isolation and disconnection from family

Many cults expressly forbid its members from being in contact with friends and family outside the fold. The most widely-known example is the Church of Scientology’s Disconnection Policy where members are forced to sever ties with anyone the church deems antagonistic or an enemy.  This is enforced to reduce the threat of its members encountering dissenting opinions against their faith and the organization.

WCG (Worldwide Church of God) had similar policies during the height of its power. Church members who left the fold were seen as “doomed to the Lake of Fire” for “knowing the truth but rejecting it.” Ex-members were seen as irredeemable and therefore their friends and family in the church were instructed to shun them.

PCG (Philadelphia Church of God) has an active “no contact” policy, where any friends, family members and especially those in other COG cults are seen as interlopers and bad influences. The followers of Gerald Flurry are infamous for falling silent after joining PCG and often are not heard from again for years.

This is a sword that cuts two ways, as PCG’s intolerance of “Satanic influences,” meaning outsiders, often leads to witch hunts against perceived dissenters.

These policies cause cults to remain small, isolated and intolerant communities with members disconnected from their external support networks.”