- WITH REFERENCE TO AT LEAST TWO NRMS, EXAMINE THE WAYS IN W...
WITH REFERENCE TO AT LEAST TWO NRMS, EXAMINE THE WAYS IN WHICH THEY SECURE ALLEGIANCE FROM THEIR FOLLOWERS.
Bruce (1996) observes that the Western world (in particular)
experienced a significant proliferation of new religious movements
(NRMs) from the 1960s, and has attributed this to the effects of
the counter-culture movement of this period, which precipitated a
move by Westerners to experiment Eastern spiritualities like Zen
Buddhism and Transcendental Meditation. Mainstream churches also
lost a lot of their members, and especially, "young people in large
numbers began to experiment with a wide range of new cults and
sects" (Bruce 1996: 169).
This essay briefly presents how two NRMs - the Hare Krishna
Movement and the Family of God - secure allegiance from their
Other evangelistic mediums like printed material (e.g. Mo
Letters), music and mass mailing were used by Berg's movement.
Through these varied forms of activities and its spread to many
countries with varied cultures The Family was transformed "from a
California-based, hippie, fundamentalist group, rigidly and
centrally structured under the authority of Moses David Berg to a
more eclectic, multi-ethnic, decentralized missionary movement of
relatively independent communities dispersed all over the globe"
(Lewis and Melton 1994: 123)
As is evidenced by the presentation above, NRMs are very varied,
and employ different modes of securing allegiance from followers.
It appears though that practices like proselytisation and the use
of the belief systems of already established religions, as
evidenced in the practices of ISKCON and The Family, are some
common features that underpin the modes by which NRMs secure
allegiance from followers.