Msg#: 1777                                         Date: 09-02-96  22:09
  From: Dirty Lil' Elf                               Read: Yes    Replied: No 
    To: All                                          Mark:                     
  Subj: Cult Eval Scale


An unfortunate trend in the past few years has been that people use
the word "Cult" to mean "religious group *I* have doctrinal
differences with."  The dictionary defines 'cult' as "any sect,
religious group, or group devoted to an ideal', so it seems more
useful to look at what makes any given group more or less DANGEROUS
than any other given group, or, as some of us say, how to identify a

To this end, Isaac Bonewits has developed the CULT DANGER EVALUATION
SCALE.  One takes the 15 questions and scored the group from 1 (low)
to 10 (high) of each of them and adds up the score.  Generally, the
higher the numerical value scored by a given group the more dangerous
it is likely to be.

Isaac is, of course, the ArchDruid of Ar nDraiocht Fein Druid
Fellowship.  And most of you out there know that the ADF is one of the
religious groups I'm a member of, too.  It is also true that I've been
posting this scale on P$ for several years before I joined the ADF,
just because I find it so useful.

1.  INTERNAL CONTROL, amount of internal political power exercised by
    leader(s) over members.
2.  WISDOM CLAIMED by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared
    about decisions.
3.  WISDOM CREDITED to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in
    decisions made by leaders.
4.  DOGMA, rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal
5.  RECRUITING, emphasis put on attracting new members amount of
6.  FRONT GROUPS, number of subsidiary groups using different names
    from that of main group.
7.  WEALTH, amount of money &/or property desired or obtained;
    emphasis on members' donations.
8.  POLITICAL POWER, amount of external political influence desired or
9.  SEXUAL MANIPULATION of members by  leader(s); amount of control
    over sex lives of members.
10. CENSORSHIP, amount of control over members' access to outside
    opinions on group, doctrines, or leader(s).
11. DROPOUT CONTROL, intensity of efforts directed at preventing or
    returning dropouts.
12. ENDORSEMENT OF VIOLENCE when used by or for the group or its
13. PARANOIA, amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies,
    perceived power of opponents.
14. GRIMNESS, amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group,
    its doctrines or leader(s).
15. SURRENDER OF WILL, emphasis on members not having to be
    responsible for personal decisions.

... I'd like to find your Inner Child and kick it's little ass! -Eagles
___ Blue Wave/DOS v2.30 [NR]

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