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Aggressive Religious Recruitment


If you're new to Halifax or Canada and to the University, you may be looking for organizations to join. It's a good feeling to be wanted, and it's flattering to be asked to join a group. Among the clubs and organizations on campus, you'll find many religious groups. Some are well organized and some are very informal. Some rely on your free choice and personal motivation for joining, while others use persistent recruiting efforts to win you over.

Choosing to belong to various groups while attending university is an important decision. We want to offer you some information that will help you make an informed and free choice about such groups.

Characteristics of aggressive religious groups

  • Pressure and deception: using high-pressure recruitment tactics and not being up-front about their motives
  • Totalitarian worldview: not encouraging critical and independent thinking and claiming to possess the truth exclusively
  • Alienation: encouraging you to sever ties with those not members of their group
  • Exploitation: making unrealistic demands on your time and/or money and not understanding that your studies are your first priority

Choosing a non-aggressive religious group

Besides considering your own tradition, you have the option to look for groups that:

  • encourage relationships with family and friends outside the group
  • help you through some of life's inevitable crises
  • invite open and thoughtful investigation of beliefs
  • encourage you to take responsibility for being a contributing member of  the greater community
  • offer a reasonable and credible belief system upon which to structure your life

For more information, check out our FAQ on what to expect, accept and avoid [PDF - 248kB].