Is the Mormon church a cult?

100% yes

kingofweird profile image for wasmormon.orgkingofweird

The word cult is Latin for worship. Webster dictionary defines it as an Orthodox or spurious
the simple answer is Yes, and there are reasons why. First we need to look at the characteristic of all major cults:
• Disbelieve in Jesus Christ is god, they reject the trinity/his Deity (only 1 God).
• The may say good thing about Jesus but undermine his true Deity either lowering him to the level of a man or raising man to his level.
• They believe that ALL Christian churches are wrong.
• They claim to believe the Bible but distort teachings to suit their own view and doctrine. The source of this is usually their leader.
• Denial that people can be saved by faith in Christ alone. i.e. good works.
• Skillful of using Christian terminology but different semantics (…)

As you can see all the characteristic of a cult are present in the mormon church.

Sear profile image for wasmormon.orgsearjasub

The word "cult" is a red herring here. Whether or not someone applies the word "cult" to it, the Mormon church is a classic example of authoritarian control. Whether or not it's called a cult, it seriously hurts and exploits its members.

Landon profile image for wasmormon.orgelementalepistles

Yes. Mormonism (LDS) exhibits the characteristics of a cult and/or "high demand religion" as defined by those who have significantly studied cult phenomena.

Mike profile image for wasmormon.orgdeserveliberty

Absolutely, it’s one of the biggest cults of all human history.

Ian Harward profile image for wasmormon.orggreensockninja

It truly depends on the member. I'd say the ones who are culty are not representative of the majority!

Serene profile image for wasmormon.orgserene

If you look at the BITE model--absolutely. The experience of people within Mormonism varies widely based on race, gender/gender expression, sexual orientation, etc. I see the church as complicit in at least these indicators in Hassan's model: 

Behavior Control: 
- Dictates how/with whom/when a member has sex. 
- Control clothing, hairstyles
-Regulate diet
-Manipulation/depravation of sleep (missions, early morning seminary in particular)
-Financial exploitation, manipulation, dependance. 
-Permission required for major decisions
-Encourage group-think
-Instill dependency and obedience
- Separation of families

Information Control: 
- Deliberately withholding information
- Distorting information to make it more acceptable
-Minimizing or discouraging access to non-cult sources of information
-Compartmentalize information into outsider vs. insider doctrine
-Encourage spying on other members
-Extensive use of cult-generated information and propaganda (newsletters, magazines, etc.)

Thought Control: 
- Require members to internalize group's doctrine as truth (including black and white thinking, insiders vs. outsiders.)
- Change person's name/identity (Brother/Sister/Elder, new name in the temple)
- Stop critical thinking/reduce complexities with platitudinous buzz words
- Encourage only "good and proper" thoughts
- Thought-stopping techniques to only allow positive thinking 
- Rejection of rational analysis, critical thinking, constructive criticism 
- Forbid critical questions about leader, doctrine, or policy allowed
- Labeling alternative belief systems as illegitimate, evil, or not useful.

Emotional Control: 
- Manipulate and narrow the range of feelings (some emotions and/or needs are deemed as evil, wrong, selfish.)
- Teach emotion-stopping techniques to block feelings of homesickness, anger, doubt
- Make the person feel that the problems are always their own fault, never the leader's or group's fault
- Promote feelings of guilt or unworthiness. 
- Instill fear of things such as the outside world, losing salvation, leaving or being shunned by the group, other's disapproval
- Phobia indoctrination: no happiness or fulfillment is possible outside the group, terrible consequences if you do leave, never legitimate reason to leave (leaving means that you are weak, undisciplined, lazy, tempted by sin)

The Mormon church may come off as a benevolent, harmless group compared to organizations like Scientology or NXIVM, but the damage it does is real. 

 profile image for wasmormon.orgAnonymous

I don’t know that the whole religion is a cult. But there are wards, families, and communities that have become cults within the religion 

troyaddington profile image for wasmormon.orgtroyaddington