What’s The Deal With Cults?
What exactly is the definition of a cult? How and why do people join them? And why are Americans so fascinated by them? These are surprisingly difficult questions to answer despite the media saturation of cults in the United States. Cults are often thought of as inextricably tied to religion. However, the meaning of the word “cult” has shifted over time. Today, the term means a group with socially deviant behaviors. This nebulous designation means that it can be a lot easier to join a cult than most think. Some businesses might be considered cults. Some exercise classes are described as cult-like. More than a few political movements are classified as cults. However, it should come as no surprise that leaving can be extremely difficult. Trying to leave can challenge a persons entire belief system or even lead to physical or mental abuse from other cult members. We sit down with a former cult member, a professor and a psychoanalyst to learn more about this phenomenon and what you can do