What is a sect?

Definition of a sect

In today's world, 'what is a sect?' is an important question. A sect can be defined as:

  • 1. A body of persons adhering to a particular religious faith.
  • 2. A dissenting or schismatic religious body, especially one regarded as extreme or heretical.
  • 3. Religious denomination characterized by insistence on strict qualifications for membership, as distinguished from the more inclusive groups called churches.
  • 4. Any group, party, or faction united by a specific doctrine or under a doctrinal leader.

It has its origin in the Latin word 'secta', which means a course of action or a way of life, and this is probably derived from the Latin word 'sectari', which means to pursue or to follow. 

The term was first used in 1931 to describe newly formed religious groups that have broken away from their parent religion because of disagreements over beliefs or ideology. Nowadays, it is often used interchangeably with cult, especially in the context of a destructive group.


When is a sect destructive?

Steven Hassan, in his book Breaking The Bonds, is very clear that destructive sects are not defined by their ideology or beliefs. People should be allowed the freedom to choose what they believe in.

Instead a sect is said to be destructive when it uses deception and mind control techniques to undermine a person's free will, limit their critical thinking and decision making abilities and make him or her dependent on the group's leader.

For Hassan, a destructive sect has authoritarian leadership, deception, and destructive mind control.

Read more about this kind of leadership and control in destructive sects...

Like this page?




Need Answers?

Mind Control Manual
mind control manual s Vital concepts about mind control, cults
and psychopaths

Are you realizing that your life is not how you want it to be, despite following your group's ideas faithfully? Do you have conflicts about what you see going on in the group?

This manual will give you a different perspective!
(pdf, kindle)


New!

What Is Narcissism?
what is narcissism small
A practical guide to protecting yourself

Do you think you are being taken advantage of emotionally, physically, sexually or financially in your relationship? Do you want to leave but you can't seem to get away?

Learn how to break free, and why you need to!
(pdf, kindle)


Consultations

Would you prefer to talk to someone about your situation?

If you think you are or have been in a cult or a destructive relationship, or a friend or family member might be in a cult and you want to talk to someone, send me a message on the Contact page and we can arrange to talk. All communication will be treated in the strictest confidence.


Decision Confidence

Monthly newsletter with helpful tips and tricks
Learn more...
Plus!
'7 Vital Do's and Don'ts
of Decision Making'
when you subscribe!
Email

Name

Then

Don't worry -- your e-mail
address is totally safe.
We promise to use it only
to send you this newsletter


Frustrated with your day job?

But don't know how to make money from your passion or hobby?
Here's how to transition at your own pace...