Religious Cults - Why We Fear Them and Should We? Analytical Essay

Religious Cults - Why We Fear Them and Should We?
An analytical overview of religious cults and the societal fears surrounding their influence.
# 145490 | 1,252 words | 9 sources | APA | 2010 | US
Published on Nov 12, 2010 in History (Religion) , Religion and Theology (General)

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This paper provides an overview of cults, or "new religious movements," as some prefer to call them, and delves into the societal fear about these organizations. The paper seeks to discover what exactly it is that people fear or believe they dislike about religious cults; their interpretations, results and implications for the future of religious cults are discussed. The paper asserts that although religious cults are often portrayed negatively, cults have been the root of some of the most respected, prosperous, and well-established religions that exist today. The paper draws a parallel between supposed "brainwashing" and the television advertising to which children are exposed, as well as hypnosis programs that help people stop smoking, for example. The paper concludes that to fear less, we must understand more.

From the Paper:

"Learning about new religious movements, cults and sects will enable us to broaden our understanding and awareness plus discover more similarities with people we may currently see as very different from us. Opening sensitive topics up for discussion, like brainwashing, with genuine inquisitiveness allows us to grow our communication skills, making things easier while navigating our human experience. When afraid of the dark, turn on the light. Shedding light on religious cults, we'll find that all religious institutions and all religious cults lead to the same place: "Religion creates nothing except intangible emotional solace for those who require it" (Joseph). As we will see, religious scholars are in the forefront of eliminating the word "cult" and are leading the way for more respect and understanding among all faiths."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Campbell, A. (2001). David V. Barrett: The New Believers; A survey of sects, cults and alternative religions [Book review]. Retrieved from
  • Coyne, J. A. (2010, October 11). Science and religion aren't friends. USA Today, p. 11A.
  • Fox, J. (2005). New Religious Movements, The Routledge companion to the study of religion. New York: Routledge: John Hinnells.
  • Introvigne, M. (2002). Misunderstanding Scholars: A Review of, and a Footnote to, "Misunderstanding Cults." Retrieved from website:
  • Joseph, P. (2008, October 2). Zeitgeist: Addendum [Motion picture]. USA. Retrieved from

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Religious Cults - Why We Fear Them and Should We? (2010, November 12) Retrieved September 24, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Religious Cults - Why We Fear Them and Should We?" 12 November 2010. Web. 24 September. 2023. <>