This might sound like a silly question or it might be a realistic one. Is A Course In Miracles a cult? Is ACIM a brainwashing device? One might ask alternatively, is the Bible the basis of cults? Perhaps some cults are based around the Bible, or perhaps some cults have been based around A Course In Miracles. The only time this answer might be yes is if there are individuals using A Course In Miracles in a coercive or unethical way. Probably most things can be used in a coersive or unethical way if one wants to use them in such a way. It might sometimes be legal to be unethical, but it does not make it right. There can be legal ways of acting unethically and there can be illegal ways of acting unethically. If ACIM is used unethically in a legal way, then perhaps that individual should simply be exposed or abandoned. However, if someone is using A Course In Miracles or any other spiritual or non-spiritual book to coerces and control others in a way that is illegal, then perhaps that is where the government should become involved, and those individuals should be held legally accountable for their actions.
In one sense, a cult is simply a pejorative term for “a new religious movement”. A Course In Miracles could perhaps be considered a form of new religious movement potentially, since it was reportedly scribed in the 1970’s. However, it can be a positive influence for many! It does not condemn anyone to hell.
So to call A Course In Miracles a cult or the basis of a cult is just as silly as calling any other potentially neutral or non-neutral idea or book the basis of a cult. It is really the actions of individuals that would determine whether or not ACIM or anything else has become negatively, illegally, and/or unethically utilized.
I think you did a very good job of answering your question yourself. I would add that A Course In Miracles is presented as a “self study” course – in other words it does not tell you to follow anyone else, or listen to anyone else, or go against your own will.
In that sense it is very different from other systems which have been the basis of cults. ACIM wants to you be free and think for yourself.
Of course it is possible for anyone to interpret anything in very strange ways, and some people have done this with ACIM. But this is definitely not in the nature of the text itself – it is rather interpretations other people place on it.
It would be very difficult to use a message of love as the basis of cult manipulation, but, as Arten & Pursah say in Gary Renard’s books “give the world a few years, and it’s a wonder to behold.”
In Peace and Love,
Thank you Gavin!
ACIM would indeed be qualified as a cult since it advocates that we can do anything on our ownto acheive salvation. There is one truth, as the Bible says…”You shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And Jesus Himself saying…”I am the way, the truth, the life…NO ONE comes to the Father (heaven) except through me.” As I studied ACIM and concurrently the Bible I realized it was the word NO ONE that became my stumbling block (the thing I couln’t find my way around!) Either Jesus was telling the TRUTH…or He was a LIAR! Fortunately for me….God used my study of ACIM to lead me into the TRUTH…by showing me the fallicy if the teachings of ACIM!
Found true peace and love in Jesus and in His word…The Bible!