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Many times people wonder how someone can be in a cult?   How can they have been so stupid?  I would never do that!  They must want to be there!  They must be crazy!

However, what people do not see is how members are recruited and the psychological methods of manipulation involved.

Here are some of the most common myths debunked.  

  1. People dont join cults. They are recruited.
  2. People are recruited by a method, not a message.
  3. People do not stay in cults because they have nothing better to do with their lives, but because psychological coercion holds them there.
  4. Cults intend to retain a hold on people for life, or for as long as they are valuable to the cult. It is not a fad or a phase.
  5. Normal people from normal families are recruited into cults.
  6. Cult leaders should be blamed for the problems caused, not the individual members, ex-members or their families. (Blame the victim syndrome). It can happen to anyone.
  7. Cult members are sincere. (Sincere victims, but sincere.)
  8. Cult members are victims and need to be treated with love. They are people who need help, not hostility.
  9. Cults recruit people of all ages, not just young people.
  10. Cult recruiters are rarely visually identifiable. They usually look like quite normal people who appear to be very friendly.
  11. Anyone can become a victim of cult techniques of psychological coercion. The safest people seem to be the seriously mentally ill, or those that know how to recognise a cult.
  12. Accurate information on cults is not best obtained by trying to infiltrate a cult. This is far too dangerous.

(Source: Ian Haworth – Cult Information Centre, UK)

Over the coming weeks we will be discussing some of these “myths” in relation to Avatar in greater detail.

Thanks for listening.