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  1. #1
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    Cult or Religion and Is There Even a Genuine Difference?

    For purposes of the discussion of this case, whether FLDS is a cult or a religion does not matter much to me. But since different posters keep referring to it as one or the other, I guess we should spend some time figuring it our here....

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    This is a very difficult question. is a religion not a cult of kind?

    what is the difference?

    thanks for starting the thread SCM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Floh View Post
    This is a very difficult question. is a religion not a cult of kind?

    what is the difference?

    thanks for starting the thread SCM.
    Hey Floh! As I said on one of the endless earlier threads, I have never been able to make a satisfactory distinction. "Religions" have "cultish" aspects and "cults" have "religious" aspects. The line is completely blurred because it is all a matter of perspective.

    Are you being brainwashed against your will or is it your will to stay? Two different people might give a very different answer. Who gets to decide which answer is right.

    It seems that lots of people start throwing around the "cult" word when they perceive a certain mode of spritual belief/practice to be dangerous and scary. That's not a definition I find particularly helpful.

    I look at "religion" and "cult" as, for all practical purposes, synonymous terms.

  4. #4
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    KOOL LOOK is offline ~~~Sin is the Cause of all Sorrow~~~For this Gal, "Love" is my Vengence
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    I don't know alot about the terming. I only have this to add for the time being. The Bible mentions the Occult, dark principalities and forces, magic, soothsayers and witches, I don't know if this is how the word "Cult" was derived.

    In the Bible the Lord likens controlling others to these practices listed above. So whether your in a cult or not, the Lord considers you to be of that nature if your even forcing your will upon another. For we know he created mankind to be free and with self will.

    Cults do exist. People do practice the occult, witchery and magic. Yes curses can be spoken and accomplished by the one wishing harm for their on the dark side and do not walk in the light. Hope this helps the discussion. I'm actually quiet up to speed on these types of matters and concerning God's spoken word and meaning of such practices.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southcitymom View Post
    Hey Floh! As I said on one of the endless earlier threads, I have never been able to make a satisfactory distinction. "Religions" have "cultish" aspects and "cults" have "religious" aspects. The line is completely blurred because it is all a matter of perspective.

    Are you being brainwashed against your will or is it your will to stay? Two different people might give a very different answer. Who gets to decide which answer is right.

    It seems that lots of people start throwing around the "cult" word when they perceive a certain mode of spritual belief/practice to be dangerous and scary. That's not a definition I find particularly helpful.

    I look at "religion" and "cult" as, for all practical purposes, synonymous terms.
    I do too, as it happens. there may be things we disagree upon, you and i: this isn't one of them. reason being all things you've mentioned in your post: it's all relative, *innit?

    i do deeply abhor what i have learned over the 11 years i have known of FLDS practices, though. and cult or no, i'm against them.

    *innit = isn't it — lazy British English amongst commoners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    A cult is a small, unpopular religion.

    A religion is a large, popular cult.
    Exactly!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Floh View Post
    I do too, as it happens. there may be things we disagree upon, you and i: this isn't one of them. reason being all things you've mentioned in your post: it's all relative, *innit?

    i do deeply abhor what i have learned over the 11 years i have known of FLDS practices, though. and cult or no, i'm against them.

    *innit = isn't it lazy British English amongst commoners.
    Perhaps this should be a new thread, Floh, but why now? People have been talking about (and ignoring or live and let living) abhorrent FLDS practices for over a decade as you point out. Did Texas not care about the children until it received a crank phone call?

  8. #8
    A cult is whatever you don't agree with. (IMO)

    According to some books found in the Christian section of Barnes and Nobles, both the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and Jehovah Witnesses are cults.

    However, people that belong to those denominations consider themselves the true Christians.

    If you are Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and Budhist, Bahai etc. you have a different definition of true religion.

    I think cult is a word that is used too freely. But, if you think you will be killed for choosing to leave and the area where you are living is fenced to keep you in...you might be part of a cult.

    My opinion only.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    A cult is a small, unpopular religion.

    A religion is a large, popular cult.
    By George i think you've got it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by southcitymom View Post
    Perhaps this should be a new thread, Floh, but why now? People have been talking about (and ignoring or live and let living) abhorrent FLDS practices for over a decade as you point out. Did Texas not care about the children until it received a crank phone call?
    Yes, i think they did. i think they were awaiting the right moment to act and they believe they have their ducks in an infallible row. to be continued . . .


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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolynna View Post
    A cult is whatever you don't agree with. (IMO)

    According to some books found in the Christian section of Barnes and Nobles, both the Church of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and Jehovah Witnesses are cults.

    However, people that belong to those denominations consider themselves the true Christians.

    If you are Sikh, Muslim, Hindu and Budhist, Bahai etc. you have a different definition of true religion.

    I think cult is a word that is used too freely. But, if you think you will be killed for choosing to leave and the area where you are living is fenced to keep you in...you might be part of a cult.

    My opinion only.
    I should coco!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by southcitymom View Post
    Perhaps this should be a new thread, Floh, but why now? People have been talking about (and ignoring or live and let living) abhorrent FLDS practices for over a decade as you point out. Did Texas not care about the children until it received a crank phone call?
    David Steed Allred lied when he bought the YFZ property in Texas in, I believe, 2004. Local neighbors thought it was going to be a hunting retreat. When the barbed-wire fences went up (facing in!) and the armed guards were posted in their night-vision goggles, the locals started to wonder.

    Texas did not go in to disturb anyone's religion. Religion vs cult is an interesting discussion, but Texas has not intruded on their beliefs. Child Protective Services has responded to allegations of child abuse. Warren Jeffs was prosecuted for accomplice to the rape of a child. His religious beliefs did not even enter the picture. He broke the law. He was charged with violating those specific laws, not for belonging to a religion. That is the case here as well. They will prosecute those men who broke the laws regarding sex with children. Not for their religious beliefs.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by adnoid View Post
    A cult is a small, unpopular religion.

    A religion is a large, popular cult.
    I think at some point a line can be crossed.

    The Jim Jones group, the people that killed themselves waiting for spaceships and the group from Missouri that killed an entire family (including children) and buried them in a barn...they did those things in the name of religion.

    I think I would define a cult as when the group injures(or worse) people to get to heaven. (or because their religious leader tells them "God says so".)

    IMO

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolynna View Post
    I think at some point a line can be crossed.

    The Jim Jones group, the people that killed themselves waiting for spaceships and the group from Missouri that killed an entire family (including children) and buried them in a barn...they did those things in the name of religion.

    I think I would define a cult as when the group injures(or worse) people to get to heaven. (or because their religious leader tells them "God says so".)

    IMO
    Some Islamic fundamentalists injure themselves and others to get to heaven, yet I believe most of us recognize Islam as a religion.

    Also, I am assuming you mean when a group injures physically, it is a cult because religions the world over injure people emotionally and spiritually and mentally and psychologically all the time because the leader tells them to.

    Finally - those folks who kill themselves and/or others (like Jim Jones, the spaceship people, etc..) to get to heaven - we don't know that they didn't. We can call something a crazy-a$$ cult, but honestly, for all we know - they're (you know - the nutty ones) right and we're (you know - the sane ones) wrong.

    Religion and cults both hinge on faith. Faith is the belief in things that we can't verify with the knowledge at our human disposal. One man's faith may be another man's folly, but we can't really know who's right and who's wrong.

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    I believe that a religion is a choice freely made - to choose to join a particular religion. A religion is open to all, welcoming guests, and engaging in dialog about beliefs. Members are free to choose to leave a religion if they don't agree with the tenets of that religion. In some mainstream religions, members don't always follow all the rules. As an example, when the Catholic church back in the 60's issued a rule about not using birth control other than abstinence, many Catholics used contraceptives.

    A cult, on the other hand, is usually secretive and not open to public scrutiny. There is a dominant person within the cult that is revered to the point of worship. Members are expected to conform to a set of rigid rules with no deviation. Once involved in a cult, a person finds it difficult to leave the cult, and in some cases is forced to stay against their will.

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