Dangerous Groups

I have been posting on the 5th, 15th, and 25th of each month. I got behind and so am switching to the 10th, 20th, and 30th of the month.

Since we are prone to revictimization, it’s a good idea to have ways to red-flag dangerous people and groups.

A helpful tool is Isaac Bonewits’ form evaluating the danger level of a given group. He spent thirty years collecting feedback and revising and refining it. The final version, The Advanced Bonewits’ Cult Danger Evaluation Frame, is found at www.neopagan.net/ABCDEF.html. (Don’t be put off by neo-pagan.net; the evaluation form has nothing to do with any religion.) Although the form was designed to evaluate groups, it could easily be applied to individuals and families.

Bonewits totally ignores the ideology of the group, its size, whether or not it is mainstream, and its official pronouncements. Instead, he calls for an examination of the group’s behavior. There are eighteen factors to be considered, including amount of violence, hypocrisy, paranoia, and control over thoughts and behavior. Each is rated on a scale of one to ten. The higher the group’s score, the more dangerous it probably is.

There are links to Dutch, German, French, Italian, Polish, and Portuguese translations on the webpage.

No matter how deeply buried, we all have a small inner voice that says “Watch out!” and we should listen carefully to it. Bonewits’ evaluation form can validate and strengthen that wise little voice. Use it often and spread the word to others.