As a former member of Westminster Fellowship (WF), I can confirm much of what anon posted above. However, the sentence: "He dissects families, ends lifelong friendships and dictates who his members have contact with[,]" evokes a picture of a much more menacing authoritarian than is actual. He is an authoritarian, (I'm currently being shunned by WF's membership), but the members of WF are mostly autonomous.
Also, I don't think Gangadean knows his material is complete B.S. I think he believes what he teaches, i.e., Rational Presuppositionalism (RP). Insofar as much of what is claimed by RP can be known to be probably false, (and I think that many of RP's claims can be known to be false full stop), this makes him a poor philosopher, not a charlatan.
However, the perceived threat of hellfire, (or--in this case--unmitigated, everlasting meaninglessness, boredom, and guilt), for failure to believe some proposition is an effective means of psychologically coercing belief in that proposition. RP ratchets the psychological stress induced by this threat to its extreme by positing that the inability to show the logical necessity of both God's existence and the truth of Christianity in less than 20 minutes is a sign that you are in a state of spiritual death. At the same time, RP encourages its proponents to believe that they are in possession of not only the truth but that the truth they possess is grounded in the strongest form of justification possible; i.e., logical necessity deduced from a chain of reasoning that starts from indubitable, incorrigible first principles; this, in turn, encourages the proponents of RP to patronize their opponents and to uncharitably and expeditiously dismiss their opponents' views as incoherent.
Surrendra's authoritarianism is only part, (and perhaps even a small part), of the explanation for WF's cult-like qualities. WF is cult-like because once one accepts the core theses of RP he becomes the most tightly-wound Calvinist possible, almost incapable of entertaining the thought that he, (or Gangadean, or Owen), might be wrong.
Interesting questions. I came across this while searching about "The Kingdom the Cults" by Ravi Zacharias and it kind of interested me. Not really sure who Surr Gangadean is.
You said it is cult-like so is it not a cult? What makes something a cult?
The former answer mentioned taking "vows". I assume that this is some kind of membership vow... Don't most churches have some kind of membership vow(s)? What denomination is this church?
You are being shunned? Sorry to hear that. Why are you being shunned?
Ah, just searched and found a Philosophy book by this guy.
Surrendra Gangadean is a teacher at Paridiase Valley Community College. If the definition of charlaton is, in part, someone who professes to know more that they do, I believe that Gangadean fits that definition. In addition he uses "presuppositional thinking" (or in his words "reason"), then, my point of view, all theists are charlatins ("quacks"). I do not know if it Surrendra Gangadean’s religious organization is a "cult". I believe that it may be a cult as they may recruit on campus, I have reason to believe that most of the "presidents" of the college's Philosophy cub (if not all in the last decade+) may have been members of Gangadean's "church", they are very secretive, they "disguise" their "religion" by not calling themselves a church or calling the "leader" "President & not "pastor. Based on my experience, you need an invitation to come to their "services" and “church” members are suggested to be tithed. Gangadean teaches about god based ethics and fails to adequately, if at all, discuss the great philosophers over the ages Gangadean did not follow the syllabus nor the course summary as written in the schools catalog. In addition, at least 2 other instructors at the college are members (if not on the Board of Directors of Gangadean's "church". I question if it was strange being taught "ethics" by an individual I believe to possibly be unethical
I believe that Surrendra Gangadean’s teachings are in direct violation of the 1stamendment to the Constitution (the Constitution guarantees freedom from religion and the 1st amendment discusses free speech but I do not believe that the Constitution directly or indirectly guarantees “academic freedom”. Remeber, academic freedom may allow the teaching of pornography, how to commit suicide, etc., et. al. Besides, I believe that using “tax dollars” to teach “theistic” ethics (at community college with tuition approximately $100 per credit; clearly supported by tax dollars) without the benefit of comparative alternatives.