Wednesday, 7 June 2006
Cult or Sect ? (Part 2)
And the results are:
Scientology (C) 81%
Presbyterian (D) 61%
Mormons* (-) 55%
Roman Catholic (D) 48%
Methodist (D) 46%
Assemblies of God (S) 37%
Jehovah's Witnesses (S) 23%
Worldwide Church of God (S) 10%
Which illustrates two things. Sects - like the old WCG which beat the populist drum - tend to recruit people with little formal education. But there are always exceptions (Robert Kuhn springs to mind), and it doesn't mean that most COG members are unintelligent: just that sects appeal less as educational levels rise. But look at Scientology... with 81% of members holding degrees. Sociologists have determined that these groups (cults, as described in part 1) recruit from a quite different cross section of the population - which just proves that a good education doesn't always deliver common sense.
So, in sociological terms, Herb Armstrong built a sect, not a cult. It would be nice to be able to label Flurry's PCG as a cult, if only because it sounds a lot more dangerous than sect (and it is arguably dangerous!) but PCG's pushing of conservative political and cultural buttons is a definite sectarian characteristic. There's neither originality or insight in evidence, only the beating of those same old drums again and again and again, just like an obsessively bored three-year old.
But there's good news too, great news! Flurry's PCG is heading full steam ahead into the trashbin of history, and Gerry shows no signs of hitting the brakes. In fact, Gerry is unknowingly doing all the right things to push his little sect over the cliff in a lemming drive. More on this in part three.
*Note: Mormons were placed outside the three categories as a special case.