Is the Mormon Church a Cult? Written by a Non Member Being Harassed

https://carm.org/signs-practices-of-a-cult

This is one of the best “lists” of what makes a cult a cult. One reason is that the author separates out the definition of a cult as far as social aspects, then as far as doctrinal sense. I would rather leave the doctrinal aspect out completely. Basically, it’s a judgement on whether a group following Christ’s teachings is not following any of the most widely accepted tenets. I’ll leave that to the people who want to debate that. There will always be divisions based on which is the truth. I looked up the Friends or Quakers at one point. I have relatives way back who came over with Penn or after. The number of times groups broke away because of this agreement or that was pretty incredible. (besides the Holy Trinity is and is not accepted by many different “Christian” groups).

https://carm.org/signs-practices-of-a-cult

I only became interested in this topic when I most recently started being harassed by some persons – and I know some of them are followers of the Mormon Faith.

  1. Exclusivity
    1. Their group is the only true religious system, or one of the few true remnants of God’s people.

There are so many (most) religions that are like this. This is the part of religion that has caused the greatest grief in the world.  This belief is what causes a group: to feel superior to others; makes the group’s religious leaders or others feel like they can run a country under one belief system; justifies behavior that some would view as harassment (getting converts, etc); allows people to subjugate other peoples; to be able to justify their acts in the name of their religion. In short, this exclusivity is present in the Mormon religion but also in many, many of the religions in the United States and the world. When John Lennon sang, “…and no religion too”. I think this is the part he was referring to. The part that leads to wars and righteous take overs.

“Social aspects of cult-like behavior

For a group to be a cult in the social sense, many of the following characteristics would have to be present. For a group to be a cult in the doctrinal sense, essentials (in this case of the Christian faith) would have to be violated. Some of the characteristics are listed below.

  1. Submission:
    1. Complete, almost unquestioned trust in the leadership.
    2. Leaders are often seen as prophets, apostles, or special individuals with unusual connections to God. This helps a person give themselves over psychologically to trusting someone else for their spiritual welfare.
    3. Increased submission to the leadership is rewarded with additional responsibilities and/or roles, and/or praises, increasing the importance of the person within the group.
  2. Exclusivity
    1. Their group is the only true religious system, or one of the few true remnants of God’s people.
  3. Persecution complex
    1. Us against them mentality. Therefore, when someone (inside or outside of the group) corrects the group in doctrine and/or behavior, it is interpreted as persecution, which then is interpreted as validation.
  4. Control
    1. Control of members’ actions and thinking through repeated indoctrination and/or threats of loss of salvation, or a place to live, or receiving curses from God, etc.
  5. Isolation
    1. Minimizing contact of church members with those outside the group. This facilitates a further control over the thinking and practices of the members by the leadership.
  6. Love Bombing
    1. Showing great attention and love to a person in the group by others in the group, to help transfer emotional dependence to the group.
  7. Special Knowledge
    1. Instructions and/or knowledge are sometimes said to be received by a leader(s) from God. This leader then informs the members.
    2. The Special Knowledge can be received through visions, dreams, or new interpretations of sacred scriptures such as the Bible.
  8. Indoctrination
    1. The teachings of the group are repeatedly drilled into the members, but the indoctrination usually occurs around Special Knowledge.
  9. Salvation
    1. Salvation from the judgment of God is maintained through association and/or submission with the group, its authority, and/or its Special Knowledge.
  10. Group Think
    1. The group’s coherence is maintained by the observance to policies handed down from those in authority.
    2. There is an internal enforcement of policies by members who reward “proper” behavior, and those who perform properly are rewarded with further inclusion and acceptance by the group.
  11. Cognitive Dissonance
    1. Avoidance of critical thinking and/or maintaining logically impossible beliefs and/or beliefs that are inconsistent with other beliefs held by the group.
    2. Avoidance of and/or denial of any facts that might contradict the group’s belief system.
  12. Shunning
    1. Those who do not keep in step with group policies are shunned and/or expelled.
  13. Gender Roles
    1. Control of gender roles and definitions.
    2. Severe control of gender roles sometimes leads to sexual exploitation.
  14. Appearance Standards
    1. Often a common appearance is required and maintained. For instance, women might wear prairie dresses, and/or their hair in buns, and/or no makeup, and/or the men might all wear white short-sleeved shirts, and/or without beards, or all wear beards.”

MY PREFACE THAT I WROTE:

Let me preface my writings by saying that I grew up in a town with Mormons. The Mormon Church was right next to my elementary school. I thought nothing about it. I thought it was nice that the Mormon church had the “Church on Wheels” in their parking lot for parent approved religious studies (I am pretty sure that when I was going, it was not just about Christianity, but that could have been my own perception – I was pretty much open to listening to the teachings of all faiths even at a young age).

I had one semi close friend who was Mormon. I went to a Mormon dance. I thought the limit on level of sound a very good thing. I went to a slumber/birthday party at her house. At NO time was I ever approached about coming to a service or finding out more.

There were two girls in the Mormon Church who were in my orchestra class. They wore the longer dresses. That didn’t bother me. This was the age of being able to dress the way one wanted (though it did go a bit too far at my school at times. I remember one of my church – male – friends and I commenting that wearing a scarf with nothing underneath it, as a blouse, was going too far). The girls from my orchestra class explained why they fasted and I thought that sounded good.

Setting aside food seemed like a very practical idea. Family night – it didn’t have a religious tone to it, but I brought in a family night to my family. It was one way to keep the family connected, but particularly a boy and girl seven years apart. I would draw a name out of a cup and that person would get to choose the activity – mine was usually non video related unless there was some connection that my kids might make. They are fairly close now. We had a good family. Good times. For a long time.

I had just come to REALLY, REALLY feel that I don’t care what someone believes unless it hurts someone physically and/or emotionally. Well, I am not Mormon but have experienced some emotional abuse by Mormon church members (perhaps members a bit higher up too). I am not picking on the Mormons. There have to be members who don’t even know about this harassment or turn a blind eye – or looking through the lenses of the Mormon faith, do not consider what they are doing to be illegal not to mention against the teachings of all “good” faith based religions (not the extremists which can be found in any religion).

However, the one constant link appears to be the Mormon Church. I am barraged if I drive by or sit by a Mormon Church. I am not breaking any laws, but that is what happens.

I AM ILL AND WILL FINISH WRITING ABOUT THE EMOTIONAL ABUSE IN THE MORMON CHURCH WHEN I CAN. A FEW DAYS. Good articles and one is written by a Mormon lady who responds to the assertion that the Mormon Church is a cult. I would argue that anyone who participates in the abuse that I have undergone is exhibiting cultist behavior (definitely illegal and they know it).  No question about it.

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-aiia/aiia-top10cults.html

http://www.rationalrevelation.com/library/bite.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/why-its-not-easy-becoming-an-ex-mormonhttp://www.thedailybeast.com/why-its-not-easy-becoming-an-ex-mormon

http://crossexamined.org/10-signs-cultic-church/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mette-ivie-harrison/are-we-mormons-a-cult_b_7485784.html

http://www.rationalrevelation.com/library/bite.html

 

 

 

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