What Is a Cult?

What Is a Cult?

Vatican, Mormonism and Islam fit the definition

By Greg Szymanski, JD
Mar. 25, 2009

The Vatican and their secular followers in Freemasonry likes to throw around the word “cult” when it refers to “fringe” Bible believing ministries that have broken away from mainstream Protestanism.

However, when looking at the definition of the word “cult” it better describes the Roman Catholic Church and other major religions like Mormonism and Islam.

The word cult can be defined in the following way:

“A cult is a group of people basing their beliefs upon the world view of an isolated leadership which always denies the central doctrines of Christianity as taught from the Bible,” according to scholars who have studied the occult.

Knowing the Vatican, the LDS Church and Islam directly contradict the Word of God in the Bible, doesn’t logic demand that these organizations be labeled as “cults” instead of Bible Ministries who follow the Word of God?

The Bible warned of this confusion in Isaiah 6:20: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

To decide whether the organized religion you belong to is a cult ask yourself if it fits the following description as provided by the folks at The Christian Expositor:

“It is important to recognise that the ‘isolated leadership’ have the last word on everything and are ‘a law unto themselves.’

“They are incapable of error and answer to no man, despite their many and inevitable contradictions.”

Without question, the Vatican can be considered one of the largest cults in the world, considering the Pope claims to be infallible and the Vicar of Christ. Besides the Vatican, according to the Christian Expositor, “some of the more established groups of the last 150 years who have laid claim, in some  form, to  the  title  – ‘the only true Christian religion’ – are the Mormons, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science,  the  Worldwide  Church   of  God  (Armstrongism),  the Unification Church (Moonies), Christadelphians, and the Children of God.  Our intention is to  honestly examine the claims of these, and other,  groups by comparing the writings of their leaders – their sacred writings, teaching magazines, and books – with the teachings of  the  Bible which they all claim to adhere to in some form or degree.  Nothing will be quoted from that cannot be proven by  reference  to the original work or the best surviving version of a work.”

Further, let’s look at the Expositor’s (www.thechristianexpositor.org) examination of Mormonism, claiming to be the fastest growing religion in the world, and how it fits the definition of a cult:

More commonly known as  the  Mormons, and abbreviated to LDS in the following  passages,  this  American  religion has always been presented by its leaders as the ‘only true church’ on earth today and challenges us to examine it in the following ways:

1. ‘If, after a rigid examination, it be found an imposition, it should be EXTENSIVELY published  to the world as such; the evidences & arguments on which the imposture was detected should be clearly & logically stated, that those who have been sincerely yet unfortunately deceived may perceive the nature of the deception &  be  reclaimed,  &  that  those  who continue to publish the delusion may be exposed & silenced…’ (Orson Pratt, ‘The Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon’).

George A. Smith wrote (in Journal of Discourses, hereafter abbreviated JofD, Volume 14, p.216):  ‘If  a faith will not bear to be investigated, if its  preachers & professors are afraid to have it examined, their foundation must be very weak.’

These quotations by  men  recognised  as  apostles by the Mormon church endorse & encourage the investigation of the church.

2. In discussions with members  of  the Mormon Church in Cardiff there have been suggestions that it  is wrong for us to question their teachings & the  basis  of  their beliefs. The implication that the Mormon church  never  criticizes other churches & their beliefs needs examination.


The founder of the Mormon church, Joseph Smith, wrote that there was a revival involving the Baptist, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches, in the area  where  he  lived  in  New York during his boyhood in 1820. He  claimed  that  he  was confused as to which church to join & therefore went  off  into the woods to pray. It was there, he claimed, that God  the  Father & His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, appeared to  him.  When  he enquired of them which church he was to join he was told:

‘….none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that  ALL  THEIR  CREEDS WERE AN ABOMINATION IN HIS SIGHT; THAT THOSE  PROFESSORS WERE  ALL CORRUPT; that: ‘they draw  near  to  me  with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a  form  of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.’ (‘The Testimony of Joseph Smith,’ 2:19)


3. Smith’s  successor  was  Brigham  Young  and,  as  the second president of the Mormon Church, he endorsed this view:

‘The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to their knowledge of the salvation of God’  (Journal of Discourses, 8:171) & ‘With regard to theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world’ (JofD,8:199).

John Taylor, who succeeded Brigham Young in 1877, expressed these views: ‘We talk about  Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense….the Devil could  not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century (JofD, 6:167); ‘What -are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast (JofD, 6:25); ‘WHAT DOES THE CHRISTIAN KNOW OF GOD? NOTHING….WHY, SO FAR AS THE THINGS OF GOD ARE CONCERNED THEY ARE THE VERIEST FOOLS; THEY KNOW NEITHER GOD NOR THE THINGS OF GOD’ (JofD, 13:225)


4.  It seems that the  early  Mormon  leaders were queuing up to express their  adverse  opinions  of  orthodox Christianity. The Mormon apostle, Orson Pratt had this to say: “All other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism, or the Lord’s Supper from their hands will highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people” (“The Seer,”  p.255)  & in his “Pamphlets,” (p.112): “THE GATES OF  HELL  HAVE  PREVAILED  and will continue to prevail over the Catholic  Mother  of  Harlots, and over ALL her Protestant Daughters;…the apostate  Catholic  church, with all her popes &  bishops,  together  with  all  her harlot daughters SHALL BE HURLED DOWN TO HELL. …”

“Apostle” Orson Pratt  stated,  with  regard  to the churches of Christendom (JofD, Vol. 16, pp. 175-6):

“I said their  baptisms  are  illegal.  Now  let  me go a little further, and say that the ordinance of marriage is illegal among all people, nations and  tongues,  unless  administered by a man appointed by new revelation from God….”


Should we be surprised at these  statements?  Not if we look at the original vehicle of the  Mormon  church, Joseph Smith’s ‘Book of Mormon,’ for there we  read  (1  Nephi 14:10): ‘Behold there are save two churches only; the  one  is  the  church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the  church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is  the  mother  of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth.’ (cf. 1 Nephi 13v26-29)

Interestingly, in a recent conversation with Mormon’s in Cardiff this argument was applied the other  way round – and offence was taken by the Mormons!

It is an interesting  assertion  by  Orson  Pratt: ‘The gates of hell HAVE  prevailed….’  The  KJV  of  the Bible states: ‘….upon this rock I  will  build  my  church; and the gates of hell SHALL NOT prevail  against  it’ (Matt 16v18). We will consider the  LDS  excuses  for  this  contradiction  in another place.

5. Until April 1990, the  Mormon  religion  included in their temple ceremony part of  a  dialogue between a character playing the  part of Lucifer (the  Devil) and a man portraying a Protestant ‘preacher’ shown to  be  in  the  pay of Lucifer. The temple ceremony was  protected with  Masonic intensity for over 150 years and, according to their Doctrine and Covenants,124:40, the Lord revealed the ordinances for these temple ceremonies.  However,  He  has now apparently changed  His  mind  and the ceremony was dramatically reduced  to  half  an hour, instead of the previous hour and a half. Masonic oaths installed to protect the ceremony have also gone – do you think that this could have anything to  do  with  the  fact  that  the  temple ceremony was secretly recorded without the knowledge of the Mormon hierarchy and had been distributed to  the world, BEFORE this change was made? These recordings are still widely available and Mormons who we have shared this information with feign horror that one of their sacred ceremonies should have been shared with the world – there is no point in showing horrror because (a) the ceremionies were largely ‘borrowed’ without permission from the Masons, and (b) the Book of Mormon speaks out against secret societies, oaths, priestcrafts, and blood atonement (I Nephi 20:16; 2 Nephi 9:9; 28:9; Alma 37:22-31; Helaman 6:25; 3 Nephi 10:33; 12:33; 16;10; 21:19-21; Mormon 8:27,40; Ether 8:14-22; 10:33; Ether 11:22; 14:8-10) and yet Joseph Smith introduced all of these after claiming the Book of Mormon to be the ‘most correct of any book on earth’!

6. The Mormon church still claims that all other churches are in a  state  of  apostasy  and   more  than  fifty  pages  of  the introduction to the ‘History  of  the  Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’  are  devoted  to  proving  that all churches except the  Mormon  church  are  in  apostasy.  For example, the following quote is  found  on  page  XL:  ‘Nothing  less than a complete apostasy from the  Christian religion would warrant the establishment  of  the  Church  of  Jesus  Christ  of Latter-Day Saints.’


In more recent LDS writings  we  have the appearance of a softer attitude towards orthodox  Christianity.  However, ‘The Ensign,’Dec., 1984 (p.9) had this to  say in an article entitled ‘Early signs of the Apostasy’:

‘To say that SATAN SITS IN THE PLACE OF GOD IN CHRISTIANITY AFTER THE TIME OF THE APOSTLES is not to say that all that is in it is satanic. Indeed,  Latter-Day Saints should rejoice – as the heavens undoubtedly do – at the great works of righteousness and faith, and the  leavening  influence  on the world, of those whose lives are touched in any degree by Him whose gospel THE SAINTS ENJOY IN ITS FULNESS.  Still,  ‘the power of God unto salvation’ (Rom. 1:16) is ABSENT  FROM  ALL BUT THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS, WHICH THE LORD HIMSELF HAS PROCLAIMED TO BE ‘THE ONLY TRUE AND LIVING CHURCH UPON THE FACE OF THE WHOLE EARTH’  (D&C  1:30).  Satan’s goal of hindering many of God’s children from returning to their Father’s glory is thus realized. How appropriate, therefore, is Paul’s description of him SITTING IN  THE  PLACE  OF  GOD IN THE CHURCH OF THE APOSTASIA.’


7. John Taylor, the third  president  of the church, set forward the challenge of the Mormons in the following way:

‘….if God has not spoken, if the angel of God has not appeared to Joseph Smith, and if  these  things  are not true of which we speak, then the whole  thing  is  an imposture from beginning to end. It is either one thing or the other’ (JofD, Vol. 21, p.165)

Joseph Fielding Smith, the tenth president of the church, made a similar statement:

‘Mormonism, as it is called, must  stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either  a  prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed  and  commissioned,  or  he  was  one  of the biggest frauds this world has  ever seen. THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND.  If  Joseph  Smith  was  a  deceiver,  who wilfully attempted to mislead the people,  then he should be exposed; his claims  should  be  refuted,  and  his  doctrines  shown  to  be false….I maintain that Joseph Smith was all that he claimed to be’ (Doctrines of Salvation, 1959, Vol. 1, pp.188-189).


Regarding the Mormon connection to Freemasonry, according to http://www.geocities.com, the first five presidents of the Mormon Church were all heavily involved in Freemasonry:

The first five Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were all members of Nauvoo Lodge;
Hyrum Smith – the brother of Joseph ‘the prophet’, also served as patriarch of the church after the death of their father, Joseph Smith, Sr., who was also a Mason. Hyrum was a member of Mount Moriah Lodge at Palmyra, Ontario County, NY. He later served as the Senior Warden of the Nauvoo Lodge at its founding in 1841 and as Worshipful Master from November 10, 1842 to June 27, 1844 when he was assassinated at Carthage, IL with his brother;
Brigham Young – second president was a Member of the Quorum of the Twelve under Joseph Smith, and became a Mason at the Nauvoo Lodge: Initiated 4/7/1842, Passed 4/8/1842 & Raised 4/9/1842. According to the Official Lodge Minutes, Joseph Smith was present at the 1st and 3rd of these degrees. Young was known to have worn a Masonic stick pin on his shirt at various times for the rest of his life. The pin has been edited out of all official LDS images of Young but exists on some images (see link below);
Willard Richards – Apostle, Church Historian & personal secretary to Joseph Smith received his degrees in Masonry at the Nauvoo Lodge at the same time as Brigham Young;
Heber C. Kimball – member of the First Quorum of the Twelve under Joseph Smith & a counsellor to Brigham Young during his presidency. Kimball was made a Mason at Milner Lodge in Victor, Ontario County, NY in 1825. He was reported to have petitioned the Royal Arch Chapter in Canadigua, NY in 1826 just before the Anti-Mason sentiment sparked by the Morgan Affair shut down most lodges in that region of the country. Kimball served as Junior Deacon of the Nauvoo Lodge.
John Taylor- apostle under Joseph Smith, made a Mason at Nauvoo, succeeded Brigham Young to the presidency of the LDS church;
Parley P. Pratt – served as a Branch President in Missouri and later as an Apostle. He served several missions for the church, including one to England. Also editor of the Millennial Star, a Mormon newspaper. Made a Mason at the Nauvoo Lodge – Initiated 7/10/1843, Passed 7/13/1843 & Raised 7/30/1844;
Lorenzo Snow – Like Taylor & Woodruff, an apostle under Joseph Smith made a Mason at Nauvoo and became the fifth president of the LDS church;
Orson Hyde – an Apostle who served several missions for the church, including one to Palestine to dedicate the Holy Land for the final gathering of Israel, received his 1st and 2nd degrees in Masonry at Meridian Orb Lodge No. 10 in Painesville, Lake County, Ohio and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason at the Nauvoo Lodge on January 18, 1843.
Orin Porter Rockwell – close friend and bodyguard of Joseph Smith, member of the Danites in Missouri, accused of the attempted assassination of Lilburn W. Boggs, Governor of Missouri, was a Mason at the Nauvoo Lodge – Initiated 3/9/1844, Passed 3/11/1844 & Raised 3/29/1844.

In the next news-letter we will consider the  claims of the ‘prophet’ Joseph  Smith,  and  in  due  time  the  claims of the ‘scriptures’ of the  Mormons  and  their  version  of the gospel which led Ezra Taft Benson  (who became president of the LDS in 1985) to state in ‘The Ensign,’ November, 1984:

‘Men  can  get  nearer  to  the  Lord…and  can  gain  a better understanding of the doctrines of  salvation through the Book of Mormon than they can through the Bible….THERE WILL BE MORE PEOPLE SAVED IN THE KINGDOM OF  GOD  -TEN THOUSAND TIMES OVER -BECAUSE OF THE BOOK OF MORMON  THAN THERE WILL BE BECAUSE OF THE BIBLE.’ (quoting Elder Bruce R. McConkie -Address at Book of Mormon Symposium, Brigham Young University, 18 Aug. 1978)


8. How  to  summarise  the  long  held  Mormon  view of orthodox Christianity? Mormon Penrose stated  their case in the following way:

‘The departure from the  order, doctrine, ordinances, and spirit of primitive Christianity commenced at a very early period…The Church of Christ was gone, without even a shadow of its presence to  be   seen   upon   the   earth…After   a   time  came  the reformation…Yet there was no inspired prophet, no gifted seer, no appointed revelator through  whom  the  will  of God could be made known. Therefore, the ordinances of the gospel could not be administered acceptably to God, and  all such ceremonies as were established among the various  sects  were of necessity void and without  virtue  in   heaven…Joseph   Smith   was  the  chosen instrument in the hands of  God  to receive the glad message and direct its promulgation  to  all  the  world.’ (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 33-38)

The Mormons have given enough  reasons to examine their religion – and have clearly  claimed  to  be  the only true Christians on earth. We have supplied enough evidence already to show that the Mormon Church is neither Christian nor anything but the product from the Gates of Hell. We provide more evidence on the following pages showing that THE LDS HAVE NOT BUILT ON ROCK, BUT ON SAND!

4 thoughts on “What Is a Cult?

  1. Greg:

    Please read my first-person articles at http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener

    I am under daily microwave radiation attack and have been for five years. The attacks have degraded my health and destroyed my career. I am a virtual prisoner in my own home. The gang stalking is unremitting. I am a fairly well known journalist who had his own TV show on a top NYC based regional sports network and I prior to that, I was an investigative reporter for 30 years for major newspapers and TV outlets (which is what I believe led to my targeting).

    My email and phone calls are not just surveilled, but intercepted, and often the people I call turn out to be imposters. My bills and financial statements appear to be fabricated, and I believe this is a systemic slow expropriation. I’ve been slandered, and now my rogue tormentors have taken to libeling me in print, on the political blogs at Washingtonpost.com and at blog.ACLU.com, free speech, internet filters thread, where I have chronicled the malicious interference with my internet telecommunications.


    If you saw the movie “Enemy of the State,” the Will Smith character’s experiences are mirrored in my own life — but he didn’t get the “DEW.”

    After you have read my articles, please try to contact me (although my email appears to be not just intercepted, but sometimes, appears to be altered. If you ever get to NYC or Philadelphia, I’d like to meet with you. Thanks.

    Vic Livingston, http://My.NowPublic.com/scrivener


  2. Pingback: Ask the leadership coach » Investigative Journal » What Is a Cult?

  3. “I wanted to revisit the story of Tony Alamo and the ministry, and put it in a proper perspective. Let’s call it like it is: the government as well as the Vatican-led New World Order has labeled this Bible believing ministry as a cult. So I thought, we () into: what is a cult, and show you that – beyond a resonable doubt – the people accusing the Alamo ministry of being a cult are actually a cult themselves. And we’ll get into that, and I wanted to discuss that major subject with you this morning. But first, let’s talk about this: when we do talk about the occult … and we talk about the connections between the Jesuit order, Freemasonry, the Vatican, our government, the leaders at the top – what do they really worship. We’ve made the conclusion beyond a resonable doubt with facts that we laid over the years, that their Luciferian organisation – where do they get their beliefs, their doctrines? Well, they come from the highest occult sources. One is Blavatsky, another is Alice A. Bailey, and another is Albert Pike. Now, all other sources are secondary.”

    Now we are right in the middle of the battlefield!
    “Cult” like in “culturally”, “inculturation” and “occult” but also in “cool” and “clever”, because for the status of a cult at all, an idea needs to be enticing in the first place, doesn’t it. Something can only become “cult” if it is “cool”, favoured and promising at least for a certain target group.

    To let the Conspiracist approach finally behind, let’s make it clear from the start: the basic link between piety & conspiracy from my point of view is the relationship of culture as sum of all successful working cults to the occult peak of all kinds of bureaucratic hierarchies resp. traditional social quasi-military careers. That may perhaps sound terrifying complicated at the moment but I think, we should be able to find more appropriate verbalizations some time soon. A “major subject” indeed: a huge theme right in the centre of a dialectically driven malstroem of (today) two main opinion streams, “corpo” & “conspi” …

    “There are occultism, personality cult aspects to the situation with the embalmed body of Vladimir Lenin. Such aspects are not allowed either for the faithful or for other people. This situation is similar to the Pharaoh cult it is very close to idol worshipping.”

    The Marks of a Cult

    (@ 19th min) “I asked the question at the beginning, and I’m gonna give you a chance to think about it. What do you think a cult is? What is a cult? You have a definition for it? Or you’re gonna follow just what the mainstream media say? Somebody told me yesterday, Janet Reno said that a cult is anybody who follows the Bible, believes in the Bible, anybody who homeschools and then there was one other point. So you’re gonna believe the lies that these people tell you?
    What they do is basically turn Bible believing ministries like Tony Alamo into a cult into the minds of the masses, so that when you hear anything that comes out of their mouths, you automatically think they’re brainwashed, and they’re fundamentalist believers of some false doctrine. My show the other day showed you that most of the people in this country, Roman Catholics and Christians, have no idea what’s the Bible is all about, and basically have been misled by false doctrine. They don’t know what to believe! So, when they listen to this on the News, they’re gonna believe it! Because that’s what they are trained: they believe what their leaders tell them. Because they hold out this hope that they’re gonna do some good. Well, those of you who are thinking the Dollar is gonna make it come back – forget about it! Those of you who think that you can have more freedom of religion, that that is just a passing fancy – forget about it! Any gonna happen here anymore. It’s gonna be just like certain countries that the Vatican controls, where it’s against the law to preach the ministry on the streets. Why? Cause they don’t want any criticism! They don’t want everybody telling you that they’re the cult. […]
    Now, the Vatican and their secular followers in Freemasonry, and I don’t make this statement without any evidence to back it up. You’ll go find many of my broadcasts, many of my articles, and I can back up with that, you know, I’m backing up what I’m saying by history, by facts, by people who’ve come on that have nothing against good Roman Catholics who are being duped by these people, or nothing against lower level masons who have no idea what’s going on. So when I say this, it’s not just hollow words. I said, the Vatican and their secular followers in freemasonry – that hint would had showed you that Pike and Blavatsky have been told you who created Freemasonry. It’s very similiar to what? The Jesuit order & Ignatius Loyola! If you look at all the rows they’re very similiar. […]
    I’m paraphrasing the ‘Clown Pope’: ‘We’re not concerned anymore about Protestantism, mainstream religions, cause they’re all in line with the ecumenical Vatican movement. Okay? They are just like sisterships on a big ocean, you know, a big fleet sailing to the end of the ocean, or to Jerusalem to set up the new world goverment, the new world order.'”

    read more …


  4. “They became a mystery to the others and the priesthood was born. No king ever existed without the permission of the priesthood, and the kings never had the power and do not to this day. Kings exist at the whim of the real power which is the priesthood standing behind the thrown.”
    “It is a method of encoding information through a system of mathematics and numbers. It is some of the most ancient knowledge that man has ever possessed, and has been kept secret and given only to those who have proven themselves worthy through the process of initiation.”
    “There is a method to their madness but there’s really not much method to yours. Because you are operating from a place of ignorance, and until you change that, you will be bumbling around, bumping into each other, saying and doing the wrong things. Not understanding the nature of your enemy and if you don’t understand the nature of your enemy and the weapons they use, you cannot fight that enemy, you can’t fight the battle. You shouldn’t even be on the battlefield! You don’t even recognize half the weapons they use against you, and some of them seem so insignificant you don’t even try. That’s why you are losing the war. Now, don’t tell me you’re not, you don’t even try.”

    “I maintain that the only true salvation from any oppression or enslavement is self-empowerment. Knowledge. Consciousness. This is true rebellion. Don’t get caught on 87 percent of people who follow the leader! People who think that they are rebels because they denounce authority, simply because it’s the latest fashion. Don’t marsh the streets claiming that you are the enlightened one, because you read a book or saw a film that give you a glimpse into an uncommon knowledge! Don’t scream phrases into a megaphone that you borrowed from another person’s research! And don’t proclaim yourself an original thinker, just because you belong to a group that represents an unpopular belief! Those are all examples of the other side of the coin of group think, leading of false rebellion. False rebellion is dangerous because it gives the illusion that you are free and thinking for youself. A true rebellion, a true revolution begins when you quit following and start leading. And those who end up following you should be taught by you to quit following you and start leading. And the only way to lead successfully is by fully understanding your rights as a human being on this planet.”

    read more …


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