Friday, May 23, 2008

The World Of Cults

Since my investigations on the cults (Satanism, Witchcraft and Moonies, Jehovah's Witnesses and Scientology), a lot of readers have been e-mailing for information regarding these organizations. However, it seems to me that there is a lot of confusion as to what a cult acutally is. And so, in this post, I have decided to take another look at this twilight underworld.

Why Cults Exist
Cults are not new. As the industrial revolution heralded a new world order of modernization, traditional mainstream religions lost their grip. Science and progress created confusion and doubt about the spiritual nature of man, education and awareness has armed him with a set of new values and ideals. Life was not so simple anymore. Morality went along with the decline of the spiritual nature. All of man's baser instinct came to the fore. Lust, greed, envy... etc, and his reason justified his motives. In a society where power, wealth and success are taught to be the only goals worth aspiring to, many people grew disillusioned. They were lost and had no solid traditional religious background they could fall back on to guide them. This decay began to accelerate in the latter half of the 19th century. This was the time of the birth of communism with its fearless godlessness, along with the more modern philosophers and their radical schools of thought. Modern man had a lot to confuse him indeed. This was the fertile soil in which the seeds of the cults were planted, it's easy to see how they grew and flourished.

To a generation of spiritually impoverished people, the coming of a charismatic, guru-like individual can be very inspiring indeed. A prophetic, messianic leader who can convinced their followers and believers that they have the secret to the meaning of life. These friendly frauds and charming charlatans really boomed in the past 40 years of this century. The new religions are mostly perverted revivals of the Christian faith. The rest are Western interpretations of ancient Eastern faiths, a perversion of the more mystic aspects of Hinduism and Buddhism. The latter of these is especially popular in the West. Kinky, hip interpretations of Buddhism and Hinduism are seen as exotic, chic and glamorous in the eyes of bored Western teenagers. Especially with the association of the Beatles to the Hara Krishnas in the '60s, many kids were sold on this idea. The new religion concept of the cults promised them everything; it was a reaction of the harsh materialism of a secular world and a revolution of the strict tenets of traditional beliefs. Hippies, drop-outs, disillusioned intellectuals all found something in the cults that spoke directly to them. Many cults simply brainwash their followers into giving up all their money and becoming mindless slaves to their leaders. But the more evil organizations, like the People's Temple, whose leader Jim Jones persuaded 913 members to commmit ritual suicide by drinking cyanide. Of course, many other cult leaders would not go to this extent.

How to identify a cult
The word "cult" originates from the Latin word "cultus", which means everything to do with worship and ritual. It has now been given a wider meaning and is used to describe anything that has an exclusive following. But being exclusive in itself is not damaging. But what I want to focus on are the cults that ARE damaging. Prof Ian Haworth of London, who runs th Cult Information Centre, believes that the definition of a cult is simple equation. Exclusive Sect plus Mind Control equals Cult. Dr Christian Czurko who runs the British Branch of Dialogcentre, which helps ex-members of cults back into society, lays down his criteria for his definition of a damaging cult:

» They recruit through inaccurate information

» They inoculate their recruits mentally against any other point of view

» They exploit their followers, making them work for very little money or no money and making demands on their bank accounts and personal assets, etc

» They hurt people - the family members and friends of their followers

In conclusion, the sinister world of cults is subversive and destructive. Its twisted religious values are like poison to society and the individual. In my few previous posts, I took a look at some of them. Due to the good response, I have decided to carry out further investigations to expose even more of these demonic deviants, so that you can be wary of their wiles and ways.

Children Of God
In the '60s, a strange sex cult was born on the sun-kissed beaches of California. They were called the Children Of God. Their leader was Moses David, a self-styled prophet who preached free love to a generation of horny hippies.

The Founder
Moses David was born David Berg in 1919. His parents were preachers. Moses travelled with his family was they went around the country preaching their version of the Christian Gospel and it was in this atmosphere of faith and travelling road-show lifestyle that he grew up in. He grew up and worked as a teacher in junior high school for a while, but was later attracted to the lure of TV evangelism. He opted for the commercial and glamorous possibilities this profession promised and became a TV preacher. After a spell of this, he went to the beaches of California to help his elderly mother in her Mission for the Hippies. Moses soon adopted their image of long hair, beard and other '60s fashion, and this made it easy for the hippies to identify with him. He soon had a large following. At the start, his teachings were based on the fundamentalist interpretations of the Bible and Christianity, with special emphasis on the Apocalypse and the "last days". But as his power and following increased, he became more megalomanic and bizarre. He began to receive prophecies and revelations that had no biblical foundation. He claimed to be a medium for a spirit called Abraham, who had been a gypsy king. Moses David then billed himself as a new messiah - "God's Endtime Prophet" following in the footsteps of the Moses in the Bible. The group left the California beaches and sent their message all across America and the world. Setting up communes wherever they could, their beliefs and lifestyle spread.

Sex as bait
Moses David as highly promiscuous and had to change the name of the COG to the Family of Love in 1978 due to the bad press he was receiving. His doctrine of free sex was introduced gradually to his followers, instructing them that they had to "share" themselves and their wives with others. In fact, he had a share in many of his followers' wives ut apparently, he never shared his wife with them. He later started the flirty fishing ministry, where his female followers were used as "bait" to "convert" men - "fish". He encouraged the girls to have sex freely with men in order to get them to join up. By this time, Moses David had moved to Tenerife. He communicated with his followers, giving instructions through letters. By this time, the flirty fishing ministry was in full operation and the girls eventually became known as "Hookers for Jesus". Moses David would also encourage girls to get money for their ministry from the men they slept with in order to keep it going. All these money was funnelled back to the top with the rest of the cult members living in near poverty.

In the '70s and '80s, Moses' instructions letters got even more bizarre and perverse. He encouraged lesbians and homosexuality but had to withdraw his approval when there was a substantial outbreak of it. In 1979, he issued a letter called "My Little Fish", in which he revealed his new fantasy and encouraged his followers to have sex with children. He also encouraged group sex. He suggested that a communion service should be rounded off with group sex, including children. He made public his own incestuous relations with his daughter in a letter entitled "The Devil Hates Sex". He exhorted his followers to do the same with their children. In his book, called Heaven's Children, he decreed, "There are now laws against incest in the Kingdom of God". However, the Aids threat of recent years has put a damper on Moses David and his Family of Love. With the authorities of many countries looking into their practices, Moses David and his sex cult have been forced underground. They are still active though, but they do things on a smaller scale these days. And as for "God's Endtime Prophet" himself, Moses David, no one really knows if he is dead or alive. He was last heard to be living in a remote village in Greece, but he had to flee when his identity was revealed to the local authorities. He would now be in his 80s if he were still alive. But there are many rumours circulated by ex-members of his cult that he is now dead. As for the Children of God, also known as Family of Love, they are still active, spreading their free love, sexual perversion, child abuse and incest. Though they may seem harmless from a liberated point of view, many ex-members continually come forward to testify about how their lives were ruined by the twisted teachings of this evil cult.

The Rajineeshis
This cult was founded by Rajineesh Chandra Mohan. He was born the eldest of 13 children in a middle-class Indian family. A top student in his post-graduate philosophy class, he taught philosophy for 10 years. He was also a painter, a poet, an amateur photographer. A well-read, charming and intensely charismatic individual, his mesmerizing personality attracted many people to him. Rajineesh Chandra Mohan gave himself the tittle of Bhagwan, which means god. Bhagwan can also be rendered "the origination of all things". It is in this vein that the word is translated to mean "Master of the Vagina", the idea being that the female body is the origin of life itself. It is, therefore, symbolic of the origination of all that is in the universe. Rajineesh, however, it was suspected, used the title with mischief. When asked why he called himself "Master of the Vagina", Rajineesh said it was only a joke. But it was as Bhagwan Shree Rajineesh that he was to be known throughout the world.

Its Beliefs
People joined his cult and were promised a utopian future: a world where love ruled. Where there was no sexual hang-ups and where peace and love pervaded. There would be aunited world government and genetic engineering would ensure that only the right number of quality controlled human beings were born each year. Religion would be abolished as everyone's spiritual needs would be met from within themselves. The Master of the Vagina really lived up to his name. Rajineesh justified sexual immorality by teaching yhat sex is divine, and sought to approach Divinity by getting it on with as many of his pretty young "sanyassins" as possible. Whether he attained the spiritual plane of the gods no one knows, but it was speculated that he died of Aids on January 18, 1990. He established his free love sex cult in Bombay in 1969. By this time, many Westerners had heard of him and came flocking to him. By 1974, his following had grown so he moved to Poona, where he established his ashram - a place for worship, meditation and ritual sex. Rajineesh's followers were all clothed in red spectrum colours, hence the nickname - the Red Brigade.

Despite his claims of being a "Champion of the Commoner" and aims to "spread practical spirituality for every man", he taught that only the rich could become spiritual. "That the materially poor can ever be spiritual is absurd!" he said. He reasoned that a poor man would be too busy just trying to survive and that he would have no time for spiritual enlightenment. Right from the start, he sought to prove this point by charging exorbitant admission fees for his religious talks and developing a taste for an ostentatious lifestyle, with a penchant for rolls Royces (he owned 96 of them). In 1981, Rajineesh fled to America, where he set up an ashram in Oregon. There, he sought to build his "Rajineeshpura" - a utopian city for the followers of his cult on a 126 square mile plot of desert. Here in his American ashram, sexual perversion and group orgies were so rampant that children as young as 12 were given instructions on how to use condoms in fear of Aids and venereal disease. He owned four aircraft, a bus fleet, and an enormous armoury - which he used to arm his own private army known as the "Peace Force". This was the time when he was at the peak of his powers and there were 575 meditation centres for followers of his cult all around the world.

However, before Rajineeshpura could be completed, he was arrested in 1985 at Charlotte Douglas International airport in Carolina as his private plane stopped to refuel on its way to Bermuda. The authorities could not arrest him at Rajineeshpura for fear of a showdown between Rajineesh's "Peace Force" and themselves. They were seriously avoiding a confrontation with his heavily armed private army in anticipation of a massive fire fight that would leave many dead. They feared a mini war - such was the power and control of Rajineesh's dominion. The charges against him were for violation of visa regulations. He was given a 10-year suspended sentence and five years probation. He was also ordered to leave America and never return after paying 400,000 dollars in fines and costs. Rajineesh travelled through Greece, Switzerland, England, Ireland, the West Indies and Spain after his trial. But he was refused permission to settle in any of those countries. In 1987, he returned to his original ashram in Poona, where he remained till he died. The inscription on his grave reads:


Never Born, Never Died

Only visited this planet between

December 11, 1931 and January 18, 1990

Under that tombstone lies Bhagwan Shree Rajineesh - the Master of the Vagina. As for his cult? It is still alive and well today, and his teachings are spread by an inner circle of his chosen disciples.

All of the above is not meant to encourage anyone to participate or subscribe to cults and their views or ideology. What I've tried to do is to provide insight and information to the various occult and supernatural practices that exist in the world today. Cults are a spiritual phenomenon and are therefore a part of this. I hope that readers will find this information helpful should they encounter any such group. Not all the cults I have checked out are dangerous, but I hope I have done my bit for society by exposing those that are.

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