Category: Cults

The term ‘cult’ can be used in a positive, negative, or neutral sense. It does not necessarily have a pejorative meaning, although the term has taken on negative connotations — precisely due to the behaviour of some groups that have been identified as cults.

The ambiguity of the term ‘cult’ makes it necessary to identify or determine in what sense the word is used.

Note that the term ‘cult’ can be defined either sociologically or theologically. Sociology concerns itself with behavior, while theology concerns itself with doctrine. [More about the differences between sociological and theological definitions of the term ‘cult’]

Also, in some countries the term ‘sect‘ — equally ambiguous in meaning — is used instead of the word ‘cult.’

More information:

Cult FAQ — Frequently Asked Questions About Cults, Sects, and Related Issues
Cult Definition

See also:

Cult experts

Cult experts hope pending Aum Shinrikyo cult trial will raise awareness

Aum Shinrikyo The upcoming trials of the last three Aum Shinrikyo cult members will inevitably revisit the atrocities committed by the cultists, whose spiritual pursuits under guru Shoko Asahara claimed 29 lives and left more than 6,500 people injured.

Cult experts hope that revisiting Aum’s mayhem will raise public awareness of the potential dangers of joining cults.

UK: Cult information charity faces Charity Commission curb, reportedly after Scientology complaint

Cults After 25 years in operation, the Cult Information Centre in England fears it may no longer be able to work effectively.

The Cult Information Centre (CIC) was granted education charity status in 1992 but has recently run into difficulties with the commission after complaints were received from the Church of Scientology that it is in breach of the rules governing status.

Israel symposium to explore legislation aimed at curbing cults

Israel flag A panel of academics and professionals from Israel’s Ministry of Welfare and Social Services will meet Thursday to discuss the possibility of creating legislation to legally outlaw sects and cultish practices in Israel.

The one-day symposium will explore the ethical dilemma of curbing such groups and attempt to sharpen the definition of what constitutes a cult.

Cult expert: Economic climate a breeding ground for cults

cult Global fears of economic or environmental upheaval feed the growth of gurus and damaging cults that prey on the weak, a French government expert on cults has warned during a visit to Australia.

>Georges Fenech, president of France’s Interministerial >Mission for Monitoring and Combating Cultic Deviances, said it was working for greater international co-operation in dealing with sectarian abuses.