The Astral Pulse

Astral Chat => Welcome to Astral Chat! => Topic started by: WalkerInTheWoods on July 30, 2003, 17:32:52



Title: cults
Post by: WalkerInTheWoods on July 30, 2003, 17:32:52
According to Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary

Main Entry: cult
Pronunciation: 'k<
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: French & Latin; French culte, from Latin cultus care, adoration, from colere to cultivate -- more at WHEEL
Date: 1617
1 : formal religious veneration : WORSHIP
2 : a system of religious beliefs and ritual; also : its body of adherents
3 : a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents
4 : a system for the cure of disease based on dogma set forth by its promulgator <health cults>
5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book); especially : such devotion regarded as a literary or intellectual fad b : a usually small group of people characterized by such devotion



So basicly any group that believes in something to give some kind of devotion is a cult. We could probably be considered a cult according to the dictionary, but so is every other group of people with a central idea.


Title: cults
Post by: Lysear on July 30, 2003, 17:50:54
the way I see it, the term "cult" is a label used to describe groups who are seen as a threat. This label can be useful at some times as it helps you to steer clear of dangerous groups and individuals. Howvever, it can also be misleading, as groups who are just new emerging religions or groups who's religions do not conform to the norms of society or the requirements of the powers that be, can be damaged or destroyed.


Title: cults
Post by: goingslow on July 30, 2003, 17:59:38
I understand that point of view, but in a way I think real cults use that type of thing to deny being a cult.  They might say "well to some anything that isnt an accepted religion is a cult.. or belief in OBE is a cult therefore the fact we command our members shave their head and only eat a portion of yaks fat doesnt mean we're a cult".  

I kind of want to approach it from the realization there are cults out there that do exist.  Sure society uses the term cult too loosely but because of that it doesn't follow there is no such thing.  I could name some famous ones but I wont.

To people out there who have heard of cults, have experience wiht cults.. or just recognize cults exists what makes the cult a "cult"?  Im leaning towards the one leader who really tells people what they need to do, and no deviation is allowed.


Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on July 30, 2003, 18:12:15
Until 300 A.D., christianity was a cult.

I suppose one could argue that there are good cults and bad ones.  But I'd be hard pressed to buy the arguments.  The idea that one must conform to a certain mindset to belong to a certain group is as old as tribalism itself . . . but does that make any of it good?  HM.

Cults usually have charismatic leaders.  Often this person is the only one keeping the group together.  However, many non-cult-type clubs have this same characteristic, so you can't rely on it as a determining factor.

Also, requiring suspension of belief does not, by itself, make a group a cult.  There are clubs, and then there are cults.  Sometimes they're hard to tell apart. But you'd be amazed at the suspension of belief out there! (i.e., UFO clubs)  

So my definition of a cult works like this:  If there are seriously damaging consequences for disagreeing with a leader, questioning group ideals, or attempting to LEAVE, it's a cult. Especially if the typical consequence is something final like "eternal damnation" or "I'll hunt you down on the Astral and destroy you,"  "you'll never work in this town again," or "that's 75 years in the gulag for you."

So if you worry whether or not you're getting involved with a cult, ask yourself, what is the consequence of not toeing the party line? The answer will tell you everything you need to know.  Not being invited to their meetings/parties anymore doesn't count!

Cheers,


Title: cults
Post by: timeless on July 30, 2003, 18:16:17
Okay!  So I'm trying to finish the revision of my book.  My daughter is away at horse camp for two weeks so it is the perfect time to really get this finished.  But.....

You have just raised the most important question one could ever ask on this board.

To me anything can be turned into a cult like following.  Think of music rock star fans and TV/movie star fans. Idolization is a big problem in any society.  Religious and spiritual cults are perhaps the most dangerous though.  Why?  Because the 'power' of God is associated with them.  Some Joe somewhere has the ear of God.  WOW!  Now we have a problem.

There are a million reasons to get sucked into a cult.  After all think of the benefits.
(1) I am special by association
(2) I no longer have to feel insecure
(3) I can finally make a difference.
(4) I don't have to clean up all my nasty habits inside (Hardest thing in the world to do).  Now all I have to do is follow rules AB&C. It might not get to the root of the problem but I have the feeling I am really getting somewhere.
(5) I am going somewhere (big fear people inside must people is that they are not getting anywhere spiritually)
etc.

What is the common thread in all of these thoughts. Insecurity and need for respect. Insecurity causes us to want to be part of a group, so we know we are accepted, appreciated, loved, made to feel special.  It is insecurity that allows us to give our all to one person, one idea, one obsession.  

The only thing that could separate this messageboard from a cult is open mindedness.  It is the user not the board that makes something a cult.  If the user comes with an open mind and wishes to share, learn, and not say I have the ear of God then all should be fine.  I have my guides but who is to say they know it all.  I am certain they do not.  This is why I like Si-Fi and fantasy.  One can explore new thoughts without (hopefully) people getting all fanatical and latching onto a concept and saying that is the way it is.  

Never get pegged into a hole. Never let someone tell you this is the way it is.  Never take in anothers belief until you have tested it through and through and know it is right for you.  

I leave my most important point till last.  
It is not what we know or preach.  It is what we practice.  If someone is not acting in a God-like manner then they do not have the will of God or the ear of God.  And even if they do act in our vision of what God-like behaviour is (i.e. humility, grace, compassion etc.).  We still must question... otherwise how will we truly understand.  

Thank you Goingslow for your most excellent thoughts and questions.

Regards,
timeless

Now I have to get back to my book.  It is like a monkey on my back demanding my attention.[:P]


Title: cults
Post by: beavis on July 30, 2003, 18:26:35
A cult is a religion with beliefs that most people dont approve of and usually not as many members. Cults are valid religions.


Title: cults
Post by: WalkerInTheWoods on July 30, 2003, 19:06:55
The actual definition of cult says nothing about being negative or close minded. True there are some unproductive cults out there. They are the ones that get noticed. But a group that falls within the definition of a cult does not have to be negative.

#5 I think describes us.
 
quote:
5 a : great devotion to a person, idea, object, movement, or work (as a film or book);


Do most of us here not have a devotion to either OBEs, Astral Projection, Metaphysics, etc and exploring the truth behind them? Maybe you could just say that we are all here for truth.


Thinking about it, cult seems to be a rather vague word.


Title: cults
Post by: Fyrenze on July 31, 2003, 03:08:52
quote:
Originally posted by Tisha

Until 300 A.D., christianity was a cult.

I suppose one could argue that there are good cults and bad ones.  


[}:)][}:)]Which should we argue for christianity? [}:)][}:)]


Title: cults
Post by: jc84corvette on July 31, 2003, 15:01:23
My religion was a cult!? I never knew that!

My feeling about cults, the public, especily the media has shown a BAD image on cults (kults). I am sure there are good cults and I know there is "bad" cults that the leader leads a mass sucide.


Title: cults
Post by: jc84corvette on July 31, 2003, 15:05:16
quote:
Originally posted by beavis

A cult is a religion with beliefs that most people dont approve of and usually not as many members. Cults are valid religions.



I disagree, I think it is a half completed religion. A religion that is not that organized.


Title: cults
Post by: goingslow on July 31, 2003, 16:00:06
Timeless great definition.. I think the point you made about them claiming to "have the ear of god" is right on too.  Ive noticed with many of these cults the leader almost always says the information is not coming from him but from a "higher source".  IE his incarnated version or someone he is chanelling.  I think that is important.

I mean who can argue with a higher source?  However, if it was just the human talking maybe people would think he/she could make mistakes.

Chill!

I found your definition and description VERY accurate and interesting.  The hunch added in is probably very important.  When you just get a feeling about it its often good to stick with that feeling.


Title: cults
Post by: Mustardseed on August 01, 2003, 08:13:59
Ha well in my book this website and movement could be as much a cult as anything. IS THE ASTRAL PULSE A CULT??? It seems that being a cult is very subjective, or as one could say beauty/villainry (is there such a thing?) is in the eye of the beholder. You have leaders, you exersise some degree of mind control through shared beliefs, you can expell people for dissent, you can punish people through flaming, and are in the process of building a astral locale where you can meet.If you had the possibility you might try to meet in real person and who knows what else. To call christianity a cult would include calling alll christians cult members I find that a bit extreme. Maybe in the beginning it was one I would agree to that. Dosnt cults have to be a bit on the small side ??
Just a few thoughts


Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on August 01, 2003, 11:12:49
Hmmmm . . .

1. The Christian priests and pastors would have you believe that leaving the Faith will result in eternal damnation.  Pretty final, don't you think?  Some christian sects even practice "shunning." (Amish).  I think the Catholic Church still practices excommunication.

2. The original Charismatic Leader was the Son of God . . . spoke with him directly . . . past the Word of God down to the masses . . .hmmm.  

3.  Many (but not all) Christian churches - - - the evangelicals come to mind - - - engage in what many would call cult recruiting practices (i.e., love-bombing, etc) and mind control.  The priesthood within the Catholic Church is rather cultish - - - the consequences of "wrong thinking" are pretty dismal.

But then there are other churches within the Christian communities who are not cultish at all.  I rather believe that once a cult becomes very large, it becomes rather difficult to control.  A charismatic leader, for instance, will be able to control a few hundred people, but a few thousand or a few MILLION . . . it gets to be a bit like herding cats.  



Title: cults
Post by: James S on August 01, 2003, 11:42:05
At the risk of repeating something I said in another topic...

The christian churches have managed to distance themselves from the cults in the same way that Amway distanced itself from pyramid selling -
semantics, technicalities and good lawyers.

James.


Title: cults
Post by: goingslow on August 01, 2003, 20:49:35
quote:
Originally posted by Tisha

Hmmmm . . .

1. The Christian priests and pastors would have you believe that leaving the Faith will result in eternal damnation.  Pretty final, don't you think?  Some christian sects even practice "shunning." (Amish).  I think the Catholic Church still practices excommunication.

2. The original Charismatic Leader was the Son of God . . . spoke with him directly . . . past the Word of God down to the masses . . .hmmm.  

3.  Many (but not all) Christian churches - - - the evangelicals come to mind - - - engage in what many would call cult recruiting practices (i.e., love-bombing, etc) and mind control.  The priesthood within the Catholic Church is rather cultish - - - the consequences of "wrong thinking" are pretty dismal.

But then there are other churches within the Christian communities who are not cultish at all.  I rather believe that once a cult becomes very large, it becomes rather difficult to control.  A charismatic leader, for instance, will be able to control a few hundred people, but a few thousand or a few MILLION . . . it gets to be a bit like herding cats.  





I think you have to look at the followers of any religion though to really argue it's a cult.  Some christians are very cult like and the way they interpret the religion I could see you arguing this point.  But I think timeless had a good point when she said its the members that make it a cult.  

What about all the christians that just call themselves christians but dont believe in hell, or damnation or many of the other teachings?   Wouldnt that make a difference in whether you can argue it's a cult?  Many christians I know are like this.. They believe in Jesus and some of the church's teachings but they throw away a lot more of it.  

Its sort of for arguments sake thing.


Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on August 02, 2003, 13:21:54
Goingslow, one can persuasively argue that people who say they're christians but who don't buy into Christian theology aren't really christians, but they're too afraid to admit it, for fear of going to hell or inviting community/family wrath.  I was one of these people in my twenties, but I finally accepted I JUST DIDN'T BUY IT. I had to accept the fact that, although I loved Jesus, I just wasn't a christian.

Christianity is more than just "believing in Jesus."  Its this whole big thing - - belief in a transcendant God, belief in heaven/hell, belief that Mary was literally a virgin, belief in Satan, belief that all other religions are false, belief in the idea that only certain people will get into heaven and everyone else will burn.  There is a LOT more to this, including Christianity's sordid, murderous history, but I'll stop here.

There are minor differences between christian sects, but the basics are pretty solid.  To be confirmed a Christian, you have to give an Affirmation of Faith that says you actually buy into the theology. Did you ever go through "confirmation class" in church?  I sure did.



Title: cults
Post by: timeless on August 02, 2003, 15:53:39
Dear Tisha,

I am quite comfortable claiming myself to be a Christian. To me a Christian is someone who respects Christ and his teachings.  A Christain follows the teachings recorded by the disiplines who walked, talked, ate and slept with him...bye bye Paul).  NOT the teachings and rules set by the jokers who came after Jesus died (i.e. Paul) who claimed to know the will and have the ear to hear the resurrected Jesus and God.  

Mind you, I was not raised on fundementalist Christianity. The United Church of Canada is officially a Christian church and I was christened into this church.  Yet we allow gay ministers.  We do not pay much attention to the gospels written by Paul[:O] and focus on Jesus' recorded teachings.  One of our lay preachers is gay and married in our church.  WOW!  Scary for other Christians out there eh!  Only in Canada eh!  

The United Church has its sins which it is paying for.  We were the first of three Canadian churches to compensate North American Indian peoples who were taken away from their families and some very badly treated in the name of Jesus.[:(!]  There are always some really rotten apples in any religion, cult, group.  It's these types of fanatical, unbalanced members that rot the religion and church. They ignore the fundementals of Christianity, love, compassion, understanding.

On an interesting side note, right now the Canadian government is very close to approving same sex marriages. This fall or winter we hear. The province of Ontario has already approved it and gay couples in Ontario are given all the privileges enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.  One province in particular is strongly against same sex marriage.  Guess which one...you guessed it Alberta...home of the largest group of fundementalist Christians in Canada. The Pope has written letters to our prime minister Jean Creten (purposely misspelled this) and his presumed successor Paul Martin.  They are both practicing Roman Catholics (actually attend church regularly). Both say they are going to ignore the Pope on this.  After all the Pope is just a guy (who may or likely does not have the ear of God) and Jesus never said anything against homosexuality. So while Paul Martin and Creten may now not be considered good Roman Catholics I consider them good Christians. Many Canadian Christians feel that if homosexuality was such a sin, Jesus would have said something. He did not.

Not interested in a debate with any fundementalists out there.[xx(]  The [xx(] is for the debate not the fundementalists.  If you really hate all this, say what you will, have at her.[:P] I will still consider myself a Christian. I believe Jesus was one of the greatest prophets and masters to walk this earth. But my church does not promote him as the only way to reach 'heaven'.  

Regards,
timeless[:)]


Title: cults
Post by: cainam_nazier on August 03, 2003, 04:23:19
One of my favorite things to do is aggitating a "fanatic" by telling them that I am not interested in thier cult.

I do this only for the reason that people don't truely understand the meaning and usage of the word.  It is only one of many words that through time have picked up an alternate and negative meaning.


Title: cults
Post by: Mustardseed on August 04, 2003, 07:47:49
You guys are really funny sometimes, and I might add quite interesting. It seems there are a lot of people on this forum who has a lot of dislike for Christians and who will take every oportunity to demean and belittle them while at the same time choosing to ignore any voice raised in an attempt to question your own behaviour and beliefs. I will question again and hope someone answers. IS THIS SITE A CULT or at least cultish in its ways and values?? It seems that there has sprung up a new way to be a cult!! the internet. Shared belief systems can turn and become a cult, I think


Title: cults
Post by: cainam_nazier on August 04, 2003, 08:13:31
Interesting thought Mustardseed.

The Astral Pulse Cult.....nope.  It doesn't role off the tounge right.

And on another note.  I do not keep my cult comment for christians only.  I'll use it on anyone who is fanatical.

And in all honesty I believe that all the various religions are extreamly helpfull to a great many people.  But what really chaps me is when a person is unwilly to hear an alternate view because of thier religious beliefs.  It also bothers me when a person tries to crame thier beliefs down your throat as if there was absolutly no other way.  Sadly there are people like this every where, from all walks of life, from every religious and non-religious school of thought.


Title: cults
Post by: clandestino on August 04, 2003, 09:20:16
Hi Mustardseed !

I don't think that christianity is actively demeaned by anyone on the forums. Well, perhaps there are a few people who choose to express themselves in what might appear as a negative tone, but you just have to take it as an opinion on a forum, that's all.

Is this site a cult ? No. However certain posts do exhibit unhealthy symptoms as Chill pointed out in his post.

Is Christianity / any religion, for that matter, a cult ? No. The distinction between a cult and a religion is pretty clear, just pick up a dictionary !
best wishes

Mark


Title: cults
Post by: Mustardseed on August 05, 2003, 09:47:38
Yea I agree with both of you allthough it has nothing to do with the way it rolls off the tounge  ha. It is a bit far fetched to have a remote cult so maybe we are "safe" here,however I am thinking a lot about how shared fanatical beliefs can cause a very wierd bonding between people even though far removed from each other. This was the case with the columbine shooting as well as the recent shooting in Washington. There was as far as I have read a common thread or common denominator of interest in certain passtimes games music lyrics death metal etc. So I would say that it does seem that in this day and age a culd does not have to occupy the same physical space but more a shared belief. The indoctrination and the traditional strong leader could be substituted by the internet!!!. Another issue that most folks seem to avoid is that a cult does not nessesarily denote a negative thing. I see many movements that started as "cults" it just seems that society has loaded the word very negativly.


Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on August 05, 2003, 16:53:30
Mustardseed/all,

Although I dare to tell the truth about Christianity, this does not make me "anti-christian."  There's a world of difference, honestly. (PS my boyfriend of near 5 years is a christian).

Too often christians take my opinions about their religion as a personal slam on them.  This is not my intent, nor is it the intent of most Astralpulse members who bear ill feelings toward the religion as an INSTITUTION. Christian PEOPLE are a wildly heterogenous group; one cannot generalize about them at ALL.  However, the religion's HISTORY, from it's cult beginnings to its near domination of western societal values, is VERY well documented, and the topic is fair game in a discussion forum such as Astralpulse.

Now, as to the existence of online cults.  ABSOLUTELY they exist.  The key is their attempts at mind control . . . if there is mind control or brainwashing, and the group has other cultish charicteristics, then it's probably a cult. HOWEVER, I wonder how powerful an online cult can really be, since to "leave" the group involves nothing more than turning off the computer, or at the very least leaving the website and changing one's email address.  After all, what are the "consequences" of leaving an online cult?  More free time? (laughs)

Is Astralpulse a cult?  I don't think so; its members are too opinionated and diverse to qualify. And as long as our opinions stay opinions, and our theories stay theories (instead of facts or sacred truths), we should be safe from that low road.


Title: cults
Post by: cainam_nazier on August 06, 2003, 00:18:18
But my opinion is sacred truth....It says so in the Big Book of Dave.

Actually I think it far easier than people realize for a cult to get started on the net.  Look at the number of people who are pulled in by internet fraud every year.

I think that a cult started by such means could become very dangerous, very fast.  The number of people alone on the net would aloow its numbers to grow rapidly.  This being some thing that your "normal" cult would have difficulty at since thier numbers are large based on the area they are in.  

I also believe that a cult started in such a manner would be very dangerous for they same reason Tisha mentioned, simply because no one is being forced, at least not at the start.  Look at it this way....Your loyalty base for ANY institution, cult, school of thought, or fan club, started in such manner would be much higher.  This due to the very fact that those invloved are there because of thier own free will, no one is forcing thier hand.  These people would remain loyal as long as they thought thier needs, desires, or wants where being met.

If you really think about it, every thing said makes sence.  Look at what happens to "Heaven Gate".  They did have a web site telling every one what they were about, what they believed, and all that junk.  That site lasted about 30 mins after the news hit.  Oh it was copied and mirrored on other sites, but they were all brought down in an extreamly fast time frame.  WHY DO THIS?  Because sadly, the major reason being, people are sheep.  Had the site remained up some one else would have gotten the idea, and followed in the name of those beofre them.  And we would most likely still be dealing with it.


Title: cults
Post by: Anonymous on August 06, 2003, 02:17:15
A lot of interesting viewpoints here. I think the thing that should be damned is my slow internet connection (hence my rare replies).

If people are sheep, then does that make someone who does not follow other people a shepherd (with or without a flock)? IMO, a shepherd could be benevolent (herding the sheep for their safety and sheering them during summer) or malevolent (killing the sheep, not necessarily for food, maybe just for fun or to release anger) Even the Bible refers to people as sheep. A person may or may not have influence over a group of people. Let's say a person merely states their opinion and people like it so much they decide to listen to everything that person says. That person did not intend this, but merely intended for their opinion to be heard by these (or any) people. This person now has a flock of sheep they did not intentionally inherit. This sometimes happens through books that are written. Harry Potter, for example, was written by an ordinary woman with children. She was not very well-off financially and wrote the stories for her children. When she was discovered, the book became quite popular, and she became very rich. The morals that were conveyed through her stories will likely be followed by its strongest audience.

Well, that's all for now.

The ironic thing about the world is that it is perfect. It is perfect because it does exactly what it was designed (and created) to do- function as a spiritual learning tool. The latest thing I have learned is that there is fate, but we can act freely upon the circumstances and situations we find ourselves running into. How we decide to act determines the next possible set of outcomes for us (with divine intervention possibilities being a given). We have limited ourselves by the choices we have made in the past because through those choices, we have opened some opportunities to ourselves and closed others.

Joining a cult also closes some doors and opens others, though I would think doing such a thing would close more doors than it would open. This can be good or bad. The more we know, the more complex our paths become. The less we know, the more narrow our paths become, but we also lose control of our paths with the lack of knowledge. The kinds of people who are drawn to cults are generally impressionable and naiive people who think that everything's going to be okay whether they take control of their situations or let others "help" them do this.

Sorry, my brain is running too fast for my fingers to type out all my thoughts in a way that will make sense to anyone. They will probably sound stupid and idiotic, or unresolved in some ways. As always, point out anything you believe is a flaw so I can try to explain more thoroughly.


Title: cults
Post by: Anonymous on August 06, 2003, 02:32:12
I would also like to add that this world was designed and created as a spiritual experience learning tool by a diety or dieties that do (does) not care whether or not people worship it/them. If it/they cared, it/they would say something.

There are many ways to look at the same painting.

I think that identifying a cult is easy enough simply by the way they react when you tell them what YOU think is the truth. If they're a cult, they'll likely get all ticked off at you and start shunning you, damning you, etc. or try to "save" you. Be careful about the interpretation of their actions as them trying to "save" you. They could also merely be offering you their view(s) of what the truth is. This does not mean they are in a cult or the leader of one.

If you want to see what a cult website is, go to www.zetatalk.com and write to the owner of the site about proof of her "predicitions."


Title: cults
Post by: Mustardseed on August 07, 2003, 07:46:30
Well well :-) the subject sure got the attention of some "big stars". I would tend to agree with you in most areas. One particular statement that especially caught my attention (and you explained it better that I could) is how a idea can be adhered to much more severely than intended. ie the Harry Potter books. That is a very good point.By the way I do not believe she was a normal house wife but most likely trained in the occult or at least did a lot of research. Anyway that is immaterial. My problem is that in this age it seems that the spread of Negs and the concsequent spiritual pollution is multiplied by numbers we do not even dream of by THE INTERNET, and other media, and that leads us to the question wether we should sensor or not ? ???? that is really the job of the moderator isnt it. A sort of police. I never turn on the net without praying for protection nor do I drive my car leave my house or open my TV, without doing the same and I do not think I am Paranoid at all. OK well then where does that leave us. Christian groups do sensor specifical people both in Church and on the net. The Bible tells you to excomunicate anyone speaking against the faith. Is this site different?? maybe the excommunicating is not done by the moderator all though I believe it could happen if as Christian Fundementalist continually disturbed the site. In my opinion there is nothing wrong with sensorship!!!Everyone has the right to decide who they hang around on the net or elsewhere. Also let us not forget that many cults are not destructive at all but on the contrary very helpfull for their members wellbeing and most people join them without being controlled. At least that is my opinion. The notion that it is weak individuals I think is wrong. I met several from the Jehovas witness to the Moonies and lots of Hindu  and buddhist fractions and they seemed very representative of the population in general, as a matter of fact some seemed above avarage.


Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on August 07, 2003, 12:44:54
Mustardseed,

Christian Fundamentalists are welcome on this site as long as they do not violate the rules of Netiquette (see http://www.onlinenettiquette.com) for examples.  

Moderators are not here to censor; rather they exist to spot check the forums for breaches of nettiquete.  People can be as pro-OBE or anti-AP as they want; however, if they are hostile or disruptive despite repeated attempts to correct their behavior, their IP address will be blocked.  I consider these kinds of people to be "online negs."

Simply being contrary, or even negative sometimes, will not get you thrown off AstralPulse, I promise, as long as you follow the rules of netiquette and respect other people's opinions.

Moderators are also human, and as you can tell by some of our "stars," very opinionated and chatty, or at least willing to commit to this Forum for the long haul.  Most our posts are personal in nature; i.e., our opinions.  We only very rarely put on our Moderator Hats.

That's all from the Moderator for now!


Title: cults
Post by: Tab on August 07, 2003, 13:16:07
Usually christian 'bashing' isn't as baseless and blind as christian support. That's all I have to say. This makes me sound badass (http://www.animemusicvideos.org/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_cool.gif). That sunglasses smiley makes me look even more badass. God I'm cool.
Okay, I'm done.


Title: cults
Post by: timeless on August 07, 2003, 16:22:30
Dear Tisha,

I just wanted to say I think you are doing a great job moderating and I really like the Netiquette idea and found it an excellent read.[8D]

Back on topic.  If the user comes with an attitude of keeping an open mind then this is not a cult.  There are vastly different opinions, religious backgrounds, concepts, experiences and ideas presented on this board.  They force you to THINK.  In a cult (negative cult at least) the last thing they want you to do is think for yourself.  They want to tell you how it is.  Personally, I think each of us has to find God in our own way, our own time, and with our own unique flare.  The ways that take longer...well so what...if time is irrelavent then that can't be much of an issue.  Besides you probably see a lot more along a longer road.

On an amusing note...I wonder why the word occult has the word cult in it[?]

Best Regards,
timeless [:)]


Title: cults
Post by: Anonymous on August 07, 2003, 18:08:43
I think if we become too paranoid we will only contribute to the idea of McCarthyism. It's like the terrorists and the commies. People were being accused of being communist back in the 50's and now they're being accused of being terrorists. Now if we take that attitude and apply it to this site, we get normal, everyday people getting pointed at and accused of being a member of a cult. Of course, that's the extreme and I don't think we're anywhere near that. It would really suck if it came to that, but I know that most people here are open-minded enough not to start being THAT paranoid. That's what I like about this site. It has its own flow. "You cannot harm that which is formless. Emptiness cannot be confined, and the softest thing cannot be snapped" -Bruce Lee    God, I love that quote. If our minds are like water, empty of emotion, desire, prejudice, etc., then we are truly free. Our minds take on no form and so no cult can get to them, no matter what they say or do.

I agree that not all cults are "bad" or evil. I think cults that do harm to others (like the KKK or like certain Satanist sects) should be stopped and disbanded but other than that, I think most cults are fine as far as their existence goes. They are free to follow what they believe is the right path. As long as they don't interfere with my journey/path/way, then I'm cool with them. Here's a list of laws that I was thinking of one day and decided to write down. If everyone lived by these laws, I think society would be great.

Here they are:

1) All persons should be free and look at all others as their equals.

2) All persons may seek the truth with their freedom in whatever way they wish. They shall not violate (1-6).

3)No person or persons shall stop or obstruct anyone's use of freedom or anyone's search for the truth.

4) No person or persons may endanger anyone in any way.

5) No person or persons shall damage or take that which does not belong to them.

6) No persons may judge others for their choices.


*If a person has freedom they must know what to do with it and how to use it.

*If a person knows the truth, they must know how to apply it, in combination with their freedom.


That's all I've got right now. I decided to share this with you all, even though I know that somewhere in there there are flaws I can't see right now. But I'm working on it. I've got to get offline now so I can receive some phone calls. This is a good discussion.


Title: cults
Post by: jilola on August 07, 2003, 18:17:32
Ender, you summarized the Book of the Law, aka Liber Al vel Legis, by the controversial A. Crowley. Well, once you strip all the drama from it, anyway [8D]

2cents & L&L
jouni


Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on August 07, 2003, 18:36:34
Thanks Timeless!


Title: cults
Post by: WalkerInTheWoods on August 07, 2003, 18:51:08
quote:
If everyone lived by these laws, I think society would be great.


I wonder how many conquerors and dictators have spoken these same words. haha No offense [;)]

Your laws sound rather nice.


Title: cults
Post by: clandestino on August 07, 2003, 19:32:02
hi Jilola !

Good point. I've always been intrigued by the "book of the law", its quite interesting how such a short book can provoke different reactions.

As a poem, its text is obscure. Perhaps this makes it interesting as the reader is left to fill in the meaning of the words.

I know I'm slightly off topic, but I'm coming back on board :
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/7770/93_spell_of_nature.html

...I had a quick skim through...quite complicated ! Can this sort of thing be the inspiration for a cult ?

ps- From now on when I use the word "cult", i'm gonna try not to automatically give it a negative connotation... !
Mark


Title: cults
Post by: jilola on August 07, 2003, 19:41:19
I believe the secret, if any, in the Al is deciphered not by mathematics, QBL or astrology but by an intuitive mind advanced on its spiritual path. In other words, and as the Ankh af na Khonsu ion the link states, each person must decipher it for himself. All ultimate truths are relative to the individual.

Having said that, the Al has a wealth of advise for the sincere seeker.

2cents & L&L
jouni


Title: cults
Post by: Anonymous on August 08, 2003, 04:15:45
Al? I don't think so, Tim. Ooh, where can I get one? Oh, right, Crowley wrote it... It must be a book. Yeah, I've heard some messed up stuff about Crowley (he went insane from thinking about this too much. Ah, if he only let his mind flow like water... Tsk, tsk, tsk)- I believe someone wrote a song about him (Metallica?).

As far as the Book of Law goes, I came up with this (not ALL of them, of course, just the combination. I was also thinking about Isaac Asimov's ROBOT books). after reading Bruce Lee's quotes on conformity. That's why I decided to try the Way of No Way, just for kicks. When you think about it, we are all so caught up in our ways that it is almost unfathomable to think about. Even the very way we th We have to knock out all the conditioning that's been drilled into our poor little heads [B)] by our societies and organized religions. We have to stop worrying so much about all the social reasons we do things (but very carefully, of course, and in the right order and speed) and start doing things for more spiritual reasons. Everything must be done gradually, NEE! so that we do this without getting burned at the stake or some other painful method of death implemented by our understanding and benevolent society...mmm...steak...

Well, enough of my illegible babbling. I've got to get some sleep. Hope I'm not sounding too radical or something. I'm not about to go back and revise. Goodnight.


Title: cults
Post by: clandestino on August 08, 2003, 08:08:36
agreed jouni, well said !


Title: cults
Post by: Mustardseed on August 08, 2003, 10:07:50
Ok well said dear Moderator and you know what..... I do agree with you that this forum is "pretty" decent and supression rarely comes from you. All that said, consider the notion that as an outsider, which I think in some ways I am, (my definition of outsider = someone who does not adhere to the central tenants of the body of believers), there can still be a considerable amount of pressure exerted by the "body", that allthough strictly speaking is not supression in as in a organised way or anything ,in effect works the same way. It does seem to me that this forum has a promlem at times "giving" the same love and respect to someone with a different view and faith as it gives to the ones with whom it(the body) can align itself. In other words forums like this often turn into closed fellowships instead of open forums, in a way the doors that was once open slowly closes as  time passes and people get to know who they like and where they stand. This in in my view a forming of dogmatism and a hardemning in the mold that is not healthy. I think it would be wise to at all points attempt to solicitate opinions different to ones own and try to (and I know it is difficult) embrace people with a different point of view. The truth is the truth no matter what we all run around in this world assuming it to be, so we might as well be friendly and loving towards each other while we share the world. I do feel that at times there is too much hostility toward Christians in this forum, but who knows maybe we Christians have created this reality for ourselves through years of pompous adherence to a superiority and a lack of love and respect for people who think and believe differently. Totally contrarily to what we claim to believe.Who knows.


Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on August 08, 2003, 11:07:32
Mustardseed, let me present an analogy.  I'm a peace-loving progressive surrounded by republican fanatics in a Department of Defense environment.  What the *&%& am I even doing here, you ask?  Sometimes I ask myself the same question. But I am obviously here by choice; ergo I get what I deserve, and should not be surprised when people jump all over me for my belief system.  I don't need to lie down and take it; however neither should I put on airs or act all shocked when it happens.  

My point is, it all comes with the territory.  People are human.  Despite our attempts at modernism, we are still tribal people.  Tribal people put a lot of effort/emphasis upon what makes us different (i.e., "exclusive") from other entities, rather than what makes us the same.  There are dire warnings about leaving "the fold." Once upon a time, this mindset kept us from being eaten by wolves and sabre-toothed tigers.  Nowadays, it just (starts cults and) causes problems!

I used to think sports were useless.  I mean really, really pointless.  Now I think of sports as a mostly-harmless way for us to channel our tribal instincts.  So, instead of sniping at each other about our belief systems, let's start a fantasy football game:  "The Mystics vs. the Realists."  Gee, I wish I knew how to play.


Title: cults
Post by: Blue_Anubis on August 09, 2003, 16:39:33
A good link for information regarding cults is http://www.cesnur.org
CESNUR stands for Center for Studies on New Religions.


Title: cults
Post by: Blue_Anubis on August 09, 2003, 16:55:05
It was Ozzy Osbourne who wrote a song about Aleister Crowley... the song was titled 'Mr. Crowley'.

When/if reading Liber AL vel Legis (AKA: The Book of the Law), please consider that the following quote is from a twelfth century pseudo-Hermetic treatise titled "The Book of the XXIV Philosophers"

"God is an infinite sphere, whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere."

Relate that line to the descriptions of Nuit and Hadit in verses 2 and 3 of Chapter 2 in Liber AL vel Legis and see if that influences your opinion about the originality or authenticity of the book. For further reading (though dry at times) check out the book "Planets, Stars and Orbs: The Medievel Cosmos, 1200 - 1687" by Edward Grant. You'll find the above mentioned quotation on page 175, but there's other points in that chapter to compare with Liber AL as well. Hadit says "I am not extended". Well, the topic of whether or not God could be seen as an extended magnitude was a hot topic for quite some time. Even Sir Isaac Newton weighed in on the subject.


Title: cults
Post by: Anonymous on August 11, 2003, 02:53:16
Hi Blue Annubis-

Thank you for that info, and I'll be sure to check out at least the B.O.L. in the order that best suits me, of course. I do my research according to what I want to learn about first. Then as I learn about the thing I find most interesting, I become interested in some of the other things branching from it. Anyway, I hate to study things in an academic matter; Before I ever read about Bruce Lee's philosophies, I had come to most of the same conclusions myself- He just better defined it for me (and many others), and so I found his stuff worth reading. Anyway, I've got to get some sleep. See ya.

Oh, and yeah, Ozzie rules!


Title: cults
Post by: Mustardseed on August 11, 2003, 07:30:36
Quote
Originally posted by Tisha
ANALOGY : Mustardseed, let me present an analogy.  I'm a peace-loving progressive surrounded by republican fanatics in a Department of Defense environment.  What the *&%& am I even doing here, you ask?  Sometimes I ask myself the same question. But I am obviously here by choice; ergo I get what I deserve, and should not be surprised when people jump all over me for my belief system.  I don't need to lie down and take it; however neither should I put on airs or act all shocked when it happens.  

Answer
I get your point and also have come to the same conclusion, that this is HOW THINGS APPEAR TO WORK, and I am not surprised!!However I feel it is wrong anyway. We are in a way discussing two different points. One point is HOW IT IS and another is HOW IT SHOULD BE. Your analogy fits the bill of the first one, however, only in the sickening system of the world with all its power struggles, do men fight each other for fickle fame and fortune. My analogy is a scientific meeting or such where someone with an opposing view and different theories, is put down and bad mouthed for THINKING DIFFERENT. This is similar to religious persecution. Do you condone that, and just tell folks that they will have to get over that, or do you attempt to moderate?? Please remember that I do totally understand your post and the reasoning too, but is there not merit in a discussion based on how things should be, rather than how they are now. I think that your view is the exact thing I am talking about. Has the opressed become the oppressor?? Actually I think that the heavy badmouthing and slander that is sometimes seen in more a result of fear maybe or at least a feeling of insecurity, a sort of teen age agression against what is seen as an authority, and fear spreads. Like Sheakspere said " me thinkest thou dost protest too much"


Title: cults
Post by: Beowulf on August 11, 2003, 08:46:13
Ender,

I almost agree with all the laws you put down. I have to completely disagree with the last one. Everyone should have the right to judge as they wish as long as that judgment does not become law. Being a libertarian, I'll have to agree with everything else. I think it could be simplified as:
1)No person has the right to harm or threaten a person or his possessions.
2)A person is only bound by additional rules through his or her own consent. (for example, if we signed a contract that required you to bow down and call me sue for $10, that should be enforced by law)

I strongly believe that everyone has the right to do anything they like with whomever they like (as long as it's consensual and the participants are of consenting age of course), as long as they do not violate the rights of others to be safe in their person and belongings. Liberty under law. That is the path of a true free society.



Title: cults
Post by: Tisha on August 11, 2003, 11:23:21
Mustardseed/All,

Moderators use their best discretion in deciding whether or not to intervene in a thread.  Personally, I believe that even unhelpful opinions are valid opinions.   I wouldn't attempt to moderate an unhelpful opinion (i.e., "you've gone flaming mad"), but if the same person said "you're out of your freaking mind, you moron") I might THEN feel the need to intervene.  I think it's personal choice on that; other moderators might choose differently.  

Remember that moderators are also human beings and regular participants, so even if we're not wearing our "moderator hats" we might still feel the need to jump in on a conversation if we think a thread has taken an ugly turn.  So don't presume too much when you see a moderator join in a conversation.  Very rarely are we stating Astralpulse policy; more likely we're throwing out opinions like the rest.

PS:  Interesting subtopic on Crowley/the Law . . . perhaps it needs its own thread!  Its hiding in here . . . other interested parties may be missing it . . . Throw it out there guys!


Title: cults
Post by: Anonymous on August 12, 2003, 04:21:31
Hello, Beowulf-

Thanks for your input-

That last "law" was meant more as a philosophical approach to the world- In other words, let's say, for example, you do LOTS of drugs. I do not judge you for doing every drug in the book, but I choose not to hang out with you because I dislike drugs and dislike seeing what they do to people. So you see, there IS judgement involved but it is not directed at the person- more or less, it is aimed at the choice(s) they make/made. i.e. this person does this stuff I don't like so I won't hang around with them. However, if you then proceeded to try to place an acid tab on my neck against my will, I would beat you silly or do whatever was necessary to protect my freedom. Since you would be violating the law that states that one cannot interfere with another's freedom, I would have to protect myself.

I do half-agree with you about this, however. I understand what you're saying and would feel the same way myself. The trouble is, how can a person enforce such laws? This must come from within the person who believes in the laws.

I agree with your simplification of the laws completely though. However, the creation of additional laws can also interfere with law #1. IF the person created a law (like, say, the terrorists with their Jihad) that would harm others for some reason, then this law they would have to follow because they choose to be bound by it, but in the process of obeying such a law, they cause harm to others. Then what happens is a big fight or battle between those that believe in the first law, and those who believe that the other law should come first. Or maybe I'm wrong about this whole paragraph. i'm too tired to really put any good thought into it. But I think I do have a point about how these laws could still be worked to the advantage of evil and falseness.

This world is not perfect. Or rather, it is, but we have not the wit to see it. Quite simply, there are many illusions that will try to get us off-track from the truth (and unfortunately they do throw most off-track). The whole reason that following a pattern or system is a bad idea is because, like I've been saying, it (1) limits a person's way of thinking, and (2), because of this, does not allow the person to see reality for what it is. Reality is a constant change. When you wade in a river, you are never wading in the same water twice (even as you stand still), because the water is always moving. Similarly, as our lives are ticking away, time constantly changes. Time is the water that flows in the river that is eternity, and patterns and systems are an artificial river that goes around in a circle, closing us off from everything else.

I, too, am a libertarian; I am an anarchist at heart, but not your "typical" anarchist. I believe in anarchy because it best fits the way I like to live- having no way of living, just living, plain and simple, without a system. I do believe in a code of honor, I believe in respect, integrity, happiness, and independence. I don't think we should be interdependent because we can't control the things that happen outside of ourselves. Whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and no matter what we say or do, nothing is going to stop it from happening. They say life is 10% what happens and 90% how you interpret it.

Tisha, what you were saying about our tribal instincts (if I have my forums right)-

I agree with you, and you touched upon one of the issues I was talking about, which is systems, patterns, etc. Yes, we needed this mentality at one time, but we are ready to evolve, I think. I feel that I am. The problem, I think, is that we are stuck in a pattern or way of living, and now that we've come to see a reality which does not conform to our system, our reaction is, "Oh no, what do we do now?" This is another reason cults are evolving. I think this is also the reason Bush (and many other politicians and government officials) set up Homeland security. I think the government is so afraid of reality that it needs to assert this pattern, this way of life. It knows that (1) if the pattern fails, then people will be angry with them for not doing their jobs, and (2) if people see reality, they will blame the government for trying to assert this pattern to blind them from it. Even if they don't know it consciously, they must know it unconsciously. People in our government (and I think every government) have a certain mentality (tribal mentality), and feel the need to go to war with other countries when they feel that their supplies are threatened, their home is threatened, etc. The other countries feel threatened by us, and feel a need to go to war with us because they need to protect their culture. So what happens here is a vicious cycle of war-mongering politicians chasing their tails (and each others').

Okay, I think this reply is quite long enough. I hope I haven't confused anyone.


Title: cults
Post by: goingslow on August 28, 2003, 15:55:51
And the question comes up again..

bling--------> http://www.astralpulse.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6796


Title: cults
Post by: timeless on August 28, 2003, 16:55:19
Dear goingslow,

If you haven't had a chance please check out silentwitness78's heart wrenching tale about giving up his job, rearranging his life, loosing everything for this Zeta/Peladian thing.  It  is half way down the page.  It is very long and detailed. This is why I dislike cults.

It is in THE TRUTH SHALL BE KNOWN thread page 23
http://www.astralpulse.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=5116&whichpage=23

Knew there was a reason I avoided this with a ten foot pole.  Too much defensiveness and radical behaviour.  That is what I love about you.  You think, think, think...for yourself.  We do not need guides to run our lives.  We are their equals not their puppets.  They are not our masters but our helpers.  I appreciate the help when it comes but never live by it.Insert But I am preaching now so I will stop.

Regards,
timeless


Title: cults
Post by: goingslow on August 28, 2003, 17:10:15
I completely agree timeless.  Its sort of funny because lastnight I commented on the bad feeling i was getting about the mayatnik thread and silentwitness posted that today I think.  

But the important part is mayatnik is taking it real time.  If you see on this thread
 http://www.astralpulse.com/forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=6796
Karek has told parmenion that he really has no more use on the AP.  And he is to travel between his own house whereever that is and the meeting place they're all going to go to.

Mayatnik is also leaving astral pulse.  If you read the way bottom you'll see the conversation.  I hope Im not the only one who sees the danger in this.  He also just happens to mention he himself (Mayatnik) has had to move many times when his guide has told him to.  But she always provided for him.  In other words dont worry about expenses or uprooting your life.. the guides will take care of you.

I guess silentwitness's guide is teaching him a hard lesson?

So Mayatnik goes real time with the people he recruited from here and elsewhere.  

BTW just a tip for whomever never go anywhere when someone says "you'll see who else is here when you come".  especially someones house!

thank you for your comments timeless.. I always like seeing your perspective on things.  AS I think you know.


Title: cults
Post by: timeless on August 28, 2003, 17:44:57
Dear goingslow,

Definitely scary.  

Man! I even question my guide when he warns me not to do something.  Just barely avoided an accident because of it.  But you know what!  I will always question.  THIS is MY life.[:P]  No one elses.  

Deepest Respect,
timeless


Title: cults
Post by: goingslow on August 29, 2003, 14:15:36
whew.. timeless apparently there was nothing to be alarmed about.  I was very pleased and relieved to see on that topic Adrian said there was no cult activity happening and that it was wrong to even suggest it.

Course I went to go post my response and it said I couldnt.  The topic was gone.. Dont know if it is someplace else but apparently it doesn't deserve sticky status anymore.

All that worry for nothing.  Turns out they are just telling the truth to further humanity.  The lies and unfortunately stories like silentwitness apparently are not worth being concerned about.

Celebrate with me?

[;)]

see you in a few weeks timeless. Gonna be busy for the next few.


Title: cults
Post by: goingslow on July 30, 2003, 17:01:39
What is the definition of a cult?  Does every cult need a leader?  Why are cults so associated with metaphysical persuits?  

Is the the completely suspension of disbelief so many think is required? IE "Why are you here talking about OBE if you're sceptical about alien entities that are being channeled through our leader".

Im seriously wondering about this and it isn't a slam on anything.  Is a cult simply a group of people gathering together who believe in something + (AN important plus) One person who claims they have all the answers and you must now follow their way.

If RB suddenly claimed he was the incarnate of some being on the astral would most of you find another site ...if we stuck around and listened what the incarnate version of Robnikbub would we then qualify as a cult?

This is something i cant get a grasp on.. what separates a cult from a gathering of like minds on a regular basis to each of you?