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Cult is a new movement for a new religion. In other words it is a formal ritual excessive belief. Cults are created due the established religions' lack of fulfilling the emptiness of the individuals. However apart from this innocent explanation of cult it would be more appropriate to explain a cult as a group or movement which has an excessive devotion or dedication to some person or to an idea and which is unethically manipulated by the group's leader for his own advance which can not be justified in any case.
Sociologists tend to distinguish cults from more established religious organisations based on such factors as group size, membership characteristics and types of beliefs. As the time passes, by the human's awareness is developed due to the enlightenment by the science and knowledge none of these beliefs are enough to keep the individuals in one track so that even the technology works for parting individuals from each other. The reason why do people join cults is the search for fulfilling their psychological and social emptiness.
The importance of the individuals' psychology is the key to the aim for the cults both in the childhood and in the adulthood. In his research David Holmstrom quotes a former coroner's thought of the case "I think adults who get involved in cult groups are looking for identity, for belonging, recognition, love and discipline just like kids are, but it shows they were just as vulnerable as kids in street gangs." (Holmstrom, 1997, p.2) From the given quotation the idea of the lack of psychological and social support is clearly understood.
More over Yvonne Walsh and Robert Bor examined the psychological consequences of involving in these cults. They call this the new religious movement. They have investigated the relationship between the personality, the family and also the group membership. In their research Walsh and Bor suggests that as an alternative explanation to the personal changes of the young people is "joining a cult, may simply be the young person becoming more open about their emotions and changing loyalties, thus the movement into an alternative religious group may be a move towards independence from the primary family (Melton & Moore, 1982 in Walsh & Bor, 1996, p.2). From this point of view which can be relied on it can be easily said that the aim towards the cults are mainly occur from these sort of rebels against the families' dominance over the children which is another social and psychological reason for people joining cults.
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Another reason for why people join cults is their being exposed to "brainwashing" by either a social group or by a manipulative person. As it is mentioned in the introduction that the real aim of a cult is to manipulate a group of people for the leader's or that organisation's advance rather than the group members. In order to persuade and deceive people these leaders or the organisations whose intentions are wicked apply brainwashing to the people at any time they have the opportunity. For these people Walsh and Bor also indicates that "Their activities are often described as 'brainwashing' and their methods charged with altering members personalities." (Walsh & Bor, 1997, p.2)
These methods of brainwashing are not very strange to us since in our society it is quite familiar to us that the cults affect and manipulate especially the young people in their way of thinking. Moreover these cults especially in our country mostly dwelled upon the Islam itself. Due to the conditions of our country the publishing method of course differs then the western countries. The meetings, videotapes, and audiotapes are the main instruments of the cults in order to apply the method of 'brainwashing' in almost every moment of the individuals whole day. Only by this way they achieve their goals of making one to believe and obey them.
In conclusion, throughout the points, which are mentioned and given in details there are two major reasons for people to join cults, these are psychological and social reasons which are both connected to each other almost in every sense. And what one can easily understood from the given information is that the cults are not beneficial for the members but only for the group leaders or those social organisations. Their target groups are the people whom are in a search of fulfilling the emptiness in their lives, because it's easy to manipulate these people rather than the ones whose mind are set. What should the families and the individuals do about this threat not applying pressure but paying more attention to their interests and sparing more time to them. Sparing more time should be much better then losing them totally. Trying to help them, to make them feel that they are also adults and their ideas are important so as the others in the family can reduce the emptiness of the child. When this achieved there would not be any adult who is in emptiness since he or she would grew up in a healthier environment. Please do not let make your children find the happiness other then theirs.
1. Walsh, Yvonne; Bor, Robert. The Psychological Consequences of involvement in a new religions movement or cult. Counselling Psychology Quarterly March 1996, Vol. 9 Issue 1, p.47, 14 p, 3 Charts
2. Holmstrom, David. Cults; Internet (Computer Network) & Children. Christian Science Monitor, 04. 03. 1997, Vol. 89 Issue 89, p 12, 1c
3. Webster's Third New International Dictionary (unabridged, 1966)