With Paul Haggis' announcement of his leaving Scientology to its investigation, the term cult has certainly been in the news lately. Whilst folks who don't adhere to Scientology call it a cult, believers say it is not. However, Scientology certainly is a cult, but it's only one of tens of thousands active today.
Cults can seem benign or particularly vicious, inclusive or exclusive, religious or not. Whether an Atheistic personality cult like Kim Jong-il's, for example; or literature-based one, like Mormonism, cults require absolute submission to a grand leader. Adherents are taught that the object of their service is omnipotent and omniscient. Often times believers are told that their past behaviours were inappropriate and that they too can become powerful either in this life or the hereafter if they do anything for their object of worship. For a species as insecure and social as ours, the call to arms, be they literal or literary, may be too great to resist.
And so the seed is planted in the convert and eventually their children, and in their grandchildren, and subsequent generations until the cult dies off, a kingdom is crushed, or someone dares to become apostate. If you live in North America, you live in a place where a minimum of 70% of your peers are members of a cult. It's also highly possible that you yourself is a slave to the desires of those who sell salvation for the low, low price of 10% of your earnings and your moral compass.
Whether or not there is a grand creator of the universe is certainly open for discussion. However, I'm certain that if there is something out there, be it another worldly being, an ethereal spirit, or a man in the clouds, it has no want for money, power, or blind submission. The self-appointed prophets and charlatans crave power and possessions, and find or invent scripture to suit.
No god would create a being with enough reason to ask for it to prove itself and then demand its finest work to remain in a state of confusion, ignorance, and terror. I am entirely convinced that no supernatural being could manifest characteristics as cruel as the ones exhibited in all of the gods that man has imagined and continues to invent.
In this interesting video, the invention of the cult mindset is broken down as cleverly as anything I've ever written. Plus, there are pictures.