Beliefs in Society Religious organisations Access 2008
Religion <ul><li>Religion </li></ul><ul><ul><li>belief in a divine or superhuman power or powers to be obeyed and worshiped as the creator(s) and ruler(s) of the universe </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>expression of such a belief in conduct and ritual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Examples of religious groups: Christianity; Buddhism; Islam; Sikhism. </li></ul>
SECTS <ul><li>a religious body or denomination, esp. a small group that has broken away from an established church </li></ul><ul><li>any group of people having a common leadership, set of opinions, philosophical doctrine, political principles, etc., specif. a faction of a larger group. </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Fanatics have their dreams, wherewith they weave a paradise for a sect.’ </li></ul><ul><li>— Keats,John </li></ul>
CULTS <ul><li>CULT : </li></ul><ul><li>a system of religious worship or ritual </li></ul><ul><li>a quasi-religious group, often living in a colony, with a charismatic leader who indoctrinates members with unorthodox or extremist views, practices, or beliefs </li></ul>
What is a Cult? <ul><li>Every cult can be defined as a group having all of the following five characteristics: </li></ul><ul><li>1. It uses psychological coercion to recruit, indoctrinate and retain its members </li></ul><ul><li>2. It forms an elitist totalitarian society. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Its founder leader is self-appointed, dogmatic, messianic, not accountable and has charisma. </li></ul><ul><li>4. It believes 'the end justifies the means' in order to solicit funds and recruit people. </li></ul><ul><li>5. Its wealth does not benefit its members or society. </li></ul>
Types of Cults Appear to offer association with a group giving courses in some kind of self improvement or self help technique or therapy. Appear to offer association with a group interested in making the world a better place via political, spiritual or other means. Registered as 'non profit making' groups. Registered as religious groups. Average age at the point of recruitment is in the mid 30's Average age at the point of recruitment is in the 20's. Members usually stay in society's workforce. Members may leave or not join society's workforce. Communal Living rare. Communal living common. Therapy Cults Religious Cults
Are Cults Harmful? <ul><li>To remain within the strict mental and social confines of a cult for even a short time can have the following disastrous effects: </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of choice and free will. </li></ul><ul><li>Diminished intellectual ability, vocabulary and sense of humour. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced use of irony, abstractions and metaphors. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced capacity to form flexible and intimate relationships. </li></ul><ul><li>Poor judgement. </li></ul><ul><li>Physical deterioration. </li></ul><ul><li>Malnutrition. </li></ul><ul><li>Hallucinations, panic, dissociation, guilt, identity diffusion and paranoia. </li></ul><ul><li>Neurotic, psychotic or suicidal tendencies. </li></ul><ul><li>Source: Cult Information Centre, London </li></ul>
Denominations <ul><li>A large group of religious congregations united under a common faith and name and organized under a single administrative and legal hierarchy. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: Methodist; Catholic; Presbyterian </li></ul>
NEW AGE MOVEMENTS <ul><li>Movement that spread through occult communities in the 1970s and '80s. It looked forward to a "New Age" of love and peace and offered a foretaste of the coming era through personal transformation and healing. The movement's strongest supporters were followers of esotericism, a religious perspective based on the acquisition of mystical knowledge. At its height, the movement attracted millions of Americans, who practiced astrology, yoga, and channeling and used crystals as healing tools. </li></ul>
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