I'm an Australian who has personal experience with a bible based cult and agree with Capt Porridge, cults are an interesting topic for discussion. I hope no one minds that I take this opportunity to point out that Bible based cults can be very dangerous as well the more popular Moonie, JW etc.
To me bible based cults such as the one I've mentioned, is a great example for what happens to fundamental christians when the leaders become more powerful in their own minds than the society around them offers. I get the feeling that leaders of cults have a lot in common with each other rather than the member of their congregations. To me they are a breed apart. Also if you want an example of the 'dangers and absurtities of organised religion' just take a look bible based cults.
As I've stated The Geelong Revival Centre in Australia are a cult, I have a little personal experience with this particular pentecostal type group as well as having four of my family still in membership. I haven't been part of their lives for the last 5 years. Typically I am shunned and doomed to hell for not going along with them. I think the most peculiar beliefs they hold onto is the British-Israel theory Oh and perhaps numerics and pyramidology. Other than that the groups leader is a typical fundamentalist tyrant who owns the entire business and makes up 'rules' as he goes along. This group is also among those mentioned on Steve Hassan's site under the title of Revival Centre International. The 'Bite' model certainly applies.
I've been researching and pondering religion for about a year now. I don't have any formal quallies in religion and find that the most urgent question I have is, how do I live with the fact that my family are living within a cult and that I don't have much power to do anything about it. Its very sad that cults are basically protected by law unless something very drastic happens. I know that in some european countries such as France, cults are monitered but still around the world cults usually fly under the noses of government and society. Its tough when it's not kosha to make comments about someone's religion. That's what I did with my family and look where its got me. If I'd had the social permission to query somone's religion more, I may have questioned it more. I don't know, the Geelong Revival Centre have the appearence of a 'normal' pentecostal religion to outsider's.
You should contact Conrad from http://www.cultinformationservice.org/
He has had over 20 years experience helping and counseling people in your position and he was in such a position himself.
All the best,
One of the seven deadly sins is pride. Humans that ‘see’ themselves as ‘chosen’ by God are much more likely to succumb to this particular type of corruption.
Many that have stated opinions here disagree with me but I feel the best thing to do about your alienated family members is to communicate with them on their terms.
Do not admit your inner most feelings but express a desire to learn why their religious views are valid. Listen, nod, say “I see what you mean” .
At an opportune time, when the topic is not on religion, ask them a question that must be carefully formulated to not seem offensive, to seem to be a need for enlightenment on a particular topic, but, that being carefully formulated blows holes in their insane logic. They must not be forced to think but must be tempted to think critically about some point of their belief that you can easily, honestly, logically refute as utter nonsense, only then will they begin to ‘see’ the light.
Thanks Lawrence and Capt
My fault that I didn’t make myself very clear. I’ve sought professional help etc but under the circumstances - of no contact and break in relationship its pretty difficult to do anything that you recommend. I’ve tried a couple of phone calls over the 5/6 year span and believe me there isn’t even a small gap where I can even make any in roads into tipping the thought patterns. Shut up tight mate!
I’ve been posting at Walkaway for awhile but the cult business is quite different to a fundamentalist experience and I don’t think most of the poster’s understand this extreme kind of religious experience…chuckle.
That’s about all I’d like to do here - discuss the cult problem and perhaps let others know about my experience, that, and figure out how to make a link to other internet resources (excuse my other post, links didn’t work).
I agree with something that the Capt said…‘nobody seems to care about the cult stuff’ - For me it’s nice to at least make people more aware.
P.S. I haven’t read Sam’s book yet nor am I the least bit religious.
I have completely changed my mind - I don’t stand by anything I’ve written in the above thread. I’ve a different perspective than the one sold by deprogrammers such as Hassan and his followers. Also Appologetics is certainly a double edged sword - I’ve observed a mountain of web sites calling themselves ‘cultbusters’ etc - in the end its an open invitation to join their wayofthinking - from one trap to another.
Religon is religion - calling it ‘cult’ is missing the point entirely!
The people who are involved in the GRC are free to walk out anytime they like. Nobody is stopping them.
Religion is the problem - not a few silly homegroup types. I wouldn’t give noel hollins the credit by calling him a leader. The sheep follow each other.
Its called Fellowsheeping! Haha
A difficult habit to break, evidenced by a futher reliance on ‘support’ type chatrooms - that concentrate on some kind of ‘divine’ mission to advertise the ‘cult,’ not fully appreciating that changing from one brand of penticostalism to another is not taking the person anywhere at all.
Its noted by me that none of the retoric practised on web sites set up for people ‘leaving’ the GRC encourages a person the think for themselves - rather to follow along with the newly formed group of ‘ex’ members.
Reminds me of a loop - circular thinking - belly button gazin’.
Pity I couldn’t use the edit or delete function - I wonder how much of the crap on the internet is left hangin’ around as a result of this. Fancy that….lots of researchers coming up with false info or someone’s left over’s.