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Thread: Cults

  1. #1

    Default Cults

    I've just read a book describing the experience of a couple where the wife became involved in a cult. This couple, married for more than 20 years, and having reared three children, were both intelligent, educated and employed in professional occupations.

    It seems quite incredible to me, but the author suggests every one of us could be susceptible to similar manipulation, should the cult influence come into our lives at a time when we are vulnerable for whatever reason.

    I'd be really interested to know if any ASF members have had any experiences with a cult.

    I personally find it difficult to differentiate between mainstream religions and those which seem to perhaps just fit the 'cult' criteria, e.g. Seventh Day Adventists. I've always only classified cults (on the rare occasions that I've thought about the subject at all) as the sort of David Karesh type stuff.
    Apparently not.

    What is your understanding of what constitutes a cult? What experience have you had of same? Do you imagine you could ever fall victim to this sort of manipulation?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cults

    Just had this same conversation with someone earlier in the week during a very long drive. Have you ever noticed those "Jesus is coming" signs nailed about 4 metres up the trees every 100km or so along the Bruce Highway in Qld? That's what got it all started.
    People may be drawn to cults simply because we all need to make sense of why we are all here. People need answers. The Greeks needed answers so they made gods for everything. Our Aborigines needed answers; they created a dreamtime to make sense of all the questions. Get anyone in a vulnerable situation and they will do anything you want if you play the right tune.

    What makes a good cult?


  3. #3
    Commonsense isn't that common nomore4s's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cults

    My mum is envolved in what I consider to be a cult. While it is a christian church, it isn't a mainstream church, and with the control and influence the higher members of the church have over general members it (to me at least) has alot of resemblence to a cult.

    It is very strict, ie no drinking, smoking, swearing, sex before marriage etc. But it also has a very controlling Pastor who interferes in peoples personal lives.
    My mother didn't attend my sisters wedding after being advised not to by the Pastor because my sister and her partner had been living in sin for a number of years.

    I hardly talk to my mother now, and with my first child due in a few months I'm not even sure if she will want anything to do with our baby as she will be born out of wedlock.
    Mum had told my sister a few years ago that if she had children out of wedlock Mum would not have anything to do with the kids - again on advice of the Pastor.

    Mum & other members of the church also "donate" alot of money to the church.

    While the church has affected Mums relationship with her children, she seems happy and the church does provide alot close friendships and support for her, but I suppose that is part of the attraction to cults and how they exert influence over people.
    All things are difficult before they are easy.
    Keith's Art

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cults

    Nomore4s, How difficult for you. And so disappointing for her, surely, if she doesn't get to love her grandchildren.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cults

    Hi Julia

    When I was uni, there were 3 popular kids, that joined a meditation group, which promoted jogging around the world, as a world peace effort. The guru of the group also could apparently perform some pretty amazing weight lifting feats ... which fell into perhaps the miraculous (although I only saw videos).

    Anyhow, the kids, apart from following a strict vegetarian diet, and also giving up sexual relations (to their girlfriend's annoyances) ... started to drift away from their families and friends.

    While this story is old (about 15 years ago), one I know broke early from the group (and had very strong, close and supportive family), another had 'intensive intervention' in New York visiting his family (and apparently by a famous cult buster ... and not sure how legal the methods used, and would be considered within the law), and the other just fell deeper into the commune, living with like others in an upstairs run-down dwelling serving vegetarian food on a popular strip in Sydney.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cults

    To me a cult is any group or organisation that attempts to control how you think and act. IMO that includes ANY religion. I particularly dislike ones that have a ban on birth control at a time when the world is suffering from the ravages oftoo many people. Having spiritual beliefs is fine as long as they're your spiritual beliefs. When someone else tells you what you should believe - RUN!

    Trouble is there are too many weak minded and insecure people who are only too willing to let someone else do the thinking for them.

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