Universal Medicine: Cult or True Religion

by Rachel Hall Brisbane, Australia

[Sect, Religion or Cult, this post looks at what each means and why Universal Medicine should or should not qualify.]

“…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.

A humorous quotation, but one that is uncomfortably close to reality in light of the many recent incorrect media allegations about Universal Medicine. Cults are claimed to be deceitful; they are claimed to be harmful to their members; they are claimed to be undermining values. Cults are claimed to be just about every bad thing in the book these days. It is often a label that people apply to a group they don’t like or understand; it is a derogatory and highly emotive term that carries numerous connotations. However, labels are ubiquitous in religious argument: cult, sect, apostate, pagan, heretic, antichrist… and so on. Call someone a name and you don’t have to refute their argument – it makes it easy to toss it aside as the workings of a potentially crazed mind rather than something that may be of value, truth and substance.Why are there two separate words in the English language – cult and religion – that are understood by most to refer to two separate things? Calling new religions ‘cults’ is a very clever scare tactic used by the older religions in order to protect their market share. Christianity sees other religions that do not follow its version of doctrine as cults… so that makes all Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, followers of Islam plus all other religions, and thus a very large proportion of the population, cult members on those grounds.

The Roman Catholic Church for example has been around ever since Constantine. He was a Roman emperor who used Christianity, which was a small cult at the time, as a means to impose his belief systems on the bishops; so he promulgated the council of Nicaea and thereby gained control of the populus.1 Now, over 1500 years later, people in Catholic churches today still recite the creed set down by Constantine.

Many people question the Catholic Church and other religions, seeing them as some of the biggest cults in the World today: they are viewed by many as man-made constructs which have the potential to lead millions of people astray. Religion in its current form has become divisive due to its many man-made and dualistic doctrines which continue to divide, separate and cause wars.

For many, unless you are a believer in a faith, there is often no difference between a religion and a cult. Just because there are two words for something does not mean that they refer to two qualitatively different things. When does a bush become a tree? Does it matter where the cut off point is?… both are green and leafy and essentially the same thing. Could the same then be applied for the words religion and cult? What defines one from the other – is it a matter of lineage, age, numbers and acceptability over something more modern with smaller numbers and more innovative or challenging concepts? Many common religious terms lack a generally accepted, single, current definition; this leads to confusion over the meanings of certain religious terms, such as Christian, cult, hell, heaven, occult, Paganism, salvation, Witch, Witchcraft, Universalist, etc. A reader must often look at the context in which the word is used in order to guess at the intent of the writer.

One of the most confusing and dangerous religious terms is “Cult”. The word is derived from the French word “culte” which came from Latin noun “cultus.” The latter is related to the Latin verb “colere” which means “to worship or give reverence to a deity.”2 Thus, in its original meaning, the term “cult” can be applied to any group of religious believers. However, the term has since been assigned new and very different meanings. The original meaning of “cult” remains positive; more recent definitions are neutral, negative, or extremely negative.

Theological usage: The Oxford English Dictionary defined “cult” as:

“worship; reverential homage rendered to a divine being or beings”

“a particular form or system of religious worship; especially in reference to its external rites and ceremonies”

“devotion or homage to a particular person or thing.”

This is the historical meaning of the word, but is rarely today heard outside of religious circles.

Sociological usage:  A small religious group that exists in a state of tension with the predominant religion. Hinduism might be considered a cult in North America3; Christianity might be considered a cult in India.

General religious usage:  A small, recently created, religious organisation which is often headed by a single charismatic leader and viewed as a spiritually innovative group. A cult in this sense may simply be a new religious movement on its way to becoming a denomination. The Christian religion, as it existed in 30 CE, might be considered a cult involving one leader and 12 or 70 devoted disciples as followers.

Negative meanings: Any religious group which deviates from historical Protestant Christian beliefs is seen as a cult. This definition would include mainline and liberal Christian denominations, Islam, Hinduism and all of the other religions of the world. The vast majority of humanity would belong to cults, by this definition.

Very negative meaning: Popular media usage: A cult is considered a small, evil religious group, often with a single charismatic leader, that engages in brainwashing and other mind control techniques.

There are those who provide lists of what cults do which is criminal, antisocial or just bad; be it heretical beliefs, brainwashing, authoritarianism, involvement in political intrigues, financial skulduggery and/or sexual perversion. The problem here is that there is no behaviour found in the so-called ‘cults’ that cannot also be found in mainstream religions and in society in general.

From the above vastly differing and widely ranging definitions it can be seen that one person’s cult can be another’s true religion.

The label ‘cult’ has been used to disparage and sometimes to justify discrimination. No-one is likely to say that they themselves belong to a cult – what makes it a cult is that other people call it a cult. The Chinese have banned Falun Gong as an evil cult, while in England it is accepted as a variation of a qigong spiritual exercise. In Russia one finds the Catholic church described as a cult4; in Catholic Belgium a government report listed many Christian religions like the Quakers as cults,5 or rather, ‘sectes’ – the concept of a cult being reserved in the French language for more acceptable religions.

It is impossible to generalise about the characteristics of so-called cults – every generalisation can be refuted by at least some of their number. If someone holding a different viewpoint, belief or way of life makes them a cult member, then every person on the planet belongs to their own cult. When we allow and accept groups of people with similar ways and ideologies as being labelled “cult”, instead of for example, a spiritual group or new religious movement, the implications are far reaching and even damaging. The members of that group then have to justify and defend their position, way of life, beliefs and all that they represent. Throughout history new religions have been treated with fear and suspicion – they are, after all, challenging the status quo with their new beliefs and practices. Early Christians were thrown to the lions, Cathars were burned at the stake, and Jehovah’s Witnesses were gassed at Auschwitz. Thus one might argue that unpopular religions can be discriminated against with relative ease throughout the world when they are labelled, and thus made into, “cults”.

The label ‘Universal Medicine cult’ has been incorrectly applied by the media to describe an organisation that teaches of deep self-care, gentleness, equality and love. If love is a cult so be it – as stated above, one person’s cult is another’s true religion. And thus for many who have experienced Universal Medicine there is only one cult that is worth something and that is the cult of Love – an equal love for humanity, for self and for God.

References

  1. http://www.eaec.org/cults/romancatholic.htm
  2. http://www.nvcc.edu/home/lshulman/cults.htm
  3. http://www.religioustolerance.org/amer_intol.htm
  4. http://www.religioustolerance.org/rt_russi.htm
  5. http://www.religioustolerance.org/rt_belgi.htm

194 thoughts on “Universal Medicine: Cult or True Religion

  1. “And thus for many who have experienced Universal Medicine there is only one cult that is worth something and that is the cult of Love – an equal love for humanity, for self and for God” – could not agree more Rachel! And I will add to that: could it be that CULT could be taken out of context from the word CULTure of God…Something to ponder on.

  2. A very powerful quote from Leo Pfeffer, which along with your excellent blog Rachel, shows how the same activity can be labelled depending on one’s emotional bias. The key part to ‘religion’ is defined as a living relationship with God… a noble and essential aspect of all of our existences. The labels that get bandied about are responsible for cutting off or restricting people’s access to this, and the potential harm that it creates is devastating.

    1. I agree Simon, to cut someone off from feeling that relationship with God in whatever form it takes by deriding their belief with sensational labels, is abhorrent and so wrong for the long term harm it can do.

    2. Leo’s definition is an easy way to understand what a cult is. I’m totally with you Simon on cutting off or restricting people’s access and causing potential harm. What right does the media or any individual have in labelling a true religion as a cult if they have not experienced it for themselves or at least investigated the religion.

  3. An awesome blog Rachel, thank you for starting this conversation. For me, the word cult seems to stem from ‘Occult’, meaning: ‘The Culture of God’ – something that each of us have access to deep within and that does not need our belief in it in order to exist – we simply choose to connect to this or not. When we do not live what is our true culture – our love, our truth, our light – we are able to be served a truncated version of this, hence the term ‘cult’, and be seemingly none the wiser. Religions today generally speaking, seem to have less to do with returning to what is true and within us all, and more to do with convincing the world that their version of truth/God is the real one. That is, they desperately need our belief in them in order to exist. If we live what it true from within we will never have to settle for a poor imitation coming at us from without.

    1. Several great points here, Liane. It’s not that we ‘worship or give reverence to a deity’ but that we connect to ‘something that each of us have access to deep within’. If we stay connected to that we do not need anything from the outside and no-one can convince us of anything that we do not feel is true, and being called a cult can’t taint that. As you say many religions today have lost that inner connection and replaced it with the need to believe which is an empty substitute for ‘returning to what is true and within us all’.

    2. I agree with your point about religions starting to be about convincing the world that their version of God is the real one. I have not felt the need to feed anything in my relationship with God since I discovered that it comes from inside me. That is a marked difference from every religion I have studied, every one of those religions stated that they came from love. If I am coming from love, then I don’t need any commandments or reminders about what is right or wrong, I don’t need to seek revenge or forgiveness, I simply live with and from love to the best of my ability.

    3. I would agree with your perception of religions today Liane, and as they are the foundation for many of our societal institutions and thus the current status quo, there is a vested interest in labelling anything outside this a cult. As Rachel so rightly points out, traditional religions are interested in keeping their market share, something that would inevitably diminish if more people started to connect to their truth within and started living from there.

    4. Liane, your comment makes a lot of sense to me. To me, learning to connect to our core selves and develop a relationship with our light, love and truth, is religion. Thank you also to Rachel for such an interesting blog that I feel sure will have me coming back for a re-read.

    5. I love this comment Liane, I absolutely agree with the points you raise. I am living our ‘true culture – our love, our truth, our light’, more and more each day to the best of my ability.

  4. Thanks Rachel for clarifying the various definitions of cult, depending on which country you live in, which dictionary you follow, and whether you follow a particular religion or not. I strongly agree with you that the label ‘Universal Medicine cult’ has been incorrectly and unjustly applied by the media.
    I have only experienced the ancient wisdom being taught here, equality, respect, universal love, self responsibility and how to deeply self-care, and self nurture oneself.

  5. A highly informative and very inspiring blog Rachel Hall. The use of the word ‘cult’ being hurled at others by people who are threatened by and unable to accept how others choose to live (without harm) has certainly brought some totally shocking and unacceptable behaviour to the world – ” Early Christians were thrown to the lions, Cathars were burned at the stake, and Jehovah’s Witnesses were gassed at Auschwitz”.
    And now history is attempting to repeat itself, unable to accept the amazing reflection that Serge Benahon of Universal Medicine brings for all to know equally so – the Ancient Wisdom teachings to offer the way back to a natural and harmonious way of living.

  6. A brilliant blog Rachel – very eye opening and enlightening about the meaning of the word cult and how it’s been used to install fear in people. What strikes me is that modern day life and everything in it could be labelled ‘a cult’ using one of original definitions of the word – “devotion or homage to a particular person or thing.” Does drinking coffee and alcohol make you a member of a cult? Or following a sports team? Or engaging in porn? Food for thought.

    1. Indeed Sandra are we all in society not involved in the worship and devotion to many things and people, such as a particular coffee, alcoholic drink, following a particular person on social media or a tv show. I am very sad if is it is deemed to be in a cult because I practice living from a foundation of self-love and care.

    2. Or following groups in the internet, going to the pub, there could be even more members of cults. I can laugh about this, but it is actually a big thing that is a serious problem. To me it feels as a invention of separation.

  7. The original meaning of the word ‘cult’ is far from the label that we use today ‘to disparage and sometimes to justify discrimination’. However, even the original meaning, “to worship or give reverence to a deity” could be open to misinterpretation as it may suggest that we give power to something outside ourselves. In this sense it is not a positive meaning and could possibly be why it so easily became bastardised as giving power to some ‘charismatic leader [who] engages in brainwashing and other mind control techniques’.

  8. I love your opening quote and what is very interesting is that Universal Medicine simply offers us an opportunity to connect to our essence and the love that we ALL (humans) share within. It is a sorry indictment of the world that we live in that what some people most fear is true love. Perhaps the reason is because when we connect to true love it exposes all that is not love and then we have to take responsibility for our past choices in order to heal the many hurts and wounds we carry. For those that are not ready to take that responsibility and look at themselves they rather do everything they can to destroy that reflection.

  9. The cult word has been hijacked by the tabloid press and is being widely used in a dishonest and sensationalist way. For example I just went to the Daily Telegraph online and limited my search to just their paper which is only one paper in one state in Australia and they have used the word 28,900 times. If you choose their ‘all’ search option it comes up with 181,000 or if you go to Google and type cult you get 132,000,000 hits. Clearly we are all in cults whether they be Christian, Football, Vaccination, Disney or Theromix as branded by The Telegraph.

    1. Absolutely agree Nicola. It is a word that has been stolen and used and abused for sensationalist purposes by the media and as a weapon by anyone who fears or hates another group’s way of living and wants to damage their reputation.

    2. This is a great reflection Nicola, this word is indeed a cheap weapon that is readily banded about with absolute irresponsibility. The media are abusing their powerful role in setting the standard for words and their usage.

    3. The word ‘cult’ is definitely sensationalist, but I agree when brought back to it’s basic definition, Football along with most other things would probably be considered cults too, but they have just become every day normal life. Only if something challenges the normal is it called a ‘Cult’.

      1. I read a great article called “What Makes a Cult?” here: http://universalmedicinefacts.com/what-makes-a-cult. A quote from the opening para: “The Rev Gary Bouma has said that a cult is any group that someone has decided that they do not like. Thus it might surprise the reader that Alcoholics Anonymous, the Salvation Army and the Jehovahs Witnesses have all been labelled cults…” so yes Meg on that basis many would called Football a Cult!

      2. ‘A cult is any group that someone has decided that they do not like’ – that puts a whole new spin on the word ‘cult’, it’s such a shame we attack that which is different or that which we don’t like, instead of increasing our understanding of people.

  10. Thank you Rachel, it was really good to read the breakdown of the history of the word ‘cult’. So much of this is in the eye of the beholder and I get a sense that we see what we want to see to justify the position we want to take. In black and white though, the definitions make it very simple.

  11. “…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.

    The word cult is a great help for the established relations since it helps to put all the wrongs there. “Cults are claimed to be deceitful; they are claimed to be harmful to their members.” What if we suggest to change the word ‘cults’ for ‘established religions’ in the quote above? Would that be unfair or untrue? It is about time that we stop looking to the other side and name things for what they are.

  12. Thank you so much for writing this very down to earth article Rachel. Whilst you may not agree with someone choice in how they live be it culturally or religiously there is certainly no reason to seek to destroy them. The hatred and down-right vile behaviour I have seen my fellow human being behave towards another fellow human being is simply appalling. I never understood it as a child and despite the possibility of being indoctrinated into thinking another person is a low-life compared to who I am and who I associate with, the impositions never stuck … Thank God!

  13. Rachel, you beautifully distinguish here the mis-use of words, in particular the word cult and how branding people is a weapon, a way to try to muzzle them, to consider them other and therefore outside your consideration. There’s an inhumanity in it, as it’s a way to say they are less, that they can be abused – not on. We may disagree with others but we can never dismiss their humanity, their equalness to choose even while we may disagree.

  14. This is a really amazing blog. I’ll be reading this many times. It’s unusual to read anything so in depth about religion or cults to be so neutral and without emotion or bias. It has given me a lot of understanding on this subject, thank you. Reading through it became apparent to me that the world’s religions are man made, and a large part of that could perhaps be attributed to the need for a feeling of protection by belonging to a group. To me it doesn’t make sense that there is one God but man has created many versions of “religion” of that God that divides many.

  15. An article of absolute brilliance Rachel. Seriously, I wish I had read this when you first published it. The opening quote by Leo Pfeffer says it all ! !

    The detail with which you have researched and described the differing meanings of the word cult is so helpful. In fact, it shows how the word has become bastardised and used for malicious purpose over time, to assert power and control, rather than live in equalness which is exactly what Universal Medicine stands for.

    When I googled ‘Cult’ it also came up as a word used with iconic status, in popular media, reflecting groups considered cutting edge with art, culture and design. It is amazing that the origins of the word were actually reverential with respect of the divine. This puts all this cyber bullying attack into perfect clarity for me as the word, like many in our English language has been bastardised for individual gain, keeping us separated and in contempt of one another.

  16. Calling new religions ‘cults’ is a very clever scare tactic used by the older religions in order to protect their market share. It reminds me the politic, especially in the USA where they openly bring each other down to win the selections. It is with no respect to each other then. One way or the other truth will find its way.

  17. A great dissertation on the use of terms such as cult and religion Rachel. Boy have we bastardised the meaning of words, including ‘cult’. And what insidiousness is brought today, by labelling an organisation and/or people as a ‘cult’ or ‘cult members’ – potentially engendering fear and apprehension by the mere use of the word, regardless of its veracity, and in complete neglect of its true meaning.
    Yet it is the ‘accepted’ meaning that currently holds sway that is intentionally played upon – as you say, by an irresponsible media who know it will sell its severely lacking (in integrity and accuracy) copy, and those who would seek to impose harm.
    Quite frankly, I’m with you Rachel: “If love is a cult so be it…” Call love, call a religious way that comes from and does nothing but confirm and expand my own innate relationship with God and all a ‘cult’ if you will. For in its true sense, yes, it marks a lived reverence for all that is sacred, including me. And though falsity may be the intent in the use of the word, this truth I know and live will not be swayed – not one iota.

  18. Wow Rachel, thank you. How the word ‘cult’ has been used and abused to deter us from truly seeing what’s there before us, what’s really going on. It’s a word thrown to dismiss, cut down and discredit and as you say, one person’s cult can be another person’s religion. We still live in a world that condones discrimination and separatism, and indeed supremacy – ‘I don’t like what you believe in so I’ll dismiss it’ under the cult label.
    And here you have a group of people making self-loving choices breaking the trends of exhaustion and illness that plague so many, who live lives of vitality and joy with themselves and each other, and because this pushes the buttons of some, the cult label is used, to dismiss and cut down.
    I’m standing tall to be in the cult of love. Call it whatever you like, what Universal Medicine presents and what I live now every day is a truth I know with every cell of my body. No amount of name-calling, abusing, and cult-calling will change that in any way.

  19. Thanks Rachel for succinctly clarifying the historical background of religion and the changing meaning of the word “Cult’. The changing meaning is clear in it’s manipulation. Having experienced the expansiveness, inclusiveness and openness of Universal Medicine there is no similarity in any way with what the Media insists upon saying. Universal Medicine is absolutely inspiring in it’s integrity and service to Humanity. As you have commented – ‘The label ‘Universal Medicine cult’ has been incorrectly applied by the media to describe an organisation that teaches of deep self-care, gentleness, equality and love’

  20. From what you write Rachel it seems as if the word cult has been bastardised or at the least redefined to negatively slur groups that do not fit into mainstream or what is deemed normal behaviour. But then that is a bit of an misnomer if you consider that the catholic church has had many scandals over a great many years, yet is deemed normal as it sits within the mainstream and is very powerful. Surely all religions should first do no harm to another. What I love about Universal Medicine is how it is completely harmless to others and respectful of everyone’s free choice, for sure an organisation should be investigated if it is suspected of dangerous practices, but in the case of Universal Medicine the many investigations carried out on it have shown this is clearly not the case.

  21. Great expose on the word cult Rachel. It has very negative connotations today with the media, most damaging is of being somewhat brainless and being manipulated. This is so far from the truth that it would be laughable if the media wasn’t so powerful and if stories disappeared but today they live on in the internet and can never be deleted so anyone searching Universal Medicine can find these lies and will naturally be suspicious and maybe turned off exploring the wonderful offerings of teachings as shared by Serge Benhayon. It is a crime what has happened and continues to happen. I look forward to the day when those responsible for the crimes are prosecuted.

  22. What your article has made me ponder on Rachel is how, with the media’s active participation in this, we can twist and pervert a word and a concept to extreme degrees with alienation and huge misunderstanding as a result. The word ‘cult’ has been used to dismiss and discriminate and utterly disempower.

    1. It has Katerina, as I say the word ‘cult’ to myself, I can feel what it does in my body…it feels like a closing down, a shutting down or a shrinking. So linking the word cult with any organisation stops people exploring or looking into it for themselves. Using the word cult feels like a weapon against an organisation and calling Universal Medicine a cult feels like pure evil at work to me.

  23. A very good analysis of the meaning of the world cult past and present. The problem we all have is the bastardisation of words and the even bigger problem is that we do not even realise how big a problem this is. Without truth in the meaning of words we are all lost and this is what bastardisation of meanings does for us. This is why the Unimedpedia project is so vital to us all. Bringing back the true meanings of words and anchoring them so that they can not be bastardised is no small task but one which is under way and well worth a browse through: http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia

    1. Absolutely Doug, its become impossible to open the conversation when the words themselves have become so tirelessly re-interpreted to suit man’s needs. Without truth and the meaning of words we are lost, Unimedpedia have got self out of way and are sifting through eons of mud to get to the gold, the true power & purpose of these living words.

      1. Beautifully said lucindag, sifting through the mud to get to the gold. Few know about the Unimedpedia project as yet but one day it will be huge. The team working on it will be seen as the giants they are.

  24. I love this blog, it is very thought provoking and true. Words can be used in very misleading ways and unless we are willing to feel what is actually going on, this can own us.

  25. If you take one of the new meanings of the world cult which denotes any organisation that insists or influences its’ ‘congregation’ follow a particular line of thinking or dogma essentially taking away a person’s free will and choice then this is contra to everything Universal Medicine stands for and to what I’ve experienced with this particular organisation. It is important to discuss the original meanings and intentions of words but irrespective there is nothing sinister in relation to Universal Medicine. This is an organisation that has its foundation in love along with integrity and truth.

  26. This is a thoughtful and long overdue and brave examination of the word ‘cult’, its origins and impact. As a word we find that ‘cult’ is no longer neutral, has several meanings depending on who uses it and for what reason and has been misused and abused. In today’s usage it has become predominantly emotionally charged, discredits and undermines any organisation that it is directed at, challenges the status quo and/or presents truth. To label any organisation a cult, is deliberate and designed to strike fear and suspicion in the eyes of everyday onlookers and keep them away. Fortunately, there are many people with direct experience of Universal Medicine, when if asked will testify the truth: that it is an organisation working to save humanity from itself through wise and practical teachings designed for all people. Through Universal Medicine many people’s lives have been transformed beyond all recognition and these same people are now working and living steady, purposeful and loving lives, not just for themselves but everyone they come into contact with.

  27. Rachel thank you. Re-reading your blog was a revelation.. The knowledge you’ve presented, exposes, the games, lies, distortions of the media, and all who use language to harm others or incite hate. You have also inspired me and many to stand steady and not live in fear of abusers wherever and whoever they may be.

  28. Beauty-fully written Rachel Hall. The terminology of the word cult needs a proper explanation. True love is what I have rediscovered through Universal Medicine, an organization that presents about a one-unified Truth. Truth is equal for all. How many religions or groups have a one-unified Truth?

  29. What a great article thank you Rachel, showing how we have allowed words and their true meaning to be bastardised over the years. Universal Medicine is an organisation that teaches deep self-care, gentleness, equality and love, and – ‘an equal love for humanity, for self and for God’. What all of humanity deep down are searching for.

  30. Thank you Rachel for such a great blog, it is inspiring to read. I feel a sense of joyfulness, belonging to Universal Medicine,” the culture of an equal love for humanity for self and for God”. simply beautiful.

  31. I can feel how, having been labelled as a member of a cult, incites in me a need to defend to have the label revoked. It is clear that this label is used for the precise reasons of the people disseminating it to have to avoid an open dialogue. It actually feels like there is an awareness that this is a ‘battle’ they know they cannot win, hence throwing the word ‘cult’ out there is simply a delay tactic for facing the inevitable.

  32. It seems utterly ridiculous for the media to label an organisation such as Universal Medicine as a cult with the connotation they intend to imply with it. For teaching ‘deep self care, gentleness, equality and love’ is hardly something that could ever evoke serious concern like the labelling intends to do. There is no harm to be concerned of … other than of course, the media’s willingness to harm others through labelling for their own profit.

  33. It is really interesting Rachel to have this detailed break down of what cult means. The word as you say is used emotively and to read about the actual meaning and what emphasis the word holds relative to time and place throughout history is actually quite liberating. It is easy to go into reaction and defend universal medicine by saying “its not a cult” and true is it isn’t if stated with that evil meaning. But understanding the word more and how it’s used, can leave one open to a wiser response, no matter how another is using it.

  34. ““…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” Leo Pfeffer.” Great quote Rachel, amply verified by the treatment dished out by the detractors on social media.

  35. ” Religion in its current form has become divisive due to its many man-made and dualistic doctrines which continue to divide, separate and cause wars.” But have we bastardised the definition of religion? What if it just means having a relationship – from religare meaning to tie or bind. As Doug mentions in a previous comment – ‘Bringing back the true meanings of words and anchoring them so that they can not be bastardised is no small task but one which is under way and well worth a browse through: http://www.unimedliving.com/unimedpedia.’

  36. Free will implies you are allowed to believe, endorse and follow whatever you so choose, and choosing to endorse something does not make you part of a cult! It’s simply a word used to incite terror, and bring down something that is truly wonderful – a way of life that endorses love, care and respect first and foremost – what could be better?

  37. You make some great points Rachel and I love this line…’If love is a cult so be it – as stated above, one person’s cult is another’s true religion.’ People are so easy to label something looking from the outside.

  38. Religion has caused great separation for humanity with factions fighting against each other saying that they hold the true religion. It seems so ridiculous because when you take away the religious garments, the religious rituals, the rules etc etc….we are simply left with the simple fact that skin deep we are all the same, we are all equal, and we all want the same thing – to love & be loved.

  39. Great quote Rachel…’“…if you believe in it, it is a religion or perhaps ‘the’ religion; and if you do not care one way or another about it, it is a sect; but if you fear and hate it, it is a cult.” – that highlights how easily we can label something based on subjective opinion or how we would like to see things.

  40. “Calling new religions ‘cults’ is a very clever scare tactic used by the older religions in order to protect their market share” – what a great line that clearly pulls back the curtains to see one of the truths of this matter.

  41. I loved your introductory quote by Leo Pfeffer. It made me realise how many fear and hate things they either don’t understand or believe are unattainable to them, and to label something is easier than understanding what it is truly about, and when it’s about love the easiest thing is to run away from it and call it a cult, that way you don’t need to question any of your own actions. Universal Medicine helped me understand all that I knew to be true, but wasn’t aware of until the truth was presented to me.

  42. This shows how many words have been not used in their true original meaning and in this case even used to mean the opposite in many instances. When I hear the word cult, I hear the very negative version but to read the original true meaning of the word is very healing. Thank you.

  43. Thank you Rachel, what a great article you have written on the word ‘cult.’ So many interpretations of the one words depending on where you are coming from. It seems through the ages that any new religious group is looked upon as a cult because it is different and threatening to the status quo, it seems after this rejection the idea of cult slowly wears off as the group continues to grow and be known.

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