preview

Cults

explanatory Essay
1149 words
1149 words
bookmark

Cults have become a phenomenon in our world today. Each year "hundreds of Canadians join some of the 3,000 unorthodox religions of one type or another" (Fernell, Branswell, 189) all across North America. Like every organization, club or even in the common work place there is usually a person who is a figure of authority or other wise know as a "leader" and with every leader there are always rules and objectives that each and every member has to do and follow. The common psychological profile and objective of a cult leader is usually based upon power, control, domination and subjugation. Many cult leaders use forms of mind control such as thought-reform, brainwashing and hypnosis. The effects of these mind controlling techniques often mentally scar people and it is very hard to re-gain control of what use to be their “normal” personality, way of thinking and life.

Unselfishness, kindness, gentleness and compassion should be a basic living principle, not just an ideal. When individuals claim to be “spiritually developed and put themselves in the role of a master or prophet” (Hassen, 01) cult members “become so subservient to their leader that they even tolerate murder” (Fennel, 185). Destructive cults want to have control and power over people and want to expand their temporal power and usually do it to make money. Leaders exist to serve totalistic dictators, not to serve the people and desire to rule through power, not with the power of love. Charismatic leaders often stray into temptation to exploit their power over others in many dangerous ways. The cult leader often relies almost entirely on rules, procedures, aggression, denial and mimicry to hide their lack of people skills. Cult leaders are able to exert a hold over people for a variety of reasons. The members sometimes feel they belong to a group or "family" because they feel secure and have a new way of thinking and believing the "real" way the world is or should be and as “the leader’s actions become more bizarre, so do the cult’s members” (Fennel, 186).

Many people are thought to believe that the only type of people to become influenced or brain washed into joining a cult are those that are insecure, lonely and nieve. However, the people cult leaders actually strive for are the bright, intelligent people whom usually have 2-3 years of college or university...

... middle of paper ...

... at a party or on a bus ride can be supportive. Supporting is listening and empathizing with the ex-member with out the offering of unsolicited options. Simply being there is one of the best ways anyone can help.

The hunger for spiritual guidance and religious truth is usually what drives people into exploring many of the different existing religions all over North America and in other parts of the world. Many problems tend to arise when the leaders of these cultic groups proclaim themselves to be living embodiments of this truth. The many great dangers of cults lie in the leap one must take from embracing religious truth, to worshipping a person claiming to be this so called “truth”. The danger of these cults increase rapidly when the person promises salvation, redemption or perfection in exchange for money, goods and services. Once a person begins giving in to the leader and the rest of the cult members, the stronger their grasp becomes upon the person and the harder it becomes to leave the group. Victims (ex-cult members) “can and should be helped with both the induced and pre-existing aspects of their problem, at the appropriate points in treatment” (Clifford, Goldberg p 03).

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that cults have become a phenomenon in our world today. the common psychological profile is based upon power, control, domination, and subjugation.
  • Opines that unselfishness, kindness, gentleness and compassion should be a basic living principle, not just an ideal. destructive cults want to have control and power over people.
  • Explains that cult leaders strive for bright, intelligent people who have 2-3 years of college or university education.
  • Explains that clinical research has identified specific cult related emotional problems which ex-members must deal and cope with during their re-entry into society.
  • Explains that the hunger for spiritual guidance and religious truth drives people into exploring many of the different existing religions. the danger of cults increases rapidly when the person promises salvation, redemption or perfection in exchange for money, goods and services.
Get Access