Saturday, January 21, 2006

Name-the-group quiz

Here's a post for those former members of Mahikari who like doing quizzes.

All the following quotes are from one particular person who is writing about one particular spiritual group. Who do you think the person is? And which group is he or she writing about?

"If they...challenge their leaders' authority or otherwise fall out of line, they are accused of being influenced by [evil forces]"

"While the story of the [omitted] theology is too involved to detail here, the most important feature of it is that [omitted] is the new Messiah and that his mission is to establish a new 'kingdom' on earth."

"Members believe, as I did, that their donation of time, money, and effort is contributing to the salvation of the world."

"The world's only salvation lies in [omitted] and in the establishment of a theocratic form of government."

"I was told to save my questions till after the lecture. I was always told, 'That is a very good question. Hold onto it because it will be answered in the next lecture.' Again and again I was told not to judge what I was hearing until I had heard it all. Meanwhile, I was listening to an enormous amount of material about mankind, history, the purpose of creation, the spiritual world versus the physical world, and so forth, much of which presumed acceptance of what had been said earlier."

"'Oh, please don't go!' several people pleaded. 'Tomorrow [Day 3 of the lectures] is the most important day!'"

"[He] prayed a very emotional prayer about how we were all God's lost children and needed to be open-minded to follow what God wanted in our lives. On and on he went, praying that all mankind would stop living such selfish materialistic lives and return to Him. He apologized over and over for all the times in history that God called people to do His will and was forsaken. He pledged himself to a higher level of commitment and dedication. His sincerity was overpowering."

"Had God been preparing me throughout my life for the mission of setting up the Kingdom of Heaven on earth?"

"I could later intervene on my parents' behalf and save them spiritually."

"He said, 'Stop thinking from fallen man's viewpoint. Think about God's viewpoint. He wants to see his creation restored to His original ideal--the Garden of Eden. That's all that matters!'"

"He said the final world war would be fought....and that if members of the movement didn't work hard enough, incredible suffering would result."

"I was elated at the thought that I was 'chosen' by God and that my life's path was now on the only 'true track'."

"[omitted] knew how to cultivate their disciples to be loyal and well disciplined. Members of the core leadership were trained to follow his orders without question or hesitation."

"Since we thought saving the world from evil and establishing God's kingdom on earth was the most important effort on earth, we didn't look at it as 'real' lying....we were giving people the opportunity to help the Messiah create the Garden of Eden on earth."

"I actually believed that spiritual entities were all around me, waiting to invade and possess me. Staying focused on [omitted] was the only way to ward off the evil spirits."

"As former members [of this group], they should have been miserable and guilt-ridden. They weren't. They were very happy that they were out and free to lead their lives as they were doing. All this was very perplexing."

So...what's the group? And who wrote the above quoted material?

If you enjoy entering quizzes, you may use the comment function below to tell us your answers. (Sorry...the only prize is the satisfaction of trying, and maybe getting the answers right!) Or, if you prefer to keep your guesses to yourselves, just come back soon to see if you guessed correctly. I'll post the answers as a comment below in a couple of days.


Blogger Anne said...

Okay, here are the answers to the above quiz: the quotes are Steve Hassan's words, and in all cases he is talking about the Unification Church (the Moonies), in which he had a leadership role for a couple of years.

I guess the point of the above quiz is rather were supposed to think that the above quotes sound either almost or exactly like the topic is Mahikari. Right?

Reading the above sort of material about the Moonies was a big help to me in getting rid of Mahikari's mind control.

Since the leader of the Moonies has been quite thoroughly discredited, and since I have never been subjected to mind control by the Moonies, it was easy for me to see the Moonies' doctrine as being nonsense. I could view their doctrine from the emotionally-detached perspective of the outsider that I am.

From there, it was comparatively simple to step back from the emotional hold Mahikari teachings had on me and view the similar Mahikari doctrines from the same sort of outsider's perspective. If the Moonies' doctrines sounded like nonsense to me, then it seemed only logical that the similar Mahikari doctrines were also nonsense.

Goodness knows how many cults claim to be the one true path towards world salvation. There must be many thousands of adherents of one cult or another who are just as sincere and fervent in their beliefs and efforts as kumite are. It strikes me as quite absurd...and rather sad.

January 24, 2006  
Anonymous Joe said...

This is a great post. Actually, I was also thinking these quotes came from a number of different sources, because it seems to me that all "fervent" believers could utter these phrases regardless of the organization or religion's name. Insert any messianic cult name, any of the "accepted" religions, and repeat after me.

If it is sad,it because so many good people out here ache so strongly for a God of mercy and salvation, one who accepts are imperfections and knows our true desire to love, prosper, and live with grace. And most of all, is unconditional in his love. A God who would rectify the mysteries and give grace in accordance to the real world He created.

Wishing you all recovery,

February 23, 2006  
Blogger Anne said...

Hi Joe,

Thanks for the comments (this one and the one on the Okiyome post). It's refreshing to have a new voice commenting.

I hadn't really thought that the quotes I gave could sound like almost any religious group, but I guess you are right. Good point!

February 23, 2006  
Anonymous KitKat said...

Yes, I agree with Joe - insert just about any religion's details into your quote, Anne, and you're there! I was thinking Moonies as I read, but I have read Steve Hassan's books, so I had an unfair advantage ;)

March 27, 2006  

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