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Cults

Jarhyn

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An unfortunate fact of the world we live in, and especially for those of us who leverage various aspects of personal cultivation through practices largely seen as "pseudo-religious mumbo-jumbo", we may stand to have a little more vulnerability to such things in certain ways.

One such way that this vulnerability can be and often is leveraged by the unscrupulous is in forming cults.

And while I'm sure many here are more than well aware of cults and cult practices and have well-honed cult detectors wired into them, that's not a universal fact of all wizards and wizard-adjacents.

Generally the construction of a cult is thus: Someone finds something that may allow personal cultivation.

They also, however, see how "they can use this": depending on how awful the leader is, some proportion of knowledge (maybe all of it?) The cult leader has is dumped into a "holy book", right along with whatever other personal interests the leader has in starting the cult machine: sometimes it is money, sometimes it is political influence, sometimes it is sex, sometimes it is for fame, sometimes it is for personal influence or ease of life, and mostly, it's some combination of most of the above.

This phenomena essentially formats itself like a virus: attach something that looks like and reacts like something the body needs to the surface of some payload which will lead to spread, and which accomplishes some objective for the virus.

Some cults, such as Scientology, take it to a whole new level: they operate the tools of enlightened personal cultivation towards emptying the garden of all thoughts but those of the cult leader's command.

Because the mind is wired to feel good through acts of cultivation without respect to their effects, oftentimes this translates to feeling good while being brainwashed. Then, in Scientology, the victims are asked to spend money immediately following the immersion into an "admin access" type state.

It would appear the overall determinant to how bad a cult will be is on how many people manage to "get in on the take". Just one? maybe it is not-so-bad, maybe it's "heavens gate" bad. More than one or two but Less than 50? You get scientology. Two or three, into a whole church structure? That's more "more.ons" or even "Catholics".

Pretty much, the less central control or leverage any organization or central individual has has, the less problematic the group, as a result of the inability to strongly tie payloads to the "bait". Additionally, schisms accelerate this effect of watering down the "payload capacity" of a belief structure.

This suggests that the primary infectiveness of this kind of ideological virus may share a similar trait with other viruses: it is most initially impactful and problematic when it is truly novel.

Scientology is a good example of this: it came in with a cultivation tool that was brand new, and a story that was, while quite bonkers, also completely new, and targeted to a world where speculative fiction was more clearly speculative and less clearly absolute fiction.

Scientology, as the central example cult, has in turn infected a great many people and only recently have inoculations been developed against it, and like any vaccine, there are those who pointedly resist it in any way.

And because it is a chronic ideology, now many children get born into it, trapped often without access to the internet or any other vehicle for information not curated by the cult.

I might ask, what cults have y'all had brushes with in the past? How did they differ in formulation to the standard "new revelation (for only three easy payments*)" 'Classic Cult'? What was the central theme or 'seed theology'? Who was the cultist? How/did they escape?

Let's talk about cults!
 

Incognitus

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I was a Mormon for several years when I was young. I met and married my first wife as a Mormon. Some of the nicest people you could ever meet, but it's 100% a cult, and it's all about control (as it is with all established religions). When you start going to a Mormon church, especially if you were some sort of Christian before, they're very good at not saying too much to scare you away. You'll hear "Jesus" a lot, in the beginning, and not so much "Joseph Smith". After you've been there for awhile, that changes. Testimony day becomes more about someone publicly stating they believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and Jesus becomes just a bit player.

They've very good about keeping the ritual aspects secret when you're new. You won't hear about the underwear, or being "sealed" to your wife and kids in the temple. You definitely won't hear about white salamanders and such for quite awhile.

But then something happens, and they decide you're ready for the entire crazy train. There's a big push to go to temple for various rituals. Now, I lean towards ritual magic pretty hard, so I obviously have no problem with ritual and understand that it can hold power. However, people are different when they return from the temple. It's truly weird.

Most people obviously know about the "magic underwear". I never really had a problem with that, to be honest. If you haven't been to temple, it's very difficult to get anyone to answer questions about the underwear. I finally did get someone to answer me. He told me, the underwear has symbols sewn into it, and it's meant to remind the wearer of the vows they took at the temple. The underwear isn't "magic", it's an intimate, daily, constant remind of whatever the hell it is they agreed to during their temple rituals.

I could never get any first hand details about what happens at the temple. Even the guy I got to talk about the underwear was a full stop once I asked those questions, and I'd been at the church for at least a year at that point. I hadn't been to the temple, tho, and that's the price of admission for that "secret" information. I never went and I eventually left due to what happened with my first wife.

Of course, you can find a lot about this stuff by googling now, but this was decades ago. There was no public Internet. I was still running a local BBS. The only thing Non-Mormons in the Eastern part of the US knew about Mormons was they had a nice choir.

I was dating a Mormon girl, and (oops) she got pregnant. She was 18, so a legal adult. As a nice brainwashed young fellow, the only valid response to this in my mind was to marry her. At this point, she was staying with me.

The church found out and got her mother to come over and pick her up for breakfast. Instead, they took her to the Bishop's house (in Mormonism, a Bishop is the leader of a local congregation) and locked her in a room and refused to let her leave. I had to physically go to the Bishops house, refuse to leave until he heard me out, and convinced him.

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't married her, but that decision ultimately led me to Jaide, so it's hard to wish something didn't happen when it led to the person that makes me the happiest.

That was the end of my involvement in the Mormon church. They have deep community ties and even with outright kidnapping (she repeatedly told them she wanted to leave), it's near impossible to get anyone to do anything against them.

I spent most of my younger life in a Pentacostal church. I even went to Zaire (when it was still Zaire) as a missionary when I was 16. Now those people... they aren't subtle like Mormons are. There was a week long "boot camp" we had to go through before flying out of the US. Ironically, they heavily covered 2 cults and how to convert followers of those 2 cults. To them, that was the Mormons and Catholics. Catholics were never referred to as "Christians". Baptists were, tho.

The Pentacostal church takes damaged people in, especially single mothers, uses them up and spits them out even more damaged when they're done. It's definitely a cult. It's very hard to leave a church. You'll get constant phone calls, visit from church members. Some Pentacostal pastors are batshit insane and super controlling.
 

Jarhyn

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I was a Mormon for several years when I was young. I met and married my first wife as a Mormon. Some of the nicest people you could ever meet, but it's 100% a cult, and it's all about control (as it is with all established religions). When you start going to a Mormon church, especially if you were some sort of Christian before, they're very good at not saying too much to scare you away. You'll hear "Jesus" a lot, in the beginning, and not so much "Joseph Smith". After you've been there for awhile, that changes. Testimony day becomes more about someone publicly stating they believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and Jesus becomes just a bit player.

They've very good about keeping the ritual aspects secret when you're new. You won't hear about the underwear, or being "sealed" to your wife and kids in the temple. You definitely won't hear about white salamanders and such for quite awhile.

But then something happens, and they decide you're ready for the entire crazy train. There's a big push to go to temple for various rituals. Now, I lean towards ritual magic pretty hard, so I obviously have no problem with ritual and understand that it can hold power. However, people are different when they return from the temple. It's truly weird.

Most people obviously know about the "magic underwear". I never really had a problem with that, to be honest. If you haven't been to temple, it's very difficult to get anyone to answer questions about the underwear. I finally did get someone to answer me. He told me, the underwear has symbols sewn into it, and it's meant to remind the wearer of the vows they took at the temple. The underwear isn't "magic", it's an intimate, daily, constant remind of whatever the hell it is they agreed to during their temple rituals.

I could never get any first hand details about what happens at the temple. Even the guy I got to talk about the underwear was a full stop once I asked those questions, and I'd been at the church for at least a year at that point. I hadn't been to the temple, tho, and that's the price of admission for that "secret" information. I never went and I eventually left due to what happened with my first wife.

Of course, you can find a lot about this stuff by googling now, but this was decades ago. There was no public Internet. I was still running a local BBS. The only thing Non-Mormons in the Eastern part of the US knew about Mormons was they had a nice choir.

I was dating a Mormon girl, and (oops) she got pregnant. She was 18, so a legal adult. As a nice brainwashed young fellow, the only valid response to this in my mind was to marry her. At this point, she was staying with me.

The church found out and got her mother to come over and pick her up for breakfast. Instead, they took her to the Bishop's house (in Mormonism, a Bishop is the leader of a local congregation) and locked her in a room and refused to let her leave. I had to physically go to the Bishops house, refuse to leave until he heard me out, and convinced him.

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't married her, but that decision ultimately led me to Jaide, so it's hard to wish something didn't happen when it led to the person that makes me the happiest.

That was the end of my involvement in the Mormon church. They have deep community ties and even with outright kidnapping (she repeatedly told them she wanted to leave), it's near impossible to get anyone to do anything against them.

I spent most of my younger life in a Pentacostal church. I even went to Zaire (when it was still Zaire) as a missionary when I was 16. Now those people... they aren't subtle like Mormons are. There was a week long "boot camp" we had to go through before flying out of the US. Ironically, they heavily covered 2 cults and how to convert followers of those 2 cults. To them, that was the Mormons and Catholics. Catholics were never referred to as "Christians". Baptists were, tho.

The Pentacostal church takes damaged people in, especially single mothers, uses them up and spits them out even more damaged when they're done. It's definitely a cult. It's very hard to leave a church. You'll get constant phone calls, visit from church members. Some Pentacostal pastors are batshit insane and super controlling.
This is about part and parcel what I expected.

It's interesting insofar as my favorite author is a Mormon, though he holds too much power as an author for the church to brand him a heretic.

If I may ask, now that it is less difficult to keep secrets, what is it exactly that they ask the supplicants to speak oaths towards in temple?

I am glad you never submitted to such oaths.
 

Incognitus

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If I may ask, now that it is less difficult to keep secrets, what is it exactly that they ask the supplicants to speak oaths towards in temple?
At the time, I couldn't get many straight answers. I knew there was an initial visit and ritual that was performed after baptism that included vows ("sacred covenants") of some sort related to the church. My guess is there was a lot of "Joseph Smith was a true prophet" type of thing. The church itself actually has a web page with some basic information now, tho I can guarantee it's nowhere near the whole picture.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Once married with children, there are specific rituals done to "seal" your family to you. This was a requirement to be allowed into the highest level of heaven (or, degree of celestial glory, as they call it). This can, strangely, be done after a spouses death by using a proxy. If you are sealed to your spouse and children, you will eventually become "exalted".

It's easy to see where the "sealing" thing came from. At one point in time, Mormons were trying to have as many children as possible, to create, essentially, more Mormons. Plural marriage had more to do with propagating their religion originally than it did with being perverts. They use access to the highest level of heaven as a carrot. When I was a member, there was a lot of pressure for married couples to have at least 5 children. Single women were pushed quite firmly to find a guy and get married and start having children.

The other thing about Mormon's, the church itself is fairly racist and sexist. When I was a member, a person of color could not hold certain positions in the church. At one point, women were also not allowed to hold certain positions. I think they may have backed off on that somewhat, but that's due to pressure from the younger people, not because they've suddenly become enlightened. Early church leaders thought black skin was the result of a curse (Curse of Cain), therefore white people were "closer to God". It's complete white supremacy bullshit garbage. White people are "pure".

The women thing is easy, they consider and expect wive's to be submissive. An entire abusive power structure is built on that. It's why normally good people had no problem kidnapping my pregnant girlfriend even tho she was a legal adult. She was a female, and the Bishop was male, therefore she needed to listen and obey.
 

Jarhyn

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At the time, I couldn't get many straight answers. I knew there was an initial visit and ritual that was performed after baptism that included vows ("sacred covenants") of some sort related to the church. My guess is there was a lot of "Joseph Smith was a true prophet" type of thing. The church itself actually has a web page with some basic information now, tho I can guarantee it's nowhere near the whole picture.
Please, Log in or Register to view URLs content!


Once married with children, there are specific rituals done to "seal" your family to you. This was a requirement to be allowed into the highest level of heaven (or, degree of celestial glory, as they call it). This can, strangely, be done after a spouses death by using a proxy. If you are sealed to your spouse and children, you will eventually become "exalted".

It's easy to see where the "sealing" thing came from. At one point in time, Mormons were trying to have as many children as possible, to create, essentially, more Mormons. Plural marriage had more to do with propagating their religion originally than it did with being perverts. They use access to the highest level of heaven as a carrot. When I was a member, there was a lot of pressure for married couples to have at least 5 children. Single women were pushed quite firmly to find a guy and get married and start having children.

The other thing about Mormon's, the church itself is fairly racist and sexist. When I was a member, a person of color could not hold certain positions in the church. At one point, women were also not allowed to hold certain positions. I think they may have backed off on that somewhat, but that's due to pressure from the younger people, not because they've suddenly become enlightened. Early church leaders thought black skin was the result of a curse (Curse of Cain), therefore white people were "closer to God". It's complete white supremacy bullshit garbage. White people are "pure".

The women thing is easy, they consider and expect wive's to be submissive. An entire abusive power structure is built on that. It's why normally good people had no problem kidnapping my pregnant girlfriend even tho she was a legal adult. She was a female, and the Bishop was male, therefore she needed to listen and obey.
Sweet Baphomet that's fucking terrifying.
 

Nana

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An unfortunate fact of the world we live in, and especially for those of us who leverage various aspects of personal cultivation through practices largely seen as "pseudo-religious mumbo-jumbo", we may stand to have a little more vulnerability to such things in certain ways.

One such way that this vulnerability can be and often is leveraged by the unscrupulous is in forming cults.

And while I'm sure many here are more than well aware of cults and cult practices and have well-honed cult detectors wired into them, that's not a universal fact of all wizards and wizard-adjacents.

Generally the construction of a cult is thus: Someone finds something that may allow personal cultivation.

They also, however, see how "they can use this": depending on how awful the leader is, some proportion of knowledge (maybe all of it?) The cult leader has is dumped into a "holy book", right along with whatever other personal interests the leader has in starting the cult machine: sometimes it is money, sometimes it is political influence, sometimes it is sex, sometimes it is for fame, sometimes it is for personal influence or ease of life, and mostly, it's some combination of most of the above.

This phenomena essentially formats itself like a virus: attach something that looks like and reacts like something the body needs to the surface of some payload which will lead to spread, and which accomplishes some objective for the virus.

Some cults, such as Scientology, take it to a whole new level: they operate the tools of enlightened personal cultivation towards emptying the garden of all thoughts but those of the cult leader's command.

Because the mind is wired to feel good through acts of cultivation without respect to their effects, oftentimes this translates to feeling good while being brainwashed. Then, in Scientology, the victims are asked to spend money immediately following the immersion into an "admin access" type state.

It would appear the overall determinant to how bad a cult will be is on how many people manage to "get in on the take". Just one? maybe it is not-so-bad, maybe it's "heavens gate" bad. More than one or two but Less than 50? You get scientology. Two or three, into a whole church structure? That's more "more.ons" or even "Catholics".

Pretty much, the less central control or leverage any organization or central individual has has, the less problematic the group, as a result of the inability to strongly tie payloads to the "bait". Additionally, schisms accelerate this effect of watering down the "payload capacity" of a belief structure.

This suggests that the primary infectiveness of this kind of ideological virus may share a similar trait with other viruses: it is most initially impactful and problematic when it is truly novel.

Scientology is a good example of this: it came in with a cultivation tool that was brand new, and a story that was, while quite bonkers, also completely new, and targeted to a world where speculative fiction was more clearly speculative and less clearly absolute fiction.

Scientology, as the central example cult, has in turn infected a great many people and only recently have inoculations been developed against it, and like any vaccine, there are those who pointedly resist it in any way.

And because it is a chronic ideology, now many children get born into it, trapped often without access to the internet or any other vehicle for information not curated by the cult.

I might ask, what cults have y'all had brushes with in the past? How did they differ in formulation to the standard "new revelation (for only three easy payments*)" 'Classic Cult'? What was the central theme or 'seed theology'? Who was the cultist? How/did they escape?

Let's talk about cults!
Not to be a stick in the mud but could you offer a definition for the usage of the word cult that is going to be germane to the rest of the conversation?
Way too many people rely on "common sense" in such matters and not consider the experience or understanding of others and even more of us lack the intellectual honesty needed to acknowledge they simply don't know something.
So for my benefit, if no one else's, what is a cult? What makes it good/bad? When is this definition applicable and not another?
Thank you for entertaining my ignorance on the issue and I pray that your explanation equips me to participate constructively in the conversation.
 

Mider2009

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I was a Mormon for several years when I was young. I met and married my first wife as a Mormon. Some of the nicest people you could ever meet, but it's 100% a cult, and it's all about control (as it is with all established religions). When you start going to a Mormon church, especially if you were some sort of Christian before, they're very good at not saying too much to scare you away. You'll hear "Jesus" a lot, in the beginning, and not so much "Joseph Smith". After you've been there for awhile, that changes. Testimony day becomes more about someone publicly stating they believe Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and Jesus becomes just a bit player.

They've very good about keeping the ritual aspects secret when you're new. You won't hear about the underwear, or being "sealed" to your wife and kids in the temple. You definitely won't hear about white salamanders and such for quite awhile.

But then something happens, and they decide you're ready for the entire crazy train. There's a big push to go to temple for various rituals. Now, I lean towards ritual magic pretty hard, so I obviously have no problem with ritual and understand that it can hold power. However, people are different when they return from the temple. It's truly weird.

Most people obviously know about the "magic underwear". I never really had a problem with that, to be honest. If you haven't been to temple, it's very difficult to get anyone to answer questions about the underwear. I finally did get someone to answer me. He told me, the underwear has symbols sewn into it, and it's meant to remind the wearer of the vows they took at the temple. The underwear isn't "magic", it's an intimate, daily, constant remind of whatever the hell it is they agreed to during their temple rituals.

I could never get any first hand details about what happens at the temple. Even the guy I got to talk about the underwear was a full stop once I asked those questions, and I'd been at the church for at least a year at that point. I hadn't been to the temple, tho, and that's the price of admission for that "secret" information. I never went and I eventually left due to what happened with my first wife.

Of course, you can find a lot about this stuff by googling now, but this was decades ago. There was no public Internet. I was still running a local BBS. The only thing Non-Mormons in the Eastern part of the US knew about Mormons was they had a nice choir.

I was dating a Mormon girl, and (oops) she got pregnant. She was 18, so a legal adult. As a nice brainwashed young fellow, the only valid response to this in my mind was to marry her. At this point, she was staying with me.

The church found out and got her mother to come over and pick her up for breakfast. Instead, they took her to the Bishop's house (in Mormonism, a Bishop is the leader of a local congregation) and locked her in a room and refused to let her leave. I had to physically go to the Bishops house, refuse to leave until he heard me out, and convinced him.

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't married her, but that decision ultimately led me to Jaide, so it's hard to wish something didn't happen when it led to the person that makes me the happiest.

That was the end of my involvement in the Mormon church. They have deep community ties and even with outright kidnapping (she repeatedly told them she wanted to leave), it's near impossible to get anyone to do anything against them.

I spent most of my younger life in a Pentacostal church. I even went to Zaire (when it was still Zaire) as a missionary when I was 16. Now those people... they aren't subtle like Mormons are. There was a week long "boot camp" we had to go through before flying out of the US. Ironically, they heavily covered 2 cults and how to convert followers of those 2 cults. To them, that was the Mormons and Catholics. Catholics were never referred to as "Christians". Baptists were, tho.

The Pentacostal church takes damaged people in, especially single mothers, uses them up and spits them out even more damaged when they're done. It's definitely a cult. It's very hard to leave a church. You'll get constant phone calls, visit from church members. Some Pentacostal pastors are batshit insane and super controlling.
Wow, Ive heard the underwear and how it’s supposed to keep you out of hell or something n how supposedly they never take it off.

in Catholicism (in which I’m baptized) there’s a similar thing that is worn that’s suppose to keep you out of hell. One can also pray the rosary and such to keep out of hell...though it’s def not a cult like that. Though there are a few cult like groups like the wacko nuns like mother Teresa who allowed poor suffering people to die in her care while she lived in luxury

i use to go to a church, def not a cult but we were told we could never marry outside the church only other members, one woman decided to ignore this n started dating a man in the church...the church looked down in them because he wasn’t “legally” divorced by their definition but never shunned them or threw them out.

ive also witnessed extremist rabbi (far from the norm) tell young kids that looking at woman, masterbation, etc will get them sent To hell for all eternity
 

Mider2009

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Not to be a stick in the mud but could you offer a definition for the usage of the word cult that is going to be germane to the rest of the conversation?
Way too many people rely on "common sense" in such matters and not consider the experience or understanding of others and even more of us lack the intellectual honesty needed to acknowledge they simply don't know something.
So for my benefit, if no one else's, what is a cult? What makes it good/bad? When is this definition applicable and not another?
Thank you for entertaining my ignorance on the issue and I pray that your explanation equips me to participate constructively in the conversation.
I think in my opinion at least...a cult seeks to force their beliefs on you sometimes even by force. Also there’s no leeway in beliefs one cannot have a different opinion, and of course the cult usually revolves around a charismatic leader.

in my observance cults do things like force kids to marry adults, ban people from seeing a dr, deny science. like the morons who think men lived with Dinosaurs no how much evidence they see

in my personal experience, the threat of eternal hell is one of the biggest tools. Although very unpleasant would you listen to some wacko if you knew punishment in the afterlife wasn’t forever?
 

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I think in my opinion at least...a cult seeks to force their beliefs on you sometimes even by force. Also there’s no leeway in beliefs one cannot have a different opinion, and of course the cult usually revolves around a charismatic leader.

in my observance cults do things like force kids to marry adults, ban people from seeing a dr, deny science. like the morons who think men lived with Dinosaurs no how much evidence they see

in my personal experience, the threat of eternal hell is one of the biggest tools. Although very unpleasant would you listen to some wacko if you knew punishment in the afterlife wasn’t forever?
So within the above parameters Christianity and Islam are both cults as are most magical traditions as they all have decidedly unscientific methods & outcomes.

I'm seriously adverse to the use of the word cult as a negative because it lends itself to inconsistent application yet carries a tremendous amount of authority. I'd rather call the problematic practices out specifically so that they can be addressed specifically and directly instead of wasting time listening to someone defend themselves against a particular label and never get to the point where we're discussing the problem behavior or traits.

But that's just me.
 

Mider2009

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So within the above parameters Christianity and Islam are both cults as are most magical traditions as they all have decidedly unscientific methods & outcomes.

I'm seriously adverse to the use of the word cult as a negative because it lends itself to inconsistent application yet carries a tremendous amount of authority. I'd rather call the problematic practices out specifically so that they can be addressed specifically and directly instead of wasting time listening to someone defend themselves against a particular label and never get to the point where we're discussing the problem behavior or traits.

But that's just me.
Some Christian sects and Islamic sects can def be cultish

The church started out with very mystic ideas and were stamped out, Islam has its extremist views
 

Jarhyn

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So within the above parameters Christianity and Islam are both cults as are most magical traditions as they all have decidedly unscientific methods & outcomes.

I'm seriously adverse to the use of the word cult as a negative because it lends itself to inconsistent application yet carries a tremendous amount of authority. I'd rather call the problematic practices out specifically so that they can be addressed specifically and directly instead of wasting time listening to someone defend themselves against a particular label and never get to the point where we're discussing the problem behavior or traits.

But that's just me.
No, I would say they are "religions".

They are religions around which a great many cults have arisen, and some of which are formatted to readily center around cult mechanics, but the religions themselves are not "cults".

Religion is to cult like diagram is to circuit is like soul to flesh.

The religion can be picked up and wielded without attaching to the cult, but it takes a keen eye as to see where the "cult funnels" of the religion are and avoiding them widely.

Indeed discussing the traits is the point here, I think, and perhaps identifying active cults and their funnels, for the sake of generally understanding and avoidance.
 

Mider2009

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No, I would say they are "religions".

They are religions around which a great many cults have arisen, and some of which are formatted to readily center around cult mechanics, but the religions themselves are not "cults".

Religion is to cult like diagram is to circuit is like soul to flesh.

The religion can be picked up and wielded without attaching to the cult, but it takes a keen eye as to see where the "cult funnels" of the religion are and avoiding them widely.

Indeed discussing the traits is the point here, I think, and perhaps identifying active cults and their funnels, for the sake of generally understanding and avoidance.
As a former Christian of over 30 years you are incorrect

Many Christian sects are cults in the negative sense as are the extremist Muslim groups
 

Jarhyn

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As a former Christian of over 30 years you are incorrect

Many Christian sects are cults in the negative sense as are the extremist Muslim groups
I'm being very precise with language. I am drawing a division in concept between "religion: text on a page which professes to be true" and "cult: an organization of humans"

The sects are cults. The religion is not, though some religions are shaped explicitly to become cults when people organize around them.
 

Mider2009

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I'm being very precise with language. I am drawing a division in concept between "religion: text on a page which professes to be true" and "cult: an organization of humans"

The sects are cults. The religion is not, though some religions are shaped explicitly to become cults when people organize around them.
The sects are made up of people...the religions are formed by people

Is the whole religion a cult? No but much of it is

denying science, believing the Bible Is literal, threats of hell, denying history, etc is all cult and negative.

also thinking you’re right n everyone’s wrong...that’s def a cult
 

Diluculo_DelFuego

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I'd like to derail JCI bashing, and discuss magic groups as cults.
I'm not currently aware of any, but it would be enlightening.

Religion emptying your pocketbook can be a method of control.

Groups that specialize in recovery operate very cult like, the highest factor is strong discouragement to not date other recovered. Or be shunned.

Network marketing groups like Amway, Shaklee, Network 21, Life, Life Leadership, etc. All seem to be like the guy who ran something like Dare To Be Rich or Dare To Be Great, a Ponzi scheme of sorts.

Then there are social groups that can be cult like as well. Chicago Social, New York Social, LA Social etc
 

Frater Dag

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This is about part and parcel what I expected.

It's interesting insofar as my favorite author is a Mormon, though he holds too much power as an author for the church to brand him a heretic.

If I may ask, now that it is less difficult to keep secrets, what is it exactly that they ask the supplicants to speak oaths towards in temple?

I am glad you never submitted to such oaths.

Would this be Orson Scott Card?
 

Jarhyn

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The sects are made up of people...the religions are formed by people

Is the whole religion a cult? No but much of it is

denying science, believing the Bible Is literal, threats of hell, denying history, etc is all cult and negative.

also thinking you’re right n everyone’s wrong...that’s def a cult
No, religions are written by people, generally on the basis of assumptions.
Would this be Orson Scott Card?
Naw, that fucker is a toolbag.

I'm thinking Brandon Sanderson.
 

Mider2009

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No, religions are written by people, generally on the basis of assumptions.

Naw, that fucker is a toolbag.

I'm thinking Brandon Sanderson.
That’s what I’m saying...religions are made up and created by people, maybe assumption maybe a spirit told them, honestly they’re collective belief gives it power

anyway I’m js the Christian church and Islam can be considered to have cult elements

In the basic definition all a cult is is a system revolving around someone...in the more extreme cases...well that’s what we are discussing
 

Jarhyn

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That’s what I’m saying...religions are made up and created by people, maybe assumption maybe a spirit told them, honestly they’re collective belief gives it power

anyway I’m js the Christian church and Islam can be considered to have cult elements

In the basic definition all a cult is is a system revolving around someone...in the more extreme cases...well that’s what we are discussing
What we are having a conflict over is a "use of language" issue.

I use the word "religion" in a fundamentally different way than you normally process the idea.

What a religion to me is NOT an organization of people but an organization of words.

The organization of words is person-agnostic: it is not a cult even if it happens to be sitting on the desk of a cultist being read.

A cult is a whole, operational unit.

The religion is like a genetic sequence. You are not merely 23 chromosomes but rather a machine constructed by, of, and around those chromosomes.

A cult is not a "religion" in this use of language I am making, but rather a machine constructed by, of, and around a religion.
 

Mider2009

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What we are having a conflict over is a "use of language" issue.

I use the word "religion" in a fundamentally different way than you normally process the idea.

What a religion to me is NOT an organization of people but an organization of words.

The organization of words is person-agnostic: it is not a cult even if it happens to be sitting on the desk of a cultist being read.

A cult is a whole, operational unit.

The religion is like a genetic sequence. You are not merely 23 chromosomes but rather a machine constructed by, of, and around those chromosomes.

A cult is not a "religion" in this use of language I am making, but rather a machine constructed by, of, and around a religion.
You opened a thread for discussion, we are having a discussion...and I’m discussing the cult elements of Christianity n Islam.

Yes well you'd be wrong...religion is a system of faith n worship, to me it’s a way of man trying to understand God...whether it directly comes from God or not...if one believes then it has power.

of course using religion and acting a certain way..aligning energies can get you in touch with God, though some are in touch with other forces.

well now your just sporting mumbo jumbo...

religions are by definition cults...in the most basic definition of cult..

Cult definition from Oxford Language a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.

but as with all definitions it has many other meanings...another meaning is
  1. a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister.
    "a network of Satan-worshiping cults"

  2. a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
    "a cult of personality surrounding the leaders"


 
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