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An introduction to the issue of the many types of cults in the world

They recall an array of troubling images -- the mass suicide at Jonestown, kidnappings by deprogrammers and squadrons of saffron-robed Hare Krishnas accosting travelers at airports. But in the spring of 1993, this notion of a bygone phenomenon went up in flames as cult leader David Koresh led armed Branch Davidians to their doom near Waco, Texas. From 10 million to 20 million Americans have been involved with some form of cult in recent years, Singer wrote in a recent letter to the White House Health Care Task Force prompted by the 51-day standoff in Texas.

Singer estimates that there are between 2,000 and 5,000 cults in the U.

Cult of Christianity

Whatever the number, interest in the cult phenomenon is growing. Kisser, executive director of the Chicago-based Cult Awareness Network CANa nonprofit group with 2,000 members that says it receives about 18,000 inquiries a year. The subtle approach is more profitable and draws less attention, she says. Though seldom given front-page coverage, the major cults that grew up in the 1970s have remained active and controversial.

Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church for allegedly luring them to the United States for a conference on human rights that turned out to be an indoctrination session. And in Alexandria, Va.

In recent years, religious cults have been joined by groups embracing such themes as therapy, business, politics and New Age philosophy. Parents essentially lose a child to a cult.

Cult Definition: What is a cult?

Children in the groups are often schooled within a cordoned-off compound, there is no outside medical care and births and deaths go unrecorded. The state of Oregon spent hundreds of thousands of dollars caring for 51 children removed from a cult called Ecclesia in 1988. Corporal punishment within cults has been reported regularly by former members, in one case causing the death of a 12-year-old boy.

Cults can also play havoc with traditional religious beliefs, overwhelming priests, rabbis and ministers with complaints from families of cult member.

Cult Definition

The side effect is to blunt the critical functioning and critical thinking of the followers. Clearly the groups have their attractions.

  • These doctrines so comprise the essence of the Christian faith that to remove any of them is to make the belief system non-Christian;
  • For more on this see;
  • These same dynamics are also visible in the scholarly discussion of UFO and alien- based religions, the theologies of which derive in the main from the Theosophical tradition and are married in creative ways to popular cultural forms, principally science fiction novels and films Partridge 2003;
  • Tell [younger brother] Roger I love him;
  • An Example A few years back, when a high-profile Mormon made clear that he was running for president of the USA, the discussion of whether or not the Mormon Church is a cult was back in the news.

I was totally high. I couldn't wait to see him again.

  • Therefore, a movement that — while adhering to the essential doctrines of the Christian faith — adds unbiblical and extra-biblical teachings may, in doing so, place itself further and further outside orthodox Christianity;
  • They evaluate groups, movements, churches, pastors, teachers and leaders using theological standards;
  • Few realise that the first time the canon was articulated was the Festal Letter of Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria, written and circulated at Easter in 367 CE Metzger 1997:

Particularly offensive, they say, is the technique of deprogramming. What is clear is that the recent tragedy involving David Koresh and his Branch Davidians has prompted many Americans -- particularly government officials -- to examine a phenomenon that many had not considered relevant to their responsibilities. But I'll be back real soon, OK? Tell [younger brother] Roger I love him.

Tell grandma I tried. I'll see y'all in the skies.

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