Contemporary Cults

Page Count: 14
Length: 3403 Words

Since the 1960s cults of one kind or another have regularly made headlines with outrageous, bizarre, and even lethal behavior and their number has increased enormously in the past four decades. Writers of all kinds--scholars, journalists, psychologists, and social critics--have frequently pointed out that cults have existed throughout recorded history and that the distinction between an established religion and a cult is often no more than a question of size, socialization, wealth, power, or longevity. But others hold that the sheer number of contemporary cults and the increasing levels of abuse, crime and suicide among many of them are phenomena that distinguish postindustrial society's cult behaviors from those of other eras. While it is difficult to cite any one or two principal causes of the expansion of the cult phenomenon in the present day, there are certainly a number of conditions that are conducive to cult formation on a large scale. Some, such as the approaching end of the millennium, perceptions of widespread immorality and social breakdown, and broad social change, have been significant factors in intensified cult behavior in the past. Others, such as vast increases in mobility, growth of communications media, an influx of ideas from very different cultures, and the existence of legal protections, while not unique to the present, have never reached such high levels before. Thus the argument that the reasons people join cults and the nature of their leaders

Read the full essay by joining our writing community – over 32,000 professional essays and term papers. Access this essay now!

Category: Psychology - C

Some common topics found in the essays are:

, Heaven's Gate, People's Temple, Ron Hubbard, Charles Manson's, Hare Krishnas, Texas March, Guy Fournier, Michael Langone, Christian Identity, apr 1997, heaven's gate, 7 apr 1997, clark 388, quoted clark, totalist cults, 7 apr, secret knowledge, christian identity, cult leaders, yisrayl hawkins, seventh day adventists, quoted clark 388, newsweek 7 apr,

Click Here to Get Instant Access to over 32,000 Professionally Written Papers!!!