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What is a Cult?

Cult Apologists and Anti-Anti-Cult Activists

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Cult Apologists / Anti-Anti-Cult Activists

Cult apologists are people who defend the teachings and/or actions of one or more movements which many Christian and non-Christian apologists, anti-cult and counter-cult professionals consider to be cults (theologically and/or sociologically).

Some cult apologists are members of the movements they defend.(Note 1)   Others claim to promote religious pluralism or religious freedom. Yet others appear to be opportunists interested in financial benefits. (3)

Cults and cult apologists alike try to bill their cause as a fight for "religious freedom," while failing to acknowledge the spiritual, mental, financial and/or physical slavery cult members are subjected to.

Academic dishonesty is common among cult apologists. See, for example, their misrepresentation of the controversial - but unsettled - issue of brainwashing, or their vilification of apostates.

Individuals and organizations that oppose the doctrines, methods, and/or goals of anti-cult and counter-cult organizations are sometimes called anti-anticult. These are not necessarily cult apologists (many are, indeed, also opposed to cults). They simply object to certain practices (e.g. involuntary deprogramming, even though it has long been abandoned in favor of voluntary exit-counseling or thought reform counseling), and/or theories (e.g. brainwashing, or - in the case of, for example, Christian ministries - claims of exclusivity).

» More information on Cult Apologists and their Tactics.

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  1. An apologist is someone who engages in apologetics. Apologetics is

    (1) The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines;
    (2) Formal argumentation in defense of something, such as a position or system.

    Normally, all believers will defend the religious teachings of their respective movements. However, indicated here are those adherents who have specialized in apologetics to such an extend that they are recognized as noteworthy apologists. " [back]

About This Page:

• Subject: Definitions of the term 'cult'
• First posted: Dec. 9, 1996
• Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2004
• Editors: Anton and Janet Hein-Hudson
• Copyright: Apologetics Index

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