In my opinion, advocating, allowing and practicing psychiatric and psychoanalytic dogmas within the church is every bit as pagan and heretical (and therefore perilous) as propagating the teachings of some of the most bizarre cults. The only vital difference is that the cults are less dangerous because their errors are more identifiable.
Jay E. Adams
Yet rather than calling the earliest religions, which embraced such an open acceptance of all human sexuality, 'fertility cults,' we might consider the religions of today as strange in that they seem to associate shame and even sin with the very process of conceiving new human life. Perhaps centuries from now scholars and historians will be classifying them as 'sterility cults.
Everything we do these days - our lust for ever more comfort, pleasure, and distraction, our refusal to engage with the mandates of reality, our fidelity to cults of technology and limitless growth, our narcissistic national exceptionalism - all of this propels us toward the realm where souls abandon all hope.
James Howard Kunstler
The Christian church is an encyclopaedia of prehistoric cults and conceptions of the most diverse orgiin and that is why it is so capable of proselytising: it always could and it can still go wherever it pleases and it always found and it always finds something similar to itself to which it can adapt itself and gradually impose upon it a Christian meaning.
The world will see many fashions of art and most of the world will follow the fashions and make none. These cults - these 'movements' - are absolutely necessary, or at any rate their causes are, for somewhere in their centres are the ones who bear the Idea, the ones who have questioned, 'But what do I think?' and 'How shall I say it best?
Being well regulated in relatedness is the deeply gratifying state that people seek ceaselessly in romance, religions, and cults; in husbands and wives, pets, softball teams, bowling leagues, and a thousand other features of human life driven by the thirst for sustaining affiliations. (157)
Religion, like science, is only noteworthy when it emphasizes a matter of what is true rather than whose belief is greater or lesser or which deity works for whom. Sincere religion and tested science are similar in that their assertions can be argued logically and objectively; otherwise, we get false cults and babble.
She should have remembered that people have given everything they own, everything they are, to be taken care of, and to have their pain gone. It's the lure of cults: the promise of a good family; it's what people think love is, but love isn't absence of pain, it's a hand to hold while you're going through it.
Laurell K. Hamilton
Suicide terrorist groups are [not] religious cults isolated from the rest of their society, ... Rather, suicide terrorist organizations often command broad social support within the national communities from which they recruit, because they are seen as pursuing legitimate nationalist goals, especially liberation from foreign occupation.
[Concerning monotheistic religions] The only thing these hysterical cults have in common is the belief that this world will be consumed, and deservedly so, when the moment is ripe. They also, all of them, profess a great disdain for earthly possessions. Yet they pass the intervening time in haggling over the most trivial and paltry property rights, over caves and rocks and disputable pieces of archeological rubbish.
Cults and prophets proclaiming the imminent end of the world have been with us for several millenia, and it has been another sour sort of fun to ridicule them the morning after, when they discover that their calculations were a little off. But, just as with Marxists, there are some among them who are working hard to 'hasten the inevitable,' not merely anticipating the End Days with joy in their hearts, but taking political action to bring about the conditions they think are the prerequisites for that occasion.
Culture is a perversion. It fetishizes objects, creates consumer mania, it preaches endless forms of false happiness, endless forms of false understanding in the form of squirrelly religions and silly cults. It invites people to diminish themselves and dehumanize themselves by behaving like machines.
The essence nature of the Brahmin is an urge to know the truth...the true Brahmin pursues truth at all costs and will not permit considerations of comfort or convenience to stand in his way. His most outstanding characteristic is his objectivity, his ability to rise above the dust of the arena, to resist the hypnotising effects of words and the blind passion of cults, political or religious.
Robert S. de Ropp
Benedictine spirituality is a consistent one: live life normally, live life thouhtfully, live life profouncly, live life well. Never neglect and never exaggerate. It is a lesson that a world full of cults and fads and workaholics and short courses in difficult subjects needs dearly to learn.
Joan D. Chittister
Punk can be a mental ghetto. People get into it and make all these rules and pretty soon they're worse than born again Christians and have stupid three hour conversation about things like, which band is a sellout and is straight edge cool or un-cool and it's just completely idiotic. So punk has taught me the aesthetic of the outsider, which is great, but it's also taught me not to get involved in petty little cults.
One of the hallmarks of great teachers is that they rejoice when their students surpass them. Encouraging an atmosphere of questioning and inviting people to grow within your classroom isn't necessarily easy; which must explain why people who want to create cults or die hard followers discourage questioning in general. They would rather have people reciting their dogma than asking hard questions.
A form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.
Robert O. Paxton
I think we're creating a situation that's incredibly dangerous. There's a lot of chat at the moment about the war on terror and whilst there are many causes for acts of terrorism, what kind of society are you creating if you allow civil society in Africa to die and create millions upon millions of orphans? Where are they going to go? What kind of cults, what kind of militias, what's going to happen? The accession of violence in those countries, the possibility of that, to me is very terrifying.
Thousands of years before Christianity, secret cults arose which worshipped the sacred mushroom-the Amanita Muscaria-which, for various reasons (including its shape and power as a drug) came to be regarded as a symbol of God on earth. When the secrets of the cult had to be written down, it was done in the form of codes hidden in folk tales. This is the basic origin of the stories in the New Testament. They are a literary device to spread the rites and rules of mushroom worship to the faithful.
John Marco Allegro
There should be a class on drugs. There should be a class on sex education-a real sex education class-not just pictures and diaphragms and 'un-logical' terms and things like that.....there should be a class on scams, there should be a class on religious cults, there should be a class on police brutality, there should be a class on apartheid, there should be a class on racism in America, there should be a class on why people are hungry, but there are not, there are classes on gym, physical education, let's learn volleyball.
Secret ceremonies in which malevolent men and women cloaked in hooded robes, hiding behind painted faces and chanting demonic incantations while inflicting sadistic wounds on innocent children lying on makeshift alters, or tied to inverted crosses, sounds like the stuff of which B-grade horror movies are made. Some think amoral religious cults only populate the world of Rosemary's Baby, but don't exist in real life. Or, do they? Ask Jenny Hill.
The world state must begin; it can only begin, as a propaganda cult, or as a group of propagandist cults, to which men and women must give themselves and their energies, regardless of the consequence to themselves The activities of a cult which sets itself to bring about the world-state would at first be propagandist, they would be intellectual and educational, and only as a sufficient mass of opinion and will had accumulated would they become to a predominant extent politically constructive. Such a cult must direct itself particularly to the teaching of the young.
H. G. Wells
The Fundamentalist Christians have told me that I am a slave of Satan and should have my demons expelled with an exorcism. The Fundamentalist Materialists inform me that I am a liar, charlatan, fraud and scoundrel. Aside from this minor difference, the letters are astoundingly similar. Both groups share the same crusading zeal and the same lack of humor, charity and common human decency. These intolerable cults have served to confirm me in my agnosticism by presenting further evidence to support my contention that when dogma enters the brain, all intellectual activity ceases.
Robert Anton Wilson
What if tomorrow someone digs up definitive proof that Jesus had a real, earthly, biological father named Larry, and archeologists find Larry's tomb and do DNA samples and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the virgin birth was just a bit of mythologizing the Gospel writers threw in to appeal to the followers of the Mithra and Dionysian religious cults that were hugely popular at the time of Jesus, whose gods had virgin births? Could you still be a Christian? Is the way of Jesus still the best possible way to live?
From Mount Hollywood, Los Angeles looks rather nice, enveloped in a haze of changing colors. Actually, and in spite of all the healthful sunshine and ocean breezes, it is a bad place - full of old, dying people, who were born old of tired pioneer parents, victims of America - full of curious wild and poisonous growths, decadent religious cults and fake science, and wildcat enterprises, which, with their aim for quick profit, are doomed to collapse and drag down multitudes of people.
A priest is a man vowed, trained, and consecrated, a man belonging to a special corps, and necessarily with an intense esprit de corps. He has given up his life to his temple and his god. This is a very excellent thing for the internal vigour of his own priesthood, his own temple. He lives and dies for the honour of his particular god. But in the next town or village is another temple with another god. It is his constant preoccupation to keep his people from that god. Religious cults and priesthoods are sectarian by nature; they will convert, they will overcome, but they will never coalesce.
H. G. Wells
Those of us who work in the field of trauma and abuse, whether psychologists, psychoanalysts, social workers, doctors, counselors, or psychotherapists, have been provided with beautiful tools for understanding the impact of trauma. We become adept at understanding the dynamic of why the messenger is always shot and broadcast the Bionic insight of why the visionary is not bearable to the group. However, when it comes to military mind control, abuse within religious belief groups or cults, and deliberately created dissociative identity disorder, we enter the least resourced field of all.
Our weapons are the ironic mind against the literal: the open mind against the credulous; the courageous pursuit of truth against the fearful and abject forces who would set limits to investigation (and who stupidly claim that we already have all the truth we need). Perhaps above all, we affirm life over the cults of death and human sacrifice and are afraid, not of inevitable death, but rather of a human life that is cramped and distorted by the pathetic need to offer mindless adulation, or the dismal belief that the laws of nature respond to wailings and incantations.
The Islamic faith and ideology is at another pivotal moment in its history. Having survived for a thousand years or more after the Western Crusades it has been hauled back into the fire by some of its frustrated followers. Followers who have literally re interpreted or re translated the many open verses and chapters of the holy Qu'ran. These followers of the extreme Islamic beliefs are hankering to take our social order back and return it to the time of the prophet (mpbuh). The very turbulent dark and bloody days of religion and cults when ideologies were spread by the sword.
Cal Sarwar on facebook
As everyone who has read the Marxists critically has not failed to see... the gospel of St. Marx is just the old Judaeo-Christian mythology with the supernatural sanctions left out, thus making the cult the most implausible and unreasonable of all the Christian heresies. It is true that there is reciprocal hostility between Marxists and the other Christian cults, but that is merely normal. Christian sects began persecuting each other even before one of them attained political power in the decaying Roman Empire, and everyone remembers the fearful Wars of Religion that convulsed and almost ruined Europe. The Gospel of Love invariably incites the most savage and blood-thirsty hatreds.
Revilo P. Oliver
There is no great religion without a great schism. All of them have it. And that's because you're dealing with something called faith. And faith is not something you can prove; faith is personal opinion. Uh, when you're dealing with something with certainty, like, y'know, science or logic, you don't have the-there's no wiggle room; that's why history is not filled with warring math cults, y'know, because you can settle the issue; you can prove something to be right or wrong, and that's the end of the argument: next case. Whereas, when you're dealing with faith, you can forever argue your point, or another point, because you're dealing with intangibles. Personally, I think, faith is what you ask of somebody when you don't have the goods to prove your point.
Once upon a time all the men of mind and genius in the world became of one belief- that is to say, of no belief. But it wearied them to think that within a few years after their death many cults and systems and prognostications would be ascribed to them which they had never... intended. So they said to one another: "Let's join together and make a great book that will last forever that will mock the credulity of man... We'll include all the most preposterous old wives' tales now current. We'll choose the keenest satirist alive to compile a deity from all the deities worshipped by mankind, a deity who will be more magnificent than any of them, yet so weakly human that he'll become a byword for laughter the world over- and we'll ascribe to him all sorts of jokes and vanities and rages, in which he'll be supposed to indulge for his own diversion, so that the people will read our book and ponder it, and there'll be no more nonsense in the world.
F Scott Fitzgerald
Apocalyptic saucer cults have started to spring up all over America. One small group, which has been receiving messages from outer space via Lake City housewife Mrs. Marian Keech, becomes the subject of a research team led by psychologist Leon Festinger. According to an alien entity named Sananda, the end of the world is due any day and under the most cataclysmic of circumstances. The group meets regularly to discuss the latest predictions from Sananda and the rest of the Space Brothers, all relayed to them by Mrs. Keech. Some members bake cakes in the shape of flying saucers to be consumed during their gatherings while local college football scores are closely debated.
Why Cults Terrorize and Kill Children - LLOYD DEMAUSE The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (4) 1994 "Extending these local figures to a national estimate would easily mean tens of thousands of cult victims per year reporting, plus undoubtedly more who do not report.(2) This needn't mean, of course, that actual Cult abuse is increasing, only that-as with the increase in all child abuse reports-we have become more open to hearing them. But it seemed unlikely that the surge of cult memories could all be made up by patients or implanted by therapists. Therapists are a timid group at best, and the notion that they suddenly begin implanting false memories in tens of thousands of their clients for no apparent reason strained credulity. Certainly no one has presented a shred of evidence for massive 'false memory' implantations.
the priests of all these cults, the singers, shouters, prayers and exhorters of Bootstrap-lifting have as their distinguishing characteristic that they do very little lifting at their own bootstraps, and less at any other man's. Now and then you may see one bend and give a delicate tug, of a purely symbolical character: as when the Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Bootstrap-lifters comes once a year to wash the feet of the poor; or when the Sunday-school Superintendent of the Baptist Bootstrap-lifters shakes the hand of one of his Colorado mine-slaves. But for the most part the priests and preachers of Bootstrap-lifting walk haughtily erect, many of them being so swollen with prosperity that they could not reach their bootstraps if they wanted to. Their role in life is to exhort other men to more vigorous efforts at self-elevation, that the agents of the Wholesale Pickpockets' Association may ply their immemorial role with less chance of interference.
We modern human beings are looking at life, trying to make some sense of it; observing a 'reality' that often seems to be unfolding in a foreign tongue-only we've all been issued the wrong librettos. For a text, we're given the Bible. Or the Talmud or the Koran. We're given Time magazine, and Reader's Digest, daily papers, and the six o'clock news; we're given schoolbooks, sitcoms, and revisionist histories; we're given psychological counseling, cults, workshops, advertisements, sales pitches, and authoritative pronouncements by pundits, sold-out scientists, political activists, and heads of state. Unfortunately, none of these translations bears more than a faint resemblance to what is transpiring in the true theater of existence, and most of them are dangerously misleading. We're attempting to comprehend the spiraling intricacies of a magnificently complex tragicomedy with librettos that describe the barrom melodramas or kindergarten skits. And when's the last time you heard anybody bitch about it to the management?
The predisposition to religious belief is an ineradicable part of human behavior. Mankind has produced 100, 000 religions. It is an illusion to think that scientific humanism and learning will dispel religious belief. Men would rather believe than know... A kind of Darwinistic survival of the fittest has occurred with religions... The ecological principle called Gause's law holds that competition is maximal between species with identical needs... Even submission to secular religions such as Communism and guru cults involve willing subordination of the individual to the group. Religious practices confer biological advantage. The mechanisms of religion include (1) objectification (the reduction of reality to images and definitions that are easily understood and cannot be refuted), (2) commitment through faith (a kind of tribalism enacted through self-surrender), (3) and myth (the narratives that explain the tribe's favored position on the earth, often incorporating supernatural forces struggling for control, apocalypse, and millennium).
Edward O. Wilson
But its exclusive character and irreconcileable hostility to the religious cults and ceremonies with which the whole social life of the city-state and the empire were inseparably connected at every turn, brought the Christians into inevitable conflict with the government and with public opinion. To the man in the street, the Christian was an anti-social atheist who would take no part in the public feasts and the games, which played such a large part in city life. To the authorities he was a passive rebel, who would neither take his share of municipal offices nor pay loyal homage to the Emperor. Hence the rise of persecution, and the driving of the Christians into an underground existence, as a proscribed sect. The Church grew under the shadow of the executioner's rods and axes, and every Christian lived in the peril of physical torture and death. The thought of martyrdom coloured the whole outlook of early Christianity. But it was not only a fear, it was also an ideal and a hope. For the martyr was the complete Christian, he was the champion and hero of the new society and its conflict with the old, and even the Christians who failed in the moment of the trial - the lapsi - looked on the martyrs as their saviours and protectors
Christopher Henry Dawson
To understand why I jumped from the Mormon wagon train requires an understanding of what Mormons are and how they think. While Mormons have some quaint, quirky and fanatical ideas, they really aren't much different from millions of poor, guilt-ridden souls who, throughout the march of human history, have hitched their hopes to mass movements of one sort or another. Eric Hoffer, in his brilliant treatise, "The True Believer, " explains the attraction of joining a cause: "A rising mass movement attracts and holds a following 'by the refuge it offers from the anxieties, barrenness and meaninglessness of an individual existence. It cures the poignantly frustrated by freeing them from their ineffectual selves-and it does this by enfolding and absorbing them into a closely knit and exultant corporate whole'. "Of all the cults and philosophies that competed in the Graeco-Roman world, Christianity alone developed from its inception a compact organization." Once I realized this, it wasn't much of a leap out of religion altogether once I flew the Mormon coop. I simply wanted to be free from organizational groupthink. I escaped from the stuffy attic of religion's "pray, pay and obey" mentality into journalism's open laboratory of "who, what, where, when and why.
There is a curious idea among unscientific men that in scientific writing there is a common plateau of perfectionism. Nothing could be more untrue. The reports of biologists are the measure, not of the science, but of the men themselves. There are as few scientific giants as any other kind. In some reports it is impossible, because of inept expression, to relate the descriptions to the living animals. In some papers collecting places are so mixed or ignored that the animals mentioned cannot be found at all. The same conditioning forces itself into specification as it does into any other kind of observation, and the same faults of carelessness will be found in scientific reports as in the witness chair of a criminal court. It has seemed sometimes that the little men in scientific work assumed the awe-fullness of a priesthood to hide their deficiencies, as the witch-doctor does with his stilts and high masks, as the priesthoods of all cults have, with secret or unfamiliar languages and symbols. It is usually found that only the little stuffy men object to what is called "popularization", by which they mean writing with a clarity understandable to one not familiar with the tricks and codes of the cult. We have not known a single great scientist who could not discourse freely and interestingly with a child. Can it be that the haters of clarity have nothing to say, have observed nothing, have no clear picture of even their own fields? A dull man seems to be a dull man no matter what his field, and of course it is the right of a dull scientist to protect himself with feathers and robes, emblems and degrees, as do other dull men who are potentates and grand imperial rulers of lodges of dull men.
The peculiar predicament of the present-day self surely came to pass as a consequence of the disappointment of the high expectations of the self as it entered the age of science and technology. Dazzled by the overwhelming credentials of science, the beauty and elegance of the scientific method, the triumph of modern medicine over physical ailments, and the technological transformation of the very world itself, the self finds itself in the end disappointed by the failure of science and technique in those very sectors of life which had been its main source of ordinary satisfaction in past ages. As John Cheever said, the main emotion of the adult Northeastern American who has had all the advantages of wealth, education, and culture is disappointment. Work is disappointing. In spite of all the talk about making work more creative and self-fulfilling, most people hate their jobs, and with good reason. Most work in modern technological societies is intolerably dull and repetitive. Marriage and family life are disappointing. Even among defenders of traditional family values, e.g., Christians and Jews, a certain dreariness must be inferred, if only from the average time of TV viewing. Dreary as TV is, it is evidently not as dreary as Mom talking to Dad or the kids talking to either. School is disappointing. If science is exciting and art is exhilarating, the schools and universities have achieved the not inconsiderable feat of rendering both dull. As every scientist and poet knows, one discovers both vocations in spite of, not because of, school. It takes years to recover from the stupor of being taught Shakespeare in English Lit and Wheatstone's bridge in Physics. Politics is disappointing. Most young people turn their backs on politics, not because of the lack of excitement of politics as it is practiced, but because of the shallowness, venality, and image-making as these are perceived through the media-one of the technology's greatest achievements. The churches are disappointing, even for most believers. If Christ brings us new life, it is all the more remarkable that the church, the bearer of this good news, should be among the most dispirited institutions of the age. The alternatives to the institutional churches are even more grossly disappointing, from TV evangelists with their blown-dry hairdos to California cults led by prosperous gurus ignored in India but embraced in La Jolla. Social life is disappointing. The very franticness of attempts to reestablish community and festival, by partying, by groups, by club, by touristy Mardi Gras, is the best evidence of the loss of true community and festival and of the loneliness of self, stranded as it is as an unspeakable consciousness in a world from which it perceives itself as somehow estranged, stranded even within its own body, with which it sees no clear connection. But there remains the one unquestioned benefit of science: the longer and healthier life made possible by modern medicine, the shorter work-hours made possible by technology, hence what is perceived as the one certain reward of dreary life of home and the marketplace: recreation. Recreation and good physical health appear to be the only ambivalent benefits of the technological revolution.