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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Cults

This article was written by Donald Tyson on May 14, 2002
posted under Psychic Powers

The word "cult" used to be synonymous with the word "sect" It meant a religious group. Therefore, Judaism, Christianity or any religion could be considered a cult.

But today the word "cult" has taken on a very ominous meaning. Today when the word "cult" is used to describe an organization, be it religious or otherwise, there is the implication of brainwashing leading to an end such as the slaughter at Jonestown. Today there are numerous cults. Here are some signs that you may be becoming involved in a cult:

The people trying to get you to join will not tell you who they are without you asking them several times for the information. They may give you the name of a cover organization.

They will put you on a low protein diet. For Westerners, used to high amounts of protein, this sudden lack can affect the frontal lobes of the brain and have the effect of lowering your judgment capabilities.

Members of the group will "love bomb" you for hours. They will smile, tell you about how everybody in the group loves everyone else, and how much they all love you. As our society becomes more insular, this sounds wonderful. But its purpose is to build an us-versus-them mentality in order to get you to leave your family and friends who become the "them" in this equation.

They will give you long hours of work to do and allow you little sleep. Again, this lowers your judgment abilities.

The only news of the world you will be allowed to hear is that which has been cleared by the group. Thus, you only get their side of the news. This one-sided view prevents you from being able to make up your own mind after hearing all sides of an issue.

You will be isolated from your friends and family. You only experience love and affection from members of the cult and can become dependent on them. Sometimes, isolation becomes total and you would be allowed to see nobody for long periods of time.

You will be put through meaningless repetitions of meaningless words, phrases or actions. In genuine Eastern traditions, when your Guru gives you a Mantra, he or she also explains the meaning of every letter and sound.

The leader of the group is considered to be God or is the only one to have a direct line to God. Only through the cult can you follow Godís wishes and be at one with God.

You may face the threat of death. The fear this induces can radically change your behavior.

You may face forced use of drugs or alcohol or the control of your sex life.

You may face torture or pain.

Intelligent people are just as likely as less intelligent people to be victimized by cults. Colleges are popular places for cult recruitment Awareness of the techniques of these organizations will help you to avoid falling prey to them.

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