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Featured The cults

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by Riders, Mar 12, 2019.

  1. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
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    Cult: : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious. Spurious, basically false.

    Whatever religion a person feels as false they might call a cult.

    So this thread being about dangerous/destructive, false religious groups. Though I suspect there are folks who see any religious belief as dangerous and or destructive.

    Who sees Christianity as the most dangerous cult on the planet?
    And, is it more dangerous than Scientology? :eek:
     
  2. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    Well its true there are going to be people here who look at this idea from different viewpoints. i don't see Christianity as a cult. I criticize it alot but not a cult except some churches. My old Pentecostal church, Pentecostal churches who have a strict dress code like mine did and you have to speak in tongues to get saved its a cult, Christian science os, FLDS, Im not sure about the LDS, different Christian groups, the AMish, depends on what group.

    I don't believe the main stream Baptist churches are cults but I do believe they are very very mislead and a false church represent themselves as truth.
     
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  3. lostwanderingsoul

    lostwanderingsoul Well-Known Member

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    Just saying. How do you define a cult and why are they bad?
     
  4. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    I guess if you use the term for regular religion then all religions are cults, that would not be bad. But add destructive cults, and they are groups who one way or another hold you hostage to the church, by physically not letting you leave if you in their commune or holding you hostage by threatening you with hell.

    My old church for instance did, they said those who left the church, who were addicts before or had issues before they were in church would go back out and get into trouble again with their addictions and issues.

    Some of my old Pentecostal churches threatened with hell fire, were the only ones who are going to heaven, every other church , they use to say that Trinity mainstream churches were actually Pagan and under the rule of the Catholic church. Your going to hell if you leave the church.

    Other ways, would be like brainwash like my church did by praying in tongues and crying and running around loud Christian emotional music for hours, its a form of mind control, they wouldn't let us leave till the service was through and you were brainwashed by the end of the service, no one goes home till we are all talking in tongues.

    Once they started praying over you there was no getting out. There were constant bible studies going to church every other day etc. That type of thing.........yes it was an escape for me truly like cults are for alot of people.
     
  5. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    "Cult" is a word that, basically, means 'your beliefs are weird and I don't like you." Everybody who seriously uses the word has a list of things that a group must be in order to qualify as a 'cult,' very much as fundamentalist Christians have a list of things that 'must be believed' in order to be a 'real' Christian. All those lists differ from one another, from person to person. Shoot, I've even seen such lists differ within the same person, depending upon the time of day or mood.

    But they all boil down to this: "cult" means "your beliefs are weird and I don't like you," and "Christian" means "someone who believes the same things I do."

    Now this thread has, it seems, been full of people who are, sort of, making the point I am here, but they are being funnier about it.

    The fact is, every single religious belief is a 'cult,' according to every single dictionary out there. There IS no list of things that 'must be believed" in order to make a group a 'cult." The word tells us something very clear...not about the group being labeled, but about the one doing the labeling.

    ALL that said, if we are going to get specific, perhaps we should wonder which extreme religious group is the most dangerous to themselves and others, physically. I have one or two nominees, actually....and Scientology might be on it, because of the 'sea org." the FLDS might be...but they have been so incredibly clobbered and embarrassed by their leadership that I don't think they are more dangerous than the weird "we got stuck in the sixties" hippie commune living in the hills about fifty miles from me. ANY group which blindsides and brainwashes the membership and encourages things like 'shunning,' etc., can be dangerous.

    But once you start throwing the "c" word around, pretty much every group I know about has been targeted. Shoot, I know one group that absolutely insists that Catholicism is a 'cult,' in the pejorative sense of the word. Certainly my own belief system has been called one, and so has every Protestant group out there, by those who don't happen to agree with beliefs or practices. You know..."your beliefs are weird and I don't like you."

    Cult.

    What happens to groups which are labeled 'cults,' by the greater society around them? Hang in there. I'll tell you. After their leader is arrested and sentenced for child abuse (he was guilty of that, no question), the commune in which his victims live is invaded on the pretext of a phone call they knew was fraudulent, by SWAT teams, snipers, canine/cop teams in full riot gear with tanks at the ready, and all the women and children (remember, these were the victims of said child abuse...) were put on Baptist church buses [​IMG]
    and hauled away to detention centers, children...even nursing babies...taken from their mothers. Even after the state of Texas was told, in no uncertain terms, that what they did was unconstitutional and illegal, the state refused to release the women and children because...."if we release them, we won't be able to hunt around and see if there is anything we can use to keep holding them."

    Remember; these women and children were supposed to have been the VICTIMS, and the alleged perpetrators were left behind in the compound, able to do whatever they wanted, including leaving the area.

    And this was celebrated and supported, because of course the FLDS was/is a cult. Therefore they deserved what they got. Right?

    So while I don't have a problem acknowledging that there ARE dangerous and extreme groups out there, I have a real problem with the word 'cult.' It allows way too much freedom in making people one doesn't like into targets, whether they really are 'extreme' or not.

    BTW. I am not FLDS. I don't LIKE the FLDS. Their beliefs are weird and I don't like the culture they have developed.
    But I really, really, REALLY don't like what happened to them...and the way what happened to them was allowed, supported, encouraged and downright celebrated. And that is what happens to groups that everybody else thinks of as a 'cult.'
     
  6. Riders

    Riders Well-Known Member

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    And if you were to ask any ex Scientologist or X FLDS folks being pursued and followed by Scientology and FLDS as they do Im sure they would not agree with you. Your not gonna tell me my old church was not scary and destructive either sorry. We've been held in the church against our wills for long periods and it was very scary, you have no idea.
     
  7. whirlingmerc

    whirlingmerc Well-Known Member

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    The student handbook in Urbana Il had some good advice. If you see a guru like figure who takes away your individual responsibility for your decisions you should have some healthy caution

    I would be a bit cautious calling groups cults. Some people use it in a technical theological sense. Some in a sociological sense. It might be too broad a brush stoke to be helpful sometimes.

    I would also be a bit cautious with the word fundamentalism. There is not a precise definition and it's often used to caricature groups
     
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  8. RedhorseWoman

    RedhorseWoman Active Member

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    Again, I think that "high control religion" is a better descriptor. Cult is too general to be particularly useful in determining the "cult status" of any religion, IMO.

    Here is a list of qualifiers from the FreedomOfMind website that are often used to determine if a sect is actually a "cult" or "high control religion."

    A group need not meet all of these criteria, but any group that coincides with a number of these points is one to be wary of.
     
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  9. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    I'm not disputing your experiences, or that some groups are not very dangerous. I'm not going to tell you that your 'old church' was not scary and destructive. I believe you when you say it was. However, from many of the responses you got to your OP, which utterly dismissed your description of the dangerous nature of your 'old church,' you need to think about the difference between the word 'cult,' and "dangerous and destructive." They aren't synonymous. The word 'cult' is too....er....squishy to use. One cannot be precise, OR explain just how nasty a group actually is, with 'cult.' Remember: every group has been called a 'cult' by somebody.

    My response, then, wasn't a defense of your old church, or calling you mistaken when you described how nasty it was. I was just explaining how 'cult' doesn't help you explain how nasty it was, and perhaps why so many posters reacted with jokes about the word, instead of engaging with you about the reality of the extremism of the church you got out of.

    There are extremist groups out there, for certain. Some are religious. Some are political. Some are nastier than employing psychological mind-numbing. Some get really, really ugly. ....and some of us are just believers in a doctrine that the folks around us don't agree with, think are weird and don't like.

    When that happens, persecution can also happen, and when people who believe in 'ugly' things get persecuted, then the ugliness of their doctrine/practices get washed over.

    Look at me: I know very well that the FLDS has ugly beliefs and practices: forced marriages of young girls (which is why Jeffs is in jail...) throwing young men who are utterly unprepared for the outside world out of their system because there just aren't enough women to supply the 'need,' shunning, ....all those very bad, extreme, behaviors and beliefs.

    But when the society around them figures that the 'cult' label justifies SWAT teams and snipers, and nobody thinks twice about how all the VICTIMS of this raid were 'arrested' and confined in detention centers, separated from their children....I hope that you can see that this has, to anybody with two thoughts to rub together, completely overridden the 'ugliness' of their beliefs. They are now the victims of a gross injustice, not the perpetrators.

    That all came about because of the word 'cult.' I still don't like their beliefs or their practices, but because of that raid....because someone around them used "cult," the constitution was thrown right out the window...

    They really should not have used the Baptist buses, y'know?
     
  10. RedhorseWoman

    RedhorseWoman Active Member

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    This is something that might possibly have some validity. From what I've observed, many people suffering with addictions who join a high control religion simply switch their addiction to a religious addiction and probably tend to be some of the most zealous members.

    If they leave, they've never really learned how to deal with their addictive personalities, so it's quite likely that they could revert to old familiar behaviors simply because they've never really learned how to deal with their addictions.

    On the other hand, JWs who leave are generally considered to have left because they couldn't live up to the high moral standards of the religion and because they wanted to engage in immoral behavior. It's difficult to convince an active JW that anyone could leave simply because they no longer agreed with the beliefs of the group or because they discovered that the organization's ethics and morals were not up to par.
     
  11. RedhorseWoman

    RedhorseWoman Active Member

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    I don't think that beliefs should be the criterion for judging whether or not a religious group is dangerous or destructive. Rather than beliefs, I think that actions such as those described in the BITE model I previously posted are more indicative of whether or not a group should rightly be labelled as a cult or high control religion.
     
  12. lukethethird

    lukethethird Active Member

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    Cults are a reason to question all of religion.
     
  13. SomeRandom

    SomeRandom Still learning to be wise

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    The Westboro Baptist Church?

    I don’t normally use the term “cult” as a pejorative. But some hardcore sects of various religions do cause me to give them a side eyed glance every once in a while.
     
  14. Desert Snake

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    Leah Remini.
    Is speaking about other groups also.
     
    #34 Desert Snake, Mar 13, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2019
  15. MJFlores

    MJFlores Well-Known Member

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    Yes I believe, I did survive one.
    It is a big cult with over a billion members.
    I was a member because I was born to it by my parents who were then members.
    Thank God, I am no longer a member!

    MARIALIS CULTUS.jpg

    The Council of Ephesus in 431 sanctioned the cult of the Virgin as Mother of God; the dissemination of images of the Virgin and Child, which came to embody church doctrine, soon followed.
    https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/virg/hd_virg.htm

    In the US there are many cults and I have read them in books, movies and documentaries.



    If a religion sells baloney unproven ideas and falsehoods, I believe it should be included as a cult.
    There is only one truth and many lies.
     
  16. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Well-Known Member

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    The cult of atheism is the most deadly known to man (Freud, Darwin, Stalin, Hitler, ReligiousForums.com) IMHO.
     
  17. dianaiad

    dianaiad Well-Known Member

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    I like 'high control religion," It describes what the group is and why it is a problem. I don't think, however, that you got the point about the word 'cult.' ;)
     
  18. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    A lot of people use the word "cult" to refer to any group they personally disapprove of. I don't really think a religion can justifiably be called a "cult" unless there is an attempt to isolate its members from their families, friends and associates on the outside and threatens them (and it need not be a threat of physical harm) if they try to leave.
     
  19. Quintessence

    Quintessence Tale Weaver
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    Um... what? On what basis do you claim that a diverse forum full of theists and atheists both is part of a "cult of atheism?" Are you trying to make a joke?
     
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  20. ManSinha

    ManSinha Active Member

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    I think your answer is in the post above

     
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