Cult, church - what's the difference?

 
ShieldAxe
 
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ShieldAxe
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20 May 2005 09:27
 

They're both the same to me.  One's just more 'accepted' than the other.

 
 
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MrMody
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25 May 2005 07:10
 

I don’t know would said it, but the best quote I every heard about the definition of a cult was “A cult is any religion I don’t like”.

I think to most people a cult is when the leadership of a group tries to maintain total control of every aspect of its members lives.  And cults don’t have to be religious, just look at North Korea.

 
 
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Wotansson
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04 June 2005 17:58
 

MrMody wrote:

I don’t know would said it, but the best quote I every heard about the definition of a cult was “A cult is any religion I don’t like”.

I think to most people a cult is when the leadership of a group tries to maintain total control of every aspect of its members lives. And cults don’t have to be religious, just look at North Korea.

If you are religious, then a cult is any and all religions but yours.

To the Catholic, any other Christian religion is automatically a cult as are most non-Christian religions. To the Southern Baptist, Catholics, Mormons and any other Christian non-fundamentalists are cults, as are all non-Christian faiths.  But don’t believe me - find a Catholic and a Baptist and ask them.

To the non-religious, they are all cults.


Stay Well
Wot

 
 
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Anonymous
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15 June 2005 19:51
 

[quote author=“ShieldAxe”]They’re both the same to me.  One’s just more ‘accepted’ than the other.

I agree, most denominations like to point the finger at each other. What gets to me it the way that different denominations handle it…ie.. when one of their own run a muck, go off and become a ‘cult’. To me most of them are nothing but small business enterprises or entrepreneural endeavors.

At least the great number of theology students can start their own businesses after completing their studies. The religious world is becoming overrun with these kinds of ‘bugs’ in the system.

Some of the individuals who believe they have the ‘right’ way….have made it to the big time…lots of profit and a very nice lifestyle.

 
 
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Anonymous
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16 June 2005 18:31
 

Guest, yeah.  Too bad you have to live the life of a liar to keep up such a lifestyle.  Then again, who knows?  Maybe once you make enough, you’re elevated to level “diamond” where you can buy your own private island, and start being sincere with yourself away from the many cronies who fall for the cult’s dreck.

 
 
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snakechic
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17 June 2005 11:24
 

[quote author=“Slimmins”]Guest, yeah.  Too bad you have to live the life of a liar to keep up such a lifestyle.  Then again, who knows?  Maybe once you make enough, you’re elevated to level “diamond” where you can buy your own private island, and start being sincere with yourself away from the many cronies who fall for the cult’s dreck.

Guest was me - Na…the few case studies I’ve made of ‘lesser’ level con artistees is that they rarely make enough money to satisfy their needs. A couple of mill - peanuts these days for such men of high self regard.
Its quite pathetic…ie. one of their ‘flock’ inherits some dosh and hands over 10%, which means the ‘high priest’ gets a new concrete driveway and so on and so on….poor buggers live hand to mouth really smile

For me the greatest payback is that they face old age and death….
and with that comes fear like you wouldn’t believe…..<gleeful chuckling>....of loosing control of the power and money!

 
 
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riomarcos
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15 December 2005 12:17
 

same sh*t different smell…

 
 
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Noggin
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16 December 2005 02:42
 

Hey there.  You are reading the words of a former cult magnet.  I’d be walking along innocently and just fall right into one.  Oops. 

**hangs head in bewilderment**

I have already posted about my Mormon experience.  Now, for your consideration, I give a nutshell depiction of my 12 month stint as an Amway distributor in Provo, Utah (upline diamond Hal Golden if you must know). 

I got pitched by a good friend who had this friend who was a millionaire (Hal).  Being young and dumb (25ish) I gave the “millionaire” a thumbs up and joined on the spot.

I distinctly recall being profoundly confused as to why everyone did not join this Amway organization.  We could all be millionaires in 6 to 18 months!  Wha?  Why would anyone turn this down?  The fact that my my friend declined to join was irrelevant.  I saw the potential, he didn’t.  My upline confirmed and praised me for having such “vision” and “wisdom” at such a young age.

**laughs** Sucker.  (Who me?)

Full steam ahead.  I did everything by the book.  Tapes, books, seminars, out of state functions, mega functions.  I pined away for the time that I too would be financially free.

Turns out, I was the only one I talked to for the next 12 months that also saw this vast and great potential.  No one bought into the Amway ideal… or excuse me… we were forbidden to call it Amway… it was to be referred as Britt Worldwide.  Not a soul bought into the Britt Worldwide Eutopia I was selling. 

(I hear they call it Quixar now.  Reinvention, call it whatever, it is still an unethical scam.)

Regardless, I was taught how to troll for recruits and did so in the Provo grocery stores, hardware stores… you name it.  It was pathetic.  I was taught how to be predatory, deceptive, and manipulative.  I was committed to talk to at least 5-10 people a day and I excelled at that. 

Each person I came in contact with said no.  But my upline sure admired my stamina.  At one point, he accidentally said he was amazed I kept at it for as long as I was.  And he mumbled something to express how most don’t make it past the first 3 to 6 months of rejection.  That only galvanized my resolve.  I combatted my doubts with constant indoctrination.  I was encouraged to quit talking or associating with the “dream stealers” as they would not understand my goals and one had to remain faithful to these goals.  I listened to Amway taped seminars every single day in my car on the way to work.

About those tapes and seminars.  The money culled from them goes into the upline’s pockets.  That is the bulk of their profit structure not the actual product.  Now I understand why all that bullshit was emphasized so heavily.

Heavy indoctrination meant I formed a new filter with which I viewed even my family.  Looking back, I can see how they quickly changed in my eyes as I became all things Amway.  It is shocking and disgusting to see, in hindsight, how my upline preyed upon me and the others in their groups.

In this case, Amway is also a religion in part.  At every event there was religious overtones and fundie christian speak.  There were sunday Amway church services that, if you were “hardcore” and serious about growing your Amway “business”, you would attend.  Those were creepy.  A major emphasis was placed on Jesus helping their “businesses” to grow and set them free from their financial troubles.  Scriptures like “And the truth shall set you free” were warped into Amway parallels.  The Truth of Amway would set one free financially.

There was euphoric absolution at these major event functions.  Grown men openly crying in front of their wives.  Men hugging men and rededicating themselves to contacting even more people the next month.  People openly praising and crediting god for the reason their business was succeeding.  But my “business” was failing… so what did that mean?  Oh yes, that’s right… god is proving me… god is putting me through the refiner’s fire… think of how powerfully motivating you will be when you finally make it to the top!

Aw come on already.

Amway is a business cult and a religion.. or at least taps into the brainwashing effects of religion to further the tendrels ability to latch onto an innocent persons very soul.  I think any organization that has a skewed insider’s view of the world.. an Us vs Them mentality… and a heavy handed over reaching attempt to control what one thinks and who he associates with is a cult.  That Amway crossed this line for cult and religion amazes me that it still flourishes.

I think that is enough for now.

Noggin

 
TheChampion
 
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TheChampion
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16 December 2005 04:13
 

Hi Noggin, I feel for you. I remember way back about 20 years ago (early 80’s) being a dumb 20 year old and being tricked into going to a “financial” seminar.

So we get there and everyone is excited and I’m bewildered as to what all the excitement is about. It’s in a hotel ballroom or a very large conference room in a business, can’t remember.

So the lights went low and like a show, a spotlighted MC went up front. They showed a video on a large screen and it showed fancy cars and lots successful people lounging around their pools in their mansions. After the video, lights still low, they introduced the speaker, who came running from the back. He ran up to the front and gave a wizbang speech and later, everyone was wowed and was signing up. I of course, was a broke and going to school and thought it was stupid. They tried to make me feel bad, You have to start now, don’t waist time, etc. So I never saw that group again.

Later, in the early 90’s I was again tricked by this couple I knew as acquaintances. They mentioned they had a business proposition for me. I asked if it was Amway and they said no. I went over to their house as they made is sound pretty lucrative, but were secret about it. When I got there, lo and behold, it was Amway after all, probably disguised in a different name, but they were using Amway products. What a waist of time that was.

 
 
 
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snakechic
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17 January 2006 13:50
 

[quote author=“Noggin”]Hey there.  You are reading the words of a former cult magnet.  I’d be walking along innocently and just fall right into one.  Oops. 

**hangs head in bewilderment**


Noggin

LOL

Hey…what comes first an egg or the chicken.? ..eh!..I’ve heard of a member of Mary Kay (full on yay team building shit) lost her head and joined up at the nearest penticostal church. Go figure?

Amway, Mary Kay etc have been started up and run by christian wackjobs so its little wonder really that its the same deal.

 
 
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jsantiago
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09 February 2006 14:34
 

Generally, cults are considered to be new religious movements (the “new religious movement” language is the pc phrase you’ll hear used in academic conversations on the topic).  This is consistent with some of what has been said in this thread.  A religion is established nonsense, a cult is a newer form of nonsense.

 
 
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Rod
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10 February 2006 02:00
 

Later, in the early 90’s I was again tricked by this couple I knew as acquaintances. They mentioned they had a business proposition for me. I asked if it was Amway and they said no. I went over to their house as they made is sound pretty lucrative, but were secret about it. When I got there, lo and behold, it was Amway after all, probably disguised in a different name, but they were using Amway products. What a waist of time that was.

Same thing happened to me, Champ. Gee, you can be reasonable once in a while. Who would have guessed?

Rod