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I read an alarming article, some time ago, on the spread of cultism among young people, especially secondary school students, and I was dumbfounded, to say the least. I had always thought cultism was a matter for parents to worry about when their children gain admission into the university.

After the article I thought of ways to monitor children to catch signs of cultism; that is, signs that your child may have joined the bad gang. I share them here:

WATCH YOUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY USUALLY HIDE THEIR BODY:

One of the requirements of joining a cult group, according to written sources, is the beating of the member in the name of initiation. Oftentimes, the beating leaves the new member with so many injury marks. In fact, some people die from the aftermath of the beating.

Naturally then, children who have just been beaten at cult initiation will cover their bodies at home so nobody sees their injuries and starts to question them, asking them what happened.

So when you notice that your child is usually hiding his or her body, you may ask to see the body, especially the back, to know what they are hiding. That could be one of the signs of cultism.

WATCH YOUR CHILDREN WHEN THEY BEGIN TO ‘FLY’ COLOUR:

Every cult group has its own colour or colours. So when a new member joins, the person begins to wear clothes that have the colours of the cult. That is what people call ‘flying colour.’

So if all of a sudden, you notice that your child has begun to wear a particular colour too often, you may have to pay close attention to that child, it could be one of the signs of cultism. Monitor the child’s movements, eavesdrop on the child’s calls (if the child uses a cell phone) and ask the child questions.

WATCH THE MOOD AND KIND OF MUSIC YOUR CHILD LISTENS TO:

Once a child joins a cult group, their interest in music changes to reflect their new status. They’ll start to play songs which contain certain slang expressions, and pay less attention for songs they used to like.

The child is also very likely to start to be on their own. Cultists like to be alone most time. The reason is unclear, but the fact is not disputable.

So if your usually very vibrant child suddenly looks withdrawn, watch it; it could be one of the signs of cultism.

WATCH YOUR CHILD WHEN THEY START TO KEEP LATE NIGHTS:

Cult members operate best at night, so when a child joins, they start to find reasons to come back later than usual.

This is hard to monitor for parents who return late from work too. The child will very likely take full advantage of this.

But there are other means of monitoring the child: you can ask their siblings or house help, if you have any.

Finally, you can’t totally stop a child from going haywire if they are bent on doing so. But then, then it not be that you didn’t try to find out and stop them in time.

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