"A Word of Warning"

(Related: 1)

Stanford Associated Religions lists some characteristics of destructive religious groups:

Unfortunately, not every religious group has your best interests at heart. Groups to avoid have some or all of the following characteristics.

* Pressure and Deception: They use high-pressure recruitment tactics or are not up-front about their motives when they first approach you. SAR members are required to identify themselves on all News and Publications and to be clear and forthright about their motives.

* Totalitarian Worldview: They do not encourage critical, independent thinking. The first goal of higher education is to enable you to think for yourself. Be aware of groups or leaders who try to control your life or who claim to possess the truth exclusively.

* Alienation: They want to choose your friends for you. While all religions have moral guidelines, watch out for groups that encourage you to sever ties with close friends and family who are not members. They are manipulative and extremely dangerous.

* Exploitation: They make unrealistic demands regarding your time and/or money. If participation in a group takes away from your study time, beware. A group or leader that cares about you understands that your studies-your future-are your first priority as a Stanford student. SAR members are strictly forbidden to require dues from student participants.

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