Groups change over time and from one branch or subgroup to another; leaders personalities change, as do the personalities of various members.11 Even persons with secure and intelligent personalities may encounter problems at times, especially during times of transition and crisisand they may become vulnerable.
The Watchtower Bible Tract Society, whose members are referred to as Jehovahs Witnesses, theologically is a cult main poker francais of Christianity, and sociologically has countless cult-like elements as well.
Cults in Other Religions Cults as defined theologically can be offshoots of any religion.
Whatever the terms limitations, it points us in a meaningful direction.Likewise, when using the term cult in describing a group, church, organization, or movement without qualifying what you mean by that word you cause confusion.Any saclike cavity in the body: a pus pocket.Interfaith organizations that affirm the legitimacy and equality of all religions.In evaluating groups and movements they use sociological criteria, such as common cult characteristics.A bin for ore or rock storage.Cult Experts Cult experts come from a variety of backgrounds and perspectives.An envelope, receptacle, etc., usually of heavy paper and open at one end, used for storing or preserving photographs, stamps, phonograph records, etc.: Each album has 12 pockets.A holder consisting of a strip of sailcloth sewed to a sail, and containing a thin wooden batten that stiffens the leech of the sail.Times, Sunday Times (2008)That's a lot of pocket money.Thus they claim they are as likely to send someone to a new religious movement, as they are to refer someone to an exit counselor.Demanding Total Commitment The International Cultic Studies Association (icsa) utilizes Benjamin Zablockis definition of the term cult: an ideological organization held together by charismatic relations and demanding total commitment.Important: be aware that the term sect itself is also ambiguous, and to make things even more confusing is often used instead of the term cult.See also: Cult-like tendencies in churches Variety of Cults Groups said to be cults are not necessarily religious.In particular, some religion scholars who have gained a reputation as Cult defenders tend to accuse their opponents of using the term cult to convey negative images.Source: On using the term cult, Herbert.Countercult Most countercult organizations operate from an orthodox, Christian perspective.Silly example: A restaurant that serves a perfectly acceptable, genuine tomato soup by pouring it into your lap is sociologically a cult restaurant.
By Robert Jay Lifton Cults Are Not Always Destructive Not all groups that could in one way or another be defined, sociologically, as cults are necessarily destructive.
Which definition is the right one largely depends on the context in which the term cult is applied.
Quite a few churches that adhere to the central doctrines of the Christian faith nevertheless engage in abusive practices.