Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult

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  • user warning: Table './exmo_08072012/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>Utah County Mom July 2012</p>\n<p>Yesterday at a holiday get-together, my best freind, who is an ex-mo as well (and has been since we graduated from BYU together) and I debated whether Mormonism is a cult. Her extended family is still LDS</p>\n<p>and for the most part seem to have had productive, happy lives within Mormonism. She argued that all religions have layers of brain-washing, blind obedience, and dictates. She said that Mormonism, compared with Orthodox Judiasim, Fundamentalist Islamn, is nothing like a cult. \"My family is happy in the Mormon church--a cult does not produce productive lives like that.\"</p>\n<p>I told her I\'ve been to the temple and seen what Mormons swear to. That\'s a cult.</p>\n<p>This is not an argument I care about winning--but I\'m just curious as to what you folks think would have been other valid points I might have made.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>bc<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nPlease define \"cult\". There are so many possible definitions out there.</p>\n<p>Personally I would consider Mormonism a cult but I would consider the word to be almost useless in any context other than RFM. I would rather talk about the specific issues that make the Mormon church cult-like than focus on what many consider a pejorative.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Brethren,adieu<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nThe MTC is definitely a cult environment. The temple is a cult ritual.<br />\nThe mormon church mandates that its members give them 10% of their money. You are either in the church, or you are out. There is no in-between. Its a cult.</p>\n<hr />\nnotanymore<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nYou\'re right, she is wrong. I didn\'t want to believe that the Mormon church is a cult either until I started doing the research and it meets most of the criteria. Its hard to view it as a cult since it doesn\'t look as terrible as the extreme cults seen in the news. I googled \"cult criteria\" and found this article and, again, the Mormon church meets the criteria of a cult. If your friend understood what the determining factors of a cult is she might see your view point better vs. depending on her own knowledge.\n<p><a href=\"http://www.caic.org.au/general/cultcrit.htm\" title=\"http://www.caic.org.au/general/cultcrit.htm\">http://www.caic.org.au/general/cultcrit.htm</a></p>\n<hr />\n<p>orestes<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nPerhaps it has a cult mentality it is struggling with; like trying to be accepted by other religions, by it\'s political alliances, and by trying to appear \"normal.\" I\'d like to think that Mormonism is in the process of finding itself, but is still very deep into denial.</p>\n<hr />\nmichael<br />\nI would modify your statement<br />\nand say it\'s a \"destructive cult\" rather than just a \"cult.\"\n<hr />\n<p>RPackham<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nIt all depends on how you define \"cult\". And it is not a yes-or-no question - it is a question of to what extent Mormonism (or any religion or organization) is \"cult-like.\"</p>\n<p>See my evaluation \"FAQ: Is Mormonism a cult?\" at <a href=\"http://packham.n4m.org/cult.htm\" title=\"http://packham.n4m.org/cult.htm\">http://packham.n4m.org/cult.htm</a></p>\n<hr />\nthedesertrat1<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nWhat is a cult?<br />\nA cult is an egalitarian exclusionary organization which seeks to control its members in all aspects of their lives.<br />\nAny group which has a pyramid type authoritarian leadership structure with all teaching and guidance coming from the person or persons at the top. The group will claim to be the only way to God; Nirvana; Paradise; Ultimate Reality; Full Potential, Way to Happiness etc, and will use thought reform or mind control techniques to gain control and keep their members.\n<hr />\nsnb<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\n\"I told her I\'ve been to the temple and seen what Mormons swear to. That\'s a cult.\"\n<p>That is not really the best definition of what is and what is not a cult.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>onendagus<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nYour friend is right. Dressing up in robes and chanting around an altar is not, I repeat, not cult-like.</p>\n<p>Solemnly vowing to never reveal fraternity, oops I mean temple secrets, upon penalty of death isn\'t normally considered cult-like either. \"...rather than do so, I suffer my life, to be taken\" and then pantomime slitting your throat. No, not a cult.</p>\n<p>Sure mormonism shares 9 out of 10 cult characteristics but Jan Shipps says they aren\'t a cult so can we PLEASE get past this?</p>\n<p>Calling it a cult makes me uncomfortable. I could have never been part of a cult, i\'m way smarter than that.</p>\n<p>BTW, they interviewed the remaining members of Heaven\'s Gate and asked them what it was like to be in a cult. Their response? \"What cult? It was a lot of things but definitely not a cult.\"</p>\n<hr />\nanagrammy<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nAll religions are cults.\n<p>Only recently has the term been redefined and has become useless in the discussion, which is really about whether harm is being done to the personality in exchange for group membership and where the line should be drawn in how much individuality is worth sacrificing for the tribe.</p>\n<p>The attempt to label Mormonism a cult in order to disempower it is a form of labeling it \"evil,\" as in, \"Russia is an Evil Empire,\" which is a tool used by dictatorships around the world because the entrenchment of evil/sin as permanent and unchangeable is what keeps the \"good people\" in power. They must polarize.</p>\n<p>\"America/Nato = the Great Satan.\"</p>\n<p>There is absolutely no need to label the Mormon Church. It is falling over due to its own arrogance and failed policies. You can call it whatever you want, members are still leaving in droves.</p>\n<p>Using a pejorative within the family especially defeats the larger purpose of moving toward a more tolerant perspective so that families can remain together even when a family member no longer believes.</p>\n<p>People often want to leave when they have the opportunity to experience real unconditional love that is not based on the laws and principles of the gospel. Restated most simply, there is something tremendously appealing about someone who stays by your side even though he/she thinks your deepest beliefs are a crock. Soon the person realizes he/she is loved WITHOUT the spouse being commanded to love. Their spouse is actually sitting on a bench listening to Fast and Testimony meeting even though they do not believe! Why?--out of love for me.</p>\n<p>The church has nothing close to that to offer. Only threats.</p>\n<p>Anagrammy</p>\n<hr />\n<p>bc<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\n1) Swearing that you will sacrifice everything you have even your life for the church (not god but the church).</p>\n<p>2) Swearing that you will consecrate everything you have to the church.</p>\n<p>3) Swearing to be obedient.</p>\n<p>4) Swearing to not speak evil of the Lord\'s anointed</p>\n<p>5) Swearing never to tell the secret words &amp; signs</p>\n<p>Arguably, those things alone could define the Mormon church as a cult. However, to me talking about how problematic/weird those promises are seems to be a lot more useful than whether they fit the definition of a cult.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>caedmon<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nOf course not! A cult always has a charismatic leader and TSCC hasn\'t had one of those in over 100 years!</p>\n<p>Just kidding.</p>\n<p>I think it is debatable whether or not the experience of the average member rises to the level of a cultish experience, although I do think the missionary experience certainly qualifies. I like Steven Hassan\'s BITE method of evaluating a group\'s cultishness as it allows for a spectrum of experiences.</p>\n<p>Whether or not I personally believe it is a cult (I vote yes), I rarely use that term outside of RFM as it always shuts down any further discussion.</p>\n<hr />\nonendagus<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nDamnit Anagrammy! Would you quit helping me grow up? I was blissfully enjoying my labels and self-righteousness until you posted this. You are starting to make me tolerate my tbm family and become a more tolerable person as well. Please stop.\n<hr />\n<p>JoD3:360<br />\nWanna know whether Mormonism is a cult?<br />\nJust try leaving it.</p>\n<hr />\nsnb<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\n\"Arguably, those things alone could define the Mormon church as a cult.\"\n<p>Not really arguable actually. Making promises happens in nearly every religion on the planet, but not in all cults.</p>\n<p>What might set it aside as a cult would be how Mormonism uses the mystery and holiness of the temple to keep people in line during their youth and keeping the adults paying their tithing. The promises help add to the mystery, but in and of themselves are not something that we can use to define the organization.</p>\n<p>BTW, I promise I\'m not trying to be difficult, haha :)</p>\n<hr />\n<p>bc<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nNo worries.</p>\n<p>To me the fact that the church makes you promise to give your life and everything you own to it is \"creepy\". I can also see how someone could use that as criteria to call the church a cult - because it goes so far - further than your average US Christian religion.</p>\n<p>Granted the church doesn\'t actually come to collect on these promises - if it did then it being a cult on this criteria would be a lot more clear, IMO.</p>\n<hr />\nelcid<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nThere are people who lead productive lives in Islam and Orthodox Judiasm. There are people who lead productive lives as TBMs.\n<p>I don\'t think that is a disqualifier from being a \"cult\".</p>\n<p>Tom Cruise leads a very successful life as an actor while being a member of Scientology, which is a cult, I think we would all agree.</p>\n<p>Cults can be somewhat harmful or very harmful. Many of the more successful religions are cults that produce many people who function in society but have some deliterious effects on people.</p>\n<p>Mormonism is like that.</p>\n<hr />\nanonca<br />\ndoes it really matter<br />\nKinda of like Romney saying that obama care is a tax, but that his same healthcare in Mass is not because of different state laws.\n<hr />\n<p>anagrammy<br />\nOh, that\'s just Mormon Musical Labels. We learn it in Primary.&nbsp;</p>\n<hr />\n<p>Other Than<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\n&gt;Granted the church doesn\'t actually come to collect on these promises</p>\n<p>Except they used to. And they still do as far as they are allowed to by law and the law of bad PR (they do what they can publicly get away with).</p>\n<hr />\n<p>bc<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nI can\'t imagine any non-believer arguing that the church was not a cult in Nauvoo and early Utah times - it was significantly more culty back then...</p>\n<hr />\nUtah Count Mom<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nThanks for all the input--it\'s made me rethink my argument.\n<hr />\n<p>forbiddencokedrinker<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nWhenever in such a debate, I honor the time honored technique of repeating the words, \"It\'s a cult,\" to the tune of the Lone Ranger song.</p>\n<hr />\nsnb<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\n\"Except they used to.\"\n<p>Yeah, for sure. Mormonism used to be a cult. There is no doubt about that.</p>\n<p>\"And they still do as far as they are allowed to by law and the law of bad PR (they do what they can publicly get away with).\"</p>\n<p>How exactly does the church come after us? Nobody has yet tried to make me uphold the oaths I no longer keep.</p>\n<p>Do you have any examples of this happening now days?</p>\n<hr />\n<p>bc<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nSweet - that is nearly as impossible to argue with as a TBM testimony...</p>\n<hr />\nforestpal<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nBecause of my family\'s personal life experiences with Mormonism, I would go with \"destructive cult.\" Or, \"evil cult.\" Or, \"polygamous cult.\" Mormons believe in polygamy in heaven. They believe that God and Christ are polygamists.\n<p>Mormons believe that JS saw God.</p>\n<p>Give me a break--secret underwear is not cultish????</p>\n<p>What about the elitism? What about treating women as second-class citizens? What about the homophobia?</p>\n<p>Only a cult would exclude Blacks like the Mormons did.</p>\n<p>You can mince words, re-define terms, and deny history all you want, but my family\'s own life experiences with Mormonism scream \"Cult!\"</p>\n<hr />\nOther Than<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\n&gt; Do you have any examples of this happening now days?\n<p>There are multiple stories of people having \"courts of love\" convened on them despite having resigned. It can be a crap shoot whether the church will respect the consitutional right of association.</p>\n<p>Likewise, the church still blackens the name of people that leave, sometimes publicly, and especially if they have written anything critical of the church.</p>\n<p>Some of the nastier stuff the church conveniently uses its apologetic henchmen for, like preventing D. Michael Quinn from getting speaking engagements.</p>\n<p>Just because the church hasn\'t come after you personally, don\'t assume it hasn\'t done so to other people.</p>\n<hr />\nbc<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nIt comes to play a little in the whole you are expected to accept and fulfill any calling they give you. However you still can say \"no\" so it only goes so far.\n<hr />\nSister_Twister<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nI expect the FLDS to be the first to react like a \"Cult\" and drink the cool-aide.\n<p>It\'s just a matter of time before the craziness is out of the bag.</p>\n<p>Then, the LDS Church will wake up and look at themselves as a huge cause behind the root of all fundamental Mormon groups and realize they are the problem behind all the teachings.</p>\n<p>Like it or not -- the LDS Church and it\'s members will bring this topic into the for front and it will be on the minds of many who<br />\nquestion if it\'s a cult or not.</p>\n<p>Hopefully, many will figure out it is in fact a cult in every sense of the the word.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>flyboy21<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nI call it a cult to insult it. It\'s a slam word. I don\'t want to forgive and forget, and I do want to help as many people as possible free themselves from LDS, Inc.\'s shackles.</p>\n<p>In reality, I don\'t know that there IS an honest-to-goodness threshold for something that doesn\'t tangibly exist. Cults don\'t turn your blood magenta. The church seeks to actively control and monitor all aspects of its members lives, it\'s not open in its financial dealings but expects people to continuously make significant financial sacrifices, it\'s obsessed with its own temporal growth and resorts to blatantly dishonest methods to do so. Furthermore, praise for leadership and is required to move up in the organization, interactions with outsiders are actively discouraged unless for the purposes of conversion, and normal biological functions and/or being the victim of sexual assaults are blamed on victims.</p>\n<p>Call that whatever you want to call it, but there\'s one definite thing it IS--bullshit. Pure bullshit.</p>\n<hr />\n<p>liminal state<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\n\" . . . a cult does not produce productive lives like that.\"</p>\n<p>To me this repeats the implication that Mormons believe that you can\'t experience real success without Mormonism. It sounds like a commercial trying to tell you that this set of knives is better than the other (can cut through steel without dulling!), or that this car gets better gas mileage (and makes you look sexier).</p>\n<p>If a religion can make me look sexier than I feel, then where do I sign up?</p>\n<hr />\n<p>derrida<br />\nRe: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult<br />\nIt\'s a cult. Its exit costs are very high. They can\'t threaten to kill you, and you are free to leave, but they can cause you a lot of pain if you want to leave, and that the pain is psychological rather than external, typically, does not take away from the cult characteristics. Pain and fear are coercive means of controlling someone\'s agency. Mormonism also habitually practices false inducement or deceptive recruiting, and that is another means of taking away agency.</p>\n<p>Cults have enough money that they sue experts who try to use the term professionally. See the \"cult\" Wikipedia entry.</p>\n<p>That religious scholars and psychologists are dropping the term is because they are attempting to ape neutrality toward their object of study and respect their subjects. Jan Shipps recognizes that the term is polemical and of course she only spends time defining the term away from ordinary language, the way most people use the term, and she spends much more time talking about it in strictly sociology of religion terms: She ditches the American Heritage Dictionary, with its emphasis on authoritarianism in a cult, and pursues the safe, apolitical, (ironically, the pro-destructive cult), neutral, academic, castrated, doublethink or pseudo-technical meaning. (Religious Studies academics do not refer to these groups as cults but as \"new religious movements.\" How is that for being politically correct? How is that for conferring dignity to Mormonism, the JW\'s, the Branch Davidians, Hare Krishnas, Moonies, and Scientology?).</p>\n<p>But just because academics redefine words should not dictate people away from useful meanings of those words that get so close and so economically to communicating clearly what it is about a group that frightens them or that hurt them. There is something grossly anti-democratic in this about following academics\' decisions about the usefulness of words in their academic journal debates, where hairs are split. And who really benefits from obfuscating the meanings of words? Why do the obfuscaters do it?</p>\n<p>[Posted in the wrong place in this thread.]</p>\n<hr />\n<p>\"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org\"</p>\n', created = 1490456070, expire = 1490542470, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:58bb1f87370ae0f1d7797f86a910e1d2' in /home/exmormon/public_html/d6/drupal/includes/cache.inc on line 112.

Utah County Mom July 2012

Yesterday at a holiday get-together, my best freind, who is an ex-mo as well (and has been since we graduated from BYU together) and I debated whether Mormonism is a cult. Her extended family is still LDS

and for the most part seem to have had productive, happy lives within Mormonism. She argued that all religions have layers of brain-washing, blind obedience, and dictates. She said that Mormonism, compared with Orthodox Judiasim, Fundamentalist Islamn, is nothing like a cult. "My family is happy in the Mormon church--a cult does not produce productive lives like that."

I told her I've been to the temple and seen what Mormons swear to. That's a cult.

This is not an argument I care about winning--but I'm just curious as to what you folks think would have been other valid points I might have made.


bc
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Please define "cult". There are so many possible definitions out there.

Personally I would consider Mormonism a cult but I would consider the word to be almost useless in any context other than RFM. I would rather talk about the specific issues that make the Mormon church cult-like than focus on what many consider a pejorative.


Brethren,adieu
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
The MTC is definitely a cult environment. The temple is a cult ritual.
The mormon church mandates that its members give them 10% of their money. You are either in the church, or you are out. There is no in-between. Its a cult.


notanymore
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
You're right, she is wrong. I didn't want to believe that the Mormon church is a cult either until I started doing the research and it meets most of the criteria. Its hard to view it as a cult since it doesn't look as terrible as the extreme cults seen in the news. I googled "cult criteria" and found this article and, again, the Mormon church meets the criteria of a cult. If your friend understood what the determining factors of a cult is she might see your view point better vs. depending on her own knowledge.

http://www.caic.org.au/general/cultcrit.htm


orestes
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Perhaps it has a cult mentality it is struggling with; like trying to be accepted by other religions, by it's political alliances, and by trying to appear "normal." I'd like to think that Mormonism is in the process of finding itself, but is still very deep into denial.


michael
I would modify your statement
and say it's a "destructive cult" rather than just a "cult."

RPackham
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
It all depends on how you define "cult". And it is not a yes-or-no question - it is a question of to what extent Mormonism (or any religion or organization) is "cult-like."

See my evaluation "FAQ: Is Mormonism a cult?" at http://packham.n4m.org/cult.htm


thedesertrat1
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
What is a cult?
A cult is an egalitarian exclusionary organization which seeks to control its members in all aspects of their lives.
Any group which has a pyramid type authoritarian leadership structure with all teaching and guidance coming from the person or persons at the top. The group will claim to be the only way to God; Nirvana; Paradise; Ultimate Reality; Full Potential, Way to Happiness etc, and will use thought reform or mind control techniques to gain control and keep their members.
snb
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
"I told her I've been to the temple and seen what Mormons swear to. That's a cult."

That is not really the best definition of what is and what is not a cult.


onendagus
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Your friend is right. Dressing up in robes and chanting around an altar is not, I repeat, not cult-like.

Solemnly vowing to never reveal fraternity, oops I mean temple secrets, upon penalty of death isn't normally considered cult-like either. "...rather than do so, I suffer my life, to be taken" and then pantomime slitting your throat. No, not a cult.

Sure mormonism shares 9 out of 10 cult characteristics but Jan Shipps says they aren't a cult so can we PLEASE get past this?

Calling it a cult makes me uncomfortable. I could have never been part of a cult, i'm way smarter than that.

BTW, they interviewed the remaining members of Heaven's Gate and asked them what it was like to be in a cult. Their response? "What cult? It was a lot of things but definitely not a cult."


anagrammy
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
All religions are cults.

Only recently has the term been redefined and has become useless in the discussion, which is really about whether harm is being done to the personality in exchange for group membership and where the line should be drawn in how much individuality is worth sacrificing for the tribe.

The attempt to label Mormonism a cult in order to disempower it is a form of labeling it "evil," as in, "Russia is an Evil Empire," which is a tool used by dictatorships around the world because the entrenchment of evil/sin as permanent and unchangeable is what keeps the "good people" in power. They must polarize.

"America/Nato = the Great Satan."

There is absolutely no need to label the Mormon Church. It is falling over due to its own arrogance and failed policies. You can call it whatever you want, members are still leaving in droves.

Using a pejorative within the family especially defeats the larger purpose of moving toward a more tolerant perspective so that families can remain together even when a family member no longer believes.

People often want to leave when they have the opportunity to experience real unconditional love that is not based on the laws and principles of the gospel. Restated most simply, there is something tremendously appealing about someone who stays by your side even though he/she thinks your deepest beliefs are a crock. Soon the person realizes he/she is loved WITHOUT the spouse being commanded to love. Their spouse is actually sitting on a bench listening to Fast and Testimony meeting even though they do not believe! Why?--out of love for me.

The church has nothing close to that to offer. Only threats.

Anagrammy


bc
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
1) Swearing that you will sacrifice everything you have even your life for the church (not god but the church).

2) Swearing that you will consecrate everything you have to the church.

3) Swearing to be obedient.

4) Swearing to not speak evil of the Lord's anointed

5) Swearing never to tell the secret words & signs

Arguably, those things alone could define the Mormon church as a cult. However, to me talking about how problematic/weird those promises are seems to be a lot more useful than whether they fit the definition of a cult.


caedmon
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Of course not! A cult always has a charismatic leader and TSCC hasn't had one of those in over 100 years!

Just kidding.

I think it is debatable whether or not the experience of the average member rises to the level of a cultish experience, although I do think the missionary experience certainly qualifies. I like Steven Hassan's BITE method of evaluating a group's cultishness as it allows for a spectrum of experiences.

Whether or not I personally believe it is a cult (I vote yes), I rarely use that term outside of RFM as it always shuts down any further discussion.


onendagus
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Damnit Anagrammy! Would you quit helping me grow up? I was blissfully enjoying my labels and self-righteousness until you posted this. You are starting to make me tolerate my tbm family and become a more tolerable person as well. Please stop.

JoD3:360
Wanna know whether Mormonism is a cult?
Just try leaving it.


snb
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
"Arguably, those things alone could define the Mormon church as a cult."

Not really arguable actually. Making promises happens in nearly every religion on the planet, but not in all cults.

What might set it aside as a cult would be how Mormonism uses the mystery and holiness of the temple to keep people in line during their youth and keeping the adults paying their tithing. The promises help add to the mystery, but in and of themselves are not something that we can use to define the organization.

BTW, I promise I'm not trying to be difficult, haha :)


bc
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
No worries.

To me the fact that the church makes you promise to give your life and everything you own to it is "creepy". I can also see how someone could use that as criteria to call the church a cult - because it goes so far - further than your average US Christian religion.

Granted the church doesn't actually come to collect on these promises - if it did then it being a cult on this criteria would be a lot more clear, IMO.


elcid
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
There are people who lead productive lives in Islam and Orthodox Judiasm. There are people who lead productive lives as TBMs.

I don't think that is a disqualifier from being a "cult".

Tom Cruise leads a very successful life as an actor while being a member of Scientology, which is a cult, I think we would all agree.

Cults can be somewhat harmful or very harmful. Many of the more successful religions are cults that produce many people who function in society but have some deliterious effects on people.

Mormonism is like that.


anonca
does it really matter
Kinda of like Romney saying that obama care is a tax, but that his same healthcare in Mass is not because of different state laws.

anagrammy
Oh, that's just Mormon Musical Labels. We learn it in Primary. 


Other Than
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
>Granted the church doesn't actually come to collect on these promises

Except they used to. And they still do as far as they are allowed to by law and the law of bad PR (they do what they can publicly get away with).


bc
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
I can't imagine any non-believer arguing that the church was not a cult in Nauvoo and early Utah times - it was significantly more culty back then...


Utah Count Mom
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Thanks for all the input--it's made me rethink my argument.

forbiddencokedrinker
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Whenever in such a debate, I honor the time honored technique of repeating the words, "It's a cult," to the tune of the Lone Ranger song.


snb
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
"Except they used to."

Yeah, for sure. Mormonism used to be a cult. There is no doubt about that.

"And they still do as far as they are allowed to by law and the law of bad PR (they do what they can publicly get away with)."

How exactly does the church come after us? Nobody has yet tried to make me uphold the oaths I no longer keep.

Do you have any examples of this happening now days?


bc
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Sweet - that is nearly as impossible to argue with as a TBM testimony...


forestpal
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
Because of my family's personal life experiences with Mormonism, I would go with "destructive cult." Or, "evil cult." Or, "polygamous cult." Mormons believe in polygamy in heaven. They believe that God and Christ are polygamists.

Mormons believe that JS saw God.

Give me a break--secret underwear is not cultish????

What about the elitism? What about treating women as second-class citizens? What about the homophobia?

Only a cult would exclude Blacks like the Mormons did.

You can mince words, re-define terms, and deny history all you want, but my family's own life experiences with Mormonism scream "Cult!"


Other Than
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
> Do you have any examples of this happening now days?

There are multiple stories of people having "courts of love" convened on them despite having resigned. It can be a crap shoot whether the church will respect the consitutional right of association.

Likewise, the church still blackens the name of people that leave, sometimes publicly, and especially if they have written anything critical of the church.

Some of the nastier stuff the church conveniently uses its apologetic henchmen for, like preventing D. Michael Quinn from getting speaking engagements.

Just because the church hasn't come after you personally, don't assume it hasn't done so to other people.


bc
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
It comes to play a little in the whole you are expected to accept and fulfill any calling they give you. However you still can say "no" so it only goes so far.
Sister_Twister
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
I expect the FLDS to be the first to react like a "Cult" and drink the cool-aide.

It's just a matter of time before the craziness is out of the bag.

Then, the LDS Church will wake up and look at themselves as a huge cause behind the root of all fundamental Mormon groups and realize they are the problem behind all the teachings.

Like it or not -- the LDS Church and it's members will bring this topic into the for front and it will be on the minds of many who
question if it's a cult or not.

Hopefully, many will figure out it is in fact a cult in every sense of the the word.


flyboy21
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
I call it a cult to insult it. It's a slam word. I don't want to forgive and forget, and I do want to help as many people as possible free themselves from LDS, Inc.'s shackles.

In reality, I don't know that there IS an honest-to-goodness threshold for something that doesn't tangibly exist. Cults don't turn your blood magenta. The church seeks to actively control and monitor all aspects of its members lives, it's not open in its financial dealings but expects people to continuously make significant financial sacrifices, it's obsessed with its own temporal growth and resorts to blatantly dishonest methods to do so. Furthermore, praise for leadership and is required to move up in the organization, interactions with outsiders are actively discouraged unless for the purposes of conversion, and normal biological functions and/or being the victim of sexual assaults are blamed on victims.

Call that whatever you want to call it, but there's one definite thing it IS--bullshit. Pure bullshit.


liminal state
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
" . . . a cult does not produce productive lives like that."

To me this repeats the implication that Mormons believe that you can't experience real success without Mormonism. It sounds like a commercial trying to tell you that this set of knives is better than the other (can cut through steel without dulling!), or that this car gets better gas mileage (and makes you look sexier).

If a religion can make me look sexier than I feel, then where do I sign up?


derrida
Re: Debate with a close ex-mo freind on whether Mormonism is a cult
It's a cult. Its exit costs are very high. They can't threaten to kill you, and you are free to leave, but they can cause you a lot of pain if you want to leave, and that the pain is psychological rather than external, typically, does not take away from the cult characteristics. Pain and fear are coercive means of controlling someone's agency. Mormonism also habitually practices false inducement or deceptive recruiting, and that is another means of taking away agency.

Cults have enough money that they sue experts who try to use the term professionally. See the "cult" Wikipedia entry.

That religious scholars and psychologists are dropping the term is because they are attempting to ape neutrality toward their object of study and respect their subjects. Jan Shipps recognizes that the term is polemical and of course she only spends time defining the term away from ordinary language, the way most people use the term, and she spends much more time talking about it in strictly sociology of religion terms: She ditches the American Heritage Dictionary, with its emphasis on authoritarianism in a cult, and pursues the safe, apolitical, (ironically, the pro-destructive cult), neutral, academic, castrated, doublethink or pseudo-technical meaning. (Religious Studies academics do not refer to these groups as cults but as "new religious movements." How is that for being politically correct? How is that for conferring dignity to Mormonism, the JW's, the Branch Davidians, Hare Krishnas, Moonies, and Scientology?).

But just because academics redefine words should not dictate people away from useful meanings of those words that get so close and so economically to communicating clearly what it is about a group that frightens them or that hurt them. There is something grossly anti-democratic in this about following academics' decisions about the usefulness of words in their academic journal debates, where hairs are split. And who really benefits from obfuscating the meanings of words? Why do the obfuscaters do it?

[Posted in the wrong place in this thread.]


"Recovery from Mormonism - www.exmormon.org"