Re: What is a Cult? and does the shoe fit?
- Hi, Kaye and All!
This is quite an extensive list of cult characteristics and perhaps
pointing out which ones are the more specific typical cult features
would simplify it a bit, if that is possible. The longer the list,
the more confusing it can be--and it opens the door to seeing a cult
in almost any organization, which then in turn becomes the defense
of any cult group. I think the list is way too broad.
The biggest one IMO is the one where an individual positions himself
as Harold Klemp has done as God's elect. Here are some examples of
what Klemp writes about his position as the L.E.M. and Mahanta in
his book "Those Wonderful ECK Masters:"
"The Mahanta is the highest state of consciousness known to the
chronicles of mankind," (page 205)
"The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master . . . is the all-seeing, all-
knowing, love of God" (page 223)
". . .the historical Mahanta, the Living ECK Master. He is the
Eternal One, the bodily manifestation of Sugmad" (page 222);
"So the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master offeres deliverance from this
world instead of improved social or living conditions within it."
". . . the Mahanta is the Spriti of God It self." (page 229)
The above are just a few of the many quotes that Klemp uses to
convince a seeker/chela into believing that he is "special." LOL!
As to the characteristic of sleep deprivation and special diet,
eckankar is more subtle. I felt the practice of focusing on one's
dreams while trying to get a good night's rest was one for sure,
especially when it is encouraged to wake up during a dream and
write it down in dream notebook that the chela is to keep by his
bedside or record it in a tape recorder. It encourages sleep
interruptions and if you have a partner in bed with you doing the
same thing--well just imagine what a nightmare that all could
become! LOL! If your mate was not into this sort of thing, well,
he/she would probably become very annoyed by this "dream practice!"
In Eckankar, there is the Friday fast. And also HK has mentioned
different nutritional books that chelas might read. Of course,
considering how unhealthy he looks, why would anyone pay attention
to this advice?? LOL!
Eckankar does have many of the characteristics of a cult, especially
with the worshipping of the Mahanta and L.E.M. and the hierarchy
that has been established!
--- In EckankarSurvivorsAnonymous@yahoogroups.com, "eyesopen444"
> What is a Cult?
> There are many alternatives to how one might define a cult, and
> especially destructive cult. We use the definition given by the
> Interfaith Coalition of Concern About Cults, New York, of which we
> are founding members.
> Destructive Cult Characteristics:
> Other characteristics:
> Techniques of undue influence (thought reform)
> ?o SLEEP DEPRIVATION encouraged under the guise of spiritual
> exercises, necessary training, or urgent projects.
> ?o INADEQUATE NUTRITION sometimes disguised as special diet to
> improve health or advance spirituality, or as rituals requiring
> Wow! How would you rate the cult? I put ? by the items that I
> thought might apply but I lack the org experience to be sure.
> Have Fun!