Navigators (Navs) – “the pyramid style of recruitment, are very cult-like in nature”

This is an excerpt from an academic paper titled “College Student Vulnerability to Harmful Religious Groups Based on Perceptions”, for East Tennessee State University.

“I personally had a firsthand experience with a group that some consider cult like. During my freshman year at the University of Tennessee, I was paired up with a random roommate. He was a 35-year-old man working on his master‟s degree and staying in a freshman dorm. After a few weeks of formalities, I decided to ask him why he was in a freshman dorm. He belonged to a group called the Navigators, and he chose to live in the dorms as a way to branch out to new recruits. I did not know what the Navigators were or what they were about the time until an upperclassman friend told me. The Navigators are a Christian based group whose goal, according to their website is to “One by one…apply the Bible to their daily lives, pass on what they learn to others, and train these new believers, in turn, to reach others” (

They have branches in college campuses nationwide as well as military, prisons, and international sites. Most of their practices, especially the pyramid style of recruitment, are very cult-like in nature. Thankfully, my roommate picked up on my lack of enthusiasm and after about a month left me alone.”

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