Religion within Communities

As we discussed in class on Monday and discovered in the reading, religions can hold communities together but they can also tear them apart. Do communities think that it is worthwhile to continue religious activity if it is so obvious that it can destroy them? I am curious to know if religious groups really think about the idea of religion tearing their group apart, and if they take it into consideration when making decisions about the group. Are the religious groups aware of this? I understand that it can depend on the religious group and/or community, but it is interesting for me to think about how religious groups themselves may think about this. In the example of the religious cult presented in Wednesday’s case study about the Rajneeshpuram, was all of the chaos and hardship worth the outcome of the religious community to the members?

As we saw in the case study presentation about the Rajneespuram cult, the community was torn apart fairly quickly and the religious group was ruined. The group was doing extremely well and it was thriving until things went very south. I am really interested to learn more about how these religious groups (or cult, in the instance of the case study) handle situations like this. If a group notices that their community is distant or things are not going well, what do they do? Are there ways to combat these situations? I feel like the idea of religious groups doing harm is an interesting idea because many people view religious groups as the most beneficial things for communities.