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.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

  • 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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