Ruckus at Lakewood Church signals new chapter in cult-like activity

Texas has a sporadic history with cults and cult-like activity, and the latest fracas at Lakewood Church is one more chapter in that tale.

Sunday, several members of the Church of Wells were arrested after repeatedly shouting at Pastor Joel Osteen during a sermon. Houston Police released their smiling mugshots to the public not soon after.

RELATED: Six charged with criminal trespass in Lakewood incident

The Church of Wells is a fairly new organization and their membership appears to be young adults and children. According to the group's website, they preach about having set themselves apart from mainstream Christianity which , in their words, "are committing themselves in unholy unions with infidels, when the table of the Lord is turned into the table of devils and the temple of God to a house of idols, when pastors, churches and professors define (and approve of) salvation and church behavior different from the book of Acts and the epistles of the New Testament ..."

In 2006, a pair of Berkley University professors published a set of characteristics that are closely related with cult-like groups, and the church fulfills more than a couple of the criteria listed to be a cult.

In 2013, the Church was named in the disappearance of a 28-year-old Arkansas women. In a lengthy piece on Texas Monthly, the woman in question was indoctrinated and subsequently cut ties with her family, entering into an engagement with a fellow church member. A year prior, a member reportedly turned to prayer instead of calling 9-1-1 to help save her newborn child.