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Influence of Membership in some Spiritual Organisation on Leisure Activities (1/2)

Since the beginnings of time, human beings have searched answers to the questions they couldn't solve and to something that transcends them. Religion tried, and still tries, to answer some of those questions. People sometimes feel that the traditional church doesn't satisfy their needs to find something new. In this situation a sect or spiritual movement can be a solution.

There are those who say that we are in a spiritual crisis now, and there are also those who say that something new is developing. This is connected with new spiritual movements. Some of these spiritual movements, such as Hare Krishna, Buddhism, Yoga and so on are not always really "new". However, they are new in the sense that they were not common within the European civilisation before. In the Czech Republic, for example, this phenomenon has only become apparent over last decade.

Many people afraid of the bad impact of sects. But what is the impact of the sects? I decided to observe the impact of the membership in some church, sect or spiritual movement on leisure activities. My hypothesis was that the membership influences leisure activities.

Every sect or church accents more or less different values and attitudes toward various topics. People tend to join the type of sect or church that corresponds with their values, activities and attitudes. I will compare members of some spiritual organisation with atheist. The results show us the differences between members from various spiritual organisations and atheists.

Definition of terms

I do not want to evaluate various spiritual organisations in this paper. I just want to describe in which direction they influence leisure activities.

Sample data

Gathered in 1997 and 1998, it used standardise conversation method - the whole sample had 1457 respondents, of which 1083 respondents were youth aged between 15 and 30.


Which activities do you do in your leisure and how often? Write to every activity the number, that express how often do you do this activity in the present.


  1. I do not do this activity
  2. Less than once a month
  3. Less than once a week
  4. At least once a week
  5. Mostly every day
Going to the cinema Relaxing, idling
Going to a live theatre Participation to spiritual life
Visiting an exhibition, museum, gallery Individual spiritual technique (meditation, etc.)
Music and drama activities (playing an instrument, ballet, theatre, etc.) Lover activities
Graphic or plastic art activity (painting, taking photos,) Sexual activities
Reading books Working with a computer
Reading newspapers Gardening
Watching television Looking after animals
Listening to the radio Watching Video programmes
Listening to a tape Recorder, CD player Computer games, gambling
Attending classical music concerts Home handy-work
Attending popular music concerts Collecting
Attending discos, dance parties Side earnings
Visiting restaurants, cafes Building and maintaining a house, flat, cottage
Meeting a partner Household works (cooking, cleaning,etc.)
Parties Repairs and modifications on bicycle, motorbike, car
Working for benefiting public Arts and crafts
Tourism, tramping, trips to the nature Talking with friends
Education outside the school Playing with own children
Studying, preparation for school Walking, wandering
Attending sport events Writing a diary, letter
Doing active some sport Cottage

Factor analysis discovered more general dimension of spending leisure of youth - several kinds of leisure orientation. These orientations are filled by actual activities mutually connected. Usually all factors emerge by the people. What differs people is the frequency of these factors emerging in their leisure activities - how often they do activities from this factor.

Factor 1-6 Activity Loading
Factor 1: Culture orientation Visiting an Exhibition, Museum, Gallery 0,75
Visiting a Theatre 0,69
Visiting Concerts of a Classical Music 0,63
Education outside the School 0,61
Graphic or Plastic art Activity (painting, taking photos,...) 0,51
Music and Drama Activities (playing an instrument, ballet, theatre,...) 0,50
Factor 2: Entertainment orientation Visiting discos, Dance Parties 0,67
Visiting Concerts of Popular music 0,58
Parties 0,58
Visiting Restaurants, Cafes 0,53
Visiting a Cinema 0,52
Factor 3: Erotic orientation Lover Activities 0,82
Meeting a Partner 0,78
Sexual Activities 0,76
Factor 4: Manual orientation Working in the Garden 0,66
Building and Maintaining a House, Flat, Cottage 0,58
Collecting 0,57
Cottage 0,53
Handwork 0,46
Factor 5: Sport orientation Reparation and Modification of a Bicycle, Motorcycle, Car 0,66

How much time spend youth (atheists = 593) with these factors? Most often people spend time by Media orientation (mean of this factor is 4,36). On the second place is Erotic orientation (mean is 3,47). Third is Entertainment (mean 2,81). On the forth position is Sport orientation (with mean 2,46). Next to bottom is Culture orientation (2,28). And the last is Manual orientation (2,05).

Factor 6: Media orientation4,36
Factor 3: Erotic orientation3,47
Factor 2: Entertainment orientation2,81
Factor 5: Sport orientation2,46
Factor 1: Culture orientation2,28
Factor 4: Manual orientation2,05

And how is it by the members of some spiritual organisation? Members of some spiritual organisation differs most in erotic factor and less in manual factor. This table shows in which direction differ in leisure activities various spiritual organisations from atheists. + means that they do activities from this factor more often and - that they do it less often than atheists.

 F1 CultureF2 EntertainmentF3 EroticF4 ManualF5 SportF6 Media
Hare Krishna - - - - - -
Satanists - + + - + -
Scientologists - - + - + -
Jehova´s Witnesses - - - + - -
Yoga + - + + - -
Protestants + - - + - -
Catholics + - - + - -
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