Thanks for the link. I checked it out. Like Mod, I never said mkp is a cult, but a LGAT. I did say that mkp has cult-like tendencies, but not enough to be considered a cult. By quoting the resource you linked, we can see some cult-like tendencies.
Jeff Parr includes the following as characteristics of cults:
The group is focused on a living leader to whom members
seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning
Don't really see this w/this group, although many members have an unquestioning commitment to the group.
The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
The group is preoccupied with making money.
These appear to be present given my hubby's expereince, as well as many ex-mkp'ers' experiences shared on this board.
Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even
I would say that men are not punished, but groupthink is used, as well as activity-packed weekends that do not allow for much time to question, reflect, doubt, etc. (see [en.wikipedia.org
] for more on groupthink). Men are kept too busy and are not provided the proper nourishment, rest, and alone time to make independent and rational decisions.
Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting,
speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating
work routines) are used to suppress doubts about the group
and its leader(s).
Mind-numbing can occur from the same issue mentioned in my response to the previous quote, not to mention that the mkp'ers on this board and my husband all agree that the weekend is rigorous. There is also drumming and questionable hypnosis going on. The constant music also makes it difficult for recruitees to focus on independent thinking.
The leadership dictates sometimes in great detail how
members should think, act, and feel (for example: members
must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get
married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to
wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so
I don't think that this happens, but during the weekend itself, initiates are expected to follow the lead of the staffers and are expected to give up all "identity items" that connect themselves to the "outside world."
The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status
for itself, its leader(s), and members (for example: the
leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; the group
and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).
MKP is elistist in that the rhetoric both on their websites, doctrine, and during the weekends all suggest that these men are the ones who "get it"--who live in integrity. And those who do not come back to the group just "didn't get it" or refuse the "gifts" of the MKP. But I don't think that MKP goes as far at the quote above suggests.
The group has a polarized us- versus-them mentality, which causes conflict with the wider society.
From my husband's experience, this did happen to some extent on his weekend, with the those who get it vs. those who don't rhetoric. And the leaders also warned their new recruits that they may no longer fit in with their outside world after such a weekend, as those on the "outside" would not get it and mmen on the outside are not as "enlightened," which consequently promotes and us vs. them mentality and suggests that the new intiates may feel more comfortable fraternizing with mainly mkp men.
The group's leader is not accountable to any authorities
(as are, for example, military commanders and ministers,
priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).
Because the mkp is promoting itself as a non-profit agency, it is not held to the same standards as for-profit businesses, even though there are profits being made. Also because they dub themselves as an "educational" group instead of therapeutic, they are not held to the same standards as licensed and accredited agencies that offer therapy conducted by licensed therapists. Thus, if abuses of power occur in mkp, they are not as easily rectified and the leaders don't have to be held accountable (due to recruitees signing away these rights in the paperwork prior to intiation). In accredited therapy, clients do not sign away their rights to hold their therapist accountable for any damages done to them physically and emotionally.
The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted
ends justify means that members would have considered
unethical before joining the group (for example: collecting
money for bogus charities).
This ties back to the common phrase offered up by mkp'ers: "share the fruit not the tree." This is tied to the fact that the initiates are not supposed to share the processes of the weekend, as those on the "outside" will not understand. Thus, they justify some of the abusive activities via "the end justifies the means" mentality. And like many mkp'ers have said on these boards, they would probably not have gone to the weekend had they known about these processes/activities beforehand.
The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order
to control them.
I don't know for sure if this takes place, although one might argue that the groupthink that takes place may play a part in this. Perhaps initiates might feel guilty or feel that they may let the group down, or hinders its progress, if they do not succumb to the process.
Members' subservience to the group causes them to cut ties
with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and
activities that were of interest before joining the group.
In some cases mentioned on this board, it appears that this has happened, but I think that this is more of a case by case and region by region occurence. I don't think that this is a standared requirement of mkp, although some participants may certainly choose to give up these things in order to get more involved with mkp.
Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time
to the group.
See response to previous criterion.
Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize
only with other group members
I don't know of any mkp communes, so I don't think the living part is a concern. But like I previously noted, there is some rhetoric that suggests that socializing with primarily mkp'ers would make it easier on the intiates, and who wouldn't want to socialize primarily with "men of integrity." (But as I noted in a previous post, this integrity is certainly debatable.)
Just thought I'd offer this up for discussion. Again, I am not claiming that mkp is a cult . . . it just exhibits some cult-like tendencies that I think are unhealthy for its recruits. I think that Mod has done a great job of explaining mkp's LGAT ties, so I won't offer anything else on that.
Hope this clarifies my POV. Have a blessed day.