reply to post by BooBetty
By the way, what do you consider to be a dangerous sect? What are the criteria to be deemed dangerous? And can you give an example?
Cult belief systems are typically:
Independent and non-accountable - believers follow their own self-justifying moral codes: e.g. a Moonie may, in their own mind, justify deceptive
recruiting as 'deceiving evil into goodness'.
Aspirational - they appeal to ambitious, idealistic people. The assumption that only weak, gullible people join cults is not necessarily true.
Personal and experiential - it is not possible to exercise informed free choice in advance, about whether the belief system is valid or not, or about
the benefits of following the study and training opportunities offered by the group. The benefits, if any, of group involvement can only be evaluated
after a suitable period of time spent with the group. How long a suitable period of time might be, depends on the individual, and cannot be determined
Hierarchical and dualistic - cult belief systems revolve around ideas about higher and lower levels of understanding. There is a hierarchy of
awareness, and a path from lower to higher levels. Believers tend to divide the world into the saved and the fallen, the awakened and the deluded,
Bi-polar - believers experience alternating episodes of faith and doubt, confidence and anxiety, self-righteousness and guilt, depending how well or
how badly they feel they are progressing along the path.
Addictive - believers may become intoxicated with the ideals of the belief system, and feel a vicarious pride in being associated with these ideals.
Cults tend to be cliquey and elitist, and believers can become dependent on the approval of the group's elite to maintain their own self-esteem. At
an extreme, believers fear they will fall into hell if they leave the group.
Psychologically damaging - when established members leave or are expelled, they may develop a particular kind of cult-induced mental disorder, marked
by anxiety and difficulty in making decisions. The disorder exhibits similarities to (but is not identical to) post-traumatic stress disorder, and
certain types of adjustment disorders.
Non-falsifiable - a cult belief system can never be shown to be invalid or wrong. This is partly why critics have low credibility, and why it can be
difficult to warn people of the dangers of a cult.
Now a classic example would be begin with is that Christianity began as a dangerous cult. The Christianity of Jesus and the disciples was unorthodox
in its time, and might have met several of the criteria proposed so far for identifying a cult. Of course it needs to be remembered that now in the
twenty-first century that the Cult of Christianity (CoC) has expanded into a monster that theatens the foundation of ancient truths. The Church of
Satan on the other hand seeks to distance itself from the facets of Christianity proclaiming the message of Crowley and other minions. Another false
rebillion in the final report. A close watch is being made on the newly established Clt Cth.