8 April 2011
How Do Charismatic Figureheads Control the Lives and the Minds of Cult Followers?
Cult psychology is a topic I have always been interested in, but I have never pursued this knowledge. Before research, I assumed all cults were destructive. I also assumed cults were all negative. I knew cults used the technique known as brainwashing, or coercive persuasion, but I never realized the full extent of this technique. Most of us have heard of Charles Manson, and many more of us know the gory details of Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. However, only a select number of people actually grasp the steps of becoming a charismatic leader or a vulnerable cult member. I have never looked into the positive aspects of cults, such as the opportunities handed from the leader and his or her beliefs, to the member. My research has now allowed me to accurately form my own opinions based on statistics and experiences.
My search process was very simple; I simply got on Google and typed in my search information. If the article didn't have an author or some sort of publication date, I made no attempt to even read it. This was a major problem for me because valid information was difficult to find. As I read more and more articles, I found some information was repetitive. However, with each article, I found something new about cult psychology. My main problem with this topic is finding accurate and reliable sources. Since I changed my topic at the last minute, I did not have much time to look into any further expansion. My interest in the information and on the topic itself has not changed, and I am confident it will not falter.
Throughout my research, I have encountered several articles that were related. This particular article, "About Brainwashing Used by Cults," is a general overview on brainwashing. The eHow contributing author, Angela Atkinson, states the main uses of brainwashing in relation to the cult...