Most of us have experienced some level of curiosity when it comes to cults. We may wonder how anyone could possibly "fall for" them...or we may find ourselves wondering whether we might be victims if the circumstances were right.
Cults often start out with such lovely, lofty goals: Jim Jones was a staunch supporter of racial equality. Father Yod was an advocate for natural health and a utopian lifestyle. Osho preaches that every human being is capable of unconditional love.
In short, it all sounds a bit too good to be true. And then you find out that, in fact, it's pretty bad. Really bad, in some cases. We've all heard the horrifying stories of Jonestown, Heaven's Gate, and The Children of God.
Still, regular people just like you and me join cults pretty regularly. Is there a chance that you've accidentally joined one yourself and don't even realize it?
You might not think so.But I bet if you asked actual cult members, they wouldn't admit to being in a cult, either. That's kind of how they work.
First of all, what is a cult?
via: ShutterstockLiterally speaking, a cult is a social group that's defined by its religious, spiritual or philosophical beliefs, or its common interest in a personality, object, or goal. That doesn't sound too scary, right? Well, that's kind of the point.