20th March 2013

“A cult is a religion with no political power.”

Tom Wolfe

3 Responses to “20th March 2013”

  1. D Says:

    The quote appears to be from: Tom Wolfe. “Jonestown,” ch. 2, In Our Time (1980).

    If one reviews the many similarities between some key properties of cults and religions: aspects of recruitment, indoctrination, group identity, and the requisite submission among others, one could argue that main stream religions are so cult-like as to indeed be cults themselves. This fact makes this quote inaccurate as mainstream religions are quite politically powerful. It also suggests that “amount of political power” is not a criteria for judging whether something is a cult or not and is only the difference between a popular cult populated by a majority and a less popular one.

  2. Jeff Says:

    I believe that what Mr. Wolfe was attempting to point out is that the political power is what keeps us from calling the mainstream religions what they are – cults. If they had no power (i.e.; not enough adherents) we’d call them what they are.

  3. yangzooom Says:

    OR……..A cult is a small, unpopular religion. A religion is a large, popular cult.”