Sociology Review Article- 'Cults and 'Normal' Religions

A mindmap on the article from Sociology Review. Notes on what a cult is and why they are seen as bad.

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  • Sociology Review- 'Cults' and 'Normal' Religions
    • The Term 'Cult'
      • This term is used to describe a religious movement that is contraversial.
        • Public concerns of cults are strong
      • Some governments have passed laws to stop cults.
      • This term covers a wide range of religious movements, including non-violent ones.
    • Characteristics of a Cult
      • Small in size
      • Cut off from mainstream society
      • Inward-looking
      • Dominated by a charasmatic leader
      • Orientated towards making money
      • Ruthless in their recruitment methods
      • Manipulative to members
      • Becase of these characteristsics, it appears that cults are far from 'normal religions'
        • But research has found the boundaries are not that clear cut
    • Some cults do not follow these characteristics,.
      • In some 'normal religions', they do follow cult characteristics
        • In some large Christian denominations, sexual abuse, racism and cruelty to children was found. This displays members being minipulated.
    • There is no evidence to show that cults are unique.
      • Expliotation, abuse and manipulation can be found in virtually all religious organisations.
    • Sociologists argue that this negative stereotype cults have is because of
      • the historical processes of state information
      • The spread of global communication
      • The decline of mainstream religions


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