You know, after studying what determines the difference between a cult and a non-cult, it is very difficult to come up with some real differences at times. Naturally, part of the problem is that what one person might call a “cult” another might consider completely normal.
However, I think I’ve finally uncovered one item that stands out as a commonality in cults. I have to admit, though, I am disappointed that many “mainstream” denominations also have this in common, but at very least it can be added to the “if your organization does this” list to determine if the organization is or is not a cult.
That one thing is the potluck.
I mean, think about it, now. WCG was called a cult for years, and there wasn’t a more potlucking group than that. However, some of you may be questioning this entire premise at the moment. I will give you some better examples.
The FLDS is a separatist Mormon group. They live on their own ranches in small pockets. Now, people on a ranch work hard and eat heartily. Keeping up with all those wives and kids take energy as well. With all that home cooking going on, it’s like a potluck everyday!
I have to admit there are exceptions, though. However, there is one exception that really is only an exception by a technicality, and that is the Scientologists. Let’s face it: movie actors and thetans just don’t cook. If they did, however, they would potluck. How do I know? C’mon! Haven’t you read that they have their own cruise ship? That’s right! A religious organization actually owns its own cruise ship for its members. Everyone knows that half of what you do on a cruise is eat. And eat. And eat. It’s about as close to a potluck as the rich and famous are going to get!
That only leaves us with one real exception I’m aware of then: The Hare Krishnas. But, then again, any organization that has “austerity” as a virtue isn’t likely to have potlucks, either.
It has become apparent that potlucks are just another means of mind control, with the insidious aspect of using one’s appetite as the conduit to maintaining control over its members. It seems that real and legitimate organizations should review this practice and move to ban it immediately and entirely.
Hmmmmm – that explains why the Baptists and Methodists call them "church suppers." Clever. Sneaky. :-/