Pithy definition of a "cult"

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Anaxagoras
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Pithy definition of a "cult"

Post by Anaxagoras »

found here
Definition of a Cult

Noted psychiatrist and author Robert Jay Lifton developed the following definition of a cult. This definition is focused primarily upon three principal criteria and was first published in a paper titled "Cult Formation" in 1981 :

1. a charismatic leader who increasingly becomes an object of worship as the general principles that may have originally sustained the group lose their power;
2. a process of coercive persuasion or thought reform;
3. economic, sexual, and other exploitation of group members by the leader and the ruling coterie.
So basically 3 main criteria. I think you can see that there isn't necessarily a bright line that can distinguish a cult from a religion, because all religions have at least a tinge of "cultiness" to them.

I suppose you could add that a cult likes to socially isolate its members from non-members, through such things as communal living.
ed
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Re: Pithy definition of a "cult"

Post by ed »

I think the SJW just tick off #1 with AOC. They had the other two already.
ed
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Re: Pithy definition of a "cult"

Post by ed »

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Tue Mar 12, 2019 12:25 pm Piffle.

A cult is any religion or religion-like ideology you really really don't like. 8)
AND as I said:
I think the SJW just tick off #1 with AOC. They had the other two already.
Anaxagoras
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Re: Pithy definition of a "cult"

Post by Anaxagoras »

Abdul Alhazred wrote: Tue Mar 12, 2019 1:29 pm Is Scientology still a "cult" even though it survived the death of their leader?

What about Chabad?
Sometimes another leader takes over. David Miscavige is the new leader of Scientology.

Like I said, there's not really a bright line. A cult can sort of mellow into a more mainstream religion over time, if it survives the death of its founder. I suppose Christianity probably started as a cult.
Rob Lister
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Re: Pithy definition of a "cult"

Post by Rob Lister »

certainly. every religion is or was.
Doctor X
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Re: Pithy definition of a "cult"

Post by Doctor X »

A religion is merely a cult that has become sufficiently popular to be accepted.

--J.D.
Witness
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Re: Pithy definition of a "cult"

Post by Witness »

What would Jesus do?