Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Islam: Cult or Religion?

One of my initial observations about Muhammad and Islam is that we have absolutely no evidence that he was the prophet or messenger from God except his word for it. There were no signs. Muhammad himself admitted that he could perform no miracles. He lamely defended his sunna as being superior, but even some of his local Meccans took issue with that and pointed at another poetess in town who they stated could produce better poetry (In a predominantly illiterate society, poetry was a major way of retaining tribal knowledge. A good poet was a highly prized member of society. It was not a unique gift of Muhammad).
Now modern day Islamic culture is very oppressive to independent religious thought, and very intolerant of anyone who does not conform to the mainstream religious dogma. Therefore their culture has very little experience with cult leaders. They have not witnessed how one man can manufacture a whole religious movement out of whole cloth, recruit fanatical followers, and exercise a level of mind control over them that most people would think is impossible. Here in the west it is much different, and such men can and do start movements that attract gullible people.
The reason I say this is because if you look at the methods these people employ, and the objectives they seem to reach for, you will see that there us absolutely no difference between them and Muhammad; nor is there any difference in their early followers and the early Meccan Muslims. Where the difference begins is that early Islam was able to become militant and violent in early Arabia, which had no form of constitutional law, whereas these movements are squashed in modern society when they become violent.
The typical cult uses various forms of subtle mind control to beguile and ensnare their followers. There is a whole study devoted to deprogramming former cult members:
Philip G Zimbardo, PhD wrote an article during 1990 for the APA Monitor titled: “What messages are behind today’s cults?” He is professor of psychology at Stanford University and a former APA president. Some excerpts from his article are:
“Cult methods of recruiting, indoctrinating and influencing their members are not exotic forms of mind control, but only more intensely applied mundane tactics of social influence practiced daily by all compliance professionals and societal agents of influence.”
“…cult leaders offer simple solutions to the increasingly complex world problems we all face daily. They offer the simple path to happiness, to success, to salvation by following their simple rules, simple group regimentation and simple total lifestyle. Ultimately, each new member contributes to the power of the leader by trading his or her freedom for the illusion of security and reflected glory that group membership holds out.”
“Cult mind control is not different in kind from these everyday varieties, but in its greater intensity, persistence, duration, and scope.”
Please read the following about some cult movements. Some of them have failed. Some have turned into very large religious organizations. When you compare these to early Islam, you will find very little difference. Our experiences with these make it very hard for educated westerners to take Islam seriously.
The Branch Davidians were an offshoot cult movement, which came under the control of a very charismatic leader. They were killed in a government raid for illegal firearms possession in the 1990′s (Many Americans, myself included, feel the government overstepped it’s authority in this matter)
The Mormon cult currently has about 13 million followers. Many of the teachings mimic what Muhammad said, although there is absolutely no connection between the two.
Bagwan Shree Rajeesh claimed to be God. This was a small-time operation. The only reason I know anything about it is that they set up headquarters pretty close to where I live.
The cult of Jim Jones resulted in all of the cult members committing mass suicide int he 1970′s
Another cult suicide group:
There are many more, these are just a few.

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