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11/07/2008                                                                                       View Comments

The Christian Cult: Brainwash And Mind Control In The Name Of The Lord?

By Tim Whiston

In common usage, the word cult refers to a group of social outcasts who practice some obscure religion. Often there is a pointedly negative connotation to the beliefs and practices of such a group.

However, a more accurate application of the term would focus not on the bizarre nature of a group’s belief, but rather on the behavioral, cognitive, and organizational impact the belief system has on the participants. Whether a religion is built around the alleged spirits of giant mushrooms, or a carpenter from the Middle East, it can reasonably be called a cult when certain characteristics become evident among those who follow the faith.

Here is a simplified list of “symptoms” that can be used to identify members of any cult:
  1. A belief in the core cult dogma that is independent of facts, logic, or even one’s own intuition. In other words an absolute and blind acceptance of any information provided by cult leaders and literature as undeniable fact.

  2. tendency to isolate from the rest of society, often justified by the suggestion that those outside of the faith are wicked, lost, etc.

  3. A compulsive need to recruit others into the cult.

  4. The deriving of most or all of one’s self esteem from the cult collective and the cult dogma. Often cult members will see themselves as worthless (because this is what they are taught) and will insist that only through the practice of the cult’s teachings can they serve the world in any worthwhile manner.

  5. The complete loss of individuality, logic, and objectivity. The only reasons for continued existence becomes the serving of the cult’s agenda.
This list could be expanded substantially, but the items above effectively capture the primary indicators that can be used to determine whether an individual is involved with a cult group. Now let’s have a closer look at the global religion called Christianity in an effort to see how it’s practitioners reflect the previous list on cult member behavior.

Irrational Belief In Core Cult Dogma

Christians, like everyone, have their own beliefs about the origins of the universe, the meaning of life, and the nature of right and wrong. However in almost every case, followers of Christianity adopt what they are taught by their pastors and priests, and what they read in their biblical texts, as their own truths.

Rarely, if ever, do Christians make their own conjecture about the nature and phenomena of life and living. They accept without question everything given to them by the church leadership, even when the information is contradictive of science, history, logic, and previous information from the same church source.

In the event a Christian feels strongly about a particular issue, and these feelings are exposed as being contradictory to the official dogma, he or she will reject the original belief in favor of that presented by the clergy or by biblical texts. This means a Christian typically has no real ability to decide what he or she believes about the world and about life in general, as the church organization is allowed to “overrule” even what goes on in the individuals’ mind.

Furthermore, any attempt to challenge these beliefs will likely be met with hostility. Regardless of what scientific, historical, even mathematical evidence you can produce to offset any given church teaching, expect to be resisted or even attacked by any Christian you present this information to.

Justified Isolation From Society

The core Christian teaching insists that the world is evil, and only those who accept the Christian faith will be saved from eternity in hell. Therefore many Christians are afraid of anything and everything that is not directly condoned by leaders within their organization.

Christian organizations and individuals often target television, movies, music, games, politicians, retail organizations, and even children’s toy franchises. After declaring an entity wicked and wayward, Christians will use boycott and even public protest to show disdain for a wide range of institutions.

Granted, there are many movies, games, songs, politicians, and so forth that are distasteful or even downright uncouth. But Christians are not content to simply refrain form interacting with people, places, groups, and services they deem evil; indeed their objective seems to rid the world of such things and to label any who disagree with their position as evil as well.

Compulsive Tendency To Recruit Others

Anyone who has spent much time with Christian friends knows very well the policy of conversion this organization practices. In fact they believe god has charged them with the task of turning everyone in the world into a Christian.

As scary as this might sound, it’s critical that you understand I’m not joking here. Christians believe it is the will of the divine that they make every effort to recruit every other human being on the planet into their religious organization.

The idea of simply worshipping their god, observing their traditions, and allowing the rest of the world to do the same is unacceptable. In fact the suggestion is blasphemy to a Christian, and you are in danger of burning in hell for all eternity (as far as they are concerned) for having the audacity to resist their efforts to convert you.

Deriving One’s Self Esteem From The Cult Collective

Sadly, most Christians honestly believe they are intrinsically unworthy, powerless, and wicked. In order to be of any value at all they must denounce themselves, beg god to forgive them for their evil ways, and devote their lives to following the very specific tenants of the Christian faith.

That all humans are born evil and unworthy is one of the most basic teachings of the faith. And a primary reason for this belief is the assumed fact that Eve, the first woman ever created, collaborated with a talking serpent to steal and eat a piece of fruit from a tree god specifically told her not to bother.

Seriously.

At the risk of getting sidetracked here I am compelled to elaborate a bit on this whole “born evil” thing. In the very same book in the Christian bible (Genesis) where the reader learns of their inherent wickedness and unworthiness, they are also told that “god created man in his own likeness”.

So if you were to keep score, you would find that:
  1. You were created by god in his own image and likeness.

  2. God is good and great and loves you more than you can understand.

  3. You are, at birth, an evil sinner whom must one day beg god to forgive you.
You may be a tad confused by the relation of items A and C. Refer to items #1 and #5 on our list of cult member behaviors to see how belief in the above contradictory premise can be accepted without challenge by millions of people worldwide.

Complete Loss Of Logic, Individuality, And Objectivity


This list item is really a reflection of all the other listed items. I use it to explain how an otherwise intelligent, seemingly decent, full-grown adult can behave in a manner described in this article.

How people choose to think, believe, and even act is completely up to them. But I become concerned when a group - any group - has a clear and aggressive mission of subverting and disrupting the rights of other people in an effort to impose its edicts upon the masses.

Ironically, I remember a multi-part course on the dangers of cults being part of my Sunday school curriculum so many years ago. We were warned about such deviant religions as Mormon and even cautioned about certain Catholic practices by the protestant Christian minister who led the classes.

I didn’t realize until years after I had left the church that in fact Christianity is one enormous cult. Like the majority of organized religions I have encountered, this belief system seems to have originated as a method of fear-based mind control, and to this day remains a very powerful method of subtle tyranny.

Timothy Aaron Whiston grew up in an aggressively fundamentalist Christian family. He understands the inner workings of the religion and has firsthand insights to the potential impact the dogma has on practitioners. Visit his blog at http://blog.timwhiston.com

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19 comments:

webmdave said...

I think the question Christianity poses to mankind is more simple than man would like to believe. I don't thing science, logic or philosophy could or would ever deny the existence of the human need for hope. The one thing that Christianity does is consolidate all hope into the person of Christ. To some this is far fetched, to others this makes perfect sense. But the difference in perspective (IMHO) is always going to be a question of hope, what it is, and what it isn't. If the intellectual can bring the question of hope to the table then there is daylight in the conversation. Otherwise it is a war that the skeptics engage logic and the Christians engage faith. In a world of polarity the bridge has always been hope itself.

webmdave said...

I think the question Christianity poses to mankind is more simple than man would like to believe. I don't think science, logic or philosophy could or would ever deny the existence of the human need for hope. The one thing that Christianity does is consolidate all hope into the person of Christ. To some this is far fetched, to others this makes perfect sense. But the difference in perspective (IMHO) is always going to be a question of hope, what it is, and what it isn't. If the intellectual can bring the question of hope to the table then there is daylight in the conversation. Otherwise it is a war that the skeptics engage logic and the Christians engage faith. In a world of polarity the bridge has always been hope itself.

webmdave said...

If you don't mind my saying, I don't see anything wrong with your trusting people and looking for the good in others. It's great that you now have some perspective and understand there are people who will use and abuse, but I honestly believe there are MANY good people in the world, and that overall life on this planet is good stuff.

I hope you won't let the fact that some people are mean, rude, self-serving, and even nasty draw your attention from all the good people out here. The world is also full of people who will indeed return your kindess.

I can't stress enough that I'm not denying the existence of jerks. We've all met plenty of them.

But I maintain a belief that our species is capable of great compassion and decency when we put our minds to it. With your experience/wisdom, you can now look for the good in people without getting screwed over. ;o)

webmdave said...

The problem I had with being raised in a christian house hold is it leaves you compleatly unprepaired for the real world. I remeber thinking that every one I met was generally good and that if I was a good person and treated every one with love and respect I would get that in return. I blindly believed what people around me said, which lead to me being used and abused constantly. It was a very painful time in my life because what I was doing wasn't working and it was the only way I knew. Wich is sad because I use to be a pretty happy person, I think I wouldn't have so much emotional baggage if I was taught to look for the signs of some one doing you wrong. But I wasn't Insead I was told to turn the other cheek. And as we all know all that got me was an eternal broken jaw.

webmdave said...

....and then, in their cult blindness, they see persecution as a very good thing. It is expected and when they are criticized, they claim it is all for the lord. How backwards can you get? That is for sure taught in any cult. If they brainwash the people to accept the persecution and wear it as a badge of honor, then when the sane people try to help.....ta da....real honest persecution just like "so&so" said it would happen. He must be a prophet.
Just sounds wrong.
Good post.

webmdave said...

....and then, in their cult blindness, they see persecution as a very good thing. It is expected and when they are criticized, they claim it is all for the lord. How backwards can you get? That is for sure taught in any cult. If they brainwash the people to accept the persecution and wear it as a badge of honor, then when the sane people try to help.....ta da....real honest persecution just like "so&so" said it would happen. He must be a prophet.
Just sounds wrong.
Good post.

webmdave said...

That is so accurate epiccolo. It's the pinnacle of lunacy.

Along the same lines, any time you pull out historical issues, scientific findings, or just good logic the invariable fallback is likely to be: "We just can't understand the mind of God" or "It's the devil clouding your mind with such thoughts".

Thus the christian "defense" is entirely impregnable!

webmdave said...

I remember that as I Christian, I skimmed a book called Kingdom of the Cults, and could not find much difference between Christianity and the cults described in the book. I was only a teenager at the time, so I just ignored the doubts. But as you have shown, I should have listened to those doubts way back then.

One thing I have found in talking to many of my Christian friends is that when I press them on the question, they admit that they are not willing to go on a search for truth that would lead them away from their faith. One even said something like "My faith is too important. There is no evidence that would make me change my mind or cause me to abandon my religion."

If that is not cult behavior, I don't know what is.

Thanks for the post.

webmdave said...

I remember that as I Christian, I skimmed a book called Kingdom of the Cults, and could not find much difference between Christianity and the cults described in the book. I was only a teenager at the time, so I just ignored the doubts. But as you have shown, I should have listened to those doubts way back then.

One thing I have found in talking to many of my Christian friends is that when I press them on the question, they admit that they are not willing to go on a search for truth that would lead them away from their faith. One even said something like "My faith is too important. There is no evidence that would make me change my mind or cause me to abandon my religion."

If that is not cult behavior, I don't know what is.

Thanks for the post.

webmdave said...

I had this same problem, but what i found out is that when you read the bible it shows that people are not good, and life for some was not great. some new testimate show that some people will be false bro, teachers,preachers and antichrist. that a person should look at their fruit and then they will know who they are. i am very careful now, who i am friends with. it is too bad, that someone could of showed you in the bible the signs. but thease days, christians are lazy. i had to teach myself, and i was all alone when i came a christian. i find that all i have is God. i don't depend on people to help me or make me happy. i think that is where you might of found things not working for you?

webmdave said...

i am a christian, i don't think persecution is a good thing unless i was into pain and i am not! I am not expecting people to hate me for my beliefs, but to have a open mind. i do not claim things for the Lord, because i think he has everything , why would he need? i respect other people beliefs and opinions, because that is who they are, even if we don't agree. i think it is Gods job, to draw men to him self. If he chooses to use a people to tell what God did in their lifeor something else that is his progitive

webmdave said...

i think some Christian just want to save face. because they don't know about history or issues. i try to answer the people questions but i found out that if i come up with the logical answer they don't want to hear it, they just want to argue. i don't like to argue. i like to understand.

webmdave said...

i have study lots of cults and other religions, i think you will find that alot of people, do not really investigate their beliefs and why they believe. i have and i continue to question and want to know more of my faith.

webmdave said...

My other half has decided to attend a 4-week course on what it means to "be saved" at the church she used to attend - she's still nominally a member there. She wants to talk to people about her changing beliefs - which have changed a lot over the last two years. She was most struck by the difference in language that she now has. As an example, they were talking about Creation and she was talking about nature, as she felt that calling nature "Creation" indicated acceptance of an act of creation - something she no longer really believes in.

What struck me when she was running through things the next day was what the leader had said about the passage in Genesis 3. Apparently there is no clear interpretation of what the serpent said - the Hebrew is ambiguous. The three options are:
1. "You will certainly not die"
2. "It is not certain that you will die"
3. "No, you certainly will die"

The teacher's notes state this is clever language - exactly what you'd expect of Satan. I'm thinking - I've heard sermon after sermon on this passage and the accepted English translation is (once again) in doubt! Yet this is one of the core passages that evangelical Christianity bases its message on. The credibility gap increases.

webmdave said...

Heidifapp -

It is good that you are questioning and investigating your religion. Keep it up and you won't be a christian much longer. Keep coming here and reading the testimonies and posts.

This is where you will find REAL TRUTH!

Thanks for your honest comments. Now, sit back and enjoy the wisdom that will be coming your way.

Welcome,

XpastorDan

webmdave said...

heidifapp: i do not claim things for the Lord, because i think he has everything , why would he need

How OFTEN I've asked myself this very question about this all-everything god being.

How about these little questions to .........

1. Why did god need to create a material universe, if god lives outside the universe?

2. Why did god need to create spirit angels?

3. Why did god need to create an earth that could support biological/mortal life forms?
(An earth that exists inside a universe that is way oversized for that job)

4. Why did god set out to create a 'satisfactory' pair of humans, but failed in the end; according to his own set-forth standards?

5. Why does such a god need to be worshipped and adored by any life form, spiritual or biological?

6. Why would such a god who didn't receive this worship from some of his created beings, then create a place to punish them for all eternity, merely because he didn't provide enough evidence for his own existence to said creations?

7. Why does god plans throughout the bible to rid the world of sin, always keep failing?

8. Why did a "son" of this god (whatever that means) need to be sacrificed, by mere humans, in order to cancel out the original sin of the first couple naively eating from some darn tree?

9. Why didn't Daddy-god write the OT with own hand and why didn't jesus use some of his free time to document his own life and creeds to us in the NT?

10. Why didn't god makes sure that the historians of the day, would greatly detail the life of his very special son, instead of settling for a few obscure 'mentions' of his son by some very questionable historical sources.

If this god is real, then he's gone far out of his way, to make it appear that he's not !!


ATF (Who doesn't think a "toddler-god" would act this immature and for so long)

webmdave said...

ATF -

Excellent bunch of questions! Hmmmmmm, I see that there are 10 wonderfully framed queries that you have put to Heidifapp and her bible god.

I think I will call them the 10 god-damnedments!

Way to go Toothie, Great Stuff!

XpastorDan

webmdave said...

Well XPD, I do try and ummm, take a BITE out of religious crime.

ATF/Toothie (Who can't wait for the xtians to answer my 10 point memo to them)

webmdave said...

1. The world was made for us to Govern and Rule and to enjoy.
2. Don't know, all I see is their roles, that they do.
3. For our enjoyment. let God deal with oversized, if he ceated it.
4.Man choose to be independant from God, God honnors our decisions. God has not failed in making a way for man, to have free choice once again.
5.What is your der of worship?
6.Hell was created for the fallen angels who disobyed God. Have to Go to work talk later Atheist, nice talking with you, thank you for these intelligent question!