Here's another incident from my own life, so I can help those of you who are detoxing from exposure to cults. By the way, to me, I define a cult as any 'belief' that places human "abilities" and "gifts" over God, including both idolatry and supposedly believing "personalities" (such as so called Christians who insert themselves into salvation history).
When I was earning a paycheck and had money to spend, one of my favorite hobbies was collecting books. I had built up quite an interesting and extensive personal library. I tended to seek friendships with those who shared my interest, and thus I was open to being friends with book dealers, especially rare and used book dealers. That is typical and understandable, because all normal humans tend to form friendships over shared hobbies and interests, whether it is fishing, sports, knitting or, in my case, a love of books.
I became close to one book dealer and author in particular, and his family. Now, one thing you need to know about me is that I do not edit friends according to their beliefs or politics, even if I find them bizarre, unhelpful, and in fact, even cultish. My history of friends have included many people who have very different beliefs from me, and I do not edit them from my list of friends. That does not mean that I am not concerned that one day God will edit them from his book of eternal life, of those who are saved at death. For example, throughout my youth I was concerned about my best friend who, though born and baptized, had no connection with God at all. That did not stop me from being her friend, far from it. (What did eventually end our friendship was her open election to enable the cultists who stalked me).
Back to the book dealer friend and his family. I really, really liked them, even though their beliefs were extremely cringe worthy. I spent wonderful quality time with them and their beliefs were not a problem because they rarely talked about them. There was so many other wonderful things to talk about, books, of course, but also history and art. However, one day something happened that while it did not end the relationship, I was alerted to the knowledge that they had a hidden agenda. Regular readers know that while I was not aware for many years that I was consciously being stalked, I was aware of being stalked, which I attributed to the unconscious ability of those who are "out of sync" with God to detect those who serve God, even if that service is kept hidden or secret. It's the way cats seem to instinctively seek out people who don't like cats, and then proceed to annoy them. So I led a wary life (even to the point of having to marry someone I considered a bodyguard) because I was well aware that I was being unconsciously stalked, but did not realize that I was being deliberately harassed and that worse, this harassment was based on cruel and sickening misidentification of not only me, but of many people (due to belief in that bogus concept of "past lives," which do not, in fact, exist at all).
I bought a pair of candlesticks as a gift, on my way to visiting them. When I arrived the candlesticks were broken. I was startled and disconcerted, of course, but I am always alert to the Holy Spirit's guidance and I knew this was a warning for me. Candlesticks are very important to Catholics, by the way, just to give you background information. They adorn the altar in Catholic churches that retain their traditional furnishings, which is what I am accustomed to and what I expect. This is why candlesticks is a favorite decoration of mine and I often choose them for gifts, although I do not select particularly Christian motifs. In fact, these candlesticks were Greek column style, since I knew they enjoyed that form of art. And so when we unwrapped them and found them broken, I immediately knew that the Holy Spirit was warning me to be cautious, that there was a deliberate cultist effect afoot. Like I said, though, I still did not think in terms of being targeted and stalked, so I just thought of them as being, how shall I put it, "more at spiritual risk" than I had realized they were.
This incident had its second part months later when I visited them again, when they had moved to a different home in a different state. I really enjoyed the beauty of that area and of course seeing all of them again (there were five, two related couples and a son). But what was hidden became overt, though they did not realize it, and that ruined my relationship with one couple from that point onward. The relationship with the other couple, with the son, lingered on longer, and I had enormous affection for them, until they did the thing that cultists do when they do not "succeed" with me, which is to "disappear." Here is what happened.
The first couple informed me that they had become very involved in volunteering at a hospice. I was surprised, but that in and of itself was not unexpected because normal humans are always surprised when their friends veer off into a new interest and thus become enthusiastic and somewhat "over the top" about their new hobby or avocation. But here's what did disconcert me. They immediately put pressure on me to become involved in hospice, and they made it very clear that there was something "lacking" in me that I "needed" to be "in service" to the dying. While they were subtle in their words, I read expressions on the face and also, not to go into a lengthy explanation, but the "expressions" on the soul. I thus "heard" and "saw" expressions that were looking at me with disapproval and implying that I had no compassion or understanding for the dying.
That is quite a corker of an accusation. First of all, anyone who knows me knows that I suffered many family losses as a child. My paternal grandmother, who I adored, died when I was five. My father died when I was eight. My maternal grandmother died when I was twelve. When I was seven or eight my best friend was thrown face first through the windshield of a car in a terrible accident and could have died, but did not. So far from being insensitive to death and dying, I set an example in the family, even as a child, for persevering through difficult loss, and in trusting in God and his goodness and mercy, no matter what.
But here is the second layer of why this was such an astonishing accusation. What people did not know, of course, is that if they truly knew me, as I authentically am, in my fullness, I have attended many, many, many deathbeds, administering love, compassion and comfort, even when I was a child. And on the flip side of that coin, I have witnessed many, many, many expressions of doom and dismay on the faces of the newly departed who realize, in their personal judgement before God, that they denied and defied him throughout their lives, and are being cast into hell. So far from needing some human "diagnosed" "tutorial" on developing compassion (and the hidden agenda, which was to "get me thinking about death"), I've already seen and known more about compassionate dying and unfortunately, the all too often consequence of many people's choices, the terrible eternal outcome of punishment in hell because of unbelieving, cultist and cruel life choices, including negligence toward doing good (which is nearly as bad as actually doing evil). The Bible explains that quite clearly.
So I kept an interested but impassive face as they, casually, so they thought, pushed doing "hospice" work on me. Therefore they had no idea that I had, to use an old fashioned private detective term, "made them" (identified an undercover operative). I let the relationship with that couple "peter out" (gradually diminish) and that was not difficult, because as I've explained, when the stalking cultists "fail" at trying to hook me into some agenda of theirs (usually their agenda is to "get me to remember" things and beliefs that never existed), they tend to disappear of their own accord. They do pop up once in a while, through mailings and so forth, at the behest of their cultist handlers, usually in sync with some astrological movement. (This is why I continue to check astrology charts each day. They are bogus and crap but people do plant traps and do things according to them, especially aimed at me).
By the way, in case you are curious, these cultists have like a "United Nations" of freaky beliefs. In other words, they have alliances and coalitions, but do not necessarily share the same "belief." My trouble is mostly with "New Agers" who are obsessed with the pharaohs and Egyptology. I first "made" one of their operatives when she told me she knew "Anubis" and that "he's lonely." That is when I realized she was not just a scatty elderly lady who I loved as a friend even though she had a bit loony beliefs and interests, but that she was an operative for erroneous and anti-God beliefs. But these people who I describe in this story did not show any of the clues that this lady did of being of the New Age Egypt freaks. This is my way of cautioning you that it's not like you can "watch out" for one cult belief in particular. They are all interconnected and work together, united by three profane "beliefs:" 1) reincarnation or alien possession 2) idolatry and its accompanying occult tools and 3) denial of the God of Abraham and denial of the words of the one God's revealed word, except for selective manipulation. They have all hooked up, even though they undoubtedly among themselves probably mutter and murmur against each other, especially as they try to figure out "who the real 'reincarnated savior'" is, each vying through their narcissistic and drug fueled stupors to be "the one." If you are curious, here is the flavor of cult that my ex-book friends followed.
(Boy was Gurdjieff surprised to find out how wrong he was, when it was too late). Just a personal comment.
And here you can read about "lonely Anubis" boy.
(It's hard to be lonely when you never existed, but hey, cultists are nothing if not self deluding, inflated and narcissistic).
I've not had much luck in finding sane friends with wholesome interests, so I've pretty much dropped the whole "friend" seeking initiative. Their loss.
I hope you find this helpful. Young people, don't fall for these old loons. Regain your senses and cling to your Torah/Talmud, Bible (all of it) or Qur'an. I don't want to see any of you be the ones I see on the ultimate "bummer trip" (to use a favorite expression) to the unbearable torment of hell for all eternity. Lots of people there, lots and lots of them.