Cults attract the poor and illiterate says experts
In the Global Times this morning, Oct.13, 2014, a lengthy 3 page story published that “Experts point to poverty, illiteracy, injustice as keys to cults’ ongoing attraction – The recent national crackdown on Church of Almighty God, or Eastern Lightning, the cult behind a brutal murder in a McDonald’s in Zhaoyuan, East China’s Shandong Province, has rekindled public attention on the growing number of cults in China.”
Excerpts from news story:
“In July 2009, the government put 14 cults on its watch list, including the ‘Shouters’, ‘Mentuhui’ (the Apostles’ Congregation) and the ‘Double Spirit’ cult.”
“Some experts think that the low education levels of Christians in rural areas is one reason why they are so easily drawn to cult activities. Many Christians in the countryside are illiterate, some unable to read the Bible. The lack of teaching and trained leadership in the churches can also make it easy for Christians to slip into heresy.”
“Some cult preachers told followers that the cult is only accessible to “the chosen,” which is why many activities are underground. This boosts the mystical experience of the believers.”
“Most people who believed in these native religions were poor. They hoped they could change their status in society through a revolution. Many farmers nowadays hope the same. This is why doomsday theory remains so popular among them,” she said.”
“Moreover, local government are often not willing to crack down on cults, Yu said, due to the complexity and sensitivity of religious affairs.”
This news story contradicts what countless ex-cult members believe and know in first world countries such as Canada, USA, UK, Australia, and Europe. People from all walks of life can easily fall prey to insidious cults.
Psychiatrist, Dr. Stephen Wiseman, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of British Columbia, and Consultant Psychiatrist at St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, BC, once expressed how, “one must be careful in life because “once Scientology gets their hooks into you, it can be too late – – we all have vulnerable moments”, he said.”
Referring back to the early 1990’s, Dr. Wiseman tells his story of “walking the streets of Sydney, Australia” and was invited into a church of Scientology for a Personality Test. He was tired after a long flight, and without much thought agreed.”
However, after the test, he told the staff person that he “just finished working at a psychiatric hospital and was about to start a residency in psychiatry. Basically, they said we’re not interested – – in other words, get the hell out of our room!” His point was, “we all have moments when we’re vulnerable and we’ll say yes to something, as opposed to saying no.”
“I think that if Scientology was a country, it would probably be North Korea – – I do think they’re heading for an ending and it’s going to be an apocalypse ending – – I think it’s going to be pretty grim, with tens of thousands of psychiatrists across the globe who are going to be quite happy about that,” said Wiseman.
The motives the same as joining the Order of the Solar Temple, the Branch Davidians, the Taliban, Hamas, or the Al Qua-eda? How are acceptable social groups and organisations different from (dangerous) cults.
There is a great deal of interest in “cults” which can take many forms: They may be religious or racial, political or mystical, self-help or pseudo-psychological, but they all have recognizable characteristics.
Most cults start their induction by trying to stop both individualistic and critical thinking like the army their job is to first to break you, than remake you as one of them. This involves the introduction of a “sacred creed” that members may have to live by. Through open confession and subordination of the individual to the doctrine the cult ensures control and “purity”. Cults deliberately induce powerful emotions like fear, guilt but also pride. They tend to develop their own language, dress and signals which shows their specialness.
Any analysis of the make-up of individuals in cult groups shows surprising large diversity in terms of age, career, education, ideology and talents. They can attract the post-graduate and the illiterate; the teenager and the “senior citizen”; the solidly middle class and those on the fringes of society. It is not so much their demography that is important as their psychological needs.
Mistera-Magazine.com lists the ‘Top Five’ most dangerous cults in the world here as, The Peoples Temple Christian Church, Aum Shinrikyo, Order of the Solar Temple, Scientology, and Heaven’s Gate.
By David Love