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With reference to at least two NRMs you have visited, examine the ways in which they secure allegiance from their followers.

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Introduction

RL3029 Component 2 Element 1: With reference to at least two NRMs you have visited, examine the ways in which they secure allegiance from their followers. I will compare the ISCKON movement and the Jehovah's Witnesses for this essay as the diference in their approach is the greatest and highlights the diferences between a world renouncing N.R.M and a world accomodating N.R.M The essay will suggest that a large part of securing members allegiance is carried out not in the later stages of membership but from before they are even members as N.R.M's tend to seek those people that fit into their structures in the first place. There was a noticeable contrast between the ISKCON temple and the Jehovah's Witnesses approach to securing allegiance from followers. The Jehovah's Witnesses described how when a member of the congregation is known to be breaking the taboos of the religion, that person is mentioned in the service with an anouncement that this person is no longer a Witness. ...read more.

Middle

The Jehovahs Witnesses approach to recruitng is very different as they will attempt to knock on every door of a given area and therefore would seem to be aiming for everyone, however they tell people exactly what is expected and prohibited for a member so that only those willing to behave in accordance with the teachings of the movement are finally allowed to be a member, baptism is for this reason only taken by those who are absolutely sure of their commitment. The Jehovah's Witnesses take baptism seriously and only a minority of members become baptised. Once a person is a member in these religions, they have a variety of ways in which they can show their allegiance. It is often talked about how N.R.M's take members money away, the anti cult organizations often make a point of this, however the contribution boxes in the Assembly Hall where described as being for voluntary donations only. The Jehovah's Witnesses encourage members to donate as much as they can to the movement but also conduct charitable work and so can gain money through the gift aid system. ...read more.

Conclusion

ISCKON also has more than one way of securing members allegiance but do it in a world accomodating manner, with no formal expulsion or discipline, all members are asked to do is follow the teachings if they want to. This approach is bound to attract a different kind of member to the Jehovah's Witnesses, additionaly the sections of society that the ISCKON members reach out to at festivals like Glastonbury is predominantly characterised by open minded people already interested in spirituality and the dancing and singing performed by the ISCKON movement would naturally appeal to the personal tastes of these people. In conclusion, the ways that these religions secure the members allegiance begins in the selective recruting of the right sort of people for the movement, this is very important especially if there is no formal means of discipline as otherwise the movement would risk becoming inconsistent. Secondly once the members are in the movement they share bonds socially, economically and philosophcally with the movement as a whole. Fear of the consequences of not being a member is also a factor in some N.R.M's. ...read more.

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