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Deviant behavior within cults - Essay Example

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Derived from the Latin word cultus (worship) from cultum (to till), the term 'Cult' is defined as a system of religious belief and worship in which the rituals and ceremonies employed help differentiate a creed or a sect from other denominations. (Concise English Dictionary, Oxford, old ed…
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Deviant behavior within cults
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Download file to see previous pages According to an estimate some three thousand (3,000) of such cults have been reported to exist all over the world with a total population of at least three million people attached to them as their followers.
The secret religious ceremonies in Greek were technically called the Mysteries. The history of Mysteries is traced back to the days of ancient Greece in the year 600 B.C. when in a Greek city Eleusis, the people practiced a cult of Eleusinian Mysteries. Those Greek who practiced this cult, which involved the worship of Demeter, the goddess of fertility, were promised blessings in the life hereafter. In ancient Rome the group, comprising mostly of soldiers, and belonging to the 'Mithraism Cult' also practiced Mysteries. The members of this cult worshipped the god of fire and light called Mithra. (Raitt, Jill., n.p.n.d.)
It was not easy to become a member of a cult in ancient times. Before their admittance into a particular cult, people had to undergo rigorous tests of their patience and staunch adherence. Some of the steps and mechanism involving induction of new members into the cult included:
2. The new entrants then take an oath and pledge for their adherence to the cult so as to become permanent member. The members develop a sense of belonging to that particular cult whose membership they attain. The followers of the cult then begin to imbibe within them the characteristics of cult, their mentality converting into strong allegiance to the group as denoted by the phrase "Us vs Them"
3. Belief of the members: Members gradually are made to develop a belief that it is only they or their group which is on the path of truth. And the other forms of truth as described in other various divinely religions become meaningless to them. The process of
operative exclusivists comes into play allowing awareness of several unrevealed dogmas and special information only to those who are interested and proved their loyalty within the group.
4. The natural outcome of this belief is the segregation of such a group from the existing society. The feelings of hostility for other members of society who are not members of such a cult are emanated from the process of indoctrination from cult's beliefs.
5. Self-negation: Cults demand sacrifice of personal wishes, desires or wishes from its members. It is through the practice of this principle of self-negation that members exhibit willingness to sacrifice their self-comfort, getting along without money, and crushing their ambitious dreams for fulfilling cults motives and the so-called salvation
The Modern Cults
As the time passed, the meaning of cult underwent a change especially after 1960s. The new definition ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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