what is a cult?


There is no sharp distinction between a cult and a regular religion

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About makagutu

As Onyango Makagutu I am Kenyan, as far as I am a man, I am a citizen of the world

30 thoughts on “what is a cult?

  1. They are all cults to me, to one degree or another.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mak, the terminology is lacking and the article is confused. Religion is a universal definition of anything demanding allegiance. What we forget is what the Romans understood best, i. e. that government works best if “divine”. It’s no better today, especially when god becomes either an element of a pledge of allegiance, or an attribute of coronation, tax exemption status, etc. And remember, democracy just turned majority into a deity to be obeyed, as “vox populi vox dei”… The point is to elicit, enforce, coerce obedience. Or else… There’s no difference between here and the hereafter. What matters is for you to do what you’re told… Capisce?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. john zande says:

    A few people = cult
    Many people = a religion.

    Liked by 5 people

    • Swarn Gill says:

      I would say that’s where my definition lies as well to be honest…which is still blurry, because when does a few become many. I agree that there is little distinction in practice. In some ways I think cults have to be a little more coercive because I think the bigger religions gain some advantage having numbers for a greater sense of community and the common appeal to popularity fallacy which convinces people there must be something to a particular religion if a lot of people believe in it. But even bigger religions have pockets of more extreme coercion.

      Liked by 4 people

  4. shelldigger says:

    A cult with staying power = religion.

    They are one and the same.

    I find it interesting that there are many subdivisions of the same religion. All cults.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. All religions are mere cults but that of The Golden Boot, for he is a real god and will kick you in the ass should you doubt it. $Amen$

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Swarn Gill says:

    Interestingly I had an argument with someone recently when I posted about this Word of Faith church, which is a Christian church, having many members who physically abused a gay member, trying to get the “gay out of him”. Some people commented…that doesn’t sound like a religion, it’s a cult! People rarely see belief is belief. And I agree with Ben’s comments above…nationalism also has many religious-like elements, that require belief. This might also be somewhat a distinction between cult and religion is that religion is more likely to be exploited by large power structures than cults.

    Liked by 2 people

    • basenjibrian says:

      Look at all the horrors inflicted on the world by the American (and British, and European, and soon to be Chinese) official state church, Mammonism, and its Holy Sacrament, Money and the “Free” Market. All Obey the CEO Class, Prophets of the Money Power!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

    • makagutu says:

      religion is more likely to be exploited by large power structures than cults.

      I think this happens a lot maybe because of the numbers involved. Though revolutionaries in times past didn’t depend on large numbers. The movements in Europe in the early centuries that caused havoc were composed of small numbers with a charismatic head

      Like

  7. renudepride says:

    There is an adage that states: “a fool and his money are soon parted.” In this aspect, I agree the cults and religions are synonymous. They’re both out to rob the masses for as much as they’re able. Naked hugs, my Kenyan brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Religion: an organized system of beliefs, ceremonies, and rules used to worship a god or a group of gods eg. Animism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam etc

    Cult: A small religious group that is not part of a larger and more accepted religion and 
    that has beliefs regarded by many people as extreme or dangerous eg. KKK, Tennesee Snake cults etc — From Merriam Webster dictionary. It appears the difference is in the size of followers and mainstream society’s view of the group.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. nannus says:

    There is a terminology in which a cult is a set of religious practices in a special place, a limited part of a religion. For example, there was a cult of Apollon in Delphi (including the oracle etc.), as part of a larger greek religion.
    Of course there are other uses of the word as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Mystro says:

    Unfortunately, I cannot remember where I got this definition. A comic I saw on youtube, I believe. While I don’t remember anything about the person, the definition has stuck with me.

    In a cult, there is a person at the top of the hierarchy who knows that it is all a scam.
    In a religion, that person is dead.

    Liked by 1 person

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