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Old January 27, 2021, 10:04 AM
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GordonJ GordonJ is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 2,991
Default BITE is only one guy's definition.

Yes, fair enough. But Hassan, is just one person and his definition has to suit his purpose, the person in charge of the definition is the power.

But, a look at standard dictionary and modern psychology definitions and one that seems to be a good definition is found at Wikipedia of all places:

In modern English, a cult is a social group that is defined by its unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or by its common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal. This sense of the term is controversial, having divergent definitions both in popular culture and academia, and has also been an ongoing source of contention among scholars across several fields of study.[1][2]:34856 The word "cult" is usually considered pejorative.

And I contend it is controversial, because the definer, may have something different in mind. People like Colin Theriot of The Cult of Copy Facebook page doesn't consider it pejorative, nor his 31k followers (more than some religious cults).

So, I don't accept Hassan's BITE definition. And Scientology is cherry picking of the cults, I'd bet a majority of people think of it as a cult.

My issues stem from not knowing what someone means, when they use the word, without context...cause I may think differently.

I've known several deprogrammers, and I think their zealous attempts to REconvert a "lost soul" to the fold of any given belief system, may make them a cult unto themselves.

And SP is right out of Amish land, shunning being a form of excommunication. Old L. Ron borrowed from several cults to form his. The fact it is called a church, is all about TAXES and collections, and was a legal battle they won in courts.

I like to study and talk about cults, but I want to make sure we are clear about the context and what we bring with us, as to what and how it is defined.


Originally Posted by Dien Rice View Post
Hi Gordon,

I haven't read any of Steve Hassan's stuff directly, but I've seen how others apply the BITE model...

I'll just talk about Information Control as an example...

Firstly, information control absolutely happens with kids, everywhere. We keep them away from pornography, violence (sometimes), swearing, and so on...

So, at least when people apply the BITE model, they're generally talking about adults...

And with information control, they are talking about (as you also mentioned) not only providing information, but also more generally about restricting access to "outside" information...

One example is Scientology. They have the concept of an "SP" - or a Suppressive Person. That generally means someone who is against Scientology, or who is a former Scientologist who left.

Scientologists are (to my understanding) absolutely not supposed to associate with SPs at all - even if they are your parents, your siblings, or your kids...

Tom Cruise (a well-known Scientologist) and Nicole Kidman adopted two kids when they were married - Connor and Bella. Connor and Bella are adults now, and are Scientologists - and apparently have nothing to do with Nicole Kidman. That is said to be because Nicole is an "SP" - so Connor and Bella should not, and do not, associate with her in any way according to Scientology beliefs, even though she is their adoptive mother.

This is a form of information control - the Scientology organization don't want Scientologists being exposed to "harmful information" (from Scientology's point of view) from SPs...

Now, with Catholicism... To my knowledge, at the present time, they don't restrict information that way. Catholics (again, to my knowledge) can pretty much talk to anybody. In practice, they can read what they want (they may need to go to confession and say some Our Fathers to absolve themselves of sin, but that's a pretty light "penance" I think)...

So, I don't think Catholicism, as it is practiced today, fits the description of Information control, at least how I understand it...

(Now, the Catholic Church in the past was a lot more restrictive! Banned books, the Spanish Inquisition, the trial of Galileo for saying the earth goes around the sun, and all kinds of "information control" along those lines... But these don't - to my knowledge - happen today...)

Best wishes,

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