Is Scientology a Cult?
Though Katie Holmes has not addressed reports that Scientology was a reason she split with Tom Cruise, a former Church of Scientology spokesman said some families, including his own, were torn apart when one spouse wanted to leave the religion. "My wife, my son, my daughter, my mother, they disconnected from me. They will not communicate with me," said Mike Rinder in an interview with Kate Snow airing on Thursday, July 12 at 10pm/9c on NBC's Rock Center with Brian Williams.
Rinder joined the church as a child in Australia and rose to be Scientology's international spokesman before he left the church in 2007. He said he had been unhappy inside the church for a long time, but was afraid to leave because he said the church encouraged members to cut ties with relatives who want to leave.
"Part of that environment is keeping track of how people think…it's a crime to…think bad thoughts about what's going on and people will turn you in. Even your spouse will turn you in or your children will turn you in and then you'll be in trouble," he said.
You can find a list of characteristics of cults at
You can use this list to evaluate the behavior of religious organizations and determine if they could properly be classified as cults. To me, the common thread to these characteristics is the insistence that the individual forego personal thought, devotion to personal relationships and personal goals and concentrate all time and effort to achieving only those thoughts, goals and relationships approved by cult leadership.
I rejoice that our organization encourages member to develop a personal concept of deity and welcomes input from a variety pf perspectives. Before I was appointed moderator of this group, I was an active member for some time. I still consider myself a member with the same right to voice my thoughts and feelings as any other member. But my personal thoughts and opinions are exactly that. Nothing more. I do not expect anybody to take my words as gospel. In fact, it makes me happy when my posts spark debate and discussion. This means the forum is serving its purpose to expose people to new perspectives and ideas and thus achieve a broader understanding of deity.
I think they call that growth. I consider that a good thing.