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Cults in our midst As the new millennium approached the number of doomsday cults that existed was expected to increase Because of the approaching new millennium some cults predicted many cataclysmic events Many people feel that cults are nothing more than a nontraditional religion but a distinction can be made Cults are much more than just upstart religions They are a dangerous aberration of our times and at least in the United States there is little that can be done to curb their growth What is a cult The term cult has many different meanings According to Robert Jay Lifton a well-known psychiatrist and author cults and religions are different but it is sometimes hard to tell In cults the worship of spiritual principles gives way to the worship of a spiritual leader or guru followers are subjected to more or less systematic thought reform behavior Lamberg 2 In order for cults to continue to exist they persuade people to join and stay often at any cost In attempting to persuade members of cults leaders often use both physically and emotionally harmful techniques According to specialist investigations members of cults are often subjected to unhealthy persuasion techniques Mind Control Excessive physical exertion is often used and leaves the person completely exhausted so that they havent the time or the energy to think for themselves Repetitive motion such as swaying and spinning is also used to manipulate the person This continuous motion has the ability to alter a persons state of awareness making them easily disoriented Other persuasion techniques involve painful bodily manipulation Former members of cults have reported that the cult leader would pass among the followers pressing on their eyes until the optic nerve caused them to see flashes of light This was called bestowing divine light by the leader In this same group members were instructed to push on their ears until they heard a buzzing
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