One of the scariest things to worry about in our pluralist society is having a loved one run off and join some kind of a religious cult. Religious cults are small segments of religious society, usually not associated with a big well-known church. The teachings of these cults are very different than the teachings of established longstanding churches. Many of us are old enough to remember Jonestown, Guyana, and how the leader, Jim Jones, convinced his members he was God. He also convinced them to commit suicide as well.
Note that cults are not only religious in nature they can be any small group of people who are on the fringe of society and share a teaching that is very different from main stream. Celebrities can have a cult following or young people can wear certain clothes or think a certain way such as the classic goth cult. The Amish cannot be considered a cult in that they are a small group however, religious cults are based on recruitment, Amish do not recruit, it is a legitimate way of life.
Religious cults tend to isolate themselves from the rest of society and require that their members stay on a compound of some sort, in order to live the good life without the temptation of the outside world. This is not necessarily wrong but it can be used to control members by isolating them from the outside world.
Actually isolating members is a tool used to brainwash members. The members only get a diet of the teachings of the elders of the church and have no influence from the outside world and therefore no one to point out the dangers or offer a different religious point of view.
According to the research, people who join cults are people who are seeking the answers they have not found in everyday life. The cult life offers different answers and a simpler way of life away from temptation’s way. This simple way of life also includes giving up all worldly possessions and that means liquidation of the member’s bank accounts by donating all their money and worldly goods to the church.
To be continued
From the site info: Info-Cult is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 1980 based in Montreal (Quebec, Canada) that offers help and information about cults, new religious movements and related groups and subjects.