I want to ask other community organizers, especially of communities with more people, more land, or in more rural areas… How often do you talk about your community and have someone say something like “is this a cult?”? This trend peaked for me when I was in Oregon, within driving distance of some places that had actually had religious cult problems in the previous years and decades, but it still comes up in MA, HI, CA, GA, and elsewhere. I’d like to know how prevalent and widespread this phenomenon is.
During interviews, people sometimes express their worries that we are a cult. I have the impression that many people think that, but are scared to express it.
I think it is a valuable question to ask and I understand the concern. The risk is real.
So what we have done is this: We have done the research into what a cult is and answered that question for ourselves and made that answer available to everyone here: Is Rubha Phoil a cult? : Rubha Phoil - our Sacred, Ancient Rock.
It was a valuable exercise to do. It inspired us to put some extra counter measures into our policies to prevent us from becoming a cult in the future. Such as the requirement for everyone to have or seek meaningful anchoring relationships outside of the community.
I just tell them no because its actually those not part of our community -that are living in society… they are the one’s drinking the Kool-Aid! If ya think about it… gmo foods, pharmaceuticals, chemical etc.