Cult Seduction Essay

772 Words4 Pages
Examine the psychological features of cult seduction and the same for deprogramming Experts (Olson, 2006) have found it hard pressed to fully understand the psychology of a cult, even renamed them to “New Religious Movement.” Some people feel the term dehumanizes its group members and make them appear brain washed. However, in order to properly understand the psychological features of cult seduction and deprogramming, one must first examine what a cult is. The process of deprogramming is by which to counteract the effects of indoctrination. Even though some religious practices seem awkward or different, they may not necessarily be a cult. Unfortunately there is no concrete definition because it is tricky to distinguish between genuine or customary religious groups and a cult. According to Raymond Paloutzian (1983), there are five factors that help characterize that of a cult: charismatic/dogmatic leader, converts lives being dominated, former lives must be forgotten completely, monetary or other mistreatment, and “bizarre or unusual doctrine, occasionally communicated by deceptive methods” (113). Even with these traits, there are different cultic degrees. The initial “cult seduction” process usually begins with an individuals initial involvement with a cult member and then their eventual involvement with the cult (Alemendros et al. 2007). Some psychological contributing factors include dysfunctional family unit patterns or even unsatisfactory expectation goals. Whatever the case is psychologically, people who are more susceptible to cult seduction tend to have issues with intimate relations, are seeking some self-development, seeking ideals, general dissatisfaction with daily life, and manipulation (8). These tensions and the desire to change them may influence people to cult conversion. Following the person being exposed to the cultic group; the
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