The cult has come to usually refer to a social group defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study. This sense of the term is usually pejorative.

Temple of Set

Temple of Set The Temple of Set is an occult initiatory order founded in 1975. A new religious movement and form of Western esotericism, the Temple espouses a religion known as Setianism, whose practitioners are called Setians. This is sometimes identified as a form of Satanism, although this term is not often embraced by Setians and is contested by some academics....

Sociological Classifications of Religious Movements

Sociological Classifications of Religious Movements Various sociological classifications of religious movements have been proposed by scholars. In the sociology of religion, the most widely used classification is the church-sect typology. The typology states that churches, ecclesia, denominations and sects form a continuum with decreasing influence on society. Sects are break-away groups from more...

Mind Control

What Is Mind Control? Brainwashing (also known as mind control, menticide, coercive persuasion, thought control, thought reform, and re-education) is the concept that the human mind can be altered or controlled by certain psychological techniques. Brainwashing is said to reduce its subject’s ability to think critically or independently,[1] to allow the introduction of new, unwanted thoughts and ideas into the...

New Religious Movements and Cults in Popular Culture

New Religious Movements and Cults in Popular Culture New religious movements and cults have appeared as themes or subjects in literature and popular culture, while notable representatives of such groups have themselves produced a large body of literary works. Beginning in the 1700s authors in the English-speaking world began introducing members of “cults” as antagonists.[1] Satanists, Sects of...

Cult

What Is A Cult? The term cult has come to usually refer to a social group defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal. This sense of the term is controversial and it has divergent definitions in both popular culture and academia and it also has been an ongoing source of contention...

Christian Countercult Movement

Christian Countercult Movement The Christian countercult movement or the Christian anti-cult movement is a social movement among certain Protestant evangelical and fundamentalist[1] and other Christian ministries (“discernment ministries”[2]) and individual activists who oppose religious sects which they consider “cults”.[3] Overview Christian countercult-activism mainly stems from evangelicalism or fundamentalism. The countercult movement asserts that particular Christian sects are erroneous because their beliefs are not...

Anti-cult Movement

Anti-cult Movement The anti-cult movement (abbreviated ACM; sometimes called the countercult movement)[1] is a social group which opposes any new religious movement (NRM) that they characterize as a cult. Sociologists David Bromley and Anson Shupe initially defined the ACM in 1981 as a collection of groups embracing brainwashing-theory,[2] but later observed a significant shift in ideology towards pathologizing membership in NRMs.[3] One element...

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