We realize that as an organization new to you, particularly a spiritually-related one, you might have concerns about the Rainbow Soul Circle and whether it is a cult or not. The Rainbow Soul Circle does NOT support any of the cult-like behaviors listed in the table below. Below the table you can read our discussion about cult-like behaviors.
The rest of this page is a detailed discussion of each of the cult-like behaviors and why the Rainbow Soul Circle doe NOT support them. We hope this addresses your concerns, but definitely feel free to send us any other questions you have.
Cults tend to encourage suppression of critical thinking.
The Rainbow Soul Circle believes that critical thinking is a foundation for happiness and well-being. Each person comes into our existence for one or more purposes of their choosing. A person must listen to their soul and then use both their heart and their mind to achieve those purposes. These purposes must come from the inside, not the outside world. Thus, any action to suppress critical thinking is not in alignment with the RSC.
Cults tend to limit access to information in order to control its members.
The Rainbow Soul Circle believes that "the truth can stand any light put to bear on it." It also functions with the belief that each person's path is unique and only that person can determine what it should be. Moving to a new level of consciousness, generally requires a new experience or new information. Each soul is the ultimate "judge" of what they need to experience or learn next. A spiritual leader might have some ideas of experiences that tend to help people and offer those up; but any limitation of information has the potential to inhibit soul growth.
Cult groups often delegitimize former members
All people and their paths should be respected, whether they are current members, former members, etc.
Cult groups tend to be paranoid about the outside world and preaches "the end is near."
The Rainbow Soul Circle believes that there is a common consciousness or energy that we are all a part of. There is no paranoia about the "outside" world, because we do not "label" others as apart from us. There is no "them" and "us," only "we". As for preaching "the end is near" we are concerned that the end is near, but not from some jealous, vengeful, angry diety, but due to the damage humanity is enacting on the environment.
Cult groups often rely on shame, guilt and/or fear to influence its members.
In general, we do not believe that shame, guilt or fear are helpful to an individual's soul growth. If they are in a moment of guilt or shame, they generally do not "hear the message" because they are overcome with those negative emotions. Also, if a person changes behavior due to shame, guilt, or fear caused by another person, the change is externally motivated versus internally motivated. True long-term change tends to occur when a person experiences a new level of knowledge and understanding and changes because they know it is good for them, that what they were doing is no longer serving them. However, you will see the Rainbow Soul Circle use the power of people to change situations that we believe are detrimental to humanity's well-being. This will often include providing information to people about these situations and asking them to take action. So the Rainbow Soul Circle might publish information on the political agenda of a candidate or highlight some business who is engaging in certain activities. These activities could be positive or negative and the messaging would be similarly aligned.
Cult groups use “thought reform” methods to influence its members.
Excessive fasting, prayer, hypnosis, scripture reading, chanting, meditation, or any activity can all be used to increase a person’s vulnerability to a leader’s suggestions. In this context, excessive would be anything that keeps you from hearing and following your own soul and living your life. While we absolutely believe that many of these activities are helpful for well-being, if a group is consuming your every waking moment and your soul doesn't resonate with the situation, the situation should probably be carefully considered. For one person, spending a lot of time on a certain activity might be the right thing at this point in their lives. But for another, it might not. In any case, such behavior should be driven from the soul of the person, not someone else.
Cult groups may foster an elitist "we are better" attitude for its members.
The Rainbow Soul Circle is definitely not elitist. Cults often create a group sense of "specialness" and use that and our egos to manipulate behavior. If a group identifies itself as "special" then it is separating people into "them" and "us", which is in conflict with one of our five founding principles.
There is often no financial transparency and members are pressured to give more than they can or more than seems reasonable.
The leaders of the Rainbow Soul Circle have been in the same seat as you, with regard to watching spiritual leaders become extremely wealthy at the expense of their members. The purpose of the Rainbow Soul Circle is to make the world a better place - for all people. You don't do that by pressuring people to give up their hard-earned resources for you to buy a yacht. All expenditures of the Rainbow Soul Circle will fully documented and will follow standard accounting and ethical business practices.
The group performs secret rites.
The Rainbow Soul Circle does plan to have some secrecy involved with regard to adventures, gaming, prizes, and some activities. However, this is just to create fun, mystery and surprise for you. We don't think spirituality or social justice activities have to be boring. It can all be very exciting. However, if it isn't fun, don't do it. We also plan to have "badges" that you earn. These are not intended to "manipulate" people, rather to help them "feel" the value of what they do. Our current culture is such that we are all so busy, we forget to recognize and celebrate the good actions we've done. Badges and other recognition/reward activities, if designed and provided carefully, help us keep our eyes on a bigger prize then our daily to-do list.