catholic church cult?

Wonderful on the outside Treacherous on the inside....! Cults have millions of members around the world who also thought they were immune.
joe sz
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catholic church cult?

Unread post by joe sz » Thu Jun 21, 2012 9:34 am

-Moderator Comment-
Given Joe’s standpoint as a devout Catholic it is understandable his reluctance to personally explore cults and abuse within the RCC on EMF.
However, as stated in our EMF posting guidelines:
** Rules For Posting ** EMF is generally not concerned about theological issues but instead are more concerned about the psychological, physical, social and economic consequences of RSE involvement.
After careful consideration by the moderators
Joe Szimhart’s thread ‘Catholic Church Cult’ has been deemed ‘off topic’ to the thread title and off topic to our EMF page 'Cults, Cult Leaders/Channelers Other Than RSE/JZ Knight'.
The thread has now been moved here and locked.
Thank you Joe and everyone for your understanding.

EMF Moderators
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since this Catholic cult idea comes up so often with both RSE and LARSE, perhaps we should take a look at the debate:

here is the standard "fundamentalist" Evangelical argument that the Roman Catholic church is a "Pagan cult":
http://www.eaec.org/cults/romancatholic.htm
note all the really bad popes listed...you can find this same listing of bad behavior by popes in historical Catholic teaching.


here is a standard, not too hard to grasp, Catholic reply to the cult label:
http://www.whyiamacatholic.com/SSPX/ChurchCult.htm
this site references Dr Margaret Singer, one of the foremost "cult" experts in modern times---Dr Singer was quietly a [shhhh...Catholic]
btw, so was Black Elk, the Oglala Sioux medicine man who went to mass every Sunday til he died...go figure...

Since the Vatican 2 Council (late 1960s), the RCC hierarchy has gone through paroxysms esp with he American church. Up for debate as usual are female priests, contraception....

There are a host [no pun intended] of difficulties with Catholic doctrine re saints, sin, purgatory, "infallibility" of popes [only when they declare substantially re faith and morals---99.9% of what popes say has nothing to do with the infallibility doctrine].

so if someone wishes, air out your opinions and comments here....

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David McCarthy
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:57 am

Hi Joe,
Thanks for presenting this thread and being open to look at this. This should prove to be a helpful discussion/debate.. :idea:
I would like to start the conversation by asking why you named your thread catholic church cult?
My definition and understanding of a cult with the big C' goes something along the lines of:
unorthodox, extremist, or false, and directed by a charismatic, authoritarian leader
Encarta Dictionary
The word cult in current popular usage usually refers to a new religious movement or other group whose beliefs or practices are considered abnormal or bizarre. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CultCult - Wikipedia
I am sure you are not suggesting the CC is immune from cults or cultist practices either.
Perhaps you are talking about elements of the CC that became coercive/ destructive past and present?
Brainwashed or Converted? :shock:
Pray tell..;-)

David
But he has nothing on at all, cried at last the whole people....

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by ex » Thu Jun 21, 2012 3:52 pm

don't hide behind a wall of theoretical knowledge about whats written in books which will not relay matter because their somewhere stored . i try to respect peoples religions even if they are ramsters. i look how they behave and what they do with their religion. so you have 'my blessings'. i think. its not a matter of what you get out of religion. its a matter of whats going on behind the facade. the roman catholic church did a lot in carrying culture in europe but also has a lot of blood and literally shit on their hands. their profits for their 'goodness' are tremendously. their efforts of brainwashing people and holding on power are much bigger than being moral or doing good. sources?: the movie the magdalene sisters & close up personal.
jz and the catholic church convinced me to keep my believes for myself and look forward to the moment i have a discussion with god personal. ye we better keep this out of here.
nothing personal, i appreciate your insights and knowledge greatly.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Thu Jun 21, 2012 7:31 pm

David, ex.

this is where the C word [cult] becomes problematic---it means too much and covers a wide variety of definitions. By the wide definition, all religious and devotional behavior is cultish. What we are talking about really is deception, self-deception, delusion, greed, abuse, thought reform, etc.

If you look at the list of defenses by the pro-catholic site, it becomes apparent that within the Catholic Church are the very arguments for why NOT to be a Catholic, I went to a Catholic College in the late 1960s, just when Vatican 2 reforms were being implemented. the American scholars and most priests understood the reforms to mean that 1. Whether one is Catholic or not, it is God that judges each person as to heaven/hell. So even an atheist could 'go to heaven.'
2. The church no longer demands devotion to 'go to heaven', but rather invites it within their "style" or aesthetic approach to worship.
3. The catholic's 'personal conscience' is what really matters in the end re sin, lifestyle, etc. This latter point is yet disputed by hard-liners in the CC...

as a result of my Catholic education, I dropped out of the Church back then.

There are many factions inside the CC that range fr fundamentalist to almost secularists that view CC teaching from the pov of "higher criticism", a product of the Modernist era. [I am in this latter category...]

here is an example of what higher criticism considers re the Virgin Birth by a secular, non-Catholic author:
http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/ ... birth.html

notice that the idea of Mary as a Virgin did not appear in earliest Christian writing until later in the 1st century after Paul and others discovered that
1. Most Jews began to reject the 'Gospel" and
2. many Greeks and Romans began to be attracted to it. The Jesus myth as the eternal cosmic Lord and savior was retrofitted into the early Jewish based stories as we see in Matthew and Luke. By the time John was written in AD 90, a Gnostic or neo-Platonic Christ [the Logos] was developed and refined in the Christian theology. Jesus thus became a "type" earlier understood in Zoroastrian and Mithraic religion---most Romans were into Mithraism, so when the early christians began describing jesus as that same 'principle' born of a virgin, resurrected in 3 days, etc reflecting beliefs already familiar to 'the pagans.'

James Still above reveals that the fundamentalist Evangelicals have no legs to stand on when they accuse the CC of being "pagan"...the evidence is already in the Gospel the Evangelicals use that indeed there are neo-pagan and Platonic elements absorbed within the Gospel they use.

ex has it right I think. all this is so 'academic'--what really matters is the behavior on the ground and the governance within any group.

Despite the gripes of the Vatican, very few catholics i know think they are 'going to hell' if they stop practicing or believing.,. those days are loooong gone

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Virginia » Fri Jun 22, 2012 7:30 am

On the differences between the Catholic church and a cult. I was educated on some of the points made however I do have some exceptions:

Yes, you can leave whenever you want but the threat of hell if uncompliant IS fear mongoring. You can leave many cults whenever you want but the fear of not ascending, or going to hell as the case may be weighs in.

Yes you are free to have you own politics but the church does tell you who THEY want to have in office.

Yes they allow healthcare unless you are a mother and you have an unborn baby that could KILL you if you take it to term.

Yes the money you give to the church is voluntary but that religion didn't get the money they have without the pressure to give and they keep the fundraising machine going at all times.

Yes the church allows for education but have behind book burnings and other censorship if the material wasn't in keeping with their beliefs.

Yes maybe there is some outlet for suggestions or complaints, but none of my catholic friends growing up were allowed to question anything.

Yes, I know it was not ALL priests of course but they certainly do not obey the law of the land when they shuffle pedophiles from one church to the next. I will not hold all of the church responsible for this but they have still not strictly come down on this problem and fixed it. I hardly call that obeying the law of the land.

Thought reform is most certainly used as the fear of hell looms over and the over idolization of the hierarchy is part of the culture.

I would even like to say that at least priests don't misrepresent themselves like cult leaders do but they do say they are the messengers and or appointed voice of God. I call that misrepresentation.

I was going to let this go and allow your post to stand without any comment but then I made the mistake of reading the justification of why the catholic church is not a cult, and I just couldn't let that stand. We as ex cult members need to be very careful of where we land.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Fri Jun 22, 2012 10:48 am

v
your points are common ones made about CC behavior. I will address a few as best I can...
again, I am making no apology [as in apologetic] .. I do not recruit anyone--there are too many triggers in the CC for most ex-cult members to handle even if they felt attracted to the "mission statement."
Yes, you can leave whenever you want but the threat of hell if uncompliant IS fear mongoring. You can leave many cults whenever you want but the fear of not ascending, or going to hell as the case may be weighs in.
this is what Prof. Benjamin Zablocki calls the "exit costs" that exacerbate "brainwashing". iow, we talk ourselves into staying in a cult or bad relationship because we want to avoid the potential or real costs of leaving....in this case loss of salvation. In other cases it could be financial, relational [friends, family loss], or occupational [eg, a priest in the CC really has no job if he quits]. as for me, I left the CC for 20 years. I chose to 'reenter' or participate for many reasons i will not go in to here. I could choose not to participate again with no fear that opting out would automatically send me to hell...that hell/heaven deal if it exists, exists for all of us no matter what we think about it. remember that old Xmas song---Santa Claus is coming to town--he knows if you been bad or good? we all wonder about that no matter what our cult or culture.
Yes you are free to have you own politics but the church does tell you who THEY want to have in office.
not sure what you mean here: most American Catholics are Democrats [like my dad] who despise the rich classes that live off the hard work of the underclass. Others in CC vote Republican due to 'right to life' issues. I NEVER heard a priest tell a congregation who to vote for....and the Vatican rules over hundreds of political factions among Catholics in many dozens of nations..there has never been a directive or list saying who to vote for...there are of course policies that may sway a Catholic voter.
Yes they allow healthcare unless you are a mother and you have an unborn baby that could KILL you if you take it to term.
again, there is a policy re abortion to guide a CC member, but individual choice with a doctor's advice weighs in mightily. This choice is not just a catholic thing, but a very personal one for any woman bearing a child with life-threatening features.
Yes the money you give to the church is voluntary but that religion didn't get the money they have without the pressure to give and they keep the fundraising machine going at all times.
Unlike most cult leaders, I never met a pastor in the CC that kicked someone out of church for never putting money in the collection basket...no one checks on me or says anything... I attend mass maybe 1 or 2x a month. My wife and kids rarely go any more. Whether they do or not is their choice. Yes, there is the general 'give for certain causes' sermon, but I ask you to show me a private club or service business that does not continually ask for support.
some people suggest that the Vatican should sell all it has in Rome [as if they could sell something like the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's murals :roll: ] and give it to the poor--if they did do this, there would be enough money to feed the poor in the world for about 3 weeks...then what?
Yes the church allows for education but have behind book burnings and other censorship if the material wasn't in keeping with their beliefs.
lots of cultures and governments used censorship etc and still do, but the modern CC does not burn book...not can they truly censor anything even if the Magisterium in Rome keeps a list.
see this fr Wikipedia:
From China's 3rd century BC Qin Dynasty to the present day, the burning of books has a long history as a tool wielded by authorities both secular and religious, in efforts to suppress dissenting or heretical views that are perceived as posing a threat to the prevailing order.

According to scholar Elaine Pagels, "In AD 367, Athanasius, the zealous bishop of Alexandria... issued an Easter letter in which he demanded that Egyptian monks destroy all such unacceptable writings, except for those he specifically listed as 'acceptable' even 'canonical' — a list that constitutes the present 'New Testament'".[citation needed] Although Pagels cites Athanasius's Paschal letter (letter 39) for 367 AD, there is no order for monks to destroy heretical works contained in that letter.[1] Thus, heretical texts do not turn up as palimpsests, washed clean and overwritten, as pagan ones do; many early Christian texts have been as thoroughly "lost" as if they had been publicly burnt.

According to the Chronicle of Fredegar, Recared, King of the Wisigoths (reigned 586–601) and first Catholic king of Spain, following his conversion to Catholicism in 587, ordered that all Arian books should be collected and burned; and all the books of Arian theology were reduced to ashes, with the house in which they had been purposely collected.[2][3]

Nalanda, an ancient center of higher learning in Bihar, India was sacked by Turkic Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khalji in 1193. The great library of Nalanda University was so vast that it is reported to have burned for three months after the invaders set fire to it, sacked and destroyed the monasteries, and drove the monks from the site.[citation needed]

In his 1821 play, Almansor, the German writer Heinrich Heine— referring to the burning of the Muslim holy book, the Qur'an, during the Spanish Inquisition — wrote, "Where they burn books, so too will they in the end burn human beings." ("Dort, wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man auch am Ende Menschen.")[citation needed] Over a century later, Heine's own books were among the thousands of volumes that were torched by the Nazis in Berlin's Opernplatz.[citation needed]

In Azerbaijan, when a modified Latin alphabet was adopted, books published in Arabic script were burned, especially in the late 1920s and 1930s.[4] The texts were not limited to the Quran; medical and historical manuscripts were also destroyed.[5]
Book burning following the 1973 coup that installed the Pinochet regime in Chile
Books burned by the Nazis, on display at Yad Vashem

Anthony Comstock's New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, founded in 1873, inscribed book burning on its seal, as a worthy goal to be achieved. Comstock's total accomplishment in a long and influential career is estimated to have been the destruction of some 15 tons of books, 284,000 pounds of plates for printing such 'objectionable' books, and nearly 4,000,000 pictures. All of this material was defined as "lewd" by Comstock's very broad definition of the term — which he and his associates successfully lobbied the United States Congress to incorporate in the Comstock Law.[citation needed]

In the 1950s several books by William Reich were ordered to be burned in the U.S. under judicial orders.[6]

The Ray Bradbury novel Fahrenheit 451 is about a fictional future society that has institutionalized book burning. In Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, the euphemistically-called "memory hole" is used to burn any book or written text which is inconvenient to the regime, and there is mention of "the total destruction of all books published before 1960".[citation needed]
I will stop here.
That site you reacted to is only a brief sample as a defense with many crude comparisons. i would most likely write something different if I were so inclined..but thanks for your honest reactions to help drive this thread.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Fri Jun 22, 2012 12:03 pm

ps:
Virginia
one note: I am also an "ex-member" of a large cult CUT that borrowed much from Roman Catholicism by channeling many of the saints along with Theosophy's "masters" and sundry other gods and entities from world religions. CUT like RSE always had more and more things to do, read, buy, go to, and it took up an enormous amount of time if one wanted to comply with even half of what was "required" to gain one's "ascension."

The CC also has a lot of requirements that could take up all one's time and money, but there is a warning in the CC by a saint to beware of "scrupulosity" or getting obsessive about doing good and cleansing one's soul. CC churches give out donation envelopes for everything...typically one could give money for church causes 7 or 8 times a month to comply. So I get what you mean about the "pressure" one can feel and how that can play on one's guilt in the CC...but I do not buy in to my 'guilt via scrupulosity' any more....and no Catholic has to...

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Kensho » Fri Jun 22, 2012 1:10 pm

A fundamental difference that is apparent when comparing RSE with the religious organizations that I'm familiar with (including Catholic, Buddhist, Jehovah Witness and Jewish), is that of the congregation's reaction to a member or even in some cases non-members having problems; be those spiritual, financial, health, psychological or whatever.
The conventionally accepted religions and their congregations actively promote compassion, assistance and helpful or supportive action, while RSE denies this to even its high ranking staff and long time members.

For example, my father is Catholic and yet he has been attending a Lutheran church every Sunday and also sometimes during the week with his wife for over 20 years. Both have been active in that congregation, and were active in the Anglican Church before that. The Catholic Church that my father attended before getting remarried in 1984, required that his new bride convert to Catholicism if he wanted to marry in that church (she was attending an Anglican church at the time). Converting wasn't on the table for her, so they married in the Anglican Church. Later when the pastor of that church changed and they didn't care for his style, they went over to the Lutheran church that they now attend.

Here's the thing: the friendships that were made before and through those religiously oriented changes have for the most part remained intact and supportive. More recently as they both experience the health challenges of advancing age as well as chronic disease, those friends are there for them in action. What is noteworthy in the comparison with RSE, is that members of their current congregation as well as members of their past ones continue to remain in touch, offer and provide assistance when needed and ask nothing in return.

RSE on the other hand, offers no such assistance to its members past or present and actively encourages an isolationistic dogma which most members follow when it comes to fellow members facing any sort of challenge. Oh sure there are a few requests for assistance coming through the RSE message board from time to time (like for the Japanese students), but the actual supportive activity appears to be quite impotent compared to that of the Catholic/Christian church members; at least in my father's experience.

IMO, that difference is fairly definitive of what a cult is (isolationistic) and what is not (supportive of past and present members).

With love, Kensho
"Don't let any person bring you so low as to hate them."
Booker T. Washington

ex
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by ex » Fri Jun 22, 2012 4:17 pm

support your friends in the rse community means: enrolling people in mlm scams. if you can squeeze money out of someone stay around. leave when its done that you don't spoil your frequencies with victim talk. share your wine with the people in front not with the losers in the back. always smile, never be a victim, always go to the events.
here the negative from the catholic: a non works all her life for the priest in the household up to the moment old age gets her. then she gets put in the basement with no appropriate care. even so the cc runs homes for the elderly. [in europe, there might be a difference to the us.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Kensho » Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:13 pm

QUOTE:
"...the moment old age gets her. then she gets put in the basement with no appropriate care."


As a former monastic (Buddhism), I suspect that female monastics in the CC are subject to similar issues as in Buddhism; and a lot of how those are perceived and dealt with depends on the individual, the culture/country as well as the tradition (or specific church), to which one belongs. Generally speaking it has been my observation that aging monastics choose how they spend their last years; bearing in mind that one's personal faith will have a great influence upon that choice.
What may seem like a harsh situation to outsiders may in fact be respectful accommodations for how one has chosen to live their life within a convent, monastery, congregation, religious community or outside of those. Further, although the choice may include relative solitude, refusal of medical and/or supportive care, the choice generally remains open to alteration or further accommodation as circumstances arise.

RSE on the other hand, promotes and thus imposes a life of relative solitude, refusal of medical care (until is often too late), along with denial of supportive care or accommodation from the 'congregation' without choice on its followers and faithful; aging or not.
By nature of its doctrine, RSE also goes on to promote and instill the idea that the inevitable suffering of sickness and old age are failures on the part of those who suffer them.

I find it impossible to even entertain the idea that the Catholic Church promotes these practices in the contexts that RSE does, or supports such cruelty or idiocy.

With love, Kensho
"Don't let any person bring you so low as to hate them."
Booker T. Washington

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:02 pm

let me clarify something here.

cults like RSE with maybe thousands of members of varying degree or less and a small core staff with living leader cannot easily be compared one-one to a vastly corporate and world class religion. No one religious sect has more members on the planet the the CC.
@ 1.2 billion people
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_by_country

Sunni Muslims are second with maybe 800 million, but Muslim sects have no central authority...iow, there is no one to "blame" for the entire sect as contrasted with the CC that has the pope. Likewise, "Hindus" number less than 1 billion worldwide but there are dozens of factions, maybe the largest being the Sankara or non-dual tradition that has 4 'popes' or shankaracharyas and no central authority.

When a new religious order appears under the CC umbrella, that new order is expected to set up its own support base and by-laws in line with CC teaching. Local parishes or regions were responsible for nunneries and old age homes, but after Vatican 2, vocations ran dry for many nunneries as well as all CC clergy in the Western nations, thus leaving the aging nuns, monks, and priests having to scramble for support if their local parish or support base faltered. It is kind of like a franchise for McDonald's--if your local business dries up, there is only so much the corporatation will do for you. I am not saying this is fair or right, but it is the nature of large corporations...there is a risk in any venture that needs venture capital. nevertheless, with some intervention in todays Internet world, most aging nuns can get help thru individual Catholic charity donations.

I called the RSE a piss-ant organization. piss-ant means 'obsolete' or insignificant compared to the larger scheme in the environment. The problems most cults like RSE present are more like dealing with a den of snakes or a hornet's nest whereas these old world religions are more like dealing with a vast zoo of disparate animals, many of whom are doing just fine.

iow, it is best to be specific when criticizing and blaming an entire world religion for what a faction or class in that religion have done. Most Muslims condemned the 9/11 attack. Say, in the CC 1.5% of the priests may have abused minors. nevertheless, all catholics feel the shame of that....as witnessed in their sermons and prayers.

Virginia
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Virginia » Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:35 pm

Joe,
Obviously I understand the pedophiles put themselves in positions of power (priest, soccer coach, police officer) so the priesthood does attract that element however I know percentages would say there are no more than in the general pop. The problem was the church covered it up. Too many people knew, no one did anything which shows the politics involved, the non transparency of the group and power trips. I am sure there are lovely caring priests and members. I am sure that these days there is a "catholic lite" with less strict rules and less fire and brimstone because people are waking up and are becoming less tolerant of that component. I am very happy if it brings you joy and I am glad we had this discussion as it has helped me to fear the church a little less but I still have both eyes opened wherever I turn next.

Love to you!!

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:32 am

V
thanks for your reply..
Your insight underlines my caution to all ex-members I work with--stay away from any well-organized church or group for some time. Too many triggers.

Any world religion, unless one is born and educated in it, is a very demanding leap for an adult to join. It is like learning a language--it takes years sometimes just to be able to grasp the subtle humor let alone the technical terminology of the theology or philosophy to be able to navigate within the tradition and avoid the pitfalls [harmful cult behaviors] that all traditions have among their members. The CC is no different. The high demand Opus Dei sect within the CC is a case in point, although OD has lately allowed for more transparency. I have met with many ex-members of OD over the years. A highly distorted version of OD was in the film Da Vinci Code...

Professor A. Bharati in his autobiography, The Ochre Robe---an accomplished Swami in the prestigious Goswami order--he was Austrian---cautioned anyone wanting to study/join Hinduism under him to go learn Sanskrit first for 6 years, then come back to him. The essence of a religion or culture is carried in the language...

the CC has a long, deep history and can be enriching much as Islam, Buddhism, or Judaism can in the proper light and leadership. Kensho probably knows this: the Dalai Lama recommended that Westerners remain in their own traditions and not try to become "Tibetan Buddhists" because too much is lost in translation if one does not grow up in the culture or make tremendous effort to "learn the language."

Yes, the cover-up by CC officials re abusive priests exposed the insular nature of the CC hierarchy. There is no defense for that kind of criminal activity, but the tendency by the bishops before 1990 and before this explosion of lawsuits during the past 15-20 years was to follow advice from the APA--psychiatrists who believed that pedophilia and related disorders were "treatable"...

that has changed as these disorders are now known to be "character-based" [Axis II Disorders] and remain like a Leopard's spots---one cannot scrub them away with meds or therapies... That advice from the mental health experts coupled with the belief that the "sacrament of reconciliation" could "forgive" the sin, led many naive Bishops to believe that some kind of cure took place after treatment...huge mistake, as you well know.

These events bring out a raft of issues for any Catholic, not only about the behavior of the hierarchy, but about the nature of "holiness" and just how well the Holy Spirit guides the church.
I know that many thoughtful people in my extended family of Catholics have soured on the CC for just these reasons, the same ones V mentions.

Joe

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Sat Jun 23, 2012 9:07 am

opus dei
this is what I mean by a "pitfall' or controversial cult behavior within a tradition. The last pope, John-Paul2, pushed early canonization or sainthood for the founder of OD (now Saint Josemaria Escriva), something I and many CC folk think was a mistake. The CC is LOADED with these controversial movements.
the OD sect lists books NOT to be read by its members [quote is from ODAN, an ex-member org like EMF/LARSE]:
1. Books that can be read by all, even children; for example, Heidi, Marco, some stories of the Grimm Brothers, and all books written by members of Opus Dei.

2. Reading generally recommended, although it may require a little formation. In the libraries of the centers, the public, numeraries and associate members have access to books with the 1 and 2 ratings.

3. Books that can be read by those who have formation. The books may have inconvenient scenes or commentaries. Permission is needed by their spiritual director.

4. Books that can be read by those who have formation and have a necessity to read them. Permission is needed by their spiritual director.

5. Books that are not possible to be read, except with special permission from the advisory (in New York).

6. Prohibited reading. In order to read them permission is needed by the Prelate of Opus Dei (in Rome).

ODAN is focusing on this list because the other information and reviews are mostly written in Spanish. The list appears to be centralized because the books are listed in different languages; for example, the titles of books by Karl Marx are listed in French, Spanish and German; the books of John O'Hara are listed in English and Italian and the books of Edith Wharton are listed in English, French and Spanish.

There are 6,892 books with the highest rating of "6." Examples of authors who have some books with a "6" rating are: Woody Allen, Isabel Allende, Karen Armstrong, Margaret Atwood, Judy Blume, Roberto Bolano, Joseph Campbell, Gustav Flaubert, Allen Ginsberg, Mary Gordon, Gunter Grass, Andrew Greeley, Herman Hesse, Adolph Hitler, John Irving, James Joyce, Carl Jung, Eugene Kennedy, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Milan Kundera, Hans Kung, Harold Kushner, Henri Lefebvre, Doris Lessing, Sinclair Lewis, Richard P. MacBrien, Mary MacCarthy, Malinowski, Karl Marx, Somerset Maugham, Toni Morrison, Alice Munroe, Vladimir Nabokov, V.S. Naipaul, Pablo Neruda, Nietzcshe, Octavio Paz, Harold Pinter, Marcel Proust, Philip Roth, Bertrand Russell, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Voltaire, Alice Walker, Gary Wills and Tennessee Williams.

Examples of authors who have some books with a "5" rating are: W.S. Burroughs, John Cornwall, Marguerite Duras, William Faulkner, Nadine Gordimer, Eugene Kennedy, Jack Kerouac, Stephen King, Barbara Kingsolver, Doris Lessing, John O'Hara, A.J. Quinnell, Ayn Rand, Salman Rushdie and Kenneth Woodward.
If you notice, OD members have to turn to their "spiritual director" for permission, much as fundamentalist Muslims have to consult with their "Imam" regarding all details of personal behavior. This form of discipline can easily become intrusive especially because the disciple cannot move laterally to get second or third opinions once assigned to an "elder". Thus, constriction of the self is the name of the game in OD-like movements, imo.

ex
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by ex » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:10 pm

well my knowledge is kind of limited to cc in europe were they have their foot on the ground since more than a thousand years and the perversion of her priesthood shows not only in pedophilia. if here in america the cc got a new start and learned from its mistakes and is different fine.
cc as an organisation and rse show very similar extremes. to go on to pick the valuables out of the garbage after exiting takes too much time for me. seems to be that religion is only save if you study beyond ? otherwise you better take advise from some over educated mind benders were your own education still is not enough for judging their knowledge?
i loved religion as a child. i will stay away from it for the rest of my life thanks to the catholic church, a hindu cult and last but least rse.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Kensho » Sat Jun 23, 2012 5:18 pm

Joe, I agree with you that a problem with converting to some of the more culturally based forms of Buddhism (and probably to other culturally based religious sects as well), is as you have said.

QUOTE: "...that much is lost in translation if one does not grow up in the culture or make tremendous effort to "learn the language."

In my own experiences it has been very much like that. There was difficulty with gaining the proper understanding from Japanese references, language, iconography and imagery in the Soto Zen tradition, even though the actual teachings were largely presented in English.
Similarly, the more recent adoption of Tibetan Buddhism pretty much requires some concurrent study of the Tibetan language and culture. This is despite the fact that my current affiliation is with a Western, English language based organization of the Nyingma Buddhist tradition.

In both cases, teachings, ceremonies and liturgies may be presented in English or in another language, but vows are generally taken using a combination of English (or the language of the country where the sangha/congregation is located), the language of scriptural origin or in a non-English translation of it (Sanskrit, Japanese, Tibetan etc). I know that the practice of multiple language use is also found to exist in varying degree within Judaism and I expect that it is also the case in Catholicism.

Fundamentally, the interpretation of religious scripture can be gained in two ways and the most common of these is to rely upon translations and commentaries (interpretations). But if one wishes to "think for themselves", then one does need to know the original languages that scriptures were written in quite well in order to interpret them correctly. In addition to that, one would also need to have sufficient knowledge of the history and culture from which particular scriptures arose so as to put them in proper and possibly current context. This seems to apply to most if not all religions; evidenced by the vast amount of translations and commentaries for each.

When we consider that the CC spans several centuries and involves countless cultures and languages, as does Buddhism and many other religions, the undertaking to gain a full and correct understanding on one's own of any one of them is quite daunting, if not impossible. Religious organizations serve to remove the need to be fluent in foreign and sometimes archaic languages such as Latin, Sanskrit, Hebrew, and Tibetan; yet one must choose such a religious organization carefully if it is to be in alignment with what one perceives as, or chooses to adopt as a spiritual path.

Add to that the tendency of some individuals to abuse positions of power or authority and the religious path can turn out to be a rocky one indeed. Unfortunately it seems that no religion has remained unscathed by scandal of this sort. I think that it is also important to remember that there is a tendency for many people to generalize and assign the misdeeds of a few individuals to an entire affiliated group or religion. Thus the CC as well as other religions may be perceived by the misdeeds of a few, when in fact the majorities do not support those activities. Such is the case when all Catholic priests are perceived as sexual predators or abusers, all Islamists are perceived as terrorists and all Buddhists are perceived as political activists etc.

Joe, you make a very valid point with respect to Catholicism and one which I share:

QUOTE: "The CC has a long, deep history and can be enriching much as Islam, Buddhism, or Judaism can in the proper light and leadership."

With love, Kensho
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:30 pm

Kensho,
"long, deep history indeed! :-)
Similarly, the more recent adoption of Tibetan Buddhism pretty much requires some concurrent study of the Tibetan language and culture. This is despite the fact that my current affiliation is with a Western, English language based organization of the Nyingma Buddhist tradition.
The "deep" history of the Axial era religions that began with Zoroaster through Moses, then Greek religions, Buddha, the Jains, Lao Tze, Confucius and ending with Jesus/Christianity is what interests me most. lately I purchased a 2 volume study by Prof Patrick McNamara, neurology and brain cognitive technique scholar at Boston Univ School of Medicine:[new it sells for $130, $81 Kindle...]. McNamara reflects in clear, theory-based narrative what I have come to understand as the crux of all religion, sects and cults: they are ALL rooted in spirit possession.

Spirit Possession and Exorcism: History, Psychology, and Neurobiology Vol 1 covers the Mental States and the Phenomenon of Possession from Paleoliothic thru Neolithic and into the modern era.

The lame scientific study on JZ is not totally bogus--it is just very inconclusive and horribly lacking in rigorous discussion among science peers--nobody beyond a small croaking frog pond of ex-members and a few biased psi-researchers cares if JZ is faking it or not...if we consider all the research indicated in these 2 volumes.

McNamara breaks down the possession phenomena into 3 basic 'levels' that we find in the earliest forms of shamanism 40,000 years ago. Possession by a god or animal spirit through trance, drug, or ecstatic experience with little or no control of the experience; the shaman that "comes back" sane from such an experience with new knowledge, prophetic and/or healing powers, and thre ability to control the possession experience; and the sacred or "divine king" that not only brought the possession experience into full control but also became the governor/ruler that took on the sins or "karma" of the entire tribe or nation, then had to be ritually sacrificed to preserve the order--then was reborn in the new king tradition. During the neolithic era much drgaded activity took plave among people with priest shamans abusing these possession rites causing more chaos and selfish behavior than good. Zoroaster tried to rein in and suppress these destructive elements and reestablish the divine king tradition.

I may be losing some of you, but I want to give to a taste of where this is going--remember, the author is a scientist using neurology and evolutionary theory---rg, Sakyamuni was "possessed" by Buddhamind once he emptied himself [thus the empty mind goal of zen] and became in his person as a teacher "the Buddha".

Moses was "possessed" by YHWH when he came down from the mountain with the new commandents.
Jesus was "possessed" or taken over by the Holy Spirit at his baptism ritual.
In Christianity Paul was "possessed" by the spirit of Jesus Christ at his conversion, then said a number of times: I live now, not I, but Christ lives in me."

What McNamara points out is that this possession can have positive effects and did enrich the human race when fulfilled in the Divine King, but too often individual "possessions" became destructive. he mentions all the channeling cults today but not by name that range from partially okay to very hramful.

"Even the Dalai Lama continues to consult these spirit-possessed mediums today" [main man is Venerable Thupten Ngodup] p 102

"In the west the so-called New Age movement is littered with thousands of spirit mediums and 'channelers.' many of these spirit possession cults have resulted in industries involving workshops and books that sell by the millions." 102

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:50 pm

PS

McNamara's point is that we are hardwired thru evolution to instinctively respond to possession activity as if it were real, whether it is real or not as we can know it.

When the divine king is devalued, cultures turned to human and animal sacrifices as did the Jews in there Temple after the Kingdoms died--thousands of purified [possessed of God] animals a day might be killed ritualistically to appease the "god". Then we have Jesus wiping out the priest led, sacrificial cults, reestablishing the Divine King era as a universal theme--no more human or animal sacrifice necessary if one is possessed by or "takes on Christ" [or Buddhamind, eg].

In a way our present form of governemnt is a type of "possession cult" with the "divine king" or office of the president that takes on all our sins [we instinctively blame current adminsitrations for all our ills and want to "crucify" them], then must be "sacrificed" by time or election so that the renewal or resurrection of the new king can occur.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by WofthesunEofthemoon » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:55 pm

This is a very interesting subject, Joe, and one to which I have also given a great deal of time and attention. To be sure it raises more questions than it answers, but it is worth giving attention to. Rich food for thought. :-)

Thank you for this post.

W.E.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Kensho » Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:02 pm

Yes, absolutely the POV is an interesting one.
For those who wish to weigh in, what is your opinion on this?
Since followers of a religion or cult tend to believe a spiritual leader's take on the spiritual or possession experience; whether or not it is truly experienced or has been intentionally fabricated, how important is bringing forward and perhaps cautioning followers to be aware of things like projection and imputation?

IMO this is why maintaining critical thinking and in depth analysis is so important. Even then one can easily be misled by their own desire or propensity to support something as valid or real, when in fact there may be little on which to base such assertions.

The human mind is a slippery thing for sure and at least in the Buddhist philosophical sense, is not really a thing but is perhaps best viewed as an experience; one which we tend to hold on to as having an individualized stable existence otherwise known as the "I".

For me, about all that ultimately has come out of the whole analytical experience of such matters is recognition of the futility of such an analysis itself and a "time to fold-um" chuckle. Grasping the spiritual mind, much less the mind in any other aspect is much like attempting to experience the sense of touching a finger with the finger that is doing the touching. Maybe that's the point. It can't be done, at least in the mortal sense anyway...and if we press on beyond that recognition, we likely risk landing back at the high potential for fabrication. Be that in any categorically designated area including subconscious, intentional, religious, cultish, or otherwise.

Understanding this, maybe we can more easily abandon the need to be right in the fields of religious or spiritual experience and appreciate that no matter how forcefully assertions in such matters are made, that those who make them are no more correct, incorrect, greater or lesser than ourselves.
Good chatting with you.

With love, Erika
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:28 am

Thanks for responses, and please forgive my spelling--I still have no clip/edit icon that appears on my posts...
Since followers of a religion or cult tend to believe a spiritual leader's take on the spiritual or possession experience; whether or not it is truly experienced or has been intentionally fabricated, how important is bringing forward and perhaps cautioning followers to be aware of things like projection and imputation?
The fully positive possession experience under the Divine King occurs when that "king" or leader grasps his or her role that is twofold: being "possessed" by the high god and willing to "take on the sins" of the nation. The Roman Caesars were to be worshiped as "God" while at the very same time and in the same person remain fully human and take all blame on themselves--Julius was "assassinated" by his own people. Whenever a Ceasar was inaugurated as a Divine King, all throughout the parade a slave boy walking behind his chariot would chant "Remember, thou art mortal; remember, thou art mortal."
and re new Popes at inauguration:
a plain Catholic monk holds a pole on which burns a common piece of flax. Once it stops burning the monk thrice repeats, Pater sancte, sic transit gloria mundi [Fame is fleeting, Holy Father; remember, you are mortal]. Cult leaders and dictators that take center stage as objects of devotion tend to avoid this admonition.
from an essay I wrote: http://jszimhart.com/cult_101

Bad cult leaders like JZ have no clue about this "Divine King" responsibilty handed down thru tradition and the evolution of human governance. the king cannot be divine unless the king recognizes himself as the ultimate servant/sacrifice to take on the sins of the nation or cult that surrounds him. Ancient tribes that evolved to this stage would even eat a part of the sacrificed king because only the king [God] can give them life.

Hitler was able to rule due to this principle--the people saw the Divine King [der Fuhrer] in him and he exploited the principle in every crass way he could thru art, music, parades, myths. In Hitler we saw the power of this principle act out in full when it takes an evil turn

I know this may sound a bit crazy but the positive possession experience evolved when the King was good [enlightened] enough to control the possession, whereas Hitler and many cult leaders fall prey to or are controlled or intoxicated by the possessing spirit. This "Power of God" will exaggerate the human flaws like narcissism, pride--in JZ's case, her alcoholism, greed, inept grasp of science and world religion, etc.

many ecstatic "possession" cults go crazy like the Rajneeshies did in Oregon in the early 1980s because the "spirit" that possessed Rajneesh and the group remained in pride--Rajneesh never let go of his "power", never emptied himself as servant to allow the good God power to operate and it corrupted him.

If we look at Joan of Arc, she was possessed beginning at age 12 by a Spirit as all who were around her attested--she led an army at age 17 and was "burned at the stake" for her "sins" at age 19--she took on the sin of her role as divine leader, then she was resurrected as a saint.

In a sense, every Dalai Lama chosen as a kid must appear and prove to be "possessed" as an incarnation of the previous Lama's "aggregate self" or signs of that self...Buddhists have a very different take on reincarnation than JZ and the common New Age cult leader does.

McNamara's second volume addresses negative possession: Rites to become Possessed, Rites to Exorcize 'Demons'.
both volumes were published in 2011. I get back to you on this aspect when i finished the second volume..the first addressed mainly "positive" experience of possession.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Kensho » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:01 am

QUOTE: "[Fame is fleeting, Holy Father; remember, you are mortal]. Cult leaders and dictators that take center stage as objects of devotion tend to avoid this admonition."

That context within which 'the spiritual leader' is seen as the messanger/representative of god on earth seems to be another thing that differs between the practices of the CC and cults. The cult leaders grab the fame and favor of 'king', but disregard the responsibilities of such control.

So it is with Judith. She holds her possessed-self out to be an ascended god called Ramtha and enjoys all the power and perks of follower worship (although she both demands it and also claims to not desire or want this while portraying JZ & Ramtha characters), but then avoids her own as well as the 'sins' of her followers.
Instead the folllowers are scolded for being what she has apparently not forgotten that she is as well...human. Pure vanity is the chanting monk behind her. If that were not so, there would not be such a push to hide the steady march of her body to its end through the natural process of aging.

You make some very good points Joe.
With love, Kensho
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Kensho » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:16 pm

Hello Joe,

I think that we are still on topic, although have detoured a bit to point out the difference between organized religion and cults. Clearly there is a difference but I think that the debate centers on how one defines a cult in the first place.

The first time that I ever heard Catholicism being referred to as a cult was at RSE when the character Ramtha got up on stage and said that Christ's early followers were accused of being a cult. By Judith's definition a cult is any group that has organized around a particular leader, set of rules, guidelines or belief. Judith as Ramtha went on to say then and has repeated it often, that all organized groups including the military, all religions, political parties etc are thus cults by definition.

IMO Judith broadened the definition of cult as a means to quell the idea of RSE being identified as a cult and so something to be avoided as potentially harmful. When Judith made the definition of 'cult' more ambiguous to RSE followers, she presented a means through which followers could discuss the matter (defend RSE) when it was brought up by family, friends and within the community of Yelm.

It is possible and more than likely that the reference to Catholicism as a cult originates from that particular set of Ramtha stage performances; as Catholicism only seems to have been referred to as a cult by former and active RSE followers. You in fact have already pointed this out in the opening line of this thread:

QUOTE: "since this Catholic cult idea comes up so often with both RSE and LARSE, perhaps we should take a look at the debate:"

It leaves me to wonder if you have heard of Catholicism being referred to as a cult outside of RSE.

The Catholic-cult idea seems more of an attack directed at discrediting you because of your affiliation with Catholicism, rather than one directed at discrediting Catholicism. For what it is worth, I have been challenged in the same way by RSE followers (both former and active), because of my alignment with Buddhism.

Ah yes, the RSE cult mind-spam has deep roots indeed...

With love, Kensho
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Tue Jul 03, 2012 5:53 pm

I think you nailed it, K.

Dr L Jolyn West, head of psychiatry instruction at UCLA before he died, was perhaps the most vocal opponent in his field against Scientology. he "paid" for it by being labelled the most evil man in the most evil "cult" in the universe :!: Co$ hated him as it does the mental health field of psychiatry---West once told me that calling psychiatry a cult is an old game played by con-artists that want to put their opponents on the defensive and steer attention away from themselves. We see this all the time in politics and in our courts. Sociology Prof Anton Shupe who testified for Scientology against the old Cult Awareness Network in 1996 said under oath that "if anything was a cult, it was the CAN." A poorly funded and defended CAN went bankrupt at that civil trial and soon was purchased by Co$. Shupe was paid handsomely...

Fundie Christians as a policy are most likely to play the cult card against the Catholic Church [it is "Babylon" to them], as i said above, for similar simplistic reasons.

I think it gives piss-ant groups and preachers a sense of power to "attack" an organization with over a billion followers, whether that org deserves it or not--kind of like a blow fly trying to impress its girl friend by chewing on an elephant's back...but i agree that RSE frontman Mike? Simmons in fact attacked the Catholic Church in front of the open debate audience in Yelm several years ago because i revealed I was Catholic at the first open talk we had earlier. he was trying to get under my skin :roll:

it would have helped if he got any of his facts straight and in context...

but i believe EMF readers can see that this goes a lot deeper than the stereotypes RSE hopes to tap...

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Kensho » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:10 pm

Yup,

Greg S., Mike W., other RSE staff members as well as followers have all repeated the Ramtha message of 'cultism' whenever any other organized group is mentioned. To them, RSE is the be all to end all. Unfortunately that prophesy might just come true for them...and potentially in a tragic way.

With love, Kensho
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Mon Jul 16, 2012 7:13 am

Hi Joe, anyone...
Re: catholic church cult: I am sure there have been many splinter Catholic groups/cults in the past.
Here are some present day cult spawnings with religious roots feeding off the Catholic Church :shock:
'The House of Prayer' , 'Palmarians'.
Do you have information/experience regarding these cults or its members?
Here is a very well produced documentary from Ireland TV3 - Ireland's Secret Cults - YouTube,
An expose on the The Palmarian Catholic Church in Ireland.
The The House of Prayer, a Roman Catholic religious center founded by Christina Gallagher in 1993.
And Scientology in Ireland
David.
TV3 - Ireland's Secret Cults - YouTube
We look at a number of Cults that are operating in Ireland, including 'The House of Prayer', 'Palmarians' and 'Scientologists'
We speak with ex Scientology members as they blow the lid on one of the most famous cults of all time!
'Exposed: Ireland's Secret Cults'
'Exposed: Ireland's Secret Cults!' takes a close look at a number of cults operating right here in Ireland.
The first of these cults is Christiana Gallagher's House of Prayer in Achill Co. Mayo.
We go undercover to examine the source of her seemingly lavish life style and look at the credibility of some of her "God given" predictions about the future of the world, as well as those running 'The House of Prayer' in her name.
Also exposed in the documentary is perhaps the most famous cult of all, 'Scientology'!
We look at their methods of extracting money from new recruits and how they manage to keep members loyal to the cult. We also speak to ex members who have worked within 'Scientology' itself and find out what attracts the likes of Tom Cruise to join such a cult!
Finally, we expose perhaps the most mysterious of them all the 'Palmarians'. 'Palmarians' originate in Spain but attract a large number of followers here in Ireland! We look at the cult's wealth and very strict rule set that can separate children from their parents.

TV3 - Ireland's Secret Cults - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKgx94QI ... re=related
Related:
father john mcginnity house of prayer Ireland
Religious cult returns €250,000 to donors - National News - Independent.ie
http://www.independent.ie/national-news ... 50155.html

Our Lady Queen of Peace House of Prayer, commonly called the House of Prayer, is a Roman Catholic religious centre founded by Christina Gallagher in 1993.[1] It is located on Achill Island, County Mayo in Ireland. Gallagher claims to have visions of the Virgin Mary, to be a prophet[2] and suffer from stigmata.[3]

Initially, Gallagher had not been sure what the “house of prayer” involved but this, she claims, was made clear to her over the course of several vision of the Virgin Mary. The centre thus became a place where priests and laity would come to prayer and worship together. The centre operates from a former convent building purchased in 1992 and is financed through voluntary donations. In 2005 the House of Prayer lost its charitable status.[4]

The centre is described as being "controversial".[3] In 1996, the Archbishop of Tuam Michael Neary established a diocesan commission of enquiry to investigate claims arising from the centre. This investigation concluded that no evidence of supernatural events existed but that those involved seemed sincere. Despite having initially attempted to develop a relationship between the centre and the archdiocese, in 2008 Neary said that the centre "does not enjoy the confidence of the diocesan authorities" and that "any work carried on since [July 1998] has been entirely of a private nature and has no Church approval."[3] A statement issued in March 2008 by the office of the Primate of All Ireland said he was "involved in ongoing discussions with Fr McGinnity", who reportedly helped raise donations for the centre, "regarding his involvement with the House of Prayer in Achill".[2]

The comments came after it emerged in 2008 that Gallagher, despite having has no formal income, was living in a €4 million house in Malahide, County Dublin and also owned a €1 million house in Newport, County Mayo.[5] Two years earlier she had bought her daughter a house worth €1 million in Ballina, County Mayo.[5] The centre was investigated by the Garda Síochána after complaints from people who had donated money to it.[6] In March 2009, the Director of Public Prosecutions decided not to take a prosecution against the House of Prayer.[7]

The House of Prayer and Gallagher were reported in 2008 to have paid out nearly €250,000 in out of court settlements to former followers and "more and more" followers were said to have become disillusioned following newspaper reports of her lifestyle.
National News - Independent.ie
http://www.independent.ie/national-news ... 50155.html
Cult Education Forum :: Recovery from Destructive Cults and Groups :: The Palmarian Church / Palmar De Troya
http://forum.rickross.com/read.php?6,49266,49660

Palmarian Catholic Church - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palmarian_Catholic_Church

House of Prayer, Achill - Wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Prayer,_Achill
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:26 pm

D
I have not seriously tracked either of these catholic cults. The Palmerians have gone through some phases already--depends on the new leader but old criticisms still remain as indicated in links above:
Criticism

Controversial practices which are not part of traditional Catholic devotion have been reported in the Palmarian Church since its foundation. In the early 1990s, several priests were treated in local hospitals after apparently undergoing amateur body piercing.[citation needed] Domínguez admitted to having sex with nuns,[citation needed] and had previously been active in Seville's homosexual community.[2]

Domínguez used self-harm to give himself the appearance of the stigmata.[1][dead link]

Between 1978 and 1983, many adherents left the Palmarian Church, including the Palmarian Bishop Maurice Revaz. A similar case was Alfred Seiwert-Fleige, who was ordained a priest by Archbishop Thuc and consecrated a Palmarian bishop around 1980. He left the Palmarian Church in 1981.
With all the hundreds of variations of devotions and sects or movements within the billion member Catholic fold one has to wonder if anyone is Really in control :lol:
The CC or RC at least has a standard "Mass" as well as a standard Catechism which is the glue that holds the "body" together.

Think of the CC as you might the US executive branch with a President. Then look at America.
You can try to be a good citizen and can be while believing in the essential principles of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, but every citizen wonders about the high level of corruption and so-called legal loopholes that actually run government and American business and asks, "Why bother to vote?"

I know many catholics that avoid the politics of the CC, go to church only a few times a year, and maintain a "private" religion more than anything else.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by ex » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:40 pm

I know many catholics that avoid the politics of the CC, go to church only a few times a year, and maintain a "private" religion more than anything else.
that sounds like: i go only to the main events. [at rse]. i only take from the teachings which suits me.
ramtha is not jz knight.
the citizen government comparison is good.
is than some stupid rules are better than anarchy the next argument?
why need people religion or group believes?

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Mon Jul 16, 2012 10:39 pm

ex
I get your point as to style of participation in RSE with some catholics

People are people whether they are in piss-ant cults or extended world religions

I agree: anarchy has never worked as a solution to human affairs except to tear down a corrupt ruler or assuage an adolescent rebel in his own mind.

some kind of agreement is necessary as to problems of knowledge, conduct and governance even at the family level if the family is to thrive.

RSE has almost no stable history with any of the above. It is primarily a business for JZ who like so many pathological cult leaders has created a social machine with layers of grandiosity and self deception that feed her lifestyle. JZ/Ramtha will leave no lasting teaching save for small pockets of relatively unexciting devotees run by committee. Look at or visit as I have the old Theosophy sects like the Ballards "I AM" cult or United Lodge of Theosophists today and you will see a version of RSE future.

The early Christian church [first 4 centuries] spent an enormous amount of energy retrofitting the teachings into Judaic, Stoic, and Greek (primarily Platonic) Philosophy [knowledge], moral and ethical codes that were established through conferences and debate, the 1st century Didache being the earliest document [conduct],
and systems of rule with presbyters [elders] that could be dismissed or voted out when needed [governance].

be careful when comparing RSE with any world religion or government.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Tue Jul 17, 2012 12:07 am

Joe:
This site references Dr Margaret Singer, one of the foremost "cult" experts in modern times---Dr Singer was quietly a [shhhh...Catholic]
Entering the darkside of the CC for a moment,[shhhh...Catholic] so was, Cortez, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco, Stalin .... :sad:
Ref:Many famous and infamous people have been Roman Catholics
http://jesuswouldbefurious.org/Catholic ... ities.html
Margaret Singer:
Here in the United States, many people criticize the Catholic, the Jewish and the Protestant Churches because they are supposedly not energetic and powerful enough to come to terms with the present needs, especially the needs of younger people. There may also be a parallel to Catholicism in the era right before Luther.
The Reformation brought about certain changes; those may perhaps be comparable with those which are happening with the sects. Maybe the complaints about our officially recognized churches should have more attention paid to them. Perhaps something similar is happening in several of the Evangelical Movements and in some of the Charismatic Movements inside of the Catholic, Jewish and Protestant Churches.
It would have been interesting to hear from Margaret on a more personal "closer to home" opinion as to what if anything
Re: "Maybe the complaints about our officially recognized churches should have more attention paid to them"
she directly criticizes the CC for? of what concrete and meaningful changes [governance] would she like set in place by the CC hierarchy?
In that context Joe...if possible..
I would appreciate a more personal opinion/reflection and insights of your CC journey :idea:
Otherwise it seems to me these issues just become swamped with intellectualism,
causing those that search for answers, meaning and healing from cultic abuse on EMF to silently exit stage left..... :sad:

Thanks

David
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:49 am

After 70 years the Vatican has not excommunicated Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin?
Yet...
The Decree against Communism is a 1949 Catholic Church document (by Pope Pius XII) which excommunicates all Catholics collaborating in communist organizations. The document resulted in one of the largest formal excommunications in the history of the Catholic Church (it could include more than several million Catholics).

The Vatican, having been silent during the war on communist excesses, displayed a harder line on communism after 1945. The ruling followed suit to an earlier 1937 encyclical entitled Divini Redemptoris which was strongly critical of communism and its Christian variants.

The Holy Office issued several decrees, falling broadly into two categories:

Defence of Church rights regarding the ordination of bishops and Church activities, and,
Condemnations of participation in Communist parties and organizations.
On July 15, 1948, L’Osservatore Romano published a decree about communism, which excommunicated those who propagate "the materialistic and anti-Christian teachings of communism", which was widely interpreted as an excommunication of the Communist Party of Italy, which however, was not mentioned in the decree.[1] The Sanctum Officium continued to issue condemnations:

Membership in communist parties, July 1, 1949 [2]:
Excommunication of Bishop Dechet, February 18, 1950,[3]
Membership in communist youth organizations, September 28, 1950,[4]
Usurpation of Church functions by the State, June 29, 1950,[5]
Illegitimate state ordered ordinations of bishops, April 9, 1951,[6]
Publications favouring totalitarian Communism, June 28 and July 22, 1955,[7]
The decree was confirmed in 1962 by Pope John XXIII when it was announced that Fidel Castro would be excommunicated for embracing Communism and persecuting members of the Catholic Church.

Catholic Church Decree formal excommunications against Communism - Wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decree_against_Communism
Hitler Was Not An Atheist
by John Patrick Michael Murphy
The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 19, Number 2.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
In George Orwell's 1984, it was stated, "Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past." Who is going to control the present-fundamentalism or freedom?
History is being distorted by many preachers and politicians. They are heard on the airwaves condemning atheists and routinely claim Adolph Hitler was one. Hitler was a Roman Catholic, baptized into that religio-political institution as an infant in Austria. He became a communicant and an altar boy in his youth and was confirmed as a "soldier of Christ" in that church. Its worst doctrines never left him. He was steeped in its liturgy, which contained the words "perfidious Jew." This hateful statement was not removed until 1961. "Perfidy" means treachery.

In his day, hatred of Jews was the norm. In great measure it was sponsored by two major religions of Germany, Catholicism, and Lutheranism. He greatly admired Martin Luther, who openly hated the Jews. Luther condemned the Catholic Church for its pretensions and corruption, but he supported the centuries of papal pogroms against the Jews. Luther said, "The Jews deserve to be hanged on gallows, seven times higher than ordinary thieves," and "We ought to take revenge on the Jews and kill them." "Ungodly wretches" he called the Jews in his book Table Talk.

Hitler seeking power, wrote in Mein Kampf, "... I am convinced that I am acting as the agent of our Creator. By fighting off the Jews. I am doing the Lord's work." Years later, when in power, he quoted those same words in a Reichstag speech in 1938.

Three years later he informed General Gerhart Engel: "I am now as before a Catholic and will always remain so." He never left the church, and the church never left him. Great literature was banned by his church, but his miserable Mein Kampf never appeared on the index of Forbidden Books. He was not excommunicated or even condemned by his church. Popes, in fact, contracted with Hitler and his fascist friends Franco and Mussolini, giving them veto power over whom the pope could appoint as a bishop in Germany, Spain, and Italy. The three thugs agreed to surtax the Catholics of these countries and send the money to Rome in exchange for making sure the state could control the church.

Those who would make Hitler an atheist should turn their eyes to history books before they address their pews and microphones. Acclaimed Hitler biographer John Toland explains his heartlessness as follows: "Still a member in good standing of the Church of Rome despite the detestation of its hierarchy, he carried within him its teaching that the Jews was the killer of god. The extermination, therefore, could be done without a twinge of conscience since he was merely acting as the avenging hand of god. ..."

Hitler's Germany amalgamated state with church. Soldiers of the vermacht wore belt buckles inscribed with the following: "Gott mit uns" (God is with us). His troops were often sprinkled with holy water by the priests. It was a real Christian country whose citizens were indoctrinated by both state and church and blindly followed all authority figures, political and ecclesiastical.

Hitler, like some of the today's politicians and preachers, politicized "family values." He liked corporeal punishment in home and school. Jesus prayers became mandatory in all schools under his administration. While abortion was illegal in pre-Hitler Germany, he took it to new depths of enforcement, requiring all doctors to report to the government the circumstances of all miscarriages. He openly despised homosexuality and criminalized it. If past is prologue, we know what to expect if liberty becomes license.

As a young child, I remember my late father, Martin J. Murphy, practicing a speech and loudly quoting the following: "Light up the mountain. Bring out the wild and fiery steed. Let it be known, that I, Gustavus, have insulted the King." Thinking for yourself and speaking your true thoughts - now that's a real family value.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

John Patrick Michael Murphy, a retired attorney and a member of Freethinkers of Colorado Springs, co-writes a freethought column for an alternative weekly newspaper
Hitler Was Not An Atheist
http://www.secularhumanism.org/library/ ... _19_2.html
The Weapon the Church Didn't Use: The Threat of Excommunication - Six Million Crucifixions Article
http://www.sixmillioncrucifixions.com/T ... ation.html
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Tue Jul 17, 2012 4:23 am

related Re: catholic church cult
Christopher Hitchens and Stephen Fry versus Ann Widdecombe John Onaiyekan in a debate on "Is the Catholic Church a force of good in the world".
The Intelligence Squared Debate (1 of 5) Hitchens, Fry, Widdecombe, Onaiyekan on the Catholic Church - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmFYpuYh ... re=related

Stephen Fry Catholic Church is Not a Force for Good. - Antitheist atheist - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L1xvdZMC10
Symphysiotomy - A Brutal Practice. It is estimated that 1,500 Irish women unknowingly and without consent underwent symphysiotomies during childbirth between 1944—1992. The practice was used by Catholic anti-birth-control doctors, in "Catholic hospitals" in Ireland during this time. Some survivors were left with severe lifelong after effects, including extreme pain, impaired mobility, incontinence, and depression.Then-Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney, ruled out a review on 19 February 2010.
The most common indications are a trapped head of a breech baby, shoulder dystocia which does not resolve with routine manoeuvres and obstructed labor at full cervical dilation when there is no option of a caesarean section. Currently the procedure is rarely performed in developed countries, but is still routine in developing countries where caesarean section is not always an option.
The procedure is not without risk, including urethral and bladder injury, infection, pain and long-term walking difficulty. Symphysiotomy should, therefore, be carried out only when there is no safe alternative. It is advised that this procedure should not be repeated due to the risk of gait problems and continual pain. It was the dismissive, & arrogant attitude of the Catholic priest on this programme that really pissed me off, but Vincent Brown - the presenter gave him a good grilling. Hope you find this interesting, & thank you for watching.
Catholic Cult- Abuse Strikes Yet Again - This Time- Symphysiotomy. - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkfwYfjYYBk
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Tue Jul 17, 2012 11:30 am

I would appreciate a more personal opinion/reflection and insights of your CC journey :idea:
Otherwise it seems to me these issues just become swamped with intellectualism,
causing our search for answers, meaning and healing from cultic abuse on EMF to silently exit stage left.....
David
thanks for posting the Intell squared debate from the UK links. I always enjoyed Chris Hitchens [may God rest his wearied soul ;-) ]. he was one of those outsized atheists that would even find major faults with Mother Teresa. I also enjoyed Stephen Fry--always eloquent despite his predictable representations of the CC. As A gay man he has every right to his opinion....catholic doctrine is tough on homosexual behavior.

Let me reframe this from a personal view and opinion, as you asked. I faded from CC doctrine rapidly after I entered college in 1965 and by 1967 was an agnostic and a kind of Gnostic via William Blake, Jung, Heidegger, Whitehead, Heinlein, Hesse, Camus and a host of mystically inclined authors. Add some THC, LSD and other psychotropic "entheogens" into the mix and you get a kind of Hippy SEEKER.

at the risk of endorsing an "experiential" anti-intellectual test for reality, I'll talk about my experience--something no one else can have...as far as I am concerned, when anyone drops a cult they are on their own to choose anything from atheism to devotional systems.

fast forward through Theosophy and CUT, my inner world in the fall of 1980 was a royal mess, shattered. Divorced and feeling psychotic I turned to the familiar, an old nun I met at a Carmelite Monastery. Sr Teresa was in her late 60s, had raised 4 good sons and was a widower who joined a nunnery late in life. I spilled out my dilemma to her about my CUT confusion which she found bewildering, so she said she would pray for me. This lasted maybe a few minutes with all 4 ft 10 inches of her standing over me sitting on a chair. After her unscripted prayer, I began sobbing uncontrollably for some minutes no doubt from many months of pent up confusion with no resolution. The effect was uncanny, For days i felt like my chest area was on high heat and my mind felt utterly clear. This has
nothing
to do with me knowing anything about truth or God or a real path--I had a lot to learn and unlearn. All panic attacks and cult related anxiety stopped. I began reading critical literature that I could not tolerate earlier with a sharper mind and that process has grown over the years. I did not go back to the CC as a result of this "experience" with a nun. My reentry to more serious CC practice came after my wife converted to the CC in 1987
[a non-aligned new ager when we met, she had a kind of personal awakening to the Gospel that really surprised me] and after I got my first marriage annulled through a lawyer/priest[that was an experience too that I still question] so we could have our marriage blessed in 1988 or so.

I will not go into all the other "experiences"--someday I may relate them in a memoir if I have inclination to finish one.

There are different ways Catholics approach the CC. Some retain a sense of dependence on the CC as they might a parent letting the CC drive them into heaven as long as they do not jump ship. Others like that feeling of being "certain" and exclusive and are at times pompous and preachy about that position--this is how most people view the Vatican. Others find a living, accessible matrix for self-development on a spiritual level without feeling certain of anything. I am in that last category. The mysteries of the Gospel continue to reshape and refine in my experience as long as I keep doing it.
St Francis once said, "Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary, use words." I have no desire to preach to anyone.

Conflicts are ubiquitous between standardized CC teaching that tends toward a fundamentalist or literalist interpretation on ideas like a "virgin birth." My instinct tells me that the early Gospel writers were talking about a cosmic principle, not a hymen.

Personally, I find atheism boring and merely reactionary. It is TOO easy as a fall back position based on the modernist/enlightenment wisdom about how science works. Nevertheless, no church or religion can ignore Darwin, Einstein, or Heisenberg. This challenge to old religious ideas fascinates me, but I choose to struggle from the inside of a numinous view rather than demean any notion of a real metaphysical mystery by saying when I die, that's it! But I can easily grasp that latter view---we all sense that the end might really be just that for what we call the self. I prefer not to be bored. I like entertainment, the play, the Lila. So I can understand my Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish or Muslim cousins from that perspective.

We still struggle with theories like the Singularity principle that appears to support the Bible and CC doctrine-- In the beginning YHWH created the material world out of nothing....and later in the Gospel, In the beginning was the Word....

the other option is that there was no beginning, that all goes in cycles, which is the Eastern tendency in religion. I do not buy into that any more. No flower repeats itself in my view despite Nietzsche's popular myth of the "eternal return" that continues to influence post-modern thought.

Basically it comes down to this for me. When Dorothy entered the land of OZ, the Munchkins wanted to know if she was a good witch or a bad witch. Her answer was that she was no witch at all (no magic powers but was given some protection in ruby shoes)..all she wanted to do was "go home." She went through her trials struggling to sort out how to get there and finally by some fluke while trying to save her Scarecrow/wisdom, destroyed the bad witch that had her trapped . She was helped by Courage/Lion, Wisdom/Scarecrow, and Charity or love/Tin Man, all of whom had to go through some sort of transformation to be fully self-realized as a psychological theme. If we continue to exercise Courage, Wisdom and Charity by some fluke [grace] we can overcome the bad witch inside of us.

These myths of course are silly to my friends at the Skeptical Inquirer or at Free Inquiry who prefer a dry rational world view, may the universe bless their enlightenment no-souls.

By extension, the CC has a rich culture of myths and mysteries that allows for a wide variety of personal experience and expression. Constricting cults have no such breadth by definition. I was born into this rich, embattled CC culture, so I choose to make the best of it, sort of like the Dalai Lama does with his rich culture that was imposed on him from childhood. I have no idea how I would strive, say, if I had been born into Scientology, but I imagine I would not be a Scientologist for long as an adult knowing what I know now.

Without saving and using wisdom with courage and love, no one gets out of the bad witch's castle alive. That includes all Catholics, imho.

well, I'll stop there.. forgive me if I lost the point of your question.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by WofthesunEofthemoon » Tue Jul 17, 2012 3:08 pm

Once a mystic, always a mystic, I sometimes think, Joe. And that's pretty much how I see you. :D

W.E

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:13 am

W.E.

not sure if that is compliment...some of us artistic types continue to move in the cloud of unknowing
no matter how hard we try to stay in our shoes....

used to be one of my favored books
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cloud_of_Unknowing

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Wed Jul 18, 2012 8:15 am

Hi Joe,
A quick comment Re:
"be careful when comparing RSE with any world religion or government.
I am sure...If you add up the amount of
(piss-ant cults)
on the planet they amount to one gigantic cultist movement,
each with their own twists of seductive religious and political poisons,
but fundamentally created and controlled by similar charismatic megalomaniac sociopaths in varying degrees of power and destruction over innocent lives.
They come in many shapes and sizes, the trick is how to spot them, recover from them, and stop them.
And certainly Joe.... I don't see the CC is free of them :cry: and addressing this issue is missing from your "catholic church cult" thread conversation so far.
At least that's the way I see it.
forgive me if I lost the point of your question.
I appreciate your sharing a more humanistic perspective of your journey in the CC, and i am sure it runs much deeper that your words can convey here.
So I ask the following questions with respect and understand you need not answer them at all.

1. What criticism 'if any' do you personally have about the CC?
2. What concrete and meaningful changes [governance] and doctrines would you like to see abolished or set in place by the CC / hierarchy/system?
On the subject of your marriage and present relationship.
Your more serious CC practices came after your wife converted to the Catholicism in 1987, I am interested to understand...
3. What do you mean by more serious CC practices Joe?
4. Was your wife's conversion to Catholicism to facilitate conditions for a valid CC Sacramental Marriage?
5. Was your wife drawn to the CC before she met you?

I would really appreciate your candid views and insights on these questions,
if possible without your being excommunicated from the Catholic Church as a heretic mystic speaking his mind.. ;-)
Perhaps it's too late to worry about that Joe as WofthesunEofthemoon posted...
Once a mystic, always a mystic :shock:

Again..thank you for sharing you insights Re: catholic church cult thus far... :idea:

David.

___________________________________

Related:
Marriage between Catholics and non-Catholics

The Catholic Church also has requirements before Catholics can be considered validly married in the eyes of the Church.
In addition to meeting the criteria for a valid Catholic marriage, the Catholic must seek permission from the local bishop to marry a non-Catholic. If the person is a non-Catholic Christian, this permission is called a "permission to enter into a mixed marriage." If the person is a non-Christian, the permission is called a "dispensation from disparity of cult." Those helping to prepare the couple for marriage can assist with the permission process.

Marriages between Catholics and non-Catholics (including when the latter have been baptised in another Christian church) were viewed as "mixed marriage". From the very beginning of its existence the Catholic Church has been opposed to such unions, as it was looked upon as degrading the holy character of matrimony, involving as it did a communion in sacred things with those outside the fold. The Catholic Church therefore did all in its power to hinder baptised Catholics from contracting marriage with those outside the church, and who did not recognize the sacramental character of the union on which they were entering. Hence arose the impediments to a marriage with a "heretic" (mixta religio) and with an "infidel" (disparitas cultus).

Catholic marriage - Wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_marriage
Ex-Catholic Church Priest speaks out - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... HEq_k&NR=1

Father Tom's Story--Inside the Priesthood - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHiYUy3a ... re=related

Catholics Speak Out | Quixote Center
http://quixote.org/programs/catholics-speak-out

The Whistleblower Priest - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4cJ8nkOa30

Catholics for Choice - Speak Out
http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/actio ... eakOut.asp

Criticism of the Catholic Church - Wikipedia,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_ ... lic_Church

Over 600 Physicians, including 70 Catholics, Speak Out in Favor of HHS Contraception Ruling - Doctors for America
http://www.drsforamerica.org/press-rele ... ion-ruling
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by ex » Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:47 am

thanks for your more personal view joe. thanks for digging up all the materials david.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by WofthesunEofthemoon » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:05 am

Very much a compliment, Joe. :D. I like the metaphor of the 'cloud of unknowing', which I also seem to spend much time wandering around in! :D

David, I appreciate your reasons for wishing to pin Joe down on all these questions with regard to the RC Church. I was brought up, from a small child, to regard Roman Catholicism as the 'devil's work', and have had a hard job addressing this prejudice within myself. However, in my view, some of the things that you have asked Joe seem to be on a deep and very personal nature which I wonder whether emf has the right to address to him?

I know that Joe can speak for himself, but I did wince when I read your post to him, today.

W.E

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:53 am

I wonder whether emf has the right to address to him?
Hi WofthesunEofthemoon,
Yes...I believe we do.
I have thought about this question very deeply and have avoided challenging Joe on the CC issues until now... not wanting to offend nor judge.
However, I believe my questions are relevant on EMF and it takes just that
"on a deep and very personal nature"
stand to ask those difficult and candid questions with “hopefully” candid and honest answers within a supportive and compassionate standing on EMF.
Posting beautiful inspirational quotes/pictures is important too. I will look for some.... :D
but as I have observed with Joe many times on EMF, he will not shirk from calling out RSE or other cults for its abhorrent practices and hypocrisies.
Why should the CC religion or any religion not be questioned with as much sincerity and to the bone questioning on EMF as we do RSE?

And what better opportunity to ask Joe... who has invited our questioning Re: catholic church cult.

David.
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:35 am

bzzzzzzzzz..is that a fly or a hornet :?: or just another curious mind at work, David :?:
yes, I took some questions as too personal [thus meaningless to anyone outside my self and wife] but I will offer responses as i see fit.

I purposely started this thread to ferret out the quality of anti-catholic bias, btw, one that is well-deserved when scrolling thru centuries of CC behaviors as a political power and bizarre approaches to other religions, cultures and emerging sciences.

Though it is well-deserved, is the criticism accurate? The latter point is what I am after, not avoiding the criticism..do you know what the hell you are talking about when you talk nasty about Scientology?

To properly study cult behavior I have a vast resource in CC history alone that allows for a deeper grasp of this phenomenon than study of one or a thousand small sects like RSE.

Even all lumped together into some kind of inscrutible mess--not the way to go, D.---all cults cannot define one cult. This is a yearning for an easy stereotype. If you want that about the CC, rejoin RSE...

This very human problem that repeats itself throughout our history in all religions has a name[s]: Lifton called it "ideological totalism." Lalich calls it "bounded choice." both insist that the harm possible is a matter of degree to which the principles behind ideological totalism are in force.

Those forces ebbed and flowed throughout CC history in different ways depending on the place and time and environmental stressors. RSE is a modern new religion in a specific context, a mere 40 years in existence.
1. What criticism 'if any' do you personally have about the CC?
If any??? are you kidding? I do not have all year to answer this, but consider this: The CC is so massive that it lacks the agility to properly address the rapidly changing world of human development.....Vatican 2 was a start with John 23 in the 1960s but the CC as a body is ready for another Vatican Council asap...female priests anyone? Even this present pope has written that the CC would be better off keeping to the essential Gospel as a smaller force, more efficient in the world. The way I read it, he hints that this shakeup of the old institutions within the CC---a time when Satan will shred the CC from within--is a major test of what is true.
2. What concrete and meaningful changes [governance] and doctrines would you like to see abolished or set in place by the CC / hierarchy/system?
None.
But the right pope with a solidly elected magisterium could make a big difference..
Imo, the essential CC interpretation of scripture is as sophisticated as it gets in any denomination. Nuances however remain [eg, what is the 'virgin birth'; the body and blood of Christ] and that is primarily up to the individual Catholic to struggle with in the end. The CC offers a doctrine as a guide or statement of faith, but doctrine is never absolute. If one veers too far from doctrine, then quit the CC--or they might "excommunicate" you anyway and make it easier for you. Of course, one has to accept that there is a Gospel as defined by tradition...
The old saying is: if you are going to be a heretic [one who chooses], you'd better be right or you are just making another false choice.
On the subject of your marriage and present relationship.
Your more serious CC practices came after your wife converted to the Catholicism in 1987, I am interested to understand...


3. What do you mean by more serious CC practices Joe?
applying the good in the Gospel without fanfare, recognition, or thought of reward.
4. Was your wife's conversion to Catholicism to facilitate conditions for a valid CC Sacramental Marriage?
No. But my annulment was....
5. Was your wife drawn to the CC before she met you?
Hell no...her mother and dad avoided Christianity in raising the kids. She was around some Edgar Cayce types in Spain looking for Atlantis in 1973, eg. It was written up in Newsweek:
bzzzzzzzzz..is that a fly or a hornet :?: or just another curious mind at work, David :?:
yes, I took some questions as too personal [thus meaningless to anyone outside my self and wife] but I will offer responses as i see fit.

I purposely started this thread to ferret out the quality of anti-catholic bias, btw, one that is well-deserved when scrolling thru centuries of CC behaviors as a political power and bizarre approaches to other religions, cultures and emerging sciences.

Though it is well-deserved, is the criticism accurate? The latter point is what I am after, not avoiding the criticism..do you know what the hell you are talking about when you talk nasty about Scientology?

To properly study cult behavior I have a vast resource in CC history alone that allows for a deeper grasp of this phenomenon than study of one or a thousand small sects like RSE.

Even all lumped together into some kind of inscrutible mess--not the way to go, D.---all cults cannot define one cult. This is a yearning for an easy stereotype. If you want that about the CC, rejoin RSE...

This very human problem that repeats itself throughout our history in all religions has a name[s]: Lifton called it "ideological totalism." Lalich calls it "bounded choice." both insist that the harm possible is a matter of degree to which the principles behind ideological totalism are in force.

Those forces ebbed and flowed throughout CC history in different ways depending on the place and time and environmental stressors. RSE is a modern new religion in a specific context, a mere 40 years in existence.
1. What criticism 'if any' do you personally have about the CC?
If any??? are you kidding? I do not have all year to answer this, but consider this: The CC is so massive that it lacks the agility to properly address the rapidly changing world of human development.....Vatican 2 was a start with John 23 in the 1960s but the CC as a body is ready for another one asap...female priests anyone? Even this present pope has written that the CC would be better off keeping to the essential Gospel as a smaller force, more efficient in the world. The way I read it, he hints that this shakeup of the old institutions within the CC---a time when Satan will shred the CC from within--is a major test of what is true.
2. What concrete and meaningful changes [governance] and doctrines would you like to see abolished or set in place by the CC / hierarchy/system?
None.
But the right pope with a solidly elected magisterium could make a big difference..
Imo, the essential CC interpretation of scripture is as sophisticated as it gets in any denomination. Nuances however remain [eg, what is the 'virgin birth'; the body and blood of Christ] and that is primarily up to the individual Catholic to struggle with in the end. The CC offers a doctrine as a guide or statement of faith, but doctrine is never absolute. If one veers too far from doctrine, then quit the CC--or they might "excommunicate" you anyway and make it easier for you. Of course, one has to accept that there is a Gospel as defined by tradition...
The old saying is: if you are going to be a heretic [one who chooses], you'd better be right or you are just making another false choice.
On the subject of your marriage and present relationship.
Your more serious CC practices came after your wife converted to the Catholicism in 1987, I am interested to understand...


3. What do you mean by more serious CC practices Joe?
applying the good in the Gospel without fanfare, recognition, or thought of reward.
4. Was your wife's conversion to Catholicism to facilitate conditions for a valid CC Sacramental Marriage?
No. But my annulment was....she is my wife whether in the CC or not...no religion is my God.
5. Was your wife drawn to the CC before she met you?
Hell no...her mother and dad avoided Christianity in raising the kids. She was deep into some Edgar Cayce types in Spain looking for Atlantis in 1973, eg. It was written up in Newsweek. My wife, then 20, was the leader's personal assistant!
see: http://www.apollonius.net/atlantis.html
of the Ancient Mediterranean Research Association headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Our Founder and Director is Professor Maxine Klein Asher, formerly of Pepperdine University. The Co-Founder was Pepperdine Professor Julian Nava, who later served as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico under President Jimmy Carter. I first became acquainted with Dr. Asher in 1973, because she was in the news for her expedition to Spain to prove the discovery of the Lost Atlantis. Accompanied by Spanish undersea diver Francisco "Paco" Salazar Casero, she travelled with a university group to Cadiz. Paco, she reported later, took some underwater photos of Atlantean artifacts. But, as luck would have it, they were diving and exploring too close to a top-secret naval facility and got "chased out" of Spain as spies, fearing for their lives, and sought refuge in Ireland.
This entire event in Spain was a major cult experience for her gone awry---a delusional odyssey.

Would she have any interest in CC had she not met me? I have no idea :!: Would you have met your wife without RSE :?: That is a similar question. We are creatures of our relationships---to assess personal reality and know who we are, we rely on feedback from those around us.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Thu Jul 19, 2012 1:42 am

sorry, I could not edit the repeat copy above

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:32 am

hope anyone reading this thread isn't getting a headache :shock:
....some ex-members struggle mightily with religious issues and the validity of any organized religion, resisting with all their instinct to taste of that poison again in any form or label.....I know I did.

The CC is the most imposing symbol of religion for the West, but it is also much more--it is in us in the Western culture, in our language, myths. Every democracy has its legacy from what was developed out of Jewish and Greek through Christian history. It is no mystery that the Enlightenment grew directly out of a University system established by the CC, and that the corruption in the CC caused the Reformation that in turn spawned a decentralization of hierarchical rule. Secular governments took up the slack, for better and for worse.

But from my point of view, there remains an essential mystery in the Christ event that speaks to the heart of human existence. I am not going to get into that now, but for future reference that is precisely what JZ Knight claims to sit on for her authority--Ramtha said: I am Christ for you in this age. All RSE folks are by default "protestant Christians". JZ has not escaped her personal matrix either...she merely rebels against it.

In a post above, the one I messed up when I cut and pasted something, I lost a point I was finishing for David regarding his question: 1. What criticism 'if any' do you personally have about the CC?

for the record, I am not an "apologist" by any scholarly standard, so all I offer is an opinion, of sorts.
The CC today has many official and unofficial websites. Of course, as David lists links, finding criticism of the CC is easy.
One CC site that addresses both science and doctrinal issues is this one: http://catholicintl.com/
The value here is that the CC offers standard science as well as "myth" centered interpretations of that science in accord with a Gospel tradition. This latter area is what confounds most critics but it remains entirely consistent withing the fold. Let me explain. Look at this site's simple video of the "universe"
http://catholicintl.com/index.php/science/universe

kind of cool 8)

Then go to the argument about the Guadalupe miracle painting on a tilma of the newly canonized 16th century Indian Juan Diego:
http://catholicintl.com/index.php/catho ... -guadalupe

This is something I have been researching for many years--the Guadalupe and other Marian apparitions. I have one book by a Jesuit written less than 20 years ago that is completely at odds with the Vatican as to whether the image on the tilma is a miracle--he says it was painted around 400 years ago, not miraculously created, and identifies the likely Mexican Indian artist. The CC tradition upholds a host of miraculous ideas associated with it. There are a variety of cults surrounding the Guadalupe, not all of them so benign--like drug cartel operatives that have it as a major tattoo.
There is no directive that every Catholic has to believe in any saint....most around the world ignore the Guadalupe as it appears to be a distinct cultural artifact---I really do not know what to make of it yet.

That's it for now.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Robair » Thu Jul 19, 2012 3:33 pm

Hello Everyone
David was having a Surgery yesterday it might take him a few days to keep this conversation going.
David and I talked a lot about this tread and it purpose on EMF.
Perhaps someone of you might think that David got a bit personal, myself do not think so, the questions was not met to be personal but more to try to understand how one goes from a cult like CUT to the Catholic religion, most cult member will tell you that they have been influenced by other people in their live when come to join a cult. Joe is a very prominent figure in the anti cult world of mind control, David was just trying to have Joe help us to understand some of his thought process for him to go from one to the other. I am sorry that some of you and Joe think that it was too personal, it was not met to be that way, we are all in the same boat trying to understand what it is all about, if we are not honest in that process how we are going to learn and understand.
Hey David hope the surgery went well.
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:20 pm

Robair

I wish David well re surgery--no fun, to be sure.

My position that some questions are too personal is just that. It does not mean I am offended by the personal questions. I took no offense. The problem is negotiating what is relevent as an answer.

But if questions degrade into ad hominem attacks--i can play hardball too :lol: not that I will.... ;-)

There is a show on EWTN, the CC channel in the US, called Journey Home wherein adult men and women explain why and how they re-joined or arrived at joining the CC. the interviews are thoughtful, personal, and enlightening from any pov. Most of these adults take many years after considering the move to actually make it. All of them seem to have some identification with the Christ event, as i do. Their journeys range from atheism, Fundamentalism, Judaism, Islam, lapsed status, etc, but most were died in the wool Protestants.

When comparing these stories to any of my cult clients, there is a vast difference. Openness as to doctrine and behavior is key---there are no "men behind the curtain" making the Wizard of Oz talk...the curtain is drawn...as to what is going on from a fallible, sinful human level as to the religion.
In valid Christianity or CC practice, the religion is known as one that is "shouted from the rooftops". There is no hidden Gnosis, no esoteric initiation behind the walls, no intensive "experience" manipulating workshops other than classroom lessons for a year or so. The CC has accomodated a variety of sects within like the Knights of Columbus that some scholars say was a reaction to the Freemason drain on high level CC members--to me this is a political thing and not essential to the Christian faith in any way.

Like I said, one can find 'cultic' behavior all over the congregation in the CC. Cultic is not always dangerous or harmful [Flat Earth Society, eg] but one must always be cautious due to the charisma of identification in cults that can lead to elitism, exclusivity, pride, irrational devotion, and paranoia.

The popes submit to a role, they are buried owning basically nothing. Cult leaders tend to form little dynasties, their families benefitting from the wealth--the Rev Moon is a prime example, as was Eliz Prophet who was hoping one of her 5 kids would take up the mantle as Messenger--Erin, the eldest daughter was in that position when "mom" got Alzheimer's, but Erin could not sustain the possession and 'woke up' from the delusion: Mom after all was channeling ideas/images/hallucinations in her brain more than anything else. No evidence exists that any of the 36+ "masters" she channeled had any reality outside of her brain. This is not to rule out that some kind of actual spiritual possession was taking place---depends on one's definition of "possession" and "spirit".

I will wait for David to return to comment further on his questions.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Robair » Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:58 pm

Hello Everyone
Hey Joe, Great thank.
Have not heard from David yet, they were going to keep him in the Hospital a day or so after the surgery.

As you know I am French Canadian and also you know that like most French Canadian are born and raised Catholic, My Mother was a very devote Catholic so was my father but not as much, I served Mass from the age of 10 until 15 years old went to church most every day during those years exception was weather sickness, Both of them passed away before I joined RSE in 1981. I would have never told them as it would have hurt my Mother gravely, I adored her, and who knows if she would have been alive in 1981 I might not have fallen for it, one will never know. Like most Catholic Mothers mine was not an exception dreaming that one of her child would become Priest, and if you know this seem to fall most of the time on the youngest in the Family. One of her favorite Oder (Ordre in French) was the frères Franciscans a small Ordre that had a Pilgrimage sanctuary about 50 miles from where I was born a place where I spent summer retreats 4 of them if I recall well. Beautiful loving place they are located in Lac Bouchette QC. I am from Alma Lac St Jean, beautiful region about 300 miles North East Of Montreal.
That being said and I think you would agree that a good portion of people that Joint cults are from a base religion perhaps using the excused that our religion did not fulfilled or need to know what ever that need was not to get to profound.
So David asking those question were met more to understand your though process that got you there, you mentioned that you did not do that in a spur of the moment but did lot of research to get to that conclusion. I can only talk for myself but for me after been in the mind of RSE for 25 years , finding out left me confused and with no desired to know about anything religious, perhaps grouping all of them in the same categories in not a solution either. Since then my focus is on RSE not trying to justified it purpose or meaning just putting them out of Business will do, would I stay this way for the rest of my life, who knows, but getting other thought and understand is always welcome and taking very seriously. If anyone want to know more about what I think about Catholic religion I have written a very good post # 137 on WEC a couple of years ago when I was dealing with lot of Bible Preachers there, I also talk about Joe on it . So some might think that what David was asking might not be appropriate but when you think what we all have been true, and what we are face with, we need all the help we can get.
Ok Joe will be looking forward to read what you have in mind.
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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Fri Jul 20, 2012 10:10 am

Robair
thanks for adding your history.


as to your point that most people come from a base religions: In 1983 the Jewish community reported that fully 1/8 of that generation of Jews in the US had joined cults---that is an amazing number. No wonder that it was the Jews that set up the first cult clinics in NY and in LA by the late 1970s. The 3HO Sikh cult under the 'sociopathic' Yogi Bhajan, a group of maybe 1000 core members that I knew well in NM back in the 1980s, was comprised by half or more of Jews back then. The Divine Light Mission attracted a very high percentage of Jews. and so on. Many of the ex-members returned to their folds to some degree after some recovery time.

in my experience with interventions over the years I avoided bringing up my CC orientation unless specifically asked. Too many non-Catholics will assume I am some kind of Fundamentalist that swallows things literally and I am not. Also, as we can sense in this thread, a swarm of negatives can flood the questioner. Explaining the reality is a pain. It is not like answering whether "I" am pregnant or not. It is more like having a relationship with a kid after it is born...the kid is real but not every one will raise it the same way.
But I can sympathize with good Muslims I know in the US---since 9/11 individual Muslims have been oggled with suspicion by ignorant Americans who find all guilty by association. Muslim history is no less riddled with evil in its midst than Catholic. If we choose a world religion as our own, we have to live with the burden of that history as well.


I was looking over two google searches tonight:
Why I became a Catholic
Why I am not a catholic

Their stories are enlightening either way but rarely definitive. The latter x-CC members appeared to fade due to the utter unreasonableness in CC teaching:
So, to summarize the last 3 pages, my main problem with Christian faith, is that God does visibly nothing and has no way to act. Prayer is a monologue, at best a silence; on one hand I hear about “Providence”, on the other I’m taught I shouldn’t take God for a genie that does magic tricks. All of that is more coherent with a God that doesn’t exist than the Christian God.


The former have experiences that convince in a kind of flash that it's true. This is from a former neo-Pagan woman:
My conversion to the Catholic Church took about three seconds. I was an arrogant fool sitting in on my very first Mass and watching it like I'd watch a National Geographic nature film
she was referring to a sacred, personal epiphany, that it really was "God" occuring at the consecration of the host. the rest for her was the tedious sorting through the fine print before "signing on."

so 'experience' as a kind of satori can trigger belief for life and reason can deconstruct belief to the point of meaninglessness.

for the average catholic [and me], it is this belief in Emmanuel [God is with us] reified at every mass and available in ritual form during communion that keeps them going. This is not based on reason; it is based on satori...The rest to a CC member is really secondary. Most I know tend to ignore the "antiquated" chauvinist rules and attitudes wrapped around what they see as the Truth. The preaching and Gospel are supportive but not central. No other Christian denomination other than Orthodox revolves around the Eucharistic sacrifice as "real." Protestantism generally revolves around the book/scripture/the word.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by David McCarthy » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:07 am

Thank you Joe, Robair, Kensho, W.E... everyone,

It's been five days now since my sinus surgery; it really knocked me off my feet :shock:
Everything went well in surgery and I am sure it will prove successful.
It may take another week till I'm fully recovered, but rest assured, I am following all threads and look forward to sharing with you soon.

David
But he has nothing on at all, cried at last the whole people....

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by WofthesunEofthemoon » Wed Jul 25, 2012 4:19 am

Before this thread is totally put to bed, I would like to say to the 'mods', that whilst I understand your reasons for putting Joe over a barrel here, my thoughts on the matter were that some of the questions put to him were not only very personal, but also private.

However, having said that, and Joe having responded, my thoughts, now, are that, in the case of 'epiphanies', and belief without intellectual intervention, we are left very much in a position of suspending ones critical faculties, yet again, just as with RSE, and cults in general.

In response to Joe's answer as to what he feels his 'core' work as a member of the RC Church is, it puts me much in mind of one of the prayers of St Ignatious Loyala, a favourite of mine, for many years:

Teach me, O, Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest, To give and not to count the cost, To fight and not to heed the wounds, To toil and not to seek for rest, To labour and not to seek for any reward, save that of knowing that I do Thy will.

W.E.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:12 am

Teach me, O, Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest, To give and not to count the cost, To fight and not to heed the wounds, To toil and not to seek for rest, To labour and not to seek for any reward, save that of knowing that I do Thy will.
w.e.

That Ignatius quote cuts to the core of the problem of prayer, confession, self-awareness, and communication or communion with anything supernatural or transcendent. How does Ignatius know he is talking to anyone other than himself? That a "Deity" is actually hearing him? He does not. It helps if one prays out loud in front of other human beings to get not only a reality check on the invocation but also a witness as to the "fruits" or behaviors after a prayer.

By the same token, the reason the CC instituted the act of confession to a priest [Reconciliation as a sacrament] was to avoid the self-serving practice of confessing before God alone which easily translates into self-as-God or self-forgiveness.

The principle at work here is the same one that gets people into and out of cults: We need feedback from the people around us to grasp who we are and whether what we are doing is right. The question is: Who are the people giving you feedback? What is the source of judgment or evaluation?
in the case of 'epiphanies', and belief without intellectual intervention, we are left very much in a position of suspending ones critical faculties, yet again, just as with RSE, and cults in general.
I cannot emphasize this point more: Experience is only the beginning of awareness. An epiphany is not a guarantee of right spirituality. In the Christian tradition, recall Saul being knocked off his horse and blinded by an 'epiphany' of JC/God saying, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" He next submitted to study under the living Apostles before he could grasp what that "experience" was all about.

People have these epiphanies at any number of cult workshops or intensives. The mystical experiences are powerful but also very dangerous. Radical Islamists have these epiphanies also during training and Koran study.
Human beings will bond within the environment in which the ecstatic experience takes place.

So the neo-Pagan lady that converted to the CC "in 3 seconds" had a lot to learn, but she did inadvertently bond with the CC at that moment. The difference here is that the CC mass is not very exciting, so the neo-pagan's ecstasy was possibly genuine as compared to cult workshops like a Tony Robbins firewalk wherein the ecstasy is obviously engineered---what R J Lifton called "mystical manipulation."

This is a tough call. Without these epiphanies we cannot feel the power of a transcendent deity and spiritual life would not be as much fun or enlightening.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by WofthesunEofthemoon » Wed Jul 25, 2012 3:42 pm

Hi, Joe, thank you for your cogent reply.

I hear what you say with regard to evaluating ourselves, our thoughts, beliefs, prayers, etc, in the light of others and their feedback. However, even a priest giving absolution, or hearing confession, etc, cannot know, for certain, anymore than we, nor Ignatious, for that matter, that there is a 'God' out there. So, one's confession to a priest, and any forgiveness received, may not come from God, either. Also, I have an idea that to learn to be able to forgive oneself may not be in any way a bad thing, in answer to your point about private confession, without the benefit of a witness, or priest.

However, I very much agree with you about the 'fun' bit with regard to a sense of transcendence and epiphany. For myself, I was brought up as an Anglo Catholic, and the Communion Service is the equivalent of Mass. It can be a very powerful experience, and not dull at all. However, not at all of a spectacular nature, it goes without saying! :D

Nevertheless, as with the prayer of Ignatious, which I oft times spoke with others, but which I now see in a somewhat different light, I now also have a very different take on the Church of my upbringing.

Thank you, once again, for sharing all your views.

W.E

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Wed Jul 25, 2012 7:10 pm

W.E.
the principle for Christian prayer, judgment, self-evaluation, forgiveness stems from the saying: Where two or more are gathered in my name, there I AM. (Matt 18:20)

This comes from an ancient Jewish and tribal law that requires 2 or more witness to properly judge a crime or event. Recall that "judges" and "gods" were interchangeable in that tribal culture--men acting in place of God:
The Torah says (Deuteronomy 19:15): "One witness shall not arise against a man for any sin or guilt that he may commit; according to two witnesses or according to three witnesses a matter shall stand." Thus, two witnesses provide conclusive proof of reality, but one witness does not.


This is the same principle operating in our secular world re all therapeutic interventions [second opinion] law [cross-referencing, verifying] science [repeatable results from experiment by a peer] sports [two or more refs convene to determine the "right" call, etc.

This principle has been a caution in both religious and secular affairs to the singular most offensive "sin" among human beings who would proclaim themselves as "God" or gods, in Greek religion, the sin of hubris.

As I mentioned above in McNamara's possession theory, "he" or "she" who commits to that "sin" of I AM God must be as innocent as a pure lamb or the Divine King and be ready to sacrifice oneself, take on all the sins of the tribe, nation, world.

The priest is obviously a fallible human being in confession, but in my experience most of these ordained CC guys I knew/know were trained for years and the old ones have heard everything more than once. Not unlike seasoned therapists (some of whom are goofballs), they handled the confessional quite well, thus it was at least a step in the right direction for a penitent that vows to "sin no more" or at least make a go of it.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by WofthesunEofthemoon » Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:39 pm

Joe, your argument, broadened in this way, of course makes perfect sense, and draws together a wide spectrum of matters.

Your points, as you have expressed them here, with regard to forgiveness, also reach areas of agreement with my own views..

W.E

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Virginia » Mon Jul 30, 2012 7:12 pm

I am not a Christian, my partner is. He has studied theology, greek and hebrew languages, etc... Needless to say this debate has been talked out on many occasions at our home. From what I understand this passage summarizes the essence of Christianity:

Matthew 22:37-40 (New King James Version:

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”


He concedes however that many Christians do not fully comprehend the significance of the teachings. There is obviously politics, judgement, and even corruption mixed throughout the community. The Catholic Church in the past has been horribly corrupt and although it has made attempts to clean up it's image, it has not succeeded on many fronts.

Now that I have stated his views here are mine:
I have always deplored the ideas of original sin, heaven for the people that accept Jesus as the Savior no matter how "sinful" they are compared to a highly moral non-Christian burning in hell". I started to read the bible and couldn't get past the idea that God was stupid enough to put a tree in the Garden of Eden, tell his children not to touch it, and then be shocked that they did. I give God more credit and I tolerate very little of organized religion. I know that men wrote the bible. I know that as distasteful as this may be to many Jesus could have been the Ramtha of the day whose con game has been perpetuated by his handlers... or he could have been an amazing master who put things in little kids terms so we dummies could grasp a little of the point of existence. I have no idea. However, by the strict definition all religions, groups etc are CULTS. Even EE and EMF are cults. Once again we have to talk about destructive cults. I find many religions or sects to be destructive. Teaching children they will go to hell is abuse in my opinion. However I concede that not all Christians do that.

My partner is a moderator on EE and I felt a little uncomfortable when he tried to clear up the misunderstandings (in his opinion) of his faith. Recently someone posted something on how the church treats/treated women. He said there were some "sign of times" language in the bible but reminded everyone that Judeo/Christian religions were some of the first to respect both genders and educate women. I respect my partner greatly because I know the kind of man he is but I am uncomfortable with anyone defending religion yet I concede that we all have beliefs and perspectives even if they are not based in religion. There is no one void of beliefs. I didn't mind him defending what he thought to be an inaccuracy on a specific subject, and he doesn't have ANY interest in converting anyone so I decided it was okay to leave it- but I do feel there is a conflict as moderators of ex cult support groups to be defending religion as they tear down other cults. By his and Joe's own admission there are problems in organized religions/sects and they can be destructive. I am not sure that Joe has been as quick to call out the continued failings of the CC as he would be to call out JZ Knight. At your LARSE meeting when Greg "dick" Simmons said the church threatens their subjects with hell- he was right on that point. How can a religion who believes in such a scare tactics call out another? You can't wiggle out of that. That is abusive and destructive. If we are to maintain credibility in our positions as "cult busters" we must be totally objective without agenda. I do not have an agenda to keep people from religion, my partner and Joe do not have an agenda to get people into a religion- but there is a credibility problem here. I guess it feels like the people living in glass houses shouldn't be throwing stones. If you can't accept and concede that you are a cult as well, and keep your own house clean by denouncing corrupt practices, than you become an easy target in the credibility war. If we are not able to honestly call out these organizations on their behavior, and nonsense than you become a liability here which is sad considering all the great work you have done to expose cults. Joe, the catholic church stinks to the core. Your pope helped to do the abusive-priest shuffle and he has taken over as pope? You should be outraged. RSE is a destructive cult, not a bad marriage. Politically correctness is great if you are a diplomat, not if you are a champion for the bamboozled and molested.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by Sad Grandfather » Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:08 am

Well said! I was born and grew up in a fundamentalist church. When I started to question some of the beliefs, I was told to accept what I was told or burn in hell for eternity. It didn't make sense, to me, that we were told that God has infinite love for us, but if we don't accept exactly what we are told he will send us to eternal torture.

The I had a major auto accident and the two people who came by to visit, didn't ask how they could help, but told me it was God's punishment for not being faithful to the church. Then my teenage daughter came home from church crying, because they laid the guilt trip on her. That's when I called the perpetrators and told them that if I had to be like them, I thought I might be happier in hell than with them in heaven. Since my daughter has been involved with the ramster scam I can see the similarites between the RSE scam and the church.

I currently believe there is a controlling power of the universe, which makes more sense to me than that it all just "happens". I guess my current belief is that God and the universe are infinite and eternal, and that Man created "religion", in all its many forms, and things have been screwed up ever since. This is just something I choose to believe, and I have NO desire to convert anyone to my belief. I am totally aware that we can have no way of knowing all the vast knowledge of the universe, and belief is an individual thing.

The Bible was written by, and for, people who thought the earth was flat, and the center of the universe. Now we know that Earth is like a speck of dust revolving around a very minor star in the infinite universe. If there is a God, controlling it all, then we are farther below Him/Her/It than a bacteria in our sewer.

To each his own, as long as it does not do harm to others.
Down with Judith Hampton Knight!

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by joe sz » Tue Jul 31, 2012 7:46 am

If we are to maintain credibility in our positions as "cult busters" we must be totally objective without agenda. I do not have an agenda to keep people from religion, my partner and Joe do not have an agenda to get people into a religion- but there is a credibility problem here.
Playing God, are we? Totally objective? I do not play God --nor pretend to just because I slept in Holiday Inn Express. Find me anyone who is "totally objective". Also, find me someone w/o an agenda or bias. I have yet to find such a human being. Credibility comes from credible information, evidence, and argument. Not from being totally right--no pope could even make that claim.
Joe, the catholic church stinks to the core.
The above is an example of a totalist statement. It is basically meaningless...a political or emotional slur to prevent having to think about it. I would not say that about any cult, for example. If cults stunk that much, nobody would join. I would also argue that what you smell is not the core of the CC. Where is your nose aiming?

For another project, I just finished re-reading Thus Spake Zarathustra, Nietzsche's long epic wherein he explores his 'myth of the Eternal Return', his announcement of the 'Death of God', and his idea of the Ubermensch or 'Superman.' His ideas influenced a host of folks in the 20th Century including some proto Nazis, atheist Ayn Rand, and many neo-atheists to this day. Nietzsche was a bit nuts but his arguments were quite sophisticated if you can unpack his mythology. He rails against the Christian Church [as a dead end], the pope, says Jesus was basically a "weak" man, etc. He was influenced by Schopenhauer who was in turn influenced by the new translations of the Upanishads and the Hindu philosophy of cycles [thus his Eternal Return---all things and events will repeat themselves eternally]. N also incorporated a form of Darwinism into his concept of Superman, which he said was the next step in human evolution.

N parallels Blavatsky in this idea of a kind of superhuman that can be gained through "will to power" as N says it, or through "consciousness raising" as theosophists and most New Agers want to have it.

I am bringing this up because I hear many Western ex-members use the CC and other religious CULTures like the Jews as whipping boys for their frustrations about religion in general...but I have yet to find anyone as good at it as Nietzsche was. When I look for criticism, I prefer Nietzsche over the many lame arguments I hear about the CC.

I get that the human race is in quite a transition due to science, and that as SG said, we know now that we are but a speck in a galaxy and who knows how utterly insignificant in the universe at large. N felt this also, that whatever God was disappeared in the modern age, so his solution was to create his Superman, to make himself God [yes he said that], and his goal in Zarathustra was to argue for the children, to teach them that they can be God as well, to leap over the "herd" among the dreary world of mankind. N inherited some Gnostic ideas by default.

In a way, Ramtha is one manifestation of that Nietzschian impulse to make God out of "worthy" human beings .

The CC and the Christian faith certainly has more "evil" in its political history than all the current, active cults on the market. Ramtha is tiny potatoes when it comes to all that abuse over time in the CC. No one is ignoring that. But the principles upon which the Christ event evolved are still more significant and viable to me--it informs our literature, our justice system, our social systems, our entire world, like it or not.

To me there is an uncanny convergence with science in the Gospel that I will not go into here--still working on it :!:

Many of the core concepts from Christian teaching are far more sophisticated than the grade school versions we hear from critics and Fundamentalists re hell, heaven, etc.

If there were no ultimate justice in the universe, we all may as well be psychopaths. But we are not if we are truly human with most of our marbles; we seem to have an instinct for right and wrong, for kindness, etc. That instinct is what is cultivated in the Gospel as I see it.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by EMFWebmaster » Tue Jul 31, 2012 10:56 pm

Virginia's and Joe's follow-up post has been moved to our (All Things EMF) page.
If you wish to debate on this important subject please do so there.
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View topic - PROPOSED LIMITATIONS re: Breadth of Argument
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Thank you Virginia and Brian.

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by WofthesunEofthemoon » Tue Jul 31, 2012 11:55 pm

Paul was a strange one, though, wasn't he, Joe? He who heard 'messages' from God which no-one else heard, or could corroborate. (Just like any other potential nutter' one might observe.) Beginning with his vision, as the tax collector, Saul, on the road to Damascus.

I seem to remember that he 'reinvented the wheel' somewhat, with regard to the teachings of Jesus, until other followers of the 'Teacher of Righteousness' got up 'in arms' against him, ready to put him to death, (by stoning) for perverting the Teachings!!

So, no. No Paul. Please. :D. That is just one step too far for me. :D

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Re: catholic church cult

Unread post by EMFWebmaster » Wed Aug 01, 2012 12:17 am

For our EMF page regarding moving Joe's thread
View topic - Joe's 'Catholic Church Cult" moved to 'General Chit Chat'
viewtopic.php?f=41&t=1758
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