what is your definition of a cult?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by jefhatfield, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #1
    is mind control, an often noted factor, enough to make an organization a cult?

    ...or is an organization a cult if it has religious or psuedo religious beliefs put into a mind control system with the ultimate goal of making money for the organization or cult founder?

    thoughts??
     
  2. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    #2
    Re: what is your definition of a cult?

    I consider a cult to be something or someone that people will following blindly without thinking for ones self.
     
  3. Angelus macrumors 6502

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    Re: Re: what is your definition of a cult?

    That definition could nearly include your everyday religion.
     
  4. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

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    #4
    ...religion...makes all kinds of people to all kinds of CrAzY stuff...


    ...:eek:...
     
  5. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

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    Re: Re: Re: what is your definition of a cult?

    And it could be a political party.
     
  6. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

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    That is a very over-generalized and bigoted view of religion. Simply because religion involves following a set of beliefs doesn't mean that people don't take the time to explore those beliefs. I can't name a single religious person I know, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, Jewish, Mormon, Wiccan (I know alot) that hasn't at one time or another questioned their beliefs. Most people don't simply blindly follow the teachings of the churches/synagogues, etc. but do think about what they believe and why the believe it.

    While it is true that SOME religious extremists follow things without questioning it, I have seen the same thing from children of atheist parents.

    Ultimately ANY belief system has to involve some assumptions about what is and isn't true. Even science. Scientific laws are no more than theories that seem to work, based on certain assumptions. So far no one can prove that evolution actually happened, sure there is evidence to support it, but that doesn't mean you can prove it. (Not saying it didn't just trying to point out that in its own way science is as much based on assumptions and faith).
     
  7. Krizoitz macrumors 6502a

    Krizoitz

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    #7
    I think its more a matter of people, they use religion as an excuse to do all sorts of CRAZY stuff. I'd say environmentalism (which some have descrived as a religion of the left) is used by people do alot of the same crazy stuff as religious extremeists.
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    Oh yeah, this thread is going to degenerate real fast.
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    Somewhat ironic, since Nancy Cartright is apparently a member of the Scientologists.:p

    And before anyone flames me, I'm just interjecting some lighthearted humor in here... not equating religions with cults.
     
  10. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #10
    when i was checking up on a cult that i ran into at san jose state, i looked into the definition of cult vs. cult-like

    many religions, certain military organizations, and some companies are cult like and require a certain pre determined set of beliefs and behavior and are into modifying people for a given set purposes which may or may not mean making money for the organization

    when the main focus is for making money and it is done in a cult like way, then it truly crosses the line and becomes a cult

    i looked into some cult survivors websites and they all basically had the same thing...giving extreme amounts of one's money to a person or organization in an unhealthy way, and many victims of cults were unaware of their actions

    i won't name names but one organization goes door to door and is effective by playing a numbers game by never giving up and they have grown to be one of the largest protestant demoniations in the world...another one was started by a single man after the original spinoff of the church all died in guyana under jim jones...but this one which was headed there took a hit when its leader stepped down a couple of years ago so i hope it does ok

    and then there is the cult that many stars belong to, and they have been effective in being a money machine, too and they don't bleed the stars of the same percentage of monies that they do to ordinary individuals

    we live in a cult ridden society and it probably stems from the business like entrepreneurism that shaped our country's destiny in the first place, but money making, mind bending cults are the underbelly of a successful capitalistic society

    the reason religion/pseudo religion works so well in a cult format is because of the tax benefits they receive by their religious status and it lays the feds off of them who would otherwise shut them down as a bad business...cults do give real religion a bad name and in america it's done often in the name of christ, but i am sure in other countries with wealth but another religion has its spinoffs, too
     
  11. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #11
    I think a "cult" is a pejorative used to describe a small group of people whose ideas aren't in the mainstream of society or disagree with your own. The early christians were a cult. The Mormons were a cult. The Puritans were a cult. You can go on and on. Sometimes these cults have important ideas that can transform the broader society and sometimes they are exploitative organizations that are lead by wackos.
     
  12. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    #12
    "Sorta": A cult seems to me to be a pseudo-religion where those in power or control over the group behave as though their own aggrandizement is paramount to the overall good of the membership. I figure the behavior of the leadership is a clue. Seems to me, also, that there is a rigidity of thought built into these splinter "religions", far beyond that of such as Islam or fundamentalist Christian sects.

    I don't claim to be in love with this effort at a definition...

    'Rat
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Definfing a cult is like defining pornography. Hard to pin down, but you'll know it when you see it. No to mention a thoroughly grey area where it could be either depending on your POV.
     
  14. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    The key difference is the quest to pin down the definition of pornography is a lot more fun. :p
     
  15. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #15
    wanna pin down a cult? heck, do an audit ;)

    leaders such as that "man in the night sky", that "guru" with a fleet of rolls, the ex sci fi "author" or that "spinoff dude" from the church of christ, are prime examples where they are rich and their followers are all major "donors"

    there is a tangible paper trail to these types of organizations and i wish the irs would go after them since they are baby enrons but with the cloak of being into "self help" or "self improvement/enlightenment"...not only do cults leave a financial trail of disaster for people, they often break up families and damage a person's spirituality
     
  16. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    I dunno Jef, did you ever see the place Cardinal Bernard Law was living in? That might qualify the Catholics as a cult by your definition.
     
  17. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #17
    i heard the name in the news i think

    who is he?

    and is he rich, and if so, can he buy me a powerbook?;)
     
  18. Neserk macrumors 6502a

    Neserk

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    #18
    I believe that technically a cult (in the United States) is a "religion" that isn't offically registered with whoever they are suppose to register with.
     
  19. Desertrat macrumors newbie

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    :) mac, I don't think the Catholic church requires that you put money in a collection plate in order to be a Catholic. What I consider cults, OTOH, seem to require strong controls over your billfold and mind.

    'Rat
     
  20. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #20
    while the cathothic church as a hot and cold history, they never made making money their sole existence as an organization...this does not absolve them of all the native americans they killed, for instance

    all in all, it was human greed when catholic countries discovered the new world, but this still was not a cult in the traditional definition

    cults are designed as money making entities from their inception and inventing a religious front to hide from taxes and to control people's wallets
     
  21. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

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    Almond flavoured Kool-Aid is an integral part of any serious cult. Either that or sleepytime tapioca pudding.
     
  22. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    Save your powder 'Rat, I didn't call the Catholics a cult. I was telling Jef that his definition of a cult being an organization with a rich top to their pyramid didn't work for that reason.
     
  23. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

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    #23
    i hear you

    to me, the mind control is hard to pinpoint but when you see it, it's really obvious

    i think the fbi should take a Look-See into some of these organization's bank accounts, assuming that they suspect criminal activity and have enough legitimate complaints

    cults are nothing more than thieves in sheep's clothing
     
  24. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #24
    To me the answer is not the FBI (that brings in a whole host of other dangers) but more exposure of the beliefs and practices of these groups. There are a lot of small religious groups that have nothing to do with the "cult" like activities you are talking about and I would hate to see them grouped with the Moonies and others of their ilk.
     

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