Category Archives: Cults

#7 Post of 2013 – You Might Be In a Cult If…

Post Author: Bill Pratt 

I watched a Dateline special the other night on the FLDS and the downfall of their “prophet,” who is now imprisoned for life. Here are some things I noticed about the FLDS that would apply to other cults as well. You might be in a cult if…

Your leaders tell you to never believe anything anyone says but them.

Your leaders tell you that everyone in the outside world are liars.

You are told to never question what your leadership tells you.

You are discouraged from reading any opinions about important topics outside your group.

You are told that certain things about reality that are obviously true are false.

You are discouraged from interacting with those who disagree with your beliefs.

You find yourself fearing or hating those who disagree with your beliefs.

You are absolutely 100% convinced that everything you’ve been taught by your leaders is true.

You believe that the more you learn on your own, the worse off you’ll be.

You believe that everyone outside your group has totally evil motives.

You have been told that even the smallest doubts about your beliefs will ultimately lead you to ruin.

Ex-Scientologist Reveals Details in New Book

Post Author: Bill Pratt

Ever since I first read about Scientology in Time magazine back in the early 1990’s, I’ve been mystified about why anyone would join up.  The reports in the media about mind control, brainwashing, abuse, and intimidation are legion.  Ex-members and those publicly critical of Scientology are routinely harassed by armies of lawyers and private investigators, according to many sources.

Now there is a new book out by a former high level staffer who was a member of the group for 27 years, Amy Scobee.  Scobee did an interview recently and here are a few excerpts:

You were a member for 27 years. What was the spark plug for your departure?

I became less and less tolerant of the abuse that I witnessed as it got more and more harsh. People were very unhappy, family members were being separated, David Miscavige [the current “leader” of Scientology] committed assault and battery on my friends on numerous occasions.

What are some of the worst things [about Scientology]?

Family disconnection and their manipulation, blackmail and control through the threat of being cut off from family, which has devastating effects, and being denied your “only road to salvation as a spiritual being.”

The way Scientology goes after critics. It’s their policy to utterly annihilate the credibility of anyone speaking out against the “church.” They have done brutal things in the past along these lines and are still pulling these stunts currently.

Another key thing is INFORMATION CONTROL. This is a form of mind control. If one controls what you can and can not see or hear, one is unable to make a rational decision about that matter. Scientology specializes in information control — one is banned from upper levels of “spiritual enlightenment’ if it is discovered that you read anything negative about Scientology or talked to someone about it.

Germany recently declared Scientology a cult. Do you think that’s an accurate definition?

Yes — I believe Scientology is actually a dangerous cult. By definition, a “destructive cult” is a religion or other group which has caused or has a high probability of causing harm to its own members or to others. Some researchers define “harm” in this case with a narrow focus, specifically groups which have deliberately physically injured or killed other individuals, while others define the term more broadly and include emotional abuse among the types of harm inflicted. Both physical and spiritual/mental abuse has occurred, and from what I understand is continuing to occur, within Scientology — at its highest ranks. I observed quite a bit of such destructive action and this is detailed in my new book.

Read the full article for more on this dangerous organization.

Deacons in the LDS Church?

Post Author: Darrell

Boys in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church) are ordained to the office of Deacon at the age of 12. This office is the most junior in the Aaronic or lesser Priesthood and is followed by the office of Teacher and the office of Priest. Young men progress through each of these offices as they age and are eventually given the Melchizedek or higher Priesthood and ordained to the office of Elder.

I have always been puzzled at how this LDS practice compares with the teachings of The Bible. Let’s take a look at 1 Timothy 3:8-13.

Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.

Paul shares a lot of information in these few short verses: 1) The moral qualities of Deacons – sober, sincere, and trustworthy; 2) The maturity of Deacons – tested, able to understand and keep deep truths of the Christian faith; and 3) The living situation of those who serve as Deacons – husband of one wife, able to manage his children and his household.

Here is the million dollar question: Do any of these standards sound like something a 12-year-old boy can meet? Personally, I do not see how. First, a 12-year-old child is not old enough to have a wife or children, so how can he be the husband of one wife? How can he manage his children or household well? In addition, a 12-year-old boy is not mature enough to understand the deep truths of the Christian faith, so how can he prove he has lived them? He has not lived long enough to be “tested” in anything except maybe a tough Playstation 3 game!

The LDS Church claims to be the restoration of early church of Jesus Christ; however, it is pretty obvious that at least in regards to the office of Deacon, they are way off base. Bottom line – this is just another example of how the teachings and practices of the LDS Church violate those of The Bible.

God Bless!

Darrell

The Mean Man Who Does (Not?) Bow Down

Post Author: Darrell

In my last post, I discussed one of the areas where Joseph Smith plagiarized and changed verses from The Bible.  Let’s take a look at another example.  Chapter 12 of 2 Nephi in The Book of Mormon is taken directly from Isaiah chapter 2.  However, there are a few areas where Smith made changes.  Verses 8 & 9 in Isaiah read as follows:

 8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: 9 And the mean man boweth down, and the great man humbleth himself: therefore forgive them not. 

Isaiah is talking about how some men were bowing down to the work of their own hands: idols.  They had turned away from The Lord and had chosen to worship false gods.  Therefore, they were not to be forgiven.  Now, let’s take a look at these two verses in The Book of Mormon.

8 Their land is also full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made.  9 And the mean man boweth not down, and the great man humbleth himself not, therefore, forgive him not (emphasis mine).

Notice how Smith changed the entire meaning of verse 9 by adding the word not.  Obviously, if one reads verse 9 all by itself, it makes perfect sense to say that a man who does not bow down or humble himself before God should not be forgiven.  However, when read in context with the surrounding verses, adding “not”  in makes this verse utter gibberish, for you are now saying that a man who does not bow down to idols and false gods should not be forgiven by the One True God. 

In his desire to correct the mistakes he thought were in The Bible, Joseph Smith made the classic error of failing to read in context.  He brought his own wisdom to bear on The Word of God, and in the process, the Word of God proved its own worthiness and demonstrated the falseness of his prophetic claims.

Run And Not Grow Weary?

 Post Author: Darrell 

Isaiah chapter 40 is among my favorite chapters in The Bible.  A large portion of the chapter is devoted to contrasting the Lord’s greatness with the meekness of man. Verses 6 and 7 say, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field. The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them.”  Verses 22 and 23 liken men to grasshoppers while verses 25 and 26 say of the Lord:  

To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? . . .  Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength,  not one of them is missing. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing.

We truly have an incredible God!  He knows and names each and every one of the billions of stars, yet He was willing to condescend Himself in order to lift us up!  The promise at the end of chapter 40 in verses 29 – 31 speaks to the great love the Lord has for us:

He [the Lord] gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint [emphasis mine].

If we place our hope in Him alone, He will renew us, strengthen us, and lift us up!  There is nothing we can do to receive this promise; rather, it is something that He does in response to our trusting in Him.  What a wonderful promise!

One of the Mormon Church’s four canonized scriptures, The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C), carries this exact promise in Section 89, also known as the Word of Wisdom.  Among other things, the Word of Wisdom commands Mormons not to partake of coffee, tea, or alcohol.  This commandment is considered so important that obedience to it is a requirement for entering the Temple to receive one’s endowment, an ordinance required for admitance to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom (Mormon Heaven). 

One of the surprising differences between the promise in Isaiah and the promise in D&C 89 is what one must do to receive it.  While The Bible says that all one must do is hope in the Lord, Section 89 says that complete obedience to the Word of Wisdom is required.  Verses 18 – 20 say:   

And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings [the commandments in the Word of Wisdom], walking in obedience to the commandments . . . shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint [emphasis mine].

Why the difference in requirements?  Did the Lord change His mind and decide that He would require more in order to receive this blessing?  Fortunately, we know the answer to that question is an emphatic “No” as The Lord never changes His mind.  Unfortunately, this is just one more example of how Joseph Smith plagiarized The Bible.  There are numerous places throughout Mormon scriptures where Joseph Smith took portions out of The King James Version of The Bible and made blatant changes.  Stay tuned.  I will cover more of these later.

More Strange Tales from the World of Scientology

Post Author: Bill Pratt

I remember the first time I heard of Scientology was in the early 1990’s when I was in Atlanta attending GA Tech.  They ran one of those personality assessment offices in Atlanta and I was curious about who they were.

Then I started doing some reading and discovered some very disturbing things about the “religion” of Scientology.  Over the years, the news about Scientology has progressively become weirder and weirder.  Two days ago this article was published in the St. Petersburg Times.  Read it to see what this cult is like.