On the 3rd of January 2019 anime news network put out a paid advertisement for a movie advertising the cult “happy science” and it caused some outrage. After realizing their mistake they removed it on the same day it was up.
This was actually being written while the post was still up and has now been changed in light of ANN’s changes. I’m very thankful that they did change it and though I’m disappointed that the error happened in the first place I’m very glad they rectified the changes.
But talking about cults has been a long time coming for me because I’ve researched a lot of them and find them interesting in a really bad way, because all of them are so messed up that I just sort of want them to end. I need to explain what a cult is though to explain why.
A cult is defined “a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object.” but it’s not really as simple as that. Because the idea of what a cult is can be so vast and broad that a definition like that just isn’t good enough, it also makes it look like a cult is the same as a religion which is wrong.
Instead there is a model designed to evaluate religious organisations to say whether they’re cults or not called the BITE model. BITE stands for behavior control, information control, Thought control and Emotional control. It boils down to a list of bullet points and if a religious organisation falls under too many of them they’re called a cult.
So when I talk about wanting cults to die I’m probably not talking about what you think of as cults e.g Strange people doing cooky things around a flaming fire conducting sacrifices to Satan for fun.
The cults I’m talking about are by definition harmful to the people who are within them. That’s why I can say I want them gone so confidently.
Not to go against people’s right to religious freedom though, I just want the cults to die naturally through people realising just how destructive they are to their members.
I couldn’t recommend reading the image above more if you have no idea what I’m talking about. The thing you’ll realise about them is that for most of them you cannot leave without being shunned, that stays consistent for all of them. What being shunned means is that all your family and friends will never speak with you or live with you again. I’ve heard too many stories of people being kicked out of their house at 15 and losing everyone they know. It’s not right.
Sure people have their freedom of religion and can join religious cults if they want. But the same isn’t true for if you’re in a real cult. It’s either you believe in them or you’re completely dead to them.
There is a compromise though and that is that if cults change their rules (to turn their cult into a religion) I have no problem with it.
Anyway to get back on track it’s for these reasons that I don’t take advertising for cults lightly.
ANN released this article on 03/01/19 for a paid advertisement of a film called “The Laws of the Universe part 1” which is proper-gander for the happy science cult.
Though I can see the reason why they would accept the advertisement I was pretty unnerved towards their attitude in the article. First of all they didn’t even advertise the fact that this was about a cult, that’s a problem because it’s good to know that!
Then the next issue is that it feels like it was written by a cult member, saying that the morals and things introduced in the film were correct. They used language like “The film ultimately guides us to the answers we are all seeking” and while nothing else in the article comes close to that it does encourage the thoughts and ideas shown in the film.
Then when I learn that the film is about recruitment to the cult it’s sad to me, and then when I also learn that ANN already released a kind of exposé on the happy science cult themselves it just concerns me a lot!
If you need convincing that they are a cult then here are some thing from their own website that might sound a little off to you.
July 7th is called “Celebration of the Lords Descent” where people celebrate the founders birthday. This is because they believe the founder has achieved great enlightenment and is also part god himself. Their god is called El Cantare and is apparently the source of all religion.
So yeah the creator just happened to make himself a god as well.
You cannot find stuff on their website saying “we financially manipulate our members” because they would never say something like that obviously – but there are many things on the BITE model that you can see very clear signs for.
Like the massive amount of religious books they have to buy or their method of donating called “Happiness planting” and where does this money go? You know the answer, however I have to admit that at least some goes to charity, oh wait no, it goes back to themselves since it goes into a charity they created.
This would not be enough for me to call them a cult though, you can worship a guy all you want, it’s your freedom of religion. But theirs more, they have released videos claiming North Korea and China want to invade Japan and that’s pretty bad honestly!
If anyone needs more convincing then just ask me. I feel like I’ve done enough research myself to determine that they are a cult however you might not be convinced yet.
Alright so this was actually removed by ANN which is a good thing, but I’m wondering what they were doing in the first place? How could an ANN writer release this just encouraging the thoughts of the destructive cult? Surely the advertisers didn’t write this? I sure hope they didn’t!
Either way it was sad to see this article pass through and I don’t want to see anything like this happen again.
I get that mistakes happen and I’m not going to be too harsh on ANN, they did the right thing in the end and just made a mistake.
But why leave it still up? If you go to the change log right from the place where they gave the notification you can still find the original! It’s crazy that they would leave it up!