“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
Here are seven simply written identifiers of a cult. A cult may not have all identifiers. From: amp.theatlantic.com, “Seven Signs You’re in a Cult”.
- Opposing critical thinking
- Isolating members and penalizing them for leaving
- Emphasizing special doctrines outside scripture
- Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leaders
- Dishonoring the family unit
- Crossing Biblical boundaries of behavior (versus sexual purity and personal ownership)
- Separation from the Church
Opposing critical thinking seems to be a big key factor. I just wrote quotes from men higher up in the church and the message was quite clear: don’t question. In comparison, there are churches when questioning and discussion are welcome.
Isolating members. My nephew dated an ex Mormon. She had left the church and was shunned by her family and church. The church plays such a heavy role in members’ lives that shunning means being cut off from your family, your church, your social group most likely. To me, and other people, shunning is extremely cruel. It amounts to psychological torture.
Emphasizing special doctrines outside scripture. Of course the Mormon Church has special doctrines. That’s for them to deal with. What bothers me, if this is the case, is that the New Testament does not seem to be used. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. “Jesus Christ” is right there in the name of the church.
Seeking inappropriate loyalty to their leaders. Not allowing church members to easily leave is inappropriate. I don’t know what other loyalty is required. Members are supposed to tithe 10%. I don’t know if the church tries to enforce that amount. If they enforce it and it is inappropriate pressure, that would count. No, most churches do not pressure their members.
Dishonoring the family unit – this seems to be the opposite. I guess this would apply if members have to give inordinate amounts of time to the church so the family unit suffers.
Crossing Biblical boundaries – I certainly don’t see this applying (unless a member was to cross the line between Mormon and Devil Worshipper)
Separation from the Church – the above article had to do with a small group of people who formed their own unit away from a church.
Here is a list from 22 Words: twentytwowords.com “16 Red Flags That You Might Be in a Cult”
- Zealous Commitment to the Leader/. I believe the leadership of the Mormon Church asks a lot of its members. I have a friend whose Mormon friend was assigned a job at church. She didn’t have a say in her job. Also, there is something called gangstalking that church members participate in. I don’t know if it is voluntary. I don’t think so. Gangstalkers are breaking stalking laws (pass someone two times with INTENT to cause unease, etc.)
- Dissent is Discouraged “In a healthy social setting, people should be encouraged to question everything. After all, skepticism can be a very healthy trait when it comes to making huge decisions that affect a large group of people! But in a cult: “Doubts or questions may even be punished.”
- Mind Altering Practices are Used /. I have never heard of anything at all like this in the Mormon Church.
- Members Must Seek Permission Before Engaging in Certain Activities/. I have no idea
- The Group is Elitist “Essentially, this means that the group-and its leader-consider themselves to the the cream of the crop. They aren’t mere mortals, they’re on a special mission to save humanity.” Trait 5 is THE TRAIT THAT I HAVE COME TO TERMS WITH RECENTLY. I had heard that when dealing with missionaries at your door, some of them truly could not comprehend that you believe differently. One man had to get a restraining order – extreme, of course. I have decided that to treat non Mormons the way they do, with gangstalking, that the Mormons have to believe they are better than the non Mormons and/or are being threatened. Maybe both. I have witnessed a number of twenty something women with their noses in the air clearly reflecting the attitude that they are better than I. “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors” ???? The most important idea to take away from the Gospel – basically, you shouldn’t be judging me, or your fellow Mormons.
- The End Justifies the Means “Basicallly, this means tat the group’s mission-whatever it is -is to be held in the highest regard….THIS MEANS THAT MEMBERS MAY ENGAGE IN SOME ACTIVITIES WHICH THEY WOULD HAVE PREVIOUSLY THOUGHT REPREHENSIBLE.”. YES.
- A Strong Us vs. Them Mentality / “The group separates itself from the rest of the world…. This, along with feeling justified in breaking the rules of society — can lead to a lot of conflict between group members and non-members.
- The Leader is Not Accountable to Other Authorities/. I have no idea.
- Shame and Guilt are Prevalent – Yes, yes, yes. Read The New Testament. Read, THE GOSPEL AND JESUS’ WORD.
- Group Members Must Cut Ties With Their Families/ this would probably be referring to new members and I have no idea.
- A Preoccupation With New Members (and potential new members). I have only read about people who were looking to join, or ex members, so I don’t know.
- A Preoccupation With Money – I have heard about the required 10%. If it extends to struggling families, that is an issue. The Church pays cash for every piece of property and building. Other than that, I don’t know.
- A Huge Time Commitment – I have read that this is true. I would think gangstalking is way up there. If someone joined and their family is complaining about not seeing them, that may be an indicator.
- A Requirement to Socialize With Fellow Members Only/ I am not sure. You tell me. If you are Mormon are you pressured to socialize with Mormons? This didn’t seem to apply to the kids I knew growing up.
- THERE IS NOTHING WORTH PURSUING EXCEPT THE GROUP’S GOALS/ This is so scary. This mindset would give someone the idea that they could break the codes they follow for their work if they are told to so something against an “enemy (someone a member decided is an enemy – no court”. This might give someone who is performing a medical procedure justification to do something wrong this one time (yes – a friend). This might give someone justification to steal an emerald necklace (don’t care about value – it was my mothers), keep the person from working, cause accidents.
Guess what? Every person is valuable. If you are Mormon, you are not any more valuable in this country than I am. You have no right to invade my life V – had to right to invade my life, tell lies about D telling you where I would be going, watched me, my husband and I, my daughter and her friends (revolting – the guys can verify that this could have been done – but they probably have been threatened.
You are no more valuable to God than I am. No, you are not. If you still think so, you live in the United states of America and we are equal under the law.