CCChat-Magazine Cults-Coercion - Flipbook - Page 45
It's all about them, about the follower being
completely devoted and being completely loyal
and serving that person's needs.
M: What kind of a person is susceptible to
being indoctrinated into a cult?
J: Any kind of person.
I would never have joined a meditation cult
because I can't sit still that long so that would
never have appealed to me. So the message
has to appeal to the person. And often it's at a
time when that individual may be vulnerable for
some reason or another. Being vulnerable is
not a disability, it's not a mental illness, it's not
something necessarily negative. It's something
we all experience many, many times in our
lives. You can be vulnerable if it's a rainy day,
you can be vulnerable if your dog just died, you
can be vulnerable if you just got a divorce, you
can be vulnerable if you've just moved to a new
town or graduated college or whatever it might
be. So, if in that moment, you come across
something on the internet or a flyer on a
bulletin board or your best friend invites you to
something, some kind of workshop or session.
at that moment you'll take that step because
that vulnerability actually creates a kind of
openness, that you're willing to find something
that's going to be an answer to whatever it is
you're worrying about at that moment. So there
really is no personality type that I've seen, and
it's both men and women who can be drawn
into cults. And people of all ages. In fact, today,
it's generally people who are older.
What kind of a person is susceptible to being
indoctrinated into a cult?
Janja: Any kind of person.
There is no one personality type. If there's any
common denominator, I would say it's idealism,
people who want to make a better world or
want to be better themselves or have better
family relations or whatever it might be; but it's
people who have some kind of idealism and
who then hear a message that resonates with
them. It has to be something that appeals to
you. I always use the example that I was in a
political cult and we were going to make
revolution, we were going to change the world.
That's what I was interested in.
Back in the ’70s, it was primarily young people
who were getting recruited into cults. That was,
more or less, the case back then with the Jesus
movement and the different groups that were
around at the end of the hippie era. Today it's
much more people in their late 20s, 30s and
40s because I think cults have learnt that they
want people who already have skills, who
already have money, who already have the
ability to lend legitimacy to the group and run
the group's businesses and bring in their
contacts. The queries that I get are from people
who are worried about their brother or sister,
their aunt or their spouse.
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