10 characteristics of cult membership, according to Stephen Alan Hassan in his book Combatting Cult Mind Control.
1) The Doctrine is Reality - The cult's beliefs allow no interpretation or other theories.
2) Reality is Black and White, Good Versus Evil - no outside group is valid, "no room for interpretation"
3) Elitist Mentality - they are the chosen ones
4) Group Will Over Individual Will - "the self must submit to the group" "conformity is good"
5) Strict Obedience: Modeling the Leader - the leader is imitated by everyone
6) Happiness through good performance - behaviors are controlled by shaming,
7) Manipulation through fear and guilt - includes exit phobias, the devil, God, communism, etc. will hurt you
8) Emotional highs and lows - from great productivity to crashing (due to individual's inadequacies)
9) Changes in Time Orientation - pre-cult life is bad, the present is crucial (pressure to meet quotas, etc.)
10) No Way Out - There is never a legitimate reason for leaving