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Getting On : Faith

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from oz
Saturday, January 11, 2003 - 05:53

words change in meaning over time. Yes the word cult has become a loaded term I agree, however these groups known as cults are identifiable. A more accurate description would be "a group that abuses an individuals rights and freedoms" and it sure sounds like you were all in one of those
(reply to this comment)
From Fish
Tuesday, January 14, 2003, 16:17

I wasn't saying all cults are bad, sociologists have done research on some and generally they are found to be unharmful, athought anti-cult orgnizations would have some believe otherwise. The cult I grew up in was harmful but not all cults are.(reply to this comment
From moon beam
Tuesday, November 30, 2004, 11:59

I disagree, to be labeled a cult or sect you have to fall under certain guidlines/work within the same formula.
Are Cults Harmful?

Every cult can be defined as a group having all of the following five characteristics:

1) It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members

2) It forms an elitist totalitarian society.

3) Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma.

4) It believes 'the end justifies the means' in order to solicit funds and recruit people.

5) Its wealth does not benefit its members or society.

To remain within the strict mental and social confines of a cult for even a short time can have the following disastrous effects:

* Loss of choice and free will.
* Diminished intellectual ability, vocabulary and sense of humour.
* Reduced use of irony, abstractions and metaphors.
* Reduced capacity to form flexible and intimate relationships.
* Poor judgement.
* Physical deterioration.
* Malnutrition.
* Hallucinations, panic, dissociation, guilt, identity diffusion and paranoia.
* Neurotic, psychotic or suicidal tendencies.

There may be some members in our society that call themselves experts and who have studied this phenomena and choose to ignore the issues so that they still have something to study, and who refuse to believe the stories of ex-members, opting instead for the cult line, that they blame the victims and apostates, a loaded and dehumanising term, implying that we are angry and bitter so therefore untrustworthy.
Would anyone say that about the victims of racism, sexism and rape? Yet the victims of "cultism" have allegedly brought it upon themselves. I don't believe that my parents choice was purely voluntary and in my case I had no choice.
(reply to this comment
From moon beam
Tuesday, November 30, 2004, 12:10

The assult is on your emotions, not on your intellect.
The two basic principles of psychological coercion are:

1) If you can make a person BEHAVE the way you want, you can make that person BELIEVE the way you want.
2) Sudden, drastic changes in environment lead to heightened suggestibility and to drastic changes in attitudes and beliefs.
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