“Religious pluralism” here means believing that the teachings of the different religions are just variations of some “universal truth”… like John Hick did, for example.
Surely religious pluralists want to exclude Jim Jones, the Order of the Solar Temple, Aum Shinrikyo, the Branch Davidians, Heaven's Gate, etc., from this?
Maybe it's the violence and destruction which are the marks here… but religions exist, which do not stand out as violent or destructive, yet are extremely “off” compared to the mainstream denominations: Wicca, Setianism, Gnosticism, Sōtō-Zen, etc..
AFAIK Sōtō-Zen doesn't make any metaphysical assertions – how can a teaching that amounts to nothing be a variation of an universal truth?
Or, how can believing in an evil creator god – as in certain variants of Gnosticism – not fundamentally contradict with believing in a benevolent supernatural cause of the Universe (as in the Abrahamic religions and Hinduism)? That is, far more fundamentally contradict than Buddhism does, which is agnostic about the cause of the Universe?
Or, how can striving for self-deification – as in Setianism – not open up an unbridgeable chasm to mainstream theistic religions?
Since it seems that religious pluralists necessarily have to be exclusionary, too, how do they decide on the criteria for exclusion? Certainly it can't be just about popularity…