The objective is to prevent the faithful from thinking critically, and making choices in their own best interest. A favorite tactic of the infamous cult leader Jim Jones, self incrimination requires cult members to provide their leader with written statements detailing their individual fears and mistakes. Captive hearts, captive minds: Most interesting, perhaps, are the psychological components of cult life, questions such as: Even on a flight to Heaven they have baggage limits.
One of the most alarming incidents occurred in Guyana, South America , where the San Francisco cult minister Jim Jones had relocated his Peoples Temple in the hope of establishing an interracial religious commune and farming cooperative. From this unique firsthand experience, Cath has noticed an interesting trend: Cults often arose from groups virtually excluded from mainstream denominations and even from society at large, such as people of color, women, the young, and the poor. The Fellowship of Friends is a cult in California in which its members believe they are the only ones who will survive an upcoming Armageddon as long as they follow a strict set of rules including no swimming, no joking, and no smoking. Out of this cult came the Family of Love, better known as the Children of God. Of all groups to gain prominence during this era, the Unification Church , founded by the Reverend Sun Myung Moon , proved the most controversial. An anticult movement developed during this time, targeting so-called destructive cults. Academics who study groups targeted by anticultists prefer the term "new religious movement," to the term "cult" and criticize anticultists for jeopardizing religious freedom in the United States. They gained national attention when they claimed they had successfully cloned a woman. Cults prove powerful because they are able to successfully isolate members from their former, non-cult lives. The group's presence generated a great deal of hostility from the local population. And apparently, a very good one. Others divide religious movements into three categories: Ways in which leaders gain control over cult members vary, but some popular methods include: Its use of contemporary technology led many anticultists to fear the potential reach of the Inter-net as the millennium approached, but nothing on the scale of the Heaven's Gate suicides ocurred in the United States between and Their systems of governance are totalitarian. And here we thought Canadians were nice. A Sociological Analysis Dawson, L. A resurgence of interest in Christianity in the s led to the Jesus People movement, which sponsored Bible studies and revivals. On joining the church, single members practiced celibacy and devoted themselves to missionary work. Religious Information Systems Series, vol. Communal living, anarchy, and nudity. Just the way the military likes it. Captive hearts, captive minds: She also mentions that many people assume cults are only religious, though in truth, cults can also be political groups, lifestyle groups, or business groups.
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From Endurance to Empathy: Lessons I learned from leaving a cult
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