When You’re Asked About Cults

From Easily Fooled by Robert Fellows   The two questions that I am asked most often about cults are “How can you tell if a group is a cult?” and “What can I do if I know someone who is in a cult?”   IDENTIFYING A DESTRUCTIVE GROUP In asking the first question, people usually mean “How ...

Cult Formation

Cult Formation Robert J. Lifton, M.D. John Jay College Abstract Cults represent one aspect of a worldwide epidemic of ideological totalism, or fundamentalism.  They tend to be associated with a charismatic leader, thought reform, and exploitation of members.  Among the methods of thought reform commonly used by cults are milieu control, mystical manipulation, the demand ...

How Can Cults Harm People?

There are a wide variety of cults. Different people respond differently to the same environment. Therefore, not all people who have been in cults are harmed by the experience. But some, perhaps a majority, are harmed. Part of ICSA’s mission is to help these people, so our focus here is on this subgroup of cult ...