Cults Essay

1171 words - 5 pages

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 education. Cult leaders and other members “often prey on people who are emotionally confused or distraught . . . they can offer wealth or the perfect relationship” (Fennel, 186). Once a cult leader and its members have targeted a person or group of people the targets are disempowered such that they often become dependent on the leader to allow them to get through each “day without their life being made hell” (Hassen, 02). Once someone has been recruited into a cult the leader often begins to deteriorate the way the person thinks and acts. Leaders often end up controlling the way the members...

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