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"Cult"Ure Essay

1045 words - 5 pages

When most hear the word cult, they imagine mass murderings and warn their children “don’t drink the kool-aid. However, a cult is defined only as a “religion or religious sect generally considered to be extremist or false, with its followers often living in an unconventional manner under the guidance of an authoritarian, charismatic leader”. These systems or communities rely on worship and ritual. There is no mention of violence or bloodshed in this definition. However, “destructive cults” are a whole other story and are often the ones making the news headlines. These destructive cults use unethical means as a way to control and manipulate to bring thought reform (defined as the systematic alteration of a person's mode of thinking). Ironically, these destructive cults give an illusion of self control and freedom to its members. It is estimated that five to seven million American’s have been in cults or cult-line groups according to the cult hotline, of course this is a hard number to properly caluclate.
Very few are lucky enough to shake free of this vicious clutch. On October 25, 2013, three women (69-year-old Malaysian woman, a 57-year-old Irish woman, and the 30-year-old British woman.) from were about to escape 73-year-old Aravindan Balakrishnan and his 67-year-old wife Chanda’s wrath after 30 years. They were described as “deeply traumatized” after they suffered through the ordeal of abuse and isolation. What little freedoms they had led one of the victims to watch a movie on forced violence, which gave out the number of non-profit Freedom Charity, an organization that dedicated themselves to contacting the police after gaining the women’s trust. Later details of the story report that the three women were apart of a left wing Moaist sect religion, Aravindan lead a collective cult which helped capture them in the first place. Another article reported that there had been originally four women, but she died falling out of the bathroom window in attempted to escape.
Though the articles I’ve found do state the women’s now safe situation, it does give vague terms of their situation. If anything, it doesn’t capture the essence of the longevity and torture they had to endure, and how they were still strong enough to escape the wrath of the “slavery”. They use very ambiguous language however, to hint that their isolation was not pleasant saying that they didn’t feel comfortable even contacting the police. Though many stories report the same idea of the story, certain aspects are twisted and turned (with most stories that is the case), but with something so serious it should be left to fact. Had the three women tried to escape previously? Did they know their fate before they had watched the documentary on forced marriage? Was Aravindan suspicious to those around him during those 30 years he held the women captive? Were they really captive in the cult situation? These are but a few of the unanswered questions.
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