Confronting The Cults

Confronting The Cults

Confronting The Cults

We begin in this
issue a regular series the purpose of which
is to expose the error in various cults we find operating in the
world today. This series will continue into the foreseeable
future. Because of limitations of space and the vast number of
cults, our expose will be more of an overview than an in-depth
analysis, but in each case, it will contain all that is necessary
to demonstrate the error of each cult when measured by Bible
truth.

DEFINITION OF A CULT

There are several marks of a cult. For the purpose of our
definition, we use the Bible, the Word of God, as the measure,
the plumbline, and the arbiter of what is truth. Here are some of
the most important indicators –

CONTROL One of the strongest indicators that
marks a group as a cult is when there is a form of strong control
over people’s lives. One well known cult in the city in
which I live will not allow any businessman to make a decision
without approval from the leadership, regardless of the fact that
other Directors of that business may not belong to the church.
Nor will this church allow a boy and girl to date without prior
approval! This is overbearing and dangerous. One needs to be free
to come, free to go, and also free to question doctrine and
decisions within the framework and in the marvelous way the Bible
allows without mind control in operation.

SUBMISSION The leadership are not answerable
or in submission to other Godly men inside, but especially
outside of the fellowship. When there is no accountability there
is a seed-bed of cultism lying in wait.

ONE WAY – OUR WAY They say we have the
truth exclusively, or we have exclusive truth, and/or are the
only way to salvation.

BUNKER MENTALITY Contact with those outside
the church is limited and discouraged. Friendship or meals with
outsiders banned or strongly discouraged unless leadership is
present.

HERESY When laws and regulations concerning
membership of Christ’s body are put in place in opposition
to clear Bible Teaching, or scripture or "holy" writings are
added or deleted from the Bible, we have cult behavior in
operation.

IDOLATRY Any place where Jesus Christ is not
Lord and Lord alone!! No idol, man, woman, angel, or prophet can
receive prayers and worship unless there is a cult mentality. No
substitute or sharing of worship of the risen Lord and His
absolute Divinity is possible under God’s holy law.

DOCTRINAL ERROR Alternative teaching to
foundational truth (eg Jesus not Son of God, Trinity does not
exist; free love acceptable; once saved, always saved; etc.) This
is not always cultism, but doctrinal error is always going to be
a breeding ground for further error, which can be a result of
trying to make previous error fit certain Scriptures.

RITES Any practice of rites or initiations
outside of Scripture teaching which must be undergone to attain
membership. This includes the formalism of tradition and liturgy,
especially when these things have been birthed from a
non-Biblical source.

There are three main streams of "cult culture." The first
stream centres or places the emphasis in their belief system on
end times teaching and prophecy. Christadelphians and
Jehovah’s Witnesses are examples. The second stream pursue
the "god is everywhere" theme of Gnostic pantheism, with
Christian Science being one of the most well-known here. The
third group majors on strong priesthood models, with secret
signs, rituals and symbols. We need look no further than the
Mormons as a prime example.

There are other "fringe" streams where a cult does not fit
easily into any of the above categories. We will address that
when we deal with them in future issues of The Omega Times.
Finally, there are Christian churches who once were mainstream in
a doctrinal sense, but have become "cultish" because they have
strayed, or are straying, away from safe Bible doctrine. Perhaps
these are the most dangerous of all as many church attenders are
unaware that they are actually fellowshipping in such a
situation. Perhaps this series of articles will be a help to
those who have been up till now unaware that they are
fellowshipping in suspect circumstances.

This short introduction now brings us to examine a cult church
which is very much in the news lately. It is the only one we will
deal with in this edition.

SCIENTOLOGY

L. Ron Hubbard

This group almost deserve
their own stream in cult culture, although some elements of the
2nd and 3rd streams above do fit. Yet this group are unique in
many ways, and the reason is this. The founder of Scientology,
Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911-1986) was originally a science
fiction writer, who proclaimed in a New Jersey science fiction
convention, "Writing for a penny a word is ridiculous. If a man
really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to
start his own religion." He did! - And the teachings of
Scientology unsurprisingly bear all the hallmarks of science
fiction.

In 1950 Hubbard published "Dianetics: A Modern Science of
Mental Health." This was quickly followed by a book on
Scientology, and the Church of Scientology was then formed in
1954. He was married 3 times, bigamously on the second occasion
as he had not divorced his first wife at that stage. He was
connected to satanist Alister Crowley’s black magic cult
through Sara Northrup, the second wife. She first met Hubbard at
occult meetings held in Pasadena by Jack Parsons, a disciple of
Crowley. In a letter to Crowley, Parsons spoke highly of
Hubbard’s knowledge of the rituals.

Scientology is as different a religion as you could find, but
like many false religions, it has a self-realisation goal. This
goal for any practicing Scientologist is to "clear" the reactive
mind from interrupting the analytical mind, which in their view
is perfect and never makes a mistake. The reactive mind works on
stimulus and response, holding mental pictures of past
experiences, called "engrams," and these, according to
Scientology make man "mad, inefficient and ill."

The Scientologist uses the principles of Dianetics to remove
"engrams" which can be carried over from past lives. Once a
person becomes "clear" they are on the road to assuming the next
stage of man, which is a god-like being they call homo novis.
Amazingly, Hubbard taught that a person becoming "clear" would
have improved sight, increased IQ, and would be able to think 120
times faster than normal. Sounding like a quack patent medicine
peddler from the Wild West, Hubbard also claimed potential
benefits for a "clear" was that it stopped ear-ringing and saved
marriages!

The October 16th issue of Newsweek magazine in 1950 carried an
article by Dr Morris Fishbeck, former editor of the Journal of
the American Medical Association, warning people about mind
healing cults … like Dianetics. Psychologist Eric Fromm
said that Dianetics "Has no respect for and no understanding of
the complexities of personality." He said that Hubbard had
saturated Dianetics in "Over-simplified truths, half-truths, and
plain absurdities."

Another problem is the lack of "clears." In 1950, in the
Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, 4000 people came to see the
first "clear." Sonya Bianca from Boston, was announced as having
perfect recall and could remember every moment of her life. When
the audience questioned her, she could not remember basic physics
formulas, or the colour of Hubbard’s tie, which she had
seen moments before.

The e-meter used to "clear" the reactive mind

Hubbard explained the meaning of Scientology as "knowing about
knowing" or the "Science of Knowledge." But the religious nature
of Scientology is obvious, with ministers often dressing in black
clergy garments with a cross hanging around their neck.
Hubbard’s discovery of the "Thetan" adds to this religious
element. In Scientology, a Thetan is a timeless entity which
reincarnates in interplanetary life forms. The cleared Thetan
must learn to gain control over his environment and become an
"Operating Thetan"(OT.) MEST (matter, space, energy, time) are
the physical universe which the OT can poten- tially control by
operating independently of his body by "exteriorization" which is
similar to astral travel.

QUICK FACTS

Hubbard taught that man is basically good. He said, "It is
despicable and utterly beneath contempt to tell a man he must
repent, he is evil." Biblical Christianity teaches that
man’s nature is basically evil.(Romans 3:10) Jesus
specifically told men to repent and said they were evil. (Matthew 4:17; Matthew 7:11)

Scientology teaches that the Bible is a by-product of Hindu
Scriptures, and Hubbard said Jesus Christ was just a shade above
"clear."

Teaches eight dynamics, with the ultimate reality being the
eighth dynamic which is infinity, or the urge to exist as
infinity or God. (Remember satan’s lie in the Garden of
Eden –"you shall be as God’s?")

God or gods may exist, but each person must decide for
themselves. Reincarnation sufficiently explains man’s
existence, but Scientology is the freedom from incarnation. The
Bible says, "It is appointed once for man to die, but after this
the judgement." (Hebrews 9:27)

Scientology’s Celebrity Centre uses well known people
for endorsements, many of whom are members. Some of these are
Priscilla Presley, Kirstie Alley, Lou Rawls, Tom Cruise, Isaac
Hayes and John Travolta.

CONCLUSION

Hubbard is just another in the long line of charlatans who
have been doing a great job on the devil’s behalf in
leading gullible men and women to hell. The Apostle Peter dealt
with Hubbardian theories long ago when he recorded in 2 Peter 1:16,
"We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we
made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
but were eye-witnesses of His majesty." One feels overwhelming
grief and sadness that an occultic science fiction writer has
captured the souls of an estimated 8 million adherents, having
purposely set out to create his own religion. If only they had
read the Word that prophesies that in the last days, many false
Christs will rise…