You know you’re in a cult when

You know you’re in a cult when

11/19/2008 – by Cultivator at Recovery from Mormonism– you buy a bag of coffee and are afraid you get caught

– you have to burn the markings of your underwear before disposing them

– certain parents can’t attend the weddings of their own children

– people look at you like you’re the Antichrist when you show a shoulder

– you have to pay tons of money no matter how broke or sick you are

– only you and your tiny little group goes to the highest heaven and the
other 99.98% don’t

– you have to work for free 10-20 hours a week

– everybody’s broke but ‘headquarters’ builds a 2 billion Dollar mall

– they don’t release financial information

– no credible scientist outside your group believes in huge Nephite, Lamanite
or Etherite civilizations where 2 million died in battles

– you don’t attend church for only a few weeks and ‘concerned’ people visit
you unannounced.

– you can end up in church court because you shared non approved literature /
websites with your fellow members

– you have to answer intimate questions about your sex life

Isn’t that proof enough ?

The Mormon Cult

11/19/2008 – by Charles L. Wood, Ph.D., Emeritus Professor, The
University of Akron – submitted by Tim RathboneMormonism Is a dangerous, family-splitting religion spreading throughout the
world. The purpose of this website is to give you the scientific and factual
information you need to evaluate this religion. With this information you will
save yourself many years of heartbreak and deception or help a loved one or
friend get loose of the dangerous grip that The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter
Day Saints has on innocent people through fear and intimidation.

Cult members of the Mormon/Latter-Day Saints religion are manipulated through
fear and guilt.

This Mormon/Latter-Day Saints cult produces fear in their members because if
they don?t practice church doctrine faithfully, they believe they will fail to
reach the highest levels of heaven and fear that if they don?t wear their
garments, they will not be protected by God.

Mormon church cult proselytizing functions at three levels:

1) marketing strategy,

2) missionary lessons, and

3) use of friendshipping families.

Seventy-five million dollars was earmarked by Bonneville International, the
Mormon church’s powerful communications branch, for satellite dishes in Canada
and Mexico. The Mormon Church set a similar goal for South America, Europe,
Asia, and the Philippines. The Mormon church’s satellite is the largest video
network in the world, having the ability to merge into any cable system in North
America….it spends approximately $550 million a year.

In addition, the LDS cult has been cosmitized, that is a sacred canopy has
been developed. The following explains what cults like the Mormon church must do
to establish this sacred canopy:

1. claim contact with heaven or the cosmos

2. claim God has chosen a leader as His divinely chosen representative

3. give royal or divine status to the leader(s)

4. insist their society mirrors the divine structure of heaven

5. build temples to practice sacred ordinances

6. produce ‘sacred’ literature

Cult Characteristics of the Mormon Church:

1. Teaching that the doctrine of the Mormon Church is reality, the doctrine
is to be accepted, not understood.

2. Reality is black and white, good and evil, spiritual world versus physical
word. (As an example: “the Mormon Church cult is the only true church on the
face of the earth”.)

3. Mormon Church members are taught to feel part of an elite group: following
and accepting church doctrine insures members eternal life and a delightful life
in heaven.

4. Mormon Church members are manipulated through fear and guilt, fear that if
they don?t practice church doctrine faithfully that they will fail to reach the
highest levels of heaven, fear that if they don?t wear their garments, that they
will not be protected by God.

5. Mormon Church members are taught that any problems that they may have are
due to their own inadequacies. If they are having marital, financial or other
difficult problems, it is because they are not following Church doctrine, or are
not praying enough. Guilt, fear and shame are present in the minds of Mormons if
they are not loyal and fail to follow the church doctrine.

6. Unlike non-cult organizations, Mormon Church members find it difficult to
leave when they find out that church teachings are false or otherwise become
disenchanted with the church. They believe that terrible things will happen to
them and their family if they leave. This becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy
because those who do leave actually often do lose their family, friends and
other social contacts within the Mormon community

Is Terry Jones’ Dove World Outreach Center a cult?

Is Terry Jones’ Dove World Outreach Center a cult?

By Lauve Steenhuisen

The 4/3/2011 Post story “Local Church that torched Koran has divided pastors, family, and others” noted that some former members of Terry Jones’ Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville Florida have accused the church of being a “cult.” Sociologists of religion have mixed feelings about the word ‘cult,’ particularly after the 1993 Branch Davidian crisis in Waco Texas, where 76 ‘cult’ members died in a fire after their compound was surrounded and fired upon by government agents. Scholars of religion charge that government authorities investigating the Branch Davidians branded them a “cult’, using the term for ‘deviance amplification,’ in order to lower the public’s identification with the group thus freeing the FBI and BATF to charge the Davidian compound with tanks and tear gas.

 

 

 

 

 

 
NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 16: Controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones stands at a small protest at the site of the Park 51 proposed mosque and community center November 16, 2010 in New York City. (Mario Tama – GETTY IMAGES)

 

After the Waco incident, scholarship exploded on cult research, and now, “new religious movement” is the term scholars use to neutralize the pejorative aspects of “cult.” Cult-like tools and techniques remain in use in some groups however, designed to pacify membership. The Cult Awareness Network and International Cultic Studies Association have identified several characteristics of cult-like behavior:

1. high degrees of authoritarian control over members
2. veneration and obedience to charismatic leaders
3. insider/outsider mindset, through the use of mind-control techniques
4. infantilization and shaming of members to obviate critical thinking
5. absolute claims to truth
6. punishment and expulsion of the disobedient
7. using this punishment as a deterrent to inside members.

Former members of the Dove World Outreach church have decried Terry Jones’ demands that members swear allegiance to him, cut ties to nonmember family, restrict diet and stop outside work—all techniques associated with cult-like behavior. These techniques normalize uncritical submission.

Whether the group is a ‘cult’ however remains to be seen. Using definitions by sociologists of religion, the group wound more likely be termed a ‘sect with cult-like tendencies,’ that is, a break-off group from Christianity which asserts that they are more authentic to the original teachings of the host religion, more purged of cultural accretions, and use a high degree of tension with the ‘established’ manifestations of the religion and with the surrounding society in order to create their own organizational identity.

The Dove World Outreach Center has dwindled down to 30 members, several of them family members of Terry Jones himself. Like Fred Phelps’ Westboro Baptist Church, public recognition gives them the significance they crave, even if highly negative. They use positive recognition to legitimate their authority within the group, and use negative attention to demonstrate to members that they are indeed the ‘pure and righteous’ showing a corrupt and lawless world the right way to go.

 

 

Cult and Sect Definition Characteristics

Cult Definition:

A small religious/spiritual group which demonstrates 1. high degrees of authoritarian control over members, 2. veneration and obedience to charismatic leaders, 3. insider/outsider mindset, through the use of mind-control techniques, 4. infantilizing and shaming of members to obviate critical thinking, 5. absolute claims to truth, 6. punishment and expulsion of disobedient.

Mind control

(Also known as brainwashing, coercive persuasion, mind abuse, thought control, or thought reform) refers to a process in which a group or individual “systematically uses unethically manipulative methods to persuade others to conform to the wishes of the manipulator(s), often to the detriment of the person being manipulated.” Mind control is facilitated through the use of isolating the individual, demanding repetitive behaviors, depriving them of sleep, water, and food, and enforced assertions of obedience and subservience.

 

Meaning of the word “sect:”

A sect is a small religious group that is an offshoot of an established religion or denomination. It holds most beliefs in common with its religion of origin, but has a number of novel concepts which differentiate them from that religion.

Sects assert that they are more authentic to the original teachings of the host religion, more purged of cultural accretions, and use a high degree of tension with the ‘established’ manifestations of the religion and with the surrounding society in order to create their own organizational identity.

 

Lauve Steenhuisen is a scholar of American theologies and religious movements and teaches at Georgetown University.

 

 

By Lauve Steenhuisen