How/why are "new religious cults and movements" any worse or less desirable than old ones?

Continuing the discussion from Russian city "bans yoga" because of "occult character":

…because they are less likely to be in bed with the established powers-that-be?


Because they are more likely to defraud and (physically, emotionally) abuse their adherents.

Scientology got in with the Powers that Be really quickly.

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What the hell? I reply to a comment on another story, and apparently my comment is now a whole new topic/post on its own page? Is this part of the new commenting system that was causing the technical issues yesterday? Somehow it manages to be even more counter-intuitive than the prior, needlessly byzantine, system…

This comment was a response to oppression of Yoga practitioners in Russia, where the established Orthodox church effectively functions as an arm of Putin’s government. The oppression was ‘justified’ by the government by characterizing Yoga as a new religious cult/movement, and thus something inherently bad.

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The question asked was “How/why are “new religious cults and movements” any worse or less desirable than old ones?”

The answer is that they can certainly be worse and less desirable than the “old ones”, and State protection comes with money and time. In the case of Scientology, it is not a matter of adherents, which may number ~50,000 worldwide.

If we’re only allowed to discuss harmless new religious movements, save us the trouble :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think it’s because the old thread was closed, so it automatically sent it to a new topic…

That would be hard to support, since yoga was around before Orthodox Christianity - or Judaism, for that matter…


Yoga as practiced in the US is its own thing, I imagine.


Not for me, it isn’t.

Many classes I’ve taken incorporate American new-age spiritualist takes on yoga. It is not the same practice as in India.


i don’t doubt it!

But those classes do not prevent anyone from practicing or learning non-gringofied yoga. Even in India, there tends to be a lot of diversity.

Sitting next to me was an official guide assigned to me by the Indian Office of Tourism—an earnest young woman in a lilac sari, whose face lit up when I told her where I was from and what I was working on. … She was reading Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus; she had joined a Celestine Prophecy support group. “And I love yoga so much,” she said. “If only I had enough money, I would go to California and study it.”


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