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They live outside the grades and categories which the community regards as acceptable Galbraith 225 Four issues of concern exist in the contemporary American dilemma of cult activity These issues follow as recruiting techniques unorthodox practices and the causes for joining The techniques used by cult leaders in order to recruit new members can be both manipulative and destructive Margret Thaler Singer PhD reported in the January 1997 Transactional Analysis Journal article Therapy Thought Reform and Cults that thought reform which is a process of planned and systematic psychosocial manipulations16 is used in order to gain control over cult followers15 By using psychological methods as a means of luring in and manipulating followers to conform to the group cult leaders are given a forum for preaching their specific ideologies Singer states in the previously cited article that manipulation of the persons total social environment is a means in which cult leaders stabilize and reinforce the modified behavior16 John Kifners November 13 1996 New York Times article describes a police arrest of thirty-five members of a leftist cult for possession of illegal weapons The original leader of this cult reportedly used techni ques such as isolation and exhaustion to indoctrinate his followersA1 On March 27 1997 The Los Angeles Times staff writers told of the astounding suicide of thirty-nine members of the Heavens Gate cult which occurred in a Rancho Santa Fe Mansion in San Diego CaliforniaA1 When describing the cult members they were reported to have all been younger men who always dressed alike in monochromatic uniforms of black and whiteA31 Two days later March 29 1997 The Los Angeles Times article again on the Heavens Gate cult described the lifestyle as one that demanded communal living periodic fasting and disdain for mainstream cultureA1 In addition to Singers psychological views on cults manipulative recruiting methods Timothy Miller in his introduction to the book entitled Americas Alternative Religions presents a more sociological view He
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