What makes a cult?


(ACD) #1

Continuing the discussion from The art of disagreeing (community guidelines):

<<Here are 10 warning signs of a potentially unsafe group or leader.
• Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
• No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
• No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget or expenses, such as an independently audited financial statement.
• Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
• There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
• Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
• There are records, books, news articles, or broadcast reports that document the abuses of the group/leader.
• Followers feel they can never be “good enough”.
• The group/leader is always right.
• The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.>>


(Bill Ames) #2

A cult can be many things. Loyalty to a brand of coffee is cult like. Cults are intended for weak minds. It is unlikely anyone who is in a cult would understand your descriptions and those who have strong minds will see it as just stating the obvious.


(ACD) #3

This definition is too broad. It is analogous to saying that rape is sex initiated by a man.


(Bill Ames) #4

Anything that requires an individual to stop thinking, to stop questioning what they hear or see, to believe things without question should be suspect. Many do not have the will power or the intellect to question. These are things they should have been taught by their parents and educational system. We need to stop rewarding people for conforming, for just doing the same things with different settings. Life is more than a job, a business, it is your chance to contribute to what is. This will be used by the next generation as what was. You will reach a point where you will be creating the what will be. Perhaps by then there will be thinking minds again.


(ACD) #5

I agree but suggest that your description of today’s mindset goes beyond cultism. Cults are, in my opnion, best defined as non-mainstream groups populated by members adhering to the unreasonable tenets of a leader. The Manson Family.


(Bill Ames) #6

If you have people who follow a mad man you must hold them responsible for their actions. I am sure that in the pool of 7 billion you can find many, too many, people who lack the ability to think responsively and will follow almost any evil.


(ACD) #7

"In a time of rapid change, huge movements of people and a general sense of instability, people are naturally going to seek security and stability. Cults and totalist regimes thrive in these conditions. Given the right circumstances, almost anyone is vulnerable to the psychological and situational pressures I have discussed. The respected scholars in my field have repeated over and over again that the way to protect ourselves is through knowledge. In 1952, Asch wrote: ‘The greater man’s ignorance of the principles of his social surroundings, the more subject is he to their control; and the greater his knowledge of their operations and of their necessary consequences, the freer he can become with regard to them.’ "


(Bill Ames) #8

Is everyone a cult unto themselves or must they always join one every four years or so?


(ACD) #9

“… John Bowlby’s attachment theory. This states that both children and adults will usually seek closeness to perceived safe others when stressed (even if only symbolically in the case of adults) in order to gain protection from threat.”


(Charity Wairimu Latz) #10

A cult is also all about one or a very chosen few manipulating and dominating,others ,in this case the majority .Cults start off in very subtle ways
using some form of doctrines.As the cult leader(s),gain trust from the members they slowly but surely become more controlling and abusive both physically and emotionally .Cults are mainly located in guarded, enclosed locations.Leaving a cult is not permissible and many have been hurt or killed trying to escape.Women and girl children are usually 2nd class and sexually exploited.