Part 2 - Defining a Cult

Ben Shenton

March 9, 2018

Part 1 - Defining a Cult

Healthy belief systems that are required by any group of people

You don't have a cult just because there is a group of people that intellectually engage with an ideology or way of life that is fostered by a leader and or hierarchy. These can be a family, a social group, sport team, members of a political party or leaning.  It can also include a business that has a vision or goal where by the team has an agreed social contract on how they will behave to reach that goal. These are all considered healthy.

Having said that threaded into the goal and vision of any group there has to be a moral code otherwise every criminal gang is fine as they also have a hierarchy and rules and consequences for breaking those rules.  Yet gangs are known to be dangerous while they offer a social environment of acceptance and brotherly love that's often been missing due to an absent father they violate the right of freedom of others to choose and control their own families and property and often when people chose to leave they are hunted down and terminated.  It's far easier to get in than get out.

On the healthy side, a group could be the military or police force with very structured codes of conduct and expectation of behavior that is rightfully enforced.  There is also societies that are governed by a set of agreed rules that we call laws, they are enforced by the country's law courts and administered by the judicial arm.  These countries have the executive branch that includes the police and prison system for those that violate those laws and are judged by their peers to have done so.  We fully expect the law to be enforced and without the executive branch the laws are useless and everyone does what they want with no consequences.  In Western civilization we inherently believe that no one is above those laws, regardless of the position they hold, and we live in security when we see judges, police and politicians alike being held accountable to those laws and even removed from their positions if they violate them. Is this a cult?

Part 3 - Definition of a Cult

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