In July, 2014, I went to my first International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) conference. I met ex-members from across the globe. From notorious group to secretive mom & pop shop, specific red flags waved through every story & echoed down the halls. All groups adopted the same toolset to manipulate the membership. We all told the same basic story, with slightly different details; variations on a theme.
While cults are not all exactly the same, they share specific, identifiable hallmarks. Everyone should know those red flags. This table outlines them and how when I contradicted them, recovery followed.