This is something that I have had a bit of time (like an hour at work today) to think about and these are some of the suggestions I thought could be made to the people in power as to help them deal with the phenomenon of cults. I will start by giving the (urban) dictionary definition of cult. The (urban) dictionary describes it as:
1. A religious organisation that exercises excessive control over its members
2. A “religion” usually started by some old guy as an excuse to bang teenage runaway girls he gets to join his “alternative-religion”. All rituals somehow involve worship of said old guy’s penis
3. A group, often times though not always religious or spiritual in nature, that is led by a single or small group of leaders. Members are often recruited or by some means persuaded to join, rarely if ever knowing how destructive and harmful a cult can be – rarely knowing that it IS a cult. Though they usually come off as being generous, caring and in the best interests of their members, cults are inherently based on furthering the desires of the cult leaders
Cult leaders commonly use thought reform or “brainwashing”, in conjunction with other methods, to slowly and deliberately reel in more control of said members. In many cases, members may eventually forsake their friends and family (non members are viewed as “wrong” or “bad”) and give up their careers, homes and/or money to the leader.
Note: Not all cults are harmful in nature. Many are benign i.e. Trekkies
I could stop my blog right here after the third definition. This dude covers almost all the bases. It is scary when you think about some of the stuff that is being said could refer to a lot of people we know, and sometimes to ourselves.
However I have a solution to this situation that has arisen from the rise of all these new age religions/cults/weird people doing weird shit and getting away with it. It is legalised. Legalise cults. Yes. Make it legal to have your harem of wives, and have people buying your miracle bricks for a dollar each that will eventually build you a house (a brick in this country is USD$0.15). Thats fine. If you congregation is dumb and full of money and you are ripping them off, go for it.
However I would like to pass a motion that ensures we don’t have crazy cults roaming the streets of Harare passing out flyers written “Get married now! Lot’s of young virgins at the Mapostori Sowe, Mt. Pleasant district!! Get one, get another one also for free!”. No, that can’t be allowed. Instead why not set up a perfectly independent quasi governmental organisation that has to vet these guys.
The leaders have to come for interviews, they have to produce a charter explaining their aims and objectives, the risks they might face, how they intend on recruiting people to their church, and if they are going to require donations from the congregation. Of course it will be a requirement that all rituals that will be done are explained in full. Including how they are carried out. This will allow the organisation to either green light the cult or tell them to quell it and to lay off the drugs.
Every year the cults will be required to register with the Registrar of Cultism, highlighting the number of new members they have and their age ranges. Ideally this quasi governmental organisation’s main role will be like that of censorship boards. To ensure that poor naive people aren’t sucked into a world they were not expecting. One day you are a naive little teenager going to the cinema, a week later you are watching as a house full of people believe that their leader is taking them to a better place by ingesting some poison of some sort, that will kill them.
I mean just look at all the nonsense Ron Hubbard cause with that Scientology nonsense. If there was an opportunity for a censorship board like the one I mentioned had a chance to hear him, they would not have let them out of the meeting. Aliens? Ok I mean really….
I just need a name for the quasi governmental organisation now…..