Read the following article about the psychology of cults. When you think of joining a cult, perhaps you think of some of the more extreme

Read the following article about the psychology of cults. When you think of joining a cult, perhaps you think of some of the more extreme examples you read or heard about: The Branch Davidians, The Manson Family, Heaven’s Gate, ect. What social psychological factors may be playing a role in cult behavior both on the part of the members and the leader? Review the above-linked article on the conditions that lead people to join cults. Then answer: 1) What makes a person especially susceptible to psychological manipulation? 2) What groups (or institutions or policies or social trends) can you name in Western life today that apply cultic methods and techniques to unduly influence behavior and suppress freedom? 3) According to Margaret Singer, the effects of brainwashing are very often reversible. What can ordinary citizens do to Americans – and especially students – keep their minds free of undue influence?

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