1 of 2
1
Are you, the theist, involved in a Cult? Take my quiz
Posted: 13 March 2007 01:57 PM   [ Ignore ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

There are many in religion who attend who cannot see how they are in a cult.  A poster here on the forum named "Fira" has now been placed in my category of "Probable Cult Member".  Fira hinted he is under the controlling influences of mind control. Fira displayed that he is afraid to read a book because of what his god might do to him if he reads it.  Fira is, as I recall, a Christian.

Any organization that encourages a person to shelve themselves from "outside influences" (like books) is sending up enormous red flags, must be considered cultish and therefore should be placed under scrutiny for consideration as a cult.  The most basic litmus test for determining if any organization is cultish is to analyze if one can easily walk away from it without guilt or fear.  But that does not work across the board since marriage and the Marine corp and even many professions could fall into cult categories.  So I developed some more refined key indicators as follows:

1.  Does the organization (Fira's religion) require that you attend meetings regularily? Is the individual encouraged to be "active" even at the detriment of other social gatherings not fostered by the organization?

2.  Does the organization require that you perform regular and consistant work or duties on a gratis basis?  Is there guilt induced from authority if any of this gratis work is not performed?

3.  Does the organization require that you be tithed or donate monies to it?  Is there a witholding of benefit of any degree observed if the individual declines to donate money?  Is there any threat, specifically tied to an afterlife doom scenario, if money is not donated?

4.  Is there any degree at all of withholding of any type of benefits of any kind whatsoever occurring if the individual does not meet a certain performance par held up by the organization?

5.  Does the organization encourage the individual to only read organization-approved materials?

6.  Does the organization warn against close affiliations with others that do not share the same views held highly by the organization?

7.  Does the organization have dogmatic tenets of doctrine that cannot be supported, proven or substantiated and does the organization require the individual to believe in these tenets without question?

8.  Is the individual threatened in any way, especially by any sort of afterlife doom, if that individual decides to no longer be a member?

9.  Is there guilt and pennance involved for deeds considered "wrong" by the organization but otherwise the rest of the world sees no error?

If so, Fira, be warned here….

YOU ARE IN A CULT!!

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2007 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  309
Joined  2006-10-02

Based on this, I think we need to reclassify the UAW as a cult.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2007 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1241
Joined  2006-11-05

1. Does the organization (Fira’s religion) require that you attend meetings regularily? Is the individual encouraged to be “active” even at the detriment of other social gatherings not fostered by the organization?

No. No one is “required” to go to Church.

2. Does the organization require that you perform regular and consistant work or duties on a gratis basis? Is there guilt induced from authority if any of this gratis work is not performed?

No. No one is “required” to perform regular or consistant word duties.

3. Does the organization require that you be tithed or donate monies to it? Is there a witholding of benefit of any degree observed if the individual declines to donate money? Is there any threat, specifically tied to an afterlife doom scenario, if money is not donated?

No. No one is “required” to donate, otherwise it would be a fee and not a donation.

4. Is there any degree at all of withholding of any type of benefits of any kind whatsoever occurring if the individual does not meet a certain performance par held up by the organization?

What?

5. Does the organization encourage the individual to only read organization-approved materials?

No. They just provide organization-approved materials that people can read freely.

6. Does the organization warn against close affiliations with others that do not share the same views held highly by the organization?

No.

7. Does the organization have dogmatic tenets of doctrine that cannot be supported, proven or substantiated and does the organization require the individual to believe in these tenets without question?

No. Everyone is free to make their own choice. Nothing is “required”.

8. Is the individual threatened in any way, especially by any sort of afterlife doom, if that individual decides to no longer be a member?

No. People who are no longer members usually have a personal reason (illness, family, change of residence). That doesn’t affect friendship or beliefs.

9. Is there guilt and pennance involved for deeds considered “wrong” by the organization but otherwise the rest of the world sees no error?

What would my organization find wrong that no one else in the world sees any error in?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 March 2007 09:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
Jr. Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  68
Joined  2007-02-13

About this whole “Christianity is a cult” thing…. isn’t a cult an organization that worships a human instead of a God? By that definition, it’s not a cult.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 March 2007 12:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  102
Joined  2007-02-13

[quote author=“Bad_Conduct”]

9. Is there guilt and pennance involved for deeds considered “wrong” by the organization but otherwise the rest of the world sees no error?

What would my organization find wrong that no one else in the world sees any error in?

Not praying, blasphemy, heresy, pride etc.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 March 2007 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“Penguin_Factory”]About this whole “Christianity is a cult” thing…. isn’t a cult an organization that worships a human instead of a God? By that definition, it’s not a cult.

from the dictionary:

a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies. 
2. an instance of great veneration of a person, ideal, or thing, esp. as manifested by a body of admirers: the physical fitness cult. 
3. the object of such devotion. 
4. a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc. 
5. Sociology. a group having a sacred ideology and a set of rites centering around their sacred symbols. 
6. a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader. 
7. the members of such a religion or sect. 
8. any system for treating human sickness that originated by a person usually claiming to have sole insight into the nature of disease, and that employs methods regarded as unorthodox or unscientific.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 March 2007 03:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“Bad_Conduct”]

1. Does the organization (Fira’s religion) require that you attend meetings regularily? Is the individual encouraged to be “active” even at the detriment of other social gatherings not fostered by the organization?

No. No one is “required” to go to Church.

Your refutation breaks down the very minute one feels the tug of obligation to go… or to do or be anything or any ideal connected to one’s organization.

Consider many theists simply cannot just quit going to their church.  Why is that?  For many, there is an unhealthy attachment borne out of guilt and fear that if they quit their religion, an awful doom, as prescribed by the cult, awaits them.

2. Does the organization require that you perform regular and consistant work or duties on a gratis basis? Is there guilt induced from authority if any of this gratis work is not performed?

No. No one is “required” to perform regular or consistant word duties.

The requirement is subtle.  I have not been successful in showing many christians how they are being manipulated into performing gratis work duties.

By and large they fail to see it because they are “alive in christ” and accordingly, they feel no pressure to do or behave in any way… they want to do the things they feel their cult persona would have them do.

But.  Consider the beckoning call of the flame of this Jesus persona’s will and spirit.  If you truly are a christian… and I mean to the core… you cannot deny that you are required to do certain activities for this ideal.  Your bible even talks about you as a “faithful and discreet slave” for the Jesus figure… and this figure head is also repeatedly described as your master, and you as the disciple.

The core Christian has a passion to emulate his master. Read your bible, there are many admonishments to “do” and to follow, and take up your cross, and bear the yoke, and be ye therefore perfect.  You might say these are suggestions.  But if you truly are committed to perfecting your faith, they are commands you cannot ignore.

3. Does the organization require that you be tithed or donate monies to it? Is there a witholding of benefit of any degree observed if the individual declines to donate money? Is there any threat, specifically tied to an afterlife doom scenario, if money is not donated?

No. No one is “required” to donate, otherwise it would be a fee and not a donation.

see above.  Many religions strongly encourage giving to the church. There are even more than a few that inform new recruits that if they do not give an awful doom of burning in the afterlife awaits them.  If you are involved with mainstream liberal christianity, you might only be exposed to watch the plate pass around on sunday.  In this scenario, no the pressure to give is not all that great.  I concede that.

But the minute one feels a duty to step up a notch in one’s devotion to the ideals held in his religion and therefore feels a pressure to give money in order to satisfy this devotion…. there you go.

4. Is there any degree at all of withholding of any type of benefits of any kind whatsoever occurring if the individual does not meet a certain performance par held up by the organization?

What?

what, what?  It’s quite simple, really.  In some religions, one cannot marry unless they meet par in giving of ones time, talents and money.  In other religion, one cannot enter sacred buildings unless they declare a level of performance and the others can see an outward sign of devotion.  Classic cult The Moonies actually promote underling recruits up to higher levels of responsibility only when the underling demonstrates his commitment to the ideal way of life prescribed by the cult. 

Most religions far and wide have the process of excommunication and/or disfellowshipment.  One can easily get oneself kicked out of a church for minimal behaviors.

5. Does the organization encourage the individual to only read organization-approved materials?

No. They just provide organization-approved materials that people can read freely.

Of course they do.  There are many christian based religions that discourage their members from reading “damaging” historicity or non faith promoting literature as such material might very well jeopardize the testimony (and subsequently the level of performance withing the cult).  I know this is true in Jehovah’s Witnesses, 7th day adventists, Mormons, and many pentecostal churches forbid it.

In short, all religions have an agenda to protect the fragile faith of their flock.  It is bad for business… and the coffers… not to.

6. Does the organization warn against close affiliations with others that do not share the same views held highly by the organization?

No.

see above.  The more stringent and controlling the cult (i.e. the more obvious or extreme the cult is) the higher this facet of cultdom makes itself manifest.  Many cults now recognize this and are becoming more mainstream and accepting of other ideologies.  This item alone so obviously rings out the cult alarms that cults are forced to reckon with it.  But still, we can observe many cults refusing to back down and the Us vs Them mentality flourishes and is even proudly broadcasted.

7. Does the organization have dogmatic tenets of doctrine that cannot be supported, proven or substantiated and does the organization require the individual to believe in these tenets without question?

No. Everyone is free to make their own choice. Nothing is “required”.

Now this is downright laughable.  The very minute a human aligns himself with any religion, thus begins his journey to perfect his faith, and his actions stemming from this faith following along the tenets prescribed by his chosen religion.

One cannot be a very devout Christian and worship Satan.  Nor can they be a practicing, aligned Buddhist and believe that Jesus died for them and provided the way to eternal life.  Oh I guess they could, but they would fall into the category of rogue or confused quickly enough.

8. Is the individual threatened in any way, especially by any sort of afterlife doom, if that individual decides to no longer be a member?

No. People who are no longer members usually have a personal reason (illness, family, change of residence). That doesn’t affect friendship or beliefs.

If you decide to quit Christianity, the general idea along with that disalignment of ideas is that, as a non christian who has rejected that faith, you will burn in hell forever.

This idea alone keeps many believers in check.  It is a classic cult characteristic.  Reigning its flock in with unproven dogmatic tenets of faith and doctrine.

9. Is there guilt and pennance involved for deeds considered “wrong” by the organization but otherwise the rest of the world sees no error?

What would my organization find wrong that no one else in the world sees any error in?

homosexuality for starters.  Generally, the growing trend of tolerance for other lifestyle and preferences not found in traditional church going minds is extremely disturbing to most church goers.

Many religions also forbid the devotees to see R rated movies, read bawdy romance novels, watch soap operas, drink coca cola, drink coffee, smoke, chew tobacco, take drugs… even medicinal drugs like anti depressants or cholesteral drugs, donate blood even if their child is dying, profane the name of god… the list is quite long.

You are in a cult.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 March 2007 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  195
Joined  2006-11-08

1. Public schooling
2. scholarship applications (education)
3. If you leave out the “afterlife” part then the government wants your money, as well as any other non-prof organization.
4. Could you please clarify this statement.
5. I must agree that this could be a reliable sign of a cult, but I don’t see this practice in any church that I have ever heard of.
6. Do you hang out with people who hold totally different views than you do, especially radically different views? (i.e. you like government, do you hang out with anarchists, you abstain from sex, do you hang out with porn-stars)
7. What do atheists believe that can be proven?
8. That’s more of a religion thing than a cult thing, unless you are asserting that all religions are cults (which I’ll address again later).
9. The laws that our nation holds (i.e. spousal abuse, polygamy, cannibalism, underage sex)


Really, almost all of your questions can be answered using government and government related programs (public education).  If you wanted to ask more “cult” centered questions then how about

1. Does the religious leader you follow try to make you cut off relations to any persons outside of your “fellowship”?
2. Does the religious leader try to control every aspect of your lives?
3. Does the religious leader require that all couples stop having sex while he can have sex with whomever he chooses?
4. Does the religious leader preach regularly on mass suicide?

Those would be some more fitting questions to ask, but if you asked them then Christianity and many other faiths would fall outside of your parameters for “cult-hood”.
That’s probably why you avoided asking the real questions that are associated with cults anyway.  While you may have been trying to make some kind of a logical point, you missed it because you lacked the courage to ask the real questions

knowing that the real questions would actually negate your argument entirely, seeing as how your aim was to pin down Christianity as a cult, not prove that it isn’t.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 March 2007 03:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  621
Joined  2006-12-05

All religions are cults.  Nuff said.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 14 March 2007 03:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  195
Joined  2006-11-08

Wow, that was deep (don’t miss the sarcasm in my statement).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 March 2007 03:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

1. Public schooling
2. scholarship applications (education)
3. If you leave out the “afterlife” part then the government wants your money, as well as any other non-prof organization.
4. Could you please clarify this statement.
5. I must agree that this could be a reliable sign of a cult, but I don’t see this practice in any church that I have ever heard of.
6. Do you hang out with people who hold totally different views than you do, especially radically different views? (i.e. you like government, do you hang out with anarchists, you abstain from sex, do you hang out with porn-stars)
7. What do atheists believe that can be proven?
8. That’s more of a religion thing than a cult thing, unless you are asserting that all religions are cults (which I’ll address again later).
9. The laws that our nation holds (i.e. spousal abuse, polygamy, cannibalism, underage sex)


Really, almost all of your questions can be answered using government and government related programs (public education).

government as a cult.  There are laws that we abide by in our nation, rules and regs, we pay money (taxes) to it but we are free to decide what we want to do.  The prisons are full of people who decide to break laws.  And the money we give our governments?  We all directly benefit from that by means of public schools, libraries, paved roads, running water, police and fire departments, tree trimming, public lands and parks.

If you wanted to ask more “cult” centered questions then how about

1. Does the religious leader you follow try to make you cut off relations to any persons outside of your “fellowship”?
2. Does the religious leader try to control every aspect of your lives?
3. Does the religious leader require that all couples stop having sex while he can have sex with whomever he chooses?
4. Does the religious leader preach regularly on mass suicide?

Those would be some more fitting questions to ask, but if you asked them then Christianity and many other faiths would fall outside of your parameters for “cult-hood”.

point #1: Jesus admonished his followers to leave mother and brother behind and follow him

point #2 Jesus does try to control you.  He is your master, you are his faithful and discreet slave. The more pronounced your faith is, the more willing you are to do his every bidding.  That includes doing every last detail that the leader of your organization requires you.  Like not watching a particular type of movie rating, not drinking a certain beverage, disclosing your misdeeds to other men or women in authority over you so that they can decide what punishments you need in order to be back in alignment with god.  The list is endless.  Who is this person/leader that they should dictate anything in anyone’s life? 

point #3 this does happen in some cults, but in no way creates a broad indicator for all cults. 

point #4 not applicable to all cults.  Read my dictionary definition again a few posts up.  No where does the dictionary define that cults preach mass suicide.

But if you insist, I can make a rather poignant parallel with the cult of christianity.  In the early church, there was much talk about the glory of martyrdom.  Several prominant church leaders glorified their coming death.  There was encouragement for others to die for Jesus’s cause.  You would commit suicide if Jesus told you to.  You would have yourself killed if Jesus required it.  You would if you were devout.  Don’t lie now.  If some rogue FBI agent got a devout christian in a room and told him with a gun pointed at his head that he must deny the christ or be shot through his brain, if he were devout, he would take the bullet.  This is in your scriptures.

That is a bonefide cult mindset.

That’s probably why you avoided asking the real questions that are associated with cults anyway.  While you may have been trying to make some kind of a logical point, you missed it because you lacked the courage to ask the real questions

and I submit to you, that you lack the courage to really examine the cult that you belong to.  It takes a courage to look deep into the flaws of Christianity and call a spade a spade… and actually walk away from it… because it is so seriously flawed.

knowing that the real questions would actually negate your argument entirely, seeing as how your aim was to pin down Christianity as a cult, not prove that it isn’t.

These “real questions”, as you describe them, appear to be desperate attempts to prop your faith up back on that wiggly unstable platform you call absolute truth… but really is not more than a wobbly unproven faith item you hope with all of your heart is really for reals true when it is all said and done.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 March 2007 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

theboythatis writes:

7. What do atheists believe that can be proven?

I can prove to you, without question, that there are thousands of variant fractional sects and denominations stemming from one man named Jesus’ central message.  I can prove that many of these fractured sects completely disagree, vehemently, with their counterparts in religious doctrine. 

I can prove that many of these sects believe that other people who believe in this same Jesus figure are going to roast in hell for eternity because these do not believe in this Jesus figure exactly as they do.

I can prove that your religion is not the only religion that thinks that they are the only group of people who have “god’s truth”.

I can prove to you that if you do not believe ardently in Islam when you die a christian, the Muslim faith believes that you will roast in eternity wearing a skin of molten lava.

If you are a Christian, I can prove that you believe something similar to this with regard to the fate of the Muslim.

Oh I can prove many things.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 March 2007 11:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]  
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  195
Joined  2006-11-08

So far you’ve proven is that people disagree.  Congratulations on stating the obvious.

You’ve also proven that people ardently believe in what they think is right.  Again, congratulations on stating the obvious.

Since you are atheist however, how can you prove that any God does not exist?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 March 2007 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“theboythatis”]So far you’ve proven is that people disagree.  Congratulations on stating the obvious.

I have proven that religion is a jumbled mess of confusion.  So confusing, in fact, that no one seems to be able to find a common general consensus pertaining to how, exactly, a human soul is saved.  Also, please consider what determines how a human will ardently believe, to his death and at the cost of his very life even about any of the gods is directly linked to his/her geographical location of birth…. and NOT linked to any sort of rational data set or formula or scientific means of observation.

or, if you like, what humans end up believing about god, how they are saved, whether or not they are reincarnated after death etc, and how god is or is not on a wide scale also tends to be strongly linked to what the people who raised them believed about all these things.  Or can’t you see this???

You’ve also proven that people ardently believe in what they think is right.  Again, congratulations on stating the obvious.

I have proven that there is no reliable means of determining any truth about any god.

Since you are atheist however, how can you prove that any God does not exist?

standard theist clap trap.  Since you assert this god exists, you can prove him outright first.  Go ahead.  I am a patient man.  But kindly bear in mind that I have already proven that what you do set out to prove will be immediately hounded, discarded, set at naught, eschewed, reprimanded, and villified by the very next theist in line to prove his particular version of god.

Noggin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 March 2007 04:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]  
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  37
Joined  2006-11-01

Let’s see if I got this straight.  If I believed there is no such thing as the supernatural, does my mind’s or my Atheist friends’ pressure for me not to believe in ghosts make me a part of a cult?  Or does it just make me someone trying to believe coherent beliefs?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 16 March 2007 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]  
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1243
Joined  2005-11-14

[quote author=“thelastinking”]Let’s see if I got this straight.  If I believed there is no such thing as the supernatural, does my mind’s or my Atheist friends’ pressure for me not to believe in ghosts make me a part of a cult?  Or does it just make me someone trying to believe coherent beliefs?

huh?  you are smart enough to figure it out.  or not.

Profile
 
 
   
1 of 2
1
 
RSS 2.0     Atom Feed