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Kingdom of Matthias

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Jennifer Regli Cultural US History MWF 8-8:50 Kingdom of Matthias As a United States American culture there are many possibilities for a cult like Matthias to occur again, this is contributed by not only a market-oriented American culture but also by tendencies that are present in every society. We have rights and freedoms given to us by our United States Constitution, including the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. These freedoms mean that anyone has the right to speak publicly about their religious beliefs, and we as citizens also have the right to believe what is being said and even follow it if we choose to do so. This is how many different branches of religions come about; some of these religions include Mormons and Episcopalians. But when one person decides to take their individual religion just one step to far, cults begin to form. Not all, but many cults in the United States are religious oriented, such as the ones lead by Jim Jones and David Koresh. The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in 19th Century America provides parallels to modern equivalents such as Jim Jones and David Koresh, who were both were know to have lead religious cults. ...read more.


The followers never knew if it was just another drill or if it was the real thing. Finally in 1978 when outsiders began to raise question and concern, Jones decided to put his suicide plan into action. He assured his followers that this was a 'revolutionary death.' The other well know religious cult leader David Koresh was born as Vernon Howell, became a member of the Davidian Branch of the Seventh-Day Adventist religious cult. He had an affair with the leader of the cult. When she passed away he was forced out of the community. Koresh returned a year later with seven of his followers and opened fire on those who had kicked him out. After finally becoming the leader of the group, Howell legally changed his name to David Koresh. This name came from his beliefs that he truly was the reincarnation of King David, and King Cyrus of Persia. "Koresh openly advocated polygamy for himself and select others. He believed that his followers, Davidians as they were called, owed him 140 wives, and that he was entitled to every woman in community" (www.wikipedia.org/davidkoresh ). ...read more.


On the flip side, tendencies such as these also tap into social instinct for social groups, belonging, and wanting what everyone else wants. An example of this is Hitler's Army. Do you think Hitler's men really thought they were doing well individually, or were they following the masses, feeling a sense of belonging to a certain group? This is common in all societies everywhere. A teacher one told me, "if all one ever sees is injustice, how can one know justice?" I find that that statement completely sums up a cult, because if you are only exposed to one thing your whole life, you will never know that there is always something different out there, another side of the story. As shown again and again in daily society and literature such as The Kingdom of Matthias: A Story of Sex and Salvation in the 19th Century, individuals want a sense of belonging and this makes membership important. They want to feel special. Acknowledging this, and knowing the stories of Jim Jones and David Koresh, it can be said that cults have occurred In the United States that are very similar to Matthias, and it is very possible for them to occur again. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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