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Children Will Be Children

Seek The Truth Blog

Children Will Be Children:

In many cults, the demand for purity is intense. Attempting to create their version of a perfect society, cults require absolute separation of good and evil. This is not limited to outward behavior; cult leaders manipulate their followers into believing they must purge all thoughts that do not align with cult agenda. Even for adults with good mental health, this is a mentally exhausting exercise. For a developing child, however, it is not only impossible, it prevents natural development.

As children develop behavior patterns, they naturally test the boundaries between right and wrong based upon the reactions of their parents. What is acceptable for one parent is not always acceptable for another. What is acceptable during certain circumstances is not always acceptable during others. What is acceptable in one family unit is not always acceptable in another. Children develop behavior by "testing the waters" to learn the infinite complexities of behavior patterns.

This is not typically the case for children raised in religious cults, however. Many children are required to behave in ways appropriate for adults, and are not allowed to "act" like children. They are forced to participate in events and rituals that are not age-appropriate, and are punished when their maturity level does not allow them to be "good". In some cases, they are punished physically, by spankings and other physical abuse.

Without the natural development process, some cult children struggle with complex decisions. After childhood decision-making resulted in shame and doubt repeatedly, children raised in these groups have been programmed with internal resistance to forming their own decisions. Worse, they are afraid to make mistakes, fearing wrong decisions. Former members must learn not to fear wayward thoughts, and understand that wrong decisions are learning experiences for good decisions.