Thursday, August 4, 2011

Cults in Our World

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Cults have been spreading throughout society taking people over with their beliefs; some cults are making a terrible impact in the world outside of them. Some people join cults for religious reasons, like seeking spiritual enlightenment. Others join cults because their friends or family members are in the same cult. Some people feel completely accepted by group members in ways that they never found in the outside world. People who feel dissatisfied with life, or disillusioned with the world join cults (Barghusen 4-).

Adults are at risk for joining cults because they face many transitions in their lives that make them targets. If they have been divorced or lost a long-held job, they may be questioning their self-worth. Observers of damaging cults noticed recruiters are turning their attention to people going through a mid-life crisis for recruits, especially woman (Porterfield 41). “Just being a teenager can make you a cult target” (Porterfield 8). Parents claim that some lyrics of some songs contain messages of hate, and destruction, which might provoke teenagers to become Satanists. Marilyn Manson and other singers use explicit lyrics about things that can be linked to satanic ideas.

People can join cults by just volunteering. Some cults like Neopagans do not actively recruit, those who are interested must seek out the cult themselves. Some cults recruit new members. Recruitment varies by cults, but it is a step-by-step process (Singer ). Parties are used to recruit people in some cults. The parties offer an abundant supply of alcohol, illegal drugs, and uninhibited sex. This method is effective in most cases because that promises fulfillment of desires and wants with no strings attached. Sexually explicit photographs are used to recruit people. At parties, prospects are made to get drunk and high. They are photographed in a compromising position, like with a member of the opposite or same sex. Then they are threatened with exposure to family, friends, and others unless they join the cult (Gordon 0). Some people are made promises before they are recruited. Some may be told that as a member they can achieve their dreams of success through Satan’s powers (Otten 80).

There are many different types of cults throughout the world but I will only talk about a few of them. Wicca is sometimes called the Old Religion. It is based on European pre-Christian traditions. Wicca groups are called covens. Neopaganism is a broad term for what people call Earth-based religions or shamanism. Most Neopagans claim to believe in magick and practice it. Their ethics direct them to use spells for healing rather then harm. They say harm done will come back three times over the person who cast the spell (Porterfield -0). In Messianic Cults sacrifices are made by the followers on the leader’s behalf. Scientific-Oriented Cults tend to be less coltish; they address the mind (Barden -40). A new Satanic Cult has emerged in which there are reports of ritual satanic abuse (Mc Alister 18). In Isaiah 14 1-15, Lucifer is referred to as a fallen angel because of his vanity and desire to be God (Holy 400). Lucifer represents the rebellious spirit, opposed to Christianity and the God of creation. Lucifer and Satan are equivalent but different names for the same demon. Anton La Vey’s “Satanic Bible” says, “Satan represents undefiled wisdom, instead of hypocritical self-deceit”(5).

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After recruitment the new cult member learns more about the cults mission, and how to work towards their goals. If the cult lives together the new member will now have to move in the center (Melton 8). Cult members are rarely alone. Through constant association, members will rely on each other for affection and emotional support. Since the members of cults are so together that tends to control their behavior. Cult members are often discouraged from expressing any doubts or questions they have about the group. They spend a part of each day in devotion, prayer, meditation, or study of the cults principles. Many Christian-based cults have long hours of sermons, prayer, and bible study. Some cult members are sent out to tell others about their faith (Barghusen 4-8).

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