Study of cults is one of the branches of theological study especially apologetics. Since people of TPM do not understand the jargons used in biblical theology, the word “cult” is new to them, of which they have no understanding. Naturally, they take offence too. So was it for me when I was a TPM die-hard fanatic. My relatives used to tell me that TPM is a cult, but since I was unaware of the meaning of the word CULT, I never asked them what is meaning of the word CULT. Rather I used to argue with them saying that TPM might have some wrong practices but it is not a cult.

Gradually I started understanding what is a cult. I started observing other cults, other than TPM, and finally, I understood TPM is one of them. Therefore based on my past experience, we at fromtpm.com have decided to start a new series on cults. In this series, we will bring to light, various cults around the world, not only Christian ones but also that from other religions, so that readers may get an idea of why TPM is considered a CULT.

Understanding CULT

CULT – From the Latin “cultis” which denotes all that is involved in worship, ritual, emotion, liturgy and attitude. Therefore it is generally applied to belief and practices of a specific smaller group within a larger group; this specific smaller sub-set group, usually has its own exclusive set of beliefs, which are uniquely different from orthodox/historic belief system of the larger group.

For example, consider Christianity as the larger group, where people have nearly the same belief rooted in two thousand years of history and orthodoxy of the Christian religion. Now if a small group arises (say seventh day Adventist), which is centred on one man/woman’s new revelation (Ellen G White), who said that Jesus will return in so and so time and Saturday should be the day of worship and not Sunday because she received a vision in which 4th commandment was shining brighter than rest of the laws of Moses, then this new revelation which has no historic grounding, which was not believed by millions of Christians who are part of 2000 years of historic Christendom, and the new revelation is considered as strange by a larger group of people following the same religion (Christianity in this case), then this new group which is a subset of the larger group, tends to become cult, having new culture within the larger culture.

The cult is distinct from the sect because the problem is not that the newer group has a different opinion, but that the leaders, who preside over these smaller sub-set group, tend to be authoritarian, trying to control people, by manipulative techniques, in order to maintain their power over the mass, that they have managed to deceive by their novice teachings. They use the word “obedience to leaders” as a de-facto sign of faithfulness and try to induce fear in the minds of members, by exalting their leaders as divine representatives. Questioning leaders, the dissent of opinion, is considered as a threat and strongly criticized. The group may involve in heinous crimes like drug, mafia, sexual scandals, but nothing is more serious than disobedience to leaders. This is the trait that makes a cult distinct from a sect.

The end result of a person trapped inside a cult is that he is completely brainwashed and looses his power to reason. He is hard-wired to think in the language and practices of the cult, even when he is not part of the group. The cult and its belief system get so hard-wired within the person that even if he escapes out due to various reasons, he gets so confused and mentally depressed, that it takes time to attain normalcy. The cult manages to suck everything from him, leaving him of little or no future.  This effect is seen more visibly on them who are more deeply involved with whole body and soul with ideologies of the cult.  

Before we begin our study on cults around the world, we will list very few basic common characteristics of a cult, which we have discussed above, so that these will help you relate and understand cult better.

  1. Newer belief system averse to the larger religious group. Teachings of the cult group are usually derived from the founding leader’s divine encounter and supposed revelations.
  2. Questioning is strongly criticized, because it is sort of blind faith centred on one man’s divine status, and not on the scriptures of the religion (twisting scriptures).
  3. Disobedience to leaders is the greatest crime (news of every other major crime is suppressed and seen as secondary to disobedience). We are not talking about TPM only but all cults.
  4. Rules are framed to keep members away from the information of the outside world and tactics are employed in name of holiness, purity and preservation from the corruption of the outside world. Strict adherence to leaders even at cost of families are strongly enforced.
  5. Knowledge of history/orthodoxy is usually not discussed to avoid members from realizing and diagnosing that something is weird or to avoid alternative option to choose from.  
  6. Those outside the cult are labelled as far from the truth. Non-members are discriminated/despised as lower grade or lower destiny.
  7. Mental trauma to weaker members who try to show even a small trace of disobedience to control freak leaders.

Although we have a longer checklist in our former articles on the cult, these above are major ones for easy diagnosis.

Now as we are diving in-depth of this subject, let me show you why and how the cult is different and distinguishable from normal denomination arising out of the difference of opinion of scriptural understanding. See the table below to understand the difference between cult and sect/ denomination.

Difference between a Cult and a Sect

Cult/ Control BasedNormal religious denomination / sect Freedom based
Teachings of group are based on new revelation of the founderGenerally not exclusive teachings. Possible that new opinion is followed by group and new sect or a new denomination comes out; but it is never based on one man’s divine illumination, rather it is based on different opinion of written scripture. For ex: Pharisee was sect (Acts 15:5). Sadducees was a sect (Acts 5:17). Christianity itself was considered as new sect (Acts 24:5) as it was considered a based on teachings different from orthodox Jewish beliefs; but never did Christianity claim to be based on divine illumination rather it was founded on Old Testament promises and prophecies (Matt 5:17). Jesus recognized as founder was divine and knew from his birth [at least from his childhood] that he had business of his father to do. He claimed nothing new, but he claimed to be existent before Abraham.
Questioning is criticized. "Do what is said" is the control mantra. Questioning is allowed. Members are free to believe otherwise. Questions are taken positively. Those with different opinion are not thrown out or disciplined. Example; Jesus answered many questions of Pharisees and scribes. Apostles asked church to be ready to answer (I Pet 3:15).
"Disobedience to leaders is the greatest crime" which is never tolerated.Serious crimes like murder, drug mafia, sexual scandals, are given due weight (Ex. Matthew 23:15, 17, 24). Obedience & control under leadership is not even mentioned or criteria of sin (Luke 9:49-50).
Rules are framed for information control. Tactics are utilized in name of purity and preservation from corruption to control members from getting exposed to alternative information.No rules to control movement of people and information. Example; Paul read pagan poems (Acts 17:28, Titus 1:12). He asked Christians not to consider fables as truth (Titus 1:14). Holiness, purity is advised and free choice of individual. It is never forced on people by means of rules legalism and disciplinary control (Col 2:16-23).
Knowledge of history/orthodoxy is usually not discussed to avoid members from realizing that this is something new.People are motivated to study history and orthodoxy is discussed (Acts 17:11, John 5:39, 2 Pet 1:16, 19).
Strict adherence to leaders at the cost of families is strongly enforced.Members are not separated from families, relatives (Mar 7:11, I Tim 5:4-8). Freedom, sharing, free choice is respected and encouraged.
Those outside the cult are labeled as far from the truth. Non-members are discriminated / despised as lower grade or lower destiny.Sect group is not exalted as unique better than others. Others are not despised.

The Cult of Brahma Kumaris

Having made clear in simpler language, what cult is, and how it is different from sects or denomination within a religion, let us see some cults of our times.  Though there are many cults some deceptive and some very dangerous ones, some Christians and other non-Christians, we will start with the non-Christian cult of Brahma Kumari (Daughters of Brahma), which is very close in its appearance and operation with the one we are familiar with (Daughters of Zion).

Founded on Novice exclusive revelations of one man: The cult of Brahma Kumari, started when a man named Lekhraj Kripalani received visions and illumination. Just like TPM founder received a revelation in 1923 to start a new church by so-called god, so did dada Lekhraj received a series of visions from 1935 to 1936.

Celibacy: Brahma Kumaris are similar to TPM in enforcing celibacy and communal living.

Lifestyle: They have a similar lifestyle and daily schedule like TPM. Like TPM sisters and workers wake up early morning, and so does Brahma Kumaris wake up at 4 am and do meditation called as Amrit Vela. Then like TPM they have morning class at 6:30 AM. 

Uniforms: Brahma Kumari wears white uniforms as a sign of purity, just like TPM has a white uniform (as outward show off of purity to deceive gullibly). Sisters wear white Sari and brothers white Kurta Payjama. They forsake families and live in the community.

Administrative/ Management Structure: Similar to TPM they have a hierarchical management structure, headed by Dadi, didi, zone in-charges, centre in-charges with Shivshakti (believers) followers at the bottom of control Pyramid, who supply fuel for leaders to keep the system. According to http://brahmakumaris.info/, this cult is the end of the world (millenarian) based spiritual group.   

Discrimination with outside members: Just like TPM discourages fellowship of its members with Non-TPM, so do Brahma Kumari prefer to keep fellowship with Brahma Kumari only. They avoid fellowship with other Hindus, just like TPM workers avoid fellowship with other Christians and ministers. They have code word “Om Shanti” like TPM has “Praise the Lord” along with their white uniform and badge. In order to avoid confusion, they wear a badge and TPM sisters starch white their uniforms.

144,000 vs 9 lakh: Just like TPM has twisted scriptures and assigned 144000 seats of Zion to their exclusive members, so has BK 9 lakh Brahma Kumaris. For Brahma Kumari, this position in heaven can be achieved by donating money property free labour to the organization and unquestionable submission to leadership.

Abuses and Scandals: As said earlier, disobedience to leadership is the greatest crime. Like TPM covers sex scandals and other crimes, so also Brahma Kumaris have covered sex scandals, child abuse, suicides, financial corruption, demanding dowries, gold and jewellery from parents for virgins that are taken in as BK, and breaking in of family, especially husband and wife relationship by indoctrinating married women not to have sex with husbands.  Finally, just like we have www.fromtpm.com to expose TPM, they also have a site by name http://brahmakumaris.info.

17 COMMENTS

  1. I like all akka in photo in above article. All wearing white. All simple holy dressed. All unmarried. All standing together in perfect unity. All trained to wash white clothes and wake up at 4 am. Such blessed photo admin has taken from his apple iPhone 12 max pro camera. So much peace we get looking at bramhakumari saints. I like all akka in above photo very much.

    Like me, Joshua pastor also liking all brahmakumari aaka.
    He planning to join BK. Kala Kezia and Elizabeth Jalal akka old. Old thing must pass away and all akka must be new. TPM old , BK new. That why Joshua pastor want to become center pastor of above all bk akka.

    7+
    • Wo yo Elina u like girl ah? All time got girl pic u got comment. U got see Dr or not? Stil got funny dream Yesu come close door pastor pull u away Yesu got cry. You better see Dr fast fast liao next time u get married got baby u baby mental like u liao so hai.

      1+
      • We both tpm belivers. We both love saints. That why you my best friend. So I obey your commandments and go to see doctor. I tell him about you and about me. About our friendship. I tell him that no matter what happen in our tpm church, no matter how much blood rape murder sex happen in our church; we both always keep applying butter to our saints. That nature flowing in our blood vessels.

        I offer him all the money I have. But he telling no medicine can open you and your friend icemanknncb blind eyes.

        2+
  2. I remember an incident when I traveled in a bus and I mistakenly got up from my seat and gave them to whiteclad. I thought they were TPM sisters and gave them my seat. Later I understood by their badge. I told Praise the Lord and those ladies did not respond. Then I told those incidents to TPM sisters. They told they are different from brahmakumaris
    1.) They(TPM sister) don’t plait their hair. They just keep their hair by putting a knot.
    2.) They told brahmakumaris wear polyester saree and we TPM sisters wear only cotton.

    I was feeling excited how much difference does TPM have when I was part of TPM cult. Now by remembering such incidents appears funny and makes me laugh. Those sisters at TPM never explained how they were born again. They just felt different only in their outward appearance. Can you understand TPM has no teaching of Christ ?

    16+
  3. If you hear the messages of these BK, it’s full of solace and tranquility. Only difference is they do not believe in Christ, but sacrifice and consecration are almost same and little more of these BK as they live outside men’s building.

    1+
    • Hi Jasper. Believing in Christ is not the “only difference ” It is The Difference and a big one it is because without Christ there’s no salvation and we are all bound for hell. You can have all the best works in life in this world but if your mouth don’t confess from your heart that Jesus Christ is lord and my saviour, we are still in sin.

      2+
      • @Andrew Francis
        //Believing in Christ is not the “only difference ” It is The Difference and a big one it is because without Christ there’s no salvation and we are all bound for hell.//

        On this part, if you are conforming to the original Reformed doctrine of three Sola: 1)Sola Gracia (Salvation by Grace alone) 2) Sola Fidei (Salvation by Faith Alone) 3) Sola Christus (in Christ Alone). Then we agree that.

        I believe you might’ve misunderstood Brother Jasper here. He is trying to say TPM is also a cult just like BKs. What makes them worst is they use the Name of our Lord Jesus to spread their cult.

        Pas. Voddie Baucham pointed out two things in his video on False teachers 1)Bad Teaching & 2) Bad Living. Link in the Description:

        5+
  4. It’s a sad system. My heart goes out to those ladies who are trapped in there for life. I’ve attended almost all protestant churches but TPM is the saddest and most dangerous place.

    8+
  5. Hey , bro

    You join my english speaking classes. You speaking full speed english after my classes. That my guarantee. Elina English speaking classes best in world. It number one because I do not marry. Only unmarried teacher can prepare you to speak ferrari speed english.

    Other English teachers marry and also take medicine. They not true teacher.

    1+
  6. Dear all. There is a elder brother in The pentecostal mission church still in active. Recently there is a property on his name was registered in chennai. This information is not known in Irumbuliyur. I tried calling Irumbuliyur pastors and sisters to inform this transaction. I also informed that Property belonging to the elder brother in The Pentecostal Mission church also belongs to the Pentecost trust. Came to know that elder brother not informed the centre pastors. Please help out to reach the ears of the Pastors and sisters in the pentecostal mission church to take controll of the property worth 30 lakhs to the TPM church itself.

    0
    • That is one smart elder brother. What is wrong in a thief stealing from other thieves? TPM like her mother harlot church is a den of thieves and no true born again Christian will continue to stay and support this anti christian organisation.

      2+
  7. @// Please help out to reach the ears of the Pastors and sisters in the pentecostal mission church to take controll of the property worth 30 lakhs to the TPM church itself.//

    I concur with the views of NMSTF brother in this context.

    All the thieves are accountable for all the thefts that they committed from the owner’s property unless untill they asked for forgiveness from the Lord.By the by who is the owner of the property here?
    Psalm 24:1 gives the perfect answer to all such thefts. No individual nor any cult organisations will be spared at the time of judgement seat.
    Some time ago in these very columns one reader by name D.ANBU came with a strange complaint that some TPM SUNDAY SCHOOL Headmasters of a particuar community were enjoying double benefits in the world and as well as in the church.They are so timid to declare themselves as’CHRISTIAN’in their job arena and they would never admit the truth to their consciousness,because if they declare in the records,they would stand to loose all the reservation benefits and would have to forfeit all other quota benefits for their children education,and such timid believers were appointed as SS HMs and requested this site owner to bring it to the notice of all.
    What a futile attempt on the part of brother D.ANBU to come with that complaint!
    And he requested this site owner to take action!How ADMN bro was concerned about it? This present comment is no different from the one cited by D.ANBU.
    Quite strange.
    When I reacted and replied with a detailed Scriptural base that dear brother never came back with any reply at all till date.

    There are many f.h centre pastors and sisters of this cult peeping through this blessed site secretly and are getting educated day in and day out and I see no necessity to drum beat of such incidents separately.

    5+
  8. Not only VOP,its subsidiary like TYH from S’pore also sings the same song.In the very first item–‘latter rain’—article,it keeps on linking Isaiah 1:27 which was referred by Isaiah in the particular context of the earth’s future and specific messages referred to the people of Judah as they faced Assyria’s onslaught on them.But here in this context TPM and its subsidiaries happily go on linking that verse to’Zion’just to suit their taste.
    In The Youth Herld (TYH),we also see the testimony of an 88 year old Mother Charity who claims that Lord taught her how to read Chinese(Mandarin) even though she had never been to school(only the S’pore old believers could contend this statement made by her.)
    Even while reading her life anecdotes described therein,it gives rise to full of doubts and concoction when she links up her age of 26 in 1957,by the time of 2020 year,she should have been 89 years(but not as she says–‘I am 88 yrs old this year’—).Her testimony is full of dubious disctinction as she talks of fortune teller.
    Probably the editor(JT or who else?)of this magazine was fully engrossed with the present tussel within the F.H
    He does not have time to edit or verify the statement of Mother Charity when she says she was 9 yrs old when the Second world war was started in Malaya.(2nd world war started in 1939 and by then she should have been 8 yrs not 9 yrs).Even on the count of her age of 9 yrs in 1957,her age matches to 89 yrs in this year but not 88 yrs.
    Thus the Singpore magazine ministry conforms to a full time dubious ministry.
    I am amenable for any correction in this regard particuarly from old believers of S’pore.

    2+

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