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Learn about the Patterns of High Control Churches

About Dwell

Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire

The following questions are from a dissertation: Development of a Spiritual Abuse Questionnaire, by Kathryn Hope Keller. Reflecting on your time in Dwell Community Church (or other group), consider these questions and how they may be indicators of a high control group that may cause you or others spiritual harm:

  • Is it acceptable to express my true emotions in my church/group?
  • Have leaders in my group acknowledged harm they caused to others?
  • Do some leaders share information about other people (through prayer requests or otherwise) that should have been kept private?
  • Do I feel that God’s love and acceptance of me is dependent upon my performance in the church/group?
  • Do I find it hard to trust religious leaders or other churches?
  • Do I trust myself to find a good spiritual community?
  • Was I harshly criticized by religious leaders or church group members?
  • Do I feel like a spiritual failure and depend on my leader or church group to “get it right”?
  • Do I feel like God will punish me if I don’t do what my church group encouraged me to do?
  • Do I now feel cynical about church or other religious groups?
  • Do I feel freedom to ask questions or express concerns in my church group?
  • Am I dependent on the church group?
  • Do my religious leaders used fear to control people?
  • Are myself or others expected to get information about other members for our leaders?
  • Did I or other members get scolded by a leader and made to feel ashamed and helpless?
  • Do I feel that if I could be totally surrendered to God if I did everything perfectly according to the church group’s instructions?
  • Do I now feel lonely and misunderstood because of my church/group experiences?