1. Love-bombing during the honeymoon phase. "You're so smart, spiritual etc.". Love bombing may also take the from of extravagant gifts or acts of service. For example, some Mormons came to the house while I was moving and offered to help me move. No one ever does that for complete strangers!
2. The leader is almost never available to meet with the common person unless he or she has a hidden agenda behind it. The leader may even live far away so that they can use distance as an excuse not to meet with you.
3. The leaders use fancy titles such as "prophet, apostle, rabbi, bishop, high priestess, etc.".
4. You're not allowed to get information from sources not approved by the leader. I once knew a woman who had to get permission from her coven leader whenever she wanted to read a book about their religion.
5. There are often degrees of enlightenment. The lower degrees may intentionally be misleading. Prove yourself in the lower degrees and you can advance closer to the light and possibly godhood.
6. There is often no one holding the leadership accountable. Cults are often run solely by one person and their partner.
7. There is no financial accountabilty or transparency. No one but the leader knows how much money is going in or going out.
8. The leader get extremely jealous and may excommunicate anyone who attends the meetings of a similar group because he or she views them as rivals.
9. For so-called Christian organizations, emotional experience is superior to what is actually revealed in the Bible.
10. Again, for so-called Christian organizations, the leader may claim a personal revelation that is in disagreement with the Bible.
12. If a Christian organization, you're not really saved unless you can speak in tongues.
11. Current members are encouraged to shun former members.
12. Salvation is achieved by works rather than Christ and him crucified.
13. Jesus is either not preached or a different Jesus than the one presented by Paul and the Gospels is preached.
14. Newcomers or initiates may have to swear an oath or sign a non-disclosure agreement not to reveal the group's practices to outsiders.
15. Money is extorted in exchange for miracles and financial blessings (prosperity Gospel) or may even be used in exchange for a promise of salvation.
16. The entire message is centered around one or two verses taken out of context, think prosperity Gospel and snake handlers.
17. The leader stands as the gatekeeper to God and your salvation.
18. The leader is put high on a pedastal and can do no wrong in the eyes of their minions.
20. The leader takes any criticism as a spiritual attack, poor persecuted them.
21. Tries to spiritualize everything. If you are fat, you have given place to a spirit of gluttony rather than because you pass ten fast food resteraunts on the way home from work each day.
22. Universal salvation. Everyone will eventually go to Heaven or their version of a good afterlife.
23. The leader is too involved with your personal life. I read a blog where a pastor chewed a couple out for going on vacation without his permission.
24. You're boundaries are constantly being pushed and eroded. It's like being in an abusive relationship. They may spy on you or encourage you to things you are uncomfortable with. I once attended a spiritual warfare conference where attendees wear encouraged to place Jesus into their memories of past hurts. Where is that mentioned in the Bible?
23. Parting may come with harrassment, threats, or even violence. At one congregation I attended, a few members decided to form a new congregation. After the first service, a dozen people called members of the new congregation and asked why they didn't get permission from the old leader to form this new group.
I reccomend Dr. Walter Martin's books for further information.