1. Standard memberjimmyb270
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    20 Apr '05 08:04
    What is actually the difference? Is it simply a case of how accepted the belief is in society? Or the number of believers? Or is there something more to it that I can't see?
  2. Standard membergenius
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    20 Apr '05 10:29
    "a cult stops being a cult and starts being a religion when it stops killing it's own members and starts killing others..."
  3. CN85nm
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    20 Apr '05 10:37
    A cult becomes a religion with time and respect.

    Christianity, for instance, is a cult. It has it's tenure and any access to a history book will show you the respect was aquired via force. In many cases, christians still hold the hammer of god with white knuckles.

    Google gives the first definition as:
    "adherents of an exclusive system of religious beliefs and practices"

    So, nearly ANY religion is a cult.

    If a person today said he was the son-of-God, had a dozen or so disciples, and proclaimed to heal the sick, what do you think would happen to him?

    The ATF would be knocking on his door!

    8)
  4. Standard memberjimmyb270
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    20 Apr '05 11:39
    Originally posted by ravenswood
    A cult becomes a religion with time and respect.

    Christianity, for instance, is a cult. It has it's tenure and any access to a history book will show you the respect was aquired via force. In many cases, christians still hold the hammer of god with white knuckles.

    Google gives the first definition as:
    "adherents of an exclusive system of religi ...[text shortened]... the sick, what do you think would happen to him?

    The ATF would be knocking on his door!

    8)
    That's pretty much how I understood it. And yet there is still a prevailing attitude that religion is good and cult is bad.
  5. Donationkirksey957
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    20 Apr '05 12:09
    There are several traits that distinguish religion from a cult. Cults have leaders who control by deception and manipulation of people who are vulnerable either physically or emotionally. A true spiritual leader is one who seeks to help others for the sole purpose of helping them and not making hemself to be a "savior."

    Cults tell you it is unacceptable to leave. Your autonomy is non-existent.

    Cults engage in "all or nothing" thinking.

    Cults tell you that they are the only ones who will love and accept you.
  6. Standard memberKellyJay
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    20 Apr '05 12:121 edit
    Originally posted by jimmyb270
    What is actually the difference? Is it simply a case of how accepted the belief is in society? Or the number of believers? Or is there something more to it that I can't see?
    I define a cult where there is a central figure in the here and now is
    leading the group into all truth and all truth must come through that
    central figure, while a religious belief in God does not necessarily
    have that. This also means that within various churches they can end
    up becoming a cult if someone becomes to important, and the rest
    of the denomination could be grounded on religious principals and
    doctrines that are sound. Just like the Assembly of God and the Jones
    Town massacre, I believe the Assembly of God to be a great
    denomination as far as denominations go, but nonetheless, Jim
    Jones came out of it, as did a few others that went astray. When an
    individual becomes the central figure for all truth outside of Jesus
    Christ in Christianity I’d say a line has been crossed in to forming a
    cult.
    Kelly
  7. Standard memberjimmyb270
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    20 Apr '05 12:13
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    There are several traits that distinguish religion from a cult. Cults have leaders who control by deception and manipulation of people who are vulnerable either physically or emotionally. A true spiritual leader is one who seeks to help others for the sole purpose of helping them and not making hemself to be a "savior."

    Cults tell you it is unac ...[text shortened]... nothing" thinking.

    Cults tell you that they are the only ones who will love and accept you.
    So how exactly is that different from religions?
  8. Standard memberColetti
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    20 Apr '05 14:04
    Originally posted by jimmyb270
    What is actually the difference? Is it simply a case of how accepted the belief is in society? Or the number of believers? Or is there something more to it that I can't see?
    My definition of cult is stricter than most. A cult is an organized group of people that use brain-washing technical to control the members of the group. Things like sleep and food deprivation, isolation, etc.

    For that reason, I do not consider the Mormon, or Seventh Day Adventists to be cults. They my be un-Christian, but that does not mean the same thing as cult under my definition.

    As long as a group uses no more than speech and literature to recruit and indoctrinate members, it is not a cult.
  9. Standard memberKellyJay
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    20 Apr '05 14:24
    Originally posted by Coletti
    My definition of cult is stricter than most. A cult is an organized group of people that use brain-washing technical to control the members of the group. Things like sleep and food deprivation, isolation, etc.

    For that reason, I do not consider the Mormon, or Seventh Day Adventists to be cults. They my be un-Christian, but that does not mean the same t ...[text shortened]... uses no more than speech and literature to recruit and indoctrinate members, it is not a cult.
    You speaking more about means and methods of extreme brain
    washing than what is a cult in my opinion.
    Kelly
  10. Standard memberColetti
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    20 Apr '05 14:52
    Originally posted by KellyJay
    You speaking more about means and methods of extreme brain
    washing than what is a cult in my opinion.
    Kelly
    Yes I know. My definition is not common. I use it to tell the difference between groups that use physical and chemical manipulation to control their members, verses groups that simply persuade members with words only.

    You can leave the Mormon church by being convinced it is false - but it's not so easy with cult members.

    Mormons and other false Christian religions are defined by their use of extra-biblical sources of doctrine (Book of Mormon), or the promise of secrete knowledge that only members can know.

    I'm just trying to make the criteria clear. I don't like lumping Mormons in with the Jim Jones type cults. The Mormons don't try to brainwash you any more than the Methodist or Catholics.

    I think my definition is more precise and easier to work with. Others would consider it too strict.
  11. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    20 Apr '05 16:14
    Originally posted by Coletti
    My definition of cult is stricter than most. A cult is an organized group of people that use brain-washing technical to control the members of the group. Things like sleep and food deprivation, isolation, etc.

    For that reason, I do not consider the Mormon, or Seventh Day Adventists to be cults. They my be un-Christian, but that does not mean the same t ...[text shortened]... uses no more than speech and literature to recruit and indoctrinate members, it is not a cult.
    Your description of cult is good, you describtion of brain-washing technique is a bit too narrow and describe the milder forms of torture that are used more for information gathering by security forces than indoctrination which is in fact brainwashing.
  12. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    20 Apr '05 16:15
    Originally posted by ravenswood
    A cult becomes a religion with time and respect.

    Christianity, for instance, is a cult. It has it's tenure and any access to a history book will show you the respect was aquired via force. In many cases, christians still hold the hammer of god with white knuckles.

    Google gives the first definition as:
    "adherents of an exclusive system of religi ...[text shortened]... the sick, what do you think would happen to him?

    The ATF would be knocking on his door!

    8)
    He'd be a star on Christian TV lol
  13. Donationkirksey957
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    20 Apr '05 16:21
    Originally posted by jimmyb270
    So how exactly is that different from religions?
    Just compare Mother Theresa to say Jim Jones or David Koresh. Do you see differences? I do.
  14. Standard memberColetti
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    20 Apr '05 16:34
    Originally posted by frogstomp
    Your description of cult is good, you describtion of brain-washing technique is a bit too narrow and describe the milder forms of torture that are used more for information gathering by security forces than indoctrination which is in fact brainwashing.
    Yes. I don't know all the ways of brain-washing. I am familiar with some of the techniques common the 'cults.' A new recruit is isolated from the outside world, worked hard, and sleep deprived. As a reward for memorizing 'cult' literature - they are given a little more food and attention. This cycle continues until the recruit has completely absorbed and adopted the teachings of the cult. I'm sure that is just one of several methods used.
  15. Standard memberfrogstomp
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    20 Apr '05 16:51
    Originally posted by kirksey957
    Just compare Mother Theresa to say Jim Jones or David Koresh. Do you see differences? I do.
    The first thing a cult needs is a charismatic leader , It's build around him . Charles Manson seems to have had an hypnotic effect on his followers and that's a common theme in cults.Koresh, Jones and others less well known have the same personality types and their followers have similarities too , mostly young people struggling with leaving the nest syndrone or an unhappy homelife , looking to "belong" probably more too.
    You see these kids everyday in malls and other places where kids gather like a flock of sheep and you also see the wolves: the pimps, the pushers and the gangs and then you see the "shepards" who promise to save them from their life of sin.They kids never suspect that the shepard is also a wolf playing on their desire to be "loved" and then they are in a cult.
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