So What Does it Mean? Mormons Are a Cult!
I was shocked by my discovery. There were two definitions given for cult, and both confirmed that Mormons were a cult. Definition one includes "worship," and definition two is "A system of religious belief and worship." Do Mormons engage in worship? You bet they do! And do Mormons have "a system of religious belief and worship"? Yes - and there is no way for them to deny it now. In fact, the amazing thing is, they don't deny it - not when presented with this kind of factual, objective, and scholarly evidence. I will document that in more detail below.
Helping Mormon Cult Members to See the Truth: Two Simple Questions to PROVE that Mormonism is a Cult
Though I disagree with a lot of the non-Mormon ministries that mock Mormons, I do appreciate the sincere desire of others to save us. So here's a little tip from me: it's easy to get Mormons to see that they belong to a cult, if you know your way around the dictionary! It sounds so easy, but trust me, this approach works almost every time. So here's some simple questions you ask your Mormon cult members - let's see if they can wiggle their way out of this one!
Witness for Truth: So, my Mormon friend, tell me. Do you consider your church to represent "a system of religious belief and worship"? Do you engage in "worship"? (Practice tip: use the exact words from Webster so that they won't have one iota of wiggle room when you pounce the hard facts from Webster's dictionary on them.)
Mormon cult member: Yes, of course! We worship Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Witness for Truth: Really? DO YOU REALIZE THAT "A SYSTEM OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF AND WORSHIP" IS PRECISELY WHAT WEBSTER'S DICTIONARY DEFINES AS A CULT? DOESN'T THAT PROVE THAT MORMONISM IS, BY A FAIR AND OBJECTIVE SCHOLARLY STANDARD, ACTUALLY A CULT? (Practice tip: If you can speak in all caps, please do so.)
Mormon cult member: (Trembling, flabbergasted.) Well, uh, by that definition, I guess so,
BINGO! You've just proved that he or she is a member of the Mormon cult. No escape! They may bear their testimony, or turn the discussion to evidences of the Book of Mormon, or mutter something about LDS apologists possibly having an answer. If you need it as a backup, drop this little spiritual grenade on his testimony:
Witness for Truth: Hmmm. Well, did you know that even apologists like Daniel C. Peterson, Hugh Nibley, John Tvedtnes, and Kerry Shirts all agree with the conclusion you just came to? Honestly, there's no escaping the truth!
Yes, you got that right. Mormons who have looked at the evidence above almost always agree! They accept my primary source - Webster's 1913 dictionary - as authoritative, scholarly, and largely objective. They accept the criteria it established - years before "Mormons" were troubling nervous ministers - as fair and objective. And they accept - or have been forced to accept - the conclusion that CANNOT BE AVOIDED: MORMONS ARE A CULT.
If Mormons are a cult, then Mormon beliefs are cult beliefs. Mormon scriptures are cult scrptures. Mormon jello is cult jello. Mormon cats are cult cats. Everything about the Mormons is cultish. Got it? I suppose Baptist jello is cult jello, too--but face it, the Baptists aren't well known for their jello. Mormons are. I'm not sure why that's significant, but it's the scary kind of factoid you expect from a cult. Oh, and don't even get me started on Mormon temples and the Mormon temple ceremony. Systematic worship in a religious building--it's a cult thing for sure. Don't let your religion fall into that trap unless you're some kind of cult wannabe.
Mormon Scholars and Apologists Even Agree That Mormons Are a Cult - By Definition!!
Even more surprising that my discovery of proof that Mormons are a cult was my discovery that "true-blue" Mormon defenders just roll over in the face of the truth and admit that by definition, Mormons are a cult. I have corresponded with many of the Church's top defenders, and when presented with Webster, they inevitably admit that they are a cult, by that simple and objective definition. LDS apologist Kim Siever admits that Mormons are a cult by definition. The LDS blog Mormanity even has a post entitled, "Are Mormons a Cult? Sure!! - For the Same Reasons Early Christians Were." No hesitation there! And its author, LDS apologist Jeff Lindsay, has a page on his pro-LDS Website about the Mormon Cult in which he admits that several dictionaries confirm that Mormons are a cult. And a popular LDS apologetics site, FAIRLDS.org, has an article in which the evidence from the dictionary is acknowledged. What further proof do you need?
They Even Look Like Cultists!
Once I recognized that Mormons were cultists, I realized that I could easily recognize a cultist by their looks. For example, there's this Mormon defended named Kerry Shirts, a.k.a. "the Backyard Professor." Always ranting about how new scholarship from ancient documents is adding more and more support to Mormon scriptures like the Book of Abraham. Forget what he says - just look at his hat. If that's not a cultist hat, I don't know what is. And it jusrt took me 60 seconds of scanning Famous Mormons to realize that every single one looked like a cultist. Fortunately, as my Evangelical friend "David" put it, there are some pretty hot cultists out there.
Aftermath: Facing the Truth.
Facing the reality of Mormonism as a cult can be very difficult for some people. Surprisingly, it may be most difficult on non-Mormons. Consider this tragic example of someone I helped with my discoveries:
Confronting the reality of Mormonism as Cult was personally very painful for me. I stopped talking to my Mormon friends, of course. But now that I knew the true definition of cult - not the unfair definition of "anything I disagree with is a cult" - but the real objective definition, I recognized that Mormons weren't the only ones with "a system of religious belief and worship." I had to quit talking to my pastor, nice as he was, because he, too, taught such a system. Good grief, my own pastor was a cultist! My parents were in a cult, and I had been raised in a cult. Webster's dictionary itself gave an example of how the word "cult" is used by quoting Coleridge on the "cult of the religion of Christ." Christianity itself - not just the Mormon flavor of Christianity - was a cult. A CULT! But it went beyond Christianity. After I quit associating with Christians, I had to drop my Buddhist and Hindu friends. Even atheists seemed to have a system of belief - not worship, I admit, but belief - and that was getting pretty cultlike, in my opinion. For a few days I wanted to hide from everyone except my dog, and then I realized that even he had a system of worship, because he worshipped me. So I sold him and took up cats instead.
Anyway, if you know anybody who is not cult member, please have them email me. Please! I need someone to talk to.
Look, don't make life hard on yourself. Once you understand why Mormons are in a cult, you'll also understand why Baptists are in a cult, why Lutherans are in a cult, why Christians everywhere are part of the "cult of Christ." Christ was the founder of a cult - and that's nothing to be scared about, once you understand the real definition.
Of course, there are extreme groups out there that are scary and dangerous, and these groups are often called "cults," giving that word a more recent frightening nuance. The word is a powerful, emotionally charged tool for condemning another group, but the special definitions that some people use to blast Mormons or others as a "cult" pose many real problems. See, for example, our discussion about one other definition that applies to religions that "are generally regarded as false." And after that, we take up the issue: Is the Mormon Cult a Christian Cult? (Tips For Anti-Mormons).
Also see how some Mormons have attempted to defend their faith against the unassailable logic of this site.
On the Other Hand...
To be fair, though, good, honest, responsible people can truthfully say "Mormons do not belong to a cult" IF they are using the popular psuedo-definition of cult as "a scary or dangerous organization" or evil group. But if we stick with the basic dictionary, all religions are "cults." And not necessarily scary ones.