15 Questions on Cults

Discussion in 'Cults' started by Yummy Ukulele, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. Yummy Ukulele

    Yummy Ukulele Member

    At what point does a cult become an established, recognized religion?
    At what point can it or should it be accepted?
    When referring to a worshiping group a cult, should we consider the perspective of its followers who believe it to be a true religion or do we call it what we think it is - a cult?
    Who determines what is a cult and what isn't?
    How does one do this?
    Who are we (or anyone identifying the status of a group) to dictate whether a cult is negative or positive?
    Aren't cults and religions equally dangerous in one way or another?
    Haven't many recognized religions involved unorthodox practices and deadly outcomes for their followers, such as human sacrifice?
    Where can one find the definite line between a religion that is harmful to its followers and a cult that is harmful to its followers?
    Isn't the majority of the system of differentiating cults and religions based on the number of followers?
    Is Scientology a cult or a real religion?
    If it is a real religion, how was it not a real religion ten years ago?
    Did its changed status and acceptance only come because of the increased number of followers or of famous celebrity followers like Tom Cruise who were able to help sell the idea?
    If a group stems off a recognized religion, should it be accepted as well for following the same (or some of the same) original beliefs?
    If yes, how different can the main beliefs of the group be from the original religion before it should be considered a cult?

    If I come up with more I'll add to the list. Thanks to anyone who might be able to intelligently answer any of the above questions. I've never really gotten any answers.
  2. famewalk

    famewalk Banned

    We might want to have sex without pro-creation.
  3. Yummy Ukulele

    Yummy Ukulele Member

    Can you explain this? I'm not sure which question you're trying to answer and by how.
  4. famewalk

    famewalk Banned

    <blacked out>

    Politics in the new millenium may become like a CULT; and B. Obama it's leader.:rolleyes:
  5. burnabowl

    burnabowl Dancing Tree

    i think there are a few distinctions between a potentially helpful belief system and a cult.

    1. excessive adulation toward or deification of a figure or leader (to me, this one is huge). it is unhealthy to put any degree of divinity on another person that you wouldn't put on yourself. this is the main reason for exploitation, the attitude that a person is spiritually crippled and is in need of a savior or rescuer who has more divine access than you.

    2. it's cultish to engender an insular society, a group that sees a sharp or absolute division between them and the rest of the world, a "we-they" mentality or black-and-white orthodoxies. this is funnily represented by the lack of transparent windows in mormon buildings and a total lack of windows in Jehovah's Witness kingdom halls. church patrons are to insulate their minds from "the world" and to look within the organization for all virtue.

    3. The organization makes it difficult or impossible to leave the group. An extreme example would be the pioneer mormons isolating themselves in frontier Utah. at that time blood oaths were taken which gave the church leadership license to kill you if you left. i don't think that was needed often as they were surrounded by wilderness and the possibility of indian attacks, so the chance of leaving the group was very low. now that groups can't get away that approach they work to insulate the mind against the world that surrounds the adherents, iow "be in the world but not of the world."

    cult tactics tend to be consistent and recognizable if you know what to look for. it's all about mind control. what the motives are vary from case to case but cults are cults because of the mind control. if you are asked to recognize and submit to an authority figure (esp. a living one) as a central tenet of faith you are probably dealing with a cult. no one owns you but yourself so if you aren't looking for anyone to rescue you, you won't be as vulnerable.

    your mileage may vary. there are more cult characteristics but these are significant to me as I was raised mormon. namaste
  6. comfortably_numb9

    comfortably_numb9 an asshole

    are you in a cult
  7. Yummy Ukulele

    Yummy Ukulele Member

    No. I don't worship anything or believe in a higher power and therefore consider myself an atheist.

    And the dog in your signature is so fucking adorable. :>
  8. Stabby

    Stabby Member

    To all of your questions: it depends on the cult.

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