1. What sort of people are targeted by cults?
It’s somebody who is going through a period in life when they may feel depressed. The elderly are often suffering on medications, have their, as you know, they are at the end of their life.
And someone who is going through a difficult period in life, they could be a romantic break-up; they lost their jobs; they are flunking out of college. Or they are just lonely; they are on the college campus away from home; they don’t know anybody in this new environment.
Along comes somebody who looks very nice, who’s friendly, it could even be a coworker, a friend, someone who they trust or seems trust-worthy. And they come, and they basically do a “bait-and-switch” con game, and they tell them, “hi, we have this wonderful communication’s course for you; we are having a hay-ride; we are playing volleyball; we would just like to do a Bible study with you; we have this terrific get-rich-quick multi-level marketing scheme; we have the alternate Martial Arts course for you, the alternate training for a weekend seminar.“
Then you become involved, you don’t really understand fully what you are becoming involved in but you are vulnerable, and you are feeling like you need something to help you get over a humble in life. And then you go and then they get you. And they are very good at what they do.
Nobody deliberately says, “Hi, I want to join this destructive cult, and give them my money, give them my life.” I mean, if they understood, most of the people.
pic：Li'l Depressed Boy
That I have done 500 interventions since 1982 all over the world, and I can assure that when I sit down with people, at the end, they all say to me, “if I had known when I first got involved what I now know about the group, about coercive persuasion techniques, about what the group’s expectations of me would eventually be, how they would isolate me from my family, affect my relationships, my financial well-being, my health, I would never have gone involved, but I did not understand that in the beginning. “
I deprogrammed 5 medical doctors, including an orthopaedic surgeon and a physiologist. These are not stupid people, they are intelligent people, and I’ve seen them from all different social-economical backgrounds, educational levels, good families, and bad families. I think we want (them) really not to engage in the kind of easy-character of cult member, that is just stupid people, crazy people.
Because, quite frankly, those kind of people are not useful to a cult leader. A cult leader wants somebody who can make money for him or her, and who can really be, you know, a productive. They don’t want damage goods.
Cults Inside Out, written by American cult expert Rick Alan Ross, is recommended by many main-stream media, and also well received by other cult experts, scholars and professionals in press and legal circles.more
In this book, Singer reveals what cults really are and how they work, focusing specifically on the coercive persuasion techniques of charismatic leaders seeking money and power. The book contains fascinating updates on Heaven's Gate, Falun Gong, Aum Shinrikyo, Hare Krishna, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, and the connection between cults and terrorism in Al Queda and the PLO.more
What's the difference between cults and standard religions?What's the difference between cults and standard religions?
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