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If the term is listed, it will be followed by a brief definition.
The word "occult" in this publication is used to describe any attempt to gain supernatural power or knowledge apart from the God of the Bible.
Generally it refers to witchcraft, satanism, neo-paganism, or various forms of Psychic discernment (astrology, seances, palm reading, etc.). New Age is a recent and developing belief system in North America encompassing thousands of autonomous (and sometime contradictory) beliefs, organizations, and events.
In modern usage, the term cult is often used by the general public to describe any religious group they view as strange or dangerous.
Thus, cult can describe religious leaders or organizations that employ abusive, manipulative, or illegal control over their followers' lives.
Abbey of Thelema, Old Greenwich, CT: Esoteric magic, teachings of Aleister Crowley. Bresler, Mill Valley, CA: Healing by altered states of consciousness, imagery training (i.e., visualization), hypnosis and magic.Their teachings became the basis of Seventh-day Adventism, which eventually spawned its own offshoots, including Armstrongism and the Branch Davidians.Aesthetic Realism Foundation, Eli Seigel, New York: Happiness can be achieved through the harmony of opposites, e.g., realizing and accepting that the world is both beautiful and horrific (see Taoism).Watchman Fellowship usually uses the term cult with a Christian or doctrinal definition in mind.
In most cases the group claims to be Christian, but because of their aberrant beliefs on central doctrines of the faith (God, Jesus, and salvation), the organization is not considered by Watchman Fellowship to be part of orthodox, biblical Christianity. The term, "occult" comes from the Latin occultus or "hidden." Generally the word is used of secret or mysterious supernatural powers or magical, religious rituals.
In addition to these usages, Christians generally have a doctrinal component to their use of the word.