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  • Topic: Cult, The Cult, Cult of personality
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Selena Cortes-Guerrero
Professor Gideon
English Comp.
December 3, 2012
Why Do People Join Cults?(COBU)
When one thinks of a cult the most obvious answer one can come up with is that a cult is a bunch of crazy people who all believe similar beliefes norms. That an individual who joins a cult is “messed up” or simply not all there mentally. However research shows cult members are relatively normal just lost, lonely, or confused. By definition a cult is “a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing, and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control designed to advance the goals of the group’s leader..”(Langone p.1. When people join a cult some do it without even being aware of it, to join a group where everyone understands you, “cares” for you, where you have a family structure , sounds pretty good to the people who these cults are trying to recruit. Take the Church of Bible Understanding founded by Stewart Traill, Traill would focus his recruitment on younf adolecents by zoning in on their weaknesses(cultbustergalactia p.1) trying to break down that barrier these chilfren had put up because of personal problems, or family problems. Traill was using the same methods previous cult leaders relied on to get more followers. By “understanding” what these trouble youths were going through Traill could build a friendship with them and lure them into the cult. Stewart Trail did not wake up one day and decide “hey im gonna start a cult” his special way of thinking derived from his childhood. Traill’s father was a Presbyterian minister who believed he was the reincarnation of Elijah and that he was aware of the exact date of Christ’s return. It’s no wonder Traill has a radical way of thinking in his adult life simply because he is his fathers son. He picked up on his father’s beliefs. Once in a cult the good times simply vanish, cult members are brainwashed into believing certain beliefs by cruel verbal abuse. In the COBU Traill uses “harsh criticism, shame and public humiliation” to get his point across and belittle these people into going with the flow. Other forms of brainwash or “thought reform” are sleep deprivation, “alternation of harshness/threats and leniency/love in order to effect compliance with the leadership’s wishes. Group pressure , intense indoctrination and many more. The COBU members much like a majority of other cult members believe in their cause. They believe that they are “[pleasing] God” (Montoya p.1) and are doing no wrong, spreading the good word. The COBU has a mission in Haiti where “children are indoctrinated in exchange for food and clothing” (cultbustergalactica p.1) but these members do not see the wrong in that. Why should a innocent, pure child have to give up everything he or she has ever believed in and embrace this radical style of religion to get the necessities? If the COBU were truly religious as they claim to be then providing food and clothing to children who are less fortunate and are so thankful of what ever they receive would be the biggest payback they could imagine. Instead they want to brainwash these children to think, talk, act like them , how they think everyone should be, and give them some food and clothing. Trading in one’s ideals for food and clothing does not sound like a very fair trade off. The cult receives revenue from it’s cults members, these members are fully devoted and only know the way of the cult so they put in all they can to the cause. COBU members contribute 90% of their income to the Church, however in reality they are paying for Trail’s lavish life style. While the members live in run down warehouses Traill ends his hard day’s work in a half million dollar mansion. While these people stay within the “church” Traill can leave when he pleases on one of his four personal planes. COBU members go through various methods of brainwashing to “learn” the ways of the cult. Traill...
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