When does a group belief become a cult and why?

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posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:28 PM
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We all believe in something and most of the time its harmless. We might believe its not advisable to walk under ladders and then try tell our friends to believe the same harmless belief.
My question is this what happens when our belief isnt harmless and we pass it onto a number of friends, when does this group belief actually become a cult and how does this happen?


Every cult can be defined as a group having all of the following 5 characteristics:
1. It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members

2. It forms an elitist totalitarian society

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

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

5. Its wealth does not benefit its members or society


In the past 40 years many cults have sprung up namely The Sisters of Wicca, Brotherhood of Evil, Slaves to Lust, Kingdom of hell, The Vampire Clan and of course Heavens Gate. (source Cults revealed, Peter Haining)

Most start off as a "religion or spiritual society" usually with some space god, alien or universal light as its figure head. They usually have new age ideas dressed up but at source theirs is usually the only way. The actual belief system is hidden until followers become members of its inner circle. It is here within the inner circle the real belief core is revealed as satanic, demonic, lusty, vampirish or even suicidal. Usually at this point members are so deep into the cult they can no longer escape.

Examples of terrible outcomes are given below.


Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple
914 members killed themselves by drinking cyanide

Order of Solar Temple
53 people set fire to themselves, including children


At what point did the above become more than a group of people with a belief and turn into a cult and why?

How does a cult leader establish intellectual, spiritual, physical and sexual control over his followers?

Just a subject I find interesting and of the moment.







posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:40 PM
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When belief becomes ORGANIZED, than it changes into a cult...

Second line, lol



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:45 PM
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Originally posted by 5thElement
When belief becomes ORGANIZED, than it changes into a cult...

Second line, lol


Yes that sounds about right, rather than a group of friends just sat chatting about said belief it turns into an organisation with only one person in charge rather than a group with equal control over what they believe.

Interesting thread headlightone.

EDIT : S&F


[edit on 3-3-2009 by Mr Green]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:47 PM
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Thanks MG.
I would love to hear from any ex cult, or society members or even some current members .
information from both sides of the fence would be great.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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When your organization resorts to buying snuggies!! :



[edit on 3/3/2009 by Choronzon]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:52 PM
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With some groups you notice the subtle beginnings of a cult when they start feeling better than others, start using their own specialized vocabulary and definitions and dont take scrutiny very well.

I think we all know what cults are...its a much more interesting question when a group belief starts BECOMING a cult. Starred.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:54 PM
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I believe rather or not a group is a cult or not is subjective.

As well why does cult have to have a negative conotation?

[edit on 3-3-2009 by cindymars]

Edited to add:

I rather like cults.
Its just NEVER drink the Koolaid.

[edit on 3-3-2009 by cindymars]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 01:57 PM
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I think there's more to it than just becoming organized. I think it's when the group decides that they need more members and try to recruit AND when the cult becomes the most important priority in their lives. When their family and friends take a back seat to their commitment to their fellow cult members and whatever mission they are focused on.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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Originally posted by cindymars

I believe rather or not a group is a cult or not is subjective.

As well why does cult have to have a negative conotation?

[edit on 3-3-2009 by cindymars]


Your right not all groups are cults at all, but in the OP it said this

"My question is this what happens when our belief isnt harmless and we pass it onto a number of friends, when does this group belief actually become a cult and how does this happen?"

It says harmful, when does a group activity become harmful (harmless) so to me a harmless group is not a cult, its a group of friends with the same belief.

Good point Cindy not all groups are cults. But does not the word cult summon up groups who are controlled in a manipulative way? We need the definition of cult I think to clear this one up.

EDIT : What is this Koolaid Ive seen it posted before? Sounds like a suicide drink is it??

[edit on 3-3-2009 by Mr Green]



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:11 PM
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www.harekrishna.com...

Obviously choosing a Guru is not an easy occupation the above link explains this.
A society or cult leader has a great deal of responsability to his followers.
He needs to be very carefull how he tends his flock at source he has changed the belief of people its a form of brainwash that requires constant attention .Very hard to maintain I would wager.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by headlightone
 


How about Charles Manson and his merry band?

I think cults happen when people are enticed to do things that go against their own personal morals because their leader asks them to.

Then they are brainwashed into thinking they did nothing wrong!



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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The necessary ingredient is the authority - to implement the rules.
Cult also has its ideology, language, symbolism, etc... a whole world into which everybody either fits or doesn't .

The authority is necessary to impose this projection on everyone.

By force.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:26 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I think there's more to it than just becoming organized. I think it's when the group decides that they need more members and try to recruit AND when the cult becomes the most important priority in their lives. When their family and friends take a back seat to their commitment to their fellow cult members and whatever mission they are focused on.


I usually highly appreciate your posts, but I'll have to disagree with you on this one...

Christianity=organized belief.

They ALWAYS need more numbers. News flash : recruiting in progress for last 2000 years


Many Christians DO indeed put their belief ABOVE their family, country and all other earthly issues, because, after all, this life is nothing more then illusion



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:32 PM
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The definition that you have used to describe a cult is a lot like something that I got involved with in the sixties.... They call it The United States Marine Corps....... Sempre Fi ! _javascript:icon('
')



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:41 PM
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All members of a cult are accomplices.

That's why many cults have the institution of sacrifice. Everybody participates in this sacrifice. Especially important in some cases, like Manson for example, all must bloody their hands. This creates "unity" between them and seals their bondage.

This kind of bondage is practiced among many criminal groups, which no one would call cults, but they are because of this.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by 5thElement
 


Ah...but I think that's the biggest cult of all.


I did read where a cult is a minority, so that would rule out Christianity and other major world religions.

This is an interesting film on the matter.




posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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Originally posted by headlightone
My question is this what happens when our belief isnt harmless and we pass it onto a number of friends, when does this group belief actually become a cult and how does this happen?



Maybe it happens because one within the group has more charisma (special power of individual to inspire a fascination with and to demand loyalty of) than the other members of the group, and the members become followers rather then individuals. Maybe they are easily led, want to be led or are manipulated into being led. Whatever the reason I think the emerging guru surely must initiate this transition from group to cult.



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:53 PM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I did read where a cult is a minority, so that would rule out Christianity and other major world religions.


Oh, well, did not all the major religions of today started as minorities who were BTW considered as cults by the other major religions at that time ?

See what happens when CULTS are let grow without control ?



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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when someone brings the koolaid



posted on Mar, 3 2009 @ 03:28 PM
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Originally posted by OpusMarkII
when someone brings the koolaid



MG Koolaid is a lovely fruit drink we enjoyed as children.
Especially if you were poor as its cheap. LOL

Jim Jones gave his followers cyinide Koolaide to kill them therefore,
the running joke is "dont drink the koolaid"





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