It's a cult of people who are batshit insane. I'm thankful Katie is divorcing Tom Cruise. I've been worried about Suri for some time. Katie was brilliant to file for divorce in NY State, to have a better chance at full-time custody.
2. yes, some people get upset when I say I believe it's full of unstable folks, and they say
it's no different than me saying the same about a mainstream religion, and yet, we know it is NOT the same. I think some people are susceptible to believing cult leaders and, it goes beyond the standard, 'joining a religion to feel a part of something' that is often argued.
4. Say, 'It is the same. yet very, very different."
I really don't know anyone who is not a scientologist who defends scientology so I am guessing the point of the people to whom you were speaking is that all religion is the same. And sure, all religions have certain things in common.
But, all cults have certain things in common as well.
6. For me, secrecy about the beliefs and doctrines taught by the Church is a huge red flag.
Edited on Fri Jul-13-12 04:30 AM by No Elephants
Any observant Jew can tell you freely the essence of what Judaism teaches and, if asked, probably will tell you. Ditto any Christian or any Buddhist.
Mormons used to be more secretive than they are now, but there are still some questions they dodge or fudge with answers like "oh, that is so personal!" (Same thing a member of an unrelated religious group told me about vows taken by members of that group. And that was said to shut up another member, who had begun telling me about the vows he had taken to become a member.)
And though this may not be popular I have also known Muslims to fudge some; e.g., like saying that the Arabic word for war is "harb" not "jihad.") From that, I guess that I am supposed to infer that "jihad" never refers to a religous war by Muslims because the word "harb" is not being used. Well, the English word for war is "war," but we all know what we are talking about when we speak of "the Crusades," even if the word "war" is never mentioned.)
Anyhoo....in Scientology, people have to pay to have the doctrines revealed to them, step by step. The wiki on scientology estimated the dollar cost of getting the full "truth" at about $100,000. And, if you don't "get" a step, you have to repeat it and pay again for it. Or so the wiki says.
As members have left, they have spoken and written about what they learned, but those who are members still may not speak freely.
if that is not a cult, I don't know what is.
On the other hand, I once spoke to a writer about religion who said that longevity probably had a great deal to do with the difference between things that are considered religions and things that are considered cults. He pointed out to me that Christianity had been considered a cult by both Jews and pagans when it first emerged. And I know Jews who still consider it a cult or a false religion. And Muslims say both Christians and Jew got God's words wrong.
And, of course, there are cults within Christianity. (As just one example, I don't care how old the snake handling group of Christians is, I will always consider that a cult.)
As far as all religions being alike, all Christians are certainly not alike in how they understand and practice their faith. And isn't the individual, not the stereotype of the group, always the important thing?
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