(N.Morgan) – Wikipedia defines a cult as: the term cult usually refers to a social group defined by its religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a particular personality, object or goal.
However, that definition leaves out the more sinister side to cults, in which the members are abused and isolated from family and friends, all their assets are taken and the victims are brainwashed into accepting abusive treatment as being part of a particular religion or spiritualism.
What drives people to give up their free will and lives to follow these fanatic and charismatic leaders?
WARNING: GRAPHIC! Jonestown Mass Suicide Tape (Full Recording)
An audio recording made on November 18, 1978, at the People’s Temple compound in Jonestown, Guyana immediately preceding and during the mass suicide and murder of over 900 members of the cult.
Heaven’s Gate Documentary
This documentary focuses on Heaven’s Gate cult and their mass suicide in 1997. Being led by Marshall Applewhite, Heaven’s Gate cult members believed that their souls would ascend to a spaceship following comet Hale-Bopp and would thereafter be given new bodies. The group members committed mass suicide in their Rancho Santa Fe mansion.
A media circus followed the discovery of their bodies. In the aftermath, commentators and academics discussed how Applewhite persuaded people to follow his commands, including suicide. Some commentators attributed his followers’ willingness to commit suicide to his skill as a manipulator, while others argued that their willingness was due to their faith in the narrative that he constructed.
Currently, there are thousands of cults globally.
In the video below, Janja Lalich discusses how cults recruit and manipulate their members into giving up everything in the name of the cult and what exactly differentiates cults from other groups.
Why do people join cults?