Mudcat Café message #4077542 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #168490   Message #4077542
Posted By: robomatic
30-Oct-20 - 11:18 PM
Thread Name: BS: What do you think cults have in common?
Subject: RE: BS: What do you think cults have in common?
I keep my personal definition of 'cult' rather loose. I think the term 'cult of personality' as used with even non-religious leaders is useful.

I also believe that most if not all of the world religions started as cults.I think the key to them all, big and small, is that a strong leader introduces a set of beliefs that separate his/her flock of adherents from the rest of the world. The set of beliefs must have something that most of the outsiders find unbelievable. The things that bring the adherents together also constitute a rejection of everybody else (and their beliefs).

The five books of Moses revolve around a leader who is given god-like powers to oppose a god (Pharaoh).

The New Testament has a leader who performs miracles, becomes a sacrifice and overcomes death.

I am not so versed in Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism, but I'm sure there are analogues of beliefs that constitute separatism from the rest of the world and union among the believers.

Even the world of science has its touchstones: Galileo versus the Pope, Darwin and Huxley against Bishop Wilberforce, even to a more recent generation Oppenheimer versus the U.S. nuclear establishment.

So I am saying that cult includes the tawdry and abusive to the magnificent and grand. And sometimes the difference is a few hundred years.