How to Tell if a Group is High-Control

Anonymous, Informative and Free!

Are you concerned about a group that you or someone you know belongs to? Do you wonder if the group has high-control or manipulative elements? Take this test to find out. The test is completely anonymous and gives immediate, helpful results.

This test measures the five characteristics of high-control groups:

  • Peer pressure and control
  • Dependency on the leadership
  • Separation from normal society
  • Use of harassment
  • Loss of identity

This is an English translation of the original Dutch questionnaire available here. It has been adapted with the help of one of the authors.

1.

Questioning group beliefs is frowned upon.

2.

In the group everyone is free to think independently.

3.

The group expects complete commitment from its members.

4.

Members help each other to focus on a higher purpose. 

5.

The group allows open discussion of different and conflicting points of view.

6.

There is a strong hierarchy in the group because the leaders are seen as both talented and completely dedicated.

7.

The leaders of the group do not allow criticism. 

8.

The leaders of the group offer intangible rewards (such as peace, happiness and eternal life) as an incentive for active commitment and dedication to the group’s ideology and polices.

9.

The leaders say exactly how we should live and are an important source of inspiration for the members.

10.

The leaders of the group have a special or even divine gift.

11.

The group rejects participation in normal social activities, believing they are chosen and superior to outsiders.

12.

Behavior which does not comply with the group's doctrines is seen as self-destructive, disloyal and/or sinful.

13.

Members of the group have lost contact with friends and acquaintances who discouraged them from joining this group.

14.

The group allows close contact with friends and family who are not members. 

15.

The group puts its member-behavior policies above fundamental human rights and civil or even criminal laws. 

16.

Members can leave without feeling guilty or fearful. 

17.

The group excludes members who are no longer loyal.

18.

The group’s leaders respect the members’ personal limits and boundaries.

19.

People who leave the group are seen as weak, immoral or even satanic; maintaining contact with them is discouraged or even punished.

20.

Those who leave the group will lose friends and family; they will disown and ignore the former member.

21.

Members’ homes are packed with artifacts, literature and/or images that remind them of the groups’ beliefs and practices.

22.

Group members are constantly in touch with each other, with little or no time for a private life. 

23.

Members can grow and develop in this group, in their own way.

24.

There is a taboo in the group against expressing your own needs.

25.

Members have put aside their personal dreams and ambitions because of their participation in this group.