Am I in a Cult?

I have seen some putrid online posts that, if they were to be believed, would put me in the middle of a cult. And so it got me thinking – what does being in a cult actually mean?

I will now present the reader with two contrasting ways of living, both of which are from my personal lived experiences, and then leave it up to you to determine which one is a cult and which one is not.

Life Number One

This life is all about purpose, commitment to life, work and people. Although not perfected, it is about making every day count, whether out in society or at home. The question that is often asked in this life is, “What did I bring to everyone today?” Did I bring fun, humour and wisdom to the people in my day or did I let my emotions/reactions/dramas get the better of me? If the latter is the case, then tomorrow is a brand new day and a brand new opportunity to re-imprint the previous day and to work on lessening those reactions, if not ditch them completely.

In this life I spend a lot of time working, not only at my paid job but for a variety of projects and organisations that support communities locally and worldwide. Forget about that I spend a lot of time doing it, but on top of that I enjoy it immensely! Seeing the great domino effect my steadiness, respect and love for people can have with friends, family, colleagues and customers at work, makes my heart dance. Witnessing withdrawn people opening up to me and to others, having a rare hearty laugh, is what makes this life worth living.

Here I spend my money on good quality, carefully selected (mostly with the guidance from my own body) nutritious and nurturing food; clothes that I feel I can be myself in; presentations, workshops and retreats where I learn about how to make the most out of life, how to develop and deepen relationships with everything and everyone around me so that when I am out in the world I can bring even more of the amazing young man I am to everyone I meet.

This particular life is so much fun daily, and in this life I find that I can make very close friends with people who I’ve just met – or never even met in person in a couple of instances! I can see people for the gold that they are and have a way of bringing out the best in people, especially when I work with them. I can speak as a tender man who is not afraid what will come back his way.

This life is not and does not have the pressure to be perfect. Living this life, I am always given the space to learn and take lessons from life’s events and challenges and never be condemned or judged.

Life Number Two

This life is about building a life such that it is all about me and everything that suits me. In this life much time is spent being intoxicated with recreational drugs and alcohol in the company of friends who devour the same substances and where I am always looking for something different to do, some sort of artificial stimulation. In this life I laugh, however, mostly at others, not with others.

My hard-earned money in this life is spent on fast food (drive-throughs a particular favourite), cigarettes, alcohol and fizzy sugary ‘energy’ (after which I have no energy) drinks. I wear baggy and posture-altering clothes that put a slant on my body and my speech, as I make it about labels and the latest ‘trends’, following what everyone else is doing and not what truly supports me.

Large sums of money are spent on attending events in sizeable stadiums where I watch two groups of men kick a ball to compete for our applause, and of course for lots of our hard earned cash too. During these events, alongside thousands of others including very young children I chant songs, many of which include vulgar language and disturbing imagery, either promoting the group I support or verbally defecating on the other group. In this life I change my speech to match those around me, to include swear words and phrases that no Oxford dictionary may include.

In this life I have little reason to get out of bed, unless I HAVE to go to school or work. I often feel lifeless and lethargic, apathetic to serious worldly affairs. I find myself heavily invested in what my peers want me to do, all in fear of being ostracised and ridiculed if I were to go against the grain. I make friends with the type of characters I know do not suit me so that I have a sense of false protection from anything unpleasant happening to me.

In this life my work ethic is that of “I’ll do only what I have to” just to make a comfortable living. I see work as a must-do in order to afford all the aforementioned indulgences. In fact, the ideal, dreamt of scenario is to win the lottery, settle down with a good looking wife, a couple of kids perhaps, nice friends, a big house and fast cars where I don’t have to worry about anything and don’t even have to work anymore.

Whilst you might be contemplating your answer to the obvious choice, I’ll contribute an answer to my own question at the beginning: what does being in a cult actually mean?

Being in a cult means selling out my heart and Soul in return for a completely false sense of security and glamourised success.

Note to Reader: Feel free to re-read both lives however many times you like, and see the clarity of what each life has on offer for Humanity as a whole. You must have guessed by now which one I am enjoying more…

By Michael Brown, Maths Student and Manager in Retail

Further Reading:
A ‘Perfect’ Life
Changing your life
What is the meaning of the term ‘cult’?

677 thoughts on “Am I in a Cult?

  1. We are not a cult. We are Occult. And this is true for each and every one of us that lives on planet Earth, regardless of whether we choose to reconnect with our innate divinity or not, because Occult simply means ‘the culture of God’; a love that lives equally within us all – we are his many Sons. Hence the very deliberate evil that came along and reduced this most sacred and divine word that speaks of our Oneness into the rather grotesque word ‘cult’ that is then used to attack anyone that returns to living this simply way.

  2. Cult is a totally abused and nonsensical word often used by people with an agenda who don’t like what you are doing or are jealous and equally often used by people who like something and think it is cool.

    1. True Nicola – “You’re in a cult” reads “I’m jealous” as surely if you are really in a ‘cult’ – whatever that means – it will be obvious and not need saying or convincing of.

      1. Everything about the cult calling is deceitful and ridiculous. Another aspect is like someone saying you have green hair when you don’t. You can then reply “I don’t have green hair” and the press will say you denied you have green hair thereby actually branding and associating you as having green hair (as if there is something wrong with that which there isn’t) and anyway anyone would only have to look at you to know it is not true but they don’t look or if they do they see strange things through their green eyes ha ha!

  3. Why is it we play down what we do when we make life changing choices for the better yet when we dishonour and disregard ourselves with excessive behaviour we celebrate and are celebrated in our ill and harmful choices?

  4. I wonder if perhaps the use of the word cult has lost its true meaning, and if there was a time when to label something a cult was to truly call-out group behaviours that were not conducive to brotherhood.

  5. It would seem that there are many cult-ures in society… from art, fashion, sport, movie, religions, and all choices about the way one lives… It beckons the question, and worth pondering on as to why is it ‘cultish’ and why does it raise alarm or suspicion about choosing to live, as described in life number one, with energetic awareness, self love or self care as, clearly this has a positive effect on health, wellbeing, relationships, friendships, being more productive at work, parenting and more… particularly when we live in a world where there is many variations of corruption, war, crime between people etc… What does it expose or bring up for some who point the finger at one who lives with self love? It’s a harmless way of living.

  6. The most empowering thing I have come to understand is that our life need not be a continuum of our upbringing. And that once we have ‘flown from the coup’ we can pave for ourselves a way of living and being in the world based on all the principles we hold dear.
    This is how we set maintain and hold standards in our communities and so it is not only important for our own wellbeing, but equally important for those around us.

    1. True Abby, although past choices do play a part in the momentum we carry, we are never owned or defined by them and can always choose to move freely of them.

  7. It certainly wasn’t hard to figure out which life is your life Michael and I would put my hand up for the same, but for so much of my life this wasn’t the case. I was one who dreamed incessantly of winning the lottery so life would be easier, and in doing so missed out on living the beautiful life that was always on offer, the one that we now have said yes to, and loving.

  8. When you are part of a cult, you pose a very specific sets of questions compared to not being in a cult.
    You just do not ask: what did I bring to others (others meaning people external to the organization)? It is all about inner dynamics. It is all about what you get in exchange of what you freely choose to do. To be in a cult or not is in both cases the result of free choices that reflect how free you truly are and you are willing to be inside.

  9. I find it fascinating that the point of a finger saying ‘it’s a cult’ when there is no true understanding of what is being told a cult is actually representing. You can’t take parts of what is being presented and say it’s a cult when you haven’t considered and respected the all of where it has come from. What is evident in the two ways of living above is that one expose where a lot of people are and how that is not in truth serving us and the other is presenting that there is actually another way of living. Could it be that people don’t want to be exposed and give up their comfortable way of living?

  10. Your two examples clearly show which cult, if we consider that both examples could be given that label, is of benefit to society and brings a healthier more rounded life but if some decide to instead choose the more self centred way it is their perogative and a learning that will eventually have them realising the misery that this leads to.

  11. The impact on my vitality and wellbeing when I drop from life #1 to life #2 is very apparent and obvious. There are certainly (at least) physical and physiological implications even dipping into life #2.

  12. I do really love the the truth of ‘every day is a new’ day, instead of the concept or the illusion that every day is a continuation of yesterday. At any moment of time we can simply make a change, the change that otherwise would be very difficult to make because we included yesterday’s history in it.

  13. Enjoying work. What is wrong with that I would say compared to the more used expression is ‘I hate work’ in life 2 otherwise.

  14. It’s so telling that we laugh at others and not with them. What an insecurity is building that inside of us, and how damaging is it for other people.

    1. We are so used to doing that Victoria, to laugh about people because of what they do or how they behave without a willingness to understand why they are as they are. What we do instead, is we make ourselves bigger or more, but absolutely not equal which is very damaging indeed.

  15. We cultivate a culture that makes us so much less, that criticises, slanders and denigrates – and suggests that anything that steps outside that is not right. Where’s the sense in that?

  16. I love that tomorrow is a brand new day. We can start afresh anytime. We don’t have to bring old baggage to relationships even if we’ve been that way with that person all our lives, or they a certain way with us. I know I’ve had relationships where people have treated me a certain way and, because I’ve simply observed this and introduced who I am to the relationship each time either of us go into old roles, most people have started to relate to me differently. We are all growing and changing all the time. It’s imposing to have judged someone based on how they were with me once, especially when everyone is amazing beneath any unpleasant behaviours they may feel they have to exhibit for whatever reason.

  17. A life of comfort that leaves you depleted, ill and exhausted dependant on stimulants to ‘get through life’ or a life full of purpose commitment and love. I will choose love and vitality every time.

  18. There is no normal, everyone’s details in their lives differ. Your way of living your life has changed dramatically Michael and the two examples are poles apart with the quality lived. No-one should be allowed to criticise either way, but your number one choice is definitely more purposeful.

  19. On paper we marvel at life #1, however in practice is it so clear cut? Although we can identify that life #2 is self-obsessed and ultimately a cult of individuality we still dip in and out to some degree. What is it about life #2 that keeps us coming back for more even in the face of life’s riches of #1?

  20. Yes, there definitely is a steadiness that develops when one starts with self-care and self-love. As you shared in ‘Life number one’, a ‘domino effect does occur in all other aspects of life and relationships when the first ‘self-love’ domino falls… With such positive and all round benefits, it is staggering to think that self-love and self-care are associated with cult behaviour?…

  21. Doing ‘just what we have to get by’ is soul destroying – there is no true joy possible without living in a way that has purpose and commitment in the world, and from this, we learn true service for the all rather that self serving the individual that craves the comfortable life.

  22. A life of comfort and indulgences verses a life of purpose and genuine love, I know which one I prefer living… when we realise and choose to make life about the truth of who we are no comfort can compare.

  23. Universal Medicine is the most healthy, open, non-advertised, no pressure, come and go as you please establishment I know. Through what I have chosen to connect with I have changed my own life for the better, beyond compare in a world full of activities that are championed and yet tick all the cult boxes – like football clubs just for starters. I know what I would rather be doing.

  24. If people want to change their lives and get healthier why should that then be portrayed as being a bad thing? Surely, the choices to not look at our state of health and how we are running our lives should be the focus.

    1. It doesn’t makes sense does it that to try an belittle, attack or sully the name of a group of people who are actually choosing to make healthier choices and maintain them. Surely, we all want to live healthier, more vital lives and to make it look like a bad thing is an odd thing. Of course, this does bring up a challenge for those that do not want to change or look at their choices, but they are free also to make this choice if they choose.

  25. What i can hear from life number one is the JOY & EASE of living who you naturally are, and in turn the joyful permission that this presents to others.

  26. The life we currently lead does not conceal the fact it does not add up. So how can we can attack others who question the status quo when we sit so deep in misery and pain?

      1. A great analogy, Michael. It doesn’t make sense to attack others who choose to come out of the misery, pain and general given-up-ness on life and who then find a way of achieving greater vitality, health and well-being. Taking a step back it is nonsensical, for who in their heart doesn’t truly want more joy in their life?

    1. It’s pure jealousy. If we have not made the choices ourselves that will take us out of misery we are furious at ourselves and therefore attack others so we do not have to feel this.

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