Sects, 'cults' and Alternative Religions: A World Survey and Sourcebook

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Blandford, 1998 - Religion - 320 pages
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Is the next David Koresh or Jim Jones building a following in your town? And is there a foolproof way to distinguish between harmless cults and ones that foster suicide, violence, and brain-washing? A leading expert on both traditional and new religions discusses humans' needs for spirituality, and acts as a guide through the confusing variety of movements that attract fervent adherents. Encyclopedic and international in its scope, some of the groups investigated have received international notoriety, such as the Branch Davidians of Waco, or Tokyo's nerve-gas-wielding Aum Shinrikyo. Others are spin-offs of traditional religions, such as the Divine Light Mission, Rajneesh, and Soka Gokkai. Beginning with a brief history of the world's major religions, the author systematically looks at Christian "heresies"; esoteric and neo-pagan movements as wide-ranging and diverse as Satanism, wiccanism, druidry, and "Flying Saucer Cults"; and psychology and self-help groups, such as Scientology. "This is a fascinating book to read...a useful resource..". -- Booklist.

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