion to me...wake up everyone....the world as we know it is a cult and we're all about to escape.

  • http://www.youtube.com/MadXMax187 Mad

    Every single important, rich or famous person in the known world is either part of a cult, or the leader of a cult. The secret societies are not just conspiracy theories (not all of them) there is documentation first hand sources such secret societies exist. Not to mention religion is one giant cult, all created for the same reason: to enslave mankind.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Coleen-Neilson/632214553 Coleen Neilson

    I found this documentary to be incredably insightful. Thirty eight years ago I was almost a victim of a cult in Canada. My husband died trying to escape.They ARE out there,and probably more than you can imagine

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_P2ETGIIZVRM6D3QEIP7X2TKP6Y Chih Seng Simon Ho

    the boy who cried wolf. in the end no one will believe

  • http://www.facebook.com/NANDGated NAND Gate

    Tee hee cant wait for all the scientology whackos. Excellent documentary. I would like to add that any belief in a higher power is a cult-like belief. There is no evidence for it, so it is a cult.

  • http://www.facebook.com/NANDGated NAND Gate

    what in the Flying Spaghetti Monster do you mean?

  • Guest

    There are millions of ways to Under Stand who 1 is and that can only be Over Stand by the self. No 1 can tell you who controls the light of your energy, no 1 knows better than you for you, i for i. The rest is cultish, religious and controlling...and driven by exterior power need.
    az

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZMK6YNWJACHQ5CRCJW5TNYFURI KsDevil

    This not only applies to religious cults or self-help cults, but to corporations. The reward recognition policies of coroprations use the same techniques including the chastizing emails to employees seen to be vulnerable to such actions. The indoctrination of management and the in-house managerial training is geared toward this type of brain-washing.
    Business phylosophy consultants learn from cults and vice versa.

  • Guest

    All religion is a cult, major guilt trip, all religion, most all cults, use fear of their man made demons, Satan's and hell, as there motivating force to keep the lost souls in their fold. Besides other things as in this doc.

    Even when a person is born, born in sin in default, according to Christianity, because poor little Eve let the bad "ol" talking snake convince her to convince Adam of partaking of the fruit from the tree of knowledge. From the Christian fairy tale parody from the man made horror book called the old testament.

    Scientology uses a little different type of perspective as in this doc. But still is a major cult. Theirs is a fairy tale of aliens from the planet Zeno.

  • Epicurean_Logic

    @ Achems, good post all you points are valid.

    thanks for bringing the aliens from the planet zeno story to light again. It is easy to forget how demented those scientologists are!

    The own a huge building in central London's main shopping area and offer free personality tests. Every year the building looks glitzier and shinier with better facilities. They are obviously making a lot of money somehow!! Hmmm gullible investors maybe!!!

    I am off to shine up my tin-foil hat and pray to the god of planet zeno for immeasuarle wealth... Stop laughing it worked for L.Ron.Hubbard.

  • 2012_2012

    Men using God to get money, glory and free sex. I feel bad for those children whose parents have them born and grow up around these individuals. Just like Atheists who believe in Darwin's theory of evolution and try to convince us that we came from apes; animals with no souls. If we did come apes why are there still apes why aren't they all turning human.

  • Guest

    Yes, true stuff, the cult makes loads of "moola" also waiting for any scientologists to reply, but may not be forthcoming, soon as the planet Zeno is mentioned sort of gets them all tongue tied.

  • Guest

    You do not even know what you are talking about, @2012_2012, go do some studying.

  • Epicurean_Logic

    Yeah dammit, sex should never be free!

    But really, comparing power hungry, religous perverts to Darwinists! Is that really fair? Scientist do not go around telling you what to believe. They present evidence that taken in combination with other observed evidence builds up to a powerful set of ideas sometimes called a theory. A fundamentally different type of activity from religous belief.

    OMG. For the million-millionth time. we did not evolve from apes. we share a common ancestor with apes. I am personally going to come around and violently butt-f*** the next person to compare religous belief with 'belief' in science. They are fundamentally different types of use of the word! Think about it. Millions and millions of fossils that form a definite consistent picture of events and allows to to make definite predictions about future events. Compare that to I believe in god because i feel that deep in my soul!

    Please do not make the mistake of comparing two fundamentally different uses of the same word with each other.

  • Epicurean_Logic

    Yes scientologist are usually so defensive about their 'religion', or is that only with their lawyers present? Bring them down to the bare-knuckle level of comments on TDF and they will be torn to pieces by the rabid Razor and the evil Epicureans. Grrr. I am feeling fiesty tonight. I have to say that I miss the HaTe_MaChinE and his caustic wit and satire. He used to be a horrible s*** to you sometimes but you always held your own. Lol. It was one of my first experiences on TDF. He may re-emerge in a different guise.

  • misterwong

    I've always been a bit hazy on the distinction between a religion(faith based) and a cult(anything based).Number of adherents?Tax exempt status?Secret rituals,handshakes?Are they followers or just a fanbase?Define a Cult following.The secretive Masons and Scientologists are quite mainstream,not a handfull of nutjobs but millions of international Men of Mystery Nutjobs. And What about Blue Oyster Cult (of which I have a T-shirt)??..Thoughts?

  • eugler

    I'll take "Humankinds greatest cons" for 100 please:

    "Men using God to get money, glory and free sex."

    What is Religion?

  • Tim1980

    yeah, and why aren't all Sharks great whites? And why aren't all birds owls? And why aren't all cats Siberian tigers? moron.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    what was the name of this cult?

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    2012_2012, something tells me you are a troll. your comments seem to want nothing more than to start a big argument that we all know you wont pay attention to.

    however im going to clarify something for you incase you are not a troll. if you want to disagree with evolution that is fine but the argument you made asking why there are still apes only shows that you dont understand biology or evolution.

    I live in Canada my parents are from here as well, however their parents came here from ireland....now i come from irish people however there are still irish people in ireland! how the hell can that happen eh?!?!?

    also another reason your argument is flawed is because we didnt evolve FROM chimps and other apes. we know that humans and gorillas and chimps and all the other great apes had the same common ancestor which split off into all of us. but this took millions and millions of years.

    so hopefully you dont try to use that argument again since it makes you look very childish and not understand the very thing you are trying to tell people is wrong.

    by the way, what is a soul, what is it made out of, where in the body is it, how much does it weigh, and how do you know a soul exists and is not just a made up concept like karma or sin or something like that?

  • eugler

    I'd say the difference lies mainly in age and in cultural acceptance. The mythology of main stream religions just seems less nutty because we've been bombarded by them all our lives. All in all you probably need Lord Xenu to match the talking snake in terms of lunacy. Cults are just evolving religions, some make it, some not. When they age and become more whitespread, more "scholars" emerge and denominations form e.g. The Reformed Church of Scientology. With the aging the profit margine changes as well and the exploitation will slowly switch from short term to long term so they become less agressive locally as they aquire more power in a greater context. The con is the same, the oldest there ever was, we are just not used to the new ones so we call them cults.

  • Guest

    Ha,Ha, I miss the Hate Machine also, we finally saw eye to eye, so to speak, perhaps it is because I gave no quarter and took no quarter! and he did the same also!

    He respects power, the same as I do. Yes? We are both NTJ personalities, me being more low key though (LOL)

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    well a cult is usually a religious group that is focused around a LIVING charismatic leader. that would be a cult.

    if that leader dies and the group is able to carry on and still function AND becomes recognized through tax exempt status it can be called religion.

    so to be honest scientology is really a religion now, however like every other religion today it started as a cult.

    i can show you the entire list used to determine a cult and you wouldnt be able to tell the difference between a cult and a mainstream religion.

    The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

    ? Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

    ? Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

    ? The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

    ? The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

    ? The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

    ? The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

    ? The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

    ? The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

    ? Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

    ? The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

    ? The group is preoccupied with making money.

    ? Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

    ? Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

    ? The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

  • pulunco

    Really 2012? We did not evolve from apes we evolved from common ancestors. Ahhh sorry I get it you are a troll; good one.

  • Epicurean_Logic

    I learned alot from the jungian personality types, although I have to admit that I took the test 10 times and never got the same result twice. Bounced across the board. I liked some of the types more than others but I have to admit that I saw some of myself in all of them..

  • misterwong

    Thanks very much,Ep..and you're right,I feel non the wiser still!I will
    assume then that the distinction is largely in our minds and whoever is
    selling the Miracle Elixir.Thanks again

  • misterwong

    You're quite right,Ep..they are virtually indistinguishable.Thank you for the info

  • Guest

    I got to think people get brainwashed by cults in a way similar to how people get brainwashed to enter and remain in the army.

    Here are a few points made by Epicurus...
    1. display excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader (or commander)
    2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
    3. Mind-altering practices are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader (or country interest).
    4.The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel
    5.The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader (or country interest) and members
    6.The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
    7.The leader is not accountable to any authorities (the leaders are the authority)
    8.The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members' participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group
    9.The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt iin order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
    10.Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
    11.The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
    12.The group is preoccupied with making money.
    13.Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
    14.Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
    15.The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

    In Cults, the members and their family suffer in the long run. In wars the entire world suffers in the long run.

    Thank you Epicurus for writing it all down...saved me a whole lot of time!
    az

  • Jack1952

    I grew up in a strict fundamentalist Christian environment. Our own primary grade school, catechism, Christian cadets, young peoples and other programs organized by our local church. It was the way we all lived our lives. However, when I decided that I didn't believe in the church dogma and wanted to leave the church, there were concerned visits by the pastor and church elders. They let me know the consequences to my soul if I followed through with my defection. When they realized that I no longer believed, they wished me well and told me I was welcome to return at any time. I still visit the homes of the church members, talk to them on the street, go to funerals and weddings in the church and have always been treated with respect. My parents and siblings still go to the church but I'm still a family member and am invited to all family functions. I'm sure they believe that I am going to hell and feel bad about it but they never try to recruit me or save my soul. That is the difference between cults and conventional religious institutions. The threat that there could be a line crossed is very real but most of these religious groups do not want to force you to believe. It goes against what is written in the Bible. There have been many abuses in the past and they will continue because the church is made up of people and people are not infallible.

  • Musgrave

    Every world wide organized religion is a cult.
    Simple fact.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Coleen-Neilson/632214553 Coleen Neilson

    Ex Caley but good luck finding out anything I have tried for years. different spelling maybe based out of Vancouver, but had a few buisness is other ,out of the way places basicly a welfare scam the early 70s

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Yeung-Xiao/630927097 Yeung Xiao

    Well Waco was a little different. It was a cult for sure, but those people were murdered by a over zealous military. Watch the Waco documentary and you will hear the leader pleading with the negotiators for the lives of his followers. So this is very different compared to poisoned cool-aid drinking.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Coleen-Neilson/632214553 Coleen Neilson

    You have to remember it was 38 years ago, and a few brain cells have ( well you know) but the name of the place was Xcalay or EXcalay apparently they we're from California, and just came right up the west coast.Looking for the vunerable peoplepeopol

  • Guest

    Think I have found it, called "Synanon" community in California,
    treated drug addicts by shouting matches, did come to van. BC in the 70's referred to as the X-Calay community in Canada.

    Founded in 1958 in Santa Monica CA by Dederich

    Google Synanon California. Read chapter three.

  • Guest

    Easier to google..."synanon california ex-calay"...use ex-calay, not x-calay.

    5th link down, click on chapter three.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charles-Overy/650972278 Charles Overy

    Hey Vlat this vid is no longer embedded.

  • http://www.topdocumentaryfilms.com Epicurus

    you are 100% right. there is almost no distinction to be made between the way military encourages obedience and the way cults do it.

  • Guest

    I believe in God, not religion.

  • Guest

    LOL!! Thank you...true and funny.

  • Guest

    not so true but,funny just the same.

  • nowaynoway

    I couldn't of said it better thanks to the internet:

    Evolution vs. Creation: Complexity
    The Evolution vs. Creation debate further seeks to solve the riddle of complexity. Creationists believe the universe was designed to be complex by an Intelligent Designer. Evolutionists, in their effort to exclude a designer, contend that complexity has developed from simplicity over time. Evolutionists view time as their solution. However, hard science tells us that time is the enemy of complexity. This fact has been so well documented that it has obtained the stature of a physical law, the "Second Law of Thermodynamics."

    Evolution vs. Creation: The Resolution
    Evolution vs. Creation -- Until Evolutionists find the evidence they've sought since the beginning of the modern Evolutionary movement about 150 years ago, there is actually no debate at all. Creation is the default. Evolutionists insist that complexity developed from simplicity despite the contradiction to known physical laws. Moreover, Evolutionists maintain that this simplicity just sprang into existence without any cause at all. Let's collect the evidence, and then we can start a debate.

    Amen

  • over the edge

    first you said "Evolutionists maintain that this simplicity just sprang into existence without any cause at all" could you show me where evolution states this? next "Until Evolutionists find the evidence they've sought since the beginning of the modern Evolutionary movement about 150 years ago" i will show the physical,testable and observed evidence for evolution if you show the same for creationism (and you have had over 2000 years) ? next evolution does not violate the second law at all the law states that in a closed system overall will move to disorder not that you cannot have a move to order within the system as long as the overall tendency is towards disorder. finally if you are going to copy and paste your argument at least have the intellectual honesty to give credit where it is due.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ElmoPutz David Foster

    Anyone with a keyboard and an internet connection is a troll. It ain't like we're saving the world here!

  • http://twitter.com/diediedarling Azzy

    Aw, it's dead, tried to look for another version online, but didn't find it. What a shame.

  • docoman

    How do we all get on the disconnection list? I'd like to be on that one.