What is so great about this article is not so much that it is bigoted (it is), more so the seemingly complete absence of self-awareness and ability to recognize irony.
Why Islam is a Cult
by Richard Hobbs
A recent article on cults identified the 15 separate traits that the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) identifies as common among cults. According to Michael D. Langone, Ph.D., concerted efforts at influence and control lie at the core of cultic groups, programs, and relationships. Many members and supporters of cults are not fully aware of the extent to which members may have been manipulated, exploited, even abused - some would say brainwashed. The list of social-structural, social-psychological, and interpersonal behavioral patterns commonly found in cultic environments may be helpful in assessing a particular group to help determine if it is in fact a cult. Langone states that this list is not a definitive checklist but is an analytical tool to determine if a specific group is a cult.
Studying the 15 traits is informative when considering Islam.
1. The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.
2. Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.
3. Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).
4. The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).
5. The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s) and members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).
6. The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.
7. The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).
8. The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before joining the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).
9. The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.
10. Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.
11. The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
12. The group is preoccupied with making money.
13. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.
14. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.
15. The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be, and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.
Richard Hobbs is a retired combat infantry officer, professor, and businessman. He has worked, taught, and written in the international arena for over 55 years including the Pentagon, the State Department, and in international operations for a major corporation. His books include Radical Islam at War with the World, Do we want Dhimmitude - third class citizens/salves under Islam - or do we want to be free? It is Our Choice and Death by a Thousand Cuts, Islam, Fiscal Irresponsibility, and other Threats to Destroy America.