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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  PopeBeanie 1 year, 3 months ago.

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    Cults obviously have a lot in common with religion, and I’ve seen several times people say they’re no significant differences. I’m going to start a list of differences here, perhaps one video or story at a time.


    • Living quarters or neighborhoods intentionally separated from other quarters or neighborhoods
    • Reverence and high allegiance toward one specific person who dominates the group



    I thought that the only difference between a religion and a cult was: a religion is a cult that lasted longer than one generation and the leader is fairly wise and does not allow leader worship to the point that the cult implodes/explodes (mass-suicide/die/fizzle-away/merge/repurpose/split/get-arrested/go-crazy/go-bankrupt/scare-off-everyone). Apart from that the only difference is it’s nature of being very large scale and smart planning/management.



    I like the first comment:

    “In a cult, there’s a guy at the top that knows it’s a scam. In a religion, that guy is long dead.”



    I like Hemant. But for some (idiotic, thin-skinned?) reason, I wonder first if he’s attacking people like me:

    Every time I see an article about the Jehovah’s Witnesses, or Scientologists, or any other relatively small but powerful religion, there are inevitably commenters who chime in and say, “It’s a cult!”

    Which makes you wonder: How come those groups are cults but the Catholic Church or the evangelical megachurch next door are not?

    “Commenters who chime in”. So I’m a chimer now. Maybe I’m even at risk of becoming a politically correct libtard snowflake (PCLS?).

    But I get over that quickly enough (and everything’s not all about Me after all [and I’m saying that just in case that’s what you were thinking]), because he also contributes greatly to this topic, which I can copy/paste from the description on the video’s YouTube page (round bullet points are mine):

    • 1) A cult doesn’t let you leave. A good religion, if we can call it that, lets you come and go without a problem. Sure, they want you to stay, but they’re not gonna come after you if you stop believing.
    • 2) A cult only lets you associate with other cult members. Do you have friends who aren’t atheists or Christians or whatever you are? Good! A cult doesn’t let that happen. And if you leave the faith, they’re done with you.
    • 3) A cult may require you to live with other cult members. Like in a single home or commune. With religions, you live on your own and come together every so often to worship.
    • 4) Cults have singular leaders with all the power. He has special access to the truth and no one else does. That’s different from megachurch pastors, who might love the spotlight, but even they won’t say the road to salvation goes through them.
    • 5) Cults don’t let you disagree. If you challenge the teachings or disagree with the theology, you should be able to have a discussion and debate about it. Most churches are okay with that. There are Christian apologists who run around trying to defend the faith from its critics, which is good, because it means they’re comfortable having that conversation! Questioning your beliefs is a good thing. I mean, if your religion can’t handle your questions, then you should leave it.
    • 6) Cults are exclusive, even from within. You might be part of a cult, but that doesn’t mean you’re saved. You might have to be more dedicated. Or give them more of your money. Religions don’t work that way. Accept the divinity of Jesus and you’re golden. Follow the tenets of Islam and that’s that.
    • 7) Cults are secretive. Only some people have access to all the cult’s information. Their finances. Their leadership hierarchy. Their beliefs, in some cases. You have to pay money and level up to learn Scientology’s biggest secrets. Most religions aren’t like that.
    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  PopeBeanie. Reason: Removed a few rambly paragraphs


    Leah Remini’s ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ to End with Explosive Special

    Leah Remini is calling it a day on Scientology and the Aftermath. The actress and activist, who’s been an outspoken critic of the deeply controversial organization since her own exit in 2013, has decided to wrap A&E’s Emmy-winning docuseries after three seasons.

    Whole story here, and Season 3 trailer:

    “The difference between a religion and a cult is what happens when you try to leave.”



    • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by  PopeBeanie.


    Ran into an interesting recent German documentary on North Korea.

    North Korea is one of the poorest countries in the world, but its leader Kim Jong Un has still found the money he needs to finance a nuclear weapons program, despite the country’s fundamental poverty and international economic sanctions.

    This documentary looks at how, and introduces the men who have helped Kim Jong Un keep his dreams of reaching nuclear power status alive. North Korea has not reined in its nuclear program, despite a number of UN resolutions that have tried to force it to do so. So how has the isolated country kept the program going despite sanctions? Every year Pyongyang sends millions of North Korean workers abroad, selling their services to over 40 countries around the world. And their salaries flow directly into Kim’s treasury. […]

    Kim Jong Un’s Helpers

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