When the word cult is mentioned most of us automatically assume and think of devil worshippers and people who join forces and kidnap others, brainwashing them into evil beliefs and turning them into followers. However most cults are far from evil and have various intentions other than to do evil and the word cult has now become stereotyped somewhat.
So who are the true cults?
The only difference to the vast majority of cults today is the different religious beliefs they hold, an example of a true cult is "the church Jesus Christ the latter day saint". Different religions all have different followers and these followers can be called a cult regardless of the religion and what they believe.
How long have cults been around?
Cults of some form or other have been around for at least two millennia, during the first century people of the Roman Empire began to reject Christianity because it was something new and instead valued Judaism as this had been around a long time.
It was around this time that politicians began to spread vicious rumours that Christians were beginning to take part in orgies during what was called love fests, it was also thought that they took part in sacrificing infants to their god. The Christians believed that the pagans and Satanists sacrificed and took part in blood rituals and this is how the term cults came to be recognised as being associated with satanic rituals.
Meanings of the word cult
There are several definitions of the word cult with different cultures and religions having different ideas. The counter cult movement classes all non-traditional Christian faith groups as cults, only because their beliefs differ from historical Christian doctrine. The evangelical Christians believe that any non-Christian beliefs are cults, simply because they are non-Christian.
Wicca and Hinduism are also classed as cults by these people and any religious group that makes high demands on members are classed as cults and are generally accused of brain washing or mind control techniques.
The anti cult movement targets such religions as the Jehovah witness and two by two as cults. As you can see, the word cult is used very broadly and all religions can be classed as cults regardless of who they are and what they believe.
Admittedly, there are certain groups which can be classed in what we used to think of as cults and participants are brain washed but these are very few and far between in this day and age. Today people should take the word cult with a pinch of salt and an open mind as very often those faith groups that are hard to understand are mislabelled as cults.
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