Cult

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A cult is a group which stresses obedience to leadership and exercises a high degree of control over its members lives, often regulating freedom of association and thought. Although they may engage in activities generally regarded as "charitable", such groups are generally regarded by non-members as pernicious influences on society.[citation needed]

Ideology

Cults each have a unique belief system, commonly one which states that only group members are enlightened/saved or otherwise advantaged. Often this privilege has levels or stages - so beginners are taught one set of truths, and after achieving a certain status within the group, another set of truths are deemed applicable. This may be a gradual enlargment of perspective, or alternatively it may entail a complete reversal of the group's purported values and purposes.

Origins

At least in their early stages, cults tend to be centered around a charismatic leader, whose appeal is such that the group continues to attract followers even when it begins to make extraordinary demands on its members.

While they may evolve independently from within an existing group (such as a church), cults can also be deliberately created by external agencies to fulfill particular purposes. Jim Jones, for example, who took hundreds of followers to Guyana as part of the People's Temple, has an interesting history.

Selected examples

There is no commonly agreed definition of a "cult", although the term is generally understood as a derogative exonym. Generally applied to a fairly small number of religious groups, and associated with frames of mind control and exploitation of the gullible, lonely and otherwise and vulnerable.

The Unification Church (The Moonies)

The Unification Church was started in 1954 by Sun Myung Moon. He was also politically active.

The Finders

Full article: The Finders

The Finders was a US Deep state backed cult first exposed in the 1980s by a report of semi-feral children in a public park. It was briefely suspected of involvement in child sex trafficking and production of child pornography, but a cover-up operation has obscured it.

Heaven's Gate

The People's Temple

The People's Temple was run by Jim Jones, a paedophile abd drug addict who appears to have been under the control of The Cabal. It lead to the events of Jonestown, portrayed as a mass suicide.

Disputed examples

Scientology

Full article: Stub class article Scientology

Scientology was started in 1952 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. It is a (pseudo-)scientific movement that offers increasingly expensive training to its devotees. It is well funded, litigious and former members report it as ruthless. In the 1990s it was active in internet censorship - using intellectual property laws to get the anon.penet.fi remailer shut down. In some countries it has been classified as a religion (making it tax exempt). The German government has been active in opposing it.[citation needed]

Other uses

Although characteristic, traditional religious ideology not essential to a cult; the label has been applied to secular concepts such as neoconservatism, a reference to their totalising nature. The word is usually to minorities, so it would be unusual to talk, for example, of the "cult of democracy" or "cult of party politics".


 

Examples

Page nameDescription
Scientology
The FindersA shady cult with apparent deep state backing
The People's TempleA cult started by Jim Jones for unclear reasons, possibly at the behest of the US Deep state
The Unification Church

 

Related Quotations

PageQuoteAuthorDate
Brian Michael Jenkins“Key in the planning level of any terrorist activities linked to the Guyana horror-show is Brian Jenkins of the Rand Corporation. Jenkins is cooperating at high executive levels with British intelligence in planning terrorist operations, and has taken a key role in planning the cult phase of terrorism. This should not be surprising to anyone who is informed of the background of Rand or its various involvements in creating Jones and other cults. Rand was integral, together with such entities as Israeli intelligence and the Office of Naval Intelligence's British-controlled National Training Laboratories, in furthering the British "MK-Ultra" project run under Allen Dulles's CIA cover. Undercover and other most-reliable sources have given us a hard dossier on a very, very "dirty" Brian Jenkins.”Brian Michael Jenkins5 December 1978
Republican Party“It should have been evident to clear-eyed observers that the Republican Party is becoming less and less like a traditional political party in a representative democracy and becoming more like an apocalyptic cult, or one of the intensely ideological authoritarian parties of 20th century Europe.”Mike Lofgren3 September 2011


References