"No. Cult," I'd say.
Sunday Service in the Boston Garden
Today I found that very same news segment that sent shockwaves through the spiritual community, and exposed the practices of an organization known as the International Churches of Christ...
My father left the church when I was young, but in my teenage years our mother returned, and the cult had another go at me. I got to see firsthand some of the psychological abuse they'd employ to break down and subjugate people.
Luckily, it didn't work on me for very long, and I managed to get free. But I sympathize deeply with all those lost people who were crushed, manipulated, bullied or destroyed. Desperate to be given a purpose, given attention or love... desperate to grow closer to God only to be betrayed by man.
Ever since I've been wary of "spiritual leaders", regardless of the religion. Anyone who wields the grace of the almighty like a nightclub bouncer with a "list"... is not to be trusted.
We've all got to find our own way.