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Small town cult occurrences


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#1 JoeFriday

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 05:50 PM

There is an area of Mass. where three small towns come to a point. In the woods in this town a woman can be heard screaming on certain nights around midnight. On nights where the woman's scream is heard, chanting can be heard in the wee hours of the mornings. Bells being rung will often be heard in the distance. It is believed that a Satanic cult operates in those woods on certain nights.

Then there is a small town in Mississippi where a Satanic cult once held the entire town in its grip. Everything from the school system to the police department was tainted. A private eye was send into the town to investigate, and was pulled over while leaving, and warned not to return.

These are just a couple examples of the underground cult scenes that often control entire towns.
Just the facts, ma'am.

#2 aloha_spirit

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:29 PM

Many cults and smallish religious groups will gather together. They are leery of outsiders who don't understand them. This happened various times in the early history of my church.

Since my church was on the receiving end of persecution and had its share of misunderstandings (and conflicts) with its neighbors, I am slow to judge nascent religious groups. As long as they obey the law, let them worship however they want.

Utah and Arizona have been treading lightly with the various polygamous groups who don't take kindly to outsiders. Texas will soon have to decide its course of action in regards to one such polygamous group.

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#3 JoeFriday

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Posted 23 May 2005 - 10:45 PM

Mind if I ask what your church is???
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#4 aloha_spirit

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 12:01 AM

It's the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We are still called a cult by some despite surpassing 12,000,000 members.

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#5 Axman

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Posted 24 May 2005 - 04:43 PM

If you really think about it, there are also racially motivated cults around the country that have strongholds in some small towns. The most notable being the Ku Klux Klan.
Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified? --BeetlejuiceI'm the ghost with the most, babe.--BeetlejuiceWe've come for your daughter Chuck--Beetlejuice

#6 JoeFriday

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 01:24 AM

I haven't really studied too much in the Church of Later Day Saints. I've seen their commericals on TV though. You have to explain to me some of the in's and outs of the faith, and maybe I could get an understanding as to why people would label your religion such.

Before I speculate, I guess I'd like you to answer a few easy questions that are usually red flags of cult or cult-like activity.

1) Does your church judge other Christian religions as being false or evil, such as Catholocism?

2) Does your church forbid the celebrating Halloween?

3) Does your church require a regular tithing or donation?

4) Does your church practice "accountability" with it's members? In other words, if you miss a couple services, do they call your house and ask where you are?

5) Does your church ask invasive questions, like what schools your children attend, how much money you make at work, or your social/political views?

6) Does your church forbid lifestyle choices, like casual dating, drinking, or even choices in television or entertainment?

7) Does your church require separate classes/services for your children?

8. Does your church require your contact information, ei. home phone number, address...etc..?

These are a few easy questions that will actually shed a lot of insight into the intentions of churches.
Just the facts, ma'am.

#7 Vampchick21

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 08:25 AM

I haven't really studied too much in the Church of Later Day Saints. I've seen their commericals on TV though. You have to explain to me some of the in's and outs of the faith, and maybe I could get an understanding as to why people would label your religion such.

Before I speculate, I guess I'd like you to answer a few easy questions that are usually red flags of cult or cult-like activity.

1) Does your church judge other Christian religions as being false or evil, such as Catholocism?

2) Does your church forbid the celebrating Halloween?

3) Does your church require a regular tithing or donation?

4) Does your church practice "accountability" with it's members? In other words, if you miss a couple services, do they call your house and ask where you are?

5) Does your church ask invasive questions, like what schools your children attend, how much money you make at work, or your social/political views?

6) Does your church forbid lifestyle choices, like casual dating, drinking, or even choices in television or entertainment?

7) Does your church require separate classes/services for your children?

8. Does your church require your contact information, ei. home phone number, address...etc..?

These are a few easy questions that will actually shed a lot of insight into the intentions of churches.

1) Seems to me quite a few otherwise normal Christian Churches view Catholism in particular and other denominations in general as being evil or wrong. Not Cult or Cult-like activity there, simply human nature rearing it's ugly head.

2) Many Christian Churches (especially Evangilitical, but I may be generalizing) forbid or frown on Halloween. Simply because, face it, it's a modern day adaption of a Pagan holiday. Again, simply the ugly side of human nature.

3) Even the Catholic Church has a collection plate. How the heck else is a church supposed to pay for the upkeep of the building, the property taxes, the salary of the staff, etc, etc? Most Churchs, Mosques and Synogouges (sp?) collect monies from the people attending. Normal. Practical. It's when the group demands most of what you have in order to be a member that a red flag must be raised.

4) Depending on the size of the parish/congregation/community and the depth of seriousness that the particular denomination takes attendance, this may well be normal activity. But also can be found within Cults. So rather an ambigious area.

5) Some churches do this. Again, ambigious.

6) Heh....depending on the demonination, normal again. Heck, the Catholic Church recently came out condeming and forbiding The Da Vinci Code, not to mention the ban on contraception and pre-marital sexual relations (just as an example). Some Baptist churches forbid dancing. Some Evangilitical Churchs forbid Sponge Bob Square Pants. One Christian group boycotted Disney because the corporation offered benefits to same sex partners of employees. And need I point out the role that the pulpit played in the recent US Election? That again, is just the ugly side of human nature.

7) ? Say what? I was a Catholic growing up and I recall attending Sunday School and separate masses with only children in attendance. My mother was Anglican prior to her marriage to my father, same thing. Isn't that kind of normal within the context of educating the youth of a denomination the tenents of their particular faith?

8) My old Catholic parish had records like that. Particularly if the parishoner was sending their child(ren) to the Catholic School. My grandfather, an Anglican Minister, knew the contact information for every member of his church.

All of your questions actually hold true to many a non-cult Church.

Here's a good website explaining Cults as well as the gross misuse of the term.

http://www.religious...ltmenu.htm#menu

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#8 aloha_spirit

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 12:52 PM

Joe,

I'm posting a follow-up under the Mormonism thread.

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#9 JoeFriday

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 01:31 PM

Thanks, and yes, those questions aren't perfect, but I'm not the one that wrote them either. Vamp, I think you missed the small print in a few of those questions, I'll show you how they were supposed to work.

1) For judging other religions, I know that all churches do it. But the Christian-like cults will often take it to an extreme, actually going as far as to say that "They" are the only ones going to heaven, that everyone else will burn in hell. That is a fear tactic used in cults to make sure the members never stray.

2) I've been Catholic all my life, and we always celebrated Halloween. In fact, the Catholic school I attended threw a Halloween party every year in the school cafeteria. The reason I threw this question in, is because all of the mind controlling churches I ever encountered all shared a hatred of Halloween in common.

3)Vamp, you missed the word here..."require" Yeah, all churches pass the plate, but a real cult will often go as far as to request copies of you pay stubs, income tax returns, and even cost of monthly living. Real cults don't just pass the plate, they actually tell you that failure to drop in money, and often way more then 10%, is in violation of God's law and is a sin.

4)Accountability is a red flag for occult practice. No church should do this. Church is optional, it's not like work where your boss is going to call you if you don't show up. I can understand this practice, if say, you've been a member in good standing for many years and know the pastor personally. But if you're a new member, you miss one service, and they're already calling you, that is a dangerous control tactic.

5)I think this questions speaks for itself and works well with question 4.

6)The Catholics do ban protest such things as gay marriage and abortions rights, because they feel it violates biblical law. This thinking can be backed up to a degre because there is biblical versus that do state killing is wrong..duh..and that a man should not lay down with a man...something like that. But many of these cults will tell their members that they can't watch game shows, horror movies, or go out after 11pm. None of this can be backed up by religious doctrine. These are just rules made up to test out how much mind control they have over their members.

7)Again Vamp, you missed "require" I've never seen a Catholic or Baptist church say that you can't sit with you family during the service. But many Christian-like cults will actually hold totally separate services in which the children do not interact with the parents. And unlike Sunday School, which is optional, these children services are required. Big difference.

8. And again, the word "require" fits in here.
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#10 Vampchick21

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 01:51 PM

Thanks, and yes, those questions aren't perfect, but I'm not the one that wrote them either. Vamp, I think you missed the small print in a few of those questions, I'll show you how they were supposed to work.

1) For judging other religions, I know that all churches do it. But the Christian-like cults will often take it to an extreme, actually going as far as to say that "They" are the only ones going to heaven, that everyone else will burn in hell. That is a fear tactic used in cults to make sure the members never stray.

2) I've been Catholic all my life, and we always celebrated Halloween. In fact, the Catholic school I attended threw a Halloween party every year in the school cafeteria. The reason I threw this question in, is because all of the mind controlling churches I ever encountered all shared a hatred of Halloween in common.

3)Vamp, you missed the word here..."require" Yeah, all churches pass the plate, but a real cult will often go as far as to request copies of you pay stubs, income tax returns, and even cost of monthly living. Real cults don't just pass the plate, they actually tell you that failure to drop in money, and often way more then 10%, is in violation of God's law and is a sin.

4)Accountability is a red flag for occult practice. No church should do this. Church is optional, it's not like work where your boss is going to call you if you don't show up. I can understand this practice, if say, you've been a member in good standing for many years and know the pastor personally. But if you're a new member, you miss one service, and they're already calling you, that is a dangerous control tactic.

5)I think this questions speaks for itself and works well with question 4.

6)The Catholics do ban protest such things as gay marriage and abortions rights, because they feel it violates biblical law. This thinking can be backed up to a degre because there is biblical versus that do state killing is wrong..duh..and that a man should not lay down with a man...something like that. But many of these cults will tell their members that they can't watch game shows, horror movies, or go out after 11pm. None of this can be backed up by religious doctrine. These are just rules made up to test out how much mind control they have over their members.

7)Again Vamp, you missed "require" I've never seen a Catholic or Baptist church say that you can't sit with you family during the service. But many Christian-like cults will actually hold totally separate services in which the children do not interact with the parents. And unlike Sunday School, which is optional, these children services are required. Big difference.

8. And again, the word "require" fits in here.

Well, I didn't actually SEE any small print, so I responded with what you gave me. :yellowbounce:

1) There are many a demonination that is not deemed a cult by general society that states that they alone have the truth and the rest of us are going to hell. Many a Pentacostal or Evangalitical congregation does this.

2) Exactly WHAT denomination are you thinking of when you refer to "mind controlling" in your statement? I'd be better able to discuss that point if I knew what you were refering to. Besides, there's an Seven Day Advantist church near my place in the downtown core of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, that openly goes against the celebration of Halloween, and frankly, judging from other things I've seen I would not call them a cult whatsoever. As I think I might have noted, there are several non-cult denominations that frankly, DO have a hate of Halloween simply because it stems from a Pagan holiday. And that often won't sit well with some denominations, therefore they denounce it.

3) Which is why I stated very clearly in my inital response that it can be an ambigious question or 'proof'. Some people might find the collection plate in the Catholic Church to be the same thing as what you are describing (which I agree, your example IS a red-flag of a cult)

4) True, the example that you give is another red flag.

5) Maybe. Depends.

6) Again, it really rides on what specific demoninations you have in mind (see #2). I'd be better able to discuss this. But face it, many a denomination that is not considered a cult actually DO do this sort of thing. After all, dancing isn't forbidden anywhere in the Bible that I know of, and yet certain Baptist churchs forbid it. Are they a cult? Not in my mind.

7) My childhood parish REQUIRED us kids to attend certain classes. Just pointing that out to you. And cutting out on the weekly Mass was not a good idea.

8) I still say it depends. I'm honestly not as familar with each and every non-cult Christian denomination so I don't know if say, the Pentacostal Churches have this kind of information.

I suppose at this point, it might make the discussion somewhat clearer to me at least if you share what these mind controlling churches you have mentioned encountering were. As in, what were they called?

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#11 aloha_spirit

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 02:46 PM

How old or large must a sect be to not be considered a cult?

As Vamp said, many of those questions can be taken either way.

I feel it is good for the different groups to go to different classes based on their level of understanding and maturity. Milk before meat, right? But parents should be allowed to visit their children's classes.

Churches have budgets to take care of their needs. Utilities, maintenance, building, and publishing the Scriptures (and other material) is not free. Many denominations have clergy whose full-time profession is the clergy. These men and women need a living expense (but they should not get uber rich from the Church either). Churches should use at least a portion of their funds to take care of those less fortunate.

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#12 Axman

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 06:36 PM

Just so you all know, there are two arguments you can't win, politics and religion! (Not saying it's an argument but...)
Ah. Well... I attended Juilliard... I'm a graduate of the Harvard business school. I travel quite extensively. I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that. I've seen the EXORCIST ABOUT A HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SEVEN TIMES, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT... NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT YOU'RE TALKING TO A DEAD GUY... NOW WHAT DO YOU THINK? You think I'm qualified? --BeetlejuiceI'm the ghost with the most, babe.--BeetlejuiceWe've come for your daughter Chuck--Beetlejuice

#13 hawkerdriver

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:09 PM

Sorry Vamp and Aloha, I have to side with Joe on this one. The questions he's posing a really good ones. Joe, did you construct these questions yourself or did you get them some where else? I know that there are certain indicators that do seperate out religions from cults. Alas, i have never taken the time to track down what the experts have to say about it. I think Joe's questions are valid. Especially when we take a good look at certain well-known cults.
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#14 Vampchick21

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:33 PM

Hawkers...luv....lol...I'm not denying that the questions are very good. I wouldn't have answered if they weren't :yellowbounce: Just that to one degree or another they all can apply to just about every religion out there.

I read in the Cults link I gave above that to get really techincal, the Christian faith could have been considered a cult by today's standards back in 30 A.D. :purplebounce:

I'm just saying that when defining a cult, you need to be absolutely sure what it is you are labling. Example, I don't really consider Scientolgy to be a cult, but I do the....heck...what's the name...the one based in Montreal that claims to have contact with aliens and that they've successfully cloned more than one human being? That's a cult.

I am still very curious as to the churches Joe has encounted that he mentioned in his response to me that he considered Mind Controlling. Once I know that, I think he and I and everyone else could have a much more clear discussion.

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#15 aloha_spirit

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 07:56 PM

I'm trying to think of a single denomination that does not answer in the affirmitive to many, if not most, of those questions.

There are so many differences in doctrine among the sectrs that it is crazy to think them all correct. Didn't Jesus teach that a house divided cannot stand? We must make a judgment call and choose the "right" or "best" one.

Oh, I just finished reading the site posted by Vamp. i was under the impression that sect and denomination were interchangable in English. I know that the Portuguese culto doesn't carry the same connotation as "Cult" while "seita" (sect) is extremely infamatory.

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