This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Cult Or Religion Essay

1551 words - 6 pages

“A cult is just a religion I don’t like.” “All religions are cults.” “Religion is just the search for truth.” We may have heard someone use one of these three statements to explain cult and religion. Yet, are the statements accurate? Though cult and religion do share some characteristics, they are set apart by their leadership, the amount of authority over their members, and the rigidity of their boundaries.
Many people use the term “zealot” synonymously with “cult leader.” Cult leaders are charismatic individuals who profess to have unmatched wisdom. They typically claim to be gods or God’s special messengers. They may claim to have been born with perfection rather than imperfection. They may profess having special abilities that other humans do not. When they lust more power or use violence to make a point, they transform into “holy terrorists” (Porterfield 7). Many cult leaders feel that both they and their actions or holy, making them above the law. They may resort to violent coercion in an effort to maintain the obedience of their followers (Porterfield 8).
In addition, cultists are expected to be in unquestionable, loyal submission to their leaders. Their lives are completely controlled by their cult leader. Everything from what each member eats to who each member marry and, sometimes say, is left in the hands of the leader. Restrictions may even be placed on the amount of children allowed per family. Some cultists are given instructions on how every second of their lives are to be spent, and cultist oblige. Cults attempt to destroy individuality and independent thinking, wanting to control the thoughts and emotions of each cultist. Cult members may even experience punishment for the mere display emotions and individuality. Cult members show strong dependence on their cult leader. Such a dependant lifestyle eventually becomes routine and is a difficult habit to break. Even if a member did want to leave his cult, few cults allow members the simple freedom to walk away (Porterfield 9). Leaving a cult is not an easy task.
Why are cults so difficult to escape? They have very rigid boundaries. In an attempt to persuade his followers to obey his rules, the leader does all in his power to instill deep fears of non-cultists and members of other cults. Even though they may suffer starvation or beatings, cultists are wholly convinced that they are specially chosen people and that all others who do not commit to their cultish methods are undeserving inferiors. A leader may even require his members to live as recluses completely isolated from the outside. This rigid, shut-off lifestyle facilitate the cultists’ to succumbing the leader’s teachings (Porterfield 11). Without exposure to any ideas other than those of the cult leader, the members are, in effect, brainwashed.
What about religion? Because there are so many different religious beliefs, there are many different religious leaders. Pastor, rabbi, and...

Find Another Essay On Cult or Religion

Abnormal Behavior of Cults Essay

1962 words - 8 pages , 14(2), 119-128. doi:10.1080/09515070110058558 Walsh, Y., & Bor, R. (1996). Psychological consequences of involvement in a new religious movement or cult. Counselling Psychology Quarterly, 9(1), 47-60. doi:10.1080/09515079608256352 Ward, D. J. (2011). The lived experience of spiritual abuse. Mental Health, Religion & Culture, 14(9), 899-915. doi:10.1080/13674676.2010.536206 Woody, W. D. (2009). Use of cult in the teaching of psychology of

Cults Essay

765 words - 3 pages Cults Many people feel that cults are nothing more than a nontraditional religion, because of beliefs, organization, and interest. Cults are much more than just little religions. They are a dangerous, and in the United States there is little we can do about it. The term cult has many different meanings. According to Jan Groenveld, a cult researcher and author, Christians define a cult as anything that differs from traditional

Cults Can Be Very Bad and Dangerous

650 words - 3 pages formed to follow a particular real life figure, and other cults are formed to follow (or worship) a spiritual being that might be part of a certain organized religion. One example of a cult would be the KKK (Ivan). There have been many horrible crimes that have been committed by members of some cults, including crime cases such as murder, kidnapping, assault, and sexual-assault. There have been terrorist attacks against certain cults that made death

The Rise of Cult Activity

2351 words - 9 pages decades more and more stories of illegal cult activity or murders by satanic cults appear on the news each night. This surge of reported cult activity has caused a spark in public interest. There has been a large increase in the fear that surrounds cults over the past couple of years. A cult is “a therapeutic or unconventional religious movement (McBride, 1985, 22),” and the more cults that fall beneath the public eye, the more serious the fear of


1280 words - 5 pages is the one true faith, they usually call any other religion a cult, meaning the group holds mistake or heretical beliefs.A point that all cults have in common is the act of recruitment. It is the process, performed by the current members, to bring a new member. The cults take recruitment very seriously because it is probably the only way you can convince someone to join a group, which has a bad reputation under the media. The act of recruitment

Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

1404 words - 6 pages A cult may be defined as a group of people centred about one person’s religious, social or political ideology (Martin, 2003). It is a movement that venerates a specific person, and uses manipulative techniques to recruit members and raise funds. Cults demand complete obedience from the members and use them to work, provide money and provide sexual favours for the benefit of the leaders. Most cults engage in criminal activities such as child

Augustine Confessions

1293 words - 6 pages because that is the easiest way to obtain new acolytes. Before they are convinced by family or outsiders to not join the cult. This tactic was expressed with Dr.Robinson, a cult infiltrator. Robinson would get frustrated with his acolytes, “If they didn’t pick up the phone immediately when he called, he would become furious”(Harpers Magazine, 39). Monica, Saint Augustine’s mother tried to get assistance from a bishop, whom she hoped would talk to

Cults and Religious Freedom

1851 words - 8 pages examined on a case by case basis in order to prevent unlawful infringement of religious rights; simply because a group exhibits violent behavior does not mean that the government has the right to put a stop to their practices. What’s in a Cult? A cult, according to the Webster Dictionary is “a small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous

Mystery Cults in Graeco-Roman Society

1205 words - 5 pages the realm of Hades and it’s divisions, citizens of ancient Greece had a great desire to better their afterlife and avoid going to Tartarus; the most horrifying level of the underworld. This paper will explore the mystery cults of Orpheus, Dionysus, Artemis and Demeter and will discuss their significance and popularity in the Graeco-Roman world. Mystery cults or religions in these ancient societies involved the intertwining of myth and religion

Cult Activities and Psychological Manipulation

695 words - 3 pages do share similar characteristics. There are several different attributes that can define a group as a cult. The founder of the group for example, is created by oneself and is not held accountable for his or her actions. It has also been known for cults to not have a direct belief in God or in the ideology regarding the existence of Heaven and Hell. According to the Cult experts from University of California at Berkeley, “the leaders alone, speak


1045 words - 5 pages When most hear the word cult, they imagine mass murderings and warn their children “don’t drink the kool-aid. However, a cult is defined only as a “religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader”. These systems or communities rely on worship and ritual. There is no mention of violence or bloodshed in

Similar Essays

Voodoo: Sinister Cult Or Respected Religion?

869 words - 4 pages Voodoo, sinister cult or respected religion? You be the judge after reading my brief report on this exotic religion. To create this report I have reviewed three current articles on voodoo and one encyclopedia entry. In its entirety the report will consist of some history of voodoo, misconceptions, purpose of rituals and my personal reflection. Using these current articles I am going to take a in depth look at one of the most misunderstood

This Essay Is About Religion, Concerning A Cult Or Sect, Mine Was The Aum Shinrikyo, Translated As The Supreme Truth. They Were Responsible For The Gas Release In The Tokia Subways

1310 words - 5 pages way that your sect or cult saw or thought to reach Salvation.Description of the sect:The Aum Shinrikyo sect is mainly a Japanese sect although it has followers all over the world. Aum Shinrikyo stands for Supreme Truth. It was founded by (Chizuo Matsumoto, which was his official name before he changed it too)Asahara Shoko. Asahara Shoko moved to Tokyo in 1977, there his interest in religion begun. Through his urge for faith he joined a group

The Effect Of The Russian Orthodox Religion On The Cult

931 words - 4 pages The Effect of the Russian Orthodox Religion on the Cult Orthodox Christianity has had an immense effect on the culture of Russia. The adoption of the Orthodox faith from Constantinople by Prince Vladimir in 988 introduced cultural influences that profoundly affected the Russian consciousness. As the people embraced Orthodoxy it developed a uniquely Russian flavor and rooted deep in the fertile Russian soul. Orthodoxy had a major impact on

Scientology: The Cult That Has Been Called A Religion

1490 words - 6 pages The Church of Scientology has many deceitful practices that it portrays. It is a vicious and dangerous cult that masquerades as a religion. It practices a variety of mind-control techniques on people lured into its midst to gain control over their lives. The people that have believed the lies of the scientologists have given up family relations, time and large amounts of money to make their lives better. Its views are against scripture and the