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What makes a religion a cult?

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San Felice
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Postby San Felice » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:37 am

-Ocelot- wrote:If you are not allowed to leave, it's a cult.

Like Islam?

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Evil Dictators Happyland
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Postby Evil Dictators Happyland » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:41 am

San Felice wrote:
-Ocelot- wrote:If you are not allowed to leave, it's a cult.

Like Islam?

Don't even start that. Punishing apostasy isn't a Muslim thing, it's something that literally every single organized religion does when it gets to write the rules.
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-Ocelot-
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Postby -Ocelot- » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:56 am

Evil Dictators Happyland wrote:
-Ocelot- wrote:
Another definition I know of is "if a member can't fully explain what the religion is about, it's a cult".

In scientology, for example, you have to buy your way through a gorillion "OT" levels to learn about the entire Zenu story. The official explanation of what scientology means is very vague and confusing.

I'm pretty sure that the average Christian can't fully explain what Christianity is about either.


You can roughly explain what christianity is about. Christians worship a human-like god with 3 manifestations who created everything, exists everywhere since forever etc.

Scientology is about...self-improvement? Can't think of anything else.
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Postby Caracasus » Wed Sep 11, 2019 10:57 am

-Ocelot- wrote:If you are not allowed to leave, it's a cult.


Trouble is, that definition would also include my mobile phone contract, most armed forces (once you've signed up), schools and prisons.

Greed and Death wrote:Secrecy is a big one. If the majority of your members are subjected to secret rituals and those rituals become the basis of why you are different/better than outsiders.


True to some extent, although some cults are pretty open and welcoming to outsiders. The ones that tend to make the headlines are the doomsday style world rejecting ones, so those are the ones that most people tend to remember.

Honestly, I think the real problem here is the colloquial use of the word "cult" has been used to describe everything from people who support a politician to people who buy a certain product from a certain company. It does have a somewhat nebulous meaning to be fair, but there is a reasonable distinction for a cult or new religious movement.
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Evil Dictators Happyland
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Postby Evil Dictators Happyland » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:01 am

-Ocelot- wrote:
Evil Dictators Happyland wrote:I'm pretty sure that the average Christian can't fully explain what Christianity is about either.


You can roughly explain what christianity is about. Christians worship a human-like god with 3 manifestations who created everything, exists everywhere since forever etc.

Scientology is about...self-improvement? Can't think of anything else.

First of all, God isn't human-like according to most forms of Christianity, and your description doesn't say anything about Christianity itself so much as it works as a rough description of God.
Secondly, Buddhism is mostly about self-improvement, but it's definitely not a cult.
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And to add my US$0.02: This is fucking stupid.

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Postby Catsfern » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:01 am

A cult is often based around 1 charismatic leader that convinces people to surrender all personal property and freedoms to the cult.
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Postby Diopolis » Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:00 pm

Evil Dictators Happyland wrote:
San Felice wrote:Like Islam?

Don't even start that. Punishing apostasy isn't a Muslim thing, it's something that literally every single organized religion does when it gets to write the rules.

Umm hmm. This is true. But it also makes that definition useless.
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A m e n r i a
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Postby A m e n r i a » Wed Sep 11, 2019 5:29 pm

Dogmeat wrote:
A m e n r i a wrote:
I don't know, ask any demon worshipper. The Black Goat and the Snake Queen offer monetary rewards though, so maybe some people are just that desperate.

If this actually worked, Cults would be way more popular.


It does. The reasons it's not are:

  • Not a pot of people know how and who to worship when it comes to demons
  • Most people think the rituals are 2spooky4me and it's just not worth it
  • Some people are still moral enough not to
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Xmara
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Postby Xmara » Wed Sep 11, 2019 6:29 pm

This Wikihow article gives a pretty good set of guidelines.

Basically it's a cult if:
  • The organization thrives on unquestioning obedience of arbitrary rules, with harsh punishments such as excommunication or physical labor for those who disobey. Rules may require absolute subservience to leadership, being barred from interacting with anyone outside the cult, and drastic lifestyle changes.
  • Leaving the cult carries harsh consequences, such as being barred from seeing your family and friends who are still members.
  • The cult holds denunciation sessions, where the leader may humiliate members.
  • The cult obsesses over some prophecy that doesn't align with more mainstream sects, or talks of mass suicide.
  • They require you to isolate yourself from the outside world.
  • The leader is especially pompous or arrogant.
  • Members are barred from reading, watching, or listening anything that contradicts their doctrine.

There's more, but that's kinda the gist of it.
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Geneviev
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Postby Geneviev » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:09 pm

It becomes a cult when they start controlling your actions or your thoughts.
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Postby Neanderthaland » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:11 pm

A m e n r i a wrote:
Dogmeat wrote:If this actually worked, Cults would be way more popular.


It does. The reasons it's not are:

  • Not a pot of people know how and who to worship when it comes to demons
  • Most people think the rituals are 2spooky4me and it's just not worth it
  • Some people are still moral enough not to

What a load of superstitious triceratops dung.
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Kombinita Socialisma Demokratio
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Postby Kombinita Socialisma Demokratio » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:11 pm

I consider a small and extreme religious group with a hierarchy in place with some degree of a personality cult surrounding the leaders (who are considered infallible or nearly so) to be a religious cult.


Also, if someone believes that all other religious groups are cults, then they are more likely to be in a cult than the rest of the population.
I once had a teacher who asked me this and immediately told me that I was wrong, and a cultist for believing various things which meant salvation by works to the said teacher (gender roles should not exist, women should be allowed to be religious leaders [size=50](they considered this belief a violation of the first amendment, because it violated their religious freedom), and baptism under the strict conditions that they require is not necessary to go to heaven)[/size].
Last edited by Kombinita Socialisma Demokratio on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nakena
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Postby Nakena » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:14 pm

A m e n r i a wrote:
Dogmeat wrote:If this actually worked, Cults would be way more popular.


It does. The reasons it's not are:

  • Not a pot of people know how and who to worship when it comes to demons
  • Most people think the rituals are 2spooky4me and it's just not worth it
  • Some people are still moral enough not to


No it doesnts works like that.

Also theres no monetary rewards obviously.
Last edited by Nakena on Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Werpman
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Postby Werpman » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:19 pm

Tulsi Gabbard being an adherent to it.

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Nakena
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Postby Nakena » Wed Sep 11, 2019 7:23 pm

Werpman wrote:Tulsi Gabbard being an adherent to it.


Nobody cares.

We're going to get her into the White House anyways. Maybe as VP or secretary etc. Doesnt matters.

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Aeritai
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Postby Aeritai » Wed Sep 11, 2019 8:02 pm

When I hear the word cult I think about the whole Jim Jones thing.
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Postby An Alan Smithee Nation » Wed Sep 11, 2019 11:59 pm

Can't decide whether Imperial Valley Ministries meets the criteria of a cult or is simply just a scam enslaving homeless people.

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Postby Page » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:06 am

Evil Dictators Happyland wrote:
San Felice wrote:Like Islam?

Don't even start that. Punishing apostasy isn't a Muslim thing, it's something that literally every single organized religion does when it gets to write the rules.


But not all religions have a death sentence for apostasy, especially not one that is actually still enshrined into law in several countries right now in the 21st century.
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A m e n r i a
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Postby A m e n r i a » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:11 am

Neanderthaland wrote:
A m e n r i a wrote:
It does. The reasons it's not are:

  • Not a pot of people know how and who to worship when it comes to demons
  • Most people think the rituals are 2spooky4me and it's just not worth it
  • Some people are still moral enough not to

What a load of superstitious triceratops dung.


It's all real. Here, have a fact on me.

Nakena wrote:
A m e n r i a wrote:
It does. The reasons it's not are:

  • Not a pot of people know how and who to worship when it comes to demons
  • Most people think the rituals are 2spooky4me and it's just not worth it
  • Some people are still moral enough not to


No it doesnts works like that.

Also theres no monetary rewards obviously.


Yes, yes it does. What do you think the demons give, free hugs?
Last edited by A m e n r i a on Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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The Islands of Versilia
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Postby The Islands of Versilia » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:14 am

In my opinion, a cult is any superstitious and religious group that stigmatises or punishes anyone outside the cult or makes leaving the cult difficult. For this reason, I view almost all religion as cults and worth little to humanity. Abrahamism, especially Christianity and Islam, are prime examples of cults in my mind.
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Postby Neutraligon » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:31 am

Anyone here heard of the BITE model?
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Nakena
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Postby Nakena » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:35 am

The Islands of Versilia wrote:In my opinion, a cult is any superstitious and religious group that stigmatises or punishes anyone outside the cult or makes leaving the cult difficult. For this reason, I view almost all religion as cults and worth little to humanity. Abrahamism, especially Christianity and Islam, are prime examples of cults in my mind.


And not to mention they share several characteristics of what Xmara listed...

A m e n r i a wrote:Yes, yes it does. What do you think the demons give, free hugs?


Well if you got questions feel free to ask me. I would know about those matters. ;)
Last edited by Nakena on Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Nolo gap
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Postby Nolo gap » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:37 am

any belief that gives its god or gods, goddesses, whatever, a free pass for wanting to be feared, is a cult.
yes that means christianity too.

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Grand Proudhonia
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Postby Grand Proudhonia » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:39 am

Simple answer

All religions are cults
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A m e n r i a
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Postby A m e n r i a » Thu Sep 12, 2019 1:45 am

Nakena wrote:
The Islands of Versilia wrote:In my opinion, a cult is any superstitious and religious group that stigmatises or punishes anyone outside the cult or makes leaving the cult difficult. For this reason, I view almost all religion as cults and worth little to humanity. Abrahamism, especially Christianity and Islam, are prime examples of cults in my mind.


And not to mention they share several characteristics of what Xmara listed...

A m e n r i a wrote:Yes, yes it does. What do you think the demons give, free hugs?


Well if you got questions feel free to ask me. I would know about those matters. ;)


Oh, you're familiar with demons too? Which kinds?
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