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

Cults should be given nowhere to hide

Scientology abuse Despite evidence of abusive acts by cults, the Senate rejected Nick Xenophon’s request for an inquiry into Scientology when both major parties voted against it. We’ve been down this road before. Through much of 2006 and 2007, the Greens tried to get a Senate inquiry into the Exclusive Brethren, and the major parties vetoed it.

This means that, in Australia, cults are thriving under the protection of politicians, the police and the courts.

Senator Xenophon vows to pursue ‘cults’

Cults Addressing a conference of cult survivors in Brisbane today, Senator Nick Xenophon said a new motion for a new parliamentary inquiry might include a push for police to take criminal action against cults.

He was also attracted to using the Trade Practices Act to prosecute groups for false and misleading conduct if they wrongly claimed to provide therapeutic benefits to their devotees.

The conference has heard a number of heart-rending stories from different religion-based and therapeutic cults.

Inside New Zealand: How To Spot A Cult

Inside New Zealand Cult-like groups are on the rise in New Zealand. Now the two-part Inside New Zealand: How To Spot A Cult documentary uncovers what really goes on inside these often controversial groups.

The two-part documentary consists of ex-believers’ stories, and investigates the similarities they say exist between groups including the Exclusive Brethren, Scientology, Centrepoint, Gloriavale, Avatar and the International Church of Christ.

Opinion writer spouts misinformation about the term ‘cult’

what is a cult An opinion writer with a poor grasp of the facts claims that the term ‘cult’ has fallen into disuse.

In doing so he merely apes the opinions of a handful of cult defenders, while ignoring the fact that the term ‘cult’ actually has precise sociological and theological meanings.

Used properly, these cult terminology is as valid today as it has ever been.

Was there a satanic cult at Hosanna Church?

Richard Ofshe After the trial of Louis Lamonica, Richard Ofshe said he could have offered the jury insight into the nature of cults to help them understand what was happening at Hosanna. He said he could have told them there is no such thing as satanic cults that abuse children.

If the initial statements of the children and suspects indicate the abuse occurred as part of a satanic cult — something that has never happened — then the truth of everything alleged in that statement is questionable, Ofshe said.

Cult experts question woman’s voodoo account

voodoo The account of a woman recovering from critical injuries she said were inflicted by members of an occult group may be difficult to unravel because it doesn’t match the typical methods used by such groups, an expert in cult activities said Wednesday.

Meanwhile, police investigators released little new information about the case but cult experts and police documents raise some questions about the woman’s account.