A leaked clip from a Scientology-produced DVD is now available on youtube.
What is the difference, in your opinion, between a religion and a cult? When does one become the other?
This is the best tool I've seen for clarifying the difference.
Good tool. Some recognised religions wouldn't do too well by some of the criteria.
Good question this. I suppose a "cult" are people who have weird ideas that are different from yours.
It amazes me that people can be amazed by people who believe in "Thetons" but then believe in the concept of a "God" themselves.
I'd say a "cult" is a collection of people suffering from mass delusions and that would apply to all religions and a number of political parties too.
Tell you what, though, that video is pretty damn boring. Mind you, so were L Ron's science fiction books.
I read one whole one and a bit of another. Cant for the life of me remember what they were called but they were pretty dark and the characters were
totally flat and not very nice. I think it was some sort of trilogy about a police type state - in space.
I agree with all your adjectives but just think he was not a very good writer.
Then he realised that there was more money in religion. Plan B was the diet industry.
The Scientologists have had it pulled. The story has already generated a lot of comment on normal news though so they might have been better to leave
it rather than have other people interpret it for audiences.
I understood the difference between a religion and a cult was purely measured in numbers of adherents, I can't think of any other differences. Of
course the media use the term cult as a perjorative term whilst a religion is acceptable, but that's the media for you.
By the way - why is the rolleyes smiley green?
Well, if all else fails, read the instructions. And my, very old, Concise Oxford Dictionary defines "Cult" as:-
System of religious worship; devotion; homage to person or thing
So, basically, I was right. Belief in a standard western religions is a religion, belief in anything else is a cult followed by mad uncivilized people who would cook you in a pot as soon as look at you.
Except the Blue Oyster Cult which was a particularly fine rock band.
I have just realised what Arwenna above said!
Scientology off!!!""" What a calamity! What a loss to the http://www! What are we to do without it?
I suppose its back to the Badger Parade.
Mind you, Janet,
I do think that your scientologists are a breed apart from any other cult or religion or con-men.
I mean, otherwise apparently sane people giving away loads of money to an organisation set up by a science fiction writer who somehow convinces people that their brains are inhabited by an alien race called Thetons.
What a stupid name. Who would want to be in a religion that worships or has anything to do with a name like Thetons!
And a science fiction writer too! You'd think he could come up with a better name. Zogons maybe?
Not mine, I assure you! :}
No no no no no,
When I say "your" scientologists, this is a common cockney phrase similar in context to the Scottish "See yon scientolgoists".
When you cant see them at all. Having said that, I actually can see them from my window.
I blame the Thetons. That's the sort of thing they do. I know. They're inside my head telling me.
Sorry to throw a spanner in ............... But wasn't Jesus Christ in the "early days" a cult until he got hollywood status?
I think he was popular before they made the film(s)/musical(s) Dreamweaver.
Depends on your definition of "cult", Dot, really.
It could be argued that what he wanted to be was right in line with the religion he was already a part of.
It could be argued that he meant to found a new religion.
It could be argued that others turned his ideas into a cult which then became powerful enough to merit being called a religion...
I still hold to the Bonewitts schema I posted earlier, though - if we're using "cult" to mean something dangerous.
I'm not sure I agree.
In modern, popular terminology, (1) "cult" tends to mean something wherein the will of the participants is somehow overcome or at least reduced; money extracted, freedom reduced, etc.
Very little if any of that applies to the early days of Christianity; few strictures were imposed on the lives of those involved, other than donating to the poor and avoiding food that had been sacrificed to other gods. Freedom of movement was not restricted.
And, tbh, I can't think of any modern movement that is labelled a "cult" that does not have a clearly visible, living leader?
(1)The academic field involved is very chary of the term "cult" because of the pejorative overtones, and tends to use "New Religious Movement" - NRMs - instead.
Curiosity got the best of me so googled Thetons and this is one of the things I came up with
the truth about scientology
Tom Cruise is really in to this huh?
Don't mind me - I don't pay much attention to the media
Because of my slow connection, I haven't seen the video.
I have read about Mr. Hubbard going into the office of John W. Campbell (the father of modern science fiction, sf magazine editor and writer who insisted that writers submit stories that were good literature--well written, good plot, good characterization, good dialog) and telling him that anyone who could write good science fiction could make more money inventing a religion. Then, he stopped submitting science fiction manuscripts, and turned his attention to making up scientology.
After his death, several novels he had written but never published went into print. It may be that, with guidance and constructive criticism from Campbell, he could have become a better writer. But, he chose to use his abilities to get money from people whom he persuaded to follow his newly-invented relgion.
I haven't seen either video yet, DeWitch.
If I take enough time, I can download them for viewing after.
Thank you for your description of your video, it helps me know what others (with faster connections) are viewing and talking about.
So I spelt "Thetans" wrong. Still a daft name. I thought someone might have spotted the similarity between my suggested Zogons and Douglas Adams
"Vogons". But who would want to be part of a religion or cult that associates with beings whose sole purpose it is to destroy the Earth to make way
for an intergalactic by pass.
By the way, Dreamweaver, you are a very brave woman! Sensible, intelligent, correct, but also very brave.
And I've seen the musical. And it was quite good. Well, the film was.
Ok, give me a button and I have to press it. But did that button do what you planned it to do? I thought that maybe I had been sussed but when I
peered more intently through the foggy curtains of confusion, it seemed to be the reply panel.
Or am I missing something?
Ah, that's much better.
Ah, a kindred spirit.
A quick afterthought edit:-
Mrs L is or rather was a catholic. Her parents were dedicated catholics - her father was a member of the Society of Vincent De Paul ( I dont think they were the Da vinci Code People).
although I am amazed by how people can believe in "God", I can also see how much it can mean to people and how much of a force for good it can often be. It was very supportive to my motherinlaw when her husband died.
I wouldn't dream of knocking a person's religious belief, I think we all need to to take comfort and strength from wherever we feel works best for
Personally I take mine from friends and family, far more tangible methinks.
Actually, the same can be said for some forums. This seems to be an example of that.
An article reprinted in Reader's Digest years ago detailed a number of people who were persuaded to turn their wealth over to Scientology. What else would one expect, from a religion originally invented for the purpose of making money?
Well, you may say that, Scholar,
But the Christian Church didn't do too bad out of the middle ages either. The first bank was set up by the Knights Templer. Also the first protection racket. since that was part of their job. to protect pilgrims to the holly land.
And what about the bougiers (is that spelt right)
Whats the difference between Madonna and Tom Cruise?
Whats the difference?? Religions, Beliefs, Occults, Way of life.... It's so boring and pathetic and useless, these celebs talking about this stuff.
I am glad to not get involved
Both should stop trying to educate the viewing public who must be sick of hearing these rich celebs trying to tell us something amazing. Nothing amazing to me....
Wry grin... well, considering how well known the Rider-Waite deck is, it's hard to see how it can be considered "occult" but it certainly is considered so, by a lot of people...
A long long time ago, once upon a time, I was at this party........
And there was this bunch of "Children of God" people there. One of them was quite new to it all and I got into conversation with him and started to shake his belief in what he was doing a little.
The bloke in charge rushed over, dragged him away and accused me of being Satan.
I was flattered but modesty (and my absolute comitment to Atheism) will not allow me to accept the compliment.
Wry grin- see, there I run up against what is for me an ethical problem - note, I'm not saying it should be so for you.
Let me give another example. I tend to hang around on newsgroups, some of which are inhabited by a VERY right wing Christian... who assures us all we're bound for hell, etc.
Now, some of what he says really will not stand up to anything like logical examination. And I've thought about trying to show him that - but I've not, for two reasons.
One - he wouldn't listen. I'm Catholic, and therefore in his eyes, Pagan.
Two - what if he did listen? I don't live particularly near him - what if I *did* manage to break his faith? What's my responsiblity to him, then? If it just happened because he read something I'd written somewhere, it'd be different, but if I *target* him - I think I'd have some responsiblity to be around while he works it out.
The same is true when teaching. Often, my students walk into my classroom convinced that the Bible was originally written in 16th C English, with little red bits for what Jesus said... and so on and so on.
And we introduce them to the history of the church (makes life difficult for those who are convinced that the Church of Rome is not Christian and is, in fact, evil...), the history of the Bible (the fact that the bible was compiled, that there are other Gospels out there...), higher criticism (that the books of the bible are of different genre, that there are more books in my bible than theirs, etc...).
For a lot of the students, that's near to faith shattering - partially because no one has ever, in their long faith lives, bothered to tell them anything like this! So we support and we care (we do care, which helps) and we talk and we listen - but we're also there to teach them and they've made the choice (and paid!) to come along.
So we also talk about what they are going to do with this knowledge - are they really going to go back to the Ladies' Circle and talk about the Council of Jamina? About the history of the liturgy? Perhaps not - or perhaps not without adequate preparation...
I ramble. Sorry. :}
No no no, fair point.
But I didn't set out to break his faith. The problem with this particular "cult"/branch of Christianity, is that, very like scientology, if you join it, you are expected to give them all your money and possessions.
And, Moses David, the cult/religious leader was accused of sleeping with children.
There was a major attempt to influence young people in London back then circa 1970. I got very tempted by a 12 string guitar and in fact went and bought one on the strength of my encounter with them.
But Mrs L's friends at school got completely suckered. they joined up in droves, moved all around the world Witnessing or whatever they do, brought up families. Then left in a hurry when they found their children being subjected to this type of abuse.
So, I wasn't trying to talk him away from Christianity. Just to consider walking away from another American con.