“brainwashing,” mind control, cult conversion, and deprogramming. Cult Persuasion. Roots of cultic research. POW camps in the Korean war: emergence of the term “brainwashing” “ When Prophecy Fails : Festinger, Riecken, & Schacter’s 1956 analysis of an end-of-the earth cult
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“Rael” and Brigitte Boisselier, Raelian bishop and CEO of Clonaid
One person’s cult is another person’s religion
“cult” is a pejorative term, usually used by one group to brand another.
Singer & Lalich (1995): “a cultic relationship is one in which a person intentionally induces others to become totally or nearly totally dependent on him or her for almost all major life decisions, and inculcates in these followers a belief that he or she has some special talent, gift, or knowledge.”What is a “cult?” Definitional considerations:
Robert Jay Lifton
loading the language: reliance on thought-restraining phrases and language; serves to isolate members from the outside world and constrict members’ thinking
Go to the above link for more detail on Lifton’s 8 marks of mind control
The group is focused on a living leader to whom members seem to display zealous, unquestioning loyalty
For more information, see Dr. Margaret Singer’s excellent book, Cults in Our Midst (1996).
The group exhibits a polarized “us-them” mentality. Outsiders are evil and must be shunned.