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Do you kidnap and sacrifice children? Do you kill animals and do other perverse and hideous acts during secret rituals? If so, people may think you're in a cult. These are things that cults do not really do, but are thought to do. There's more to them then that.

Maybe you're not sure if the group you're in is a cult or not. It depends on your view. Some people think that any unconventional group is one. Others believe that any non-Christian group is one. Here are some other groups thought to be cults:

  • Neo-Christian Groups
  • Hindu and Eastern Religions
  • Occult, Witchcraft, and Satanist
  • Spiritualist
  • Zen and other Sino-Japenese philosophical-Mystical orientation
  • Racial
  • Flying Saucer and other space phenomena
  • Psychological or psychotheraputic
  • Political organizations
  • Self help, self improvement, and lifestyle systems.

    Actually, the label "cult" refers to three factors:

  • The origin of the group and the role of the leader(s).
  • The power structure or relationship between the leader(s) and the followers.
  • Use of a coordianted program of persuasion (sometimes called "brainwashing" or "thought reform"), not unlike what Hitler used.

    Now that you know what a cult is, you may be wondering why someone would want to start one of these groups. Well, the leader (who most likely started the group) has two kinds of wishes:

  • They want a meaningful life and to serve God and humanity
  • They want to be taken care of. To feel protected and secure.

    The leader? What kind of sick and/or twisted person is this? Not the kind you'd expect. WHen you first meet him (most leaders are male), he'll seem friendly and charasmatic (like a car salesman), but the memebers who have been there the longest know that he's determined, domineering, and persuasive. He centers love, devotion, ect. on himself. So why do the members stay with him? He (like most cult leaders) claims to have a special mission in life. He may even say that he has special knowledge. Why would a person believe a leader and, in turn, join the cult? The group is similar to a family. "A family?" you say. "How could a group of outcasts be like a family?" Well, you've got a lot of nerve, mister. The answer is they have a dominating figure, the leader. He is like a parent. And there's the dominated figure, the follower/member. He is like the child. They listen and learn from the dominator. The potiental member sees the group as a loving, helping unit. Here are some other reasons.

  • The person is dissatisfied. They're unhappy with their dreary lives. They want to be part of a group. They see the cult as an answer to their puny problem and fail to look to The Lord for help & guidance.
  • The person is distressed. They have so much to worry about. A low paying job, ungrateful children, et. They, like the losers, see the cult as an easy solution.
  • The person is at a transistion point in their life. Perhaps a midlife crisis. Maybe they're in college and away from home for the first time. All alone. A cult member confronts them (as you'll see later) and hooks them.
  • The person wants to become "enlightened." The leader claims to have special knowledge. The potential member listens and believes the outlandish rantings of the leader, and joins.
  • The person wants a more spiritual life. The thought of picking up a Bible doesns't cross their minds. They hear of a cult doing rituals & shit like that, and it looks religious to them. In fact, it's not unlike what the biblical Christians did for The Lord.

    Like I said before, I'll tell you how cults hook people. It's not like you think. The most obvious way is by inviting a person to a meeting. Of course, the potential member doesn't know that it's a meeting. The recruiter will say that it's a dinner, class, event, or something in that vein. The recruiter probably noticed you demonstrating one of the previous 5 descriptions of why people join cults. They use it to their advantage, like a shark chewing the injured leg of a hapless surfer, struggling for their worthless life that they're wasting by....sorry about that. I got carried away..

    Now you're saying, "I don't go anywhere that a cult might recruit. I don't have to worry." You just don't stop, do you? I'll tell you why you're suseptible to recruiters: They're everywhere, in places such as:

  • Seminars: They'll hold them, lectures, retreats, revivals, and meetings.
  • They go door-to-door. That religous looking dude might be out to collect more than donations.
  • They have tables at professional and trade meetings. That bloated slob in the checked suit might not really be in real estate.
  • Advertisments! Don't be too quick to answer an ad in a new age or alternative magazine.
  • The Internet: They have sites.

    Normal, everyday places may be a cultic group in disguise. They aren't in the woods and abandoned buildings anymore. They might be involved in:

  • Restaurants
  • Self help groups
  • Business Training workshops
  • Prosperity clubs
  • Psychotherapy Clinics
  • Martial Arts (Karate) centers
  • Diet places
  • Campus activites at colleges
  • Political organazations

    So, you may be wondering why, since you go to many of these places, you haven't been approached by a cult member. Well, there are some people that aren't cult material. They have major personality problems, wether they're so obsessed with themselves & how they look, or if they're disobedient and don't want to follow anyone's rules except they're own.

    Maybe there's a group that wants you to join. Is it a cult? You don't know. There are groups that recruit and take your money just as cults do. They're these "self improvment" programs. They use techniques just like cults do, so why do people use these, yet fear cults? They don't do exactly the same things on the inside. Now, these are just rumors, but these are things taht people have said that cults have been/are doing:

  • Killing animals at secret ritual meetings
  • Kidnapping
  • Cemetary vandalism
  • Serial murder
  • Cattle mutilations

    Rumors of this sort come from reliable places, so people are quick to believe them. So called police "experts" on ritualistic crime may say a cult did something, so it's probably the answer. It's an easy answer, but people don't care as long as they have something to blame and talk about.

    It's not only experts who give cults a bad name. "Then who?" you say. People like Geraldo, who has the television show, Geraldo. On the episode titled "Satanic Cults And Children" he said, "Estimates are that there are over 1,000,000 'Satanists' in this country (that's 1 for every 250 non-Satanists)." Hugh Down, of 20/20 has described cult activity as "perverse, hideous acts that defy belief. Suicides, murders, and rutialistic murder of children and animals."

    Who's going to believe these stories? People in poor, working class families struggling to get by financially, who's members work jobs that require little skill. It's uneducated, economically stressed (mostly Bridgeportonian) people who stir things up, making it hard for all cult members. These people should have tried what one priest did about the cult scare in his area:

  • Organize special prayer meetings
  • Give a sermon about Satanism (which is a legitimate religion, not a cult as many talk show watching, losers on welfare & neurotic people belive)
  • Organize a youth group meeting concerning Satanism (where they probably told them it was bad, but didn't have a reason why)
  • Bring in so called "experts" on the subject to speak to their congeregation (at this point, the trailer trash will believe anything coming from anyone)

    The message people send is simple: "Cults are bad." They fail to mention the similarities between the actions of cult members and the actions of regular everyday people:

  • Speaking of advesaries or outsiders like they were all the same
  • Characterizing people by negative traits
  • Lacking intrest and information concerning the actual statements and actions of opponents and outsiders
  • Failing to consider the validity of an advesery's point of view.
  • Not taking a critical look at one's own position
  • Rejecting a member on one's own group for leaving the group
  • Devaluing disssidents
  • Self righteousness

    No one seems to consider the religions that began as cults but then became legitimate religions. They are:

  • Christianity
  • Quakers
  • Mormons
  • Satanists
  • Swedenborgians
  • Christian Scientists
  • Methodists
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Seventh-Day Adventists
  • The Amish

    So, whether you fear cults because you believe outlandish rumors, becuase your family instilled blind fear in you, because you don't under- stand them, or even because you religion teaches you to dislike people of other religions, now you know that they're very similar to real religions, the members are similar to you, and that maybe, just maybe it may become a real religion some day.

    the end.