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Cult Behaviour.

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Name : C Sountharam Address : 9/42 John Street, Ashfield, NSW 2131 Email : csountharam@hotmail.com Tel (h) : 61 2 97164827 Module : Social Determinants of Behaviour Trainer : Mrs Christine Chinchen Assignment : Assignment No 1 - Photo Essay - Persuasion Term : 1 -year 2003 Date : 2003-03-31 Photo Essay - Persuasion Cult Behaviour Figure 1 Sai Baba is believed to have miracle powers The fame of Indian Guru called "Sai Baba" has spread among non-Indians all over the world. Millions of devotees are making a trip to Puttaparthi (India), to get his blessings. Unification Church (The Moonies) is one of the well-known cults in the western world. Heaven's Gate group's mass suicide depicts the cult behaviour. What is 'cult'? Cult is a group or movement, which exhibits excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing. These cults dictate how members should think, act and feel which alienates them from society at large (http://www.csj.org/studyindex/studymindctr/study_cultmindctr.htm , 1998). Figure 2 Dark side of the game Cult behaviour is present throughout society and it is particularly evident in the military where fanatical support with arms has resulted in the brink of extinction (Deikman, 1990). ...read more.


Chanting, meditating, singing and humming are several ways to short circuit a person's ability to test reality. Guilt and fear controls the person's feelings, so this creates an outside enemy ( us versus them) and also the fear of punishment for not following the cult (Groenveld, 2003). There is psychological gun held to their heads which eradicates former beliefs and replaces them with new beliefs (Groenveld, J,2003). Persuasion is not only brainwashing it is also manipulation of the human mind causing an opinion shift by another individual (Moghaddam, 1998). A group called Woman empowering Women(WEW) claims to generate twenty-four thousand pounds for any one who invests three thousand through a radio talk show. The Isle of weight with one hundred and thirty thousand residents heard the talk show and was gripped with the pyramid scheme fever. The banks ran short of money, a story which hit the media (Teeman, 2001).WEW viewed as a cult with the dubious scheme, has manipulated the residents of the island. Therefore, easy messages are persuasive when shown or heard in the media and difficult ones, when written (Moghaddam, 1998). ...read more.


Figure 6 Do I look normal? The other important element in persuasion is the audience who is susceptible to persuasion. The popular misconception is that cult members are 'crazy'. But research and clinical evidence suggests that most cult members are relatively normal http://www.csj.org/studyindex/studymindctr/study_cultmindctr.htm. 1998). An Instructor of the Unification church, Shelley Leibert, says that well-rounded, successful and secure people, are likely to dedicate themselves to the movement. Therefore there is no easily identifiable type of person who joins cults. In conclusion , the factors that influence persuasion in cults are the appropriate process, channel, credibility of the leader and the target. The capacity to exploit human beings is universal and therefore any group could become a cult. Cult behaviour appears to be self- deception (Deikman, A (1990). In any situation when, problems confront us that threaten everyone on earth like nuclear weapons and contamination of the environment, we need realism as possible to solve these problems. If we move forward into the 'eye level' world, and the freedom is the bountiful reward. ...read more.

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