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When Organized Religion Becomes a Cult

06/19/2018
Seek The Truth Blog

When Organized Religion Becomes a Cult:

For former cult members, it is often difficult to distinguish between the destructive attributes of the group they left behind and the cultish attributes of new churches. To a large extent, all religious groups claim to have the only "truth" while claiming that all other religious groups are in error. According to some estimates, there are roughly 4,200 religions in the world. If all religious groups were to claim exclusive truth, then each group would be trained to believe there are 4,199 religions in error -- not counting the different branches within each religion.

According to Eliyahu Federman, the distinction between cult and religion lies squarely in how those leaving or those wanting to leave are treated:

...

Any religious community can become a cult. It's not about how faith is expressed in a community but more importantly how people are treated if they want to leave and disbelieve.

While camping in northern Wisconsin I found an opportunity to talk with several teens of the Old Order Amish. The Old Order Amish are distinguished from more modern Amish because they strictly forbid automobile ownership, modern books and require strict traditional dress.

It was either the modern unknown world, or their family. If they chose not to return, their family would disown them. — Eliyahu Federman

I asked the older teens why they returned to their community after the Rumschpringe (which is a period where youth temporarily leave the community to experience the outside world). The answer surprised me.

I was expecting to hear that they returned for the longing of a simpler life, free from the rat race and materialistic pursuits of the modern world.

They almost unanimously expressed that they returned to Amish life because they had no other choice. It was either the modern unknown world, or their family. If they chose not to return, their family would disown them. Leaving their loved ones behind was not seen as an option. Sadly, that, in my opinion, is the definition of a cult.

- Eliyahu Federman, Dec 06, 2017. When Organized Religion Becomes a Cult

Read more:
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/when-organized-religion-become_b_3996139