Friday, September 10, 2010

Does Terry Jones run a cult?

The Sydney Morning Herald ran a story titled Pastor in Koran furore accused of using ‘slaves’. It raised an interesting question, is pastor Terry Jones running a cult?

A former worshipper said he worked 72 hours a week without pay for Terry Jones, who insists he will go ahead with the Koran burning to mark the ninth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US.

Slave labor, yes, that qualifies.

Shane Butcher, who was expelled from the church for disobedience, told the Gainesville Sun he worked for the pastor's TS and Company for up 72 hours a week without pay, and meals were provided from a ''food bank''.

Harsh rules, yes, that qualifies.

Mr Butcher said punishments for disobedience ranged from cleaning the barnacles off Mr Jones's boat in Tampa, to carrying a life-size wooden cross or writing out all of Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible.

Odd punishments, yes, that qualifies.

We know the rest of the story. Fringe beliefs, a weapons based culture, a closed “us vs. them” mentality, and lots of hate. I’d say yes, we are looking at a cult. Great, a cult nutball is capturing he attention of the world.