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Re: A.R.E. and cults

Feb 07, 1997 07:27 AM
by Ann E. Bermingham

> From: K. Paul Johnson <>
> >
> >              "Why A.R.E. Is Not a Cult" by Herbert Bruce Puryear
> >
> >      When some of our members join A.R.E., their friends or families become
> > greatly concerned that they have joined a cult.  However, when A.R.E.'s
> > teachings are measured by textbook criteria of what constitutes a cult, it
> > is found that we fit none of them.
> >
> >      Here are some reasons that A.R.E. is _not_ a cult:
> >
> > *  We encourage you to work in your own personally preferred church or
> > religious organization.  If it comes to a choice between A.R.E. and your
> > church, stay with your church.
> >
> > *  We do not encourage you to "identify with" A.R.E.  Identify with the
> > Christ principle.
> >
> > *  We do not sponsor any one person's ideas or point of view but, through
> > our speakers and books, present differing points of view for the
> > consideration of the seeker.
> >
> > *  We do not encourage you to be guided by dogma or an authoritative
> > external source but rather by the living Spirit within yourself.
> >
> > *  We claim no special revelation.  There is nothing "new" here that may
> > not be found in other studies.  Cayce said of his own work that he did
> > nothing that we could not do.
> >
> > *  We encourage comparative study, not just the study of one source or
> > perspective.
> >
> > *  We encourage application of what one knows rather than dogmatism about
> > what others would have you believe.
> >
> > *  Membership in A.R.E. is based upon a wish to work with this information
> > and support this work -- not upon agreeing to a dogma or belief system.
> >                               *********
> This was posted to a list I participate in, and I thought it
> relevant to the situation of Theosophy today.  All these things
> could have been honestly said about the early TS by HPB and
> Olcott; none of them would ring very true today from any of the
> Theosophical organizations, although many individual lodges
> still adhere to these principles.  Much of what has been said
> recently about the Krishnamurti experience explains why the
> organizations now give only lip service to these ideals.  This
> leaves me wondering if there are any signs of hope in any of
> the organizations today.  Surely they cannot stay stuck in the
> first half of the 20th century forever?

Maybe I just haven't been around long enough, but I don't quite
catch what you're saying.  I definitely agree that during the
frenzy of the Krishnamurti/World Teacher period, TS looked
like it was turning into a cult.  Can you clarify how your
cult list applies to current activities and policies in TS



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