When I try to picture what the practice of cultism looks like, I imagine people dressed in red wrappers, gathered around a T-junction, sacrificing goats and speaking incantations. Maybe I’ve watched too many Nollywood movies or maybe I just have an overactive imagination, but after a conversation with an old friend who is convinced he almost joined a cult a few years ago, I decided to do some research about what cultism really is. I found that a cult is a religious organisation with unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, and “with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guardian of an authoritarian and charismatic leader.”
So I called my friend and asked him to tell me about the story of his church-cult experience. Here’s how the conversation went:
“I grew up in a Christian home and all through my formative years, I went to religious schools. In university, I had a period where I was skeptical about religion, faith and God. That period led me to have a lot of questions that I couldn’t ask because of the type of environment I was in. You see, I went to a university where if I asked a question about tithing, for instance, people would rather judge me for not wanting to part with my money than open the bible with me and show me what I needed to know.