A person’s thoughts, behaviors and emotions will be manipulated once they have joined a cult; the dangers of cults have become severe over the past years and have caused thousands of deaths due to the influence of cults members and leaders. Cults are able to gain members, due the fact that people in actuality do not know it is a cult they are joining. After joining a cult, some people still do not even understand that they are actually in a cult. Cults are something a person may read about or see on W, but to have the actuality of knowing that a person has joined a group is shocking.
It is meeting that an individual would think, that could not happen to them. Over the past decades there have been several horrific events that have caused deaths to hundreds of Americans. The causes of their deaths were the effects of their leaders, who the followers once trusted. Most people do not even know what a cult exactly is, “According to the book, “Leaders and Followers” a cult is a group that follows a dominate leader who claims to be divine, and who is regarded by his or her followers as divine” (Smiths 13). Cults are known, but are somewhat secretive. There have been estimates of over 3,000 cults in America.
In cults, the members are taught several rituals and ceremonies, all of which are in closed group and are isolated from the rest of society (Smiths 14). Cult leaders even teach their followers to starve themselves, causing kidneys to fail and in a result of death. Other leaders of cults embed their devotees to become too miserable and sorrowful, to the point where all they want to do it end their lives and committing suicide (Nolan 29). Justine Nolan states “All cults should come with a clear warning: joining this group may be hazardous to your health” (29). Joining cults damages a person’s health mentally, physically and notionally.
Someone who has joined a cult, becomes isolated from others, and most likely have been brainwashed into not doing healthy activities, and participating in activities that are looked down upon. David Berg, cult leader of “Children of God” influenced sex between adults and children, because he said it was the highest expression of love towards God. Cult leaders use God, or some kind of spiritual tactic to persuade the members in acting in these sorts of activities. Those who were just born into the cult, Children of God, grew up accepting, that their birth parents were not really their parents.
Also having sex at young age was common because this was an activity called “Cuddle Time” where adults had sex with the young kids. Sex was just a regular part of life, and bases of this cult (Stored 37). David Shores is an example of forcing his admirers to participating in sexual activities. He explained all women and girls as young as 12 that, they needed to have sex with him, the reason being, he was “God” and hey was doing a good deed, and if the girls had sex with other men, then they are corrupting themselves to evil. Shores bragged about having almost 20 wives, “To him, sex was the ultimate control” (Graham 1).
Shores also raped some women, and abused children, yet he tells interviewers, there is nothing wrong in what he is doing, and he is just misunderstood. “Cult leaders David Shores revealed himself as an evil mass murder who led his followers into the inferno of hell” (2). Participating in such disturbing rituals start from the beginning of the time someone enters the cult, Cults use a simple technique called “Love Bombing” this is to take in new members, and talk to them. Most people who are in cults are young people, such as teens and early twenties. This is because …
Young people are easy targets for cults because they often lack the skills necessary to detect when someone is lying to them” Ms. Groveled explain (Nolan 2). But when it comes down to it, everyone can be a potential target for the recruitment of a cult. Reason being, everyone no matter how old a person is, whether they are a male or female, everyone is looking for the same kinds of things. Someone to listen to problems, to talk to, to help get through a death or break up, this is just part of being human. Therefore this makes the Love Bombing technique easier to use on people (Schwartz 6).
A roomer cult member emphasizes, while being in the group, the group was gradually striping her of herself, once being in such group, a person no longer thinks for themselves. Everything about a person is controlled; group leaders have perfected this skill, therefore making a successful cult (Schwartz 5). Heaven’s Gate is a famous event that occurred in 1997 in California, when two people Marshall Applegate and Bonnie Nettles, founded a cult and instilled their believers that there was a spaceship what would take them all to another world.
Applegate told the cult members, planet Earth was going o be wiped out, therefore they needed to go to another world. Just as sane people, the members were against suicide, but understood, that was the only way their souls could get on the spaceship and take them to another world. Instead all 38 members were influenced into committing suicide. The suicide was accomplished by ingestion of Phenobarbital, a sedative, mixed with applesauce and pudding, and washed down with vodka. Plastic bags were secured around their heads after taking in the pudding and vodka; they put the bag so they could suffocate themselves.
This cult was OF based and was Hough from outsider, this group was just doing research on the topic (Stored 36). This massacre is similar to Jamestown suicide and murder, where a cult’s leader, Jim Jones, was the cause of 900 deaths of adults and 300 deaths of children. Jones was the leader of “Peoples Temple”, and forced his cult members to relocate to Guyana because there was a better life there. This cult, at the time was receiving much media attention that California Congressman Leo Ryan, decided to visit Guyana, and see exactly how the cult lives, and have a few interviews.
A boarding his plane, along with a couple of there members from the cult who wanted to escapes, the cult’s guards shot fire killing the congressman and the cult escapees. Later on he became more manipulative, and poisoned the rest of the “People’s Temple” with cyanide; he put this in the Cool-Aid killing almost everyone (Doyle 1). Only a few members survived this appalling event, but all the events that occurred, living a normal life is almost impossible for the survivors because of the determination (Stored 37).
Almost all people do not know they are joining a cult. Once joined in a group, all connection to the outside world is lost, “Many parents whose hillier are members report a wall of silence, with letters, emails and phone calls all going unanswered” (Stored 36) To people it is a group or friends that have the same interest coming together and sharing their knowledge. Initially they recruit members based on religious views or just plain interest, from then on, members and leaders of the cult, mess with their beliefs.
Recruit members make it seem as you are their main interest, from a person’s types of religious views of activities a person likes to participate in. The reason this being, studies have concluded that there are similarities between a cult and a elision. “Christianity began as a cult within Judaism, The Morons, Christian Scientists, Methodists, Jehovah Witnesses, and Seventh-Day-Adventists are examples Of groups that began as cults and developed into recognized denominations” (Smiths 1 However, cults have negative outlook for its members.
A cult is really formed so one person, who usually sees themselves as a higher power. Doyle writes, “People are more than willing to put aside their personal liberty in order to feel safe in the embrace of government, which assures them they need to be protected from the dangerous outside roll people who are committed in abnormal group should ask themselves, is the group monitoring where you go, who you see and who you hang out with? Is the abnormal group also watching what kinds of books you are reading, and taking charge of the information you hear?
Lastly, is this certain group, teaching you to control your thoughts, so no negative thoughts are being processed about the group? If answered yes, to these questions, then more than likely, a person is in a cult. (Nolan 30). Joining a cult is not as easy as leaving one. Leaders make it almost impossible for their followers to reek away from the group, because they have embedded so much in each person, as far as controlling their thoughts, emotions, and beliefs, leaders will not let a person out of a cult easily.
Former cult members have moved away just so they can start over (Schwartz 6). Sadly some leaders even take the lives away of those who try to leave; others commit suicide because they see it as the only option. Those who come out of the cult are said to be lucky, though many mental survivors have to go through a process, go to therapy and receive help. For a once cult member, having everything done for them, such s when to wake up ,what to eat, what to watch, for so long, it is hard to reestablish themselves to be self-sufficient (Stored 37).
Some people will never fully go back to themselves, the days before they were in a cult, and others see it as an experience and in no time can function properly. Cults are not unknown or unheard of, but they are somewhat secretive. The dangerous of cults are real, and horrific. They continue to grow because people are not educated about cults, and once they are in a cult, it is almost impossible to leave because the leader of a cult seeing its members as their property. When joining a cult, there is a positive vibe to everyone in the group, there are smiles, and seems as if everyone actually cares.
This is all an act, just a scam to get to one’s inner thoughts and emotions. Cults are dangerous and are the cause to thousands of deaths. By doing background research on a group before joining can resolve future problems from starting.