Educational Material

Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader

by  Rick Ross, Expert Consultant and Intervention Specialist

  • Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability
  • No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry. 
  • No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
  • Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions. 
  • There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil. 
  • Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
  • There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader. 
  • Followers feel they can never be “good enough.”
  • The group/leader is always right. 
  • The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.