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«Наука через призму времени»

Март, 2019 / Международный научный журнал
«Наука через призму времени» №3 (24) 2019

Автор: Леснянский Денис Александрович, аспирант
Рубрика: Философские науки
Название статьи: Термин Тоталитарные секты в современной религиозной жизни

Статья просмотрена: 405 раз
Дата публикации: 11.03.2019

УДК 291.1:130.2:2


Леснянский Денис Александрович

магистр педагогических наук, аспирант

Забайкальский государственный университет, г. Чита


Аннотация. Статья посвящена тоталитарным сектам, одному из типов религиозных движений, ведущих агрессивную политику по отношению к последователям, обществу или традиционным религиям. Тоталитарные секты это социально значимое явление, исследования тоталитарных сект чрезвычайно актуальны в наше время.

Ключевые слова: новые религиозные движения, НРД, тоталитарные секты, религиоведение, философия религии.



Lesnyanskiy Denis Aleksandrovich

master of Pedagogic sciences

PhD student of Transbaikal State University, Russia, Chita


Abstract. The article is devoted to totalitarian sects, one of the types of religious movements leading an aggressive policy towards followers, society or traditional religions. Totalitarian sects is a socially significant phenomenon, the study of totalitarian sects is extremely relevant in our time.

Keywords: new religious movements, NRM, totalitarian sects, religious studies, philosophy of religion.


The concept of totalitarian sects and their essence in the last decade worries a certain part of Russian society. Translated from Latin «sect» means «lifestyle», «doctrine», «school» [1, p. 23]. The criterion of the relation to the word «sect» and to the derivative from it «sectarians» should be not etymology, but psychology. The fact is that people to whom these words are addressed sometimes perceive them as an insult.

These organizations and groups cause public concern, are accused of using deception in the recruitment of their members, different doctrines of members of the sect and for the neophytes, as well as for society, psychological violence and psychological manipulation of people, in the destruction of families, the kindling of religious intolerance, control of all aspects of human life [2, p. 45-46].

Totalitarian sects can be understood as special authoritarian organizations, whose leaders, seeking power over their followers and their exploitation, hide their intentions under religious, political and religious, psychotherapeutic, health, educational, scientific and cognitive, cultural and other covers. Totalitarian sects resort to deception, silence and intrusive propaganda to attract new members, use censorship of information which is coming to their members, resort to other unethical methods of control over the person, to psychological pressure, intimidation and other forms of retention of members in the organization. Thus, totalitarian sects violate the human right to free informed choice of worldview and lifestyle. In addition, the sectarian nature of a community can be said to deny them the totality of culture beyond its own borders [5, p. 75].

A totalitarian sect is an organization that uses deception in recruitment; practicing various methods of controlling the consciousness of its members, up to hypnosis and coding in some sects. The teachings of different sects are different, but one goal – the desire to profit at the expense of unsuspecting victims. An unsuspecting person becomes a slave, through a comprehensive system of prohibitions and regulations his whole life is regulated to the smallest detail, between him and the rest of the world creates a wall of alienation. He lives in complete submission to the leaders of the organization, who can force him to quit his job and study, to break off relations with relatives and friends, to abandon his wife and children, to sacrifice his life, to commit any crime. Those caught in the sect are subjected to regular violence: from beatings and rape in some sects to exhausting work for 15-18 hours daily, without the need for food and sleep, in others. When he becomes physically ill, begins to show signs of mental illness or when he has nothing more to pay the sect, waste human material is simply thrown out into the street. It takes one to three years to recover from the effects of being in a totalitarian sect, but a number of sects cause such irreparable damage to the individual that it is impossible to fully recover [3, p. 39].

All sorts of religious literature also helps to involve in the sects. However, if every small publication is unnoticed itself, all together they deserve the attention. After all, the best publications of the sects, which cause sympathy and interest among readers, are copied, photocopied, duplicated. Therefore, it is possible that the monthly spontaneous circulation increases several times and, according to the most conservative estimates, is already tens of thousands of copies, and the number of readers – hundreds of thousands. All have one goal – to recruit as many people as possible under their «banner». And the content of religious deception-all sorts of promises to make life happy. And, as a rule, promises are not unselfish. Because the basis for happiness can be a complete renunciation of his property, of course, in favor of the sect. To false promises scammers resort very often. That is verbal deception – the main weapon of the leaders of the sects, because they are good orators and ideologues.

Most of the members of the sects are people of mature and young age. However not young age-their main difference from traditional religions. According to sociological research, believers of a new type are mostly educated people. Among them are many who were previously interested in yoga, occultism, religious philosophy. Orthodox Christianity is old and banal for them. Frustrated in life people are looking for the sects. A lot of psychologically unstable personalities, prone to mystical experiences. There are those who came to the sect at will. They would like to transform their personal life and the life of the religious community, and the society as a whole, on the basis of the religious ideals of the sect. There are those who are simply misled. Some sects use the interpretation of the Bible in their own way. Ron Hubbard, a former follower of the Satanist Crowley, once publicly stated, "if you want to become a really rich man, then create a new religion." So, the main goal of the sect is to seize property and money. Next, we will focus on some methods of recruiting new members. One of the tasks of sectarians is to recruit new members. There are many ways to do it.

When we talk about the danger of totalitarian sects, we mean quite specific organizations that are united by a common feature: complete disregard for human life. The Western world faced this negative phenomenon a little earlier than Russian society only because totalitarian control was at the state level in the USSR. Examples of Western democracy have shown that this society is very vulnerable from sects that are very loud about the violation of their rights and at the same time violate the rights of people who are lured into their networks. The name of the spiritual experience, we are talking about the trap, the deception used by the sect to join the ranks [4, p. 31-32].

Many organizations that are not related to the Bible and Christianity call themselves biblical and Christian. Such, for example, are the Jehovah's charismatic, who enjoy great public confidence in the Bible and Christians. Sects use deception, regardless of the principles of morality. That will never let none of the traditional confession, easy destructive cults. Sectarian leaders, who have concentrated in their hands the doctrinal and administrative power over adepts, push their followers to commit crimes. The followers of «Aum Shinrikyo» staged a sarin attack in the Tokyo subway. Followers of the Church of Scientology in Russia collected information on government officials and members of the government. Some sects impose on their adherents such demands, which end their own certain doom. Uncontrolled distribution of sectarian literature, which falls into the hands of young people and mentally unstable people, leads to cases such as mental disorders, loss of health or the commission of criminal offenses under the influence of reading [1, p. 25].

Thus, totalitarian sects are a special type of religious movements that exercise total control over the lives of their followers. Using their power, the leaders of totalitarian sects use their followers to their advantage. Totalitarian sects are certainly a socially significant phenomenon and require deep research by the philosophy of religion, religious studies, sociology, law.

In Russian Language:

  1. Ильин В.В., Кармин А.С., Носович Н.В. Религиоведение. – СПб.: Питер, 2008.
  2. Мекушкин А.А. Религиоведение / А.А. Мекушкин, К.В. Воденко, С.И. Самыгин. – Ростов н/Д: Феникс, 2015.

In English Language:

  1. Clarke, Peter B. New Religions in Global Perspective: A Study of Religious Change in the Modern World. New York: Routledge, 2006.
  2. Hammer O. and Rothstein M. The Cambridge Companion to New Religious Movements. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  3. Zeller, Benjamin. Prophets and Protons: New Religious Movements and Science in Late Twentieth-Century America. New York University Press, 2010.


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