As a survivor of one of the more notable Delphi "cults" you accurately describe in external behavior, I do wish to post an amendment...
It's so easy to gig other people. It's hard to remember that few people are all bad or all good - we are all flawed. In my late group of years ago, the dreaded Blue Flame Guardians, there was a lot of sincerity and friendship mixed in - but any previous doubt I had about humans being herd animals in the main was dispelled once I got to the other side of the experience. It is so wonderfully empowering to join with a bunch of people with something in common - whatever it may be. Group dynamics is an interesting issue, and this was a great learning experience for me.
Like most disasters, most of the folks involved had the best of intentions. And they could simultaneously be good friends and honest in most ways, but because they - like most of us - lied to themselves on some things, they couldn't take criticism that threatened their worldview. And the more the wagons got circled, the tighter the bonds between those inside the circle became. So from this I have learned that strong criticism solves nothing - if you make someone defensive, their response will be instinctively to defend - no matter how objectivly 'right' the criticism is. For myself, I know from experience that I will defend my own stupidity to the death rather than admit I'm wrong once my back is up. Perhaps others are wiser than I.
I'd love to see some talented social scientists of various disciplines analyze on-line groups to see what they reveal about human individual and group dynamics and perception. Since the interactions here are all written with no non-verbal interaction, one might think that it would be the most 'logical' and factual form of communication possible. However, I don't think that most people spending any time in on-line chat and communities would agree with that - in fact, there's more misunderstanding due to the lack of non-verbal clues than there is clarity of communication.
As Ben Franklin once said, the greatest thing about being a rational being is the ability to rationalize. So I believe that the human race is far less rational than it pretends to be. With perhaps a few exceptions, we are all fools, and perhaps the wisest of us are those who are aware of the depths of our own personal foolishness...yet are not so bitter as to condemn the wholesale inborn chuckleheaded stupidity of the human race, both individual and group. You have to love the whole bunch of well-meaning goofballs making up humanity who can't take three strides without stepping on their own dicks (so to speak). So I laugh because if I cried I would never stop, and I love because it hurts too much to hate.
I believe that we are all God's Fools, yet we are loved by our Creator (whatever Name you care to use for Them) all the same. However imperfectly, I try to do the same, though it's often difficult. Like the idiot that posted to start this thread - I just realize that someone posting hit-and-run Christian posts in Pagan forums is by definition a fool's fool. You can't argue with them, you can't convert them, and their own behavior guarantees failure of what they are trying to do. They are acting out of internal motivations that they themselves are not aware of, and would deny fervently. The best tactic is to ignore them until they go away, and boot them if they get too obnoxious - repeatedly if necessary.
So I love them. And forgive them. Even if I would take steps to curb their behavior if it went too far, IMHO. It's what their supposed Boss told them to do, too. I constantly hear at work how obviously spiritual and Christian I am - and privately laugh. But I know that Spirit is One, so even if I choose to worship Deity as God/dess, I am glad that good Christians see me so, however unworthy I am in so many ways.
Oh, crap, I'm wandering all over the place, and being an egotistical ass in the bargain. But hey, that's who I am. If any of this resonates with you, the reader, I'm glad. If you think it's a bunch of crap, just laugh and forgive me my own foolishness. I'd do the same for you - and probably already have (*G* - AND - LOLOLOL!!!!!). Love IS the Law - and Her traffic cops can be a real bitch sometimes!
BH (proud former member of the Chosen Purple Inner Circle of Doom)
"Life is a joke - but you get to choose whether you are sharing it, or are the butt of it." (Swami Amwanna Kickbootie)