Exploding the Myths
Extract from an article by Ian Howarth, of the UK's Cult Information Centre. Assignation 11 (4) July 1994
1. People don't join cults. They are recruited.
2. People are recruited by a method not a message.
3. People do not stay in cults because tthey have nothing better to do with their lives, but because psychological coercion holds them there.
4. Cults intend to retain a hold on people for life, or for as long as they are valuable to the cult. It is not a fad or a phase.
5. Normal people from normal families are recruited into cults.
6. Cult leaders should be blamed for the problems caused, not the individual members, ex-members or their families. (Blame the victim syndrome). It can happen to anyone.
7. Cult members are sincere (sincere victims, but sincere).
8. Cult members are victims and need to be treated with love. They are people hwo need help, not hostility.
9. Cults recruit people of all ages, not just young people.
10. Cult recruiters are rarely visually identifiable. They usually look like quite normal people who appear to be very friendly.
11. Anyone can become a victim of cult techniques of psychological coercion. The safest people seem to be the seriously mentally ill, or those that know how to recognise a cult.
12. Accurate information on cults is not best obtained by trying to infiltrate a cult. This is far too dangerous.
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