So cults are hard to understand. Sometimes a lot of them are more hidden than others. So what is a cult? What do they do? There are several categories or definitions of cults—here are some of the most common. A cult is a group of people that have come together because of unusual religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs. It can have a common interest in a particular personality, object, or goal. It's also a social group with socially deviant or odd beliefs and practices, although this is often unclear. There are some cults that arise spontaneously around beliefs and practices. An older definition of the term is a set of religious devotional practices that are conventional within their culture and related to a particular figure, and often associated with a particular place.
So in the last definition, anything from Christianity to Hindu is a cult but in my mind, religion is different from a cult. To me, a cult is a group of people who follow radical believes that are not tied to a religion or the beliefs are a radical version of what a religion believes. Some may act like a church or market themselves as one. We talked about Scientology before and how crazy it is people lose thousands or millions of dollars and yet gain nothing for the money. What Scientology is is a self help cult with higher ups looking to feed on people's insecurities and problems.
Some other examples of famous cults are the Manson family, Heavens gate, Peoples Temple, and Westboro Baptist Church. These cults are extra famous and had a lot of attention from the media. So how do you know you are in a cult?
For this information, we are looking at groups like the Manson family, Heaven's Gate, and the Peoples Temple. There's a dynamic leader who the whole group wants to please so basically what he says goes. Speaking of the leader, they want you to have a loyalty to him or her. A lot of cults will not like you to think for yourself or ask questions as to why things are the way they are, hence the leader. Most cults will make you cut off contact with others. Westboro Baptist does this and so does Scientology. Lots of cults move around to throw off authorities or make it harder for others to find them. Demonization of former members is one of the top things that cults do. The cult doesn't want to admit that the former may have had a legit reason to leave.
If you are in a cult and want to leave, it is possible. Before you even put a plan into place, you may want to start documenting everything. Find a place to stay that is far enough away to hide if needed and don't tell the cult where this place is. You may have to tell the cult that you are leaving, your choice, but they may not take it very well. You may have to get outside assistance, especially if they don't take the news of you wanting to leave very well. When you do leave, it may be safer to leave in the middle of the night or when others visit. After you leave, cut off all contact and you may want to see a therapist or counselor.
These cults want power and if we educate ourselves, that will take away some of their power. I hope this helps and you find this interesting. I will write about the most famous cults later. I don't want any of my viewers to get mad at me and I don't want any groups coming after me because I called them a cult. Please know I am just relaying the information I found in simple form.