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Encyclopedia > Cult

Cult typically refers to a cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture considers outside the mainstream, with a notably positive or negative popular perception. In common or populist usage, "cult" has a positive connotation for groups of art, music, writing, fiction, and fashion devotees,[1] but a negative connotation for new religious, extreme political, questionable therapeutic, and pyramidal business groups.[2] For this reason, most, if not all, non-fan groups that are called cults reject this label.

Contents

A group's populist cult status begins as rumors of its novel belief system, its great devotions, its idiosyncratic practices, its perceived harmful or beneficial effects on members, or its perceived opposition to the interests of mainstream cultures and governments. Cult rumors most often refer to artistic and fashion movements of passing interest, but persistent rumors may escalate popular concern about relatively small and recently founded religious movements, or non-religious groups, perceived to engage in excessive member control or exploitation.


Some anthropologists and sociologists studying cults have argued that no one has yet been able to define “cult” in a way that enables the term to identify only groups that have been identified as problematic. However, without the "problematic" concern, scientific criteria of characteristics attributed to cults do exist.[3] A little-known example is the Alexander and Rollins, 1984, scientific study concluding that the socially well-received group Alcoholics Anonymous is a cult by using the model of Lifton's thought reform techniques and applying those to AA group’s indoctrination methodology.[4] Even though the elements exist, several researchers pointed out the benefit of the organization. Vaillant, 2005,[5] concluded that AA is beneficial, though he was also a member of their board. Though usually popular with the public, AA has some cult-apostate-style critics of their methodology and history (see Cult#External links).[6] See Anthropology. ... This article provides a list of noted sociologists and major contributors to sociology (even if they did not primarily work as sociologists): Contents: Top - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z... AA meeting sign Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is an informal meeting society for recovering alcoholics, its members state their primary purpose as, to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety. ... Cult typically refers to a cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture considers outside the mainstream, with a notably positive or negative popular perception. ...


Laypersons participate in cultic studies to a degree not found in other academic disciplines, making it difficult to demarcate the boundaries of science from theology, politics, news reporting, fashion, and family cultural values. From about 1920 onward,[7] the populist negative connotation progressively interfered with scientific study using the neutral historical meaning of "cult" in the sociology of religion.[8] A 20th century attempt by sociologists to replace "cult" with the term New Religious Movement (NRM), was rejected by the public [9] and only partly accepted by the scientific community. [10] // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ...


During the 20th century groups referred to as cults by governments and media became globally controversial. The televised rise and fall of less than 20 destructive cults known for mass suicide and murder tarred hundreds of NRM groups having less serious government and civil legal entanglements, against a background of thousands of unremarkable NRM groups known only to their neighbors. Following the Solar Temple destructive cult incidents on two continents, France authorized the 1995 Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France. This commission set a mostly non-controversial standard for human rights objections to exploitative group practices, and mandated a controversial remedy for cultic abuse, known in English as cult watching, which was quietly adopted by other countries. The United States responded with human rights challenges to French cult control policies, and France charged the U.S. with interfering in French internal affairs. The United States does not have a classification for cults in its legal system.[11] In recent years, France's troublesome public cult watching lists appear to have been retired in favor of confidential police intelligence gathering. Death cult redirects here. ... The Order of the Solar Temple also known as Ordre du Temple Solaire (OTS) in French, and the International Chivalric Organization of the Solar Tradition or simply as The Solar Temple was a secret society based upon the new age myth of the continuing existence of the Knights Templar (see... The French authorities set up the Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France (Commission parlementaire sur les sectes en France) on 11 July 1995 following the events involving the members of the Order of the Solar Temple in late 1994 in the French region of Vercors, in Switzerland and in Canada. ...


New religions are typically considered "cults" before they are considered religions,[12] by sociological science, by Christian Evangelical/Fundamentalist religious theology, and by the secular public – yet those three classes are each using different-meaning words, homonyms[13] that are all spelled c-u-l-t. Most people know only the meaning of "cult" they were raised with, which can result in homonymic conflict, a communicative conflict with people who use a different definition of the same spelling. This results in confusion, misunderstanding, and resentment between members of groups referred to as cults, and members of the public. The simplest ways to avoid homonymic conflict are to learn more meanings of c-u-l-t such as are shown and discussed in this article, and to ask people what they mean when they use the word "cult".[14] Homonyms (in Greek homoios = identical and onoma = name) are words which have the same form (orthographic/phonetic) but unrelated meaning. ...


Definitions

The literal and traditional meaning of the word cult is derived from the Latin cultus, meaning "care" or "adoration."[15] In English, "cult" remains neutral and a technical term within this context to refer to the "cult of Artemis at Ephesus" and the "cult figures" that accompanied it. For other uses, see Latins and Latin (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Artemis (disambiguation). ... For the town in the southern United States, see Ephesus, Georgia. ...


In non-English European terms, the cognates of the English word "cult" are neutral, and refer mainly to divisions within a single faith, a case where English speakers might use the word "sect," as in "Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism are sects (or denominations) within Christianity." In French or Spanish, culte or culto simply means "worship" or "religious attendance"; thus an association cultuelle is an association whose goal is to organize religious worship and practices. This article is about religious groups. ... The Roman Catholic Church, most often spoken of simply as the Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with over one billion members. ... ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Protestantism encompasses the forms of Christian faith and practice that originated with the doctrines of the Reformation. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Christianity is a monotheistic[1] religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as presented in the New Testament. ...


By comparison, the non-English European cognates of "sect" mean what "cult" does in English: secte (French), secta (Spanish), sekta Russian, and Sekte (German) which also has other definitions.


Conservative Christian authors, especially evangelical Protestants, define a cult as a religion which claims to be in conformance with Biblical truth, yet that is believed to deviate from it based upon Evangelical interpretation. Walter Martin, the pioneer of the Christian countercult movement, gave in his 1955 book the following definition:[16] Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Evangelicalism is a theological perspective in Protestant Christianity which identifies with the gospel. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ... Dr. Walter Ralston Martin (September 10, 1928 – June 26, 1989), was an American Evangelical minister, author, and Christian apologist who founded the Christian Research Institute in 1960 as a para-church ministry specialising as a clearing-house of information in both general Christian apologetics and in countercult apologetics. ... The Christian countercult movement, also known as discernment ministries is the collective designation for many mostly unrelated ministries and individual Christians who oppose non-mainstream Christian and non-Christian religious groups, which they often call cults. ...

By cultism we mean the adherence to doctrines which are pointedly contradictory to orthodox Christianity and which yet claim the distinction of either tracing their origin to orthodox sources or of being in essential harmony with those sources. Cultism, in short, is any major deviation from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith.

Author Robert M. Bowman Jr. defines a cult as "A religious group originating as a heretical sect and maintaining fervent commitment to heresy," while noting that the adjective "cultic" can be applied to groups approaching this standard to varying degrees.[17]


In Nigeria, gangs are referred to as "cults".[18] Mara Salvatrucha suspect bearing gang tattoos is handcuffed. ...


Dictionary definitions of "cult"

Dictionary definitions of the term "cult" include at least eight different meanings. These include both classic and unorthodox religious practice, extreme political practice, objects or concepts of intense devotion including popular fashion, and systems for the cure of disease based on dogmatic teachings.[15]


The Merriam-Webster online dictionary lists five different definitions of the word "cult."[15]

1. Formal religious veneration
2. A system of religious beliefs and ritual; also: its body of adherents;
3. A religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also: its body of adherents;
4. A system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator;
5. Great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book).

The Random House Unabridged Dictionary's eight definitions of "cult" are:

1. 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;
3. The object of such devotion;
4. A group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc;
5. 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.

Webster's New World College Dictionary defines "cult" as:

1a. a system of religious worship or ritual
1b. a quasi-religious group, often living in a colony, with a charismatic leader who indoctrinates members with unorthodox or extremist views, practices or beliefs
2a. devoted attachment to, or extravagant admiration for, a person, principle or lifestyle, especially when regarded as a fad [the cult of nudism]
2b. the object of such attachment
3. a group of followers, sect

For authoritative British usage, the Compact Oxford English Dictionary of Current English definitions of "cult" and "sect" are:

cult[19]
1 a system of religious worship directed towards a particular figure or object.
2 a small religious group regarded as strange or as imposing excessive control over members.
3 something popular or fashionable among a particular section of society.
sect[20]
1 a group of people with different religious beliefs (typically regarded as heretical) from those of a larger group to which they belong.
2 a group with extreme or dangerous philosophical or political ideas.

British "sect" formerly included a contextually implied meaning, of what "cult" now means in both USA and the UK.[21] Some other nations still use the foreign equivalents of old British "sect" ("secte," "sekte," or "secta." etc.) to imply "cult."[22] Both words, as well as "cult" in its original sense of cultus (e.g., Middle Ages cult of Mary), must be understood to correctly interpret 20th century popular cult references in world English. In traditional usage, the cult of a religion, quite apart from its sacred writings (scriptures), its theology or myths, or the personal faith of its believers, is the totality of external religious practice and observance, the neglect of which is the definition of impiety. ...


Sociological definitions of religion

Main article: sociological classifications of religious movements

According to one common typology among sociologists, religious groups are classified as ecclesias, denominations, cults or sects. Sociologists have proposed various classifications of religious movements. ... This article may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer. ... For other senses of this word, see denomination. ... This article is about religious groups. ...


A very common definition in the sociology of religion for cult is one of the four terms making up the church-sect typology. Under this definition, a cult refers to a group with a high degree of tension with the surrounding society combined with novel religious beliefs. This is distinguished from sects, which have a high degree of tension with society but whose beliefs are traditional to that society, and ecclesias and denominations, which are groups with a low degree of tension and traditional beliefs. The Church-Sect Typology is one of the most common classification schemes employed in sociology for differentiating between different types of religions. ...


According to Rodney Stark's A Theory of Religion, most religions start out their lives as cults or sects, i.e. groups in high tension with the surrounding society. Over time, they tend to either die out or become more established, mainstream and in less tension with society. Cults are new groups with a novel theology, while sects are attempts to return mainstream religions to what the group views as their original purity.[12] As set out by Stark and Bainbridge, the term "cult", is used distinctly among the general definitions, and is closely related to the historically changed definitions of "sect." In this contemporary view, a "sect" is specifically "a deviant religious organization with traditional beliefs and practices," as compared to a "cult" which indicates a "a deviant religious organization with novel beliefs and practices."[23] Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. ...


Since this definition of "cult" is defined in part in terms of tension with the surrounding society, the same group may both be and not be a cult at different places or times. For example, Christianity was by this definition a cult in 1st and 2nd century Rome, while in fifth century Rome it became rather an ecclesia (the state religion). Similarly, very conservative Islam could constitute a cult in the West but also the ecclesia in some conservative Muslim countries. Likewise, because novelty of beliefs and tension are elements in the definition: the Hare Krishnas are not a cult but a sect in India (since their beliefs are largely traditional to Hindu culture), while they are by this definition a cult in the Western world (since their beliefs are largely novel to Christian culture).


The English sociologist Roy Wallis[24] argues that a cult is characterized "epistemological individualism" by which he means that "the cult has no clear locus of final authority beyond the individual member." Cults, according to Wallis, are generally described as "oriented towards the problems of individuals, loosely structured, tolerant, non-exclusive", making "few demands on members", without possessing a "clear distinction between members and non-members", having "a rapid turnover of membership", and are transient collectives with vague boundaries and fluctuating belief systems Wallis asserts that cults emerge from the "cultic milieu". Wallis contrasts a cult with a sect that he asserts is characterized by "epistemological authoritarianism": sects possess some authoritative locus for the legitimate attribution of heresy. According to Wallis, "sects lay a claim to possess unique and privileged access to the truth or salvation and their committed adherents typically regard all those outside the confines of the collectivity as 'in error'".[25][26] Roy Wallis, is a sociologist and Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences at The Queen’s University of Belfast. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, knowledge + λόγος, logos) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ... This article is about religious groups. ... Theory of knowledge redirects here: for other uses, see theory of knowledge (disambiguation) Epistemology (from Greek επιστήμη - episteme, knowledge + λόγος, logos) or theory of knowledge is a branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge. ...


Psychological definition

Studies of the psychological aspects of cults focus on the individual person, and factors relating to the choice to become involved as well as the subsequent effects on individuals. Under one view, an important factor is coercive persuasion which suppresses the ability of people to reason, think critically, and make choices in their own best interest. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Brainwashing. ...


Studies of religious, political, and other cults have identified a number of key steps in this type of coercive persuasion:[27]

  1. People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations;
  2. Their problems are reduced to one simple explanation, which is repeatedly emphasized;
  3. They receive unconditional love, acceptance, and attention from a charismatic leader;
  4. They get a new identity based on the group;
  5. They are subject to entrapment (isolation from friends, relatives, and the mainstream culture) and their access to information is severely controlled.[28]

B.I.T.E.

Steven Alan Hassan, former member of the Unification Church, and now an exit counselor and mental health counselor, has developed his own model, the BITE Model, to determine how destructive mind control can be understood in terms of four basic components, which form the acronym BITE: Steven Alan Hassan (1954 - ) is a licensed mental health counselor and an exit counselor. ...

  1. Behavior Control
  2. Information Control
  3. Thought Control
  4. Emotional Control

It is important to understand that destructive mind control can be determined when the overall effect of these four components promotes dependency and obedience to some leader or cause. It is not necessary for every single item on the list to be present. Mind controlled cult members can live in their own apartments, have nine-to-five jobs, be married with children, and still be unable to think for themselves and act independently.[29]


Definition of 'cult' according to secular opposition

Secular cult opponents tend to define a "cult" as a group that tends to manipulate, exploit, and control its members. Specific factors in cult behavior are said to include manipulative and authoritarian mind control over members, communal and totalistic organization, aggressive proselytizing, systematic programs of indoctrination, and perpetuation in middle-class communities.[30] Mind control (or thought control) has the premise that an outside source can control an individuals thinking, behavior or consciousness (either directly or more subtly). ...


While acknowledging the issue of multiple definitions of "cult",[31] Michael Langone states that "Cults are groups that often exploit members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with leadership's demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called mind control, and through the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders."[32] A similar definition is given by Louis Jolyon West: Michael Langone, Ph. ... Louis Jolyon (Jolly) West (1924 in Brooklyn, New York - January 2, 1999 in Los Angeles) was an American psychiatrist, human rights activist and expert on brainwashing, mind control, torture, substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder and violence. ...

"A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g. isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc) designed to advance the goals of the group's leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community." [33]

In each, the focus tends to be on the specific tactics of conversion, the negative impact on individual members, and the difficulty in leaving once indoctrination has occurred.[34]


Christianity and definitions of "cults"

Main article: Christian cult

Since at least the 1940s, the approach of orthodox, conservative, or fundamentalist Christians was to apply the meaning of cult such that it included those religious groups who used (possibly exclusively) non-standard translations of the Bible, put additional revelation on a similar or higher level than the Bible, or had beliefs and/or practices that were not held by current, mainstream Christianity.[35] Christian cults is one designation used to distinguish between two types of so-called mind control cults: those having an apparent Christian basis, and those with no such basis. ... Fundamentalism is a movement to maintain strict adherence to founding principles. ... Revelation of the Last Judgment by Jacob de Backer Revelation is an uncovering or disclosure via communication from the divine of something that has been partially or wholly hidden or unknown, which could not be known apart from the unveiling (Goswiller 1987 p. ...


Differing opinions of the various definitions

According to professor Timothy Miller from the University of Kansas in his 2003 Religious Movements in the United States, during the controversies over the new religious groups in the 1960s, the term "cult" came to mean something sinister, generally used to describe a movement at least potentially destructive to its members or to society. But he argues that no one yet has been able to define a "cult" in a way that enables the term to identify only problematic groups. Miller asserts that the attributes of groups often referred to as cults (see cult checklist), as defined by cult opponents, can be found in groups that few would consider cultist, such as Catholic religious orders or many evangelical Protestant churches. Miller argues: Timothy Miller is a historian of religion whose special interest is new and alternative religions and the history of communitarianism. ... The University of Kansas (often referred to as KU or just Kansas) is an institution of higher learning in Lawrence, Kansas. ... A cult checklist is a group of factors proposed to identify objectively which groups, cults, or new religious movements are spurious, or likely to abuse or exploit or otherwise harm its members. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Relation to other religions Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Christianity Portal This box:      Evangelicalism is a theological perspective in Protestant Christianity which identifies with the gospel. ... Protestantism is a general grouping of denominations within Christianity. ...

If the term does not enable us to distinguish between a pathological group and a legitimate one, then it has no real value. It is the religious equivalent of the racial term for African Americans—it conveys disdain and prejudice without having any valuable content.[36]

Due to the usually pejorative connotation of the word "cult," new religious movements (NRMs) and other purported cults often find the word highly offensive.[citation needed] Some purported cults have been known to insist that other similar groups are cults but that they themselves are not. On the other hand, some skeptics have questioned the distinction between a cult and a mainstream religion, saying that cults only differ from recognized religions in their history and the societal familiarity with recognized religions which makes them seem less controversial. This article is about the psychological term. ...


Study of cults

Among the experts studying cults and new religious movements are sociologists, religion scholars, psychologists, and psychiatrists. To an unusual extent for an academic/quasi-scientific field, however, nonacademics are involved in the study of and/or debates concerning cults, especially from the "anti-cult" point of view.[citation needed] These include investigative journalists and nonacademic book authors who have sometimes examined court records and studied the finances of groups, writers who once were members of purported cults, and professionals such as therapists who work with ex-members of groups referred to cults. Less widely known are the writings by members of organizations that have been labeled cults, defending their organizations and replying to critics.


Nonacademics are sometimes published, or their writings cited, in the Cultic Studies Journal (CSJ), the journal of the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA), a group which criticizes perceived cultic behavior. Sociologist Janja Lalich began her work and conceptualized many of her ideas while an "anti-cult" activist writing for the "CSJ" years before obtaining academic standing, and incorporated her own experiences in a leftwing political group into her later work as a sociological theorist. The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is: ... an interdisciplinary network of academicians, professionals, former group members, and families who study and educate the public about social-psychological influence and control, authoritarianism, and zealotry in cultic groups, alternative movements, and other environments. ...


The hundreds of books on specific groups by nonacademic comprise a large portion of the currently available published record on cults. The books by "anti-cult" critics run from memoirs by ex-members to detailed accounts of the history and alleged misdeeds of a given group written from either a tabloid journalist, investigative journalist, or popular historian perspective.


Journalists Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman together wrote the book Snapping, which set forth speculations on the nature of mind control that have received mixed reviews from psychologists. Others mentioned in this article include Tim Wohlforth (co-author of On the Edge and a former follower of British Trotskyist Gerry Healy); Carol Giambalvo, a former est member; activist and consultant Rick Ross; and mental health counselor Steven Hassan, a former Unification Church member and author of the book Combatting Cult Mind Control, who, like Ross, runs a business specializing in servicing people involved with cults or their family members.[16][17] Another example is the work of journalist/activist Chip Berlet, responsible for much of the work on "political cults" which exists today. Current members of the Hare Krishna movement as well as several former leaders of the Worldwide Church of God also have written with critical insight on "cult" issues, using terminologies and framings somewhat different from those of secular experts. Members of the Unification Church have produced books and articles that argue the case against excessive reactions to new religious movements, including their own. Flo Conway is a social activist, a former journalist for the Saturday Evening Post who became involved in examination of cult practices. ... Jim Siegelman is co-author of several books including two with Flo Conway about the rise of cults in America. ... Snapping is a term coined by Flo Conway and Jim Siegelman in the 1978 anti-cult book of the same name to describe the mental process by which a recruit is converted by a mind control cult and other religious movements. ... Gerry Healy (December 3, 1913 - December 14, 1989) was a Trotskyist activist. ... Erhard Seminars Training, an organization founded by Werner H. Erhard, offered to the general public (as well as other entities) an intense and rigorous 2-weekend (60-hours) course known officially as The est Standard Training. The purpose of the Training was to allow participants to achieve a sense of... Rick Alan Ross (born 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States and later named Ricky Alan Ross) is a consultant and lecturer in the area of cults. ... Steven Alan Hassan (1954 - ) is a licensed mental health counselor and an exit counselor. ... The Unification Church is a new religious movement started by Sun Myung Moon in Korea in the 1940s. ... Combatting Cult Mind Control: The #1 Best-selling Guide to Protection, Rescue, and Recovery from Destructive Cults is an non-fiction by Steven Hassan. ... John Foster Chip Berlet (born November 22, 1949) is an American photographer and researcher specializing in the study of right-wing movements in the United States, particularly the religious right, white supremacists, homophobic groups, and paramilitary organizations. ... Hare Krishna Mantra in Devanagari The Hare Krishna mantra, also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra (Great Mantra), is a sixteen-word Vaishnava mantra made well known outside of India by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas).[1] It is believed by practitioners... The Worldwide Church of God (WCG), formerly the Radio Church of God, is a Christian church currently based in Glendora, California, USA. Founded in 1933 by Herbert Armstrong as a radio ministry, the WCG under Armstrong had a significant, and often controversial, influence on 20th century religious broadcasting and publishing... The Unification Church is a new religious movement started by Sun Myung Moon in Korea in the 1940s. ...


Within this larger community of discourse, the debates about "cultism" and specific groups are generally more polarized than among scholars who study new religious movements, although there are heated disagreements among scholars as well. What follows is a summary of that portion of the intellectual debate conducted primarily from inside the universities:


Cults, NRMs, and the sociology and psychology of religion

Due to popular connotations of the term "cult," many academic researchers of religion and sociology prefer to use the term new religious movement (NRM) in their research. However, some researchers have criticized the newer phrase on the ground that some religious movements are "new" without being cults, and have expanded the definition of cult to non-religious groups. Furthermore, some religious groups who have been seen as cults by some are no longer "new"; for instance, Scientology and the Unification Church are both over 50 years old, while the Hare Krishna came out of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, a religious tradition that is approximately 500 years old with roots going back much further. Sociology (from Latin: socius, companion; and the suffix -ology, the study of, from Greek λόγος, lógos, knowledge [1]) is the scientific or systematic study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social interaction, and culture[2]. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... Doctrine Practices Concepts People Public outreach Organization Controversy Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by American pulp fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. ... The Unification Church is a new religious movement started by Sun Myung Moon in Korea in the 1940s. ... Hare Krishna Mantra in Devanagari The Hare Krishna mantra, also referred to reverentially as the Maha Mantra (Great Mantra), is a sixteen-word Vaishnava mantra made well known outside of India by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (commonly known as the Hare Krishnas).[1] It is believed by practitioners... Gaudiya Vaishnavism, (Bengal) Vaishnavism, is a sect of Hinduism founded by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. ...


Some mental health professionals use the term cult generally for groups that practice physical or mental abuse. Others prefer more descriptive terminology such as abusive cult or destructive cult, while noting that many groups meet the other criteria without such abuse. A related issue is determining what is abuse, when few members (as opposed to some ex-members) would agree that they have suffered abuse. Other researchers like David V. Barrett hold the view that classifying a religious movement as a cult is generally used as a subjective and negative label and has no added value; instead, he argues that one should investigate the beliefs and practices of the religious movement.[37] The term destructive cult (sometimes called doomsday cult) is sometimes used to refer to that small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people, either the group members themselves or others outside of the group. ... David V. Barrett is a British author who has written on religious and esoteric topics. ...


According to the Dutch religious scholar Wouter Hanegraaff, another problem with writing about cults comes about because they generally hold belief systems that give answers to questions about the meaning of life and morality. This makes it difficult not to write in biased terms about a certain group, because writers are rarely neutral about these questions. Some admit this, and try to diffuse the problem by stating their personal sympathies openly. This page meets Wikipedias criteria for speedy deletion. ... A world view (or worldview) is a term calqued from the German word Weltanschauung ( ) Welt is the German word for world, and Anschauung is the German word for view or outlook. It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. ... Personal life (or everyday life or human existence) is an individual humans personal, private career (including, but not the same as, their employment career), and is a common notion in modern existence -- although more so in more prosperous parts of the world, such as Western Europe and North America... Morality (from the Latin manner, character, proper behavior) has three principal meanings. ...


In the sociology of religion, the term cult is part of the subdivision of religious groups: sects, cults, denominations, and ecclesias. The sociologists Rodney Stark and William S. Bainbridge define cults in their book, "Theory of Religion" and subsequent works, as a "deviant religious organization with novel beliefs and practices", that is, as new religious movements that (unlike sects) have not separated from another religious organization. Cults, in this sense, may or may not be dangerous, abusive, etc. By this broad definition, most of the groups which have been popularly labeled cults fit this value-neutral definition. Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. ... There are a number of models regarding the ways in which religions come into being and develop. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... This article is about religious groups. ...


Development of groups characterized as cults

Cults based on charismatic leadership often follow the routinization of charisma, as described by the German sociologist Max Weber. In their book Theory of Religion, Rodney Stark and William Sims Bainbridge propose that the formation of cults can be explained through a combination of four models: Jesus is considered by historians such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader; The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority as resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained... For the politician, see Max Weber (politician). ... Rodney Stark is an American sociologist of religion. ... Dr. William Sims Bainbridge (October 12, 1940 - present) is an innovative American sociologist who currently resides in Virginia. ...

  • The psycho-pathological model – the cult founder suffers from psychological problems; they develop the cult in order to resolve these problems for themselves, as a form of self-therapy
  • The entrepreneurial model – the cult founder acts like an entrepreneur, trying to develop a religion which they think will be most attractive to potential recruits, often based on their experiences from previous cults or other religious groups they have belonged to
  • The social model – the cult is formed through a social implosion, in which cult members dramatically reduce the intensity of their emotional bonds with non-cult members, and dramatically increase the intensity of those bonds with fellow cult members – this emotionally intense situation naturally encourages the formation of a shared belief system and rituals
  • The normal revelations model – the cult is formed when the founder chooses to interpret ordinary natural phenomena as supernatural, such as by ascribing his or her own creativity in inventing the cult to that of the deity.

In sociology, a social implosion refers to an event where a subgroup of a larger group suddenly becomes separated from the larger group -- the members of the subgroup sever their connections to the larger group (often society as a whole), and their entire social lives become involved in the smaller...

Leadership

See also Role of charismatic figures in the development of religions

According to Dr. Eileen Barker, new religions are in most cases started by charismatic but unpredictable leaders. According to Mikael Rothstein, there is often little access to plain facts about either historical or contemporary religious leaders to compare with the abundance of legends, myths, and theological elaborations. According to Rothstein, most members of new religious movements have little chance to meet the Master (leader) except as a member of a larger audience. There are a number of models regarding the ways in which religions come into being and develop. ... Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ... Jesus is considered by historians such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader; The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority as resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained... For other uses, see Mythology (disambiguation). ...


Theories about joining

Theories about joining cults

Michael Langone gives three different models regarding joining a cult. Under the "deliberative model," people are said to join cults primarily because of how they view a particular group. Langone notes that this view is most favored among sociologists and religious scholars. Under the "psychodynamic model," popular with some mental health professionals, individuals choose to join for fulfillment of subconscious psychological needs. Finally, the "thought reform model" posits that people join not because of their own psychological needs, but because of the group's influence through forms of psychological manipulation. Langone states that those mental health experts who have more direct experience with large number of cultists tend to favor this latter view.[38]


Some scholars favor one particular view, or combine elements of each. According to Gallanter,[39] typical reasons why people join cults include a search for community and a spiritual quest. Stark and Bainbridge, in discussing the process by which individuals join new religious groups, have questioned the utility of the concept of conversion, suggesting that affiliation is a more useful concept.[40]


Theories about joining NRMs

Jeffrey Hadden summarizes a lecture entitled "Why Do People Join NRMs?" (a lecture in a series related to the sociology of new religious movements, a term Hadden uses to include both cults and sects[41])[42] as follows:

  1. Belonging to groups is a natural human activity;
  2. People belong to religious groups for essentially the same reasons they belong to other groups;
  3. Conversion is generally understood as an emotionally charged experience that leads to a dramatic reorganization of the convert's life;
  4. Conversion varies enormously in terms of the intensity of the experience and the degree to which it actually alters the life of the convert;
  5. Conversion is one, but not the only reason people join religious groups;
  6. Social scientists have offered a number of theories to explain why people join religious groups;
  7. Most of these explanations could apply equally well to explain why people join lots of other kinds of groups;
  8. No one theory can explain all joinings or conversions;
  9. What all of these theories have in common (deprivation theory excluded) is the view that joining or converting is a natural process.

Reactions to social out-groups

One issue in the study of cults relates to people's reactions to groups identified as some other form of social outcast or opposition group. A new study by Princeton University psychology researchers Lasana Harris and Susan Fiske shows that when viewing photographs of social out-groups, people respond to them with disgust, not a feeling of fellow humanity. The findings are reported in the article "Dehumanizing the Lowest of the Low: Neuro-imaging responses to Extreme Outgroups" in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science (previously the American Psychological Society).[43]


According to this research, social out-groups are perceived as unable to experience complex human emotions, share in-group beliefs, or act according to societal norms, moral rules, and values. The authors describe this as "extreme discrimination revealing the worst kind of prejudice: excluding out-groups from full humanity." Their study provides evidence that while individuals may consciously see members of social out-groups as people, the brain processes social out-groups as something less than human, whether we are aware of it or not. According to the authors, brain imaging provides a more accurate depiction of this prejudice than the verbal reporting usually used in research studies.


Genuine concerns and exaggerations about "cults"

Some critics of media sensationalism argue that the stigma surrounding the classification of a group as a cult results largely from exaggerated portrayals of weirdness in media stories. The narratives of ill effects include perceived threats presented by a cult to its members, and risks to the physical safety of its members and to their mental and spiritual growth.


Anti-cultists in the 1970s and 1980s made heavy accusations regarding the harm and danger of cults for members, their families, and societies. The debate at that time was intense and was sometimes called the cult debate or cult wars.[citation needed] It has been suggested that Opposition to cults and new religious movements be merged into this article or section. ...


Much of the action taken against cults has been in reaction to the real or perceived harm experienced by some members.


Documented crimes

Brochure of the Peoples Temple, portraying its founder Jim Jones as the loving father of the "Rainbow Family."
Brochure of the Peoples Temple, portraying its founder Jim Jones as the loving father of the "Rainbow Family."

Around two hundred or more groups referred to as cults have become notably entangled with the law.[44] These entanglements historically include trivial infractions such as those related to mass begging, and civil suits for sexual abuse, but more significantly include serious crimes ranging from tax felonies to murder. Brochure of the Peoples_Temple portraying cult leader Jim Jones as the loving father of the Rainbow Family. Retrieved from the website of the Jonestown Institute This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ... Brochure of the Peoples_Temple portraying cult leader Jim Jones as the loving father of the Rainbow Family. Retrieved from the website of the Jonestown Institute This work is copyrighted, and used with permission. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... This article is about the Peoples Temple leader. ...


Media reports of cultic-related crimes cause a negative public perception of all groups labeled as cults in the populist sense. Therefore, groups labeled as cults usually deny that they are cults, even though they may fit the definition of a cult in the neutral sociological sense.


The media have referred to Aum Shinrikyo as a doomsday cult, and to several others as suicide cults, or destructive cults, because they killed, otherwise harmed, or threatened the well-being and lives of their own members, uninvolved persons, and society in general. Fewer than 20 groups, including Aum Shinrikyo, Peoples Temple, Heaven's Gate, Order of the Solar Temple, and Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God, have been publicly characterized as examples of destructive cults[45]. A group that is sued or charged with a crime less serious than life-threatening, is generally not called a destructive cult, but is sometimes labeled an "abusive cult," or is just referred to as a cult, since that is sociologically plausible in avoiding a libel case. Aum Shinrikyo, now known as Aleph, is a Japanese religious group founded by Shoko Asahara. ... The term destructive cult (sometimes called doomsday cult) is sometimes used to refer to that small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people, either the group members themselves or others outside of the group. ... Aum Shinrikyo, now known as Aleph, is a Japanese religious group founded by Shoko Asahara. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... The logo used by the Heavens Gate group Heavens Gate was the name of a San Diego based American religious group led by Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles. ... The Order of the Solar Temple also known as Ordre du Temple Solaire (OTS) in French, and the International Chivalric Organization of the Solar Tradition or simply as The Solar Temple was a secret society based upon the new age myth of the continuing existence of the Knights Templar (see... The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God was a breakaway sect from the Roman Catholic Church founded by Credonia Mwerinde and Joseph Kibweteere in Uganda. ...


The Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway in 1995 was carried out by members of Aum Shinrikyo, a religious group founded in 1984 by Shoko Asahara. Aum Shinrikyo had a laboratory in 1990 where it cultured and experimented with botulin toxin, anthrax, cholera and Q fever. In 1993 members traveled to Africa to learn about and bring back samples of the Ebola virus.[18] A wanted poster in Japan. ... Aum Shinrikyo, now known as Aleph, is a Japanese religious group founded by Shoko Asahara. ... Shoko Asahara (麻原 彰晃 Asahara Shōkō) (born Chizuo Matsumoto (松本智津夫 Matsumoto Chizuo) on March 2, 1955) is the founder of Japans controversial Buddhist religious group Aum Shinrikyo (now known as Aleph). ... Botulin toxin is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum. ... Distribution of cholera Cholera, sometimes known as Asiatic cholera or epidemic cholera, is an infectious gastroenteritis caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. ... For other uses, see Ebola (disambiguation). ...


According to John R. Hall, a professor in sociology at the University of California-Davis and Philip Schuyler, the Peoples Temple is still seen by some as the cultus classicus[46][47], though it did not belong to the set of groups that triggered the original 1970's cult debate in the United States. Its mass suicide of over 900 members, and murders of nonmembers including USA Congressman Leo Ryan on November 18, 1978, led to increased global public concern and scrutiny of cults by governments. The University of California, Davis, commonly abbreviated to UC Davis or UCD is one of the ten University of California campuses. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr. ... is the 322nd day of the year (323rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1978 (MCMLXXVIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link displays the 1978 Gregorian calendar). ...


European public pressure following the 1994 infant murder and subsequent mass murder-suicides of the Order of the Solar Temple colonies in Canada and Switzerland led to the 1995 Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France. This legislation resulted in uncontroversial human rights standards for judging cultic exploitation and abuse, the controversial remedy of cult watching with close enforcement against lesser crimes to discourage greater ones, as well as a later-deemphasized list of groups which France determined as cults to be watched. The Order of the Solar Temple also known as Ordre du Temple Solaire (OTS) in French, and the International Chivalric Organization of the Solar Tradition or simply as The Solar Temple was a secret society based upon the new age myth of the continuing existence of the Knights Templar (see... The French authorities set up the Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France (Commission parlementaire sur les sectes en France) on 11 July 1995 following the events involving the members of the Order of the Solar Temple in late 1994 in the French region of Vercors, in Switzerland and in Canada. ...


The 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack, involving salmonella typhimurium contamination in the salad bars of 10 restaurants in The Dalles, Oregon was traced to certain members of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh/Osho group.[48][49] The attack sickened about 751 people and hospitalized forty-five, although none died. It was the first known bio-terrorist attack of the 20th century in the United States, and is still known as the largest germ warfare attack in U.S. history. Eventually Ma Anand Sheela and Ma Anand Puja, one of Sheela's close associates, confessed to the attack as well as to attempted poisonings of county officials. The BW incident is used by the Homeland Defense Business Unit in Biological Incidents Operations training for Law Enforcement agencies.[19]PDF (934 KiB) The 1984 Rajneeshee bioterror attack refers to the salmonella food poisoning of over seven hundred and fifty individuals in Oregon through the contamination of salad bars at ten local restaurants. ... Species S. bongori S. enterica This article is about the bacteria. ... Location in Oregon Coordinates: County Wasco County Incorporated 1857 Government  - Mayor Robb Van Cleave Area  - City 14. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the controversial spiritual teacher formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. ... “PDF” redirects here. ... A kibibyte (a contraction of kilo binary byte) is a unit of information or computer storage, commonly abbreviated KiB (never kiB). 1 kibibyte = 210 bytes = 1,024 bytes The kibibyte is closely related to the kilobyte, which can be used either as a synonym for kibibyte or to refer to...


The Colonia Dignidad, a German group that settled in Chile, hosted a concentration camp torture center for the Chilean government during the Pinochet dictatorship, circa 1973–1977. Colonia Dignidad (Dignity Colony, now known as Villa Baviera, Bavaria Village), is a settlement located in an isolated area in the Maule Region of southern Chile, near the village of Parral. ...


Warren Jeffs, the polygamist sect leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, was charged with several crimes but fled to avoid lawful prosecution until he was apprehended. He was found guilty of two counts of being an accomplice to rape as he had conducted a forced marriage of a 14-year-old girl to her 19-year-old cousin in 2001. Jeffs also faces felony sex charges in Arizona for his alleged role in another two underage marriages.[50] Warren Steed Jeffs (born December 3, 1955) was the leader of a controversial Mormon fundamentalist polygamist sect known as the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church) from 2002 to 2007. ... The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of the largest Mormon fundamentalist denominations[1][2] and one of Americas largest practitioners of plural marriage. ...


In 1979, eleven highly placed leaders of the Church of Scientology were convicted in United States federal court regarding Operation Snow White, and served time in a USA federal prison. Operation Snow White involved infiltration, wiretapping and theft of documents in government offices, most notably those of the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS)[51]. In 1995, Lisa McPherson, a 36 year old Dallas native line-dancing enthusiast, and a dedicated Scientologist for most of her adult life, died on December 5, after 17 days in the custody of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater. The State of Florida ultimately charged the Church of Scientology with two felonies: abuse/neglect of a disabled adult and the illegal practice of medicine.[52] Although the state chose not to pursue those charges, a wrongful death lawsuit was brought by her estate and subsequently settled on May 28, 2004. The Church of Scientology is the largest organization devoted to the practice and the promotion of the Scientology belief system. ... Grand Jury Charges, Introduction, United States of America v. ... Doctrine Practices Concepts People Public groups Organization Controversy Lisa McPherson (born Lisa Skonetski, February 10, 1959–December 5, 1995) was a Scientologist who died of a pulmonary embolism while under the care of the Flag Service Organization (FSO), a branch of the Church of Scientology. ... Clearwater Special Projects is a close protection company that undertakes training and security services. ...


Edward Morrissey, husband of Rev. Mary Manin Morrissey, in 2005 pled guilty to money laundering and using Living Enrichment Center church money for the personal expenses of himself and his wife. Edward Morrissey spent two years in federal prison.[53][54][55] Edward Morrissey pictured with Living Enrichment Center management team circa 1997. ... Mary Morrissey speaking before the Living Enrichment Center congregation, Wilsonville, Oregon, 1994 Mary Manin Morrissey (born 1949) is a New Thought minister from Oregon, U.S.A. She has served as president of the Association for Global New Thought. ... Money laundering is the practice of engaging in financial transactions in order to conceal the identity, source and destination of the money in question. ... The entrance to Living Enrichment Center. ...


Prevalence of all NRMs compared to destructive cults

The number of destructive cults is less than 20, compared with the tens of thousands of new religious movements which are estimated to exist.[56] Destructive cults includes groups that are extremely violent or doomsday-oriented, but the term is not used to refer to groups that are only psychologically destructive.


Of the groups that have been referred to as cults in the United States alone, only a hundred or so[57] have ever become notorious for alleged misdeeds either in the national media or in local media. The disproportionate focus on these roughly 3% of misbehaving NRM groups gives the public an inaccurate perception of new religious groups generally. (See #Prevalence of purported cults, Singer, 1995.)


Potential harm to members

In the opinion of Benjamin Zablocki, a professor of Sociology at Rutgers University, groups that have been characterized as cults are at high risk of becoming abusive to members. He states that this is in part due to members' adulation of charismatic leaders contributing to the leaders becoming corrupted by power. Zablocki defines a cult here as an ideological organization held together by charismatic relationships and that demands total commitment.[58] Benjamin Zablocki (b. ... “Rutgers” redirects here. ... Jesus is considered by historians such as Weber to be an example of a charismatic religious leader; The sociologist Max Weber defined charismatic authority as resting on devotion to the exceptional sanctity, heroism or exemplary character of an individual person, and of the normative patterns or order revealed or ordained...


There is no reliable, generally accepted way to determine which groups will harm their members. In an attempt to predict the probability of harm, cult checklists have been created, primarily by anti-cultists, for this purpose.[citation needed] According to critics of these checklists, they are popular but not scientific. A cult checklist is a group of factors proposed to identify objectively which groups, cults, or new religious movements are spurious, or likely to abuse or exploit or otherwise harm its members. ...


According to Barrett, the most common accusation made against groups referred to as cults is sexual abuse. See some allegations made by former members. According to Kranenborg, some groups are risky when they advise their members not to use regular medical care.[59] Barker, Barrett, and Steven Hassan all advise seeking information from various sources about a certain group before getting deeply involved, though these three differ in the urgency they suggest. Bad Touch redirects here. ... Cult typically refers to a cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture considers outside the mainstream, with a notably positive or negative popular perception. ... This article lacks information on the importance of the subject matter. ... Steven Alan Hassan (1954 - ) is a licensed mental health counselor and an exit counselor. ...


Non-religious groups characterized as cults

According to the views of what some scholars call the "Anti-Cult Movement," although the majority of groups described as "cults" are religious in nature, a significant number are non-religious. These may include political, psychotherapeutic or marketing oriented cults organized in manners similar to the traditional religious cult. The term has also been applied to certain channeling, human-potential and self-improvement organizations, some of which do not define themselves as religious but are considered to have significant religious influences. It has been suggested that Opposition to cults and new religious movements be merged into this article or section. ... Multi-level marketing (MLM), also known as Network Marketing is a business distribution model that allows a parent multi-level marketing company to market their products directly to consumers by means of relationship referral and direct selling. ...


Groups that have been labeled as "political cults," mostly far-left or far-right in their ideologies, have received some attention from journalists and scholars, though this usage is less common. Claims of cult-like practices exists for only about a dozen ideological cadre or racial combat organizations, though the allegation is sometimes made more freely.[60] Dennis Tourish and Tim Wohlforth are two prominent former members of Trotskyist sects who now attack their former organizations and the Trotskyist movement in general.[61] Trotskyism is the theory of Marxism as advocated by Leon Trotsky. ...


The concept of the "cult" is applied by analogy to refer to adulation of non-political leaders, and sometimes in the context of certain businessmen, management styles, and company work environments. Multi-level marketing has often been described as a cult due to the fact that a large part of the operation of a typical multi-level marketing consists of hiring and recruiting other people, selling motivational material, to the point that people involved in the business spend most of their time for the benefit of the organization. Consequently, some MLM companies like Amway have felt the need to specifically state that they are not cult-like in nature.[62] Multi-level marketing (MLM), also known as Network Marketing is a business distribution model that allows a parent multi-level marketing company to market their products directly to consumers by means of relationship referral and direct selling. ... Headquarters in Ada, Michigan Amway is a multi-level marketing, or network marketing, company founded in 1959 by Jay Van Andel and Rich DeVos. ...


Another related term in politics is that of the personality cult. Although most groups labeled as political cults involve a "cult of personality," the latter concept is a broader one, having its origins in the excessive adulation said to have surrounded Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. It has also been applied to several other despotic heads of state. Adolf Hitler built a strong cult of personality, based on the Führerprinzip. ... Political cult is a term used to describe some groups on what is generally considered to be the political fringe. ... This article is about the political institution. ... Josef Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili (Georgian: , Ioseb Besarionis Dze Jughashvili; Russian: , Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili) (December 18 [O.S. December 6] 1878[1] – March 5, 1953), better known by his adopted name, Joseph Stalin (alternatively transliterated Josef Stalin), was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Unions Central Committee from...


Stigmatization and discrimination

Because of the increasingly pejorative use of the terms "cult" and "cult leader" over recent decades, many argue that these terms are to be avoided.[63][64] A website affiliated with Adi Da Samraj sees the activities of cult opponents as the exercise of prejudice and discrimination against them, and regards the use of the words "cult" and "cult leader" as similar to political or racial epithets.[65] Adi Da Samraj (born Franklin Albert Jones, at 11:21 A.M., on November 3, 1939 in Jamaica, New York) is a modern spiritual teacher and religious guru and the founder of the new religious movement known as Adidam. ...


Amy Ryan has argued for the need to differentiate those groups that may be dangerous from groups that are more benign.[66] Ryan notes the sharp differences between definition from cult opponents, who tend to focus on negative characteristics, and those of sociologists, who aim to create definitions that are value-free. The movements themselves may have different definitions of religion as well. George Chryssides also cites a need to develop better definitions to allow for common ground in the debate. Amy Ryan is the Project Coordinator for the Research Database component of Child Care and Early Education Research Connections, a joint project of National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) of Columbia University, the Child Care Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Inter... Dr George D. Chryssides is the senior lecturer in Religious Studies at the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Sciences of the University of Wolverhampton. ...


These definitions have political and ethical impact beyond just scholarly debate. In Defining Religion in American Law, Bruce J. Casino presents the issue as crucial to international human rights laws. Limiting the definition of religion may interfere with freedom of religion, while too broad a definition may give some dangerous or abusive groups "a limitless excuse for avoiding all unwanted legal obligations."[67]


Some authors in the cult opposition dislike the word cult to the extent it implies that there is a continuum with a large gray area separating "cult" from "noncult" which they do not see.[67] Others authors, e.g. Steven Hassan, differentiate by using terms like "Destructive cult," or "Cult" (totalitarian type) vs. "benign cult." Steven Alan Hassan (1954 - ) is a licensed mental health counselor and an exit counselor. ... The term destructive cult (sometimes called doomsday cult) is sometimes used to refer to that small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people, either the group members themselves or others outside of the group. ...


Leaving a "cult"

There are at least three ways people leave a cult. These are 1.) On their own decision (walkaways); 2.) Through expulsion (castaways); and 3.) By intervention (Exit counseling, deprogramming).[68],[69] It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with deprogramming. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


In Bounded Choice (2004), Lalich describes a fourth way of leaving — rebelling against the group's majority or leader. This was based on her own experience in the Marxist-Leninist Democratic Workers Party, where the entire membership quit. However, rebellion is more often a combination of the walkaway and castaway patterns in that the rebellion may trigger the expulsion — essentially, the rebels provoke the leadership into being the agency of their break with an over-committed lifestyle. Tourish and Wohlforth (2000) and Dennis King (1989) provide what they consider several examples in the history of political groups that have been characterized as cults. The 'rebellion' response in such groups appears to follow a longstanding behavior pattern among left wing political sects which began long before the emergence of the contemporary political cult.


Most authors agree that some people experience problems after leaving a cult. These include negative reactions in the individual leaving the group as well as negative responses from the group such as shunning. There are disagreements regarding the frequency of such problems, however, and regarding the cause. Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. ...


According to Barker (1989), the greatest worry about potential harm concerns the central and most dedicated followers of a new religious movement (NRM). Barker mentions that some former members may not take new initiatives for quite a long time after disaffiliation from the NRM. This generally does not concern the many superficial, short-lived, or peripheral supporters of an NRM. A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ...


Exit Counselor Carol Giambalvo believes most people leaving a cult have associated psychological problems, such as feelings of guilt or shame, depression, feeling of inadequacy, or fear, that are independent of their manner of leaving the cult. Feelings of guilt, shame, or anger are by her observation worst with castaways, but walkaways can also have similar problems. She says people who had interventions or a rehabilitation therapy do have similar problems but are usually better prepared to deal with them.[69]


Sociologists Bromley and Hadden note a lack of empirical support for alleged consequences of having been a member of a cult or sect, and substantial empirical evidence against it. These include the fact that the overwhelming proportion of people who get involved in NRMs leave, most short of two years; the overwhelming proportion of people who leave of their own volition; and that two-thirds (67%) felt "wiser for the experience."[70]


Popular authors Conway and Siegelman conducted a survey and published it in the book Snapping regarding after-cult effects and deprogramming and concluded that people deprogrammed had fewer problems than people not deprogrammed. The BBC writes that in a survey done by Jill Mytton on 200 former cult members most of them reported problems adjusting to society and about a third would benefit from some counseling.[71] For other uses, see BBC (disambiguation). ...


Burks (2002), in a study comparing Group Psychological Abuse Scale (GPA) and Neurological Impairment Scale (NIS) scores in 132 former members of cults and cultic relationships, found a positive correlation between intensity of thought reform environment as measured by the GPA and cognitive impairment as measured by the NIS. Additional findings were a reduced earning potential in view of the education level that corroborates earlier studies of cult critics (Martin 1993; Singer & Ofshe, 1990; West & Martin, 1994) and significant levels of depression and dissociation agreeing with Conway & Siegelman, (1982), Lewis & Bromley, (1987) and Martin, et al. (1992).[72]


According to Barret, in many cases the problems do not happen while in a movement, but when leaving, which can be difficult for some members and may include psychological trauma. Reasons for this trauma may include: conditioning by the religious movement; avoidance of uncertainties about life and its meaning; having had powerful religious experiences; love for the founder of the religion; emotional investment; fear of losing salvation; bonding with other members; anticipation of the realization that time, money, and efforts donated to the group were a waste; and the new freedom with its corresponding responsibilities, especially for people who lived in a community. Those reasons may prevent a member from leaving even if the member realizes that some things in the NRM are wrong. According to Kranenborg, in some religious groups, members have all their social contacts within the group, which makes disaffection and disaffiliation very traumatic.[59] Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of a traumatic event. ... Conditioning is a psychological term for what Ivan Pavlov described as the learning of conditional behavior. ... For other uses, see Salvation (disambiguation). ...


According to F. Derks and J. van der Lans, there is no uniform post-cult trauma. While psychological and social problems upon resignation are not uncommon, their character and intensity are greatly dependent on the personal history and on the traits of the ex-member, and on the reasons for and way of resignation.[73] This article is in need of attention. ...


Criticism by former members of purported cults

The role of former members, sometimes called "apostates," in the controversy surrounding cults has been widely studied by social scientists. Former members in some cases become public opponents against their former group. The former members' motivations, the roles they play in the anti-cult movement, the validity of their testimony, and the kinds of narratives they construct, are controversial with some scholars who suspect that at least some of the narratives are colored by a need of self-justification, seeking to reconstruct their own past and to excuse their former affiliations, while blaming those who were formerly their closest associates,[74] and that hostile ex-members would invariably shade the truth and blow out of proportion minor incidents, turning them into major incidents.[75] Other scholars[who?] conclude that testimonies of former members are at least as accurate as testimonies of current members.[citation needed] Apostasy (Greek απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is the formal renunciation of ones religion. ...


Scholars that challenge the validity of critical former members testimonies as the basis for studying a religious group include David G. Bromley, Anson Shupe, Brian R. Wilson, and Lonnie Kliever. Bromley and Shupe, who studied the social influences on such testimonies, assert that the apostate in his current role is likely to present a caricature of his former group and that the stories of critical ex-members who defect from groups that are subversive (defined as groups with few allies and many opponents) tend to have the form of "captivity narratives" (i.e. the narratives depict the stay in the group as involuntary). Wilson introduces the atrocity story that is rehearsed by the apostate to explain how, by manipulation, coercion, or deceit, he was recruited to a group that he now condemns. Introvigne found in his study of the New Acropolis in France, that public negative testimonies and attitudes were only voiced by a minority of the ex-members, who he describes as becoming "professional enemies" of the group they leave. Kliever, when asked by the Church of Scientology to give his opinion on the reliability of apostate accounts of their former religious beliefs and practices, writes that these dedicated opponents present a distorted view of the new religions, and cannot be regarded as reliable informants by responsible journalists, scholars, or jurists. He claims that the reason for the lack of reliability of apostates is due to the traumatic nature of disaffiliation that he compares to a divorce and also due the influence of the anti-cult movement even on those apostates who were not deprogrammed or received exit counseling. Scholars and psychologists who tend to side more with critical former members include David C. Lane, Louis Jolyon West, Margaret Singer, Stephen A. Kent, Benjamin Beith-Hallahmi and Benjamin Zablocki. Zablocki performed an empirical study that showed that the reliability of former members is equal to that of stayers in one particular group. Philip Lucas found the same empirical results. David G. Bromley is a professor of sociology at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA and the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA. Education and Career Bromley received his B.A. in sociology (1963) from Colby College. ... Anson D. Shupe American sociologist who studies religious groups and the anti-cult movement. ... Bryan R. Wilson, born 1926, is the Reader Emeritus in Sociology at the University of Oxford and was President of the International Society for the Sociology of Religion between 1971 and 1975. ... Dr. Lonnie D. Kliever (1932 - 2004), was chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the Southern Methodist University (SMU). ... An atrocity story as defined by the sociologists David G. Bromley and Anson D. Shupe is the symbolic presentation of action or events (real or imaginary) in such a context that they are made flagrantly to violate the (presumably) shared premises upon which a given set of social relationships should... New Acropolis (NA), official name I.O.N.A. International Organization New Acropolis is a worldwide non-profit organisation founded in 1957 by Jorge Angel Livraga Rizzi firstly as a School of Philosophy and later on as an International Organization devoted to Practical Philosophy studies and practice. ... The Church of Scientology is the largest organization devoted to the practice and the promotion of the Scientology belief system. ... David Christopher Lane (born April 29, 1956 in Burbank, California) is a professor of philosophy and sociology at Mount San Antonio College, USA and lecturer in religious studies at California State University, Long Beach, California. ... Louis Jolyon (Jolly) West (1924 in Brooklyn, New York - January 2, 1999 in Los Angeles) was an American psychiatrist, human rights activist and expert on brainwashing, mind control, torture, substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder and violence. ... Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003) was a clinical psychologist and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Dr. Singer was born in Denver and received her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Denver. ... Stephen A. Kent, Ph. ... Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi is a professor of psychology at the University of Haifa, Israel. ... Benjamin Zablocki (b. ...


According to Lewis F. Carter, the reliability and validity of the testimonies of believers are influenced by the tendency to justify affiliation with the group, whereas the testimonies of former members and apostates are influenced by a variety of factors.[76] Besides, the interpretative frame of members tends to change strongly upon conversion and disaffection and hence may strongly influence their narratives. Carter affirms that the degree of knowledge of different (ex-)members about their (former) group is highly diverse, especially in hierarchically organized groups. Using his experience at Rajneeshpuram (the intentional community of the followers of Rajneesh) as an example, he claims that the social influence exerted by the group may influence the accounts of ethnographers and of participant observers.[76] He proposes a method he calls triangulation as the best method to study groups, by utilizing three accounts: those of believers, apostates, and ethnographers. Carter asserts that such methodology is difficult to put into practice.[76] Daniel Carson Johnson[77] writes that even the triangulation method rarely succeeds in making assertions with certitude.[76] In statistics, reliability is the consistency of a set of measurements or measuring instrument, often used to describe a test. ... In psychology, validity has two distinct fields of application. ... Rajneeshpuram is the intentional community of the followers of Rajneesh. ... An intentional community is a planned residential community designed to promote a much higher degree of social interaction than other communities. ... This article is about the controversial spiritual teacher formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Ethnography ( ethnos = people and graphein = writing) is the genre of writing that presents varying degrees of qualitative and quantitative descriptions of human social phenomena, based on fieldwork. ... Participant observation is a major research strategy which aims to gain a close and intimate familiarity with a given group of individuals (such as a religious, occupational, or deviant group) and their practices through an intensive involvement with people in their natural environment. ...


James T. Richardson contends that there are a large number of cults, and a tendency among scholars to make unjustified generalizations about them based on a select sample of observations of life in such groups or the testimonies of (ex-)members. According to Richardson, this tendency is responsible for the widely divergent opinions about cults among scholars and social scientists.[78] James T. Richardson, Ph. ...


Eileen Barker (2001) wrote that critical former members of cults complain that academic observers only notice what the leadership wants them to see.[79] Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ...


See also Apostasy in new religious movements, and Apostates and Apologists. Apostasy (from Greek αποστασία, meaning a defection or revolt, from απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of ones religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. ... It has been suggested that Opposition to cults and new religious movements be merged into this article or section. ...


Sexual gratification by leaders

Leaders of groups referred to as cults have used their positions to obtain sexual gratification from followers, or engaged in plural marriages that were not traditional to the culture outside of the group. Former group members have stated the reason why some leaders founded cults was so they could use people for sex.[80]

  • Jim Jones (1931-1978), founder of the Peoples Temple, had sex with several women, and fathered children with some.[citation needed]
  • David Koresh (1959-1993), the Seven Seals leader of Branch Davidians only in Waco, Texas, greatly restricted the sexual activity of his followers, while marrying wives as young as twelve[81] because puberty was an accepted age for marriage in Old Testament times. A former member described Koresh as "fixated with sex and with a taste for younger girls." [82] He began to teach that all the women in the world belonged to him, only he had the right to procreate, and he fathered children with his plural wives. [83].
  • Charles Manson (1934- ), leader of the informal Manson Family, drugged many of his followers with LSD and while women were under the influence, he induced them to service him sexually.[citation needed]
  • Raël (1946- ), formerly named Claude Vorilhon, founded Raelism and had sex with hundreds of women, "...a new one every day, all pretty young devotees who thought he was some kind of god." His ex-wife of 15 years continued, "...over the years I began to think the whole Raelian movement was a trick to have more sex..."[80] Raelism openly teaches a belief in sexual freedom, which is used to recruit new members, who are invited[citation needed] to participate in Sensual Meditation sessions.[84]
  • Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) (1931-1990), founder of Rajneeshpuram, declared himself a "sex guru" and enticed female followers to explore sex with. One woman said all she got was a quickie in the doggy position, and really didn't learn anything from him.[citation needed]

This article is about the Peoples Temple leader. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... David Koresh (August 17, 1959 – April 19, 1993) was the leader of a Branch Davidian religious sect, believing himself to be the final prophet. ... Seven Seals is the newest album by the german Powermetal-Band Primal Fear, released in November 2005. ... The Branch Davidians are a religious group originating from the Seventh_day Adventist church. ... For the Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas, see Waco Siege. ... Charles Milles Manson (b. ... This article or section includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly called LSD, LSD-25, or acid. ... “Rael” redirects here. ... This box:      Claude Maurice Marcel Vorilhon[2] (born September 30, 1946 in Vichy, Allier, France)[1] was a singer at a young age and soon became a sports-car journalist and test driver for his own car-racing magazine, Auto Pop. ... Raels first published book, the basis of the Raelian movement Raëlism is the belief system promoted by the Raëlian Movement, a religious organization which believes that scientifically advanced extraterrestrials known as the Elohim (one of the words used to refer to God in the Torah) created life... Sensual Meditation is the set of exercises discovered by Rael, the founder of the International Raelian Movement. ... Rajneesh Chandra Mohan Jain (December 11, 1931 - January 19, 1990), better known during the 1970s as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and later as Osho, was the founder and leader of a controversial India and the United States. ... This article is about the spiritual teacher formerly known as Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh. ... Rajneeshpuram is the intentional community of the followers of Rajneesh. ...

Allegations made by scholars or skeptics

David Christopher Lane (born April 29, 1956 in Burbank, California) is a professor of philosophy and sociology at Mount San Antonio College, USA and lecturer in religious studies at California State University, Long Beach, California. ... Paul Twitchell (d. ... For other uses, see Miracle (disambiguation). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Abraham Thomas Kovoor (April 10, 1898 - September 18, 1978) was a Keralite Indian professor and Rationalist who gained prominence after retirement for his campaign to expose as frauds various Indian god-men and so-called paranormal phenomena. ... Dr. H. Narasimhaiah Dr. H. Narasimhaiah (6 June 1920 — 31 January 2005) was a physicist, eminent educator, freedom fighter and rationalist from Bangalore. ... Basava Premanand Basava Premanand is an eminent skeptic and rationalist from Tamil Nadu, India. ... For other uses, see Guru (disambiguation). ... A fakir or faqir (Arabic: فقیر poor) is a Sufi, especially one who performs feats of endurance or apparent magic. ... Faith healing is the use of supernatural or spiritual intervention to cure disease. ... Salon. ... Christian Science is a religious teaching regarding the efficacy of spiritual healing according to the interpretation of the Bible by Mary Baker Eddy, in her book Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (first published in 1875). ... For other uses, see Plagiarism (disambiguation). ... The Eternal Jew: 1937 German poster. ... Dennis King (born 1941) is an American investigative journalist. ... John Foster Chip Berlet (born November 22, 1949) is an American photographer and researcher specializing in the study of right-wing movements in the United States, particularly the religious right, white supremacists, homophobic groups, and paramilitary organizations. ... David Christopher Lane (born April 29, 1956 in Burbank, California) is a professor of philosophy and sociology at Mount San Antonio College, USA and lecturer in religious studies at California State University, Long Beach, California. ... Sant Thakar Singh Sant Thakar Singh (March 26, 1929 - March 6, 2005) was a spiritual teacher in the Sant Mat lineage of contemporary saints. ... Stephen A. Kent, Ph. ... Doctrine Practices Concepts People Public outreach Organization Controversy Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by American pulp fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. ... Look up ad hominem in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Doctrine Practices Concepts People Public outreach Organization Controversy Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by American pulp fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. ... Lyndon LaRouche at a news conference in Paris in February 2006. ... Synanon was initially a drug rehabilitation program founded by Charles Dederich Sr. ...

Prevalence of purported cults

By one measure, between 3,000 and 5,000 purported cults existed in the United States in 1995.[87] Some of the more well-known and influential of these groups are frequently labelled as cults in the mass media. Most of these well-known groups vigorously protest the label and refuse to be classified as such, and often expend great efforts in public relations campaigns to rid themselves of the stigma associated with the term cult. But most of the thousands of purported cults live below the media's radar and are rarely or ever the subject of significant public scrutiny. Such groups rarely need to speak up in their own defense, and some of them just ignore the occasional fleeting attention they may get from the media. Demonstrators march in the street while protesting the World Bank and International Monetary Fund on April 16, 2005. ... For the Arrested Development episode, see Public Relations (Arrested Development episode). ...


Cults and governments

Main article: Cults and governments

In many countries there exists a separation of church and state and freedom of religion. Governments of some of these countries, concerned with possible abuses by groups they deem cults, have taken restrictive measures against some of their activities. Critics of such measures claim that the counter-cult movement and the anti-cult movement have succeeded in influencing governments in transferring the public's abhorrence of doomsday cults and make the generalization that it is directed against all small or new religious movements without discrimination. The critique is countered by stressing that the measures are directed not against any religious beliefs, but specifically against groups whom they see as inimical to the public order due to their totalitarianism, violations of fundamental liberties, inordinate emphasis on finances, and/or disregard for appropriate medical care.[86] In many countries there exists a separation of church and state and freedom of religion. ... Constantines Conversion, depicting the conversion of Emperor Constantine the Great to Christianity, by Peter Paul Rubens. ... The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen guarantees freedom of religion, as long as religious activities do not infringe on public order in ways detrimental to society. ...


There exists a controversy regarding religious tolerance between the United States and several European countries, especially France and Germany, that have taken legal measures directed against "cultic" groups that they believe violate human rights. The 2004 annual report by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom states that these initiatives have "...fueled an atmosphere of intolerance toward members of minority religions in France." On the other hand, the countries confronted with such allegations see the United States' attitude towards NRMs as failing to take into account the responsibility of the state for the wellbeing of its citizens, especially concerning children and incapacitated persons. They further claim that the interference of the United States in their internal affairs is at least partially due to the domestic lobbying of cults and cult apologists.[86]


In recent decades, governmental clashes with groups referred to as cults in the United States have been the result of real or perceived violations of the law by the groups in question, rather than unconstitutional religious persecution. The 2008 felony conviction of Warren Jeffs, leader of FLDS, is a recent case of the U.S. government prosecuting a group referred to as a cult, based on its religious yet illegal belief in arranged and compulsory underage marriage. But it is also possible that negative perceptions of a group by prosecutors could make them more quick to prosecute than they might otherwise be; the income tax case against Reverend Moon is sometimes cited as such an incident.[88] The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is a denomination of Mormon fundamentalists within the Latter Day Saint movement, and may be Americas largest polygamous group. ... Tax rates around the world Tax revenue as % of GDP Economic policy Monetary policy Central bank   Money supply Fiscal policy Spending   Deficit   Debt Trade policy Tariff   Trade agreement Finance Financial market Financial market participants Corporate   Personal Public   Banking   Regulation        An income tax is a tax levied on the financial income...


It has been argued that brainwashing theory promulgated by scholars in the psychological anti-cult movement has been a key contributing factor to violent events, including the deaths of close to 100 members of the Seven Seals group of Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas.[89] However, as revealed in the subsequent televised congressional investigations into the Branch-Davidian Waco Siege, simple technical incompetence by U.S. law enforcement contributed greatly to the disastrous outcome. (See Waco Siege). Brainwashing (also known as thought reform or as re-education) consists of any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person — sometimes unwelcome beliefs in conflict with the persons prior beliefs and knowledge. ... Seven Seals is the newest album by the german Powermetal-Band Primal Fear, released in November 2005. ... The Branch Davidians are a religious group originating from the Seventh_day Adventist church. ... For the Branch Davidian siege in Waco, Texas, see Waco Siege. ... Combatants ATF, FBI, U.S. Army Branch Davidians Commanders Assault: Phil Chojnacki Siege: Many David Koresh† Strength Assault: 75 ATF agents Siege: Hundreds of federal agents and soldiers 50+ men, 75+ women and children Casualties 4 dead, 21 wounded in assault 6 dead and 3+ wounded in assault, 79 dead...


A 1995 Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France issued an official Report in French (unofficial French Report translation), in which a list of groups classified as cults compiled by the general information division of the French National Police (Renseignements généraux) was reprinted. In it were listed 173 groups. Members of some of the groups included in the list have alleged instances of intolerance due to the ensuing negative publicity. The French authorities set up the Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France (Commission parlementaire sur les sectes en France) on 11 July 1995 following the events involving the members of the Order of the Solar Temple in late 1994 in the French region of Vercors, in Switzerland and in Canada. ... The National Police (Police Nationale) is one of two national police forces and the main civil law enforcement agency of France, with primary jurisdiction in cities and large towns. ... The Renseignements Généraux or RG (General Information) is a directorate of the French National Police. ...


The "Interministerial Mission in the Fight Against Cults" (MILS) was formed in 1998 to coordinate government monitoring of "sectes" (the word meaning "cults" in French). In February 1998 MILS released its annual report on the monitoring of cults. The president of MILS resigned in June under criticism, and an interministerial working group was formed to determine the future parameters of the Government's monitoring of cults. In November the Government announced the formation of the Interministerial Monitoring Mission Against Sectarian Abuses (MIVILUDES), which is charged with observing and analyzing movements that constitute a threat to public order or that violate French law, coordinating the appropriate response, informing the public about potential risks, and helping victims to receive aid. In its announcement of the formation of MIVILUDES, the Government acknowledged that its predecessor, MILS, had been criticized for certain actions abroad that could have been perceived as contrary to religious freedom. On May 2005, former prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin issued a circular indicating that the list of cults published on the parliamentary report of 1995 should no longer be used to identify groups.[90] Jean-Pierre Raffarin Jean-Pierre Raffarin   listen? (born August 3, 1948) is a French conservative politician. ...


Cults in literature

Cults have been a sub­ject or theme in literature and popular culture since ancient times. There are many references to it in the 20th century. This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... For other uses, see Literature (disambiguation). ... Popular culture (or pop culture) is the widespread cultural elements in any given society that are perpetuated through that societys vernacular language or lingua franca. ...


See also

Apostasy (from Greek αποστασία, meaning a defection or revolt, from απο, apo, away, apart, στασις, stasis, standing) is a term generally employed to describe the formal renunciation of ones religion, especially if the motive is deemed unworthy. ... An atrocity story as defined by the sociologists David G. Bromley and Anson D. Shupe is the symbolic presentation of action or events (real or imaginary) in such a context that they are made flagrantly to violate the (presumably) shared premises upon which a given set of social relationships should... Sociologists have proposed various classifications of cults and/or of new religious movements. ... In many countries there exists a separation of church and state and freedom of religion. ... Cult Awareness Network - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Cult suicide is that phenomenon by which some cults, have led to their membership committing suicide. ... There are a number of models regarding the ways in which religions come into being and develop. ... The term destructive cult (sometimes called doomsday cult) is sometimes used to refer to that small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people, either the group members themselves or others outside of the group. ... Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. ... A hate group is an organized group or movement that advocates hate, hostility, or violence towards members of a race, ethnicity, religion, gender or other designated sector of society, or that supports and publishes assertions and argumentation characteristic of hate groups without necessarily explicitly advocating such hate or violence that... This list contains groups referred to as cults or sects by reliable sources. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... Opposition to cults and new religious movements (NRMs) comes from several sources with diverse concerns. ... A pious fraud is a term used by skeptics for people who perform fraud in religion (for example, a pious fraud fakes miracles or psychic surgery) because of a sincere belief that the end justifies the means in religious matters. ... Religious conversion is the adoption of a new religious identity, or a change from one religious identity to another. ... This article is about religious groups. ... In sociology, a social implosion refers to an event where a subgroup of a larger group suddenly becomes separated from the larger group -- the members of the subgroup sever their connections to the larger group (often society as a whole), and their entire social lives become involved in the smaller... // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ... True-believer syndrome is a term coined by M. Lamar Keene in his 1976 book The Psychic Mafia referring to an irrational belief in paranormal events, even after direct confession or evidence that the events were fraudulently staged. ...

References

Notes

  1. ^ Star Trek has an extremely large following but can still be considered 'cult' due to the intense loyalty the franchise inspires; see Cult following
  2. ^ Cult Concerns: An Overview of Cults and their Harmful Methods in the UK. http://www.cultinformation.org.uk/articles.html
  3. ^ Robert J. Lifton, 1961, Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism (cited by freedomofmind.com)
  4. ^ Alexander, F., Rollins, R. (1984). “Alcoholics Anonymous: The Unseen Cult,” California Sociologist, Vol. 7, No. 1, Winter, page 32 as cited in Ragels, L. Allen "Is Alcoholics Anonymous a Cult? An Old Question Revisited" “AA uses all the methods of brain washing, which are also the methods employed by cults ... It is our contention that AA is a cult.” transcribed to Freedom of Mind, website and retrieved on August 23, 2006.
  5. ^ Vaillant, 2005, concluded that AA "..appears equal to or superior to conventional treatments for alcoholism,..." and "...is probably without serious side-effects." Vaillant GE. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2005 Jun;39(6):431-6. Pubmed abstract PMID: 15943643
  6. ^ The AA brand has community relations problems at some of the totally self-governed local chapters, where questionable sexual contacts and discontinuation of psychiatric medicines have been encouraged during counseling of young female members. Midtown Group: AA Group Leads Members Away from Traditions; More Allegations Arise About Midtown AA: Mom Claims Daughter Was Coerced Into Sex
  7. ^ "During the 1920s and 1930s, sociologists who were studying religion started to use it to refer to those faith groups that were not full denominations or sects." —Ontario Consultants On Religious Tolerance: Cults, Sects and Denominations. OCRT references Superior Court of California, 1985: "It began as a sociological term in the twenties and thirties."; testimony of Dr. J. Gordon Melton, UCSB (author of the Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America; see #Bibliography#Books).
  8. ^ "This popular use of the term has gained such credence and momentum that it has virtually swallowed up the more neutral historical meaning of the term from the sociology of religion" James T. Richardson wrote in 1993.
  9. ^ "The use of the concept "new religious movements" in public discourse is problematic for the simple reason that it has not gained currency. Speaking bluntly from personal experience, when I use the concept "new religious movements," the large majority of people I encounter don't know what I'm talking about. I am invariably queried as to what I mean. And, at some point in the course of my explanation, the inquirer unfailing responds, "oh, you mean you study cults!" " --Prof. Jeffrey K. Hadden quoted from Conceptualizing "Cult" and "Sect" (cited by cultfaq.org)
  10. ^ "...use of the term 'cult' by academics, the public and the mass media, from its early academic use in the sociology of religion to recent calls for the term to be abandoned by scholars of religion because it is now so overladen with negative connotations. But scholars of religion have a duty not to capitulate to popular opinion, media and governments in the arena of the 'politics of representation'. The author argues that we should continue using the term 'cult' as a descriptive technical term. It has considerable educational value in the study of religions. " --Michael York quoted from [http://www.uni-marburg.de/religionswissenschaft/journal/diskus/york.html Defending the Cult in the Politics of Representation] DISKUS Vol.4 No.2 (1996) (cited by cultfaq.org)
  11. ^ Flinn, Frank K. (2005-07-05). Scientology. Live discussion. Washington Post. Retrieved on 2008-02-04.
  12. ^ a b Stark, Rodney and Bainbridge, Willia S. A Theory of Religion," Rutgers University Press, 1987,1996, ISBN 0-8135-2330-3
  13. ^ (or in some cases polysemes)
  14. ^ Cult? What Do You Mean? - Cultfaq.org
  15. ^ a b c Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary entry for cult [1]
  16. ^ Martin, Walter. The Rise of the Cults (1955), 11–12.
  17. ^ Bowman, Robert M., A Biblical Guide To Orthodoxy And Heresy, 1994, [2]
  18. ^ Nigerian gangs turn their guns on their own - International Herald Tribune
  19. ^ AskOxford: cult
  20. ^ AskOxford: sect
  21. ^ Examples of contemporary British "cult" usage: Daily Telegraph; Scotsman Example of contemporary British "sect" usage: "Before beginning counselling the counsellor needs to be sure that it was indeed a cult and not a sect in which the person was enmeshed. A sect may be described as a spin-off from an established religion or quite eclectic, but it does not use techniques of mind control on its membership."Web site, UK-based, Cult Information Centre
  22. ^ [3]
  23. ^ Conceptualizing "Cult" and "Sect"#Key Concepts Defined Web archive document; Date: 1999-06-25, Document author: Prof. Jeffrey K. Hadden (1937-2003). - "CHURCH: a conventional religious organization." - "SECT: a deviant religious organization with traditional beliefs and practices." - "CULT: a deviant religious organization with novel beliefs and practices." [Hadden cites] Stark and Bainbridge, 1987:[p]124; (1987:124 full citation: Stark, Rodney, and William Sims Bainbridge, 1987. A Theory of Religion. New York: Peter Land. [Reprinted, 1996 by Rutgers University Press])
  24. ^ Barker, E. New Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction (1990), Bernan Press, ISBN 0-11-340927-3
  25. ^ Wallis, Roy The Road to Total Freedom A Sociological analysis of Scientology (1976) available online (bad scan)
  26. ^ Wallis, Roy Scientology: Therapeutic Cult to Religious Sect abstract only (1975)
  27. ^ Galanter, 1989; Mithers, 1994; Ofshe & Watters, 1994; Singer, Temerlin, & Langone, 1990; Zimbardo & leipper, 1991
  28. ^ Psychology 101, Carole Wade et al., 2005
  29. ^ http://www.freedomofmind.com/resourcecenter/responsibility/mind.htm
  30. ^ T. Robbins and D. Anthony (1982:283, quoted in Richardson 1993:351) ("...certain manipulative and authoritarian groups which allegedly employ mind control and pose a threat to mental health are universally labeled cults. These groups are usually 1) authoritarian in their leadership; 2)communal and totalistic in their organization; 3) aggressive in their proselytizing; 4) systematic in their programs of indoctrination; 5)relatively new and unfamiliar in the United states; 6)middle class in their clientele")
  31. ^ The Definitional Ambiguity of "Cult" and ICSA’s Mission
  32. ^ William Chambers, Michael Langone, Arthur Dole & James Grice, The Group Psychological Abuse Scale: A Measure of the Varieties of Cultic Abuse, Cultic Studies Journal, 11(1), 1994. The definition of a cult given above is based on a study of 308 former members of 101 groups.
  33. ^ West, L. J., & Langone, M. D. (1985). Cultism: A conference for scholars and policy makers. Summary of proceedings of the Wingspread conference on cultism, September 9–11. Weston, MA: American Family Foundation.
  34. ^ A discussion and list of ACM (anti-cult movement) groups can be found at http://www.religioustolerance.org/acm.htm.
  35. ^ Some examples of sources (with published dates where known) that documented this approach are:
    • Heresies and Cults, by J. Oswald Sanders, pub. 1948.
    • Cults and Isms, by J. Oswald Sanders, pub. 1962, 1969, 1980 (Arrowsmith), ISBN 0-551-00458-4.
    • Chaos of the Cults, by J.K. van Baalen.
    • Heresies Exposed, by W.C. Irvine.
    • Confusion of Tongues, by C.W. Ferguson.
    • Isms New and Old, by Julius Bodensieck.
    • Some Latter-Day Religions, by G.H. Combs.
    • The Kingdom of the Cults, by Walter Martin, Ph.D., pub. 1965, 1973, 1977, ISBN 0-87123-300-2
  36. ^ Miller, Timothy, Religious Movements in the United States: An Informal Introduction (2003) [4]
  37. ^ Barrett, D. V. The New Believers - A survey of sects, cults and alternative religions 2001 UK, Cassell & Co. ISBN 0-304-35592-5
  38. ^ Langone, Michael, "Clinical Update on Cults", Psychiatric Times July 1996 Vol. XIII Issue 7 [5]
  39. ^ Galanter, Marc M.D.(Editor), (1989), Cults and new religious movements: a report of the committee on psychiatry and religion of the American Psychiatric Association, ISBN 0-89042-212-5
  40. ^ Bader, Chris & A. Demaris, A test of the Stark-Bainbridge theory of affiliation with religious cults and sects. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 35, 285-303. (1996)
  41. ^ http://religiousmovements.lib.virginia.edu/cultsect/concult.htm#scholar_v_public
  42. ^ Hadden, Jeffrey K. SOC 257: New Religious Movements Lectures, University of Virginia, Department of Sociology.
  43. ^ Detecting prejudice in the brain
  44. ^ See Groups referred to as cults in government reports
  45. ^ (See Destructive cult.)
  46. ^ Hall, John R. and Philip Schuyler (1998), Apostasy, Apocalypse, and religious violence: An Exploratory comparison of Peoples Temple, the Branch Davidians, and the Solar Temple, in the book The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements edited by David G. Bromley Westport, CT, Praeger Publishers, (1998). ISBN 0-275-95508-7, page 145 "The tendency to treat Peoples Temple as the cultus classicus headed by Jim Jones, psychotic megalomaniac par excellence is still with us, like most myths, because it has a grain of truth to it. "
  47. ^ McLemee, Scott Rethinking Jonestown on the salon.com website "If Jones' People's Temple wasn't a cult, then the term has no meaning."
  48. ^ Bioterrorism in History - 1984: Rajneesh Cult Attacks Local Salad Bar, WBUR
  49. ^ [http://www.rickross.org/reference/rajneesh/rajneesh8.html AP The Associated Press/October 19, 2001
  50. ^ Polygamist 'prophet' to serve at least 10 years in prison - CNN.com, 2007-11-20
  51. ^ United States vs. Mary Sue Hubbard et al., 493 F. Supp. 209 (D.D.C. 1979).
  52. ^ State of Florida vs. Church of Scientology Felony Indictment; 1998-11-13, Retrieved Feb. 1 2008
  53. ^ KOIN 6 News Retrieved June 7, 2007
  54. ^ http://www.oregonlive.com/oregonian/stories/index.ssf?/base/news/1181267788141050.xml&coll=7
  55. ^ Wilsonville Spokesman: Morrissey to meet with LEC 'refugees' Retrieved June 9, 2007
  56. ^ Barker, E. (1984), The Making of a Moonie, p.147, Oxford: Basil Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-13246-5
  57. ^ See the sources referenced for each group at List of groups referred to as cults
  58. ^ Dr. Zablocki, Benjamin [6] Paper presented to a conference, Cults: Theory and Treatment Issues, May 31, 1997 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  59. ^ a b Kranenborg, Reender Dr. (Dutch language) Sekten... gevaarlijk of niet?/Cults... dangerous or not? published in the magazine Religieuze bewegingen in Nederland/Religious movements in the Netherlands nr. 31 Sekten II by the Free university Amsterdam (1996) ISSN 0169-7374 ISBN 90-5383-426-5
  60. ^ See Dennis Tourish and Tim Wohlforth, On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left, Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe, 2000. [7]
  61. ^ Bob Pitt, Review of Dennis Tourish and Tim Wohlforth, On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left. What Next Journal (online), No. 17, 2000 [8]
  62. ^ Amway/Quixtar. Apologetics Index. Retrieved on 2007-06-11.
  63. ^ Pilgrims of Love: The Anthropology of a Global Sufi Cult. By Pnina Werbner. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003. xvi, 348 pp "...the excessive use of “cult” is also potentially misleading. With its pejorative connotations"
  64. ^ Definitions of Cult: From Sociological-Technical to Popular-Negative James T. Richardson Review of Religious Research, Vol. 34, No. 4 (Jun., 1993), pp. 348-356 "the term cult is useless, and should be avoided because of the confusion between the historic meaning of the term and current pejorative use"
  65. ^ FIRM: The Foundation against Intolerance of Religious Minorities
  66. ^ Amy Ryan: New Religions and the Anti-Cult Movement: Online Resource Guide in Social Sciences (2000) [9]
  67. ^ a b Casino. Bruce J., Defining Religion in American Law, 1999, [10]
  68. ^ Duhaime, Jean (Université de Montréal), Les Témoigagnes de Convertis et d'ex-Adeptes (English: The testimonies of converts and former followers, an article which appeared in the book New Religions in a Postmodern World edited by Mikael Rothstein and Reender Kranenborg, RENNER Studies in New religions, Aarhus University press, 2003, ISBN 87-7288-748-6
  69. ^ a b Giambalvo, Carol, Post-cult problems [11]
  70. ^ Hadden, J and Bromley, D eds. (1993), The Handbook of Cults and Sects in America. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press, Inc., pp. 75-97.
  71. ^ BBC News 20 May 2000: Sect leavers have mental problems [12]
  72. ^ Burks, Ronald, Cognitive Impairment in Thought Reform Environments [13]
  73. ^ F. Derks and the professor of psychology of religion Jan van der Lans The post-cult syndrome: Fact or Fiction?, paper presented at conference of Psychologists of Religion, Catholic University Nijmegen, 1981, also appeared in Dutch language as Post-cult-syndroom; feit of fictie?, published in the magazine Religieuze bewegingen in Nederland/Religious movements in the Netherlands nr. 6 pages 58-75 published by the Free university Amsterdam (1983)
  74. ^ Wilson, Bryan R. Apostates and New Religious Movements, Oxford, England, 1994
  75. ^ Melton, Gordon J., Brainwashing and the Cults: The Rise and Fall of a Theory, 1999
  76. ^ a b c d Carter, Lewis, F. Lewis, Carriers of Tales: On Assessing Credibility of Apostate and Other Outsider Accounts of Religious Practices published in the book The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements edited by David G. Bromley Westport, CT, Praeger Publishers, (1998). ISBN 0-275-95508-7
  77. ^ Johnson, Daniel Carson (1998) Apostates Who Never were: the Social Construction of Absque Facto Apostate Narratives, published in the book The Politics of Religious Apostasy: The Role of Apostates in the Transformation of Religious Movements edited by David G. Bromley Westport, CT, Praeger Publishers, (1998). ISBN 0-275-95508-7
  78. ^ Richardson, James T. (1989) The Psychology of Induction: A Review and Interpretation, article that appeared in the book edited by Marc Galanter M.D. (1989) Cults and new religious movements: a report of the committee on psychiatry and religion of the American Psychiatric Association ISBN 0-89042-212-5
  79. ^ Barker, E. (2001), Watching for Violence: A Comparative Analysis of the Roles of Five Types of Cult-Watching Groups, available online
  80. ^ a b I was married to clone cult leader Rael 15 years. He wrecked my life and our children's. Mail on Sunday (UK) - 2003-01-12
  81. ^ USA today, 4 March 1993, p. 3A
  82. ^ Koresh preached sex to prepare young girls for intercourse. One follower said "Sexual themes were associated with pleasing Koresh, and procreating [to fill] the earth with his glorious seed".Time, 1993-05-17
  83. ^ His justification was that "God believed it was necessary to send him (Koresh) down to be a sinful Jesus so that, when he stood in judgement of sinners on Judgement Day, he would have experience of all sin and degradation." Time magazine, 15 March 1993, p. 38
  84. ^ Sex used to recruit Raelians The Edmonton Sun - 2003-10-11. When questioned, Raelian Bishop Rickey Lee said: "There aren't orgies going on all the time."
  85. ^ Lane, David C., The Guru Has No Turban: Part 2 [14]
  86. ^ a b c Kent, Stephen A. Brainwashing in Scientology's Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), 1997 [15]
  87. ^ Singer, M with Lalich, J (1995). Cults in Our Midst, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. ISBN 0-7879-0051-6
  88. ^ Sherwood, Carlton (1991) Inquisition: The Persecution and Prosecution of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon. Washington, D.C.: Regnery (ISBN 0-89526-532-X)
  89. ^ Anthony D, Robbins T, Barrie-Anthony S. Cult and Anticult Totalism: Reciprocal Escalation and Violence. Terrorism and Political Violence, Volume 14, Special Issue 1, Spring 2002, pp. 211-240.
  90. ^ Circulaire du 27 mai 2005 relative à la lutte contre les dérives sectaires

This article does not discuss cultist groups, personality cults, or cult in its original sense of religious practice. See cult (disambiguation) for more meanings of the term cult. A cult following is a group of fans devoted to a specific area of pop culture. ... Dr. John Gordon Melton is the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and is a research specialist with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. ... The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) is a coeducational public university located in Santa Barbara County, California. ... Cult typically refers to a cohesive social group devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture considers outside the mainstream, with a notably positive or negative popular perception. ... // The sociology of religion is primarily the study of the practices, social structures, historical backgrounds, development, universal themes, and roles of religion in society. ... James T. Richardson, Ph. ... Year 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday (link displays full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 186th day of the year (187th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 35th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the specialised use of homonym in scientific nomenclature, see Homonym (botany) and Homonym (zoology). ... Merriam-Webster, originally known as the G. & C. Merriam Company of Springfield, Massachusetts, is a United States company that publishes reference books, especially dictionaries that are descendants of Noah Websters An American Dictionary of the English Language (1828). ... The Cult Information Centre (CIC) is a Britain-based organization that provides information and advice to members of what the organization terms as cults, as well as affected family members[1], members of the press and scholarly researchers. ... Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ... Louis Jolyon (Jolly) West (1924 in Brooklyn, New York - January 2, 1999 in Los Angeles) was an American psychiatrist, human rights activist and expert on brainwashing, mind control, torture, substance abuse, post traumatic stress disorder and violence. ... is the 252nd day of the year (253rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Timothy Miller is a historian of religion whose special interest is new and alternative religions and the history of communitarianism. ... Michael Langone, Ph. ... The Medicinæ Doctor or Doctor of Medicine (M.D. or D.M.) is a doctorate level degree held by medical doctors. ... Due to the epidemic of medical errors, readers are cautioned to be aware that the American Psychiatric Association isnt immune to this. ... This list include groups that have been referred to as cults in official government reports. ... The term destructive cult (sometimes called doomsday cult) is sometimes used to refer to that small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people, either the group members themselves or others outside of the group. ... Salon. ... WBUR is the larger of two NPR member stations in Boston, Massachusetts. ... is the 292nd day of the year (293rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... This article is about the year. ... Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ... The Making of a Moonie: Choice or Brainwashing? is a November 1984 sociology book written by Eileen Barker , Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, United Kingdom, ISBN 0631132465. ... This list contains groups referred to as cults or sects by reliable sources. ... is the 151st day of the year (152nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... For the band, see 1997 (band). ... The Vrije Universiteit is a university in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. ... On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left is a non-fiction book about political cults, written by Dennis Tourish and Tim Wohlforth. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. ... is the 162nd day of the year (163rd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Amy Ryan is the Project Coordinator for the Research Database component of Child Care and Early Education Research Connections, a joint project of National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) of Columbia University, the Child Care Bureau of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the Inter... The Université de Montréal (UdeM) (translated into English commonly as (the) University of Montreal) is one of six universities in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. ... University of Aarhus The University of Aarhus is a university based in Århus, Denmark. ... is the 140th day of the year (141st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2000 (MM) was a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Psychology of religion is psychologys theory of religious experiences and beliefs. ... Jan van der Lans was a professor in psychology of religion at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. ... The Radboud University Nijmegen, formerly called Catholic University of Nijmegen is the university of the Dutch city of Nijmegen. ... The Vrije Universiteit is a university in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. ... James T. Richardson, Ph. ... Due to the epidemic of medical errors, readers are cautioned to be aware that the American Psychiatric Association isnt immune to this. ... Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ... David Christopher Lane (born April 29, 1956 in Burbank, California) is a professor of philosophy and sociology at Mount San Antonio College, USA and lecturer in religious studies at California State University, Long Beach, California. ... Stephen A. Kent, Ph. ... Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003) was a clinical psychologist and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Dr. Singer was born in Denver and received her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Denver. ...

Bibliography

Books

  • Barker, E. (1989) New Religious Movements: A Practical Introduction, London, HMSO
  • Bromley, David et al.: Cults, Religion, and Violence, 2002, ISBN 0-521-66898-0
  • Enroth, Ronald. (1992) Churches that Abuse, Zondervan, ISBN 0-310-53290-6
  • House, Wayne: Charts of Cults, Sects, and Religious Movements, 2000, ISBN 0-310-38551-2
  • Kramer, Joel and Alstad, Diane: The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power, 1993.
  • Lalich, Janja: Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults, 2004, ISBN 0-520-24018-9
  • Landau Tobias, Madeleine et al. : Captive Hearts, Captive Minds, 1994, ISBN 0-89793-144-0
  • Lewis, James R. The Oxford Handbook of New Religious Movements Oxford University Press, 2004
  • Lewis, James R. Odd Gods: New Religions and the Cult Controversy, Prometheus Books, 2001
  • Martin, Walter et al.: The Kingdom of the Cults, 2003, ISBN 0-7642-2821-8
  • Melton, Gordon: Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America, 1992 (Search inside), ISBN 0-8153-1140-0
  • Oakes, Len: Prophetic Charisma: The Psychology of Revolutionary Religious Personalities, 1997, ISBN 0-8156-0398-3 Excerpts
  • Phoenix, Lena: The Heart of a Cult, 2006, ISBN 0-9785483-0-2
  • Singer, Margaret Thaler: Cults in Our Midst: The Continuing Fight Against Their Hidden Menace, 1992, ISBN 0-7879-6741-6 Excerpts
  • Tourish, Dennis: 'On the Edge: Political Cults Right and Left, 2000, ISBN 0-7656-0639-9
  • Williams, Miriam: (1998) Heaven's Harlots: My Fifteen Years As a Sacred Prostitute in the Children of God Cult . William Morrow & Co. ISBN 978-0688155049.
  • Wilson, Colin Rogue Messiahs: Tales of Self-Proclaimed Saviors, 2000, Hampton Roads Publishing Company. ISBN 978-1571741752
  • Zablocki, Benjamin et al.: Misunderstanding Cults: Searching for Objectivity in a Controversial Field, 2001, ISBN 0-8020-8188-6

Eileen Barker is a professor in sociology and is an emeritus member of the London School of Economics, and a consultant to that institutions Centre for the Study of Human Rights at. ... Churches That Abuse, first published in 1991, is a best-selling sociologically-oriented book written by Dr. Ronald Enroth about Christian churches and organizations he perceives as spiritually abusive and the effects these groups can have on their members. ... James R. Lewis is a professional writer and academic specializing in new religious movements and New Age. ... Oxford University Press (OUP) is a highly-respected publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. ... James R. Lewis is a professional writer and academic specializing in new religious movements and New Age. ... Prometheus Books is a publishing company founded in August 1969 by Paul Kurtz and publishes scientific, educational, and popular books, especially those of a secular humanist or scientific skepticism nature. ... Dr. John Gordon Melton is the founding director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion and is a research specialist with the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. ... Margaret Thaler Singer (1921 - 2003) was a clinical psychologist and emeritus professor of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley, USA. Dr. Singer was born in Denver and received her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Denver. ... For other uses, see Colin Wilson (disambiguation). ...

Articles

  • Hardin, John W.: Defining a Cult - The Borderline Between Christian and Counterfeit: Article defining a cult by its attributes from a Biblical Christian perspective.[20]
  • Langone, Michael: Cults: Questions and Answers [21]
  • Lifton, Robert Jay: Cult Formation, The Harvard Mental Health Letter, February 1991 [22]
  • Moyers. Jim: Psychological Issues of Former Members of Restrictive Religious Groups [23]
  • Richmond, Lee J. :When Spirituality Goes Awry: Students in Cults, Professional School Counseling, June 2004 [24]
  • Robbins, T. and D. Anthony, 1982. "Deprogramming, brainwashing and the medicalization of deviant religious groups" Social Problems 29 pp 283-97.
  • Shaw, Daniel: Traumatic abuse in cults [25]
  • James T. Richardson: "Definitions of Cult: From Sociological-Technical to Popular-Negative" Review of Religious Research 34.4 (June 1993), pp. 348-356.
  • Rosedale, Herbert et al.: On Using the Term "Cult" [26]
  • Van Hoey, Sara: Cults in Court The Los Angeles Lawyer, February 1991 [27]
  • Zimbardo, Philip: What messages are behind today's cults?, American Psychological Association Monitor, May 1997 [28]
  • Aronoff, Jodi; Lynn, Steven Jay; Malinosky, Peter. Are cultic environments psychologically harmful?, Clinical Psychology Review, 2000, Vol. 20 #1 pp. 91-111
  • Rothstein, Mikael, Hagiography and Text in the Aetherius Society: Aspects of the Social Construction of a Religious Leader, an article which appeared in the book New Religions in a Postmodern World edited by Mikael Rothstein and Reender Kranenborg, RENNER Studies in New religions, Aarhus University press, ISBN 87-7288-748-6
  • Phoenix, Lena: "Thoughts on the Word Cult" [29]

Robert Jay Lifton (born May 16, 1926) is a prominent American psychiatrist and author, chiefly known for his studies of the psychological causes and effects of war and political violence. ... James T. Richardson, Ph. ... Philip G. Zimbardo (born March 23, 1933) is an American psychologist, best known for his Stanford prison experiment and bestselling introductions to psychology. ... Hagiography is the study of saints. ... The Aetherius Society is an organization founded by Dr. George King (1919-1997) in 1955. ... University of Aarhus The University of Aarhus is a university based in Århus, Denmark. ...

External links

Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to:
Cult
Wikisource has original text related to this article:
Category:Cults
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Cults
  • Apologetics Index: cults, sects, and related issues - Website of Anton Hein, essentially an evangelical Christian point of view.
  • CESNUR See CESNUR (the works of some scholars in the area of new religious movements NRMs)
  • "Cult" Defense of the term "cult" to describe the Children of God
  • Cult Awareness and Information Centre Australian site.
  • Cultic Studies: Information about Cults and Psychological Manipulation - Scholarly articles, group descriptions and news by the International Cultic Studies Association
  • Dutch Skeptics Society: Online papers, articles and books about Cults, New Religious Movements, and the Social Scientific Study of Religion
  • FactNet: research on cults, sects and related issues, with an emphasis on Scientology
  • [30] New Zealand listing of organizations
  • Info cult Canadian site.
  • Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance - articles and essays about religious groups and related subjects.
  • The Orange Papers Massive referenced site keynoted with angry cultic criticism of Alcoholics Anonymous by ex-member "Agent Orange". Some of Orange's conclusions may distort the referenced AA-effectiveness studies.
  • The Effectiveness of Alcoholics Anonymous - "Agent Green's" referenced site strongly disputes Orange Papers' "obsessive anti-AA" conclusions, and that only some members are "abusive cult extremists, like Agent Orange says".
  • Rick A. Ross Institute of New Jersey, a collection of news articles and information about cults, destructive cults, controversial groups and movements" by Rick Ross.
  • Seven Years Since the Kanungu Massacre Cults in Africa
  • University of Virginia Religious Movements Homepage - Website featuring the opinions and collected papers of the late sociologist Jeffrey Hadden, regarding new religious movements, now edited by Douglas E. Cowan
  • Cult Exit A mutual support forum for people affected by cults.
  • Sunday Morning Sell Out Cult Stories Submission Site
Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Wikiquote is one of a family of wiki-based projects run by the Wikimedia Foundation, running on MediaWiki software. ... Image File history File links Wikisource-logo. ... The original Wikisource logo. ... CESNUR is a center for studies on new religions, based in Turin, Italy. ... A new religious movement or NRM is a term used to refer to a religious faith, or an ethical, spiritual or philosophical movement of recent origin that isnt part of an established denomination, church, or religious body. ... The Children of God (COG), later known as the Family of Love, the Family, and now the Family International (TFI), is a new religious movement, widely referred to as a cult by the media and some government organizations, that started in 1968 in Huntington Beach, California, United States. ... The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is: ... an interdisciplinary network of academicians, professionals, former group members, and families who study and educate the public about social-psychological influence and control, authoritarianism, and zealotry in cultic groups, alternative movements, and other environments. ... Doctrine Practices Concepts People Public outreach Organization Controversy Scientology is a body of beliefs and related practices created by American pulp fiction author L. Ron Hubbard in 1952 as an outgrowth of his earlier self-help system, Dianetics. ... Rick Alan Ross (born 1952 in Cleveland, Ohio, United States and later named Ricky Alan Ross) is a consultant and lecturer in the area of cults. ... Jeffrey K. Hadden (1937 - 2003) was a Professor of Sociology who began teaching at the University of Virginia in 1972. ... Douglas E. Cowan Ph. ... A cult apologist is a term to describe a scholar of cults and/or new religious movements perceived as responding to the movements they study with advocacy instead of with neutral scholarship. ... In many countries there exists a separation of church and state and freedom of religion. ... This article is about the political institution. ... Cult suicide is that phenomenon by which some cults, have led to their membership committing suicide. ... The term destructive cult (sometimes called doomsday cult) is sometimes used to refer to that small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people, either the group members themselves or others outside of the group. ... The term destructive cult sometimes called doomsday cult refers to a small number of religious groups that have intentionally killed people - either themselves or others. ... Political cult is a term used to describe some groups on what is generally considered to be the political fringe. ... Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Steven Hassan Flo Conway Janja Lalich Michael Langone Thomas Lardeur[1] Jim Siegelman Margaret Singer Madeleine Landau Tobias Cult Education... Cults and new religious movements have been used as a theme or subject in literature and popular culture, while notable representatives of such groups and their followers have produced on their own a large body of literary works. ... This list include groups that have been referred to as cults in government documents. ... This list contains groups referred to as cults or sects by reliable sources. ... This list includes academic and government researchers and groups studying new religious movements and cults. ... The Cult Awareness and Information Centre is an organization that provides resources and information on groups they identify as cults and other controversial groups, based in Brisbane, Australia. ... Cult Awareness Network - Wikipedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... CESNUR is a center for studies on new religions, based in Turin, Italy. ... The Cult Information Centre (CIC) is a Britain-based organization that provides information and advice to members of what the organization terms as cults, as well as affected family members[1], members of the press and scholarly researchers. ... The Council on Mind Abuse (COMA) was a Canadian non-profit organization promoting education about cults from 1979 to 1992. ... The Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network, or FACTNet, is a Colorado-based organization committed to educating and facilitating communication about destructive mind control. ... This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedias deletion policy. ... The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is: ... an interdisciplinary network of academicians, professionals, former group members, and families who study and educate the public about social-psychological influence and control, authoritarianism, and zealotry in cultic groups, alternative movements, and other environments. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Reachout Trust is an evangelical Christian organisation. ... Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center is a residential counseling center specializing in the treatment of individuals who have suffered in abusive religious groups, organizations, and cults. ... It has been suggested that Opposition to cults and new religious movements be merged into this article or section. ... The Christian countercult movement, also known as discernment ministries is the collective designation for many mostly unrelated ministries and individual Christians who oppose non-mainstream Christian and non-Christian religious groups, which they often call cults. ... Opposition to cults and new religious movements (NRMs) comes from several sources with diverse concerns. ... Project Megiddo was a report researched and written by the FBI under Louis Freehs leadership. ... An atrocity story as defined by the sociologists David G. Bromley and Anson D. Shupe is the symbolic presentation of action or events (real or imaginary) in such a context that they are made flagrantly to violate the (presumably) shared premises upon which a given set of social relationships should... Brainwashing (also known as thought reform or as re-education) consists of any effort aimed at instilling certain attitudes and beliefs in a person — sometimes unwelcome beliefs in conflict with the persons prior beliefs and knowledge. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Brainwashing. ... A cult checklist is a group of factors proposed to identify objectively which groups, cults, or new religious movements are spurious, or likely to abuse or exploit or otherwise harm its members. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with deprogramming. ... Love bombing is the deliberate show of affection or friendship by an individual or a group of people toward another individual. ... Mind control (or thought control) has the premise that an outside source can control an individuals thinking, behavior or consciousness (either directly or more subtly). ... This article is in need of attention. ... Sociologists have proposed various classifications of cults and/or of new religious movements. ... The APA Task Force on Deceptive and Indirect Techniques of Persuasion and Control (DIMPAC) was formed at the request of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1983. ...

  Results from FactBites:
 
Cult Design inspiration (1016 words)
Idag och i morgon har vi öppet hus för våra återför-säljare här på Cult.
I helgen var jag hemma hos min syster och såg något som jag tyckte va lite kul.
Nu är vi tillbaka på Cult igen efter en intensiv konferens i Lidköping.  Vi har precis haft möte angående höst och julkatalogen.
Cult (8989 words)
Cults are groups that often exploit members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with leadership's demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called mind control, and through the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders.
Since this definition of "cult" is defined in part in terms of tension with the surrounding society, the same group may both be a cult and not a cult at different places and times.
Although in the atypical case she describes, the entire cult membership quit, more often rebellion is a combination of the walkaway and castaway patterns in that the rebellion may trigger the expulsion--essentially, the rebels provoke the cult leadership into being the agency of their break with an over-committed lifestyle.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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