Option of voluntary exit tells between cults and normal religions?

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,283
Brassicaland
#1
I posted a previous thread on leaving religions.
Christianity has the largest number of former members, but former members often talk of harassments and pressures from their previous fellow believers.
Islam has the toughest exit policy, which often means "once you are in, you cannot regret".
Buddhism is noted for its tolerant exit policy; apart from some Pureland believers who often claim "doom" for previous believers, it is generally believed "the time is not ripe yet".
Can others give more examples?
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,977
Lago Maggiore, Italy
#2
Curiously enough when my mother and me left the Jehowa's Witnesses, contrary to what urban legends say, we had no problems at all. I'm still in good relations with some JW.

But I cannot generalize, JW world is wide and complicated and usually they are not very social with whom abandons them.

Anyway there is a difference in their behavior between a person who leaves and a person who is expelled from the congregation.

An expelled person becomes substantially impure and a subject to avoid, totally.
 
Dec 2011
586
Perth
#3
Gday VHS and AlpinLuke :)

Haha -
I thought you were referring to this sort of voluntary exit :
" There is a doctrine whispered in secret that man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door and run away; this is a great mystery which I do not quite understand. Yet I too believe that the gods are our guardians, and that we are a possession of theirs. "
From Plato's Phaedo: The Death of Socrates, on suicide.


Kapyong
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,283
Brassicaland
#4
Gday VHS and AlpinLuke :)

Haha -
I thought you were referring to this sort of voluntary exit :
" There is a doctrine whispered in secret that man is a prisoner who has no right to open the door and run away; this is a great mystery which I do not quite understand. Yet I too believe that the gods are our guardians, and that we are a possession of theirs. "
From Plato's Phaedo: The Death of Socrates, on suicide.


Kapyong
I'm not getting this philosophical in this case; it just means the leave from a religion.

AlpinLuke said:
Curiously enough when my mother and me left the Jehowa's Witnesses, contrary to what urban legends say, we had no problems at all. I'm still in good relations with some JW.

But I cannot generalize, JW world is wide and complicated and usually they are not very social with whom abandons them.

Anyway there is a difference in their behavior between a person who leaves and a person who is expelled from the congregation.

An expelled person becomes substantially impure and a subject to avoid, totally.
It is thankful that your mother and your leave from JW doesn't leave many problems.
I read on a Hong Kong ex-Christian site about ex-Christians being harassed or pressured to join again.
Why is Islam considered a major cult? It doesn't tolerate leaving in any forms.
 

Belgarion

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,587
Australia
#5
A cult will attempt to isolate you from your previous associations, from family and friends, it will attempt to destroy your self-esteem and convince you that you are nothing without the cult, it will discourage questioning of doctrine, it will have a charismatic leadership figure who is the source of all wisdom, and it will make it very difficult to leave, including the use of force to prevent you leaving.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,283
Brassicaland
#7
A cult will attempt to isolate you from your previous associations, from family and friends, it will attempt to destroy your self-esteem and convince you that you are nothing without the cult, it will discourage questioning of doctrine, it will have a charismatic leadership figure who is the source of all wisdom, and it will make it very difficult to leave, including the use of force to prevent you leaving.
Even Christians and Mahayana Buddhists may threaten or insult their former fellows; they believe the leavers have lost their salvation.
Islam is the most extreme in this case.

nat47 said:
Sikhism teaches that all religions lead to God. There, however, have been reports of individuals and their families getting death-threats for leaving Sikhism. There also has been the establishment of organizations in India, such as the Sikh Youth of Punjab, which aims to counter growing apostasy amongst Sikh youths.

Also see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_A._Wright
When religions suffer from declining membership, they often try to earn something back; unfortunately, most religions are based on hope, fear, and illusion.

I enjoy Bertrand Russell's conclusion on Why I am not a Christian:


WHAT WE MUST DO
We want to stand upon our own feet and look fair and square at the world—its good facts, its bad facts, its beauties, and its ugliness; see the world as it is, and be not afraid of it. Conquer the world by intelligence, and not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it. The whole conception of God is a conception derived from the ancient Oriental despotisms. It is a conception quite unworthy of free men. When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not so good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past, or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time towards a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,283
Brassicaland
#8
The number of Ex-Christians and Ex-Muslims is growing for sure; then, the fairly substantial Christian and Muslim circles like to silence such voices.
Curiously enough when my mother and me left the Jehowa's Witnesses, contrary to what urban legends say, we had no problems at all. I'm still in good relations with some JW.

But I cannot generalize, JW world is wide and complicated and usually they are not very social with whom abandons them.

Anyway there is a difference in their behavior between a person who leaves and a person who is expelled from the congregation.

An expelled person becomes substantially impure and a subject to avoid, totally.
It is an interesting look here; Jehovah's Witness is a controversial group; to call it a cult, it usually abides to social norms and laws; to call it a legitimate religion, it still has a few cult-like practices.
The Christian Bible includes passages that "once a Christian, always a Christian"; this is patently untrue in the real world.
ExChristian.Net is quite a vocal site.
Christians and Muslims often accuse Bahai' of being a cult.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#9
The number of Ex-Christians and Ex-Muslims is growing for sure; then, the fairly substantial Christian and Muslim circles like to silence such voices.
Since Christisnity and Islam are the 2 biggest religions, it is not surprising that they would have the most number of ex members.



It is an interesting look here; Jehovah's Witness is a controversial group; to call it a cult, it usually abides to social norms and laws; to call it a legitimate religion, it still has a few cult-like practices.
The Christian Bible includes passages that "once a Christian, always a Christian"; this is patently untrue in the real world.
ExChristian.Net is quite a vocal site.
Christians and Muslims often accuse Bahai' of being a cult.
I don't know of any where in the Bible that says "once a Christian, always a Christian". Perhaps you can point out where? There are passages that seem to imply that Christians could and did voluntarily like leave the faith.

As for the word cult, I have read that it really means any religion we don't like, and the term is not well defined.


Historians talk about the cult of Mithras, but they mean something different than when we say the Moonies are a cult.
 

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