Sociology Paper – Fringe Organisations

Sociology Paper – Fringe Organisations

They are exclusive organizations, meaning you must be chosen and accepted by officials before becoming an official member. Sects generally lack a professional hierarchy, but may have a charismatic leader. They claim to hold a monopoly of the truth and expect high levels of commitment from members. The relationship with the state is against, and they reject the norms and values of everyday society, they put barriers between themselves and the world outside the sect to establish a clear distinction between members and non-members. Sects are also critical of mainstream religions.

Sects often appeal to people as they offer an alternate way of life, taking people from an impersonal society into a supportive community, most recruit from the lonely, deprived and the ethnic minorities. An example of a sect is Heaven’s Gate, which combines elements of Christianity with unusual beliefs about the nature of Offs. The sect believes that about 2000 years ago, a group of extra-terrestrials came to earth from the Kingdom of Heaven. One Of them “Do” was given instructions be “Tit”, referred to as the “Heavenly Father’.

Do left his body behind, transported to earth in a space ship and incarnated n a human body of Jesus Christ. In the beginning of the 1 ass’s it was said that a second group of extra-terrestrials returned to earth, with Do being the captain of this expedition, and Tit being the admiral. They each moved into a human body, but became scattered. Do and Tit held public meetings to broadcast their beliefs and found that most of their supporters were long lost crew members. The sect also believes that Offs are “inter-stellar space ships” operated by extra-terrestrials who are attempting to bring humanity into a higher level of knowledge.

However, Heaven’s Gate have a belief not shared y other OF based groups, that by committing suicide together at the correct time, they will leave their bodies behind, the soul then sleeps until it is “replanted” in another. Eventually the soul will be grafted onto a representative of the “level of above human”. There was a total of 39 dead, 21 women and 19 men, who voluntary committed suicide in recognition of the religious beliefs within Heaven’s Gate. Churches are inclusive organizations, where anyone can become members. Churches are organized in a hierarchy of power containing a professional clergy.

They generally accept society arms and values, and are not against the state. Examples of a church are the Greek Orthodox and the Christian Church of God. Throttles devised a typology to distinguish between a church and a sect, by seeing them as almost polar opposites, yet similar in the claim of each holding a monopoly of the truth. However, this research is dated and many churches do not claim to have a monopoly of the truth, not all are closely linked to the state either. Cults are often confused with sects in the media.

However, unlike sects, cults do not claim to have a monopoly of the truth and do not expect such a high bevel of commitment from members. Yet like sects, cults are considered deviant. Cults make no demands on individuals to accept their teaching, but to gain spiritual experience instead. Members are treated like customers, as they are being provided a service which they are paying for. Membership is flexible within the group which you join voluntarily. People who generally join cults are looking to fit into a spiritual void, or looking to find a path into personal development and fulfillment.

Cults can be both critical and accepting of mainstream society, but have their own unique approach with the view hat it offers more. Since cults are not structured in a formal hierarchy and have no strong internal layout, they are generally short-lived and often die out with the leader. Roy Wallis proposed that the term ‘cult’ should refer to movements which are regarded deviant but do not claim a monopoly of the truth. An example of a cult is Cosmetology, this is the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and of all life, that man is an immortal, spiritual being.

It teaches that people are immortal and spiritual beings who have forgotten their true nature; this is formally known as auditing. In Cosmetology no one is asked to accept anything as a belief or on faith, stating ‘what is true for you is what you have observed to be true’. Anyone is able to become a member, regardless of race or nationality. The beliefs and practices are based on research conducted in the Cosmetology field, providing factual based evidence for the organizations existence.

The term Cosmetology means the study of truth’. The Cosmetology symbol is composed of the letter ‘S’ for Cosmetology and the ARC and CROCK triangles, novo important concepts known as ‘concept maps’ which show a relationship teen three concepts to form another concept. Cosmetology principles state man is good and that his salvation depends upon himself, his relationships and his attainment of brotherhood with the universe, and once he has achieved this then he will fully understand the relationship with God the Creator.

Churches of Cosmetology are where the majority of cosmetologists participate in programs and activities which they believe will help and assist those around them with, examples of this include anti-drug campaigns and human rights demonstrations. Denominations are similar to cults in the way hey do not claim to hold a monopoly of the truth, yet differ as denominations as regarded as conventional, respectable and mainstream, whereas cults are regarded as unconventional, deviant and marginal. Denominations were introduced by Nibbler in 1 925, who viewed that all denominations had begun as sects.

Denominations are legitimate organizations which contain a semi-formal structure consisting of a professional clergy. They are inclusive and expect a form of commitment from members. Denominations generally accept society and have a reasonable relationship with the state. Walters and McKinney describe them as ‘watered down churches’ as the emphasis is based on the faith rather than rituals. Examples include Methodist and Anglicanism. In the sass’s sociologists began to distinguish between sects and cults.

Stark and Bantering criticized sociologists for attempting to place organizations, yet they then introduced a new typology. Stark and Bantering identified and introduced three new categories of cult: audience where no contact is required, client usually provides a one-to-one service, and cultic movement with more organization and commitment. Wallis introduced new categories in 1 985, these were based on the two questions; “How does the religious organization view its own teachings with those of other organizations and “Does it see itself as uniquely legitimate?

The first category “World rejecting Norm’s” are groups that set up alternative life styles outside mainstream society, often with a charismatic leader. They may be a millenarian based, meaning that they expect god to intervene. The second category ‘World accommodating Norm’s” encourage members to stay within mainstream society. The third category “World affirming Norm’s” accept the world for what it is and operate more like a business. Wallis also recognized that there were some exceptions to his typology where groups did not fit within, and occupy a position between the classifications.

Backfired criticizes Wallis’ categories, stating that they are difficult to apply, sees insufficient detail to the diversity of views existing within a sect or cult, and questions how world rejecting Norm’s can be truly world rejecting without communication to the world, as they often rely on contact with the economic system for survival. Barker suggests possible new criteria for distinguishing between organizations according to the religious tradition from which organizations originate or on their levels of commitment. But Barker does not actually create a new category.

According to Nibbler, sects would not survive without losing its teachings to society and would die out or become a denomination. Secularists is the decline of religion and the increase of rationalization, where people may be encouraged to look for new meanings in life. This argument was first put forward by Wilson who rejects Nibbler’s view that sects are short-lived, and that some sects survive without becoming denominations. Wilson bases the survival of sects on the answer to the question ‘what can we do to be saved? , sects are then judged on their response. One type known as the ‘conversion sect’ is most likely to become a denomination, the other types are found unable to survive and maintain their position in a denomination form. Pro secularists theorists such as Bruce claim that the existence of Norm’s are inevitably short lived and are of little significance. Whereas anti secularists theorists such as Stark and Bantering believe that those organizations are the beginning of new religions.

Furthermore, Winger doesn’t agree that they are inevitably short lived organizations. In conclusion, the future of cults and sects is uncertain. On the one hand, Nibbler claims that they either die out or become denominations. On the other, Wilson argues that they may become long established sects depending on their answer to the question “how will they be saved”. In my opinion, religion is changing not declining, so the debate is really into the significance and longevity of these organizations.

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