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Modern Cults

Today, there are thousands of cults around the world. Broadly speaking, a cult is a group or movement with a shared commitment to a usually extreme ideology that's typically embodied in a charismatic leader. But what exactly differentiates cults from other groups – and why do people join them? Janja Lalich describes how cults recruit and manipulate their members. Directed by Globizco, narrated by Addison Anderson, music by Manuel Borda.


  • Not all cults are religious, and not every new religion is a cult

  • Cults can be therapy based or focused on self improvement.

  • A modern cult separates it's members from society.

  •  Cults often implement jargon/ language that is understood only by the group. 

  • Cults often use what is known as a 'front group' to recruit new members. The front group is skilled in targeting people's vulnerabilities.

  • A modern cult controls its members' contact with the outside world.

  • Modern cults will attempt to control a person's freedom of association (the people with whom the member can interact with).

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