U.S. Based Cults
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This paper focuses on three religious groups which are extreme to the point of being considered cults, namely, Heaven's Gate, The Family and the Davidians. The paper discuses how, through an effective combination of lifestyles, worldviews and human gullibility, these initially harmless religious groups are changed into fanatical cults. The paper highlights the realities of these cults and the control, which at times is abusive and even illegal and immoral, they are able to exert over their followers.
From the Paper:"Within the United States there are a number of religious groups which are extreme to the point of being considered cults. Amongst these are Heaven's Gate, The Family, and the Davidians. Cults such as the Branch Davidians and Heaven's Gate have traditionally been perceived as the creation of a deviant and egotistical individual. Through the use of brainwashing and reprogramming techniques, this individual is able to fashion a mindless collective of individuals willing to follow him or her even to the point of death. While the leader is an essential aspect in such organizations, there are others necessities. These cults are essentially a product of the normal human fascination with the end of time, which is shifted into extreme apocalyptic groupings and tendencies by the teachings and actions of the leader. Through an effective combination of lifestyles, worldviews, and human gullibility, these initially harmless religious groups are thus changed into fanatical cults. (Von Hoey 2) These teachings are rather universal across the religions, in that the end is near, and something must be done."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Wright, Stuart A. "" Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. 46.2, pp. 283-284.
- Perry, Bruce; Szalavitz, Maia. "Stairway to Heaven." Psychotherapy Networker Magazine. 31.2, pp. 56-64.
- Van Hoey, Katie. "" Conference Papers -- American Sociological Association, 2003 Annual Meeting, Atlanta, GA. pp.1-18.
- Thompson, Damian. "'They Told Us We Might Have to Die.'" The Telegraph. Feb 28, 2002. Retrieved on 13 March 2008, from: http://www.exfamily.org/cgi-bin/gf.pl?fmt=dyn&t=articles&m=1&s=&r=art/exmem/andrewmcmillion.shtml
Cite this Term Paper:
U.S. Based Cults (2009, September 08) Retrieved May 29, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/term-paper/us-based-cults-116266/
"U.S. Based Cults" 08 September 2009. Web. 29 May. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/term-paper/us-based-cults-116266/>