What Is A Cult? 'Our America With Lisa Ling' Investigates (VIDEO)

02/19/2013 12:45 pm ET
  • OWN

What is a cult, and how does it differ from a new religious movement? In preparation for their upcoming investigative report on Doug Perry, a cyber preacher who stresses a vow of spiritual martyrdom to his congregation, "Our America with Lisa Ling" producers sat down with an expert to gain perspective on the subject of cults. Dr. Charles Strozier, a psychoanalyst and professor of history at The City University of New York, has been studying and teaching classes on new religious movements for over two decades.

"People who are vulnerable and needy and confused and often very troubled… are drawn to the [cult] leader because the leader offers certainty about what life is all about, and what it should be all about," Dr. Strozier says in this clip. "And that gives a wholeness and a completeness to their lives."

In this exclusive video, watch as Dr. Strozier defines what a new religious movement is, why such movements arise, and names the key identifying factors of a cult.

To see Lisa Ling's full "Martyrs for Christ?" report, tune in to "Our America with Lisa Ling" on OWN, Feb 19, at 10 p.m. ET.

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