Presentation on theme: "CULTS: A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY. Cult vs. Relgion Cult: A group generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in unconventional."— Presentation transcript:
Cult vs. Relgion Cult: A group generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in unconventional manners under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader. Religion: A set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe; How did we get here? What should we do while we are here? Where are we going from here?
Useful criteria for determining cult status: Totalitarian rule Ethical double standard Two basic purposes: recruiting new members and fund-raising Innovative and exclusive
Useful criteria for determining cult status: Authoritarian in its power structure Self appointed leader who is on a special mission Cult leaders force veneration (love/devotion) upon themselves Cult leader tends to be determined, domineering and charismatic
Tactics used by cults “Soften up” the individual Establish control over the person’s social environment Prohibit disconfirming information (don’t talk to outsiders!)
Tactics used by cults Force person to re-evaluate central aspects of their life Create a sense of powerlessness Create strong emotional arousals (punishments) Intimidate the person